Happy St. Paddy’s Day

st patrick


Mind Mapping Can Be a Useful Tool

New Picture

Plain and simple, a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps with structuring your information and makes it easier for you to analyze, understand, remember, recall and create new ideas.

Mind Mapping can be created by hand or software.  Some software is free and there are others that need to be purchased.  In addition, and because it’s not noted in the linked article, if you know how to use Microsoft Office Excel, it’s another good substitution for creating mind maps.

Whichever way you decide, it all starts out with a starting point to which you write down the main idea that you want to develop. From there, you are going to expand by building supporting subtopics, and as you do so, you connect each of them with a line back to the main idea.

The subtopic step will be repeated so that you can make as many lower layers as needed to support your main idea. Just remember that for each new lower level, it needs to be connected to the top corresponding subtopic.  See diagrams below.


I think mind mapping is a great diagram to follow because you can always go back and reference it when you’re stuck or forget something.  Give it a try; it might be a helpful tool for you.

Thanks for visiting,

R. Lynn Archie

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NaNoWhatNow? Three Tactics for Getting Un-Stuck

Reblogged – Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Kristen Lamb's Blog

One of the reasons I LOVE NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which is November) is it gives new writers a glimpse of a professional pace. It teaches discipline, writing no matter what, how we feel or whether or not we’re inspired. Writing is a profession, not a playpen. I remember when I was new thinking that 500 words a day was such a BIG DEAL. 

Now? I generally have 1200 words written before breakfast. My daily average can range from 1000-6000 words, depending on what I’m doing, how many projects I have going, etc.

I also love NaNoWriMo because it employs one of my favorite techniques, Fast Draft. Wear out the inner editor and the subconscious can come up with some pretty amazing stuff. This technique isn’t for everyone, but I do recommend trying a little of everything when we’re in the beginning stages of our career. Eventually, if…

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Book Review: Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet


First let me say this is not romance book, but science fiction.  Every now and then I do like reading something different.  I have to say that “Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet” was an enjoyable read. The book is about fifteen year old Jack Finnegan, an average teenager who has had his share of childhood problems and inadequacies.

And, it’s in this fifteenth year that a radical change transforms his life. It is an adjustment that centers on Jacks’ school acquaintance Anna Shepherd, Mr. Shepherd (Anna’s dad and Jack’s teacher) and Mr. Green (another teacher). People he thought he knew; however, what a surprise for him when he learns they are not what they betrayed themselves to be. Also, if that is not enough to comprehend, Jack has to deal with unsavory Deathlord aliens who are wreaking havoc and destroying anything and everything that crosses their path.

I like the growth that Jack’s character achieves along the way turning him from a laid-back teenager into a more focused and responsible individual. The things Jack endures are more than he ever could have envisioned. In this book, you will come across zombies, different alien races, spaceships, a princess and more.

I would put this book in the young reader’s category only because of the dialog used; I think a pre-teen/teenager would have a deeper appreciation for it. Nonetheless, if you are an adult that enjoys reading science fiction stories with lots of action, adventure, and bits of humor thrown in here and there, then this story is right up your alley. It was a fun read, and I’ve already referred this book to a few young readers.  For more information on this book you can visit http://matthewkadish.com/.

Until later,

R. Lynn Archie

website:  http://www.rlynnarchie.com

Out-of-Towners: One young visitor reaped huge reward from a giant duck

This has nothing to do with publishing, but it was such a sweet story that I had to share.   Re-posting from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


October 18, 2013 12:18 am

On our visit to Pittsburgh last weekend, several times I answered, “Yes, we are from Dallas.”

People seemed surprised that we had traveled all the way from Texas to see the rubber duck. In some ways, I was also surprised, but under the persistent urging of my 9-year-old daughter, we came.

Anna was born with a primary immune deficiency, a rare and chronic illness that has held us in a great struggle these last few years. Although Anna looks entirely normal, her lungs are not. They seem particularly prone to letting her down at the onset of any infection.

Normal colds last six weeks. A common childhood virus such as chicken pox can be deadly. Infection can be her worst enemy. Unfortunately, as any parent knows, early childhood is full of colds and flus, cuts and bruises. These experiences are most often a nuisance for others, but for Anna they are physical and social obstacles.

Anna has fought a long battle that has taken her from 57 percent lung capacity and 7 percent strength to almost normal. Her life has consisted of doctors appointments, therapy five times a week, and staying away from anyone who could give her a respiratory infection, especially other children.

In order to lift her spirits she began to collect rubber ducks when she was 5, and now she has somewhere between 100 and 200. Each one was greeted with joy and excitement — who can frown and be sad when given a rubber ducky? Perhaps all of us remember Ernie singing his “Rubber Duckie” song on Sesame Street, and this long-ago memory stirs childlike joy within us.

Anna’s journey surprisingly reminds me of the one that Pittsburgh has had to travel. In the beginning a flourishing and promising arrival, and then as time advances and health declines, seemingly insurmountable obstacles appear on the horizon. With hard work and investment, one by one the obstacles are overcome, until rising from the ashes a rebirth takes place.

Anna, a child — Pittsburgh, a city — experiencing the benefits of hope.

This is what brought us to Pittsburgh. How did we know about the rubber duck? What child does not know how to browse the Internet these days, and after finding an article from The New York Times, Anna persisted in begging us to go.

And, why not? How could we resist all the emotional wellness that our rubber duckies had given us? Was Anna strong enough to go? A flight in the spring to see her cousin had required her being placed on oxygen for half the flight. But the summer had passed and she was stronger. I decided to take her.

Our first visit to the rubber duck by Florentijn Hofman was on Saturday morning. The walk through Point State Park was beautiful, and our excitement escalated as we rounded the bend — there before us in the Allegheny River was the largest rubber duck our minds could imagine.

Anna’s heart leapt with joy, and mine leapt because she was so happy. As she looked at the rubber duck, the shield of pain and fear cracked in both our hearts and began to crumble. Who would think that a silly, enormous yellow rubber duck could defeat a wall of fear?

In that moment, I felt we were standing in a new place in our lives. Not one of looking back, but of looking forward. It no longer felt as if we had lost much, but that we had been given much.

Thank you, Pittsburgh. The journey was successful — no oxygen was needed on the return flight — and we are now back home.

Pittsburgh will hold a special place in our hearts, one of joy. And just as the city of Pittsburgh has gone through a rebirth, it became our platform of rebirth as we admired the rubber duck that brought a smile to the face of everyone who stood on the bank of the Point.

Just Say No

say no

Hello everyone, I know I have been missing in action for a moment—all due to obligations that overwhelmed my time, but things have finally settled, and I can focus once again on my blog.

Speaking personally, over-extending one’s workload is not good.  The only thing it brings is exhaustion, tension and irritability.  What I’ve learned is sometimes you just have to say no, and you will feel much better afterwards.

So I’m going to leave you with that for now, but I will be back before the week has ended with a new posting.

Talk to you soon,

R. Lynn

Website:  www.rlynnarchie.com