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Timeline Pages

I am thinking about changing Mago Bill III Timeline Pages to look like the following:

  • 100,000,000 BP to 30,000,000 BP
  • 30,000,000 BP to 1,000,000 BP
  • 500,000 BP to 15,000 BP
  • 13,999 BC to 400 BC
  • 399 BC to 500 AD
  • 501 AD to 1492 AD
  • 1493 AD to 1936 AD
  • 1937 AD to Yesterday


I will almost certainly make changes in these pages which may include adding two or three more to this list.


by RCS


Comments are welcomed, solicited, desired, appreciated, valued, and all good things. Each comment is an important doing.

Please do comment, ask, suggest, tell, correct, add to, etc.

To comment look for the little word "comment" at the bottom of this page. Click on that little word and a nice window should open for your writing.


Writing Better

I intend to write about writing better. I have been interested in the processes whereby one learns to write. Among those processes are learning to write by:       

  • Beginning to write and continuing to write.
  • Reading for pleasure and about writing.
  • Trying to see how your favorite writers do it.
  • Studying under good teachers.
  • Forming or joining a writing group.
  • Reading certain posts about writing


I find that I learn by writing these posts. I hope to pass on to you that which I am learning.

When you really want to improve your writing, a very agreeable and productive activity is  participating in a writing group. Your writing group of individuals wanting to better there writing can help you greatly in may ways. I intend to go into some of those ways later. One important way I will mention right now is feedback. Members of your writing group will learn to how others have felt about and thought about that which you write.

When you care to share an experience, information, or understanding related to better writing please feel welcome to pass it on here. Use the Comment section below.

I believe that one can learn a lot by helping others to better their craft. One can do that in a writing group, right here, as a professional teach, in your published works.

Mr. Peter Elbow who is a fine teacher of writing and has published works on writing, seems to have thought of writing as an important personal growth process. I remember him writing something like: How an organism becomes grown and matured is highly pertinent to writing. One is not surprised by the changes in the writer and his writing from the beginning to the end of a given piece of writing. One expects them. It is natural for the writer to begin a work believing X rather than Y and then ends that work believing Y rather than X.

Peter, a writer on writing I appreciate greatly, wrote of a writing "center of gravity." The list below includes ways I have gathered from him for getting a center of gravity or unifying theme to emerge in my writing:

  • Start writing X because it seems more believable than Y. Note as you write about X what you are beginning to understand about y.
  • Continue your struggle with X and Y and see C come up.
  • As you write along you may honestly say, "Ah, now I see what I have been getting at.
  • Finish what you are writing about. Put it aside for a time. See useful implications as you look it over again.
  • See that your good idea is crap. Then see that that part of the crap looks less crappy. You sort-out good parts from bad. You don't have to throw it away. In fact some of it may be better than your favorite idea.
  • Your first writing may prove a good scaffolding for your next writing.
  • You find a powerful spark in a tiny digression. You keep the same elements of your work, but change the whole orientation for the better.
  • As you progress in your writing be alert to emerging focus of theme.
  • If nothing emerges, sum up what you have written, then sum it up again.
  • Push yourself a bit to keep getting some center of gravity or summing up to occur.
  • Work gradually toward moderation from extreme positions.

And like that.


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill III



Colombia and Colombians: Introductory Comments

Colombians are New-World Americans. They live on the best part of the far north of South America.

Colombians are largely of Spanish heritage and they speak Spanish. When you intend to visit Colombia, it may contribute to your pleasure to be prepared to deal with them in their own language.

Have an oral translation app on your iPhone or a bilingual friend with you. You might take a Spanish class where you live or sign up for some classes here. All the biggest and more important tourist cities have language schools available. It is also possible ti make your first visit a guided tour.

If you are making realistic plans for a visit, investigate getting a correct chip for your mobile phone. It may be that your phone won't work here without a change of chips. There are smart phones available here, but you may find them expensive. However, you can, with some care, buy an ordinary mobile phone and have it set up nicely for you at a reasonable price.

In many parts of the major cities and tourist areas you can find pleasing places to eat and sleep and you will also may be able to find a Colombian able to speak in your language or in English.

Enough about you.

This is supposed to be the introduction to a series of tiny essays about Colombia and Colombians. But first a few words about me.

I am an old American citizen who has lived in Colombia among Colombians for some time. Some have said to me, "You have lived here for a long time. Why haven't you written more about Colombia?" and "Why don't you write about Colombia?" and like that. So, instead of thinking of an answer I thought, "Why not?" I can note some of my observations and maybe even something about what I make of a couple of them.

More to come.


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill III