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Years of Audible, 2017-19

It has been a while since I updated what I’ve been listening to on Audible. To make up for lost time I will share what I listened to since 2016. As I built the list, I could remember where I was when listening to specific books. For example, the Phoenix Project through Toyota Way were when we were in an apartment in the …

Finding Inspiration

I was told once to find a public figure to look up to and emulate. There are thousands of influential leaders, artists, musicians and philanthropists to choose from. I found one I could emulate. Anakin was a man who took all that life would throw at him, re-invented himself, succeed and remained humble.

The Truth About the Elf on the Shelf

A few Christmases ago, I revealed the cold, [dark truth about Santa][f77bbe9c]: he is alive and active, but will not visit your home (or mine) any time soon. Since then, I’ve explored other sinister facts about the world we live in. It is time you knew about Reggie, the Elf on the Shelf, and how he contributes to pervasive …

Eight-Pointed Snowflake

Plotting writers are always looking for the right structure to frame their book. I’ve tried a few with mixed degrees of success. Here is a model that mixes Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method with the eight segments used by David Lean and the inner character development model espoused in Susan May Warren’s The …

How to Beat Stress

Stress consumes modern life. We seek to manage it in a myriad of ways. We read self-help books, do exercises, and go to conferences. Yet, the best way to manage stress was communicated nearly two-thousand years ago.

A Decade of Decadent Shaving

After reading a “modern razor” advertising disguised as a blog post, I realized I have had a decade of shaving the “old-fashioned way.” My shaving experience costs me about 45 cents per week including razor blades, shaving soap and after shave—saving $70-200 each year and enjoying an excellent …

A Year of Audible, 2016

I started audible because I thought I would have a long enough commute to listen to a lot of audio books. This past spring, my commute got longer. This is reflected in the higher completion rate of last year. I listened to 234 hours this year, 165 of those from books purchased this year, and 68 from the previous year. I …

Must Barney Die? A Legal Opinion

I’ve had a lot of stressful situations in my life. One of the more stressful was the finals period for the first semester of law school. What I love about most of law school is the lack of real homework, and the entire grade riding on the final. But nothing is more stressful than being left to your own devices. The …

Murder on Gunio Prime

On the live-fire training planet of Gunio, Keius Minjen witnesses the murder of his friend. Prelude to the Forebearance Series.

Fragile Societies, Resilient Citizens

I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by the Science Fiction author David Brin. It is amazing how one hour can pack so much. I only wish that I had brought my recorder.

Life Lessons from a Seal

In 2014, Admiral McRaven gave the University of Austin commencement address. I thought it would be worth summarizing his ten points.

Truth About Santa Claus

It’s that time of year: Christmas. When we commemorate the life of one of the greatest ascetics in history. When we demonstrate our obedience to his message of spirituality and selflessness by outspending the rest of the year. Santa Claus be praised.

A Year of Audible, 2015

When recently meeting new people, I was asked how things were going. I mentioned one of my current odd hobbies, which surprised the individuals. One of my friends, however, just chuckled and said, “that’s just Ben. Always learning something new.” Audible is one of my tools for continual learning. So, I thought …

Analyzing Spectre

As I did with [Skyfall]({%post_url 2012-12-15-skyfall-plot-analysis %}), I wanted to offer a few story observations on Spectre. I hope to avoid spoilers, but in case I fail, consider yourself warned. Again we see sophisticated storytelling with a clear moral theme.

Discipline Verses Self-Discipline

To help your child understand discipline, merely point them to Wikipedia. “Discipline is the suppression of base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with restraint and self-control. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for motivation.” So says Wikipedia, source of all Truth.

Review: Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Like any aspiring author, I’ve read more than my fair share of books on writing. After reading Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, I thought it was worth a review. Since the book is nearly six years old, I doubt this review will cause a significant sales bump. As a good primer, it encourages referencing to other …

Jonaldy Ammonett

The Postal Marine Series is set nearly two millenia in the future. When I conceived of the series, I wanted to recognize that human nature is immutable regardless of time. The Invisible Hand still operates. The Postal Marines are there to try to manage it a bit. As I am editing Luctation, I wanted to chat a bit about the main …

The Maltuŝeblon Directive

In Bellicose you meet Admiral Bence, an individual who seems completely out of his element. That’s because he is not an admiral, but a member of the Maltuŝeblon.