More articles in category: Arts And Entertainment

Book Review: Waiting for Gordo, by Sue Knight

When I first opened the pages of Waiting for Gordo, I was expecting a light-hearted vacation story, good for a few chuckles. While it certainly was that, the novel, like the mysterious island paradise that serves as its setting, turned out to be much more.

Miranda is on a diving holiday with her stalwart husband, Jim, and a group of expat British nationals (plus one …

The Most Beautiful English Words

The Most Beautiful English Words

Photo by Jose Llamas

According to Kaplan International:

 and I Quote


Book Review of Tales by Polish Authors


For 123 years, 1795 – 1918, the country had ceased to exist. The once powerful Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had been swallowed by its imperialistic neighbors, Russia, Austria, and Prussia. While the nation itself no longer appeared on the maps, it stayed alive in the hearts of Poles and was expressed through writing, music and art. Tales by Polish Authors, by Hen…

People with Cognitive Disorders Contribute

A couple of weeks ago, I attended an art show. Like other art shows, it featured drawings and paintings by talented artists. The only thing about this art show was that it wasn’t held at a gallery or fancy café; it was held at an Adult Day Care for severely handicapped people.

Carousel Adult Day Care in Kansas City, Missouri has been hosting art shows for many year...

Book Review: The Boy Who Wanted Wings

Author James Conroyd Martin is best known for The Poland Trilogy, his remarkable series of historical romance novels set in partition-era Poland. In The Boy Who Wanted Wings, he flies the reader back a century or so to 1683, the year of the Ottoman siege of Vienna. This is a momentous time in history, when the freedom of all of Europe hangs in the balance. Those who have rea…

Review of Pan Michael by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Pan Michael is the last segment of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s trilogy about the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the 17th Century. The first book, With Fire and Sword, treated the Chmielnicki Rebellion in the Ukraine. The Deluge, the second novel, which is on my reading list, deals with wars with Sweden and Russia. Pan Michael, also called Fire in the Steppe, dea…

Bad Reviews

Bad Reviews:

Image from Pixabay

There is no escape from bad reviews. In some ways, I feel relieved when I first receive a review that is less than stellar on something I’ve written. It’s not that I like it, but I know it’s going to happen. It’s like getting the first dent in a new car.  The way I write, and drive, it is bound to happen.  

After s...

Creating Your Healing Haven

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”. Arthur Ashe

Creating Your Healing Haven

Summer is almost at its end, the children are back in school, or off to college and now is a great time for you to focus on your home. A time to sit back and, relax with a glass of your favourite drink and contemplate on what you would like your hom...

Is your butt-crack showing?

Is your butt-crack showing?


Image by rawpixel on Upsplash


In the world of popular fashion, like most of us, I admire the saggy pants that allow a cunning reveal from behind of the underpants elastic. We can satisfy our curiosity about whether the wearer prefers tidy whiteys or colorful briefs.  But it is a faux pas to display one’s ana...

An Audience of One

An Audience of One

Image from Upsplash


A different drummer  

Setting goals is an essential part of achieving success in following your passion, but it is easy to end up with goals that lead to dissatisfaction. Making X amount of money, writing a New York Times best-selling book or becomi...


Antimetabole is a literary term that involves repeating a phrase in reverse order.

“You like it: it likes you.”

“Fair is foul and foul is fair.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

“The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

Other examples (some bring a smile):

·        “Eat to live, not live to eat.” – Soc...

A Book Without Dragons – Chapter 0

As an author, it helps me to know exactly what each of my characters was doing JUST before the start of the book. I call them “Chapter 0” drabbles. Let’s take a look at what Willow was up to right befo…

What’s in Your Writer’s File?

Perhaps you’re familiar with Samuel L. Jackson’s punch line in his commercials for Capital One. After he tells you everything that the card is not, he tells you what it is and asks the viewers, “What’s in your wallet?”

I’m going to ask you a variation on the question, though, and it has nothing to do with your credit cards or your wallet.

I’m going t…

Bildungsroman Examples

Bildungsroman is a combination of two German words: “Bildung”meaning education or growth, and “Roman”, meaning novel.” It suggests an educational novel, which is a broad category. In order for a novel to be considered a true Bildungsroman, the main character has to experience some form of moral development. The focus is on the charact…

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Victoria Laurie’s “Ghost Hunter” series is for a new generation interested in the paranormal, for people more familiar with TV’s “Ghost Hunters” and “Most Haunted” rather than the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and possessed card catalogs.

M.J. Holliday can trace her ancestors back to the famous “Doc” Holliday of America’s Old West… and she can talk to him, too. When …

Damn You William Shakespeare!

I’m not mad at the Bard, not really, but today I am upset with a devotee of William Shakespeare, Eugene Schieffelin. I came across several smashed robin eggs, and I lamented on the foolishness of man meddling with nature. 

Eugene Schieffelin was responsible for introducing the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) to North America. In 1890, he released 60 sta…

Character Interview: Ellsie

Hey, Everyone! I have a Character Survey for you. This one features Ellsie from my fantasy book, The …

Back To School – Back To Work

At the start of summer, I had every good intention of getting a lot of work done. I’m a college instructor and normally teach during summer, but I took this year off. My “To Do List” was long: declutter the house, repaint the walls, edit/publish my clients’ books, write a new book of my own, and so forth.

I started at a sprint. June and July were pretty producti…

Wish You Were Here, Badfinger “A Rock Fantasy”.

I thought this was a good chapter in my book and I had so much fun writing the story. I hope you agree.

Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

Because I hadn’t checked in a while I flew back to one. I can’t understand how anybody can live here. Going to all these levels is a pain. How could Pete be here or even come down to visit? Hearing familiar music from behind …

How Do U Know?

How Do U know?

The image from is a salted paper print from a glass plate collodion negative taken on February 27, 1860 by Mathew B. Brady that is currently in the National Portrait Gallery.


How do you write about Lincoln as if you knew him? How can you claim to Love him?These questions pop up repeatedly on my Facebook page I love Abe Lin…

My Favorite Tattoo

Today I saw my new favorite tattoo. It was on the upper arm of a handsome muscular young man. To be honest, in general, I am not a fan of tattoos. That’s due to an article I read years ago about how the tattoo industry wasn’t regulated.

Back then, tattoo artists could concoct their own dyes, many of which had heavy metals and other dangerous ingredients in t…

A Force of Nature

There is a small patch of fur that keeps tickling my nose as it blows in the Arctic winds, but that doesn’t matter, because I am snuggled in tight against my wolf brothers and sisters, and our pile is warm. For once, my belly is completely full because Amaroq brought down a caribou bull today and we have all been able to eat our fill. The sky above us is full of wheels…

Going Dutch

Writing, it’s hard work. The best make it look easy. It’s not. There are rules. Elmore “Dutch*” Leonard knew them all. He should. He wrote Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing along with 45 other books, including the best selling novels Get Shorty, Gli…


Hyperbaton means “transposition,” and refers to an inversion in the arrangement of common word structure. Writers use hyperbaton to create differently arranged sentences, which still suggest a similar meaning.

