Interesting Geography [via David Angsten]

Pitcairn Island

The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia , at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. km.


The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.


Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

S.M.O.M .

The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, has an area of two tennis courts, and as of 2001 has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

IF THE CLOTHES FIT... [via Mary Calhoun]

A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife.
She was a very good-looking woman and determined to keep the ranch, but
knew very little about ranching, so she decided to pl ace an ad in the
newspaper for a ranch hand..

Two cowboys applied for the job. One was gay and the other a drunk.

She thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied she
decided to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him
around the house than the drunk.

He proved to be a hard worker who put in long hours every day and knew
a lot about ranching..

For weeks, the two of them worked, and the ranch was doing very well.

Then one day, the rancher's widow said to the hired hand, "You have
done a really good job, and the ranch looks great. You should go into
town and kick up your heels." The hired hand readily agreed and went
into town one Saturday night.

One o'clock came, however, and he didn't return.

Two o'clock and no hired hand.

Finally he returned a round two-thirty, and upon entering the room, he
found the rancher's widow sitting by the fireplace with a glass of
wine, waiting for him.

She quietly called him over to her..

"Unbutton my blouse and take it off," she said.

Trembling, he did as she directed. "Now take off my boots."

He did as she asked, ever so slowly.. "Now take off my socks."
He removed each gently and placed them neatly by her boots.

"Now take off my skirt."

He slowly unbuttoned it, constantly watching her eyes in the fire

"Now take off my bra.." Again, with trembling hands, he did as he was
told and dropped it to the floor.

Then she looked at him and said, "If you ever wear my clothes into town
again, you're fired."





Dr. Atchity has spent his lifetime helping writers get started with and improve their careers. For nearly twenty years as a professor of literature and teacher of creative writing at Occidental College and UCLA--then since 1995, through this and as a literary manager with Dr. Atchity has helped literally hundreds of writers find a market for their work by bringing their craft and technique to the level of their ambition and vision. His daily newsletter, keeps thousands of writers inspired and informed.

The 30-minute coaching sessions are doubly proactive: (a) determining your “assignment” for the next session; and (b) Dr. Atchity taking action on getting you to the connections you need to keep your project on the strategic track you’ve designed together. Plus, you’ll get 3 free follow-up emails for each session.

The one-on-one coaching includes:

Moving into Markets Beyond Your Own Backyard
Creating a Presence in the U.S.
Translation Issues (and solutions)
How Do I Know If My Work Is Good Enough for the Global Market?
Plots that Sell Globally
Building Characters
Settings That Sell in the U.S.
Choosing Your Next Work

Effective, Economical Publicity
Self-publishing: Perils and Opportunities
How Do I Publish My Children’s Book?
How to Find an Agent (Dr. Atchity will refer you to his management company or an appropriate agent once your work is ready for presentation).
How to Approach Publishers Directly.
How Can I Get My Novel Made Into a Film?
What Do I Need to Know or Do about BRANDING?


Today’s 2 Hollywood Market s & How to Navigate Them
Do I Need an Agent?
How Do I Find One? (when your work is ready, Dr. Atchity will refer it)
The Value of Contests
How Do I Know if My Work Is Good Enough for Hollywood?
What Is Television Looking for?
Where Can I Find a U.S. Collaborator for My Work?
How Do I Stand Out from the Pack?
How Can I Accelerate the Process of Getting My Script Made Into a Film?
Becoming a Proactive Filmmaker

In some cases, coaching can involve representation.

What other writing coach is also…
An active producer, for major studios, television, and independent films
A literary manager for twenty years for screenwriters, nonfiction authors, and novelists—with over 15 bestsellers and nearly 30 films
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The author of 15 books, including A Writer’s Time, Writing Treatments That Sell, How to Publish Your Novel, and How to Escape Lifetime Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream: A Guide to Changing Your Career
An inspiring public speaker at dozens of conventions and conferences in the U.S. and Europe
A brand manager whose brands have included Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not! and
A writer on every aspect of the creative process
Ph.D. from Yale, former Professor of Literature at Occidental College.
Fulbright Professor to the University of Bologna

Stay tuned with his latest activities at

For daily free inspiration and information for writers along with news of our latest deals,

Inquire about one-on-one coaching now by writing to and receive further information about rates and benefits.


