ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Year Day!

Today is the ONLY extra day one will have in the next FOUR years.
Beyond a (female) partner proposing to you, what are you gonna do today to make that difference in your life?
Only the Brits can come up with quaint things to do on this beautiful day. Here are some of my favourites, taken from:

Enjoy the day!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging

Oh the tomes! The tomes I have written in my head, and in my heart. Not to forget on paper, as well!;-)
Regrettably, the proverbial refrain of work has hit -- truly, madly, and deeply. And rather intensely.
As such, blogging has been light, and promises to be for the next w eek or so. Please bear with me.
I am still around!
Enjoy the weekend,
Keep safe. Keep cool.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Last Weekend, I Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I spent the better part of weekend cogitating and talking to myself. I was trying to strategise, and understand my life, where it's going--and some of the dynamics inherent within them that I would need to take a rein of.

Not to divulge too much, I found myself rehearsing rhetorical battles that I might have with the folks on matters of independence. As the only child--by dint of circumstances, mostly being the demise of Samuel D Bensah--and fast becoming a "consolidated" adult son, I sometimes sense the empty nest syndrome afflicting them: the folks appreciate me and want me to be independent, but a bit of them don't want to see me go. I am not talking about leaving my house or anything; it's mroe to do with the introduction of a partner.

Perhaps, like my good friend confessed to me last year, I've been rather immature about it all, by not being upfront with them about who my partner of two years is. I have kind of dilly-dallied, letting them suss it out fromthe phone calls I get from her, and the gifts she buys me. I have yet to be categorical.

As a seasoned diplomat, I like to take these things in my stride--but perhaps when it comes to my partner, I ought not; after all she is the one with whom I am going to spend my life with and if I am serious as I claim to be, she is going to be the mother of my children, and inevitably my parent's daughter-in-law and mother of their grand-children.


That's a lot of cogitation to handle at a time when I want to reach the peak of my career by publishing a crime thriller, get organised over driving...and then some.

Over the weekend, I had happened to watch the brilliant performance by Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest--a 1975 oscar-winning film. I had seen it several years ago, when I had less to worry about in life. Today, watching it again was both as emotional as it was an esoteric experience.

McMurphy, the protagonist, who ends up in an asylum in order to escape prison ends up using -- what one reviewer called on as -- his "indomitable spirit" to find creative ways of his "loony" colleagues to have a good time, and challenge themselves in the positions they are. McMurphy made this point that got me thinking that those in the loony house were no less crazy than the rest of us outside in "normal" jobs, living "normal lives."

The ending, if you've seen it, is so horrific it's hard to believe this is what was done on people in asylums. It gave one food for thought on how the world sometimes never seems to leave you space to be yourself.

McMurphy's spirit was just so free, so care-free; so laissez-faire, and borne out of a good-natured desire to give those perceived to be crazy a good time. Though he got it out of hand, they loved him for it--and so for this supposed criminal to experience what happened to him in the end was more than symbolic.

It was, to me, not just an indictment of the mental health institutions at that time, but a searing indictment of man's inhumanity to man: the capacity and the power of the few to make whimsical decisions that affect the course of lives of so many.

Thinking about how one character played by Brad Dourif killed himself after being told by the icy matron that his mother would be told that he was caught having had sex with a prostitute, she said coolly that one had to carry on.

That's when the protagonist snapped, and attempted to strangle her--for all the horrific treatment both he and his co-mates had endured--and this quasi-nihilistic approach to a human being.

The film leaves you ambivalent: joyous that one was able to get away, thanks to the inspiration of McMurphy, but saddened by what happened to McMurphy himself.

Sometimes we forget. But, we mustn't allow our spirits to--neither must we allow it to be dampened by the negativity of others.

Though easier said than done, like life being the proverbial battle it is, there is always necessarily the deeper drama that we must connect to to ensure that we live the life that is most fulfilling for us--and not for anyone else.

We've only got one life to live--and if it means being indomitable, then so be it! All the while bearing in mind that sometimes madness, which takes many different forms, is not a weakness -- but a strength.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Blogosphere Paradox-No Country for Tired Men

Blogging gets like this. Writer's Block. No ideas. But you gotta persevere, kind of re-invent yourself.

Already one blogger who was a keen reader of my blog has chosen to enjoy their life in Greece--privately. I loved the public aspect of that life; it was so refreshing. So very-unlike-other-bloggers. That it was shared by two interesting people made it all the more worth visiting. Now, both bloggers have jumped overboard from the virtual back into the real one. I will miss them. Soap and Steph--I hope you come across this post one day, and know that you are fondly remembered.

A then-favourite (2005-2006) sex blogger, Joey Madison posted their last post on 21 January, and the previous was in...October 2007!

Like I said, blogging gets like this: the necessity of reconciling the private versus the public can be headache-inducing and not-so-inspiring.

But it can work.

Here's one way--by going full circle as it were, with a few tips:

20 Tips for Good Blogging

1. Starting a blog is easy. There are many free blog services. is very user-friendly and will lead you through a pain-free set-up process. If you want to keep a specific domain (without “blogger” in the URL), you’ll need to set up your own domain and import it into another blog service, such as

2. Decide what you want your blog to be. Who are your target readers? It’s important to decide from the beginning whether you’re blogging for professional or personal reasons. If you want to blog strictly as a diary or a way to get the creative juices flowing, password protect it. Think hard about who your potential readers are and what sort of image you want to portray. Announce your full vision for your blog in your first post.