It is employed for emphasis and rhetorical effect. It is used as inflected language.

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”  (Escalus in William…

Can Authors Make Money?

As a published author, one question I get asked frequently is “How many books have you sold?”

That question is like asking a man how big his paycheck is. It’s rude — for several reasons.

First, authors don’t like that question because we often don’t know how many books we’ve sold. Most of us don’t keep specific numbers, and when we do, they are never as hig…

Reach for a New Hero…

I tend to read a lot of mysteries. Even the most well-written mysteries are still brain candy, a plot meant to engage our minds, a story spun to draw us in. Perhaps this is the reason I love mystery  series so much.

I’ve noticed a lot of bookstore customers working their way through a mystery series or two …

What is a story

What is a Story?


Image from Dmitry Ratushny at


Sometimes people think a bunch of words on a page related to one idea or character is a story. It might be or it might not. As a recovering editor and writing contest judge, I have read conglomerations of words that had action, focus and grammatically competent sentences that did …

You Know Sybil. Now Meet Peaches

Peaches was having a rough month already. Three weeks late on the rent, her truck wouldn’t start and her creepy ass child molesting uncle Earl was getting out of jail next week. Now her friend and former exotic dancing girlfriend Danielle informed her that she was getting married to the love of her life Luther Smith. This she assumed would put an end to the semi romanti…

Character Analysis: Jasper

Jasper has always been part of the plot, even when A Book Without Dragons was still a short story. While his functionality within the story went through a bunch of rewrites, his personality was pretty solid from the beginning.

From a plot standpoint, having him there allowed a good amount of the exposition to come out in dialog between him and Willow. …


Antanagoge – places a criticism and compliment together to lessen the impact.

Antanagoge works well when someone talks or thinks about negative things and feels uncomfortable about it. “If we must say something negative, then we will balance it up with something positive.”

If we have to criticize another person, antanagoge can be used to soften the blow by…

Writing Through the Bad Days

You’ve set a goal to write regularly, if not every day. But then something happens: a child gets sick, the plumbing backs up, the car gets a flat tire…

You know what I’m talking about. And it doesn’t have to be “big” problems that throw a wrench in your day. Maybe you just have too many other things on your plate and writing isn’t a high priority. It’s easy to say …

Wish You Were Here, Badfinger, “A Rock Fantasy”

Photo by Dennis Jarvis

“Oh, hello, I’m George Harrison.” I said silly things like this to Victoria, doing my best imitation of the Beatles lead guitarist, while I sat in midair.

“Oh, Tommy, you are too funny.”

Moving from house to house, still on Level 4, I became sillier, yelling things like, “Me brain hurts,” Monty Python style. By taking …

Secret Pleasures and Hidden Gems

Secret Pleasures and Hidden Gems by Warren Bull

Talk of rebooting Buffy the Vampire Slayertelevision series has me remembering how much the original series was a secret favorite of mine. Once you accepted the concept, which I have to admit was tough for those not into vampires, demons and such, the writing was great switching between humor, angst, id…


One of my favorite comic book artists Mike Mignola, famous for the creation, writing and art of the HELLBOY comics was at this year’s SDCC – San Diego Comic Convention. He was asked about his influences, (who inspired him to become an artist) and the first name he said was Frank Frazetta. Frazetta was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, note…

I Survived Summer Reading

It’s summer, and that means vacation, and summer reading. If you are looking for your third grader to survive summer reading, then check out the historical fiction series by Lauren Tarshis. History is more than a series of situations, and dates. Lauren presents historical facts woven with the experience of a boy living through a historical event. History is life lived backw…

Learning to Love Podcasts

Up until recent months, you would typically find me driving around, windows down, with the music turned up. At the gym, I plug in my earphones and work out with some sort of hard hitting melody to help push my limits. These are just two examples of how music resonates with me in my day to day life. However, if you had told me a few months back that I’d now be listening to …

New Book Release of Biblical Proportions!

I am so thrilled to announce the newest book release from my publishing company, Skyrocket Press.

THE WORD AND THE STRUGGLE is a collection of essays tackling s…

A Thousand Words

The Link Between

  • He grabs his weapon of choice and faces the blank canvas. Puddled in clumps on the pallet, the paint waits patiently for the master to mix them, form them, and spread them into a masterpiece.

  • She cracks her knuckles and poises her fingers over the keyboard. Mind full of wonde...

Isocolon is a rhetorical device that involves a succession of sentences, phrases, and clauses of grammatically equal length. The sentence has a parallel structure that is made up of words, clauses, or phrases of equal length, sound, meter, and rhythm. The plural of isocolon can be either isocolons or isocola.

Isocolons can be very effective persuasive devices. The…

Lawn Boy

I’ve always been a natural entrepreneur. I remember my very first enterprise–such a classic. A variation of the sidewalk lemonade stand, the sweet catch was…the stock wasn’t mine. It was the weekend of our annual family reunion. Remember those? It’s when you see relatives that you won’t even see at Christmas.

You eat and drink to excess, and then promise that y…

Molinari Won but Is Tiger Back?

Photo credit: @carnoustiegolf

This weekend the Open Championship (also called the British Open by U.S. golfers) was held at the Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. The Champion Golfer of the Year was Francesco Molinari of Italy. While this is an intriguing story in itself as he is Italy’s first Major champion, Molinari’s victory was overshadowed by th…

CART For Hearing

CART stands for Communication Access Real-time Translation. It may also be referred to as real-time captioning. It is used by hard of hearing and deaf people who use English as their first language and/or their language of instruction. Most often, the hard of hearing or deaf person can voice for him or herself (expressive communication) and uses CART to understand what o…

Analyzing Artistic Films – Do Some Succeed At It?

“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That’s the thing about painting, photography, cinema.” – David Lynch

This is one of my favorite statements that film director David Lynch often gives. Often it is a response he gives to those asking what his movies mean. Anyone who aims to receive a particular understanding of one of his films, or many othe...

History of July

Although there is so much to celebrate every day of each month, every day in each month also has an interesting history, much of which is documented for us to remember the greatness of our past.

Did you know?

July 1, 1847 the U.S postage stamps went on sale for the first time?

Also, on July 1, 1963 Zip codes went into use

July 2, 1881 President…

My Characters Enjoying Summer Activities

In honor of the glorious month of July, I asked my characters to choose their favorite Summer activity. Here are some of their answers…



(From The World That Forgot How to Dan...

Crowd Sways

I think I’ll use this space this week to share a short story I wrote in a Zoom meeting I had with some fellow authors. The prompt supplied to us was, “write a story about an individual that has a song stuck in his or her head.” What follows in my contribution to that activity.

I hope you enjoy…

Crowd Sways

I lef…



Writers and public speakers use idioms to make their language richer and spicier. Idioms help to convey subtle meanings. The phrase is understood to mean something different from what individual words of the phrase would imply. It’s interpreted in a figurative sense, not literally.

