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Body language and bunny suits

When I was a manufacturing engineer, I spent my first six months working in the fab—fabrication plant—learning how the line worked, and how to operate the tools that processed semiconductor chips in the 24/7/365 factory. Because even the smallest amount of contamination can ruin a batch of wafers in process—a very expensive proposition—everyone on the

Same or different?

When my oldest son was in second or third grade, we lived about two hours from my parents. Whenever we visited, my son would go from room to room pointing out everything that my parents had changed since our last visit. My son is into the details. I’m the same way. I notice the bumper

Blowing it

When I was seven, I was tasked with bringing my friend to the basement of our apartment building (overseas base housing in Germany often had odd things like basements and attic maids’ quarters) for a surprise birthday party. Terrified that I was going to somehow mess up and bring her in before everyone was ready,

Get intimate with your characters

I recently picked up a book called Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling. Not only did it sound interesting, but I figured I could pick up something that would help with characterization. While the book wasn’t quite the field guide to which traits certain bits of “behavioral residue” were linked to

Fire the gun

If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there. -Anton Chekhov I’m not completely sure I agree with Mr. Chekhov. After all, maybe the gun