More articles in category: Arts And Entertainment

2.
Paperbacks, Mockingbirds and the Rise of Accessibility

The year was 1939: average wages in the U.S. were $1,730.00 annually, gas averaged 10 cents a gallon, movie tickets cost 20 cents, and the average hardback book was around $2.75- an astronomical cost by comparison.  John Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath was the bestselling novel of the year (selling 439,000 copies), though book purchas...

3.
Reaching Out

From a marketing standpoint, too many artists have no idea where to start. The main reason for this is once you look to launch your material, you are rushed with countless tasks to hit the ground running. Do you have a fan base? Is there an easy to navigate distribution method set in place in order to allow easy access your current/new fan base? Do not overwhelm your…

4.
TLC Ted Talks: Industry Leader Edition

September is in full-swing with gorgeous weather here in Toronto. Clear blue skies and 29 degree days makes it feel more like late June rather than fall.

As September usually does, there are a whole slew of events popping up, and I am happy to announce that I have been invited speak at the upcoming…

5.
Yetis and Monsters, and Books…Oh My!

There’s something about the great unknown that intrigues humanity, and inspires our sense of adventure. This is what drives Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mystery, and so the rest of literature as a whole.  Our examination of things that might have been, and what could be lurking out there, has given us goosebumps and a question to ponder ...

6.
Giving reality to your fiction characters

When I switched from writing nonfiction to fiction, I was faced with the fact that there wasn’t an absolute to help me. What I mean is that when writing nonfiction, you are, for the most part, dealing with fact. You can prove your suppositions. If you are writing about money or economics, everything must add up and all your facts and figures can be checked. If …

7.
September It’s a Mid-Year New Year!

Welcome to September! For most people September feels like it’s a brand-new start. Summer is over and beach days are done till next year. In a way it’s like New Year again but in the middle of the year…BONUS!

So what of “New Year” resolutions? This is a time when we all rethink how we can improve and start again. 

Going back to school? Whether it be element…

8.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review by J.K. Rowling 

This is the official script book for the play of the same name written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. It is also the eighth story published in the Harry Potter book series. 

I remember the day it was released, July 31, 2016 because I bought it that same day and just had to read it t...

9.
#19YearsLater: A Requiem for The Wizarding World

The epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows offered an end, as it opened new beginnings. It took place on September 1st, 2017 (the distant future to all of us consuming book #7 in July of 2007), which was 19 years after the vanquishing of Lord Voldemort. All our favorite characters grew up,...

10.
Working With An Editor

I’m sitting here waiting because my editor is sending me the next round of edits tomorrow. I am anxious to get the book finished and out. Working with an editor is not a speedy process. The company I work with has my novel edited by three separate editors for content. This means they go over every word and see if it is used too often, or is the wrong tense, or simply…

11.
The New York Times (Best)Seller List

Over the last two weeks an author’s debut book rose to glory, atop the New York Times Bestseller list, only to crumble. Lani Sarem’s book, Handbook for Mortals, was announced last month. When it suddenly shot to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, surpassing Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give,” which sat at ...

12.
Verona: Arena, Stronghold, Star-Crossed lovers

The city of Verona, with its romantic qualities and artistic history, was not always the stunning tourist destination that can be seen today.

The city has a long, robust history and was an important centre both strategically and politically. The original settlement, now known as Verona, was founded by ancient tribes, and the current historic centre was founded dur…

13.
A Plethora of Ice and Fire

Texas A&M University is well known for being a hub for agriculture.  Being in College Station, TX, that certainly makes sense for the demographic of students flocking to the campus- over 60,000 annual enrollees, in fact. Another demographic that flocks to Texas A&M every year is, unusually, Sci-Fi and Fantasy nerds. Since 1969 a s...

14.
Highlights from Opera America New Opera Showcase

In early 2017, Opera America presented the New Opera Showcase at the historic Town Hall in New York City.This special one night only concert features excerpts from five new operas currently in development by some of today’s most exciting opera composers — including Michelle DiBucci, Randall Eng, Julian Grant, Wang Jie and Rene Orth — joined onstage by SONOS Chamber Orchest…

15.
Adaptation of – Book to Movie, Movie to Television

Sometimes your favorite book becomes adapted into a movie, or a movie you love has now been adapted as a television show. What kind of expectations do you have when this happens?

Should you go see a movie after you have read the book which was an outstanding piece of literature? Should you watch the TV series remade from the movie you have seen which really moved …

16.
Unwelcome Gifts

Who doesn’t love receiving a gift? We all throw parties and get-togethers not with the intention of receiving gifts but secretly or not so secretly we are excited at the prospect of unwrapping a gift, looking forward to finding something we really like inside. These gifts arrive abundantly over the many celebratory occasions like the religious holidays, birthdays and other …

17.
Giving Back to the Community

Dear Mike,

On behalf of myself, the board of trustees and the staff of the Daniel Boone Regional Library, I would like to thank you for the kind donation of The Next. We greatly appreciate you making this book available to the community.

Each day, an average of 2,228 people visits our library facilities, and countless others use our various online or…

18.
Mic Check 1, 2!

There’s something special about being a musician. It all ties in with being a creator and amazing yourself with the potential of what you create. You don’t need me to tell you that not every musician is going to sell records (or I guess it would be streams now). But you as a musician deserve to have a tangible product that is a result of hard work and talent. This arti…

19.
Combating Censorship in Literature

“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.” –Laurie Halse Anderson   Banning books has long been a way for organizations to exert power over people; thinking that ideologies and passions can be swayed by hindering access to materials, history has repeated itself time and time again. The thought is that withou...

20.
Combating Censorship in Literature

“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.” –Laurie Halse Anderson   Banning books has long been a way for organizations to exert power over people; thinking that ideologies and passions can be swayed by hindering access to materials, history has repeated itself time and time again. The thought is that withou...

21.
Attica NY: Opera in a Maximum-Security Prison

Opera has a special way of connecting to people across cultures and social situations. One recent movement has been for opera companies to venture out, not just into the community, but into the most marginalized and difficult area of the community, opera has been often popping up in prisons. Much like the recent performance at a won=men’s prison in the US on Mother’s Day, t...