The writer uses idioms to convey maximum meanings through minimum wor...

Martin Luther Play Now – John Hus in the Future

This past Wednesday was my fourth performance of my one man, one act play called An Evening With Martin Luther. We had 50 to 60 people in attendance. This is the first time that the play has been performed in another venue other than my church. The play is designed to teach about Martin Luther’s life. I originally wrote this play to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the p…

My Characters as Birds

Hi everyone! I’m in a ‘just for funsies’ mood, so I’ve paired some of my characters up with the birds that best represents their personalities. Enjoy!


(From A Book Without Dragons)

Blue Ja…

Proud to be A Book Addict

Keeping it short and sweet today.

I am a book addict. I don’t know how else to describe the inexpressible pull I feel toward books or my compulsive need to keep buying them. I read about 30-50 books a year, usually three or four at the same time. I own more than a hundred books that I haven’t yet read but have every intention of reading “some day”.

Last ...


Euphemism is the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression that is thought to be harsh, blunt, or offensive. The birds and the bees, and cold turkey are euphemisms for sex and reproduction, and a quick, complete withdrawal from the use of an addictive substance, respectively.

Writers skillfully choose appropriate words to refer to and di…

The Totally Ninja Raccoons Meet the Jersey Devil

Excerpt from “The Totally Ninja Raccoons Meet the Jersey Devil” the eighth book in the Totally Ninja Raccoon series. The Totally Ninja Raccoons are specifically written for reluctant readers. Short chapters, humor, adventure, and one picture per chapter keep kids feeling a sense of engagement and accomplishment as they plow through these stories and ask for more! …

What’s in a Name?

Her name is Elizabeth. Amid a multitude of revelers that had arrived to watch their king marry a commoner, she kneels, takes his hand, and with a glad smile, pledges her heart to him who is ruler of the land.

It’s a common story that has been told a hundred times in one form or another. Her name is also one that we see very often, both in the real world ...

Motel is a Portmanteau

Portmanteau refers to the practice of joining together two or more words in order to create an entirely new word. The object is to create a name or word for something by combining the individual characteristics of 2 or more other words.  

Notice that to be a portmanteau, it has to be parts of two words together, a fr…

Summer Fun

Happy July everyone! There is so much to celebrate this month. Not only the National Holidays but it’s Canada Day and 4th of July Independence Day in the USA. Why not combine the National Holiday this month with your country’s birthday. Double the fun!

July 1 – Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day

July 3 – Compliment Your Mirror Day

July 4 – National Country M…

“Twitter is the mother of mental syphillis.”

“Twitter is the mother of mental syphillis.”

Will Hochman; photo: Carolyn Brown

    Illness sits securely at the center of the two lives on stage in Adam Rapp’s new play, “The Sound Inside,” which is receiving its world premiere perfor...

Princess Personality Type

No, not necessarily the crown-wearing or high power-possessing princess. Instead it’s the female that is born (and perhaps not made) into a certain personality type that can only be called a princess. A princess is a female that is usually frail physically but quite solid in specific ways mentally. They also don’t speak much in many situations, yet when the situation i…

The Importance of Editors

Since I have both an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and a BA in English, I’ve been asked if I edit my own books. After all, it would be easier. I’d save time and money that way.

I answer with an emphatic NO.

There is no way I can exist as a writer without the symbiotic relationship I have with my editors. No matter how well I think I write, there are …


Italian Lifestyle in Yorkville Village, ICFF Moda plays host to the 2nd annual Ryerson School of Fashion FASHI-ON design competition

This year the ICFF Italian Contemporary Film Festival expanded its substantial reach through cinema to include fashion design. Working in partnership with the Italian Trade Commission, the Italian Consolate, and Yorkville Village…

Never know what you’ll find at the aquarium!

There have been many fun days this month, with lots of reasons to celebrate… not to mention enjoying the beautiful summer weather to help things along. Did you know however, that it is also National Aquarium Month!?

Had I realized this earlier in the month I would have planned a road trip or a vacation to go see all the amazing aquariums that Canada has to offe…

Using Pinterest as a Writer

I was a late arrival to the Pinterest party. I might have held out forever if I hadn’t attended a very interesting class in the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference which presented Pinterest as a writing tool. With that idea in my mind, my unshakable willpower gave way to “Well, if you insist…”

I won’t lie and pretend like I don’t sacrifice large sums of time to…


Aphorism is a concise expression of principle or any generally accepted truth conveyed in a memorable statement. Aphorisms are closely related to proverbs and adages. Aphorism introduces big ideas in relatively few words and they pack a punch.

Aphorisms are often (though not always) witty or humorous, and they’re used everywhere, from philosophical…

The Leaf

One thing I enjoy doing is combining art and literature. There is a story behind every painting, portrait, or work of abstract art…sometimes, the artist knows the story before the work even begins. At other times, the story doesn’t come out until the last stroke of the pen, the last swipe of the brush. There’s beauty in art, and in my case, as an author, there’s …

A New Era (A Short Story)

So this was a short story that I had written for a contest to try and get it published in a paid magazine. I unfortunately didn’t make it but it was one of my first attempts as an emerging author. I feel like this is a strong story and has potential to maybe get worked into a serious work that I invest time on. Until then I thought it was a cute short story for ev…

Review: RIOT A disorderly cocktail of theatre

This year’s Luminato Festival has an obvious political theme, but RIOT is where even the coldest human truths will be served to you on a platter alongside Glee-style hits, neon spandex and graceful aerialists.

There is no doubt that the cast of RIOT thoroughly …

Fiction: Zen’s Hens

Once while writing, I accidentally rhymed within a sentence. (I want to say the sentence was discussing ‘Bill’s skills.’) I was amused. I giggled. And then I proceeded to find words to rhyme all of my character’s names.

I am an expert in procrastination.

Anyway, if the image is particularly intriguing to me, I’ll write it out. So, here’s one for my grumpy mat…

Shattered Visions

 What would you do if your world was suddenly flipped upside down? If everything that you ever loved was suddenly taken from you? Johnathan Barton experienced just that.

 Johnathan was a successful Prosecutor returning home with his wife from a company retreat when suddenly the weather turns from bad to unreal. The water falls from the skies as if someone had scoo…

START HERE: How to Publish an Article on GoRead

START HERE: How to Publish an Article on GoRead

Image from a personal photograph

The first time I flew to New Zealand I was not able to sleep at all. I stumbled out of the plane after a flight of 4 hours to Los Angeles followed by a flight of 13 hours to Auckland. Due to time zone changes, an entire day of my life had vanished. I hauled my weary, unshaven...

Stargazing With Binoculars

The nighttime sky is truly a wonder to behold, and for a young boy just starting a lifetime of discovery, my dad’s old binoculars were all I needed. When you read about the latest discovery with the Hubble space telescope, you might think that the only things worth looking at are with the biggest, best, and most expensive equipment, but it simply isn’t true. If you are just...

