Methods of Effective Brainstorming
Methods of Effective Brainstorming
Writing is an effective way to express your thoughts, opinions and feelings to other people. Writing can be fun as well as entertaining, and there are different ways to use writing in your daily life. However, you’ll need to convey your information in an interesting and concise manner. If you need to improve how to write, there are several ways in which you can learn to become a better writer. You can hone your craft and improve how to write by paying attention to your audience, examining grammar and punctuation, and getting peer evaluation. (more…)
Most people overlook the therapeutic value of writing. It is a great resource and can be used by almost anyone. The act of writing down your thoughts can bring comfort and satisfaction unlike any other activity. And you don’t have to come up with profound, organized and amazing literary pieces, it can just about anything that you think of. Some people write about the things that bug them and the stuff that makes them happy. It can be about small discoveries made in the course of a day or simply an account of your experience. The beauty of writing is that it’s an open activity – there are no set boundaries and no subject that cannot be covered.
The process gives people an outlet and allows them to vent out their feelings. The act of writing helps release you from the pressures and stresses of the day and can be helpful in resolving conflicts and problems. It is also a whole lot cheaper than consulting with a professional.
Most of us are more prepared than we think. Who could forget the loads of essays that you have to write up for English subjects or the tedious process of writing a term paper as a completion requirement for a college degree? These exercises deals with a set structure for writing and makes us familiar with one of the more complicated forms of writing.
The other side to this is doing it for creative purposes. Doing it in this manner will give you a unique sense of satisfaction. You can do it the old fashioned way using pen and paper or take advantage of what technology offers. The Internet plays host to thousands of blogs that covers practically all topics that people can think of. Some consider their blogs as private journals – a place where they can write random thoughts or express their frustrations and disappointments. Reviewing their entries another day helps them come to terms with their situation and possibly, come up with a solution to their problems.
The power and beauty of writing is that it encourages self expression. It allows you to look at yourself more deeply and with better understanding. This process has the potential of developing an extraordinary talent that can help you handle life better.
One of the main reasons for the family going to the beach is getting that perfect tan. Before relaxing on the beach in the sun, it is important for the family to know how the sun UV rays affect the skin. Sometimes members of a family cannot agree on anything. However, when it comes to taking a vacation, the consensus for everyone normally leads to the beach. Since there are so many fun activities for the family to do, everyone can participate in the ones that they like best. From adults to the children, the beach is a place that everyone can have fun and relax. Relaxing on the beach also serves multiple purposes including getting the perfect tan. However, before the family gets to the beach, there are some key things that should be aware of about tanning and how it can affect the skin. Listed below are some tips and recommendations that the family should read prior to leaving their homes so that they can make the best preparation.
Adults and Children Should Be Careful During Sun Exposure:
The beach is normally the place where everyone seems to be laying out in the sun for hours at a time. The cool beach and the warm sun on a beautiful sunny day can be exactly what the head of the family needs to release the stress and tension of the past few days, weeks or even months. While laying out in the sun, it’s normally easy to follow asleep. Unfortunately, this is also one of the best ways that an individual can sustain sunburn over most of their bodies.
How to prevent painful sun burns:
To prevent this from occurring, there are some rules that should be followed and they involve making sure the individual is covered properly. This is why many health and nutrition specialists recommend wearing the proper clothing, setting up large umbrellas and using sun tan lotions to protect the skin. By following these rules and guidelines, the individual can fall asleep naturally without experiencing lots of pain when they wake up.
Outside tanning and inside tanning are Not the Same:
While the ultraviolet radiation is basically the same for both inside and outdoor environments, there are some major differences. Many of the differences are related to several common factors. For instance, when an individual is on the outside trying to get that perfect tan, it’s not a controlled environment. Instead there are many different factors involved that can make each tanning experience different and they normally consist of the time of day, the attitude, pollution, season, wind, proximity of the equator, the depreciation of the ozone and other factors that’s beyond the family member’s control. Consequently, people may be trying to get the same type of tan under varying conditions. So, it essential for family member to consider how all of these factors usually play into getting their next tan. Which means, the family should make sure that they are aware of these changes by staying hydrated, wearing sun tan lotion and understand when they should take the activities on the inside of the beach home. These rules apply to both children and adults.
