Book Review: The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

The Veritable Scaffolding For Writers Of All Types

ElementsOfStyle4thEd
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 26, 2017

“If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away.”
– Victor Hugo

Once  rated “one of the 100 most influential books written in English” by Time magazine in 2011, The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White is a systematic book which employs a no-nonsense approach on enduring principles of sound writing.

Cogent, concise and methodical, The Elements Of Style provides the firm foundation upon which writers can construct or improve their repertoire.

Featuring advice that is as simple as it is timeless, the book’s easy-to-follow approach allows for the incisive individual to become more robust with the principles of writing, while honing their own individual style as well.

Undoubtedly, some of these tenets will be familiar to some of you.  Even so, many are oft-overlooked and having them around to reference is quite convenient.

For a book that is nigh a century old, it still ‘packs a punch’.  Incidentally, that prior figure of speech, “packs a punch,” for instance, dances along the line of Style Rule #18: Use Figures Of Speech Sparingly.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have been used, perhaps so.  But having read this book, as a writer, I am consciously thinking of how the use of diction affects everything.  Ruminating a bit, perhaps, instead of writing that the book still “packs a punch,” I could have written “this book provides a treasure trove of insights for writers.”  Even though the first sentence gets the meaning across, the second one is smoother, and accomplishes the same thing in amenable fashion.    That is merely one example of the possibilities that this book will allow the shrewd writer to undertake once he begins to firmly inculcate its lessons and employ them therein.

Great writing, like a sound structure, can only take place with a firm foundation.  The scaffolding for that will undoubtedly require the insights of this book.  If you know all of them by heart, you’re one step ahead.  If not, then ponder getting this book.  And considering that these days, many people communicate with others through the written word on the Internet, it would be prudent to learn these tenets since they will undoubtedly help those who need to employ them.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

TheWarOfArt
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 11, 2017

The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield is a very innovative way to look at the resistance individuals face when attempting to walk the path of a creatively conscious life.

Because resistance is something that we all face in one way shape or form [i.e. procrastination], this book is a book that stands to help everyone in their own unique way.

Pressfield minces no words in his apt definition of what holds creative individuals back:  Resistance.

Resistance is what leaves most of us feeling like abject failures after we’ve lost multiple bouts with it.  The paradox of this conundrum is that Resistance isn’t as untouchable as it might seem at first blush.  Yes, Resistance is the paradise of procrastination on the creative path, it is the ultimate obstacle, the veritable Darth Vader.   As such, resistance is the epitome of self-sabotage.  But, therein lies the key to this curious conundrum: self.

Maraudering deep within our darkest realm, Resistance is the ultimate enemy which seeks to slay every one of our hopes, and cast limitations into each and every one of our dreams.

As Pressfield points out:

“Resistance is a bully.  Resistance has no strength of its own; it’s power derives entirely from our fear of it.  A bully will back down before the runtiest twerp who stands his ground.”[1]

In other words, if the percipient individual – guided by the self – is to overcome this ruthless opponent, they need to face it head on.  As the saying goes, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  Like the ego, it only grows when you feed it, so cutting Resistance of at the pass is crucial.  And this is where this book shines.

The War of Art is split into 3 parts.  In Part One, Pressfield shows a plethora of ways in which Resistance can be better understood.  Thereafter, Book Two features ways that the individual can tackle resistance in myriad ways, while Book Three goes beyond into deeper ruminations on invoking the ever-elusive Muse.  He also covers what separates amateurs from professionals, and an unorthodox – but refreshing – look at the artist and how the artist fits into the grand scheme of things.  The book yields more, but those are the core concepts.

As the author aptly notes, if Resistance couldn’t be overcome, the great works that humanity has wouldn’t be available these days.

If you are an individual who runs head on into Resistance daily – and who doesn’t? – or needs a healthy dose of inspiration, this book will definitely help you handle those in spades.  And if you seek to live a more creative life, whether by hobby or profession, then this is a must read.

Pressfield’s unorthodox approach to invoking the Muse is a breath of fresh air, and one that we can all relate too.  In his own words:

“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication.  She approves.  We have earned favor in her sight.  When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings.  Ideas come.  Insights accrete.

“Just as Resistance has its seat in hell, so Creation has its home in heaven.  And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and creative ally.”[2]

After reading the book, my only regret was that the book was not longer.  That’s the sign of a good book.