Dating Science Fiction

The Concept of Time

Of all the genres of fiction, however, followers of science fiction seem to pay the most attention to detail. If you are a writer or science fiction— or even thinking about writing science fiction—the attention to detail is paramount. One of those details is the use of dates and the passage of time. As writers, when ou…


Anastrophe is a literary device wherein the words of a sentence are moved out of their normal order or inverted. Use anastrophe to add a sense of depth.

Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance” ~ W. Eugene Smith


Prisoner by Janet Leigh Green

Drip, drip, drip. Cold, freezing drops, each one penetrated my brain like a shard of broken glass, ripping through my forehead with each strike. I squinted one eye open, and turned my head slightly to the right; I winced when another cold drop hit my ear, “Ouch, Oh God,” I cried out. I needed to survey the room. Darkness overwhelmed me; I tried to scoot away from the f…

Let’s Talk About Titles

Titles are hard for me. (Very hard. Like, ‘do 50 chin-ups’ hard)

This is important because, let’s face it, titles are what cause most people to pick up a book, or not. Ideally we would read the synopsis for every book on the shelf before making a selection but who really has time for that?

Generally, titling my work is the very last step in …

About the Main Character

So I wanted to take the time to talk about my book a little bit more, and I thought a great way to introduce the book would be to talk about the main character a little bit more and explain how her character progresses from beginning to end. 

So she starts out as a very repressed person. In the beginning as she is talking about what her world was like before, she c…

What did you love about the 80’s?

 How many of you grew up in the 80’s? What did you like about that era, the decade of excess? I myself loved the music, with everyone from Prince, Warrant, and Billy Joel, to Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper. But other then great music, what else was great about the 80’s? I would sa that Television and Movies would be in that category. With movies From The Goonies, a…

Father’s Day

June is my favorite time of year in Tioga County Pennsylvania for many different reasons. Here’s a very short story I wrote about Wellsboro’s Laurel Festival. Have you ever noticed that Father’s Day is usually around the solstice and Wellsboro’s Laurel Festival is always around Father’s Day? Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there. Be proud, but maybe in a di…

Zeugma for Impact

Zeugma (zoog-muh): the last word doesn’t fit in the cognitive sequence. It’s a fluent mismatch that can carry power or an emotional punch. The last word or phrase also could be humorous or a surprise.

 “The addict kicked the habit and then the bucket.”

 “Fear makes us cautious, resentful and sometimes dangerous.”

 “His boat and his dreams sank…

“Is it because of me?”

A Lesson From Aloes, by Athol Fugard. Directed by Darko Tresnjak for Hartford Stage. Reviewed by J. Peter Bergman.

    Aloe is a genus containing over 500 species of flowering succulent plants.Some aloes native to South Africa are tree-like. According to Piet Bezuidenhout there is much to be learned from these plants about the infinite variety of human discou…

The First Time

I wanted to take the opportunity to use this article to give you notice of my new blog on my new website:

Here’s my blog from my new site:

There is a first time for everything: that first breath, the first step, the first vacation, the first time you met the love of your life, the first time you had….well, the list coul…

Rolling With The Trolling

Rolling With the Trolling

Image from Pixabay

I’ve written before about my face page, “I Love Abe Lincoln,” which I use to build a platform for my non-fiction upcoming book Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories. At that time I had received my first, “I hate Lincoln” post. Oddly enough I found that reassuring. 

See, throughout my life I ha...

Venomous Snakes

Humans have always been afraid of snakes. Maybe it’s a vague mammalian memory from when timid, chipmunk-sized creatures scurried in the looming shadow of the giant reptiles. It is no wonder we discovered fire, and invented the repeating rifle — just to make sure it’s “really, really dead”.

Ophidiophobia, the irrational fear of snakes, is quite common. Al…

Nostalgia – It’s Not That Great

Nostalgia is always a nice mood to experience – going into the past and partially feeling what you felt back then. It reminds you of how things used to be far better than you just trying to remember the past without the help of nostalgic referents. You’re not that powerful, that you can vividly return to the past anytime just by thinking about it. So when it happens, …

How Would You Like to Win $250???

For all you book lovers out there, Skyrocket Press (my publishing company) sends out a FREE monthly newsletter packed with cash giveaways, book reviews, free downloads, and more! This month’s issue includes a $250 & (2) $100 CASH GIVEAWAYS!!!…

Use Understatement for Irony

Understatement is a literary device used to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is. Writers and speakers use understatement for a variety of reasons, but most often it is done to create irony. It is the opposite of hyperbole, which is deliberate exaggeration.

Understatements can be cat…

My Thoughts: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland: Philosophy of existence

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are two books I had never read. I like classic literature, of all genres it is my favorite although I don’t fully know why. I enjoy finding the profound lessons …

Pokemon – The Craze

How many of you know what Pokemon is? How many of of you spent the early years of the nineties trying to catch those little critters and capture them inside your poke ball? I’ll tell you that it was millions, so many in fact that today it has become Nintendo’s highest grossing video game franchise ever, beating out Mario as the world most popular video game ever. 


The Half Way Mark!

Congratulations! We’ve been celebrating National day for six months. Are you having fun? I hope you are making the most of all these little celebrations.

This month has so many fun days coming up and I am so excited to participate in them!  

June 1 – National Doughnut Day

June 4 – National Cheese Day

June 5 – Hot Air Balloon Day

June 8 –…

Villains of Fiction

Villains are one of my favorites subjects in writing and reading. They are essentially, the backbone of most novels as they are a part of the drive for the conflict. I love the quirky, moustache twirling, over-the-top villain that almost never finishes his evil plan; as he is usually very fun to watch. I love the super-threatening villain who wins for all of two minutes….

Pennsylvania Diners

I love to eat, and I appreciate a good diner. Pennsylvania is rich in diners. A restaurant might call itself a diner, but it doesn’t make it so. A diner is more than a place to get a hot cuppa joe and Adam and Eve on a raft*. A diner has a history, a personality, a place in the community, and a story.

The story of the diner is the story of Middle America. America…

Hang On

Hang on

Image from pixabay

In my last article, which was for new writers, I intended to congratulate those who have written a book and to advise them about going on beyond that toward publication. I was inspired by Ken Dunn who shared his all-too-common experience as a publisher talking to a new writer about what it would take to get his book to …

Writing on the Go

Life is busy. It’s a fact that everyone knows. Sometimes I wonder how we, as a society, ever decided to trade a sharp #2 pencil, a stack of college ruled notebook paper, and an oversized pink eraser for laptop computers, the click of a mouse, and the power or your favorite word processor. Wasn’t technology supposed to help free our time? Wasn’t it supposed to make li…

My Life Is An Open Book… Series

My Life Is An Open Book… Series

(Originally posted on

Quill Cloud

One of my more favorite personal quotes is “Never do anything you’ll regret. Never regret…

Fantasy books as a part of culture

There are fantasy books that are well worth the read, because they contain not just a storyline, or action and romance. But there is an underlying theme and lesson in those particular books, not every fantasy author writes in such a style and in some author’s works that underlying theme is much harder to see and pick out but it is there none-the-less. Among the most notable authors that…

Two-Character Mash up: Zen and Rodney

This post features the following characters from my stories:

Zen from Dove Without Wings


Polysyndeton ~ Adding Conjunctions

Polysyndeton is a stylistic device in which several coordinating conjunctions are used in succession in order to achieve an artistic effect. It involves a series of conjunctions (and or or) linking words or phrases of three or more.

