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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#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

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 journals to reduce stress or to record life’s events for posterity, and writers especially should make use of this creative outlet. Journaling can be a great tool for writers—the journal becomes a repository for fresh ideas and a safe place to write. Whether it’s a spiral notebook or a leather-bound book with a beautiful cover, a writer’s journal should be a source of inspiration.

There is an endless variety of journals to choose from. Select something that inspires you, that makes you eager to crack your journal open and turn to a fresh page. A beautiful diary with fun pockets or an elegant cover will make writing a pleasure. Invest in a fun or really fancy pen to use just for your journaling. Then, you are always ready to write!

Keep your journal handy for jotting down those whimsical ideas or brilliant first sentences that pop into your head at the oddest moments. If your journal is large or bulky, keep a spiral-bound pocket-sized notebook around. You can then transfer your ideas to the larger journal.

Write regularly and on a schedule. Get into the habit of writing each day, and you’ll be perfecting your craft at the same time.

A journal is meant for no one’s eyes but your own, so let those ideas flow unfettered. A little stream of consciousness is good for the soul, and no one will be looking over your shoulder, judging you on punctuation issues or your choice of simile. Sometimes when we let ourselves go and just write, we gain priceless personal insights—and these insights can help us to be better writers.

Later on, you can use your journal entries to write a memoir of your life before you became a famous writer!

If the ideas aren’t flowing, try some writing prompts and power your way through writer’s block. Sometimes the very act of writing will clear the path for new ideas and recharge your sagging muse. A Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux includes writing prompts applicable to either prose or poetry at the end of many chapters.

Some writers add newspaper clippings, sketches, or magazine articles to their journals—anything that inspires them. Others keep pictures or make lists. That’s the beauty of a journal—there are no rules, and this freedom is the catalyst that can unleash your creativity.

We can also go paper-free and buy journaling software, keeping a record of our thoughts and ideas on our personal computers. These programs have the standard word-processing capabilities, and most allow the user to add graphics, sound bites, and charts. If you’re thinking of buying, try the 30-day free trial period available with most of the software. If a trial period is not available, make the most of user-review sites like www.epinions.com. A few to check out:

Alpha Journal (www.alpharealms.com/journal/index.htm)

Digital Diary (www.ajebe.com)

The Journal (www.davidrm.com)

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.</span?