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On Mountain Climbing, Bears, Sir Edmund Hillary and Writing

I have this song in my head. It's one of those songs that you don't really want stuck in a loop. It goes like this: The bear went over the mountain, The bear went over the mountain, The bear went over the mountain, To see what he could see. And all that he could see, And all that he could see, Was the other side of the mountain, The other side of the mountain, The other side of the mountain, Was all that he could see. I would acknowledge the source if I could, but that remains a mystery to this day. I am not sure how the song got in my head, but I think I know why it is stuck in there. A few months ago I took an executive decision: I was going to focus on finishing the novels that I was work

Regimented Creativity and Innovation is a Thing!

Much has been said about artists producing works of creative genius despite, or even, on account of extreme states. Such states could include: – Drug-induced, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge's opium-induced writing of Kubla Khan – Physiological disorders or sicknesses, like van Gogh's tinnitus – Mental disorders, as is said of Ludwig van Beethoven, who was alleged to be bipolar. These are often said to be contributing factors to the artist's genius. They most certainly have contributed to the mythology and persona of said individual. Notwithstanding these conditions, there is a new school of thought, that is ushering in a new age of creativity. It looks at creativity as an activity that doesn't

The Dilemma of Choosing What to Do Next: Self-publishing Versus Regular Publishing Houses

My third novel is officially complete. It has been edited and is good to go. But, for whatever reason, I am dragging my heels to release it. I have oh so many excuses: – the timing isn't right ... – I have other things on the go ... – the weather is too hot ... – I am under the weather ... – I am binge-watching on Netflix – my children / my family / my friends / my dog ... need me (P.S., I don't have a dog) There may be more than a grain of truth in any – or all – of the aforementioned reasons, but the real truth is, that I am grappling with a dilemma that other writers before me have faced. After self-publishing my first two novels, I am suddenly considering venturing out of my comfort zon

Write On Time

There are many ways to write: spontaneously, on demand, on schedule, on inspiration, for fun, for love, for money – or any combination of the aforementioned points. Of course, if you write when the muse hits you, there is something significant – dare I say, mystical – about the experience. Scribbled notes on used gum wrappers, a combination of lipstick and eyeliner on a coffee-house napkin – these are oddly satisfying treasures to behold. The unlocking of hidden thoughts, the resolution of subconscious problems, that reveal themselves in the most public and/or unlikely of places: these are moments of pure pleasure. That's why, I feel, that the best way to write, is to write on time. It canno

Words that Heal and Unite: Remembering Nelson Mandela's Historic Inauguration

Just a few moments are all that is needed to change life as you know it. The inauguration of Nelson Mandela, on this day in 1994, as the first black president, was one of those moments for me. It was not just because of his history, his legacy, his incarceration, his skin colour – it was mostly because of his incredible capacity for humanity. I was just a student at the time of the first democratic elections. I was overseas, but still managed to cast a ballot alongside thousands of other expats who all turned up to make South African history. At the time of the election I was 18 years young, but the backdrop of my childhood was apartheid. Brought up in a liberal and anti-apartheid family, in

Who Said Singular Focus Works Better Than Eclecticism?

It isn't yet noon, and I have already had the privilege of witnessing four seasons in a day. In the early morning the heat was sweltering and humid. An hour later the winds picked up and the trees swayed and bent – spilling leaves everywhere. Then came the clouds. At first they were white. Fairly quickly they transformed into a grey and heavy blanket covering as far as the eye can see. When the sky was a hundred percent overcast, the electric thunderstorm began. Like a rock concert, the sky lit up with lightning. Thunder banged and boomed. Then came the hail. Then came the rain. Then came the sun again. This spectacle got me thinking – if the natural course of things allows the elements to

Whatever Happened to My Lucky Pen?

I know I am not alone here. Almost everyone at some point had some sort of lucky charm. Maybe it was underwear, a hair accessory, a peaked cap, or a photo of a BFF. Who knows? I had a lucky pen. This pen went with me to all my tests and examinations. Even if ink was unnecessary – like for instance a driving test, or an eye test. I don't think I am superstitious, but it was always comforting to know that my silver, shiny Parker pen was hanging around. And even now, that the world is transitioning to digital, I always carry a pen with me wherever I go. But it's not the pen. It's not my pen. At what point did the pen disappear? At what point did I stop looking for it? Did it slink away when it

Four Reasons Why Documentation is Still Mission Critical

After about 20 years in the software industry doing all things documentation-related: knowledge management, architecture, strategy, managing global projects and teams; I am professionally qualified to remind everyone out there why documentation – that thing we love to hate – is still mission critical. 1 – Documentation is Critical for Legal Compliance and Revenue Recognition Yes, documentation can and will be held against you in a court of law or not less importantly – in the public arena. If you withhold it, misrepresent your product or its purpose, fail to provide the consumer with what they need to know, or neglect to show all security precautions needed when using the product, you are e

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