Posted in Reviews, Serials, The Cinderella Stamp Collector

TCSC Ep 5 – Hiring The Hated Man

“I’d like to think they will fall in love. That we helped them find each other.” I said to my, now unrecognizable, husband. “Perhaps. But they were both so shy, I don’t know. What I do know is that we’ve got an hour to find Kurt before we have to disappear all over again.”

He said this as we got in the car he had just bought for two thousand of the ten. We couldn’t rent a car if we were supposed to be on that plane. About ten minutes into the drive he started telling me his plan.

“Kurt could buy and sell the Caribbean islands, he doesn’t have to kill for a stamp. Especially for that stamp, it is not even unique. Also, why send the victim to me?”

“According to our brief conversation, he was doing Kurt a favor. Why not hire me himself? He had to know the man would die. He has to be behind the poison. Unless… Lotty, change of plans. See that hotel, we’re staying there tonight.”

“Monty, what are you thinking? Are you saying Kurt isn’t the murderer now?” He nodded, while he turned the car.

“Oh, he was definitely behind the murder. Except, my mistake was thinking that Kurt was the brain behind the killing. I missed the fact that he was merely the muscle. An unless I’ve guessed wrong, he was also the next to die. I suspect he’s dead now.”

“Why do you think he’s dead? What piece fell into place? What did you remember?”

“It was the handwriting. It was different than the victim’s. He told me the envelope was directly from Kurt. I remembered the address. It was shaky, as if written by a nervous or scared man.”

“When did you see the victim’s handwriting to know the difference? I thought you had never met him before? Or were you wrong about that?”

“Oh no, I wasn’t wrong about that. It was my first opportunity to meet the man, but I’ve seen his handiwork. I read a letter from him once, and didn’t care for it’s contents. In it, he said he wished I were dead. That’s why the case intrigued me. You have to be desperate, to hire a man you hate.”

Posted in Inspirational Collections, Productivity

Change Of Scenery

Some days you need a change of scenery, but that doesn’t mean you have to go anywhere. A little imagination, a picture, or planning towards a goal can help.  Today, I wanted to see my favorite time of year, so I brought a small cardboard painting from home.  The duck is mine too, I thought he needed something a little cool as well.

Posted in Productivity

Go To Apps

Everyone has go to apps they use regularly. Occasionally I’ll read articles to gain an insight on what people I respect are using. Today I’d like to share some of mine with you.

There are some great Bible apps. My personal favorite is Bible + from Olive Tree. The look, functionality, and features of it make it my daily Bible.

I love the library of titles, These include an assortment of, study Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries, and eBooks. You can add your own notes and highlights that sync across devices, and they backup in case of a crash.

The only problem is two of my most loved commentaries are missing. I have to supplement them with another app, though Olive Tree continues to add to their selection. Some can be pricy, but a sale is always running.

I love writing apps, and currently use four of them, in various ways. Apple’s Notes is my first stop when an idea hits me. Also, when I’m writing a blog post as well.

EverNote is for research, archiving, and voice notes. Notability is where I write eBooks, or any long form articles. I love the interface. It’s full featured, but doesn’t get in the way of writing.

Apple’s Pages is for polishing, formatting, and finalizing. This is the where drafts for others than my Wife are processed. From here, they go to friends for editing. After proofing, and corrections, they are ready for publication.

My most recent discovery is Things for the Apple Watch. Unlike the iPhone Reminders App, you can check off the list, or add new tasks on the watch. This isn’t the only reason I love it. I use Apple’s Reminders for weekly and long term tasks. I use Things for daily ones, I like the workflow of this better personally.

Now, social apps. My favorite social network is Pinterest. I love it because it’s an idea factory, art museum, and a fun hodgepodge of things I enjoy. Also when I open Pinterest it is purely about ideas. Some times the noise of social media, for me, gets in the way of the enjoyment.

