I would like to share with you some interesting blog posts I read this week at The Housing Chronicles Blog, and at the site of local realtor, Shevy Akason, who has been profiling OC properties at or below rental parity.
Shevy Akason Property profiles:
I am surprised none of the proposed or passed bailouts included a
round of “stimulus” checks. I thought this would be a political
no-brainer. Who is going to complain about getting money from the
One of the results of the last round of stimulus checks was that
people saved the money and our savings rate went up. It isn’t what they
tried to accomplish, but increasing the savings rate is a necessary
component of getting people to spend money again. I think failing to
provide a “Savings Stumulus” is a mistake. Besides, I would like to get
some free money…
I received my copy of HousingWire Magazine this week. They ran a review of The Great Housing Bubble. Unfortunately, it is not online.
I want to thank Paul Jackson publicly for the review. It is greatly appreciated.
There is one more thing I want to share with you…
My Writer’s Journey
When I began writing for the Irvine Housing Blog two years ago, I did not envision I would still be writing today. I had something to express, and I imagined I would lose interest after I expressed it. I was wrong. The book that followed, The Great Housing Bubble, was an afterthought evoked when I had nearly written a book in the sum of my analysis posts. I never set out to write on a daily basis or become an author. But here I am; I do write every day, and I am an author.
I did not enjoy studying English or Literature in school. I suffered through those classes, and I did not learn the mechanics of grammar. I was fortunate to have grown up in a household where English is spoken well, so I have a natural understanding of the language, nevertheless my technical skills are lacking. For the last two years you, my readers, have had to dig through my carelessly constructed sentences, incorrect punctuation, and recurring written muddle to see the ideas buried beneath. I hope to change that.
My weakness as a writer, particularly as a grammarian, often causes me to change the presentation of my ideas because I am unsure of the correct way to construct and punctuate the sentence. My vague vocabulary often compels me to use the imprecise and expedient word when the exact word that expresses my idea exists, but I am too ignorant to identify it and too lazy to locate it. I don’t use big words to impress, but sometimes an esoteric term is an excellent one.
My weakness as a speller is perplexing. I went astray in spelling rules as a pre-teen, and I have been a shameful speller ever since. I never imagined myself ridiculing other people for their erroneous spelling; although, I also never imagined I would see peddlers getting paid a King’s ransom put their dreadful spelling on public display. I can read and use a spell checker; so should they.
Despite these weaknesses, readers stop by. There are between 3,000 and 3,500 unique daily visitors to the Irvine Housing Blog. If that many onlookers feel the thoughts shrouded in my limited writing abilities are worth unveiling, then I owe it to them to improve my skills. Plus, I am eager to write another book. I have been incubating my ideas for a book on House Spenders for months now. Between daily writing for the IHB and ambitious book projects, it is apparent to me I need to learn how to write.
I am an advocate of lifelong learning. I reached a point in life when good grades no longer came easily and excuses no longer soothed my ego; I found the motivation to learn how to learn. When I want to master a new subject, I take massive action: I assemble the available data, I immerse myself in the topic, I study in bursts, and I review frequently. This process burns the information deeply into my mind and allows time for the associations to form with other topics. I find this process broadens my knowledge and improves my recall. I have learned much about a number of subjects using this technique.
My favorite tool for accelerated learning is mind mapping, and I use a program called MindManager. Mind mapping allows you to freely associate concepts and organize them into coherent patterns. For problem solving (which is the essence of non-fiction writing), it is much faster and more efficient than writing by hand or outlining in a word processor. Armed with my tools, supplied with abundant data, and determined to become a better writer, I immersed myself in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, style and usage.
Words are coming alive for me. When I see a sentence, I see subjects and predicates, phrases and clauses, and various grammatical nuances that previously escaped my notice. I know to judiciously split my infinitives and not to dangle my participles (Dangling Participles sounds like a title for a gay porn flick or a Chippendale’s dance number, doesn’t it?) I still make errors, and there are probably several in this writing; however (conjunctive adverb), I endeavor to improve, and I strive to prevent my mistakes from obscuring any illuminating ideas.
Good writing is good thinking. I have noticed an increased clarity of thought as I work on my writing. The plaque that accumulates in my written work originates in my own mind. By scraping the barnacles from my sentences, the thoughts sail cleanly and quickly through my mind. Clarity of thought provides meaningful insights and new material–at least I hope so. We will see.
Good writing is having the courage to write. Good writing does not hedge; it takes a stand and makes no excuses. I express myself without caring what others might think. Undoubtedly, many realtors, mortgage brokers and delusional homedebtors despise me. I bear them no antipathy, but I am apathetic about their attitudes. I do not write for fear of the other’s opinions; if something is bullshit, I am going to say so. Most writing about the housing market is malignant malarkey, and those who believe it contract a fiscal cancer. Fortunately, some writers are willing to present an unbiased analysis. Without a few real estate bloggers and academics, nobody’s representations of the real estate market would be reflective of reality. It is plain that those players leeching loot from the closing are more concerned with compensation than they are with candor. But I digress…
Good writing is entertaining. There is plenty of informative writing on the web, and if you can keep your eyes open long enough to endure it, you can learn much. Non-fiction writing does not need to be dull. There is humor in the absurd, and the housing bubble has no shortage of absurdity. I harass hapless homedebtors and realtors for one simple reason: it is funny. If these people were simply vacuous, I might feel sad for them; however, when people are both stupid and smug, it is natural to gloat in their misfortune. Schadenfreude may not be spiritually stirring, but it is eternally entertaining.
Why did I write this? Am I looking for affirmation from my grammar teachers from 25 years ago? I hope not. Am I looking for kudos and comments telling me how great a writer I am? I hope I am not that pathetic. Does this mean I have “arrived?” It is easy to arrive when there is no itinerary. Life is a journey, not a destination. Perhaps it is like painting graffiti on a signpost or etching your name in a gas station restroom; you just need to let everyone know you were there. I have spent the last several weeks immersed in writing. If this drivel were my final exam, it would probably fail. The writing is too labored, and it looks like a thesaurus bomb blew up sprinkling unusual words like shrapnel throughout the essay. I doubt I will spend as much time choosing words in future writings. I want to have a life.
Despite its shortcomings, this writing emerged from a womblike place inside. I am pregnant with this baby, and it is time to birth it. I wish I could remember its conception; I must have been dangling my participle.
Was it good for you? I am going to have a cigarette…