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Carolyn Kaufman
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My latest Psychology Today post on being single has been getting a lot of attention! It was in response to an article another writer posted called "Why Some People Can't Find Anyone to Marry."

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New Psychology Today article!

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Over the weekend I spent several hours researching cloud storage services for my Monday QueryTracker Blog post. (QueryTracker is a website for writers.) I ended up emphasizing privacy and security, and did a comparison of 9 different services.

I was surprised by how NOT secure many of the services are -- some allow their employees to sift through your stuff if they want to; others have terms of service policies that are vague enough that they can actually use their stored stuff to, as they put it, make sure they provide quality service. 

Then there are services that offer privacy commitments, private encryption keys, and "zero knowledge" policies (which means they can't and won't open your storage space, even under subpoena). I found it all interesting, so I thought I'd share what I learned. 

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Hollywood's portrayals of suicidal characters and therapeutic suicide assessments and interventions are often grossly inaccurate. Read about one movie that got it wrong, and then learn how real suicide assessments are done, what safety plans are, how hospitalization works, and what the aftermath of a suicide attempt can look like. 

If you enjoy learning about Hollywood misconceptions and accurate info, be sure to check out my book (whether you're a writer or not!), The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately about Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment, and Human Behavior.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psychology-writers/201301/real-life-suicide-assessments-who-what-when-how

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Using Self-Fulfilling Prophecies to Your Advantage: Why "fake it 'til you make it" is good advice for writers. (New Psychology Today post.) http://ow.ly/ept1Y

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New post over on the QueryTracker Blog: Using Life's Disasters to Add Authenticity to Your Writing!

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Danya of A Tapestry of Words invited me to participate in her blog's Psychtember event again this year. She sent me a list of questions pertaining to YA fiction, and I started writing on one--in which she asked how much an author should emphasize a YA character's mental illness--and produced a whole post. 

Here was her question: "One thing I've noticed with many YA books is that when a character has a mental illness, the whole story becomes focused around that aspect and it turns into an "issue book." Do you think this is helpful, or would it be beneficial to have more stories that feature teens that just happen to have mental illnesses? Why?" Check out the link below for my answer. 

While you're there, also be sure to read some of the other Psychtember post -- there's some great psychology-in-writing stuff for writers there!

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New Psychology Today post: Why Bad Guys Think They're Good Guys: One of my biggest pet peeves about many story villains is that they walk around twisting the ends of their mustaches and declaring that they are the bad guys. In reality, most people involved in evil behavior don’t see that behavior as evil. Find out which psychological techniques they use to twist their evil behavior and argue that it's laudable.

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Write fiction? Use dialogue in that fiction? Here are some of the most common errors writers make with dialogue tags and punctuation, and tips on fixing them.

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It's a lot easier not to get defensive when other people provide feedback in a palatable fashion. Here's how to do just that when you're trying to help others--with their writing, or with something else!
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