Tag Archives: learning

Guest Post — Keep Your Brain Young


Today Karel Henneberger, one of the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe crew, is filling in for me while I recuperate from shoulder surgery. Over the next couple of weeks, Karel will pitch in to give expert advice.

Karel is a business owner, a teacher, and an author. She specializes in Children’s Literature. She also has a keen sense of humor! So without further adieu, here’s a message from Karel.

10 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young After 50–or 45 or even 30

As our brains age, we may not remember new facts as easily as we did in early adulthood. However, we can do much to help our brains retain “muscle mass.” Regardless of your physical condition, there are many ways to increase your brain activity.

  1. DO CROSSWORD PUZZLES. Not just the pick-a-word puzzles, but the real crossword puzzles with clues and frustration. There are many crossword puzzle books available in grocery and drug stores. Easy ones are great for beginners or when you are frazzled. For more difficult puzzles, subscribe to a crossword puzzle magazine. Crossword puzzles can be done anywhere—in the car (not while driving), in a doctor’s office, or while waiting in line. You can even do crossword puzzles online.
  2. DO JIGSAW PUZZLES. Jigsaw puzzles can be fun to do. And you can get kits to make the end result permanent. Hang a finished puzzle on your wall to add beauty as well as to show off your expertise. If you have dexterity problems, choose puzzles with larger pieces. Special 3-D puzzles are available for advanced puzzlers!
  3. LOGIC PUZZLES TAKE TIME, BUT THEY CAN BE REWARDING and they help you retain your strategy skills. This type of puzzle is best done alone with plenty of time available in a single stretch.
  4. SODUKO may not be for the numerically challenged, but for anyone else, this type of puzzle can become addictive. Newspapers usually carry a Soduko puzzle and your local grocery or drug store will have Soduko books available.
  5. LEARN A NEW SKILL. Take up knitting or crocheting—men can knit and crochet, too. Make prayer shawls or cancer caps for those in need of comfort. Large knitting needles and crochet hooks help arthritic hands remain flexible. And the recipients will appreciate the results.
  6. GO TO COLLEGE. College isn’t just for those in their 20s. Not these days. Some people in their 80s are taking courses. And colleges are welcoming them. Many states offer to pay part or all of older students’ tuition costs, so out-of-pocket expenses are small. Most colleges offer low- or no-cost non-credit courses to seniors, too. Check with your local community college. Some colleges even offer free courses online–you won’t have to take a test or turn in homework, but you also won’t get credit for the course. And with online courses, you don’t even have to leave your chair. Older adults may not learn facts as quickly as teens, but we have years of experience behind us that make up for our slower learning curve.
  7. WATCH OR LISTEN TO EDUCATIONAL TAPES OR DVDs. Your local library probably has a wide variety available. Most allow you to borrow them for a week or more and they’re usually renewable. Topics range from travel and science to religion and history. Some are complete with lesson plans, others are docudramas or made-for-TV shows.
  8. GIVE TO OTHERS. Volunteer. Join a literacy program, be an adopted grandparent, or help with Meals-On-Wheels. Even if you aren’t very physically active, you can do much for an organization online or on the phone. Keep your brain young by doing—something. Helping others is a good way to help yourself and to stay young. Using old skills keeps that old brain working. And learning new skills is an even better way to keep your brain young.
  9. GET “INTO” A SOCIAL NETWORK. Have a child or teen help you get started with Facebook, YouTube, or Flikr. This not only works your brain in new ways, it will draw you closer to those ever-changing youngsters in your life. 
  10. KEEP A JOURNAL. Writing uses several parts of your brain–Your brain must make sure your eyes focus on the paper or computer screen. Part of your brain controls your hand movements–important for hitting the correct keys or making legible letters. Then, of course, there’s the part of your brain–the left side–that makes sure you think creatively. Maybe you’ll write only for yourself. Or you might write memoirs for your family. Whatever. Just start writing.

