• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Q&A: Neil Pasricha discuss 'The Book of Awesome'

[Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome, in Toronto's Kensington Market. Photo: Brett Gundlock/National Post]
Neil Pasricha’s new book, The Book of Awesome (Putnam, $28.50)  was inspired by his blog of life’s little joys, from the smell of bakery air to popping bubble wrap. The Post's Sarah Treleaven spoke to Pasricha about what it takes to qualify for A-status.Q  You’re a Harvard MBA and a former comedy writer who loves Archie comics. Where did your popular blog, 1000awesomethings.com, come from?A  It was June 2008 when I started it, and there were two major things going on in my life. One, the news was bad. It was about pirates, melting ice caps, war, food riots and an economy on the brink of collapse. Two, I was in a tough situation personally. I had moved to a new city and didn’t know anyone, my wife and I had been married for two years and it wasn’t going well, and my best friend was battling a major depression. I decided to think of a way to focus on the positive. I posted the first awesome thing [“Broccoflower”], and it made me smile. So I decided to do one awesome thing every weekday, counting down from 1,000. My marriage split up a year later, and my friend took his own life. I started channelling all of my energy into the website. I’m not even halfway done, but it’s amazing what’s happened so far.Q  Your project has been called a “universal high-five for humanity.” What does that mean?A  I don’t want to make this sound too grand. I’m talking about hearing a stranger fart in public, and flipping your pillow over to the cold side, and finding your keys after looking forever. They’re not profound things, but they are our lives. It’s the awesome stuff we all smile at, but how often do we actually talk about how great it is to wear underwear straight out of the dryer?Q  I do think it’s awesome “when the dog’s really excited you’re back home” but it kind of bums me out when cookies fall in my milk. Which posts have people responded to most?A  A couple of them have really struck a nerve — like “Old, dangerous playground equipment,” “Ordering off the menu at fast food restaurants” and “When you’re really tired and about to fall asleep and someone throws a blanket on you.” “Peeing in a pool” turned out to be surprisingly controversial. People love it or hate it. Everyone has their own awesome list, and this is just a jumping-off point.Q  Are you happier since starting the blog?A  Absolutely. I’m still the same guy. I still have dirty dishes in my sink and I still use my dryer as my dresser. But I also notice when I move all of my clothes from my washer to my dryer and I don’t drop anything. The more you talk about awesome things, the more you notice them … And I’m not talking about kittens and rainbows; it’s just stuff like eating the French fries at the bottom of the bag or finding out that your birthday is on a Friday.Q  So do you now put a positive spin on everything?A  No. I know that the world has a lot of problems that will take a lot of time and creative energy to resolve. If you want to know what I find un-awesome, I can give you a million things: Walking into a spider web or dropping a hammer on your toe isn’t awesome. I’m not saying life is perfect; I’m just trying to point out that there are a lot of good things.Q How would you address any cynics that might say, “Dude, stop finding the beauty in putting toppings on a hot dog and start blogging about Darfur”?A  The Internet and bookstores are big places. If you want to find a perspective that agrees with you, you can find it. If you want to find a perspective that challenges you, you can find it. If you want awesome things, here they are.Q  Has working on the blog given you insight into the secret of life?A  I don’t know if life has secrets; I think it’s pretty simple. There are three big As: Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. We only get to live for 100 years max, developing, loving, swallowing, sensing and devouring the world. There are so many ways to look at [things] and, for me, talking about how the coffee aisle in the grocery store smells or getting an empty row on an airplane just reminds me of how lucky I am.Q  Despite the blog’s success and your book, you commute to the suburbs every day to work as a project manager for Wal-Mart. What’s so awesome about that?A  It’s awesome to work with people you like, to un-jam the photocopier, to find leftover cake in the office kitchen, and to hit a string of green lights on the way home.Q  Your cubicle is “dimly lit.” Wouldn’t it be awesome if you got a lamp or something?A  Yeah, eye strain: not awesome. 
– Sarah Treleaven, National Post

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
Sylvia Plath

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Fast fact about writing

The elements of fiction are: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. Of these five elements, character is the who, plot is the what, setting is the where and when, and style is the how of a story.