One Session as a Writing Coach

I'm going to reveal more of the coaching process in this article. Each student is unique, and each session is unique. So the process is never the same, but there still is a process to finding the way forward.

I never thought I would teach writing, or public speaking, or meditation. I'm even roleplaying out casting calls for an actress now. I've taught computer programmers, surgeons, rich business owners, young entrepreneurs, finance directors, project managers, and many students. All sorts of people.

I've talked with them about all sorts of things. One of the unique things about my sessions is that you can ask me anything, including personal health and finances, religion, politics, whatever. (I did have to start noting not to get mad about our differences though, because one person didn't like that I don't think Islam is a particularly peaceful religion. Which I think can change just like other religions have, but I'll leave all of that for another article.…

I Went to a Writing Group - February 12th, 2020

I like to think differently, and I'm pretty good at it. In reality, when people are truly thinking there is rarely agreement. Sometimes there can be in a general sense, but almost never in detail. Thinking is a dialogue that you have with yourself, which is why it can be paralyzing. It's an ability that everyone has, but it's rarely used, especially for important things, because it's uncomfortable. It immensely complicates your world to question what you know, it's the very definition of anxiety, and most people avoid anxiety as much as they can. Alas, I love it, and have spent quite a lot of my life just thinking.

I almost did too much thinking in this writing session. If you question how you're perceiving the world, or how you're acting in the world, you stop while you're thinking about it. This is a state of high psychological entropy, and anything can come out of it. As you decrease your options your anxiety decreases. You settle on an interpretatio…

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 15 of ?

An election where your option is one person isn't an election. It's an appointment made by the political party in charge of your government. That's true from Communist-controlled China to Democrat-controlled Dalton Township.

The reason there isn't another option is that people are afraid. I have been personally told by more than half a dozen people that they are unwilling to run for office, or oppose the local government, because of fear of reprisals. That's not living life, that's being allowed to exist.

After I helped expose the corruption in Dalton I had several people ask me to run for office. I said no. I have had some health concerns ever since I got sick in Kenya, Africa in 2015. I had further complications with my spinal deformities. And I continue to have issues with my heart and lungs. Nevertheless, there have been great men throughout history who pushed through physical difficulties. If Robert Louis Stevenson can become a great writer while suffering…

Continuing Stacy's Unicorn Story

I don't usually continue writing prompts with students. They're just ideas we generate at the time, we play with them, and then we play with a different idea next time. But Stacy was adamant that she wanted to continue the unicorn story. So we have.

This is the first session that we did. We alternated back and forth who was writing.

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"I don't think this is the right way." Susan said again. "We've been walking and walking, and nothing is even changing."
Ron the Unicorn didn't respond, he just shook his head and kept walking across the wide open grassy field.
They saw the magic rainbow, and it was a catbow taxi. So they thought it was a great idea to take the taxi.
Ron took up the entire backseat, so Susan sat in the front. They had to role down the window because Ron's horn stuck out of one end, and his tail stuck out of the other window. The taxi driver said, "Where to?"
Ron and Susan looked at each other, and Susan sa…

Great Books on Political Corruption

Government corruption is universal. It is the duty of citizens to fight it at every turn, at every level of government, and in every generation. To arm yourself for the fight it's important to learn what you can from those who have gone before. Some of the greatest thinkers and leaders in history dedicated their lives to fighting corruption.

Many of the greatest books in history are small. Of course, there are some big ones too, but many of my favorites are small. Luckily, many of the greatest books explaining how political corruption works, and how to fight it, are small.

Here are the eight best authors on political corruption. These books and essays constitute a collection of knowledge that is astounding to behold. Reading even a few of these can change your entire perspective on society.

Frederic Bastiat

Bastiat was born in France in 1801 and died in Rome in 1850. He is one of the four major figures in the French Liberal School of economic thought, and made several important con…

Eugene and Learning the Art of Imagination

Eugene is an approximately 30-year-old computer programmer from Russia who lives in New York City. We've written a few things in class. I would write a question and he would write an answer, things like that. This session took a different turn.

Eugene wanted some homework, so I put this prompt in our shared writing pad.

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Make a fictional story. Like a little fairytale.

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In our session this morning he said he tried writing a few sentences, and then erased them. He just couldn't come up with anything. My response, "Perfect. We can work on that then."

This is a common issue for people. They self-filter to such an extent that it limits their ability to produce. Now, Eugene is college-educated, he's a computer programmer, he knows two languages, and he's lived in two countries. He's a smart guy. And yet, the freedom of having such an open-ended option thwarted him.

I coached him through this session to just write whatever came next. W…

The Opposite of Slavery

"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" is one of the best autobiographies ever written. In that book Douglass doesn't have a list of the things that support slavery, but there are some things that definitely stick out as important. What if you just did the opposite? What if instead of doing the things that were important to keep slaves in slavery, you went the other direction?

