When commissioned to write a piece, the writer may work entirely from secondary source materials, entirely from primary source materials, or from some combination of the two.

These pieces were all written for a specific context, a specific audience. And in terms of source materials, they hit all three categories. Depending upon how closely the work must follow certain set parameters established by the client, and what kind of material they want woven in, the work sometimes resembles rewriting, sometimes not. Sometimes it is very much from scratch. 

The mind on writing

The results are preliminary and certainly (as has been remarked) inconclusive, but an intriguing functional MRI (fMRI) study done a couple of years back suggests that novice and experienced writers approach writing — the writing of fiction at any rate — very differently. It seems that novices think in pictures, while experienced writers think in words. It may be that the novices are transcribing into words the scenes they’re envisioning, while the experienced writers are instead constructing an internal narrative...
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Bound for glory

Alice follows the double at a slight distance, wheeling her launch around now to move from starboard to port. “Match hands out of bow,” she calls to the scullers. “Stay long.” The scullers move in unison, arms and body forward, body and arms back. Up to the catch, blades through the water, release. The movement is easy, familiar. Unless you look closely, you may not realize what’s very different in this boat: these scullers are rowing “dead slide.” The seat is fixed. There is no power coming from the legs, the traditional powerhouse of rowing. All the work instead is in the upper body.

Why do we write?

One may as well ask why we think. ¶ Why do we write? I’d say we write out of a desire to explore and to learn. Out of a desire to explain, to clarify, to share. Perhaps too — and surely this holds true for fiction, though why not nonfiction as well? — out of a desire to create. We write, some of us, because we must. It calls to us. It seems as natural as thought, and as inevitable. ¶ We write for the same reason that we read: for the sheer pleasure, the utter delight of it. To revel in the words...

The Google Cloud Adoption Framework

Moving to the cloud offers enormous benefits for businesses. Yet there are risks as well. The challenge is multidimensional, with far- reaching implications not just for the solutions that will run in the cloud, but also for the technologies that support them, the people who need to implement them, and the processes that govern them. The rubric of people, process, and technology is a familiar one. But how do you harness it to move forward? // Developmental editing and writing

Walkthrough: short blog post, deep edit

The original draft contained all the right ideas, but not quite sorted out yet. There was a hiccup after the second paragraph, with the text then sometimes revisiting the same points, sometimes jumping off into new directions. The fix? Moving things around and adding transitions. Along with just a bit of rephrasing. ¶ In the edited version, the writer’s ideas are trimmed and tidied. The themes of beauty on the outside and beauty on the inside are woven throughout the piece.

What do editors do?

You know we’ll get into levels of edit, right? ¶ Editors work with words on the page, helping to better shape their presentation and impact. They do this in various ways, depending in part upon how far along in the process the piece is, depending in part also upon what the piece needs — as long as the schedule supports it, of course. ¶ But, wait, you might ask, words alone? ¶ Well, no. Content. Words and whatever accompanies them on page or screen. Tables, charts and graphs, images, illustrations.

What’s best and more natural for your dog — raw or cooked food?

Should your dog go paleo? ¶ So, you’re convinced (as who wouldn’t be?) that commercial dog food is best avoided. If you’re the thoughtful type, wanting to do what’s best for the dog in your care, you’ll likely find yourself now deep in the knotty issue of whether to go raw or keep on cooking. ¶ It feels like raw would be healthier and more natural. It’s real food, right? Pure and unadulterated. It’s the food that wolves and other wild members of the family Canidae thrive on.

Russell Gernaat: profile of an elite para rower

Tall and sinewy, Russell Gernaat looks out over the deserted boatyard at the late afternoon water beyond. “I’d always wanted to row,” he says. “I’m talking, you know, ten years or more.” Gernaat became intrigued with rowing after trying out the rowing machines in the gym as a kind of warm-up, and liking the exercise. What might it be like to take that out onto the water?, he wondered. But with his work schedule, with young children at home, he hadn’t the time or the funds to take up the sport.

Seattle and Redwood City team up for the World Para Rowing Championship

Natalie and Russell’s first race was at the timed trials for the US National Team, only a month before, where they beat out the other para rowers in their category, earning them their shot at the World Championship. ¶ They’ve been rowing together since April. ¶ Their schedule is grueling — and unusual. Natalie lives in Seattle; Russell, on the San Francisco Peninsula. They do not train together daily or even weekly. Instead, Natalie flies down every five weeks and for four days they row together...

Turns out, dogs shouldn't eat “dog food”

When you look into it, it ain’t pretty We grew up with Lassie or Wishbone or Martha. Likely, we followed the adventures of Clifford or Mr. Peabody or Scooby Do. Maybe we cried for Old Yeller and Marley, rooted (and got a bit teary) for Skip, marveled at Hachi. And, of course, fiercely loved the dogs in our own lives. Then, when it came time to feed them, we turned to the brands we’d grown up with, the brands that promised us strong and healthy bones...

The new social media superstars: people like us

Screens are everywhere, always within reach. Their very ubiquity has helped fuel the meteoric rise of social media personalities, but it’s the nature of the content itself that fans the flames. Direct, personal, seemingly unscripted, this is content that offers viewers a window into the lives of real people, people (for so viewers feel) “just like us.” And that, for the primary audiences of much of this content — the teens and tweens — is what it’s all about: connection.

Petite, fluffy girl seeks loving home

This 13 pounds of love is in search of the perfect companion. ¶ Evie is looking for someone to snuggle with, someone to love. She's fine with other dogs in the household, large or small. Evie's all about the play (aggression's not her cup of tea, don't you know) - and then she's all about the nap that follows. She's dainty, is Little Evie Curlilocks, but get her outside with friends and her inner tomboy surfaces. Dog park, you say? Lead on!

The facts about pet food: rendered meat meals

You’ve been feeding your pet the packed pet food available in the market, right? Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients? ¶ Pet owners have been told that feeding their pets with commercial pet food, the sort typically found in grocery stores, is the best thing they can do for their dog or cat. And most pet owners believe it. They think of this processed pet food as being perfectly balanced for their pets’ needs. ¶ However, processed food is not good for our pets...
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