The repetition of the conjunctions adds power to the other words.  I…

Manolo Blahnik: THE ART OF SHOES

The Bata Shoe Museum, a North American cultural landmark with a strong international reputation, is delighted to announce the opening of the highly anticipated travelling exhibition MANOLO BLAHNIK: THE ART OF SHOES, a stunning retrospective by one of the world’s most influential figures within the fashion industry. After being showcased international…

Opera America Conference – June 2018

Opera is enlivened by difference. Diverse artists, audiences, trustees and staff all bring powerful perspectives to our industry and make opera stronger. An inclusive creative environment thrives on mutual respect and authentic community connections. Through personal reflection and teamwork, our field is moving forward — with much more to accomplish.

With your hel...

Italian National Day: Castello Italia at Casa Loma

For four years now Casa Loma has been transformed into “Castello Italia” to celebrate Italian National Day, also known as la Festa della Repubblica, and Italian Heritage Month in Canada. Every year the event attracts over 4,000 attendees thanks to the numerous food tasting stations, wine and espresso samplings, entertainment and exhibitions.

This year’s highlig…

Leaving Legacy

Animals, adventure, long cold treks between the stars, it was impossible to keep me in books growing up. I couldn’t get enough, but I couldn’t keep all those books. There wasn’t room or money enough. Just one of many reasons to love the library in town, the library at school, because I could read the books and take them back, leaving room for more, but some books one can’t…

Dear New Writer


Dear New Writer,


Image from Pixabay  Dedicated to Ken Dunn


I’m going to guess that people have been remarking on how well you write for years.  Family members, friends, co-workers and teachers have probably commented on your skill as a wordsmith. It’s gratifying. Maybe you’ve put forth the sweat equity into writing a book. If so, co…

The Review

When it comes to writing, I like to be encouraging. One of the great things about GoRead is that 99% (I’m inserting my own percentages because in my experience, almost all writers are readers too) of the registered users on the site are not just writers…they are readers too. I am of the opinion that to be a good writer, well, a great writer, you also have to be a good rea…

Book Reviews — What are They

A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. That sounds kind of stuffy. It is not a summary of the book, that is what the description does. A book review is your opinion of the book; what you liked or disliked, what kept you interested, was it difficult to read, and, (in fiction) were the characters bel…

Comprehending The Very Large

I’ve liked insanely large numbers for a long time. Trying to imagine them seems to stretch the mind into new territory. If you think “how big is infinity”, the answer is of course “infinite”. But if you really try to imagine a quantity that keeps going and going without end, your mind will eventually stop and produce a number that probably “just” reaches a monumental amount,…

Should an AI entity have rights?

During one of my appearances on the Jordan Rich show when I co-hosted the Science Fiction hour, Jordan and I received a call from a listener who asked about rights for future individuals that would be neither human nor robot but somewhere in between. He cited the term Singularity coined by Ray Kurzweil in a book predicting that the line between man and machine will blur. I …

The Things They Carried

I’m a working class guy-born of farmers, and factory workers, truck drivers and laborers, and both my parents are veterans. I guess that why I think of the enlisted man-the guys and gals who drive the tank, repair the helicopter, that get things done-when Memorial Day rolls around. You know the grunts.

The grunts, the infantry, the doughboy, the duck-foot, the foot...

Why Cops hate Police shows on Television

Why Cops hate Police shows on Television

Image from Pixabay

There are many things television cops do that are so far from reality that the shows should be called science fiction.  For example:

Pistols versus automatic weapons

Unfortunately even officers pure in heart armed only with pistols wouldn’t stand mu…

Asyndeton ~ No Conjunctions

Asyndeton is Greek for “unconnected.” It’s used to intentionally eliminate conjunctions between phrases, and in sentences, yet maintain grammatical accuracy. This literary tool presents meaning in a concise form. Asyndeton speeds up the rhythm of the speech.

“…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.” Abraham L…

The Evolution of Writing

  How many of the writers out there now-a-days remember how it used to be when you wanted to write a story? Back in the day as we might say, computers were knew and word processors were anything but good. So most of us resorted to writing our thoughts into a notebook, I know that’s how I started. 

   I’ve been writing for a long time, I’ve been wanting to be a wri...

Say Cheese, it’s May!

May has been packed full so far with lots of fun national days. How exciting is it that every day has a different celebration?

Are you wondering how you will possibly remember all the amazing things you have done? Well how about taking photographs. Taking pictures and selfies are the best way to keep memories alive.

You may have noticed people taking pictures…

The Most Precious Resource

Time. It’s a precious commodity. I’ve always known this, but lately I’ve been seeing it with increasing clarity. I work a day job in addition to my writing, which means that a vast majority of my time is spent away from my laptop. During this time, of course, all I’m thinking about is writing. Also, I have all the normal, average, every-day mundane tasks that we all must go…

The Joy of Reading Science Fiction

In college I rediscovered recreational reading when I learned to buy books that appealed to me personally as opposed to my English teachers. The first book that kicked off this new found hobby came at the suggestion of a friend. It was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. No wait, that’s not right. What was it? Oh yes, it was Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard.


Creating your Characters

  So you decided to be an author, that’s great everyone knows that we need more great writers in the world. You’ve decided o  a topic to write on but how do you develop your characters? 

 Characters and character development can be some of the toughest part of becoming an author. So where do you start? And how do you come up with the most interesting and life-like ch…

Literary Device Involving Vowel Sounds

Assonance is a literary device that uses vowel sounds. It’s the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words and often is used to set a mood. 

One student said to her friend, “The test was easy breezy.”

A group needed money to continue a trip and someone said, “Chuck’s got the bucks.”

“Go and mow ...

The dream Part 2

 Amber stood in the doorway, frozen stiff. Rick noticing his wife staring out the door, call to her. “Baby, you ok? he asked. Amber turned to him and quietly whispered for him to come over and take a look, but when she turned back to look out the door, the rabbit was gone. She stepped out on the porch to see if she could see where the rabbit had hopped off too, but couldn’t …

Texting Pomp and Circumstance

Ah, it’s that time of year again: lawnmowers roaring up and down at every hour of the day and night; flowers in profusion from every tree, bush, prom-goer’s wrist, and grocery store display; and “Pomp and Circumstance” being practiced in band rooms and on high school football fields in anticipation of the big day. And, while most new graduates like to see the gift of g…

The Naked Roommate

You’ve been waiting. The day has finally come. Your teachers, your parents, and you did a great job of getting you through high school, even after that little cadaver incident. You will soon graduate and never again be forced to shower with 40 sweaty guys, or suffer through another boring study hall again, but now what?