3. Post one time a week at the absolute minimum. This is important, because once you develop a regular readership, you don’t want to lose it. Every day is ideal, although there’s a high burnout rate for bloggers who post this frequently. Aiming for three to five posts per week is a good goal.

4. If you write on your blog that you’re going to do something—do it. A lot of this has to do with building a solid level of trust with your readers. If you write that you’re going to post every day, or that you’re going to post something specific, be sure you can and will deliver.

5. You don’t have to be perfect, but still try. Yes, grammar and spelling expectations are somewhat more relaxed with a blog, but don’t get lazy with your posts. Respect your reader: at least run a quick grammar/spelling check before your post.

6. Remember that blogs are forever. I also like to call this tip “friends don’t let friends post drunk.” Like a tattoo, a piercing, or those expensive shoes you bought that kill your feet, a blog post may be around for a long, long time, so use due consideration before posting something inflammatory, overly critical or anything that could get you fired/expelled/sued/grounded.

7. If you know you’re the sort of person who will ignore tip #6, make sure your blog is password-protected, so only your friends will know you posted drunk.

8. Be a good neighbor. One of the very best ways to establish a readership is to reach out to other bloggers, by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Link to specific posts you find on their blogs and comment in a positive way. Also include blogs you like and recommend on your blogroll.

9. Try to be positive. Don’t use your blog to lash out at your boss/spouse/probation officer/the world in general. You probably won’t develop much of a readership that way as it gets tiresome very quickly, not to mention, it could land you in trouble (see tip #6). There’s a kind of karma to blogging. If what you’re putting out is negative, what you get back is negative.

10. Keep your posts short. No one wants to read a Master’s thesis on your blog. Keep your posts concise. 300 words a post is a good target. You can occasionally go longer if you’ve got really good stuff—run it by an honest friend first to find out if it really is good stuff. The art of blogging is more about clarity and brevity. Note: Yes, I violated my 300- words tip with this very post. My managing editors, Brian and Kara told me it was good stuff.

11. Realize that blogging is an endurance sport. Anyone can start a blog, but very few people can keep a good blog up, week after week, month after month, year after year. Yes, it gets exhausting, but like training for a marathon, it can also be exhilarating. If you know you’re more a sprinter than a marathoner, maybe a blog isn’t the right format for you.

12. Can you land a book deal with your blog? Maybe. It happens, but don’t let that be your primary motivation, because it’s unlikely. You might think of blogging as a sort-of farm league for publishing. But it’s all about establishing a readership. If you have a devoted audience base, you can bet it won’t be difficult to score a publisher.

13. Encourage your readers to comment. Create clear, well thought out opinion pieces. Don’t be afraid to pose provocative questions to capture your reader’s attention. Get them emotionally/mentally involved in your blog. If you want to develop a rapport with your readers (if you don’t, then you shouldn’t be blogging), encourage their comments, and don’t deride them when their point of view is different from yours.

14. Remember that readers want information. It’s certainly not difficult to find information on the Web. But it is difficult to find it from a trusted, reliable source. Try to provide them with information they want, whether it’s from your own work, or linking to the work of others.

15. Develop your own style. What keeps readers coming back is you—your voice, your style, your point of view and your clear, polished writing. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

16. Have occasional guests. Yes, if you develop a readership, you’re the primary draw back to your blog. But it’s good and healthy to mix it up every now and then with fresh perspectives from trusted guest bloggers. In fact, it may give you a much-needed mental break away from the relentless demands of keeping up a good blog.

17. Visual aids can be good. But don’t overdo it. Blogging is primarily a written medium. If you’re a writer and trying to develop an audience for your writing, then write. Don’t over-rely on cheesy photos and other digital eye candy.

18. Let your blog evolve. A blog is a lot like a magazine, in that it’s a constant evolution. Be generous and flexible about letting your blog develop over time, as you do.

19. Don’t be overly promotional. Yes, a blog can be a good promotional tool, but if you’re only trying to sell something, it becomes obvious very quickly. If you’re promoting something, be a soft sell. And only do it occasionally, as it will turn readers away.

20. Keep it fun. Don’t take it too seriously. If you’re having a good time with your blog—and if you’re not then ask yourself why you’re doing it—people are going to have fun reading it and will keep coming back for more.

Feel free to comment: add to, agree or disagree with anything I wrote here. It is a blog after all, comments are always welcome. That’s part of the fun.


Throughout the year, I will come back to some of these brilliant suggestions made by Writer's Digest. One of those that have great resonance for me is about keeping it up--as it were.

If you take your mind out of the gutter for a tad (;-)), I am talking about being a marathon sprinter as far as blogging is concerned: it needs persistence, patience and consistency--to a small extent.

But I must contemporraneously add that I am offering no lectures here--except to say that the number of good bloggers that have exited the blogosphere leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It might seem to augur badly for my blogging capabilities. But it won't.

This blog is not the widely-read blog that I would like it--and sometimes that's a good thing--to have only a coterie of people readinig it, but I would like people to read it at all!.

My best friend came across a post some weeks ago before the year went out--and traced back an entry in which she read that I found her sexy. Let's just say it's a great thing she has a great sense of humour! That's where I 'm ending it.

Suffice-to-say, I'm a writer at heart--and I ain't stopping! So blogging is definitely not just here to stay, but I am going to weather this storm in the country that is just-so-bad for tired bloggers.

Have a good weekend!

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