If you want an active ally to accompany you in your personal battleground against Resistance and need a spark to light the tinder of action, get this book.
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Source:

[1] Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art, p. 99.
[2] Ibid., p. 108

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

March Book Haul 2017

MarchBookHaul.jpg

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 6, 2017

This month there were some serendipitous finds within the realm of books and reading that help feed the addict’s voracious hunger.  The topics are wide in scope as they are intriguing, and have made for some thought-provoking reading when I’ve had the time.

#1: The Nuclear Axis: Secret Collaboration Between West Germany & South Africa by Zdenek Cervenka & Barbara Rogers

The title says it all. This book details the connection between West Germany and South Africa, which is actually more disturbing than at first blush.  The book also delineates which other countries were involved in this fiasco besides South Africa, and shows that Germany, who went on record never to create nuclear weapons post World War 2, became in fact a de-facto nuclear power.  Then again, it shouldn’t be shocking considering that Germany’s attempted world domination in three previous instances.

#2:  Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Daily Living by Bruce Lee

Knowing that Bruce Lee is the epitome of Individuality, reading about him has been something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.

This book has been an inspiring read.  Due to its format, the book can be read straight through, or just broken up into small pieces given that it’s not a book which builds on itself like most non-fiction books.  For me the latter method has worked better.

Usually just slice off a few pages on a daily basis as the aphorisms give one much to ponder about in unexpected ways.  Granted, some of the aphorisms are fairly straight forward, but there’s plenty of insights to be had if one remains open minded.

#3Culture As History: The Transformation Of American Society In The Twentieth Century by Historian Warren Susman

Wishing to learn more about the change culture American culture has gone through, this book felt like a natural pick considering it was mentioned in Susan Cain’s Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.  In Quiet, Cain mentions how in her book Culture As History historian Susman covers the transition between the culture of character to a culture of personality.  Seeing the results of this change in modern times, thought it prudent to go back in time and see where society began changing.  Predictably, there was serious social engineering and propaganda taking place to bring this about.   I am definitely looking forward to research this topic further down the line.

#4:  The War Of Art: Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles  Steven Pressfield

This book barely became known to me a few weeks ago.  Being the book-addict that I am, initially, I told myself not to purchase this or any other book for that matter until catching up on some reading, but after about a week of pondering, I just couldn’t resist.  This merits a shout out to all bodacious bloggers that feed that addiction!  [If you got time and want to check out another fellow wordpress blogger on all things writing, click this link to check out Calliope Writing]

This book is like the Art Of War but doused with much inspiration and creativity.  If there’s even one cell of creativity within you, ruminate upon getting this book.

#5:  Speed: Facing Our Addiction To Fast & Faster – And Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down by Dr. Stephanie Brown Ph.D.

This book covers society’s addiction to living at the vanguard at Warp 9.  This book brings about quite a few different concerns, especially considering that a sizeable portion of society follows the actions noted in this book to a tee, particularly the younger generations.  If you have young ones or know of anybody that might be plugged in to the matrix 24/7 so to speak, considering having them get this book.  There’s a review of it here.

#6:  UFOs for the 21st Century Mind by Richard Dolan

If you’ve ever wondered about where to start regarding the abstruse subjects of UFOs, START HERE.  Even if you have, this book still offers a lot of value given the severity of the subject.  Having read dozens of books on this subject, many books usually end up leaving the reader wanting more.  Additionally, there really isn’t anything as comprehensive and detailed as this.  The book is sourced to the hilt, is written in an easy to follow manner and considers a serious topic in a sobering and yet thought provoking way.  There’s a review that was written on this here.

#7J.R.R. Tolkien’s: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter

Having binged on many Tolkien books in February, and having heard from John Taylor Gatto that reading many biographies allows individuals the foresight to see things they might have not seen, thought getting this book would be a prudent choice.  Haven’t delved into it, but hopefully am able to within the next month or so.

#8:  The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Along the same lines as the above, this book was purchased in order to brush up a bit on one of the Founding Fathers through the autobiographical lens.  It’s definitely fascinating getting an inner look at one of the people responsible for helping create America.  It helps put things into perspective in a way that history books lack.   Review will come up soon.

