Be thankful. And take a moment to think
about what you should be thankful for, and then
use that for an exercise to build "writing muscles"

Filename: list-connections.htm

While this page is valuable to many I hope, it first saw the light of day in the hopes of it being used by a specific audience. That audience might also enjoy a page I did about making maps yourself.

Thanksgiving writing exercise- Start by using a cell phone to video 60 seconds of your life.

Then try to make a coherent list of all the people that minute of your life wouldn't be the same without. You were probably wearing clothes. Where was the oil for the polyester taken from the earth? Where was the refinery and the plastic factory? How many people worked there? Where was the factor where your shirt was made? You sox? Are you in a car? A house? They didn't grow on trees. Listening to some music? The musician? The sound engineer? The technology that delivered the sound to your ears? Food? Friends? People who made it possible for you and friends to be together just now? Including healthcare professionals and ancillaries?

Or think of a special moment sometime in the past month. Try to do a coherent essay about who made that possible.

Alternatively, do a "technology" trace for what went into something. A moment on the stage, in a musical? There's clothing (again). The building. There's the lighting and sound. Take a humble USB cable: Plastic and metal. Where does the plastic come from? The metal? What does it take to make each? What did the job of the cable before we did those things electronically? (Once upon a stage, if, say, you wanted to show a boat on water, you couldn't project images of water... but you could have big cut-out "waves" that could be pushed and pulled, by hand, to make them move back forth. There were scenery effects before electricity!)

This is a job in planning your essay as much as it is a job of writing it. You will NEVER cover all of the ground for either of the above, or of the similar task you decide is more interesting. Can you produce something balanced, that is interesting to read? I once read a book (by Kurlanski) titled "Cod". And that's what it was: A book about the cod fish. A whole book. Just "about" a fish. And yet it was interesting! He went into the web of connections that touched the cod. Did you know that the sugar economy, based on the labor of enslaved people couldn't have happened as it did without mother Nature filling the seas off of Newfoundland with codfish? No, neither did I. There are connections in our lives that are not only easy to forget, but are even quite hard to find if you look. But the first step is to go on that quest.

And anyway, writing is a tool that you need to work at again and again, no matter what you think you want to do.

If you are old and gray, your choices are dwindling every day. If you are young and fresh, the faster you build this vital skill, by DOING IT, the more choices you will have, WHATEVER you are, at the moment, thinking of doing with your life.

Search across all my sites with the Google search button at the top of the page the link will take you to.

Search just this site without using forms,
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I have other sites. My Google custom search button will include things from them....
   One of my SheepdogGuides pages.
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Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... I hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!

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This page's editor, Tom Boyd, will be pleased if you get in touch by email. Suggestions welcomed! Please cite "FEA/list-connections.htm".

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