Monthly Archives: December 2014

Hello world!

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This is where I will post updates.  I have shut down the comments because of too much spam and repetitive and vague comments.  If you want to contact me, you can do so through my LinkedIn account — please include a message about why you are contacting me.

Recently I was contacted by Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter and the Loevinger family thanking me for my writings on Jane Loevinger and her contributions to developmental psychology.  Dr. Cook-Greuter invited me to join the Growth Edge Network, an international group of practitioners interested in issues of adult development.  My correspondence with Susanne has resulted in an article I posted on The Chambered Nautilus Metaphor of Human Development.

I re-configured the Welcome To My Projects section —  there is now a group of trainings under Coping Skills Trainings, including Determinants of Behavior:  Temperament and “Goodness of Fit”, and Self-Control Trainings for Impulsive Latency Age Boys.  I have also completed an article Literary Depictions of Developmental States under the Philosophical Perspectives section (including Calvin and Hobbes, Jane Eyre and other favorites!).  Also in Research Findings is an article about Lawrence Kohlberg and Karen Armstrong titled Good Vibrations:  Chronic Disease and Spirituality, as well as a practice article called Creative Problem Solving:  How to Avoid Ridiculous Arguments with Bratty Children.  Enjoy!

A reader asked about how to get going writing.  Procrastination and disorganization are both major factors in my writing, but I find that if I can make procrastination into mental rehearsal and take notes, that gets me started.  The organization thing is a whole different matter, as I often lose track of things when they stack up.  Just keep stirring that pot, and get some things into files, and that pretty well does it!

Here’s an idea of my creative process.  I observe a lot — no cell phone to block my view of reality when I am out and about (I will bring a book to go places, but it doesn’t rivet my eyes and I can notice interesting things happening around me).  I probe reality (asking pertinent questions, offering timely comments or amusing asides, or just helping out!).  I research in libraries, bookstores, and on the internet (key search words can get you almost anywhere, at least in the USA).  Then I ponder (sometimes scratching my head, sometimes pulling my lip — I don’t have a beard).  Then I jot down notes of late night thoughts that would elude my memory if I didn’t memorialize them.  Then, from my researches, I pull quotes from interesting sources arranged around themes that I am interested in.  Then I construct my outline, fill in details, add more details, make sure to include transitions to keep readers oriented, and finally polish the whole thing up.  Kind of like how P.G. Wodehouse wrote.  Only worse.

To learn how to write well, one has to read a lot of good writing, both fiction and non-fiction.  A rich vocabulary helps one be articulate, both speaking and writing.  Various turns of phrase are apt in certain situations and to particular audiences.  Children’s literature populates the basement and ground floor of our imagination.  Perhaps more than anything else is being able to detect and use metaphors.  A good metaphor can go a long way, even up to the point of a double helix model!  But most metaphors are more limited in their descriptive and predictive powers, and it is important to intuit and determine the limits of a metaphor in relation to its target.  For instance, the developmental metaphors of “scaffolding” (Vygotsky) and “moral musical chairs” (Kohlberg) help the imagination understand the concepts being presented, but neither of these metaphors are very strong (e.g. Bruner replaced “scaffolding” with “formats”).  So, notice your metaphors, and find the best ones to fit your subject!