All the PR hype misses the fundamentals: The best James Bond films have seven ingredients in common

How do you bring back James Bond? Revenues are down after scoring a 2012 record, but seven 007 secrets provide a road map to future success.

Most of the “next James Bond” speculation stories — and Hollywood in general — tend to forget these seven 007 secrets:

1. Start with a bold, brave and believable Bond

Life in our high-speed social media age is sometimes like walking three dogs, each going in totally different directions

Life’s tug of war offers two ways to win: pull harder — or drop the rope.

Is your phone blowing up? All sorts of people pulling you in every direction? It’s kind of like walking three dogs at once (I’ve done this, see photo above).

Each wants to go a…

The best possible editor is a little bit like General George Patton, a juggler, a neurosurgeon — and a traffic cop

Water and vehicles sit still, or move. A minor scene in one of the greatest films illustrates precisely how a good editor gets words moving (with hardly anyone noticing).

The 1970 film Patton shows General George Patton becoming one of history’s greatest generals, focusing on moving more men and material…

The one difference between bland PR fluff and real writing: Without conflict, you don’t have a story but merely data

Conflict is the essential element of every story, but we keep forgetting, minimizing, or blocking it out, sanding stories into bland, boring data.

Imagine using a nail file or sandpaper to smooth rough edges: That’s what we do with painful, ugly things we don’t enjoy remembering. …

Book Review:

How is The Bible in the Year Companion reforming Christian education: Hearing before reading and seeing?

The Bible in a Year Companion turns the №1 podcast into a book/study guide enabling readers to change how they do Church education and fellowship.

“It’s one thing to read our Bibles — it’s super important to read them,” Father Mike Schmitz, creator of the №1 Bible in a Year…

We loved two Chevy Volts, but the current EV bubble looks a lot like the rise and fall of the late great Saturn

It’s delightful driving an EV (we leased two from 2013–19). But, nearly all politicians promoting them don’t have one.

When Joe Biden ran in the 2020 primaries, he (and other Democrats) called for requiring all new vehicles to be electric by 2030. …

The joy — and secret — of writing and leaf raking are incredibly similar: Blow them away with something surprising, establishing a new order

My beloved says I “can’t make a bowl of cereal.” But I do know storytelling, which is especially handy in writing — and leaf blowing.

Seven ways writing is like moving leaves. If you can do one, you should be able to enjoy both easily:

7. Both start with moving messes into neat, manageable piles

Every writer’s desk (and…

We abandoned humble houses surrounding magnificent cathedrals: The suburbs have modest beige churches and mega-mansions honoring ourselves

From bland to beautiful, our ‘60s-style parish is transforming itself into a thoroughly Catholic Church. First, parishioners are speechless — then elated.

Throughout the Church, “beige Catholic” parishes are restoring Church art: sacred, unique, and beautiful. And suddenly, we know what we’ve been missing.

“When art and architecture are done…

For the first time in my life: I am great with way too early Christmas music (Listen to the lyrics)

I’ve always believed the Christmas season shouldn’t start before Thanksgiving. However, I’m changing my mind for at least three reasons.

Our corner of Michigan got its first snowfall on November 14 while my wife was traveling. …

The opposite of love at first sight? It only took me 30 years to look at his body of work and think ‘wow’ — from Hootie to country to now

The opposite of love at first sight? Thirty-five years after starting Hootie and the Blowfish and 13 years after switching from pop to country star, it’s suddenly clear Darius Rucker is Generation X’s greatest singer/songwriter.

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Rucker asks in…

Joseph Serwach

Story + Identity = Mission. Author, Writer: Journalism, Leadership Culture, Communications, Religion, Education, History. Inspiration: Catholic, Polish.

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