22.
Audio vs Ebook vs Paperback

Out of those three, what is your favorite way to enjoy a book? For me it just depends. It depends on the time of year, it depends on how busy I am, it depends on how much I’m traveling… I really like all three, but sometimes it just depends on what else is going on.

When there’s a foot of snow on the ground and it’s four degrees outside. Nothing beats a hot cup o...

23.
The Fun Behind “Starting off Small”

Do you remember all the crazy experiments and hobbies you had growing up? How many of those hobbies turned into real passion and something you could see yourself doing for the rest of your life? In a world where we expect instant results we have almost lost sight of the phrase “starting off small”. I started recording music at 13 years old. How? It involved a barely funct…

24.
T-BED

T-BED (fiction)

A companion story to the Secret to Life series.

By Alex R. Price

Razzleman Lockhart didn’t care about much. He wandered through life going from job to job. His current employer took a liking to Raz. Raz didn’t complain about the work as long as he was left alone to do it. The night janitorial job at the office complex aloud him be al…

25.
Sheet Music 101

Sheet Music

I’ve been working on a song or it’s been working me over I’m not sure which. That gave me the idea of writing about how to look at a sheet of music like the one above In the interest of full disclosure, I admit I am still learning about how to read music, but I understand some aspects of it that I can share. Please feel free to scroll up and down as you …

26.
Making Your Copy Editor Happy

Yes, I am a writer, with my name on three published books, but I am also a world-class copy editor, paid by a book publisher to edit manuscripts. I got the job by convincing him that my 30 years’ experience in newspaper journalism – mostly as an editor – would fit his needs quite nicely.

           After I edited one short manuscript as sort of a test, he hired me …

27.
The Handmaid’s Tale Review

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Genre: Classic Fiction 

First published in 1985 which is why I’ve also considered it a classic, Margaret Atwood’s writing is really brilliant. She provides little snippets of the past interspersed with the present to give you the big picture. She really makes you feel for the characters, especially the main characte...

28.
The Woman in Cabin 10 Review

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware 

Genre: Mystery 

I read ‘In A Dark, Dark Wood’ by Ruth Ware about a year ago, and I really didn’t enjoy it. For a thriller or mystery thriller, I found it was long and slow and not very “thrilling” or scary at all. I was truly bored. At the time I thought it was Ruth Ware’s style of writing that did not jive with me and …

29.
The Opera Singer That Died

(Photo of art by Jennifer Brisk)

When mezzo-soprano Jennifer Brisk finally began to embark on a professional career as an opera singer, she went through many profound life changes.

As anyone who has devoted their life’s work to the study of classical music knows, fo…

30.
#SireMedia…Humble Beginnings

There’s nothing like being 17. You are on the edge of what could be the biggest choice in your life, all while living it up daily. At 17 I held a fun cashier supervisor job, attending all my high school classes, and recorded music almost on the daily. In between classes I would hand out mixtapes to just about anyone. After class I would hop on the bus (school bag and al…

31.
Forgotten Dreams (fiction)

Forgotten Dreams (A companion story for the Secret to Life series)

By Alex R. Price

 

September 2015

Jason woke suddenly out of a dead sleep. The bedroom was dark and quiet except for the steady breathing of his bride, Wendy. It was just short of three years since they had said their vows. He remembered how beautiful she was in her white ...

32.
Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover

How many of you have read or seen the musical Wicked? It is a great story based on the book Wicked by Gregory Maguire and it tells the story about how the Wicked Witch of the West became wicked. (Or Does It?) This book and musical point out to us the fact that sometimes we judge others without knowing all the facts. It seems that we in our society today, jump on what…

33.
Writing Craft 101: Showing vs. telling

When I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I took an online creative writing class, for which I wrote a string of subpar, melodramatic short stories that will never see the light of day. Let’s call it my “creative awkward phase.” I knew I wasn’t as good of a writer as I wanted to be—though I thought myself a great deal better than I was—and I took the class in hope…

34.
From the Horses Mouth: A Story through their Eyes

(“Apex Predator” Part 3 still pending…here’s a fun story about horses from THEIR point of view!)

My Dad always likes to joke: “If your eleven-year-old daughter asks you for a birthday party with horses, say no!” 

I grew up as the typical horse-crazy American girl in Peoria, Illinois. I was only blessed with a glimpse of what I considered living unicorns when…

35.
Double, Double Toil and Trouble

It’s true, there is no shortage of Harry Potter memorabilia, events, or happenings in the world.  We are muggle’s consumed by magic and fascinated by themed events and happenings. So, naturally, we’re always looking for the next best thing. Well, this summer Potterheads can rejoice! There are two new outlets to get their fix, and to help you plan your summer vacations…

36.
Audio Killed The Radio Store

Ok, I realize that it’s supposed to be Video Killed the Radio Store. Sometimes you should go with the first thing that comes to mind, then other times you shouldn’t.

A lot of the books in my library are audiobooks. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on them, but I can certainly tell what is good. In my quest to create an audiobook for my first published piece I h…

37.
Are we enough?

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Do we live up to our expectations of what we want to be? Are you the best version of you? Are there areas in your life that just don’t make you happy? Are there things we can change? Is any of this in our control, or are we just right where we are supposed to be? 

Everything is in our control to some extent. Not happy in…

38.
The Legacy of Literature: Future Library

  In 100 years, where will we be?  Will the world be an unrecognizable wasteland? Will cars be flying overhead? Will robots be running all facets of industry? Will we walk into bookstores and purchase classic novels, bound in hard covers? Who knows? One thing of which we are certain – it’s time to preserve what...

39.
The Legacy of Literature: Future Library

  In 100 years, where will we be?  Will the world be an unrecognizable wasteland? Will cars be flying overhead? Will robots be running all facets of industry? Will we walk into bookstores and purchase classic novels, bound in hard covers? Who knows? One thing of which we are certain – it’s time to preserve what...

