Smoke and Mirrors

On Smoke and Mirrors exhibition (Part One)

By Azadeh Nafissi

“Stories are, in one way or another, mirrors. We use them to explain to ourselves how the world works or how it doesn’t work. Like mirrors, stories prepare us for the day to come. They distract us from the things in the darkness.”  Smoke and Mirrors

Writing style is like body language

Writing style is very much like body language. The way words sit on the page sends the reader a subliminal message about how the writer expects us to respond just as body language tells us what emotion underlies what he or she is saying. Invariably we respond to the unspoken message rather than to the words which is why email can cause so much trouble. Often they are easily written without giving heed to the tone and because they are so devoid of emotion the reader easily projects his or her interpretation on to the communication.

Collaboration can Solve Business Problems.

Success is all about partnerships and relationships. When we acknowledge the achievements of one person we are in fact acknowledging the work of many.

Reviews are a writer’s lifeblood

Writers want to know what readers think of their writing.  They need to know in order to develop their craft.

There are a number of websites that post reviews: The obvious are Amazon and Goodreads.

But there is a whole plethora of other reviewers from which to choose.

The Story Mint’s first Google Hang Out

We gave Google Hangout a test run recently and are putting an edited version on You Tube within the next few days.

Raymond discusses the intricacies of self-publishing. He has put out three books now and has some useful advice for people who are new to it.  The first book he published took nine attempts to master the process which included formatting. He also points out the importance of marketing, a skill that goes against the grain for a large number of writers. Writers are usually more comfortable when they can focus on story lines and character development.

One billion illiterate people

Imagine creating the technology that makes illiteracy history. Check this out.   $15M Global Learning XPRIZE

There are one billion illiterate people on Earth. Two thirds of them are women and 250 million of them are children.

This figure comes from a company called xprize which has, as its strap line, Making the Impossible possible.

Being bilingual essential in today's world

Azadeh Nafissi is from Iran and her first language is Persian. I first met her at University when she was doing post graduate studies. We became firm friends and I saw first-hand how difficult life is when you are not a native speaker of English. Not only was she dealing with a course that demanded scholarship and intellectual rigour but she began to think in English before producing assignments that made sense to her markers. It was a huge task and all credit to her she got through.

On writing skills in 2nd language

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe” Gustave Flaubert

Writing well is about the energy behind the words

Many years ago I faced a crisis. I know everyone does so I have no hesitation in admitting I am no different.

I had to decide what I was going to do with the next decades of my life because circumstances had taken away all my options. It felt like I had nowhere to turn and in that moment I turned to the only place left….inside. I had been avoiding that place all my life so it was a frightening prospect.

In that place I fearfully entered I found a shivering little bundle of terror. It hardly dared to speak. I had been shouting it down for so long it cowered from me.

Every beat counts

When I was at University many years ago I was doing a post graduate Diploma in Broadcast Communication. It was the pre cursor to the programme AUT now runs for aspiring television, media and communications professionals. We were given practical skills in developing media stories and getting them to air. One of the first exercises we were set was to put together a video clip which used a sound track with images cut to it. I chose ‘It’s a Kind of Magic’ by Queen.


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