Our family lives in an area with frequent power outages so we installed a natural gas standby electric generator because it is the best for the environment. In this post I’d like to explain to you my reasoning for going natural gas for the home. And also why I think your family can do its part to decreasing your household’s carbon footprint by going natural gas.
Do you want your children to be able to enjoy the same natural environment, parks, marine parks and camping spots as you? Well, if things stay the same in terms of carbon pollution there will be an increase in forest fires and therefore a decrease in natural environment. Just look at this climate change page the Environmental Protection Agency put together. It shows that by then end of the century – at current rates – temperatures will have risen by 10 degrees F across the USA. Mass flooding, mass forest fires and less rain will cause us to have less food, less forest and less land.
Benefits of Natural Gas for the Environment
To use my home as an example: by powering the house with a natural gas generator we decrease our carbon footprint by 43%. Natural gas is more efficient than coal and oil power plants (which make your electricity) and having your own little power plant outside your house cuts on transmission losses. Already natural gas provides 24% of the USAs electricity but let’s double that in the next 10 years.
How to Go Natural Gas
A natural gas generator is no bigger than your fridge lying on its side and sits on a concrete pad out the side of your house. It gets plumbed into an underground city line of natural gas and hooks directly into your homes electrical with a transfer switch. The natural gas to provide your house with the electricity you need will only cost a few dollars per day. The gen-set itself will be a one time investment of less than $5000 depending on the size of unit you get and who installs it for you.
Once it is installed you and your family will barely notice it. They run their own maintenance and are only as loud as your car engine. In fact, our unit sits outside the window of the room I do my writing in and I can not hear it even with the window open.
Will Your Family Know the Difference?
Like I mentioned in the paragraph above you will not hear it or see it because it is quiet and small and hidden away in your side yard. And because of the transfer switch you just continue using the electrical outlets in your house for power. You don’t need to plug in to some weird extension cord. My family and yours too will love playing a role saving the environment by lowering your home’s carbon footprint.
How Much a Difference Can I Actually Make?
The short answer is lots. Individuals are where the change needs to happen. People are already starting to realize this. Solar power on residential homes is in record growth. Electric cars being powered by this new solar electric grid are being bought by individuals. Every difference counts. (We live in an area with not much sun so solar wasn’t an option.) I recommend for you to think about your family the environment and the outdoors you love and research the options of decreasing your carbon footprint before it’s too late.
I find that one of the best ways to fuel creative writing is getting outdoors. Whenever I am feeling uninspired or unmotivated, I pack up a bag and my writing notes and head outside. It doesn’t really matter where – just getting outside can re-energize you, give you a fresh perspective and help your imagination.
Last week I went through a very uninspired time. I was struggling to write a scene with new characters and was feeling frustrated at myself for not progressing with the chapter. After several hours of making tea, updating Twitter and staring at the laptop I decided it was time to leave the desk. So I packed my writing tools into a backpack and headed out on my bike. The fresh air really helped me to de-clutter and as I made my way through the winding forest roads I suddenly found myself plotting the end of the chapter. Suddenly the characters that I had struggled with all day wouldn’t leave me alone! They were invading my head, so much so that I had to stop. I found a writing spot underneath a tree and I stayed there all afternoon, writing frantically. By the time the sun began to set and I started cycling home I had written almost two chapters.
It’s not hard to see why being outdoors can spark your imagination. There are a variety of colours to look at; a variety of terrains to explore and being near to nature can be pretty inspiring in itself. But I also think that it’s simply changing your every day scenery that can boost your imagination. I find sitting at a desk day in day out can stifle your imagination. Even heading outside for a break, opening a window or walking to a shop can spark your imagination and help you to finish a story or sculpt a character profile.
If you haven’t tried writing outdoors then I would highly recommend it. It doesn’t matter where you end up, just as long as it gets you out of your comfort zone and allows you to be in a new environment for a few hours. Of course, don’t go anywhere too secluded and it’s a good idea to let a friend know where you are planning on working for the day. If you don’t like writing alone you could even invite a creative friend to join you for a writing session. I have done this a few times with a friend of mine and as long as you are disciplined you will find yourself being productive as well as catching up with a friend.