#9:  The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

This book was purchased with the intention to grow and learn as a writer.  Being an autodidact and seeking to teach myself more on this lengthy subject, this seemed like a prudent place to start.  BOY WAS IT WORTH IT.  The book, although small in size, offers much knowledge to glean from it.  If you’re a writer, you need to get this book for the tenets within it will undoubtedly help you grow.  That said, there is a newer version of this book available.  Found this out about a week after purchasing the first one, go figure!  Given that it isn’t in my hands yet, I can’t vouch for it, YET, but once it gets here it will be read and reviewed in due time.

Why read a book similar to one just read?  Great question.  Because the 4th Edition of Elements of Style offered so much, I thought that if the new book followed through and offer even more information than the previous book, why not give it a gander?  Might end up gifting the other one out to a friend, but either way, the investment will be well placed.

#10:  The Book Of Virtues: A Treasure Of Great Moral Stories by William J. Bennett

A veritable treasure trove of insights on virtue from countless angles, this book homes in on many of the core tents that used to get taught in society but don’t get taught as much nowadays.  It seems like a great place to seek historical sources that showcase virtues within literature.

#11:  Sekret Machines: Gods: Volume 1 Of Gods Man & War by Tom DeLonge & Peter Levenda

I reviewed this book a few weeks ago and predictably, it is being censored by Amazon, as per usual.  If you want to read how to verify the censorship, read the next bracketed paragraph, and if not, just skip it for the synopsis.

[This can be verified simply.  Click on the link above, scroll down to the reviews, and then take a look at the two pictures to the right of customers who took pictures of the book.  The picture on the right under the name ZyPhReX, was the review done by me.  As you can see from the picture, I gave the book 3 stars.  Now, when you go back into the original book link, and click to check on all reviews that gave the book 3 stars, my review will NOT be showing whatsoever.  My contention is that not only is my review critical of this book in sobering fashion, but it also outlines alternative books to this topic, and that’s something the consortium hates to hear.  Regardless of the reason, the Book Review being censored is ludicrous since it follows all guidelines by Amazon, and the review is even shown under the picture.  And no, this isn’t the first time and its happened and doubt it will be the last.]

My original thoughts were that since Peter Levenda is a top-notch researcher, of whom many books I own, and seeing as DeLonge seems to have a genuine curiosity on the subject, the book might be a good read.  Boy was I wrong!

Although the book does feature intriguing information, the authors paint a picture that’s quite bleak of humanity, even using the parlance of “Cargo Cult” for humans and even go on to write about humanity as if wholly incapable, even there’s plethora of evidence showing otherwise.

Moreover, the authors take a very narrow point of views in explaining UFOs, which is quite detrimental.  Not that beings from another place visiting the Earth is out of the question, far from it, but to use a one dimensional approach to explain a multi-dimensional issue served to make this book a catastrophe.

As I noted in the review of this book:

“… one particular point that was quite disconcerting is the fact that the authors take a unilateral point of view of making it seem like UFOs can only be explained by the alien mythos.  While this is certainly one possibility, and one with some solid grounding, it is not the only one, and not by far.  Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, Walter Bosley, and others have come up with an equally arguable case that argues for human ingenuity as one possible way to explain some UFOs.”

Lastly, a rather unexpected find was being able to get almost 20 National Geographic magazines, each for 10 cents at the library.  I am sharing this in hopes for people to realize that sometimes at local libraries there are incredible deals if you happen to venture there at the right time.

That said, did any of you purchase any intriguing books recently?  If so, what were they?  I am always genuinely curious as to what other individuals read and find intriguing. A significant portion of what I choose to read is because of what other people have made known to me, either directly or indirectly, and  this is my attempt to pay it forward.

Hope you are all well and have a great week.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

300 Word Memories #1 – Growth

future

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 24, 2017

Earlier today it became known to me, through the expertise of John Taylor Gatto that decades ago Harvard used to require students in the liberal arts department to write 300 word passages in order to hone their writing skills.  The effect of this was phenomenal, and was noted years after this particular generation of graduates made their way into the workforce.

Gatto noted that those individual students who were exposed to such an idea and who were urged to execute it correctly found growth as writers that nobody could have even fathomed.

In small part, this idea can be corroborated by me, to a certain extent, through my work in reviewing books.

