Thursday, August 11, 2016

As requested on Quora: elaborating a letter to impress a famous person

Our Quora person chose their verbs well.

"Elaborate" in particular gets into the search engines.

And "to impress" a famous person - don't we all want to do that?

Here is what I wrote, based on what I remembered in this wonderful book by Ann M Martin called Stage Fright which is about Sara and her attempts to reach famous people.

Read Adelaide Dupont's answer to How can I elaborate a letter to impress a famous person? on Quora

Someone else who is good at writing letters would be Jill Brenner and her entertaining letters to the stamp company. These are what we would call more functional letters.

A lot of English language learners do try to elaborate or embellish as is frequently used as a term of art.

Other people who wrote in are Colleen McLaffarty

Steven Silz-Carson

and Mirasol May Manriza.

I think that is an effective spread of backgrounds.

What other letter writers said: they seemed to have a healthy suspicion of elaboration.

Friday, July 01, 2016

#majellaproject #campnanowrimo schedule and days

Monthly Calendar for July 2016: iCal
1-30 July 2016: three sessions of the Majella Project

Monthly Calendar for July 2016: iCal
10-31 July 2016: 1100; 1700; 2100 sessions of the Majella Project

At the moment I am very excited about the CampNaNoWriMo write in which is at 6pm Pacific Standard Time [the home of the Office of Letters and Light where NaNoWriMo is based].

On the first day of #campnanowrimo I wrote 2898 words of The Majella Project.

Started with the prompt I never thought I was so good at and filled in doctoring for the main character/protagonist Majella.

Sister Majella has been in a great many projects ever since she was a child and teenager in Albania.

A few years ago she started working for Doctors without Borders in Juba, South Sudan.

Her medical specialism is paediatric medicine.

I set three alerts to make me write: one for an hour before and the other for 15 minutes before the writing time.

Two other people in the cabin spoke up as well.

Now I must try to feed my mouse with BlueTooth ... the battery is so very very low.

Right now Majella is on a cruise in the Comoros. And I am thinking of her going to Swaziland too.

Respect and best wishes ...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Technical Work and #CampNaNoWriMo cabinmates

Rainforest Reload: four trees with orange trunks; one with a semiblue/semiwhite trunk

Hello again! This is the third post I've written this year. 
As an IT person once said to me, "Isn't it great when you have your own Mac at home?"
The technical difficulties first: on the 20th and 21st June I could not comment on other Blogger/Google blogs because there was a pull-down menu with an empty profile.
When I clicked on the pull-down profile I did not see my name or account. I could still get into Halfway up Rysy Peak and still write in and on my GooglePlus account, so where that applied, that is what I did.
A technical opportunity was the chance to try out the new StumbleUpon interface.
[I can still pull away from it if I want/have to through the Beta settings]
  • Grids and lists are now standard for the profile pages
  • The "Add this page" is now on the right - click on the button and paste the link in the dialogue box
  • The toolbar is fresh and clean
  • We can see now how many likes we have exactly [this for me is 85,500+]
  • The lists are now in alphabetical order when things are first being sorted
  • When adding to lists, they are still in chronological order
International Studies drawing. A butterfly; a hill; a pyramid and a Peruvian and lots of musical notes and staves

I personally created a new list - my first in the new system.
It was Small Beginnings - the series where Sophie Masson is interviewing writers.
Looking for a great new way to embed it:
  • There is a "Report Bugs" feature in the profile menu.
  • Notifications are neater and tidier - in the last release they were a bell symbol
  • The "Contact Other Stumblers" interface is different
  • The followers and following are now in alphabetical order rather than in chronological or frequency order
  • In the grids there are now 10 pages/links in each row

Monday, June 20, 2016

Passion for unicorns? Latin can propel your obsession forward

First link is a set of flashcards to get you comfortable and competent. Quizlet does a great job - you can make your own cards.

I'll talk first about -sess

as it came up on Google Plus and

Someone's friend has an inordinate passion for unicorns.

The word many people use to describe this inordinate passion is obsess.

In this case sess is a suffix on words you might see such as assess.

This website - tells me that sess is part of a set of Latin roots which mean sitting.

So you sit with your unicorn obsession.


These words and concepts are not easily learnt phonetically - at least for me.

Even now when I break out a syllable or two ... and it can be very stressful.

Would I say OBsess or obSESS? Or is the SE in the middle and do I say THAT?


Perhaps the word the person might have been trying to get was abscess.


Another way I remember how to write obsession is that it has session as its chief. Ob provides emphasis as obvious or obdurate might do.

The way I understood the ob is that an obsession takes you away or into the activity or the behaviour.

Or the thought. An obsession is a set of ideas more than it is one thought - even a thousand thoughts.

Thank you Annabelle Greig and

PS: I noticed one of my favourite words assiduous [written like deciduous] is one of the first on the list.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

"Without people; nothing is possible - without institutions nothing is enduring": Jean Monnet

When I was reading the Pacific Standard's interview with Ralph Nader - the US consumer advocate - near the end there was this Jean Monnet quote which it is good to remember.

I made two graphics.

Calligraphic representation of Jean Monnet's quote "Without PEOPLE nothing is POSSIBLE" plus significant dates 1888 and 1952.
"Without people nothing is possible" - Jean Monnet
1888 is when he was born
1952 is when the European Coal and Steel Commission started his work.

Calligraphic representation [medium size] of the second half of the Jean Monnet quote: "Without institutions nothing is enduring". Graphic by Adelaide Dupont 9 June 2016.
"Without institutions nothing is enduring"
Jean Monnet
The "without" is bordered with a hexagon
The "institutions" and "enduring" are written in upper-case
"Nothing" and "is" have two separate borders in the same colour