My Fav Newsletter :

This is the weekly digest by Maria Popova. If you missed last week’s edition — Rilke on how to break up with integrity and preserve friendship after romance, Adrienne Rich on how reading emancipates, a “new” Maurice Sendak book — you can catch up right here. And if you’re enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my labor of love with a donation – each month, I spend hundreds of hours and tremendous resources on it, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Tips on Writing

winterson.jpg?w=680In 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s classic 10 Rules of Writing published nearly a decade earlier, The Guardianinvited some of the world’s most celebrated living authors to share their own dicta of the craft. “Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied,”Zadie Smith counseled in the last of her ten. Midway through her list, Margaret Atwood grounded the psychological dimensions of the craft in the pragmatic and the physical: “Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.” Neil Gaiman thought eight rather than ten tenets would be sufficient — a meta-testament to his sixth: “Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.”

Among the contributors was Jeanette Winterson — a writer of exquisite prose and keen insight into the deepest strata of the human experience: time and languageour elemental need for belongingthe power of arthow storytelling transforms us.


Jeanette Winterson (Photograph: Polly Borland)

Winterson offers:

  1. Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.
  2. Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.
  3. Love what you do.
  4. Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are ­doing is no good, accept it.
  5. Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.
  6. Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.
  7. Take no notice of anyone with a ­gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.
  8. Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.
  9. Trust your creativity.
  10. Enjoy this work!

For more hard-earned guidance on the writing process from other titans of literature, see Henry Miller’s eleven commandments of writing, Eudora Welty on the art of narrative, Susan Sontag’s advice to writers, and T.S. Eliot’s warm, wry letter of advice to a sixteen-year-old girl aspiring to be a writer.

Interesting Prophecies

When the time comes that ice rains from the sky, a woman of grey shall usher forth an age of temptation.

The day the world turns to winter, the foreign one shall cause an aeon of fortune.

There comes a day when kingdoms collide, a man clad in green shall cause technological advancement.

Upon the day the dead rise, a forced marriage shall cause an age of sin.

The Trainer and the Hypnotist

The Trainer and the Hypnotist

Rhyming Couplet Ideas by jay

See the hopping of the Trainer,
I think he’s angry at the traynor.

He finds it hard to see the pig,
Overshadowed by the weird wig.

Who is that prowling near the snake?
I think she’d like to eat the stake.

She is but a hungry comedian,
Admired as she sits upon a garabedian.

Her scary car is just a chicken,
It needs no gas, it runs on ficken.

She’s not alone she brings a dog,
a pet fox, and lots of eggnog.

The fox likes to chase a cat,
Especially one that’s in the butterfat.

The Trainer shudders at the living duck
He want to leave but she wants the nuque.

Censored Dark Poetry

Friendship in a police station

Shadows in a strange town

First night in winter

Fantasies of a hotel

Stranger in a natural sanctuary

Cupid in a fire station

Invasion in a coral reef

World record in the garden of Eden

Peer pressure the broken bridge

Terror of a historical setting




Jealousy comes from the poverty of heart and is essentially selfish.

Jealousy is not born of love, but of petty mindedness and dies simultaneously with the death of petty mindedness.

Spiritual jealously leads to advancement, while material jealousy leads to ruination and hatred.



[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]

What is your Motto

Honor without dishonor.
For the people, for the realm.
Peace, equality, unity.
Protect, serve, progress.
Reap what you sow.
From the stars we came, to the stars we rise.
Inextinguishable light.
Life, death, balance.
Formed from many, now as one.
Forwards in unity.


RAK movement – Random Acts of Kindness for the day

  1. Volunteer your time for a good cause
  2. Recycle 3 things today
  3. Help a younger student with their work
  4. Save water – turn the tap off when brushing your teeth!
  5. Apologise to someone you may have hurt
  6. Make someone a cup of coffee
  7. Send a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life (a friend, family member, teacher etc.)
  8. Compliment someone today!
  9. Leave someone flowers anonymously
  10. Share your lunch with a friend

My best fav Newsletter :

This is the Brain Pickings midweek newsletter: Every Wednesday, I plunge into my twelve-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as a timeless pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s archival piece – Anaïs Nin on why emotional excess is essential to writing and creativity – you can read it here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

FROM THE ARCHIVE | Michael Rosen’s Sad Book: A Beautiful Anatomy of Loss, Illustrated by Quentin Blake

michaelrosenssadbook.jpg?w=680“Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be,”Joan Didion wrote after losing the love of her life. “The people we most love do become a physical part of us,”Meghan O’Rourke observed in her magnificent memoir of loss“ingrained in our synapses, in the pathways where memories are created.” Those wildly unexpected dimensions of grief and the synaptic traces of love are what celebrated British children’s book writer and poet Michael Rosen confronted when his eighteen-year-old son Eddie died suddenly of meningitis. Never-ending though the process of mourning may be, Rosen set out to exorcise its hardest edges and subtlest shapes five years later in Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (public library) — an immensely moving addition to the finest children’s books about loss, illustrated by none other than the great Quentin Blake.