40.
A PRESENCE IN GRAVES: Short Story

(I am still finishing part 3 of “Apex Predator,” so in the meantime, here is a short story I have been editing for a while that just got published in Sante Fe Writers Project journal!)

It was a dog—or at least, it was once. The decaying carcass of a massive wolfhound lay right in front of them, covered in pine branches. The bulbous eyes and long teeth…

41.
Slaughterhouse Five

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Review 

First published in 1969, it is the incredible journey through the mind of a WWII veteran, Billy Pilgrim, describing his thought process in a light hearted humorous way what we would now call post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This book was not what I expected it to be, though I’m not sure I can even remember…

42.
Life Throws You A Curve

If it weren’t for a tragedy my younger brother wouldn’t have been born. Try to grasp the implications. I know I have. My parents wanted two children. I was the oldest and my sister Steffi was two years younger than me. As siblings so close in age often do we quarreled a lot but we always made up. I have many fond memories of her and often …

43.
The Games People Play (fiction) By Alex R. Price

The Games People Play (A short story in the Secret to Life series)

By Alex R. Price

–Fall 2011

William Cordova glanced through the bar just off Fort Carson military base in Colorado. A lot of Soldiers frequented the bar during their off hours.  Smoke filled the room as a young lady swung around a pole in the center table surrounded by plush purpl...

44.
Shopping Online

I don’t know about all of you, but I believe that there is nothing greater to lift one’s spirits than the shopping experience. I love the challenge and excitement of seeing what’s new in the stores and looking for the perfect item. This could be an item of clothing, accessories, furniture, decorative items, or just something trivial yet fun from the Dollar Store. …

45.
Black Gold-Part 3

Lamar picked up his pace whistling, the tune of ‘Whistle While You Work,’ filled the air as he walked away from the pumper’s house; his chest puffed out with satisfaction at his self-assigned task so far. These people need to die, he thought, I am doing a service to humanity. He bounced on the balls of his feet, feeling lighter than air, the pumper forgotten. Hell,…

46.
The Misunderstood Meaning of Diversion in Fashion

On the opera stage we constantly hear stories of staging race and diversity gone bad. I would generally argue that the opera stage is one of the last places to fully grasp the concept of inclusion, but it appears we have another contender for misplaced cultural celebration: the pages of American Vogue.

I understand that Japan is a stunning backdrop for a fashio…

47.
The Controversial States of Matter

Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Hopefully, you are doing more than just taking up space (except you astronomy majors). Everything is made up of matter. Except, of course, non-matter, which is anything that does not take up space or have mass. Like light, energy, love, kindness, thoughts.

So, what’s th…

48.
Are Lyrics Literature?

“Shelter From the Storm” (Bob Dylan-Blood on the Tracks, 1975) Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born Come in, she said, I’ll give … Con...

49.
Customer Service: Ideas To Improve Your Business

Customer service ain’t what it used to be. You call a company and have to go through several menus to get to the department you desire. Once connected you are put on hold; listening to elevator music, ads for the company, or, as a friend of mine told me, the same song over and over again so it stuck in his head long after his call had finally been answered. Waits can be twen…

50.
Marbles (fiction) by Alex R. Price

(Companion short story to the Secret to Life series)

Summer 2003, Los Angeles, CA

Jennifer clung to her mother’s hand as they walked through the doors of the church. Just before her fifth birthday on June 17th, Jennifer and her mother Judith moved to Los Angeles. Both were excited to be starting school after summer was done.  

Judith, Jennifer’s mothe…

51.
KIRKUS REVIEW FOR EUREKA MAN-A NOVEL

TITLE INFORMATION

 EUREKA MAN

Middleton, Patrick

CreateSpace (270 pp.)

$11.50 paperback, $3.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1494224202; October 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW

A debut novel about a decade in the life of an incarcerated man who attempts to vindicate himself through higher education and enlightenm...

52.
APEX PREDATOR (PART 2): Short Story

(See Part 1 of this story from last week before reading Part 2)

“What kind of an animal did that?”          

With all the cougars in these California woods, we are used to finding dead, mauled carcasses of deer or smaller animals. But a dead cougar with a three-foot-wide chunk taken out of its side was a completely new exp...

53.
Survival of the Fittest

Post-apocalyptic world, mutations in animals and humans. I’m with a group who are helpful, destination – a sanctuary. Not sure if these people are scouts trying to find survivors or if they were at out on a supply run. They tell me about frenzied gorilla mutations: they can’t see you if you stand still and/or move extremely slowly. We stop for the night in a boxcar….

54.
Best-Selling Author Raises Money For Refugees

“World Refugee Day” is June 20, and author, Neil Gaiman, has promised to read Dr. Seuss’s “Fox in Socks” if one million dollars in donations are collected for refugees by the June 20 deadline. The proceeds will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). This all began with a tweet, from Sara … ...

55.
Feel Good Movies ……..and Don’t Forget the Popcorn!

Let’s change the mood & lighten things up a bit. I don’t know about you, but I’m really sick and tired of only hearing about all of the hysteria all over the world. So, let your imagination wonder & think about your best escape from a stressful day or unsettling events!

Do you escape with a good book? Do you busy yourself with household chores (hardly uplif…

56.
Female Reporters: A Heinous Double Standard

■ It seems more people than ever are watching television news what with all of the recent scandals and investigations (not to mention Tweets by someone we all know). This article is NOT about anything political. It is about comments I often overhear about those reporting the news that I find reprehensible.

■ There is a double-standard when it comes to how vie…

57.
APEX PREDATOR (PART 1): Short Story

“With a WaterSafe Portable Breathing Mask, you’ll never have to breathe in water again!” The ads are blaring through ear buds, as I swing my tennis racket and adjust my converse shoes. My parents are gone at Lawrance furniture store to pick up a new air-tight door to keep the water out. We have too many cracks in our wood one. 

It’s been a couple years since this ...

