Thursday, September 06, 2018

Some Literary Tourism Coming Up With Ernest Hemingway

I'm going to be MIA for a while, for travel not family drama.

While traveling, I like visiting author homes or homes connected with authors somehow. Like James Thurber's in Columbus, Ohio. Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. One of Gene Stratton-Porter's homes, in Rome City, Indiana. This month I'm going to Ernest Hemingway's Birthplace Home Museum in Oak Park, Illinois.

Usually I read something by the author involved with these excursions. But I've got to be honest. I am not a Hemingway fan. Reading Girl of the Limberlost on vacation back in '15...that's an experience I don't want to repeat anytime soon. So no Ernest Hemingway for me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Connecticut Book Award Finalists...And Some Of Them Are Children's Books

The Connecticut Center for the Book has announced the finalists for the Connecticut Book Awards. There are three categories of adult books and two of children's.

Young Readers--Young Adult

Jake Burt of Hamden, Greetings from Witness Protection!
Karen Romano Young of Bethel, Whale Quest
Sarah Albee of Watertown, Poison

Young Readers — Juvenile (includes authors and illustrators)

Gigi Priebe of New Canaan, The Adventures of Henry Whiskers
Lauren Baratz-Logsted of Danbury,  I Love You, Michael Collins
Susan Hood of Southport,  Double Take! A New Look at Opposites
Deborah Freedman of Hamden,  This House, Once
Andrea Wisnewski of Storrs, Trio, The Tale of a Three-legged Cat

The winners will be announced on Sunday, October 14 from 2 to 3 PM at Staples High School in Westport. There will be a keynote speech from Okey Ndibe, a reception, and a book signing with this year’s winners, finalists, and Ndibe  from 3 to 4 PM. Open to the public, with tickets.

Sounds like a good Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Time Management Tuesday: The Law Of Diminishing Returns And Slow Work

At last! I've found some real talk about doing less to do more.

In How To Accomplish More By Doing Less at 99U, journalist Tony Schwartz (I wrote about him here back in 2013) describes how the quality of the hours we work is as significant as the number of hours we work. "Maintaining a steady reservoir of energy – physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually – requires refueling it intermittently." As we become physically, mentally, emotionally, and, perhaps, spiritually worn out, our output becomes progressively worse. Planning a workday around rest stops can mean getting as much done, or even more, than if you kept yourself chained to your desk for a longer period of unbroken time.

Schwartz uses a study of pilots and another of violinists to support his argument.

I think it's pretty obvious how this article relates to my goal of finding ways to improve productivity by slowing down. Schwartz is literally talking about working fewer hours without a drop in output. It also relates to a couple of things discussed here in the past. (Besides Tony Schwartz.)

The Unit System


Planning your work time around stops, so you can recharge and sort of trick your mind into thinking it's starting the day over, is what I've been calling the unit system. (Other people, I've learned, refer to it has segmenting.) Whether you break your time into 45-minute units, as I've read about several times, 20-minute units, as in the Pomodoro Technique, or 90-minute units, as Schwartz prefers, you're managing your energy as well as your time. You're making it possible to slow down and still produce.

Minimum Effective Dose


Last week, I wrote about the minimum effective dose and slow work. "In terms of productivity," I said, "the theory goes that you can find a minimum effective dose--or the minimum amount of time/effort--needed to get the work result you want or require."

Schwartz's argument about the law of diminishing returns and using work units to manage your work hours instead of working randomly sounds very much like a minimum effective dose to me.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Cybil Season 2018

The Cybils folks, those people who sponsor the children's and young adult bloggers' awards, are looking for bloggers to act as judges right now. The awards are over ten years old, so the administrators have plenty of information on the position and how judges are picked.

You have less than a week left to apply.