With extraordinary emotional elegance, Rosen welcomes the layers of grief, each unmasking a different shade of sadness — sadness that sneaks up on you mid-stride in the street; sadness that lurks as a backdrop to the happiest of moments; sadness that wraps around you like a shawl you don’t take off even in the shower.

What emerges is a breathtaking bow before the central paradox of the human experience — the awareness that the heart’s enormous capacity for love is matched with an equal capacity for pain, and yet we love anyway and somehow find fragments of that love even amid the ruins of loss.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThis is me being sad.
Maybe you think I’m happy in this picture.
Really I’m sad but pretending I’m happy.
I’m doing this because I think people won’t like me if I look sad.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes sad is very big.
It’s everywhere. All over me.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThen I look like this.
And there’s nothing I can do about it.

What makes me most sad is when I think about my son Eddie. I loved him very, very much but he died anyway.

With exquisite nuance, Rosen captures the contradictory feelings undergirding mourning — affection and anger, self-conscious introspection and longing for communion — and the way loss lodges itself in the psyche so that the vestiges of a particular loss always awaken the sadness of the all loss, that perennial heartbreak of beholding the absurdity of our longing for permanence in a universe of constant change.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes this makes me really angry.
I say to myself, “How dare he go and die like that?
How dare he make me sad?”


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngEddie doesn’t say anything,
because he’s not here anymore.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes I want to talk about all this to someone.
Like my mum. But she’s not here anymore, either. So I can’t.
I find someone else. And I tell them all about it.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes I don’t want to talk about it.
Not to anyone. No one at all.
I just want to think about it on my own.
Because it’s mine. And no one else’s.

But what makes the story most singular and rewarding is that it refuses to indulge the cultural cliché of cushioning tragedy with the promise of a silver lining. It is redemptive not in manufacturing redemption but in being true to the human experience — intensely, beautifully, tragically true.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes because I’m sad I do crazy things — like shouting in the shower…


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes I’m sad and I don’t know why.
It’s just a cloud that comes along and covers me up.
It’s not because Eddie’s gone.
It’s not because my mum’s gone. It’s just because.



Blake, who has previously illustrated Sylvia Plath’s little-known children’s book and many of Roald Dahl’s stories, brings his unmistakably expressive sensibility to the book, here and there concretizing Rosen’s abstract words into visual vignettes that make you wonder what losses of his own he is holding in the mind’s eye as he draws.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhere is sad?
Sad is everywhere.
It comes along and finds you.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhen is sad?
Sad is anytime.
It comes along and finds you.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWho is sad?
Sad is anyone.
It comes along and finds you.


Complement the absolutely breath-stopping Michael Rosen’s Sad Book with Oliver Jeffers’s The Heart and the Bottle and the Japanese masterpiece Little Tree, then revisit Joan Didion on grief.

Bridging the Skills Gap | Longitudes

via Bridging the Skills Gap | Longitudes

  • October 4, 2018

Bridging the Skills Gap

Apprenticeships could help solve employment challenges around the world.

Editor’s note: Today is Manufacturing Day in the United States, and dozens of manufacturing companies around the country are opening their doors to teach students more about the evolving industry. There’s no doubt manufacturing has a bright future, and that bright future needs an equally bright workforce. In this article, UPS’s Frank Sportolari explains a tried-and-true method for attracting the talent that manufacturers need: apprenticeships. 

We need realistic solutions to help the workforce adapt to the modern world.

With a skills gap across numerous industries and advances in technology changing the future of work as we know it, labor has become a hot topic. This is especially prevalent in the manufacturing and engineering fields, where companies are struggling to recruit the talent needed to keep up with the demands of modern consumers.

No matter your political affiliation, one thing is certain: The global labor market has evolved, and regardless of the cause of this shift, we need realistic solutions to help the workforce adapt as well.