58.
Anachronism vis a vis Misappropriation

Some chatter lately on the Historical Fiction Face Book page about concerns of ‘avoiding anachronisms’. Should writers avoid anachronisms? Having spent a great deal of my career in organizational consulting, I would respond in a typical consultant response: “It all depends.”

What are you writing, and who are you writing for? Are you writing a …

59.
A Lesson From the Longest-Running Musical in the W

A Lesson From the Longest-Running Musical in the World

 

The Fantasticks, has a small cast, few props and simple staging. The premise is equally spare: Two neighboring fathers who want their children to fall in love build a wall between their properties and pretend to feud. Everything follows from that. In spite of the lack of special…

60.
Writing For No Pay: Not A Bad Thing

■ A recent article on Read Feed took those to task who ask artists/authors to work for free with the explanation the exposure they would receive is more important than the money. While I agree that there are some who take advantage of artists/authors I vehemently disagree with those who demand to be paid for everything they write (I’m going to focus on writers in this piece…

61.
THE HEROS WITNESS: Short Story

He fingers his holster. His badge is shiny, his uniform, pristine.  The patriotic lights on the squad car are dark as it speeds silently through the Chicago suburb streets. He always wonders about that. The sirens are much quieter than he expected from inside. It seems so loud when heard from other cars that he thought it would pulsate through the actual vehicle.  

E…

62.
The End of Childish Ways

On a ship in a port. The ship is a very large, wooden vessel with many sails and rigging. I am Royalty, we are nomadic, this is our home and houses many servants and family members. I’m a princess but very rebellious. I have a girlfriend who I explore with, she is one of the servant’s daughters with a slight build, big blue eyes and platinum hair, just past shoulder length. My clothes…

63.
Navigating GoRead: Part 2

This is Part 2 of articles on how to navigate the GoRead website.

■ Last week I provided pointers on how to navigate GoRead. For someone new and even for veterans navigating GoRead can be a daunting task. Hopefully, you’ve tried some of the suggestions in Part 1. This article deals solely with building followers and fans. It c…

64.
Bringing women conductors to the front

Another day, another person deciding your value based on gender. Thankfully, some Arts Organizations are starting to confront the systemic discrimination that is unfortunately, rampant.

One of these Organizations is the Dallas Opera. who have recently organized an intensive institute for female conductors, aiming to lead a new movement.

“According to indus...

65.
ECHOES OF KAROL: Short Story

Dirt crept like an animal through the streets of the Eternal City. Even in Rome, ageless nostalgia was accompanied by the filth and neglect of the modern. I walked with desultory interest passed the venders and their antique merchandise. My nose caught the scent of olive oil wafting from open doors, snaking through the winding roads and soaking into my skin a…

66.
Navigating Go Read: Part 1

This is the first of two articles on how to master the GoRead site.

It can be seem daunting for those new to GoRead. There seems so much that has to be done. You might wonder where to start? There is most definitely a learning curve. It’s like learning to swim. You begin with trepidation and then become more confident with each …

67.
Cover Reveal and Launch Date

The Next will be available at all major online booksellers on Tuesday 05/23/2017. Amazon, B&N, itunes and yes GoRead.

I’m very excited to share my tale of revenge and Sci Fi with the rest of the world.

Thanks to all. Here’s a preview with page 1. I hope you’ll want to continue to see what happens Next…

Chapter …

68.
THE VOICE: Short Story

As I scuffed through the dry August sand, I wondered for about the thousandth time if the infernal heat every planned on letting up. Conceding to some unknown desire, I glanced up to the Heavens at the white sun then quickly back down. At the same time, I wondered at the strange impulse. There was certainly no doubt that the cosmic body was still there. It insisted on…

69.
Foul Territory: Chapter Five

Chapter Five 

Jase rounded the corner from the alley to the sidewalk outside Spencer Investigations. He raised his gaze to the office door just as a pretty blonde exited. They made eye contact. 

“Oh my God, Jase Whitfield,” she said with a little awe in her voice. “Zoey said you were in town and, I’m not going to lie, I was hoping I’d run …

70.
Dealing With Abuse: Importance of a Support System

Recently the ESPN journalistic TV show Outside The Lines told the harrorowing story of Baillie Gibson, a student athlete (shot putter) who while at the University of Arizona was sexually assaulted and verbally threatened over a three year period by her coach. She finally confided in her roommate (and fellow athlete). Baillie feared for her life and didn’t think sh...

71.
Arts Workers Getting Rich off of Exposure Dollars

This is a running joke between musicians and stage performers. Everyone has heard the elevator pitch for some “exciting” opportunity that promises incredible exposure. Another personal favourite is the pitch from a charitable organization, one that is paying caterers, bartenders, decorators, photographers, printing, rentals, and a venue, but feels that your performance…

72.
Optimism in Sports – Part II

My most recent article explored the persistence and optimism of the Toronto Maple Leafs fan base: how year after year, season after season, the fans continue to restore faith in the team, hoping that this will be “our year”. Sports fans are incredibly persistent in remaining loyal, optimistic and hopeful for their team. One might even argue that with Toronto’s track rec…

73.
The importance of optimism as a sports fan…

Being an optimistic individual has so many benefits: always seeing the brighter side of a situation, seeing the good in people before the bad, and having a generally happy outlook on life, to name a few. Being an optimist as a sports fan is almost a crucial component to loving or following a sport or team. Being an optimistic sports fan and living in …

74.
Work Smarter, Not Harder: Rocking Your Final Exams

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Rocking Your Final Exams

Part 2

The end is near. The question is, are you going out in a blaze of glory during your final exams, or are you going to crash and burn?

I vote for the first one. Here’s some ideas how to help yourself finish the school year strong.

Get Organized….

75.
Slow Fashion Part 4

Over the past weeks I have focused on writing a series of articles about slow fashion. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to read my previous articles, slow fashion is a growing movement that is pushing the fashion industry toward less environmental harm, increased humanitarian rights, and an emphasis on creating clothes that will last. If you haven’t had a chance …

76.
Tips For Starting A Small Business

Starting a small business can be daunting. You might have a family to support and any new endeavor isn’t a surefire success. When I started Gauntlet Press I was still employed as a teacher. At times I felt I was working two jobs. What I was really doing was transitioning from one job to another. Teaching paid my bills until my business became successful enough for me to ret...