I use Facebook Pages to manage PruittWrites Facebook site. Twitter is great because of the rate at which you can gain information. If you want to know more you can click on links, if not, you can keep scrolling. I use my individual Facebook to connect with family and friends.

Last, the assorted category. Pacer records my steps each day. I’ve recently switched to Overcast as my podcast app. Apple’s podcast app has stored data that remains even after deleting all podcasts. Overcast doesn’t seem to have this problem. AnyFont lets me add new fonts to my iPhone and iPad.

Quotebook stores and organizes my quotes file. This is a wonderful resource for both life and writing. I love Apple’s News app. Instagram is less social and more personal for me, because I follow a limited group with it.

These are some of the apps that allow me to grow spiritually and professionally. They help me to fulfill my responsibilities, learn, and pursue my dreams. Apps are at their core, tools. Find which ones work for you, and build something great!

Posted in Productivity

Work Spaces

Wikimedia Image
Wikimedia Image

Work spaces fascinate me.  I suppose, mainly because they are the environment where things are produced.  You might call them the address of the idea factory, the danger is when we mistake them for the factory itself.

All a work space is, at its core, is a combination of time, place, and necessary objects.  The things that enable you to produce the plan in your head.  I would like to share three tips to a conducive work space.

First, the physical location is not as important as the value you attach to it.   It isn’t so much the space, but that you place value in the space. Does your work space, whether permanent or portable, inspire you?  Is it your gateway to producing what is in both your heart and your mind?

Thomas Jefferson had a special “writing box” made so he could write anywhere.  He used it to draft The Declaration Of Independence, the desk is now in the Smithsonian.  A mechanic’s toolbox can turn any location into a makeshift garage.  A garage would be better, but neither he nor President Jefferson allowed location to restrict their ability to produce.  Instead they compensated for the location’s accommodations and restrictions.

The second tip is that the time to create doesn’t have to come in huge blocks. Much like the where, the when can be bits and pieces of time scattered throughout a day.  Some are more creative in the morning, others find the evening hours to be productive time.

[tweetthis]Anyplace can become a work space for creativity, if we apply creativity.[/tweetthis]

Please don’t misunderstand, I believe in setting aside large blocks of time, even days for projects.  However, when that is not possible, set aside what time you can.  I’ve experienced moments when I could accomplish in five minutes what I couldn’t in fifty.  Use the time you have, and don’t wait for the time you don’t have to become available.

Third, don’t lock yourself into a pattern or process in either your style or your tools.  If you’re a speaker or writer, strive to make every project unique.  As humans, if we aren’t careful, we can coast along in a pattern.

This may get us by, but it will also like a log in a river, stall our creativity.  Soon, it will result, not only in reproduction, but in a lack of production of any kind.  Your mind will eventually revolt against the mundane. Next, it will fear that you can no longer create anything original of any quality.

Guarding against method attachment upfront, will help to prevent other problems later. The same is true about the tools you use to produce something.  Everyone has a favorite pen, notebook, or program to create with, but don’t be so enthralled by it you refuse to learn anything else.

When we become rigid about our methods, we can very quickly lose touch with improvements in methods. I don’t write this from a tech lover’s perspective, but as a content producer.  Hand drawn books gave way to the printing press, then the typewriter, now the laptop and the tablet.

Tools get better, and we should never reject an advancement in one simply because we’ve never used it before.  The learning process inspired you as a student twenty years ago, let it do the same today.  Anyplace can become a work space for creativity, if we apply creativity.

idea ideal

Don’t allow your circumstances, your surroundings, or your resources to limit your imagination.  All of these things are important, and  each is a factor, but they are not the deciding factor.  If your conditions are not ideal, seek the idea that you can leverage to make it happen.

The definition of a work space is a space in which to work.  Allow your passion for your work to produce in you something greater than you are.  Once you do that, the work will produce the space.  That’s what Solomon meant all those years ago in the Proverb he wrote at his work space.

Proverbs 18:16
16 A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.