You don’t need much to get outdoors and write either – and I have always found that to be the beauty of writing. You don’t need much, just your imagination. When I started writing I bought myself an Apple Mac laptop (I found it on a site selling wholesale laptops wholesale laptops and other items) and a hard drive to store all of my ideas. But I only really use this if I am stuck indoors or writing in a coffee shop. On the occasions that I do get outside I usually just take a notepad and pen and transfer my notes later. It’s much easier to carry and you don’t have to worry about your laptop getting ruined on the journey. So if you don’t have writing equipment like a laptop or tablet computer, it doesn’t matter for outdoors writing. Just head out and buy yourself a notepad and pen and travel to a local spot and get inspired.
Spending time with your loved ones is without a doubt the most important thing in life. However it can be challenging to find activities that all members of the family will enjoy – particularly if you have a mixture of boys and girls or big age gaps between your children.
Over the weekend we decided to do something as a family after my partner asked if we all would like to go out relic hunting with him. Recently he has been finding a number of interesting historical relics when he has been going out with his metal detector, and so we all decided that a day out together would do us good. My husband claims that ever since he got his new Garrett Ace 350 metal detector that he has been finding more and more things than ever before.
Being a big environmentalist I never really liked or wanted to encourage his metal detecting (or treasure hunting as he calls it) as I feel that it can negatively impact on the surrounding plant and animal life, however after going out with him for the day and seeing how he goes about finding and recovering items, I feel a lot better about it all. He really takes care to excavate only the target area, and he is always careful to fill in any holes that he digs.
As this was a family trip my son also wanted to get in on the action. So of course that meant he needed his own detector. As we aren’t made of cash, we went looking for beginner metal detectors and found him a nice cheap detector which did the job and held his interest. He had a great time with his father, whilst I participated my sifting through excavated dirt looking for any signs of metal or interesting historical finds.
In what I assume was a stoke of luck, we happened onto quite a few objects. The first was an old spoon that was bent terribly out of shape and was rusting away. The second find took quite a while to find, but it was worth it. We found either an arrow head or a spear head. We are planning on taking a trip to see an expert at the local museum in the coming days to see if someone can help to identify it. I think it is great that we actually found something that quite possibly has some very old history to it and isn’t just junk that didn’t make it to landfill (like one of the finds that we made).
All in all we had a really good day out, and towards the end of it all I even got a chance to sit back in my husbands fishing chair and let my creative writing juices flow. I was surprised at just how peaceful everything was when I was just sitting there taking it all in under the shade of a large tree. In the distance to my right I could hear water rushing by, on my left there were birds chirping in the afternoon breeze and straight out in front I had my husband and son enjoying some quality family time together. It really was quite a day and one that I hope to repeat in the not too distant future.
My phone plays “Bubbly” by Colbie Cailat, and I swing my legs out of bed. The sky is that steely early morning color. It’s four o’clock, and time for a large pot of coffee. As the coffee machine burbles, I fire up my computer and get ready to write.
During the day, I’m a nurse at Buffalo General Hospital. I usually work the nine to nine shift, and by the end of the day it’s all I can do to throw a tray in the microwave for dinner, and move my fork from the food to my mouth. My days our exhausting: physical, mentally, and emotionally. I need to turn obese patients over in their beds, help people to the bathroom, and run up and down and up and down the halls to make sure I check on everyone equally. I need to remember dosages, names, allergies, medical histories. I need to smile, be kind, listen, and understand. My patients are in pain, and can do little for themselves, so I am their arms and legs. They do not want to be within the hospital walls – they want to be with their families, on their couches, in their offices, in their own beds. This often makes them lash out to the only person who they can take their frustration out on – me. I remind myself of this, keep a smile on my face, and bring them what they need. I feel called to do this work, no matter how much it takes from me.
And yet, I also feel called to write. Someday, I hope that this will be my only career, that I’ll be able to support myself with my words. For the moment, though, I balance my two vocations. First, I tried writing after my shifts were over, because I thought I might be inspired by my experiences during the day. However, I soon realized that writing requires far more energy than I ever have after coming home from the hospital. I decided to carve out the morning for myself as my time to imagine and create. I am fresh, I am excited, I am ready. I used to need to drag myself out of the bed each morning, knowing the way a day of caretaking drains me. But having this time to write, this time that has become sacred to me, propels me into the day with joy.