77.
Foul Territory: Chapter Four

Chapter Four 

Zoey heard the plastic of the pen crack between her clenched teeth. She did not need the distraction that was Jase Whitfield right now. She’d finally been making progress on the search for one set of biological parents and didn’t want to be interrupted.  She heard Claire’s voice in the back of her mind telling her to give the guy …

78.
Tips For A Happy And Fulfilling Retirement

Far too many people retire without a plan and regret not having anything to do. In this article I’m not going to discuss finances. That another bag of worms entirely. But, retirement shouldn’t ever be feared. You’re just entering a new and possibly better stage of your life.

First of all, I really don’t relish the word “retirement.” One “leaves” a job. You …

79.
That Is Not What That Meant

Just because they can read it doesn’t mean they can understand it. My daughter and Harry Potter were the same age when the series came out. She insisted that she could read tha...

80.
Foul Territory: Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Jase Whitfield was lost.

Definitely physically and quite possibly metaphorically too. After he’d left Derek’s that morning he’d found the Quickie Mart he’d passed the night before and gotten a large, steaming cup of plain black coffee. Delicious. Having no plans for the day and knowing there was no way he could just sit around at Derek’s he decide…

81.
THE FAERIË MOUND: Short Story

     Since Christianity was introduced by Patrick in the mid to late 5th century, Ireland struggled adapting to its new religion without completely severing the ties with its ancient culture. Even though the Catholic Church demonstrated a no-tolerance for the “Irish faeriës”, individuals within the community had difficulty drawing defining lines between religious ...

82.
Tips for Single Parenting

Last week I published an article on my experience as a single father. It’s both the most rewarding and exhausting experience one can endure. This articles addresses some tips for single parenting.

1. Plan activities you and all of your children can take part in: Each of my three children were three years apart in age. There are an number of acti…

83.
Foul Territory: Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Today was not going as planned. If there is one thing Zoey Jensen disliked it was when things didn’t go as planned. Most days started the same with coffee at Derek’s apartment while they went over the workload for the day. When she had started working for Derek five years ago it hadn’t taken the two of them long to be…

84.
MORE THAN A FENCE: Flash Fiction

(This is a piece of flash fiction that I wrote. I thought I would share it because it was chosen to be included in my university’s creative writing journal this semester. I hope you all enjoy it!)

***

A normal day at the ranch pretty much consists of falling off one horse while watching another rip its eyelid open. Well, obviou…

85.
The Challenges Of Being A Single Parent (Part 1)

I get tired of criticisms of “stay at home moms” and those who don’t think a women is working if she remains home to take care of her kids. I know this from personal experience because I was a single father to my three children. I also worked as a teacher, but I know how difficult it is to take care of children by your lonesome.

My ex-wife and I separ…

86.
Welcome to GoRead!

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87.
Foul Territory: Chapter One

Coffee.

Sweet Jesus. Someone was making coffee. Whatever God still believed in Jase Whitfield was feeling gracious today. Peeling open his eyelids just enough to take in his surroundings he slid his eyes to the right. As far as he remembered he was alone in bed but since he couldn’t remember exactly what bed he was in he needed to do a little covert recon...

88.
Playoff Fever Hits the Six

As the NHL playoffs begin tonight, there is a distinct difference in how those in our city are anticipating this event. Of course, it is as a result of the hometown Maple Leafs joining 15 other teams to compete for the Stanley Cup. It’s been four long years of frustration and false hope that has surrounded this franchise since their last playoff appearance, where they were …

89.
Playoff Fever Hits the Six

As the NHL playoffs begin tonight, there is a distinct difference in how those in our city are anticipating this event. Of course, it is as a result of the hometown Maple Leafs joining 15 other teams to compete for the Stanley Cup. It’s been four long years of frustration and false hope that has surrounded this franchise since their last playoff appearance, where they …

90.
Stop Believing these Common Creativity Myths

Creativity is not the illusive mistress, divine-inspiration, or unpredictable storm most people think it is. It is not just bestowed upon the lucky few. We are all capable of new, useful, and yes, creative ideas. So let’s take a moment to demystify creativity and throw out these common misconceptions. 

1. I’m Not Creative

There is no such thin…

91.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: Avoid Too Man Details

I was once a fan of Mary Higgins Clark. Her writing was sharp and concise, her stories well told. At some point, however, she lost me. She began spending pages upon pages discussing dinner dishes, clothes her character wore and other minutia that slowed her novels to a crawl. Many of her readers ate this up. She remained a bestseller. And when I talk to a friend of mi…

92.
Write What You Know, No?

Write What You Know, No?

For a long time I have wondered why — Write What You Know — is the most common advice given to people who are new to the practice of writing fiction. It’s not bad advice. I don’t disagree with it, but I’ve never thought it was particularly helpful. 

When I started writing I wondered who would be interested in what …

93.
Doug’s Delivery March 2017 Toronto Ravines

www.douglasagray.ca

If you have even a remote interest in Toronto’s Heritage and local history; or more specifically in her Ravines and Urban Forest, this book by Jason Ramsay-Brown is a must read:

“Toronto’s Ravines and Urban Forest, Their Natural Heritage and Local History.” Within the content he reviews 29 urban forests an…

94.
I Killed My Villain . . . And It Angers Me

As an author of fiction I show as much respect for my villains as my protagonists. I’ve read far too many novels where the villain gets short shrift. The back story and motivation of the evil-doer might be summed up in as little as a paragraph or a page or two. From there on he/she commits heinous acts and is invariably taken down by the hero.

 

In my opinio…

95.
It’s finally cool to be a Leafs fan

Through all the heartbreak and embarrassing yearly drops in the NHL standings, being a Leafs fan over the last decade has been nothing short of challenging. For a fan base as passionate as we are, it is painful to watch teams in cities and markets, who do not care half as much about hockey as we do in Toronto, excel in our nation’s favourite sport. 