You may purchase Karel Henneberger’s latest published work at one of the following links:

Kindle owners–

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t/175-9797514-4820430

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get the book by downloading FREE Kindle for PC software from Amazon.com. Go here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

Nook owners–

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-an-anthology-fay-moore/1114018983

The Five Minute Spanish Lesson


Thank you, Lasesana, for offering this great introduction to Spanish in 15 easy lessons.

http://lasesana.wordpress.com/learn-spanish/

Writers, pay attention. This is the place to grab a little Spanish to spice up your dialogue in your manuscript. Poets, use the language of passion to punch up that poetry.

Avoid Herd Words, Herd Writing, Herd Thinking


Ouch! And moo! I have learned what a herd member I am!

Martin Amis, in an interview with Charlie Rose, gives advice to authors on word choice. Amis says literature is a war against clichés.

Using Bullet Points


Sometimes new authors question the circumstances under which a writer uses bullet points. I have borrowed an example from Zerohedge.com, a global financial news website, where the author successfully uses bullet points. It may be helpful as a template for the new writer.

Frontrunning: July 24

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2012 – 07:23 Anglo Irish Bank of New York Barclays Borrowing Costs China Conference Board Eurozone Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Bank of New York France Germany Great Depression Greece Housing Market Insider Trading Italy Japan Netherlands Private Equity Prop Trading ratings Reuters Yen

  • Greece now in “Great Depression”, PM says (Reuters)
  • Geithner “Washington must act to avoid damaging economy” (Reuters)
  • Moody’s warns eurozone core (FT)
  • Germany Pushes Back After Moody’s Lowers Rating Outlook (Bloomberg)
  • Austria’s Fekter says Greek euro exit not discussed (Reuters)
  • In Greek crisis, lessons in a shrimp farm’s travails (Reuters)
  • Fed’s Raskin: No government backstop for banks that do prop trading (Reuters)
  • Campbell Chases Millennials With Lentils Madras Curry (Bloomberg)

The Benefits of Tennis; Comment Tennis, That Is


Riatarded of The Uninspired Chronicles has touched a nerve. She is blogging about how an author jumpstarts writing when the author hits a wall. Many are wall-slammed it seems, seeking a solution to writer’s block. I’ve offered a couple of tips I use to Riatarded. My guess is she will put out an e-book with her collection of tips once the comment tennis game is over. It may prove to be a useful tool.

But it’s the comment tennis aspect of blogging that I want to chat about. Comment tennis (please forgive me for oversimplifying here) is the back and forth written exchanges on blogs. It is an art I am practicing. Why practice? Because I am trying to teach myself to soften my naturally very direct style.

I like getting straight to the point of a matter. I prefer to cut the chit-chat. However, I am aware that directness can equate to rudeness or sound like arrogance. So, I am trying to create a better way for Fay to communicate: I am practicing chit-chat via comments.

Second, I am an introvert forcing myself to act extroverted. Staying inside my introverted comfort zone reinforces bad habits I’ve made that obstruct free communication. To change myself in relation to others, I have to show up in another’s space. I have to get out there.

Third, good communication is an art. Reading and participating in comment tennis can teach me what works and what doesn’t. Practicing the positive forms reinforces those skills and ingrains them in my being.

It is said it takes thirty days of doing to make a new habit. When I have a lifetime of doing things a certain way, I think it’s going to take more than thirty days of practice to change it.

Lesson: Photographing Bambi Ballet


Flying Reindeer?.

Click on the link. Please take a moment to read the tactic used by the author to capture this real life Bambi Ballet. For authors who wish to sell magazine articles, acquiring photography skills can enhance your earnings. A friend of mine sells articles to several sailing magazines. She has learned to be a good photographer. Now she sells photographs with her articles. Consequently, she has doubled her earnings.

The “Flying Reindeer” author talks about animal photography and a trick he learned on the fly. It’s a simple tool to add to your writer’s  tool box.