August 18-19: Scapple; Slow Cook and Slow Writing; A Bump in the Road: My Study Idea Is Not Mine/New!!!

Slow Cooking and Slow Writing

So today I am trying a slow cooker pot roast recipe for the first time (pictures below). Here’s a link to a video demo made by Kraft: The video can be expanded to full screen.

It’s smells great, so I hope it tastes the same. It should be ready in another 4 hours or so.

If only slow writing was as “set-it-and-forget-it” as is slow cooking. No, slow writing is just the opposite: very . . . involved. I’ve been wrestling with the introductory paragraphs for a bit now, and I don’t have enough to show for the 6 hours I sat with it yesterday. To be honest, it should just be finished now. The main issue I’ve been having is to separate the introductory paragraphs into TWO sections: (1) introductory paragraphs and (2) a background of the study section. Currently, the introductory paragraphs are TOO numerous and lose the reader. 😦

A fortune cookie in Thursday night’s Panda Express meal said:

Fortune Cookie Near My Pancake Mix

And that’s exactly what I needed to do: Set. My. Mind. One small caveat, though . . .

A Bump in the Road: My Study Idea is Not Mine/New!

So I was trying to take the fortune cookie message to heart and was grabbing a quote from an old-to-me article when the UNTHINKABLE occurred: I encountered the idea for the study I am conducting already discussed in an article from 2004 by John Maxwell (he’s “big” in my field).

Eke! What to do?

Well, if I think about it, this news is not so bad. Yes–it feels like it steals thunder from my study, but if I use my ingenuity, I can allow this to strengthen my work.

A friend at PhinisheD gave me some good advice about how to proceed. Of course, I’m going to need to change my writing so that I am no longer saying, “Look! I have come up with this GREAT IDEA!” but instead am saying, “I’m going to apply Maxwell’s great idea in the following not-yet-done way!”

Sigh. What are you going to do?

Take aways: (1) Be prepared. (2) And remember: I am a newbie master’s degree student. Chances are, someone’s thought of what I’m thinking of. 😉

Carrying on, then!

Last Thing: Scapple

So, Literature and Latte have recently released a beta version of Scapple for Windows (not Scrapple, but Scapple :)). I gave it a whirl this weekend. It’s similar to mindmapping, but freer. They had already released a Mac version.

I try REALLY, REALLY hard to be selective about the technology I blog about, because we’re reaching a point of glut in some areas. Here’s why I think you want to give Scapple a whirl just to SEE if it’s something that will benefit you:

We think so much faster than we type. And our thinking does not start out in the perfectly formed paragraphs and sentences into which we eventually hone our thoughts. Scapple really works with that!

So, in Scapple, double-click and jot a thought. Drag your thoughts around and juxtapose different ones. Sequence and re-sequence thoughts until you start to see or come up with a point (roughly, a paragraph). Hone thoughts into sentences. Re-sequence if necessary. Then, drag and drop the sentence-containing nodes from Scapple to your word processor.

There’s a lot more to Scapple (you can drag PDFs into Scapple, export your Scapple, etc.). But so far what I’ve been most interested in regarding Scapple is its ability to allow you to work digitally with your thoughts the way you work mentally with them. This can’t quite be done with traditional mindmapping software because traditional mindmapping software forces hierarchy onto nodes. VUE may be the exception, but Scapple works a lot more fluidly than VUE for some reason. 🙂

Anyhoo, it’s worth a gander, in my opinion.


Slow cooker pictures are below! I’ll set today’s aim to be to read the Maxwell article and to note what changes need to be made to my draft in light of the article. An extra goal would be to wrap up these intro paragraphs. It’s doable. Totally doable. 😉

Well, until tomorrow, then! Many, many vibes for your endeavors. 🙂



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About Z. Sanders

I love to inspire and encourage, and I believe in counting the blessings (one will always be able to find SOMETHING to be down about, if one tries hard enough). A wife, mathematics educator, and mathematics education researcher, I love to learn and love to teach. I'm a tech-o-phile and avid reader, and I love to design and create systems to support creative work. I love trying new recipes almost as much as I love the Spanish language. A complete music aficionado, sometimes I'm a guitar student. I am trying to live with a faith God can SEE (not just one HE can hear). (I first heard this sentiment from Joel Osteen.) I am CONVINCED that kettle belling, line dancing, jogging, free weight lifting, exercise biking, and Barry's Bootcamp are THE combo! (Try it!). Those are important, because, well, if it's seafood or Mexican food, I'm in! Thanks for stopping by! Godspeed with your endeavors, and may you experience joy today. -- "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -- Bill Cosby

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