Hockey dominat...

96.
Anger to RAGE

Anger to RAGE – Prologue

           “We have his name.” A bead of sweat broke out on the white skin of the robust pastor’s brow. His Sunday shirt had already soaked through from the 100-degree heat and 90% humidity in the 1963 Mississippi Summer. The small office space in the back of the clapboard Southern Baptist Church was a small reprieve from the intense summe...

97.
JUST A TASTE

For those of you that have expressed interest in my novel, ‘VICE WOMB AGE,’ but have not yet bought a copy, or you bought a copy already but have not had a chance to read it, here is a little introduction to one of the main characters:

DANSO

Dust Conductor [Active Nanochondria Count 87….

98.
Backstory: Deciding to Publish “yes, I do exist”

 Originally, my intentions were to write this book and leave it for my son to publish after my death, due to the content of the book. I had been thinking about writing the book since the incidents occurred in December, 1990 and May, 1991.

 A couple of years ago, I opened my iPad and just started writing the preface and short first chapter. My first write got no change…

99.
A ladies guide to sports viewing

Your boyfriend or husband is obsessed with sports, and you feel completely unprepared to deal with this time-consuming, relationship-hindering passion of his. You see your weekly date nights being shortened or rescheduled due to unforeseen sporting events such as World Junior Hockey games, College Football Bowl games, and NFL games on Thursday nights. This is just too much,…

100.
How to Write a 50-Word Biography

 

Writing short is hard.

 

Authors in anthologies are often asked to provide a 50- word biography in preparation for publication. If asked, you might want to follow the example below:

 

Bull, award-winning author has more than one hundred short stories published. His short story collections and his three novels are a…

101.
Giving Back To The Community

In 2009 I published the first book in my YA Shamra Chronicles trilogy Curse of the Shamra. The book deals with the invasion and enslavement of an agricultural-based country. A small number of those in the country escaped and formed a resistance movement. It was led by Dara, a headstrong young woman who had been considered an outcast by many of her countrymen. She wo…

102.
Live and Maybe Censored

I have a live interview on Tuesday 3/21/2017. We’ll be discussing my upcoming book ‘The Next’. And if there’s time I’ll bring up a fundraising idea I have for a book festival in October. The website is www.artistfirst*dot*com

The substitution of *dot*com for .com is necessary to reach the actual site.

If I don’t make that change whatever poster sized pic...

103.
A Little Dickens

In the dark ages, when I went to high school, required classes in English Literature inevitably involved having to read at least one, sometimes two novels of nineteenth century England. Charles Dickens, who practically invented writing as a career, would always be represented. In my case it was “David Copperfield.” It was an interesting story, but not enough to hook me on Di…

104.
Sing the Blues

“The road to hell is paved with hay, and I ain’t got no fork.” – Rudy Randawl, singer of the Blues

Years ago, as the internet become more popular, the print work I created for my graphic design studio, The LooneyBin, began to dwindle. This, of course, alarmed me. However, as they say, if you can beat them join them… and the best way for me to do so at t…

105.
Writing A Novel In A Month: Not For Me

Let me state the first rule of writing before I begin. There is no one way to write a novel. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong.

 

With that said, I could never write a novel in a month, much less in six days as has popular author R.L. Stine. Nothing against Stine, but reading how he wrote his famous Goosebumps series, saddens me….

106.
Fairly Certain meets When Harry Met Sally

My friend Bill and his wife were both showing horses in a Texas competition, one of their many friendly rivalries. Although Bill had one of the best performances of his career, to his surprise he failed to place even in the top ten. His wife, on the other hand, was named champion after what he felt was an ordinary ride. He withstood her good-natured ribbing until he …

107.
WAIT, THIS DUDE WRITES LIKE A WOMAN?

One of my new found fans of my novel, ‘VICE WOMB AGE,’ messaged me during the first week of March and informed me that he completed reading the book, posted a customer review on Amazon and commented on the official review my novel received at http://onlinebookclub.org, and …

108.
My 5 Favorite Shows

Let me start by saying, I am a mom so I dont have a lot of time for reading or tv anymore. Being a mom is thrilling and exhausting. In those rare moments where my kiddos are sleeping and my husband is not watching sports I snuggle up on the couch for some much needed relax time. Since that time is limited, I am picky about what I watch. I have my favorite go to programs…..

109.
Never Ask Why

The following is an introspective story written as a senior in college giving insight into my experience playing club football.

It’s 7 o’clock Monday morning and I don’t want to get out of bed. Sunday games are always the worst. There isn’t even 24 hours to recuperate before it’s time to head back to class. Before moving I wonder whi…

110.
The Farce of Standardized Tests

As a former teacher I have nothing good to say about standardized tests. In my years of teaching we were told to “teach” the test rather than teach test-taking skills which could apply to any test. We were given a thick book with daily lesson plans we were supposed to stringently follow. I didn’t and drew the ire of my principal. I soon retired as I was determi…

111.
Drama Factor: Living Décor

Theater is a big part of my life, and every event we create is theater. We try to treat each party like a production. Part of that is using costumed models and actors at events to accent the design and add an interactive element to the party. They bring life and personality to a party, but only if you can find the right help. While you can get beautiful talent from mod…

112.
Better Options Than Report Cards

Dana Weiz has written a wonderful and thought-provoking article on the damage report cards does to a student’s morale. A student receives a “C” and the message is he/she is average. And today’s report cards are even worse. Rather than a letter get you get “Proficient” or “Not Proficient” depending on the state where you reside. Just what does that mean? During parent/teache...

113.
Discover the wonderment of the Short Story!

How many of you read short stories? Growing up, I was a prolific reader and as an adult have continued to devour books. However, the short story was never something that crossed my path or even called to me in any way. Most recently I offered our staff book club the opportunity to select a short story as our next work of literature for our up-coming meeting. I was…

114.
Excerpt of Into the Arms of Damon

Suddenly the man from the shop was there beside her. “Salaam, my dear, I am Damon. It appears we are traveling on the same flight to Amsterdam. Is this your final destination or are you returning to America like me? I am returning back to my work as I just completed my assignment here.”

