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When we heard that multi-platinum hit songwriter Wayne Cohen was a fan of the Visual Thesaurus we gave him a call, quick. Wayne says "the idea of seeing a whole array of possibilities from one word gets my mind moving." How he writes songs for stars like Jennifer Love Hewitt and soul sensation Curtis Stigers got our mind moving, too. So we asked Wayne a few questions about his songwriting craft:

VT: What do you write about in your songs?

Wayne: They're pop songs, so the main topics are love and loss and heartbreak. But I'm also a big fan of "message" songs like the Black Eyed Peas' "Gone Going," a tune about materialism and how people don't appreciate what they have.

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Blog Du Jour

Take the Work Out of Advertising

Writing that catchy slogan getting you down? Can't conjure the name of the doohickey your client's marketing? Will the following sites help? Well, not really, but they're fun to check out:

The Advertising Slogan Generator

Name-O-Rama

Random Surrealism Generator

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Dog Eared

Books we love

Ten Books a Year... For 50 Years

"A Lifetime of Reading" is a list of the "world's 500 greatest books" compiled by author Philip Ward. Click here to read the entire list. Some of the classics are well known, others less so. Here's a sampling from the list:

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Hojoki : Visions of a Torn World by Kamo no Chomei

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches by Basho

The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier

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Dream of the Blue Room began with a classified ad in the employment section of the New York Times. I was living on the Upper West Side, and I'd just quit my fatally boring cubicle job at Ogilvy New York City. Desperate for a paycheck, I answered an ad for an English tutor, and a couple of days later I was being interviewed by Tony, the president of a Chinese trading company in a posh apartment in midtown. We sealed the deal on the spot. For a bit more than I'd been making at the PR firm, I would accompany Tony to restaurants, farmers' markets, art galleries, design stores -- anywhere that he could learn new vocabulary.

My first day on the job, I assembled a vacuum cleaner in Tony's apartment. My task: to decode the instructions. I tried to explain to Tony that instruction booklets for home appliances do not represent the best of American English, but that did not compute. Three hours after we began, we stood admiring the partially-functioning vacuum cleaner. That's when Tony hit me with the news: "I go to China next Monday. You go Wednesday."

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43 Folders is a blog about "personal productivity, life hacks, and simple ways to make your life better." The following excerpt, called "more good ideas," is part of a larger entry on emailing that should be required reading for anyone with an index finger and a "send" button. (Read the full entry here) This post appeared 9-19-05.

More good ideas

  • Make it easy to quote -- Power email users will quote and respond to specific sections or sentences of your message. You can facilitate this by keeping your paragraphs short, making them easy to slice and dice.


  • Don't chuck the ball -- Emails to a thread are like comments at a meeting; think of both like your time possessing the basketball. Don't just chuck at the net every chance you get. Hang back and watch for how you can be most useful. Minimize noise.


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"The need to tell stories" inspired author, director and entrepreneur Liz Dubelman to create something called Vidlits. What are VidLits? Think "movie trailer for books." They're creative, short animations of stories and book excerpts that you play on the web. Publishers have started using VidLits to showcase their authors. In the past year, Liz and her partner, award-winning sound designer Paca Thomas, have created entertaining online shows for Warner, Penguin, Harper Collins, Little, Brown & Company, Rodale and other major imprints. Liz tells us more about her unique kind of storytelling - and why she thinks they're important for books.

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Blog Du Jour

"Get A Piece of the Rock"

Which ads zing, which ones tank? These industry insiders blog on creativity in advertising, and much more.

CoolzOr

Chimp Media Monitoring

Glossy

KF ADvertising

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