Career Coaching

Rates until October 15, 2010

One-off session

$125 : (30 min telecom + 3 brief follow up emails in following 7 days (more emails okay but on further hourly charge)

$1,250: (12 Weekly 30-minutes for 3 months + email f/us)

$2,500: (24 Weekly 30-minutes for 6 months + email f/us)

NOTE: for a translator on the line, add 25% per session.

All fees payable in advance.

The same basic fee is available for work provided outside the telecom, such as submissions of your project and/or making publicity connections to serve your project.



Q: What is the difference between working with this service and the services offered by

A: Writers Lifeline services are provided by our editorial/writing staff under my direction. With Career Coaching, you’re dealing one-on-one with me.

Q: Why did you start this Career Coaching service?

A: For two reasons: (1) My frustration at not being able to assist enough writers directly as I once did regularly as a professor; and (2) the changing realities of the literary management business where there is simply no more time available, as we increase our involvement in producing films and tv, to spend uncompensated time with writers.

Q. Can you help me submit my work to buyers?

A: Absolutely. When your work is ready for submission, I will either pick up the phone and submit it for you (no commission!), or I’ll suggest a representative who might be right for it.

Caloric Restriction for Longevity!!

Welcome to the Calorie Restriction (CR) Society International

CR lifespan curves Our goal is to help people of all ages live longer and healthier lives simply by:
  • eating fewer calories
  • maintaining adequate nutrition
Graph adapted from: Weindruch R, et al. (1986). "The retardation of aging in mice by dietary restriction: longevity, cancer, immunity and lifetime energy intake." Journal of Nutrition, April, 116(4), pages 641-54.

Since the 1930s extensive scientific research has shown that calorie restricted (CR) diets improve health and extend lifespans of nearly every species tested, including worms, spiders, rodents, dogs, cows and monkeys. We believe it is likely that people who carefully adopt a CR diet will see similar results.

The CR Society supports the efforts of people who practice CR for current health, future longevity, or other benefits; those curious about or interested in understanding the effects of the diet; and those interested in the development of related, science-based health-enhancing and life-extension technologies. Our mailing lists provide a rich forum for such topical discussions.

Calorie Restriction...the only proven life-extension method known to modern science.

Bill Diehl's Primal Fear makes NPR's List of Top 100 Killer Thrillers

by Joe Matazzoni

It's been a cliffhanger, but now the final page can be turned.

The NPR audience nominated some 600 novels to our "Killer Thrillers" poll and cast more than 17,000 ballots. The final roster of winners is a diverse one to say the least, ranging in style and period from Dracula to The Da Vinci Code, Presumed Innocent to Pet Sematary. What these top 100 titles share, however, is that all of them are fast-moving tales of suspense and adventure.

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

  • 1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  • 2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • 3. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson
  • 4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
  • 5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
  • 6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
  • 7. The Shining, by Stephen King
  • 8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
  • 9. The Hunt tor Red October, by Tom Clancy
  • 10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Jurassic Park
  • 11. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  • 12. The Stand, by Stephen King
  • 13. The Bone Collector, by Jeffery Deaver
  • 14. Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton
  • 15. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown
  • 16. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
  • 17. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
  • 18. Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane
  • 19. The Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth
  • 20. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

Girl Who Played With Fire
  • 21. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
  • 22. It, by Stephen King
  • 23. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
  • 24. The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
  • 25. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
  • 26. The Alienist, by Caleb Carr
  • 27. Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris
  • 28. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
  • 29. The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
  • 30. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson

Rosemary's Baby
  • 31. No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy
  • 32. Gone Baby Gone, by Dennis Lehane
  • 33. Gorky Park, by Martin Cruz Smith
  • 34. Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin
  • 35. Subterranean, by James Rollins
  • 36. Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy
  • 37. Salem's Lot, by Stephen King
  • 38. Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane
  • 39. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John Le Carre
  • 40. The Poet, by Michael Connelly

Pet Sematary
  • 41. The Boys from Brazil, by Ira Levin
  • 42. Cape Fear, by John MacDonald
  • 43. The Bride Collector, by Ted Dekker
  • 44. Pet Sematary, by Stephen King
  • 45. Dead Zone, by Stephen King
  • 46. The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon
  • 47. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carre
  • 48. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
  • 49. Tell No One, by Harlan Coben
  • 50. Consent to Kill, by Vince Flynn

