Monthly Archives: July 2015

Why do we write?

updated 4 Jan 2016

Every successful author understands that writing is a business involving their craftsmanship in the art of time travel. As we are people of community – it’s wired into our DNA to share, to relate, to build bridges of understanding – we write not for ourselves, that’s just narcissism expressed in ink (or electrons as in our case!).

We write to enthrall, to capture our reader’s attention, pulling them out of the fog of modern media into the transformation from “searching” (Hebrew: dodim, לַחשׁוֹק), to secure and self-giving (Hebrew: ahabà, אַהֲבָה). Celebrate our newest business fable by signing up for a character sketch from the forthcoming Dividing by Zero.

Sign up above for a free chapter

Welcome to our first chapter giveaway! There’s no contest, just sign-up above (blue bar) to get your choice of one of 12 chapters in the current character sketches of

Dividing by Zero is the 4th volume in the Blue Two™ saga of business fables from Skerja Press.
Image: Rock Eel Digital

Dividing by Zero, part of the Blue Two series of business fables. These are works in progress so if you see typos or have comments on structure, content, etc. we’re all ears! (or more likely eyes, unless you reach out via Skype…)

What you get: While the chapters are primarily in English (with some foreign text in a European setting), from where you sit, you might call your gift various names:

  • » chapitre libre (FR)
  • » capítulo gratis (ES)
  • » capitol gratuit (RO)
  • » rozdziału książki darmo (PL)
  • » ελεύθερο κεφάλαιο (GR)
  • »(HE) פרק בחינם
  • kapitolu ktieb b’xejn (MT)
  • »(AR) الفصل مجانا
  • » бесплатная книга глава (RU)
  • » free chapter (EN) (free book chapter in some translations above)

If we get a wildly successful response, we’ll have to automate the fulfillment. At this point, we’re purposefully increasing customer friction (à la Ash Maurya), following Paul Graham’s advice to do things that do not scale, (with a counterpoint by Stella Garber).

Sample chapters are gradually being loaded on Scriggler for preview & comment:

Ch 1: Waterfall

Where we meet the Iverson family and experience them welcoming Felix Dickerson into the fold as Felix and Vivian are courting.

Ch 2: Proposal

Where Felix turns a 15 second marriage proposal into a 15 day treasure hunt, culminating in an acapella concert. By overwhelming the senses (short-term), Felix creates time-release memories that unfold a richer, more rewarding experience as their love matures. Their engagement party celebrates the feastday of St. Charbel Maklouf, on the 24th of July.

As a Lebanese Maronite monk, St. Charbel and his fellow present-day Lebanese Catholics provide us an Arabic viewpoint refreshingly more wholesome than the terrorist images constantly fed over mass media.

Ch 3: Honeymoon

Where Vivian praises her parents’ subtle genius in the way they shielded her from teen girl angst, keeping her formative years of 14-24 focused on faith, family and inspired mentor-based fellowship.

Ch 4: Design

Where Felix’s designs for Vivian’s competition dress in a big band jazz dance contest, and his understanding of Theology of the Body as the language of love, takes Vivian’s breath away.

Ch 5: Breakfast

Where we meet Greg and Melissa as they build their new life together in the textile technology center of Łódź, Poland.

Ch 6: Endowed

Where Vivian and Melissa collaborate on disruptively innovative designs for women’s activewear.

Ch 7: Reacquainted

Where Chris and Hillary reconnect from originally meeting at Greg and Melissa’s wedding three years prior. Hillary presents a new STEM-focused communications model over several lunches, events and dinners.

Ch 8: Endeavors

ying-yang talk logo
Image: Rock Eel Digital
In modern equal-opportunity fashion, Hillary treats Chris to Sunday brunch at the very exclusive venue Endeavors, where they continue to develop action plans for her ‘Speak Your Customer’s Language’ project that is central to driving engagement at scale.

Ch 9: Love & Laughter

Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man overlaid with the STI Press logo
Image: Rock Eel Digital

While baking several varieties of bread in Chris’s gourmet kitchen, they devise a plan to square the circle of male-female communications, in business, sports and family life, with a lighthouse motif that gives an easy-to-follow practice for translating between relationship-centered and transaction-centered speech.

Ch 10: Dinner & Dancing

Where curried chicken provides the start to a captivating evening that closes with Bergman & LeGrand.

Ch 11: Just a walk in the park

Over a series of walks and a picnic, Chris and Hillary discuss the merits of an unlevel playing field.

Ch 12: Crossing the Bridge

Detailed mentorship notes reviewing the concepts covered in each of the chapters, unifying the aspects of business intimacy around the axes of servant-hearted leadership (feeling), interactions (transparency) and trust.

So why do we create?

By engaging words to serve, we gain purchase (archaic use of the word) into the heart and soul of people we may never meet in the flesh. Our role as a race, our vocation as writers, is transform those we encounter, along the continuum of selfish-to-selfless. Remember that old-fashioned meaning of the word purchase when you’re (re-)designing your customer flows, week-to-week, fortnight-to-fortnight, quarter to quarter and managing expectations moment-to-moment.

It is literally true (pun fully intended!), that our purpose as writers echoes the purpose of the human family: to inspire, mold, shape and guide those we love to the best version of themselves.

Just like Ricardo Semler relates Arie de Geus’s joke of talking to his dog (https://youtu.be/JJ0FQR2gXe0?t=20m40s), I learnt some of the most important things I know by listening to my German Shepard…

from N°6 of the encyclical Deus es Caritas

http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est.html

“According to the interpretation generally held today, the poems contained in [the Song of Songs] were originally love-songs… First here is the word dodim, a plural form suggesting a love that is still insecure, indeterminate and searching. This comes to be replaced by the word ahabà, which the Greek version of the Old Testament translates with the similar-sounding agape, which, as we have seen, becomes the typical expression for the biblical notion of love.”

Authors: All the best in your journey of learning to make time stand still for your readers.

Readers: Rejoice and savour the journey of those authors who make time stand still for you. Buy their books for your friends and loved ones. Host book feasts, parties and readings. Have fun making the world a better place because you’ve read good books and lived out what you’ve read.