True, I don’t always produce good work during these times – almost never, in fact. But I show up, and I work at it, and I pour everything I have into my craft. Every good writer has said that a routine is the best way to encourage the good writing to come, and I believe this whole-heartedly. Since I’ve begun my morning writes, I’ve been published three times in a number of different literary journals. I’ve found that my experiences as a nurse inform my explorations of the human spirit in my fiction, and give me insight into my characters, who are often suffering either physically or emotionally. I have seen all kinds of pain, all levels and registers of it, and just as many ways of handling it. Writing allows me to work through the stress of my job as a nurse, and translate it into something productive and – hopefully – artful. It is therapy, it is recreation, it is work, and it is a part of me.
One of the biggest advantages of working from home and doing most of your work over the internet is that you don’t need to live in a specific location near your client base. Therefore, this gives you the option to look at where you want to live based on other factors.
If you are a fan of the countryside over the urban areas, as I am, then there are definitely advantages to it.
Of course, there are disadvantages, and we will look at those too for a balanced viewpoint. But if you are considering relocation, and you are in a position not to have to worry about a work location, these points may be to consider.
One of the first things people realise when they visit the countryside is the fact that there are so many less people around and the sense of peace this can give. There are also far fewer vehicles on the roads, fewer cars but also fewer public transport, although this can be an issue if you rely on it.
There is a definite appeal of being woken by the sound of birds singing instead of car horns and many people find that the closeness of nature has a soothing effect on them. It is also easier to see wildlife in a rural setting and enjoy the closeness that can be achieved in their natural environment.
Obviously there is a lot more open space in the countryside than in built-up areas, and this means the kids can get outside more. There are more areas to play and explore in safety in the rural areas and the reduced amount of pollution in the air is also great for anyone with respiratory problems.
One sound suggestion if you are switching from urban to rural is to consider renting a property for a little while. If you haven’t lived in the countryside before, the differences can be a shock to the system and jumping in to buying that big old farm house may not be ideal.
Another option is to look at investing in below market value properties, of which there are some in the country because people do hit hard times and lose their jobs. This way, if you do decide the life isn’t for you, you can
easily sell the house without making a financial loss.
The main downside with the country life is that the facilities which are every day to urban dwellers may not be present. Don’t expect a coffee shop on every corner or a range of specialist gyms to pick from. But the postal service works just as well in the sticks as it does in the city, so internet shopping is every bit as easy.
It never hurts to get to know the locals and find out what may be on your doorstep without realising it.
The general view is that country folk are more friendly than those in the city, have a more laid back approach to life, take it easy mentality. But this of course works both ways. You need to engage with them to build up a relationship just like anywhere else but if you do, it can be amazing what hidden gems they can point you in the direction of.
These days, members of a family are a lot busier than they used to be. Now, every family member has their own schedule, and with things like work, school, sports, drama club, and other after school activities, it may be a rarity for families to actually find the time to do anything, much less sit down to have a meal together.
However, even with everyone having a busy schedule, it is still vitally important for meals to be taken as a family because it may be the one and only time that families can spend time together and communicate with one another.
Dinnertime gives families a chance to actually stop and smell the roses. With such hectic schedules, who knows if anyone has had the chance to even eat a decent meal, and dinnertime may offer that one nutritious meal that family members get to have every day. People are more at ease at mealtime, and when people are relaxed, they tend to open up more, which may include talking about their day.
Mealtime is generally a time when everyone is home, which will give them the opportunity to do something together. On the surface, taking the time to cook a meal together might not appeal to all members of a family. In fact, families who eat out for almost every meal due to the on-the-go lifestyle of today might not even have the cookware suitable for cooking a full family meal.
However, by investing in some of the best cookware for your family’s needs, you too can have everyone in the family gathering around and cooking together. With each member of the family assigned to a task, making dinner can turn into a whole lot of fun, and the end result is a delicious meal that you can take pride in because you completed it as a family.
Other than just being able to try out new pots and pans, meals are also the chance for family members to ask one another questions related to important decisions or get advice that may help them solve a problem. With everyone having their own schedules, and being on the go all day long, when a problem does occur, it may be a lot for someone to deal with on their own.