You don’t know what you want to do with the r…

The Time Traveler

It’s just a plain cardboard box—at first. But as I study its blank brown surface, ideas and possibilities dance in my head. I grab my cigar box full of colored markers and set to work. 

I draw knobs in dark gray toggle switches in various positions: the ones in the up position have a touch of bright green on the tip; yellow for those in the center, or neutral, p…

An Introduction to “Memoirs Of the In-Between”
Yuzuki Kobayashi was an assassin for a regent empress, along with her entire family. When her father betrays them though and puts the entire country at stake for a civil war, Yuzuki sacrifices herself to save them. She had thought that death was the end of her journey. Much to her dismay, there is life after death, and as she awakens in this…
May Brings Warmth and Fun

May is known for the start of the wedding season, Mother’s Day and the May 2-4 long weekend. However, did you know that there is so much more to celebrate and enjoy in May. Let’s take a look and see what’s coming up:

May 1 – Mother Goose Day

May 2 – Brother and Sister Day

May 4 – Star Wars Day

May 6 – Beverage Day

May 8 – No So...

Dreams,Inspirations and Great Stories

Have you ever been trapped somewhere dark and creepy with no way out? You look around and all you can see is darkness and thick fog all around you surrounded by trees on all sides. The trees look like they could grab you at any moment or step out of the ground that they were planted in and come right towards you. They look at you with their evil yellow eyes, studying you,…

Vampires and the Sun: The Debate

In Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula,’ Gary Oldman, as Dracula, walked in the sun. He walked down a London street and met Mina full in the daylight. He didn’t cower from it, he didn’t try to stay in the shadows. He had the sun on his face and in his eyes, and he was fine. He got to wear those cute little sunglasses and he didn’t even get a sunburn. The idea that vampires cannot walk i...

Finding my Ideas and Creativity

I find that my creative ideas can stem from the most random events as well as films and books. Sometimes this could help when I’m stuck during my writing, unsure of where the next scene should take the character.


If I’m out for a walk looking at the scenery around me, I may see something that’ll spark an idea or two. Or sometimes a family member will …

Writing The Supernatural Horror

 We live in a world where people like to tell stories, it keeps us entertained and interested, and sometimes even a little creeped out. One of my favorite types of stories is ghost stories, being a horror writer you could say that it really inspires me. I love anything strange and unusual and even creepy, and the best ones for me; are the ones that are based on true …

Literary Device for Contrasting Effect

Antithesis means opposite and is used as a literary device to put two contrasting ideas together. It’s used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together for contrasting effect. 


Congratulations, and Good Luck

It’s graduation time. Congratulations and good luck. You’re going to need it, because it’s all down hill from here. Some of your worse days lie ahead. No job, few prospects. Sure, you can debate the finer points of free will versus determinism, but I’m in a hurry and I want you to make sure you give me fries.

Your mom wanted you to be a doctor or a lawyer, and mee...

Romantic Suspense

What is Romantic Suspense? It has evolved as many of the Romance genre has. Romantic suspense draws from the original gothic novels. This means a vulnerable female finds herself alone and must be protected and/or assisted by the hero of the story. The gothic novel is adapted into today’s first romantic suspense is generally credited to Mary Stewart. Her formula is 50% roma…

The job ain’t over til the paperwork is filed

Mark Adler

Perhaps you are new to the world of free lance employees. Or you are a union member. In either case, the world is full of …

Why I Write
A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.

– Sidney Sheldon

This quote is what comes to mind every time I think about what I should write as my next article. I’ve come to the conclusion that not everything has to be polished, well thought out or even good. In this parti...

What a Bunch of Characters!

             My first book will be coming out shortly and I wanted to introduce the characters to you. The main character is Andrea. She is a divorced mother of twin five-year-old boys that has decided to start walking and do her first 5K race through a local training program. How I came about naming Andrea as the main character is that back in high school for Spanish class…

Deleted Scenes: The World That Forgot How to Dance

The drafting phase of my fantasy novelette The World That Forgot How to Dance definitely took the scenic rout. In the end, there were many scenes that didn’t make the final cut. Most of them were scenes I wrote early on of Ellsie dancing, back when I was…

The Amazing 80’s

How many of you grew up in the 80’s? Do you remember how the culture was back then? I do and I can honestly say that in my opinion that was no better time. Sit back and relax as I take us on a trip down memory lane into the 1980’s the decade of righteousness.

  I remember traveling a lot when I was younger, every since I was little it would seem like …

Shrink, A Short Story

Sweet and honorable is sleep for him who dies for his country. But what if he lives? Shrink is the story of a soldier who lived.

I’ve written a lot of stories, finished some of them. Sh…

My Writing Inspiration

            I got my inspiration through many ways that helped me focus on writing. It’s amazing how much excitement people respond with when I speak of my material. Their excitement fuels me to write more, but that’s not the only thing.


            My friends and family have also inspired me to write just by saying the simple thing; Write th...

A Summary Past and Future

Metabasis is a quick summary, a brief statement, of what has happened and what will happen. It might be called a linking, running, or transitional summary, whose function is to keep the discussion ordered and clear in its progress.

“I have discussed cards and factories, and how these relate to global warming, but we have still to look at long-term atmospheric trends…

The Dream… A short story By James L. Quarles Jr.

Part 1 

It was around 3am in the morning, when Amber suddenly awoke from her sleep. Terrified and shaking, she began to cry. Her husband (Rick), who was returning from the bathroom, ran over to where she was sitting on the edge of the bed and wrapped his arms around her. He asked her if she was okay. Still trembling, she proceeded to tell him about the dream she h...

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your First GoRead Article!

Write Your Fir...


In the gym that I frequent there is this motivational poster called “VISION”, and when I first saw it and thought about it, I concluded that its truth level was one of the highest I’ve seen for such posters.

“Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.”

I will admit that at first I thought “will” should probably be replaced with “…

THALAND: Justicar

Picture Credit: gate_by_tituslunter-d5sbrx9

With no goal in mind, Thaland mindlessly followed the ebb and flow of the crowd as it wended its way along the waterfront. However, because he had no interest in the taverns or other waterfront dives and no business to conduct in the warehouses, Thaland soon found his feet retracing his accustomed path to the plaza that ...

Guidelines for what to wear for TV interviews



Guidelines for appearances on TV

As a media professional I have seen it all in terms of clothing and costumes worn on interview programs and other genres. I was once asked to provide some basic guidelines for guests who are not familiar with the routine of preparing for an appearance so for what they are worth, here they are. I have found that...