A possible solution? How about something championed by employers, educators and policymakers alike? I’m talking about dual education (known as duale Ausbildung in Germany).

The benefits of dual education

A dual education system combines apprenticeships and a vocational classroom education in one course. Nearly two out of three young Germans participate in the country’s dual education system, which covers hundreds of different occupations from mechanics to office workers to engineers to plumbers.

These programs provide job training and skills certification and often lead to a full-time job upon completion. And while companies need to invest in training, partnering community colleges, schools and local governments lessen the cost burden.

Duale Ausbildung has helped Germany keep its youth unemployment rate at 6.1 percent,less than half the EU average of 14.8 percent.

In return for investing in apprenticeship programs, companies benefit from a pipeline of highly trained workers. Apprenticeships also bolster recruitment, attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds – those people who too often go overlooked.

Students who go through apprenticeship programs reap many benefits as well. On-the-job training gives students a real view of what matters, helping them understand each component of a profession. It also gives students access to mentors who can teach them the ins and outs of the industry.

Perks for seasoned employees

While apprenticeships are valuable for young workers, older employees can also benefit from these programs. In many industries, limited job training opportunities also limit advancement opportunities for older workers. And while traditional retraining opportunities might require additional schooling, apprenticeships allow workers with families to continue making money – all while learning a new skill.

In addition to teaching workers valuable skills, apprenticeship programs also empower workers to start their own businesses in the future. By learning all the skills in a particular profession, apprentices gain the know-how and the connections needed to make the leap into entrepreneurship. In turn, this helps industries innovate and add new jobs.

Apprenticeships have the potential to make a big impact in almost every corner of the world, in both developed and developing nations.

Developed nations

In the U.S., most of today’s jobs require advanced skills – and often times, more than a high school degree. And while four-year degrees are more popular than ever, they can leave students with debt and underwhelming prospects.

Apprenticeships can reduce inequality and expand opportunityaround the world.

According to the National Skills Coalition, middle-skill jobs in computer technology, healthcare, construction, manufacturing and other fields account for 53 percent of the U.S. labor market, but only 43 percent of U.S. workers are trained to meet job requirements for these positions.

This skills gap is a growing concern: There will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020. This is due, in part, to the lack of solid training programs that give workers the adaptable skills needed to work in today’s modern workplace.

Through apprenticeship programs, U.S. workers get the training and technological expertise they need to be successful in the modern workplace.

But the U.S. isn’t the only country facing a skills gap.

Studies suggest that Great Britain will need more than 1 million new engineers and technicians by 2020. This requires doubling the country’s current number of engineering graduates.

And in Australia, skills gaps in manufacturing, tech and other industries are threatening the country’s growth prospects.

Throughout almost every developed nation, we are seeing a need for a more skilled and agile workforce, and apprenticeships may be the first step in the right direction to filling that need.

Developing nations

Apprenticeship programs don’t just benefit developed nations – they can help boost the labor markets in developing areas as well. For example, with a quarter of its 163 million people aged between 15 and 20, the labor market in Latin America holds a lot of promise.

However, according to the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, which ranks countries based on their ability to develop, attract and retain talent, Latin America lags behind. According to the index, the highest-ranking Latin American country is Chile – in 34th place.

As Latin American countries strive to achieve stable, sustainable economic growth, the need for skilled talent is becoming increasingly critical. Apprenticeships can help fuel that growth.

There is a lot of opportunity in Africa as well. As the African middle class continues to grow, rising consumer demands will spur unprecedented economic growth throughout the continent. In fact, by 2034, some African countries are expected to have a larger workforce than either China or India.

Apprenticeship programs have the potential to help address future labor shortages and will also help decrease the amount of youth unemployment on the continent.

Building a future

Apprenticeship programs are a productive solution to reducing inequality and expanding opportunity around the world.

The future of work is certainly changing, and we all must adjust accordingly. Making the investment in apprenticeships now will pay dividends in the future.

It’s a win-win for employees looking to advance in the world of tomorrow and employers scrambling to keep up with the lightning-fast pace of international commerce.

In July, UPS pledged to provide enhanced workforce opportunities to more than 50,000 UPS employees, including access to higher education, apprenticeships, up-skilling and retraining. UPS programs available to its employees include, among others, registered apprenticeships; “Earn and Learn” programs for higher education, as well as several community college partnerships; leadership classes and UPS’s next generation driver training program, UPS Integrad®. To learn more, visit