Week in Review: Week 50

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Snow flurries over the Green Mountains at sunset from Randolph, VT, December 20, 2021. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

A mountain emitting terrible noises was said to be in labor. But, as people watched to see what would happen, all they saw come out of it was a mouse.

“A Mountain in Labor,” Fables of Aesop

After months of research and writing about the back story to the invention of Bubble Wrap, this week I finally published … a two-minute read.

What’s up with that?

A couple of things, really. First, the complete narrative so far comes to nearly 5,000 words, or nearly 20 minutes to read. That’s more than most people want to spend on a single blog post, and more than they will turn to for a series.

Second, it involves a large amount of original research that I will be disclosing for the first time in my coming interview for The History Channel. Why spill it to the world for free online? Why not publish it myself in book or article form after the production airs?

So I offered what I called the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version. That hearkens back to my intern days at the RD, and also to the condensed books they published for so many years. The condensed books (and articles) told the story in a shorter form. That’s what I’ve done here.

Elsewhere behind the scenes this week, I added a couple of more journal entries from my early writing career. These will post over the next few weeks to ease the pressure of producing during the holidays. (It’s a trick I learned from “evergreens” at the newspaper.)

I’ve also been listening to more podcasts about writing, and to the audiobook version of “The Self Delusion” by Gregory Burns. It delves into identity and has special relevance to writers. I’ll review that here soon.

Oh, and the moral of that Aesop fable: Don’t make a big fuss over nothing.

In case you missed it

  • Happy Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!

    Happy Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!

    Reading Time: < 1 minutes If it’s a toy — children and adults the world over seem to think it is — then I was probably the first kid to ever play with it.

  • In Other Words, Season 2, Episode 4

    In Other Words, Season 2, Episode 4

    Reading Time: 2 minutes Max Bialystock: So you’re an accountant, huh? Leo Bloom : Yes, I am. Max Bialystock : Then account for yourself!

  • Procrastination or progress? 1979

    Procrastination or progress? 1979

    Reading Time: 3 minutes “Someday I will consider myself prepared to start writing.” Sounds like procrastination. But the two story ideas were progress, I suppose.

  • A lovely day, 1979

    A lovely day, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes The word itself is, well, lovely, but it’s weak and nondescriptive. Yet Irving Berlin used it on at least two songs. (With videos).

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