To a large extent, that is what Douglass did. He freed himself by doing the opposite of what a slave was supposed to do. (A number of other people were instrumental as well, of course. And Douglass himself acknowledges that Providence played a large part.)

An important note before we dive into what led to his freedom. He didn't go from being a slave to owning slaves. He might have been able to, he was a very resourceful man. And, others did it. There were black slave owners, traders, and breeders. It's an odd piece of history that's largely ignored because peop…

Toward a Free Hong Kong

It's one of the great questions. One which has determined the fate of human history, and will determine our destiny in the future. When and how is freedom earned?

Hong Kong is home to one of the most intelligent and highly educated populations in the world. They understand that they stand at the center of a turning point in history. The difference between liberty and oppression is a decision contained within each individual's head and heart. It's an answer that rises up from a person's innermost soul. Their future stands upon how courageously they will not yield or bow to the violence and intimidation used against them by the Chinese government.

This is not the first time that a proud people have fought for their freedom, and it will not be the last.

The protests in Hong Kong did not start when millions of people took to the streets to demand that their rights be restored. It did not start with students being gassed and shot in their universities by police. It started …

Stacy and Overcoming Hesitation in Writing

Stacy is an 11 year old Russian girl that has kind of wanted to do some writing. She didn't say it, but I could tell over the last few weeks that she's just been a little hesitant to get started. We've mostly been talking and reading so far.

I emphasized that it would probably be a good day for writing. I said I would begin.

She was wearing a unicorn outfit, so that's where I started. She was quite uncertain how to continue the story, and at first the parts she wrote were small, but they grew over the course of this hour of writing. I encouraged her to take the story in any direction that she wanted. And, I purposefully made it obvious that writing can get wild and that is fine. She had never heard of Lewis Carol, although she saw an "Alice in Wonderland" movie once. This story reminded me a little bit of that spirit.

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"I don't think this is the right way." Susan said again. "We've been walking and walking, and nothing is e…

Writing a Story with Masha, and What Kids Know About Religions

Masha and her mother specifically came to me to help her work on writing skills.

We've written a few interesting things, and there is a story further below. But first, I've been asking kids in China and Russia what they know about different world religions. I've been a little surprised by how little they know. And, really, for the most part they just don't care.

Here are some of the different religions that I've been asking if they know: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christian Orthodox, Christian Protestant, Christian Catholic, Islam, Judaism, Ancient Greek, Ancient Norse/Viking, Zoroastrianism, and Druze. I realize some are more philosophy than religion, some are dead religions, and that some are obscure. What I've found is that most kids seem to know a tiny bit about one or two, and have heard of another one or two. That's usually it. (Carrie is a 14 year old in China who is an exception because she likes studying history on her own.)

Often, t…


Sometimes the true spirit of what America stands for is forgotten or ignored.

Sometimes America is thought of as the land of the free and the home of the brave. More often, it's thought of as a land of prosperity. And that prosperity rests on its greatest moniker, the land of opportunity.

Opportunity does not spring from nothing. It takes a certain type of society to protect the possibility for individual initiative. It is that culture that truly sets America apart. It is that culture that has changed history and the world, and set a higher standard for what all people should demand from their governments, their representatives, and themselves.

A few nights ago, just before I was going to sleep, I decided to set down in as few lines as possible what the true essence of the American spirit is. The core of the culture. In a beautiful leather-bound notebook that my cousin bought me this past Christmas, I inscribed these lines.

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America is an ideal.

It's an idea held …

I Went to a Writing Group Today - January 22nd, 2020

Analiese often comes up with creative prompts for the group. I like to think that I generate some creative responses. This one is good.

A small slip of paper released from her fingertips and softly floated down to rest upon my open palms, pressed together and waiting to gently caress the prompt from destiny. Here's what it said.

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Write something inspired by a recent dream you had.

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I dream every night, but I don't usually write them down. They evaporate as if they are only a mist receding before me upon awakening. I've written a few articles on dreams. Mine can be quite detailed, including reading well put together fictional and non-fictional books right in the dreams themselves.

I allowed myself some artistic license with this and didn't base it specifically off of a dream.

When we share in the group we often state our name and something about ourselves. It was suggested that this time we share what we want to be when we grow u…

I Went to a Writing Group - January 8th, 2020

Last week the writing prompt was inspired by the new year.

Here's the prompt that we received.

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Happy New Year! It is now 2020 which has brought up the roaring '20s from 100 years ago.

For this week, the prompt will be twenty.

This can be anything from the year 2020 or 1920 or even 3020, or you could use it in reference to age, or just use the number anywhere. If you don't want to use the prompt, as always, you can write whatever you want.

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I've never worked with a countdown mechanism before in a story. So, I thought that might be interesting to try.

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This was the moment he had dreamed about since he was 8 years old and saw a missile launch with his dad.

They hadn't even gone to the launch, it was just on tv. But Jason could still remember his father's enthusiasm.

His father didn't usually watch tv, and he didn't usually spend time with Jason. It was just Jason and his mom. But that day, that day his dad t…

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