Nigh three years ago my skillset in writing reviews was average at best.  Although this fact was known to me, it didn’t deter me to attempt to grow as a writer/reviewer at the time.  Naturally, the only option that seemed reasonable at the time was to write more, and do more reviews.  At the time, admittedly, it seemed rather simplistic.  However, we all know how much we learned by doing, so it didn’t seem like it was such a bad idea.

Now, a handful of years later, it’s been quite the journey in being able to grow as a writer/blogger in many ways and be able to relate my ideas in a much more incisive and cogent fashion.  Realizing this a few months ago, it was rather inspiring because, having seen a few of my older reviews, it became quite apparent that not only my suspicion of my work being ‘so-so’ of the past correct, but my suspicion of growth through using the mirror of time – the past – also helped me glean some satisfaction in the fact that the hard work was paying off, even if at times it seems rather sluggish.

Having gone through this mental growth-spurt of sorts, am appreciative of having this obstacle be in my path, and in choosing to make it an opportunity for a jump off point, because it’s helped me grow in more ways than would have seemed possible in the past.

In any case, may the next obstacle opportunity on my path be sizeable, because the growth experienced from immense obstacles opportunities is much greater than that experience gained from smaller ones.

May you always be ironclad in your passions, and relentless in your resolve.

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

To Writers & Aspiring Writers

Writing as a Manifestation Tool | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
August 18, 2016

It may sound strange in this era of the exploding internet, but we need more writers. Many more.

We need people who are inspired to develop their own voice, their own unique approach.

We don’t need more cookie-cutter. There is enough of that.

The world needs to learn that UNIQUE VOICE is the magic that unseats conventional reality all the way down to its foundation.

That has always been one of the central jobs of the writer.

In this day and age, we are losing so much of that electricity people don’t even realize what it is. They equate writing with information, as if the two were the same. If you try to dissuade them, they give you a blank look.

Without trying to re-visit many pieces I’ve written about mind control…conventional reality is achieved through ongoing mass hypnosis. The trance induces monotone perception. This trance fits in nicely with a person’s view of language. He sees it as nothing more than a carrier wave for packets of data.

But writing (and all art) has the potential to wake people up from the trance that tells them reality is sober, dispassionate, surgical, gray, uninspired, and without life-force.

Minus individual life-force, people will never discover the most basic thing happening “behind the curtain.” Why? Because the main thing happening behind that curtain is the repression of electricity of soul.

UNIQUE VOICE in writing points to that electricity and energy and fire, because that’s where it comes from.

Many writers today don’t read. They don’t read Henry Miller or Walt Whitman or William Carlos Williams or David Lindsay or or Li Po or Dylan Thomas or Yeats or Rimbaud…

They miss the fire. They have the gift right in front of them, but they don’t know it.

If they’ve been educated, their teachers have pounded them into silence with a critic’s approach to literature. The critic, in one way or another, is always taking apart the work of a writer, as if to reveal how the writer is putting sentences together—this is farce. The critic has no clue. He’s dipping his hand in the river of energy and claiming to be able to separate the each rapid from each other rapid.

He’s saying that what the writer did from the fire of inspiration was constructed, molecule by molecule, in a sanitized brightly lit language lab.

To be sure, the writer needs a broad and deep understanding of language (from reading, where else?). But that is just step one.

Imagination is step two through step 500000000000.

There is the great adventure for the writer.

And in imagination, he finds the river. Many rivers.

He invents a UNIQUE VOICE(s). With it, he shatters complacent and conventional reality. He topples pillars, and cracks foundation stones. He flies off to other places.

This is a revolution that, finally, dissolves mind control and the trances of The Monotone.

The writer can do this.

More riverboat-gambler writers can do more of it.

This has to do with freedom. Not freedom as a potted plant in the window or as an old principle described in sodden prose. Freedom is a dynamo. If it is living.

This is why we need more WRITERS.

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
_________________________________________________________________Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

Sanctum Of Darkness

WD1
Sanctum Of Darkness

Calmly, a candle is lit
Infusing light
Into the endless darkness.

With shadows running
They get to work
Mysteriously crafting boundless landscapes
By the tip of the pen.

When the work is done
The candle is put out
ever so softly.

Thereafter the shadows return to witness a new masterpiece
Written in their DNA – pure darkness
They realize they are home.

By: Zy Marquiez
July 9, 2016
TheBreakaway