61 Hours
  • 51. The 39 Steps, by John Buchan
  • 52. Blowback, by Brad Thor
  • 53. The Children of Men, by P.D. James
  • 54. 61 Hours, by Lee Child
  • 55. Marathon Man, by William Goldman
  • 56. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
  • 57. 206 Bones, by Kathy Reichs
  • 58. Psycho, by Robert Bloch
  • 59. The Killing Floor, by Lee Child
  • 60. Rules of Prey, by John Sandford

The Hunger Games
  • 61. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  • 62. In the Woods, by Tana French
  • 63. Shogun, by James Clavell
  • 64. The Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • 65. Intensity, by Dean Koontz
  • 66. Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming
  • 67. Metzger's Dog, by Thomas Perry
  • 68. Timeline, by Michael Crichton
  • 69. Contact, by Carl Sagan
  • 70. What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman

Secret History
  • 71. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • 72. The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • 73. Charm School, by Nelson DeMille
  • 74. Feed, by Mira Grant
  • 75. Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child
  • 76. Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay
  • 77. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
  • 78. The First Deadly Sin, by Lawrence Sanders
  • 79. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
  • 80. The Brotherhood of the Rose, by David Morrell

  • 81. Primal Fear, by William Diehl
  • 82. The Templar Legacy, by Steve Berry
  • 82. The Hard Way, by Lee Child [tie]
  • 84. The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
  • 85. Six Days of the Condor, by James Grady
  • 86. Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
  • 87. Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith
  • 88. The Eight, by Katherine Neville
  • 89. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
  • 90. Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming

Bangkok 8
  • 91. Bangkok 8, by John Burdett
  • 92. The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva
  • 93. Hardball, by Sara Paretsky
  • 94. The Club Dumas, by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • 95. The Deep Blue Good-by, by John MacDonald
  • 96. The Monkey's Raincoat, by Robert Crais
  • 96. Berlin Game, by Len Deighton [tie]
  • 98. A Simple Plan, by Scott Smith
  • 99. Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
  • 100. Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Alexandria Town Talk newspaper

GARDNER, LA -- All she wanted was to enjoy some downtime after work, but what Regina Womack got was far more than she expected. On the afternoon of May 6, Womack of Alexandria and friend Lisa Alexander of Gardner took their kayaks to Valentine Lake, a small, pristine lake located 15 miles west of Alexandria in the Kisatchie National Forest, to fish and enjoy a little peace and quiet.

"I love the lake," Womack said. "First of all, I don't have any cell service out there. It's not very big (46 acres) and outboard motors are not allowed. It's beautiful there and I just enjoy paddling around the lake in my kayak fishing. I just love going there after work."
An avid angler, she enjoys fishing for bass in the small lake, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

"I fish it a lot and have caught some, but nothing larger than three pounds. More times than not, I will fish it and come home with nothing," Womack said.

All of that would change by day's end. I began fishing around 5:30 that afternoon," Womack said. "We were at the Southwest end of the lake which is the opposite end of the dam. There was a lot of grass and lily pads where we were at and we started seeing a lot of fish moving around in the grass." Fishing with a Daiwa spin cast reel, a Shimano rod, and 20-pound test Seaguar fluorocarbon line, she was throwing her weightless Zoom Mag II plum super plus worm when a large swirl opposite from location caught her attention.

"Around 7:45, I was watching the water for any sign of fish feeding when I saw this very large swirl on the opposite side. I kept my eye on the spot and I saw the swirl again," Womack said. She paddled to the spot and cast her worm. Nothing. I tried again and again "» no luck. Then on her fourth cast, she hit pay dirt. "I must have thrown right across her, because she hit it immediately," Womack said. "I really didn't know what I had because it felt like something other than a fish "» like an alligator. I started yelling at Lisa to come and help me.. I didn't have time to think, just react. I don't know how long I fought her. It was probably only 30 or 40 seconds but it seemed more like an eternity," Womack continued. "I didn't have time to think. I could barely hold onto the rod with all the jerking of my kayak."

The unseen fish instinctively headed for the safety of the grass and became entangled. With a death grip on her rod, Womack managed to get her kayak, a 14-foot Native Manta Ray, over to where the fish was. She looked down into the thick grass and noticed a very large eye ball looking up at her.