Discussing it with the family over a meal might be the one time and opportunity for everyone to be in the same room, relaxed after a busy day, and available for advice and input on a problem. Problems can plague anyone, but being able to talk to their family about it, and come up with a solution together, can make someone feel a lot better and glad that they had the chance to have a discussion about it. Families can fix anything as long as they have the time to sort things out and they work together.
Meals can be so much more than just eating food, and for some families, it is the one time of day when they can all be together. Everyone has to eat, and with busy schedules, people can be on the go all day, but when the sun goes down, and the pots and pans come out, family members can cook a meal together, then sit down and eat it, but also use this time as the perfect communication venue.
I don’t know about you, but when I write, I like to make sure I’m nice and comfortable. If it’s too cold, or especially if it’s too hot, I’m definitely feeling sluggish and not doing my best writing. Aside from simply making you lazy, the heat dulls your senses and thought processes as well. I once had a teacher who told me that your environment negatively affected your attention span. And you know what? I think she was absolutely right. Who wants to spend a bunch of time in front of the computer in the middle of summer? Not me!
Fortunately, there’s a fix: you can make sure your workspace or writing nook is nice and comfortable and a place you want to be, and improving your air circulation is a good way to do that. Everyone loves air conditioners, but those can often be pricey. Personally I think investing in a good fan is a solid and much more affordable alternative. A personal favorite of mine is the Holmes HAWF2021 Dual Blade Twin Window Fan . Why do I recommend this model in particular? Well, there are several reasons!
First of all, it’s quiet. I find noise to be a big distraction when I’m writing as it breaks my concentration and pulls me out of the creative mindset. With this window fan, you can be sure that there will be no loud clanks or booms crashing into your ears and throwing off your rhythm.
Secondly, it’s got two different speed settings. That might seem like a minor perk, but do any of us really want to sit around wishing the fan we just got had a little more (or a little less!) oomph? Nah, we don’t have time for that. Not when we’ve got writing to do. Having more than one setting means you can set it exactly how you want it, and then change it if the next day is different.
Thirdly– and this is a big plus from having a window model– is that this fan draws in all the nice cool air from outdoors and pulls all the stale hot air outside. You might not think this would be a particularly noticeable difference from a regular desktop or floor fan, but you can definitely feel it. Worried it won’t fit in your window? Don’t worry, the Holmes HAWF2021 Dual Blade Twin Window Fan comes with extender panels and an adjustable screen, which means it should fit pretty much any slider, double-hung, or casement window.
Finally, the price on this fan is just great. It’s much cheaper than many of the other fans you’ll find at the store, and does a better job than a lot of them, too– now that’s a steal.
Remember: writing isn’t just about getting in the right mindset or finding your muse (although those are important too, of course!) Writing is about making sure you’re comfortable enough in your environment to be able to think your best and produce your best output. With the properly select your best window fan you’re sure to be set for the summer. Happy writing!
Spending time with family these days is getting more and more difficult. Everyone has so much they “have” to do, classes to take, places to be, friends to see. During the rare times when everyone has an open spot for some down time, board games are great, dinners together are cool, but no one ever really gets to having meaningful conversations or deep insights into their childrens’ lives during these little social times because there is too much to squeeze into too little time. Building that level of camaraderie, while still keeping the distinction between parent and child, is something only vast experiences can do. Even if you are not someone as awesome as Indiana Jones or Bear Grylls, there are vast experiences nearby, wherever you live, that you can participate in and grow the bond between the family members.
No matter where you live, there is some kind of nature a walk or a car drive away. Even if it’s just a huge city park, the open air, silencing of the city sounds, and vastness of the sky above us, reminds us how small and insignificant we are on this planet, and how blessed we are to have the members of our family here with us to walk this walk. Feeling insignificant together, and being grateful for the companionship along the way, are two forces that really bind people together. Taking the time to share these kinds of experiences regularly with your family can’t help but create a knowledge of each other that is necessary for trust and love.
It isn’t just being silent and awestruck together that builds a relationship strong… having fun is definitely a key element that cannot be set aside. If you live near some public land forests, or have permission to access a privately owned piece of forest or wild land, a really fun activity enjoyed by all ages, is wildlife tracking. One or two trail cameras are easy to place somewhere promising. Taking a day hike with the family to place them, then hiking back periodically to see what kinds of pictures are there is an exciting, inexpensive project that gets everyone involved. You could even capitalize on the learning experiences available here, and set up a research and journaling project for everyone. What a memorable experience!