This Is Me

Ever sit back and wonder ‘who am I?’ Sure, you know your name. You know when you were born and, presumably, where. You know where you work. You know your brothers and/or sisters. You know your kids (if you have them), and your significant other. But those things aren’t who you are. Those things are just facts about your life. Those things are the things that you put o…

Dark Revelations…A New Horror

Willow Creek, Maine is the perfect place to raise a family, they’ve got the small town atmosphere, the changing seasons, nice schools, and it’s even close to the oocean. WIllow Creek is even close enough to shopping that you don’t feel like your in the middle of nowhere. In short it’s perfect for the entire family to grow and live and learn in peace and serenity, or at least…

Symploce includes two other literary devices.

Symploce (SIM-plo-see) is a literary device that combines Anaphora and Epistrophe, the repetition of the first and last words in a clause over successive clauses.

For review: Anaphora is repeating a word or phrase at the beginning of three (or four) successive phrases or sentences. Epistrophe is repeating the last word or a f...

Of a Predatory Heart

I’m writing this book review Of A Predatory Heart for seasoned woodsman, Joe Parry. Joe is just what he appears to be, a blue-collar, working class guy, but Joe has a talent that not everyone has. Joe is a natural storyteller, and he can put it to paper.

The first rule of writing is to write what you know. Joe does one better, he writes what he is, a lit…

5 Tips for Connecting on GoRead

When I first joined GoRead, I felt lost. I had read the “Best Practices Guide”, but I really had no idea how to find members to follow, or what the difference was between “follow” and “fan”, or how to create a successful ad. I made a lot of mistakes and got frustrated more than once. B...

Writing Articles For GoRead

Image from Pexels

Writing Articles for GoRead

If you’re new to GoRead, welcome! Check out Ken’s training video for step-by-step instructions about writing articles. He covered the basics from concept to published piece well. He used an article he was in the process of writing as a hands-on example. I don’t need to repeat that.

As a new aut…

Disallowed To Enter (Part 4)

(Here was part three.)

“What are you writing there?” I asked.

“A story,” she sweetly answered.

“A story? Where’s the story? I’ve never seen a story like this before.”

“It’s about this train, and where it goes. And it’s about yo…

National Librarian Day

Goodness me, but it seems like there is a “National Day” for almost every occasion, whether it be “National Ice- Cream Day”, “World Art Day”, “Scrabble Day” or any other combination of “Days” to celebrate. These days sound like fun but not to be taken seriously. However, when I heard that April 16th is “National Librarian Day”, well that certainly peaked my interest. Thi…

On Set Ettiquette

On Set Etiquette:

In many parts of the country film work is new to extras and entry level personnel. It’s important to to aware of and remember etiquette.

Cell Phones and pagers:

In recent years these devises have become invaluable to all production personnel. From the very basic ability to text a P.A. to using VOXER technology allowing...

The Origins of my Next Book III


 Alright, you’ve completed your book. You’ve checked your edit. You chose the proper cover (hint: show your covers on social media and pick the vote winner.), and now you need to gain at least 5 reviews in a week. So now it’s time to finish the posting process.

  Writing a Great Description:  In order to make your descr…

The Origins of my Next Book III


 Alright, you’ve completed your book. You’ve checked your edit. You chose the proper cover (hint: show your covers on social media and pick the vote winner.), and now you need to gain at least 5 reviews in a week. So now it’s time to finish the posting process.

  Writing a Great Description:  In order to make your description pop, you nee…

The Beginning of a Saga

    I don’t know how it was for all of you when you were growing up but for me on of my favorite genres was Horror. Specifically the ones to do with vampires, for me it took me into a fantasy world where anything was possible; where love lasted forever and where the good guys almost always won. So when I wrote my series I decided to step it up a notch and build on wha…

The Wolf Takes the Stand

“Your Honor, I’d like to call Canis lupus to the stand.”

“Oh, that’s me,” said the Big Bad Wolf, loping past the court reporter. “That’s my Latin name. Just call me Wolf. Everybody does.”

“Mr. Wolf. You stand accused of the murder of Grandma, and the violation of Red Riding Hood. How do you plead?”

“I’d like to state for the record that...

Epizeuxis, a Literary Device

Epizeuxis is a literary device to show emphasis, vehemence, or comic effect. It taps into the emotions of the reader. It is the repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession.


Joseph Conrad, in Heart of Darkness wrote: “The horror, the horror.”

Margaret Thatcher said, “No, no, no!”

From Hamlet: “Words, …

Deception, a Short Story

Deception came about because I wanted an odd number of stories when I put Thread and Other Stories together. The stories in Thread are all about challenging reality. I intended Deception to explore…

Steps For Writing the Perfect Story Part Two

Okay, so here we are we’ve written the story that we set out to write, created the best story we could with the most interesting characters, characters that we’ve grow attached to, some of which me may be able to relate to and others that we just may despise. Now that we’re done with the story all we have left to do is submit it to the publisher right? Wrong. You don’…

The Origins of my Next Book II

 Alright, people. After dealing with a nasty virus which baffled my anti-virus program, I’m back with part two of how to create a marketable book. This is the mechanical aspect of the process.

 Creation involves your core talent. The mechanics are just ‘connect the dot’ aspects. You’ve written the story, so now it’s time to produce your story. We’ll s…

Why I Write

Dear reader,

I hate that we can’t pick our family. We can surely pick our friends. We can pick how to act in public. But picking family is out of the question. I don’t write for these reasons. I use these reasons to fuel my writing—on occasion. Recent anger and frustrations caused me to write a scene in my current Wrestling Novel. Yes, I’m writing a Wrestling Nove...

Personification not anthropomorphism


This literary device is familiar to most of us. Personification is attributing an idea or inanimate objects with human attributes. “Personification is often confused with anthropomorphism, where human abilities and characteristics are given to animals (such as in a fable, where animals talk and behave as humans do) but the term...

Teleprompter Speaker Support tips – A Primer

A Primer for professional use of Teleprompters

I am a professional Teleprompter owner operator a public speaker and teacher. My love for books, reading and words inform my profession. Here are some tips I have gathered over years of experience I hope they help anyone who must speak to an audience.

YOU can add POWER to your message with the use of thi…

Dreaming Of A School-Hospital?

Previously I described a dream I had, and what it could possibly mean. And now it seems there will be a second analysis of an interesting dream sequence. But this one, unlike the first one, has happened more than once. The content has always been different, yet the form remained the s…



I realized a few weeks ago that the entire time I have been on GoRead both as an author and article writer, I have not once reviewed a book. Funny, huh?

Well, this month, I will be reviewing two novels written by MARK E. ROGERS:


Spring Time Fun

Welcome to April… going onto month four with celebrating all the fun little holidays,making an average day a little more exciting and enjoyable. Whether it is something as goofy as look-a like day or even if you dress like a friend at another school, or work place, it can be your secret of the day that keeps you smiling.

Here is some of what April has offer th…

Conflict: Canadians in WWI, a Short Story

My short story is available right now for pre-order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $0…

The Ordinary and Extraordinary

I picked up my tattered copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones the other day and thumbed through the pages. Midway through the book, I found the chapter entitled, “The Ordinary and Extraordinary.” In it, she shared her experience of observing ritual dances of the Hopi in the deserts of the Southwest.