Brenda, thinking how good he smelled, decided she would just sit back and lis…

115.
From Darkness Into The Light

As important — sometimes more crucial than the plot of my books are the characters I create. I live with them for months, from the time I begin planning my novel until I’ve finished the final draft. Most of my antagonists come from a very dark place and over the course of the novel you see growth and even a glimmer of happiness. Every one of us is flawed. It’s how you deal w…

116.
Who Is The Villain Of Your Novel?

You read a book or watch a TV show and it’s pretty obvious who is the villain (or antagonist). But I think a definition of a villain is far more murky than what many think. In my novel Blood Sacrifice there is the obvious villain — Thomas Samuels. Telling you is not giving anything away. He’s a serial killer and from the outset I let the reader know his identi…

117.
Now Available!

Now Available!

 

From award winning author Warren Bull comes a new novel: Abraham Lincoln in Court & Campaign. http://tinyurl.com/hyd94gr No one doubted Abraham Lincoln’s honesty. No one doubted his loyalty to friends. But what happened when those two values collided? Rumors swirl…

118.
Does your setting stink? Maybe it should!

You have your plot for your novel. You’ve crafted a number of memorable characters. You begin writing. But . . . there might be one thing you forget along the way. You have to allow the reader to enter the world you’ve created. You do so my adding smells, sights and sounds.

 

For most of my life I lived on the east coast. For the last 15 years I...

119.
Top 5 Book Boyfriends

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I decided to switch things up and do something different than my usual, and what better way to celebrate the only day dedicated to love than to count down my top five favourite book boyfriends! 

It’s no secret that I love to read. One of the things I enjoy the most about getting lost in a book are the emotions that a …

120.
The Art of Finding time:

The image I’m using here, you might recognize, is of an oil painting by Salvador Dali, completed in 1931. The title of this piece is: The Persistence of Memory.

The modern world is filled with competing distractions. Everyone wants your attention and time, many incomes out there depend on selling you something. We live in a crazy, busy world; an age of constant con...

121.
Breathing Life Into Character You Create

When writing a novel it’s essential to differentiate your characters. You bring them to life by exploring their personalities but that’s often not possible with secondary characters. So, how to make them memorable? By giving them quirks — whether it be their appearance or something they do that sets them apart from others.

 

I introduced police Sargent Es…

122.
Don’t Take Reviews Personally

What if I told you that you don’t need a thick skin to handle book reviews? Nope, you don’t, not with a proper attitude adjustment. Allow me…

Don’t Take Reviews Personally

I joined a writing group before I became a writer. Hanging around the periphery, I watched and learned, feeling like a poser who had snuck in. I didn’t have a story to wri…

123.
Why you should read historical fiction!

For most of us, unless we are history scholars, we have many gaps in our knowledge and understanding of past history. We are often so caught up in our day to day lives and of course living and dealing with our present day issues, that the lives of those in past history seem to have little relevance. 

I would recommend in the short down-time that we m…

124.
Why you should read historical fiction!

For most of us, unless we are history scholars, we have many gaps in our knowledge and understanding of past history. We are often so caught up in our day to day lives and of course living and dealing with our present day issues, that the lives of those in past history seem to have little relevance.

I would recommend in the short down-time that we mig…

125.
Important Only to the Grouch

The subject for discussion today may not seem important, but to The Grammar Grouch (my blog), it certainly is annoying. Most important, it’s a phraseology that is becoming ever more prevalent.

Most important? Surely I meant most importantly. No, damn it, I didn’t. And the only reason anyone would think the ly has to be there is that t…

126.
Best Bargains on Electronic Media

In a world full of easy access to massive amounts of entertainment and content, and as a person who is into movies, books, music and video games, I have tried to find different ways to get these as cheap as possible. It can get very expensive trying to buy new music all the time, or the newest movies or video games. 

Over the years there have been many options that h…

127.
Pulling it all together

Once you’ve finished your book your all excited your just sure that that’s the end. What you don’t know as a first-time author .Is that now the work really begins. if you’re smart you have an editor so you sent your book off and you wait impatiently for its comeback.  Then it is filled with highlighted areas that you have to fix.

Most of them are small and simple ...

128.
My Inspiration for “Blood Sacrifice”

The inspiration for Blood Sacrifice was the media frenzy that accompanied the first gay graduate of the Philadelphia Police Academy. Normally, I am drawn to a news story due to its plot (a girl kidnapped when she was three is reunited with her birth parents ten years later or a young woman is brutally raped while others turn a blind eye). In this case it was the c...

129.
Patreon for Crowd Funding Creative Types

As a creative person, it is sometimes hard to find ways to find support for the kind of work you do for the length of time it takes to do it. Let’s be honest with ourselves here – creative work takes an amount of vision from your patrons that work such as accounting, sales, IT, and the more concrete or physical jobs don’t require. Each field has its own quirks, and there a…

130.
I PUT A SPELL ON YOU!

“I PUT A SPELL ON YOU!” (…in my Screamin’ Jay Hawkins voice.)

Hey, I had to get your attention somehow… did it work? LOL! In truth, I couldn’t find a better title, so I improvised.

With that said… 

Last week, I was sent an email by the team at h...

131.
Book Cover Help Round 2

Based on polling results I was able to narrow down my choices for a book cover. I would like to thank all of those who contributed to the project. Sure, I had to weed through comments such as “I love them all” to “they all suck get your money back”. Those outlier comments were taken into consideration, but ultimately dismissed.

The cover with the white doors was …

132.
Readers as Defenders of Knowledge

I just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury for the second time. I enjoyed it more the second time than the first. I find it fascinating that this book written in 1953 was so spot on with its futuristic predictions.

The story line follows a fireman who lives in a wor…

133.
Write What You Know About?

If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a hundred times — “Write what you know about.” It’s good advice, though I often don’t follow it. For instance, I’m male, but all of my 10 published novels feature a female protagonist (and often an antagonist). My heroes — heroes and villains alike — had traumatic childhoods. Mine was relatively normal.