For the bigger boys and dads… how about scoping? You can either simply plant yourselves on a hilltop with a distant view of habitat that promises some form of wildlife, or you can get really into it and build some tree platforms to climb up into. With a long distance scope, or a scope with night-vision capability, or really any kind of rifle scope (there are a wide range of them to choose from), one can see a great distance from the safety of your vantage point.
The excitement of spying out different animals that one would normally never see, in the early evening after school, breathing the fresh air together, delighting in the changing of the seasons, is an experience never to be forgotten. Just as one can’t imagine a person ever regretting not playing more video games on their expensive set ups, one can imagine regretting not being able to spend more time outside with their family doing neat things like scoping.
Spending more time together is really very simple if one is willing to plan some things out ahead of time. And it doesn’t have to be excessively expensive… at least, no more expensive than the latest iphone or video-game system. You can’t really put a price tag on bonding with your loved ones.
Winter has come and gone once again, the the first hints of the sunshine, bright green grass, and beautiful colored flowers are beginning to make an appearance. Culturally we have all agreed that Spring is the time to go through our homes and clean out our closets, ridding ourselves of objects and clothes we no longer have a need for. Some of us donate them to charity, throw a garage sale, or simply toss into the garbage what it is no longer usable. Whatever it is you decide, it is up to you, but before you begin sorting through all the tangible possessions you have collected throughout the years, I have come up with a new way of cleaning house. My alternative approach revolves around sorting through all my belongings in every portion of my home, and finding cool objects or clothes that I am capable of creatively transforming into something else. My goal in doing this is to get more use out of the items I already own. For families with small children, this is a great way to teach your kids how to recycle instead of just tossing items that are no longer needed.
For all my artists and creatives out there, I highly recommend this approach. We are always searching for new ways to put our artistic perspective to good use, and this is quite possibly one of the best ways to implement this concept! This approach is highly effective for more than one reason. For example, in our go-green economy, this is one of the best ways to get onto the environmental bandwagon and make a difference in our world today. There is no need to constantly throw away or store things that you no longer need. The beautiful aspect of being alive in our world today is that we are becoming increasingly more aware of the value of sharing with our fellow neighbors, friends and family. After all is it not commonly accepted that one human’s trash is another human’s treasure?
So why not take this Spring cleaning season and dedicate it to doing something good for you, your family, your neighbors, and the environment. I have already begun the process of cleaning house, and I have been quite successful. Naturally, my family and I have stumbled upon so many objects, devices and possessions we forget we owned. As an avid wearer of glasses from a very young age, I could not believe how many pairs of eyewear I had collected over the years. All of which were scattered all over my home, which was incredibly exciting because I wanted to invest in a nice new pair of designer eyeglasses this Spring. Finding over 12 pairs of outdated prescription glasses that I plan to donate to the locate community inspired me to move forward with buying the perfect pair for this moment in my life. This is just one example of how I am using Spring cleaning to help the environment and the community.
As far as creative projects are concerned, I cannot express how many cool trinkets I found lying around my home, particularly in the garage. I found boxes and boxes of old poetry I had written in my youth, along with pieces of creative writing that I had not seen in years. Journal entries that I had written and never read. I forgot I had even kept these items. I had no idea they still existed, and after reading through it, I realized a lot of it is really good. So I have plans to upload all my poetry and creative writing pieces to an anonymous pen-named blog just for fun. In addition to that, I have plans to transform the old piles of wood and furniture in my garage into useable furniture for my kids to use. However, my ultimate favorite creative art project that has come out of this spring cleaning, comes from the boxes of photos I found, along with the school art projects my kids have made throughout the years. I believe leaving them in a dusty old box, out of sight and out of mind, is completely absurd. What is the fun in that? So my children and are going to make scrapbooks out of all the photos and art projects, so that we can keep them on our coffee table or in a bookshelf in our living area where we can look back on them with relative ease. This is by far one of the best ways to make a typically time-consuming and laborious task into something fun and creative for you and the whole family. Not only will you benefit from it, but your community and environment will too!