Selling your books – beware the anchoring effect

This article is from The Conversation; a news outlet funded by a number of universities, and it describes a psychological heuristic called the anchoring effect. I came across it as an undergraduate back in the last Ice Age and I’d forgotten about it but this reminder is timely. Exposure to a given top (or bottom) price makes us adjust our expectations as to what a fair price might be. In this example, seeing a ludicrously priced TV makes the next item on sale seem reasonable despite still being far greater than you might have considered acceptable without that first cognitive … Continue reading Selling your books – beware the anchoring effect

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Sugar and Snails – a novel by Anne Goodwin

This début novel, published by Inspired quill which “pledg[es] a percentage of profits to different charities, running heavily subsidised workshops, or donating books to those who may not have access to them otherwise” is a searing tale of personal discovery made all the more authentic by the fact that the author is a psychologist and knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the way human distress and disorganisation presents itself. My review is here The Psychologist and the book is here. It’s a cracking read. Continue reading Sugar and Snails – a novel by Anne Goodwin

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‘Lovely Girls’

From the re-cycler ; ‘Lovely Girls’ is a story about the life of a young woman in an institution for people with learning disabilities. Amy watches the door; that grimy, finger-stained, gobbed-on portal to fleeting respite from the chronic stink that makes her eyes water. First published by The Other Room Journal, it moved to Scribd when TORJ ceased operating. 1999 words.   Continue reading ‘Lovely Girls’

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Itty bitty survey – results are in!

On April 3rd, I asked for some help with a survey and an astonishing sixty six of you took part. In fact this was not a survey so much as an experiment aimed at teasing out a bit of evidence relating to that oft-quoted rule regarding the number of characters a short story can accommodate [three, evidently]. In a recent tutorial piece of around 5000 words, I had four characters and I was challenged to consider whether I could lose one by giving his actions to another. Well, I rather liked ‘Eric’ even though [maybe because] he is a vulnerable little weasel who takes out on others the injustices he … Continue reading Itty bitty survey – results are in!

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Some fact with your fiction

I used to think creativity and imagination had nothing to do with science until I heard that a significant number of NASA scientists had developed their interests through reading and watching science fiction. While Gene Roddenberry was boldly going, courtesy of fantastic warp drive technology, these chaps were figuring out how to build it. So now we have scanners Dr McCoy would find handy, information tablets that outclass the gizmos a red shirt would offer to the Captain for signature, and communication devices that can access the world, not just one contact point. There’s probably an app in development for … Continue reading Some fact with your fiction

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This ikigai stuff is dangerous!

There I was, ticking along with the bi-partite job bringing in the money and the sense of having a handle on things while I scratched away at snippets of fiction, then one sniff of ikigai and I’m thinking ‘novel’! How does that happen? How will it happen? I’m pretty familiar with project management and, way back in oooh-you-don’t-want-to-know, determined that my PhD was only going to take as long as I was being paid for so I’ve already got three years in my head. I’m conveniently ignoring the fact that I’m still working full time but I wonder if I should … Continue reading This ikigai stuff is dangerous!

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