 

But,…

134.
Tips to Break Free From Writer’s Block

There’s a certain sense of bliss that every author experiences when they sit down to write, and the words flow seamlessly, effortlessly and organically onto the page. Watching your word count grow to ridiculous numbers in one sitting creates a confidence that makes you feel as though –  not only do you deserve to be crowned Most Productive Writer, but you should als…

135.
A TIME TO KILL, TIME

I thought it would be a good idea this week to write about a subject that all authors, especially new published authors or aspiring authors are greatly concerned about. At least it has been something of a concern for me at any rate.

I asked a friend (one of many) who was absolutely excited and enthusiastic about reading my novel, ‘Vice Womb Age.’ She h…

136.
How I Create A Multi-Layered Character

Creating a character that the reader can empathize with (even a villain) is what drives my writing. My protagonists are all flawed, just as we are in real life. In the course of my novels I first peel off the layers that made the character what he or she is and as the novel progresses there is growth in that character. By no means does my protagonist become perfect . . . no...

137.
3 Revolutionary Novels

The following three novels are near and dear to my heart. Their messages have lasted beyond the simple season of life I was in when I first read them, and they are all part of my permanent library collection.

1 – My Name is Asher Lev…

138.
SEX DOES NOT ALWAYS SELL, DOES IT?

Back in October of last year, Marvel, the company best known for producing superhero comic books as well as movies like Captain America – Civil War and the Avengers was forced to pull an ‘Invincible Iron Man’ variant cover, illustrated by J. Scott Campbell, due to pressure from many groups on social media like Black Girl Nerds, who were …

139.
Black Gold – 2

Lamar lay on the hard packed soil beside the Oil Rig, the dirt still held the heat from the unrelenting Texas Sun, and he felt the warmth melting through his clothes. He looked up at the twinkling stars that dotted the big dark sky; then he began to concentrate and take stock of the changes in his body, gone, were the constant aches in his back, his companions for the past ...

140.
Making Goal Setting Fun: A Guide for Youth.

As the new year falls upon us we think about what we want to change, and how we want to grow in the year ahead. For some the list is short, but for most, I imagine, the list is quite long and filled with goals both small and large. At the end of the year we have often achieved some of the things we have set out to do, but usually not all . 

As an educato…

141.
Plucked From The Headlines

Plucked From the Headlines

 

I have always found the plots for my novels in the headlines of newspapers (often from the much maligned but addictive New York Post). My first book Hungry Eyes was inspired by the kidnapping of 10-year old Katie Beers in 1992. She was kidnapped by a family friend and held captive in a bunker. Whe...

142.
The Making of a Writer

I was not a born writer. Thanks to my brother – and my love of breathing – I was made into one.

It all began on the type of spring day that makes maidens sigh and poets swoon. I was 10 years old, happily charging out the front door, baseball glove cradled lovingly against my chest. Suddenly an arm snaked out of nowhere, wrapped around my throat and yanked me bac…

143.
Who’s in Control Here?
  • It’s 2:00 AM. A seedy motel on the outskirts of town. The con man knows the law/the Mob/an ex-wife is on to him, and is preparing to flee. He grabs all of his belongings and hurriedly crams them into his suitcase. For a thief on the lam, this is an acceptable practice; for a screenwriter, it’s a potential disaster.
  • Do you have control of y…
144.
Life of a Gamer

Life of a Gamer 

I wake up in the morning, and it’s the same routine. Coffee, breakfast, dishes and other cleaning. But that is just my here life. For I am a gamer and I live many lives. You could say I have infinite lives. Once the routine of my here life is done, the unpredictable nature of my other lives begin.  

I wake up, not in my bed but on a desolate …

145.
Black Gold – Part 1

Lamar P. Squatlow was an oil man, or that’s how he described himself to the ladies; oil man sounded distinguished, much more distinguished than when he worked at the shopping center in the food section, asking,”paper or plastic?” all day. Lamar wasn’t really an oil man; just the lowest tier on the rig, Roughneck or Roustabout, whichever you prefer. Lamar, basically perfo…

146.
Blood Sacrifice Description

Blood Sacrifice Description

 

           In the late nineties Philadelphia media blew up with the announcement that the first openly gay man had graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy. He faced prejudice, hostility and bigotry . . . from is fellow officers.

 

           The plots of most of my novels are ripped from the headline…

147.
Down the rabbit hole

I got the idea for “The last white Wolf” when I realized many of the shiftier books out there did not have what i  wanted. So one day when I was sitting on my back porch watching my wolves play. I realized that I wanted more about the Wolf behavior and Pack life in shiftier books. So I figured the only way I was going to get what I wanted was to write the myself .So I dabbled wit…

148.
Calling All Writers and Artists
  • Picture this: It’s the year 2021, and in a public square in Concord, Massachusetts a statue is to be unveiled commemorating the hero of the Second Revolution. The crowd is festive. Children run around and beneath the legs of their assembled parents. At a nod from the mayor, the cloth draping the statue drops away and the people begin to applaud, softly at fi…
149.
Can you feel the rhythm?

Rhythm is at the heart of all music, and the first musical element we try to instil in our young musicians. There are so many fun ways to explore rhythm, and many inquires take place naturally through play and exploration. Its no surprise babies are drawn to objects like pots and pants that they can bang together and make noise with. Although it can dire us nuts, it …

150.
What’s your happiness equation?

As a kid, most of us had big expectations and large dreams, knowing no limits and believing we could actually have, be and do anything we wanted. But along the way, even though it remained true, most people decide that instead they need to just get a good job that pays well and settle into a life that is expected of them. And, along with someone to share it with, this l…

151.
Make That Rejection Letter Your Focal Point!

“I pinned my 1st rejection letter to my kitchen wall because it gave me something in common with all my fave writers!” – J.K. Rowling via Twitter (March 25, 2016).

What do literary geniuses, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, and Agatha Christie all have in common? Surprisingly enough, each of them have written books that were rejected b...