"I was a little frightened when I stuck my hands into the water to grab her mouth," Womack said. "It was only then I realize I was looking at this monster bass. It took all my strength to pull the bass out of the grass and over into my lap. And I did it without flipping my kayak. I had both my hands in her mouth and hooked my legs around her to keep her from getting away."

Alexander, who was 100 yards away, heard her friend's frantic call for help and paddled up to her kayak just as Womack lifted the fish out of the water and into her lap. "As I got there I saw Regina haul this big sow out of the water. She was holding on to the bass' mouth with both hands and shaking like an earthquake," Alexander said. After the two friends managed to collect there sences, Alexander tied their two kayaks together and managed to get them to the pier where a man helped the pair put the fish into a large storage big in the front of Womack's kayak. It took them a half hour to get their kayaks loaded and headed back to Alexander's house. On the way, she called her dad, Jack Womack of Olla, and both of her brother-in-laws, but they were skeptical she could have caught such a big fish. "They just didn't believe me," Womack said. "So, I gave up on the phone calls." As soon as they arrived at Alexander's house, they immediately put the fish into an ice chest filled with water. It was barely alive.

Alexander took her old meat scales and calibrated them before weighing the fish. It weighed 16.25 pounds at the time. They immediately called Alexander's father, a retired Wildlife and Fisheries employee, who in turn was able to give them names and numbers of the people they needed to call to get the fish certified. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach anyone, they called T..W. Thompson, Alexandria's Police Commissioner and a good friend. They took it into town and where they were met by 10 people, all of whom were also making phone calls to try and find certified scales. It was almost 10:30 p.m. by the time Womack was able to weigh the fish on the certified scales at the Alexandria's Kroger Signature store. It weighed 15.88 pounds. Unable to do anything more, they placed the fish on ice. The following day Robert Gough, program manager of Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery weighed, measured, and certified Womack's fish. It was 27 inches long; had a 25-inch girth, and weighed a whopping 15.875 pounds, just .095 pounds off the state record. It had already spawned. U.S. Forest Fisheries Program Manager David C. Byrd, who oversees the management of Valentine Lake, believes the bass would not only have shattered the Louisiana state record, but would have wiped out the record in Texas as well. "It lost enough to keep it out of the state record book," Byrd said. "But it is still a nice fish with a great weight. Just imagine though if it hadn't spawned and she caught it and weighed it immediately. I believe her bass could have gone as much as 17.5 to 18 pounds, and that weight would have shattered the record in both states. "As it is, she is going to miss the state record (15.97 pounds) by 1/10th of a pound (.095 ounces)," Byrd said. Greg Wiggins caught the present record out of Caney Lake in February of 1994. Womack has sent off the paperwork on her fish to the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association, who are the official keepers of the state's records, and is just awaiting word back from them. She has turned her fish over to local taxidermist Harry Vermaelen in Pineville to preserve it.

Now that's attitude! [via Mary Calhoun]

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is
always in a good mood and always has something positive
to say. When someone would ask him how he was
doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would
be twins!'

He is a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there
telling the employee how to look on the positive side
of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I
went up and asked him, 'I don't get it!'

'You can't be a positive person all of the time. How
do you do it?'

He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself,
you have two choices today. You can
choose to be in a good mood can choose to
be in a bad mood

I choose to be in a good mood.'

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a
victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to
learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can
choose to accept their complaining or...I can point out
the positive side of life. I choose the positive side
of life.

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices.
When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a
choice. You choose how you react to situations. You
choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The
bottom line: It's your choice how you live your

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left
the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost
touch, but I often thought about him when I made a
choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a
serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a
communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care,
he was released from the hospital with rods placed in
his back.

I saw him about six months after the

When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any
better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?'

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what
had gone through his mind as the accident took

'The first thing that went through my mind was the
well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied.
'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had
two choices: I could choose to live or.....I could
choose to die. I chose to live.'

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I

He continued, '...the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when
they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions
on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really
scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I
knew I needed to take action.'

'What did you do?' I asked.

'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions
at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was allergic to
anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses
stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a
deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to
live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also
because of his amazing attitude....I learned from him
that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble
of its own.'

Interesting Geography [via David Angsten]

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.

Los Angeles

Los Angele's full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula -- and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A.

New York City

The term 'The Big Apple' was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930's who used the slang expression 'apple' for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple.

There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin , Ireland ; more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy ; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel .


There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio , everyone is manmade.