The Future of #Writing: Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Humans in Deciding the Fate of Manuscript Submissions?

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Melanie V. Logan

This quote from Georgina Cromarty’s post about writing and artificial intelligence practically blew my mind.

“Some writers will see AI manuscript evaluations as a blessing since it takes the subjective human out the loop.

…And some may see it as a threat.”

Yes, I’ve worked in the IT field for 20+ years.  Yes, I understand what the ones and zeros are all about, and the inner workings of software and hardware.  Yes, I know technology brings about modern convenience, and can spout an answer to the hardest equations with speed and ease.  But with all of that, do I trust it wholly?  No!  Here’s why.

Mankind believes computers are smart.  The reality is that technology is only as great as the humans that make it.  And of course we know that humans are bound to mistakes.  So, technology is too.  Nothing is perfect.

So when I think about artificial intelligence…

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Interesting People in #Writing: Jackie Carter

Melanie V. Logan

roanoketimes_jackiecarterIt’s amazing the jewels you find when you least expect them.  Last week while perusing the newspaper of my former hometown (Roanoke, Virginia), I came across the obituary of Jackie Carter.  Some of you may have known her already, but for me it’s all new.

Mrs. Carter was not only an author and editor of children’s books, she also made an impact in racial diversity in learning materials for kids with companies such as Scholastic, Sesame Street, and Disney.  But, when you read about her legacy, what is most fascinating (at least to me) isn’t want she accomplished in the writing world.  It was three things.  She continued to work and flourish as she battled lymphoma, advocated for the education of boys of color, and was buried in Roanoke.

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#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

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Melanie V. Logan

There are moments in my life when I have so much clutter in my brain that it’s hard to think straight. Then there are other times a recent event reminds me of a fond memory, and I want to capture it. That’s when the mighty paper and pen come in handy.

Journaling has a variety of benefits:

  • Helps clear the mind
  • Serves as a visual reminder of things accomplished/lessons learned
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Keepsake for family members after we’re long gone

In Ruth Folit’s article Why Good Writers Keep Journals, journaling helps writers find their voice.  It opens a world through introspection and insight to people and things around them.  This peek into life can be beneficial for creating realistic characters and storylines.

The piece below from Writer’s Relief expounds on the above concepts in more detail, and provides a guide for effective journaling.

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Many of us keep…

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Feeling Nostalgic

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Melanie V. Logan

Today I’m sitting in bed, sick with what I call a climate cold.  It always seems to hit me whenever the seasons change.  Ughhh!  But on a good note, I’ve been passing the time rummaging through Etsy looking at vintage stuff.  I came across a picture of a hobby horse (thought they were called hoppy horses for the longest) and it sparked one of my childhood memories.

When I was 2 years old, my mother gave me a bath.  Afterwards she told me to go to my room and wait for her to put on my clothes.  For whatever reason, I disregarded what she said and headed outside…in the front yard…where cars passed up and down the road….naked.

meI mounted my plastic springy horse and was having the time of my life.  I recall some people laughing and pointing while others waved and honked horns.  I’d wave back and continue…

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Unlucky in #Love, Lucky by Circumstance

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Melanie V. Logan

WeddingGameIdeas

The employee area in the casino sat quiet though littered with staff on break. Each stayed in their own bubble until the resident bartender and sometime funnyman entered.

“Ralphie!!!” The greeting sounded like an episode of Cheers.

“Hey guys…Larry, Jim.”

Ralphie grabbed a snack from the vending machine, then sat at a wood laminate table.

The employees circled around him.

“Whatcha got for us today?” It was hard to tell who asked due to the number of people.

“Oddest thing.” He paused to eat and swallow. “Five chicks walk into a bar.”

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Walking Down #Memory Lane on the 4th of July (Well almost…)

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Melanie V. Logan

I’ve always been a fan of colorful light effects like creative Christmas displays or fireworks on Independence Day.  With the latter, the loud boom can be distracting and somewhat scary – especially to a small child.

One 4th of July around ’81 or ’82, my parents packed me and my brother up in the family car, headed to the local high school parking lot.  Mama passed around the sandwich bags full of

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In remembrance…

About a month ago, I visited the family cemetery mentioned below.  The grass had been cut, but a lot of “settling” caused several headstones to topple over and others to sink in.

I stopped at the area where my mother, grandmother, and uncles are buried.  I reminisced about the time one of my uncles promised to buy me a Wanda Wee-wee doll for Christmas, and the time my grandmother tried beer but added sugar because it tasted “awful” on it’s own.

And then there was Mama.

I thought about how she taught me a lot of life skills at a young age.  They’ve proven quite effective in my decision-making as an adult.  And I remembered the time I begged for a Knit-Wit kit to make quilts and crafts with a rainbow of colors.  When it rained, she’d put on records we’d borrowed from the library while we twisted yarn around the Knit-Wit tools.  At best, I made the pom-pon tassels for the corners of the quilt my mom finished.

I attempted to locate my great-aunt’s plot, but wasn’t able to.  As I walked around, I felt a sadness.  Not just because my loved ones are gone.  Rather, the cemetery was empty.  There were no flowers -no weather-battered artificial bouquets or anything.

It made me think about how we remember our loved ones after they leave this earth.  Should it matter that we leave flowers or are the memories enough?

Melanie V. Logan

Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women in the armed forces who have served our country and lost their lives defending it. Cemeteries are adorned with flags and flowers to not only celebrate these lives, but also honor them.

But for me, Memorial Day has additional meanings. One, it’s a day my family and friends come together to barbecue and fellowship. Sometimes this is the only quality time we have together. We talk about days of ole and catch up on the latest happenings in each others’ lives. It’s a joyous occasion.

Two, I’m reminded of the diligence of my great-aunt Dollie who made it her mission to

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