Monday, December 27, 2010

Writing: The Hook

While studying the craft of writing I’ve been trying to discern what constitutes a good hook. For those who are unfamiliar with the term this is the first paragraph or so of a fictional piece (or a news or history piece) that serves to grab the reader’s interest.

I have come to the conclusion that if I can encapsulate the why of the story properly then I will have a good hook. Why what will happen in the story is important to the protagonist. And make it emotionally gripping to the audience. Thus is the good hook.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lesson 24 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

When you set out to punish the rich the poor get hurt.
Whenever I see a short statement such as this the first question I ask is this: Is this true?

My answer for this one remains yes.

Therefore I think that I will try to explain what I have seen that makes me believe this to be true. As I examine the world the first thing I notice is that I have never worked for a poor man. The reason for this is simple; a poor man cannot pay me. Or at best he can only pay for a limited amount of my time. Therefore if I want steady work (and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t) I must either be ambitious enough to continually win small pieces of work from many poor people or find one rich person to work for continuously.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Friday, December 24, 2010

What art Thou

What art Thou

Art thou

             A convenient Christian

Hiding away

              Away hiding your face


              A Christian

When ’tis

              Convenient for thee

Is that

             What ye be

A Christian of convenience



Lest someone see

                         That you are

A Christian

                   Making the accusation

Do you remain safe

                    No danger brave

To prove


A very inconvenient

                    Christian ye’ll be!

© 2010 Vic jones

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lesson 23 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

If you want to help someone you need to be sure that what you do for, or to them doesn’t hurt them.
Is it possible to harm someone when you intend to help them? Absolutely! So then you ask: how is this possible? Suppose a parent wishing to protect their child keeps him in a padded cage and carries him everywhere the child wants to go; will the child not be crippled despite the parent’s intention to help the child? And what of the man who is given a fish by the government; is he not harmed as well? Yet the intention is that he not be hungry.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lesson 22 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Money is neither good nor evil; it is simply a tool. The mind that employs a tool may be good or evil, but the tool itself has no moral value.
I originally wrote this statement to clarify the idea that greed is a human problem not money lest anyone not be able to understand the previous lesson that greed is at the heart of all evil. I do not believe at all that any tool or thing which has no self-will can be evil. That leaves the question of semi-sentient creatures like apes, cats, dogs and whales. For those I don’t know but I have my reservations about cats. I do believe that cats can be evil. Maybe cats are not as evil as people but still they display a great deal of pleasure in torture.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lesson 21 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Greed is at the root of all evil.

I find it hard to enlarge on the simple truth of this statement. I will however say that it is not really my work but a distillation of St Paul’s instruction to early Christendom to the effect that the love of money is the root of all evil.

I will also state that nothing in my life experience has made me doubt this truth. There may be other presenting issues that seem to be driving evil but in the end if you dig very far beneath them you will find greed. Or at least that has been my experience.

© 2010 Vic Jones


Wham bam thank you ma’am,

Fucked up the arse again,

’Tis a new law,

Made in haste,

’Cause it’s an emergency,

Never mind that the old laws aren’t bein’ enforced,

We just gotta pass some more laws,

To make sure all the people are confused,

And so the advent of a tyrant!

© 2010 Vic Jones

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lesson 20 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Practice gratitude you will improve yourself and the world.
Have you ever noticed how misery seems to accompany lack of gratitude? For example many people are born in the USA and inherit money yet seem to never be satisfied that the USA is a fairly decent place to live. No they want to live somewhere perfect (never realizing that if such a place existed the moment they entered it perfection would cease to exist) and so the current system must be destroyed so that a newer and better system can be emplaced. Never mind the chaos that the destruction of the current system will cause, it is necessary for progress.

I ask sincerely: progress toward what? More ungrateful people who make the whole world worse?

© 2010 Vic Jones

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lesson 19 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

The reason negative thinking works more often than positive thinking is that we are more apt to act on our negative thoughts than on our positive thoughts.

A fine example of acting (or not acting) on negative thinking is saying, ‘I can’t,’ when you (or I) say, ‘I can’t,’ we immediately act on that thought and simply refuse to try what ever it is that we said we could not do.

Wise people have told me (though I don’t do well at following their advice) that in order to overcome the tendency to say, ‘I can’t,’ I should look closely at one action that I’m avoiding by saying, ‘I can’t,’ and do that action to the best of my ability even if I don’t do well.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lesson 18 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

It is neither thoughts nor intentions that matter but actions and results. It does not matter how noble your thought or intention is; if what you do harms someone then your action is wrong!
As with many of the statements I make to add much to this would be to hide its profound simplicity. Yet I’ve been asked how can such a short simple statement possibly be profound?

Only a person who was purposefully looking for complications would insist that a simple concept naturally lacks depth.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lesson 17 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

If you concentrate on what is wrong in your life without seeking a solution you will never discover what could be right in your life.
Complaining never solves any problems. Concentration on problems rather than solutions always magnifies the problem rather than providing any way to overcome the problem.

In life you are faced with multiple choices every instant and each choice whether you acknowledge having made it or not affects the rest of your life.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lesson 16 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Both the sun and the rain are necessary for life. Therefore don't complain when either arrives in your life.
The lesson here is to remember not to complain about those things that are beyond your control. Then also it is wise to remember that most of the happenings that affect your life are beyond your control. It is also wise to remember that many things that seem at the time to be terrible are later found to have been good as they helped us grow.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Monday, December 13, 2010
















© 2010 Vic Jones

Saturday, December 11, 2010



My skin,

Does it matter what color it is?

Why do you care so much?

About my skin,

Rather than what is within?

What is your answer?

Shall we another generation birth,

To hate one another,

And carry forth the ancient war?

Or will we really learn not to hate,

Just ’cause you’re black and I’m not?

© 2010 Vic Jones

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lesson 15 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

It is easier to be a slave than it is to be free.
I’m sure there are people who will look at this statement and say that it is absolutely false. If you are one of those people I challenge you with this question: Do you love the work you are doing? If you don’t love the work you are doing why are you still doing it?

And finally how long have you been doing work that you don’t love?

The answers to these questions will tell you whether you are free or a slave.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lesson 14 from The Hard Knocks School of life

Change is inevitable; how you react to change will either make you a success or a failure. The first and most important attitude that anyone must have in the face of change is that change represents opportunity.
Success is always a function of how well you deal with unexpected opportunities.

A good question to ask yourself is: How are you doing at dealing with the opportunities that life has handed you?

© 2010 Vic Jones

Monday, December 06, 2010

Lesson 13 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

If you want to change the world start with yourself; ask this simple question: how can I be a better person. When you learn the answer to that question implement it and you will have changed the world for the better.
It is often said but not acted upon that you are the only person whom you control completely. Therefore you are the only person you can be sure of improving.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Lesson 12 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Find someone who needs help and help them. Do this personally and you will improve yourself and the world!
If you feel bad about the way someone is treated or is living it is your responsibility to help them. If you try to browbeat someone else into doing what you think is helpful rather than doing it personally you are a tyrant.

© 2010 Vic Jones

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Lesson 11 from The Hard Knocks School of Life

Keep your eyes on your goal and remember your plan... this is the essence of success. Without a plan and goal very few people succeed after they learn to walk and talk....
Or in other words learning to walk and talk are driven by necessity and do not require a set plan. But other activities beyond walking and talking are not always driven by necessity and therefore do require a plan and consistent work toward a goal in order to achieve success.

© 2010 Vic Jones

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