“I looked and looked in wonder….

Character Growth – Part 2

Let the Past Go

Many of you have been waiting with baited breath for my next installment of the character growth series and my opinions on the latest inclusion into the Star Wars universe—admit it, you have, right? You log on to GoRead and check my page every day, don’t you? In my imagination maybe! Anyway, enough poking fun at my r…

Fiction: Nightmares, Silence, and Popcorn

I am proud to have a short story in the Coven anthology. This is a little behind-the-scenes footage of the characters in my story, “Across Silence and Darkness.” This is just me peeking in on what they were doing before the story came along. Enjoy!



Basic tips about ‘Getting into the Biz’

Basic tips about ‘Getting into the Biz’

By Mark Adler for Production Algebra, Volume 2

  • A strong, literate cover letter is very important, especially for college graduates. You need to sell yourself in fact BRAND yourself and delineate whatever skills you have in this people oriented business that involves l...
Steps For Writing The Perfect Story

I have been writing stories since my days in elementary school, I have written everything from science fiction to horror and recently supernatural horror. Whatever you choose to write there are steps that every author takes to create his or her perfect masterpiece, the following steps are what works for me and may not work for everyone but my goal is only to p…

Thaland, Justicar, Part 3

He began striding purposefully toward the seedy, run-down district where Isgil’s family resided in a too-small apartment within a decrepit tenement. Various potential scenes, ranging from pathetic to positively blood-thirsty, unfolded in Thaland’s imagination as he walked with ever-increasing speed toward Isgil’s home. He turned from the broad, well…


Amplification is a rhetorical device that adds more detail to a sentence or statement. A simple sentence might be too abrupt and its limited length has no room for implications.


  • helps to emphasize a point by describing and repeating a certain statement or idea.
  • highlights the persuasive aspects of an idea by giving th...
The Origins of my Next Book


We‘re in a new year, and it’s time to c I know the process is daunting for some of you. The main reason you never kept your dream is you didn’t have the proper tools to make it work.  

 Now this i just the creation method. The production method will be next week. That will be part two on how to make a book.

 Imagination: What do you ...

Average Joe: A Novel

The whole point of GoRead is to connect readers with authors. And as an author, I have yet to use this platform to share my debut novel with my faithful fans and followers and I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time so I can tell you about this book.

If you are a fan of the paranormal and spirituality, this book is for you.


Disallowed To Enter (Part 3)

(Here are parts one & two of the story.)

I walked towards the train station and saw the conductor standing near the train. It was a different one, not the one who me…

It’s not me. It’s YOU.

It’s not me. It’s YOU.

Image from

I wrote an article about what a great critique group I am a member of. Shortly after that two people who came to the group for the first time stopped me after the meeting to say how arrogant I had been in criticizing the work of one of them. They added the group (led by a woman by the way) was sexist. The…

A Wild Detective Thriller

 I reread this book this week. I realized the crime thriller was a good one. It begins with a shock, but sets the mood. Check out chapter one.



Chapter OneDwelling in the darkness


 It was strangely silent here. Margo sat in the darkness. This wasn’t where she was an hour ago. She…

Hear the Sounds of Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is about sounds, and it’s fun to say. Repeat it three times out loud.

It’s a writing device we use to imitate sounds such as click, blip, fizz, whirr, screech, whimper, growl, etc. the utterance of the word is reminiscent of the sound to which the word refers. 

“The clanging pots and pans awoke the baby.”


Thaland: Justicar, Part 2

Diesca’s worry was too much for Thaland’s still-human emotions. Before he was compelled to show himself to, and comfort her, he tore his attention from the young woman to ‘peruse’ the thoughts of the others gathering around the well. A middle-aged matron was concerned about her two eldest sons who’d begun running with the Tragelli Toughs, a local gang that ran a ‘protect…

Faust’s Secret War

Frederick Schiller Faust was born on May 29, 1892 in Seattle, Washington. His parents were poor, and life was tough. He would escape his hardscrabble life through his fertile imagination and his love of medieval literature. His parents died when he was still young.

When orphaned, he was sent to live with a distant relative, Thomas Downey, a high school principal. Dow…

Disallowed To Enter (Part 2)

(Here is Part 1 of the story.)

I found myself in what seemed like a tunnel-like alley. I just made sense, no less than thirty seconds ago, that I wasn’t dreaming, and that I was sitting in an unknown rundown place. But I still couldn’t believe it. …

Beware the Assoonas!


Image from

Beware the Asoonas!

It Lies in wait, like a crocodile beneath the murky water’s surface. Patient, motionless, not a single ripple shows.

But it’s there

Ready for that moment of inattention

For the sweet, distracted fantasy

The alluring delu…

March Madness

Hope you’ve all had a blast so far this month celebrating all the “unique and bizarre” holidays as much as I have. Love that some of you are sharing with me what you have done and what you are planning on doing. So glad we are keeping this party year going.  

March 26 is fast approaching and if you don’t remember what that entails, it’s “National Mak…

The Galerush, a Dragon of Aryth

The galerush is a small dragon, a little bigger than a horse and covered with black and gray stripes. It has a bony crest on its head that is used for combat, defense, and posturing. The wings are puffed out to surprise enemies and rivals with the daring red colored membranes. The galerush is strictly carnivorous and prefers to hunt live prey, but will occasion…

Short Story Part Two

One minute she’s getting into the shower, and now this.

Nigel said that she could continue moving forward, or she could go backward. Forward and backwards to what? None of this made sense to Kate. Hearing her options again didn’t make a difference to the confusion. She tried to think back to what had happened to her. Had she slipped a banged her head on the s…

The Shape of a Successful Narrative


Well, fantasy took the Academy Awards this year. How did Guillermo Del Toro’s fish monster movie win? The one major component of the Oscar’s is the movie industry pats themselves on the back every year. If it wasn’t for the whitewashing kerfuffle two years ago, La La Land, the homage to musicals of yesteryear would’ve won over Moon…

Books that make me chatty

Have you ever read something so good that words crawled unbidden out of your mouth? I have, and it’s one of my favorite experiences as a reader.

I’m not talking about the things I consciously say. “Oh, Frodo… it’ll be okay, baby!” “Yeaaah Alanna. You go, girl.” “Tsk. Hamlet. Get over yourself.” I’m referring to those moments where a book is so surprising no amou…

Thaland: Justicar, Part 1

Art: the_foreign_market_by_shutupandwhisper

“Where to begin…Where to begin?” Thaland mused as he walked through the milling late night crowds. His mind whirled with the copious knowledge provided by the undead archaeologist Andronicus. Perhaps even more startling to the former watch commander was the fact that he never needed to refer to the copious notes or ma…

Eponym is a literary device.

Writers use an eponym, when they refer to a famous person who is recognized for an attribute and substitute their name for that attribute. “He’s such an Einstein.”

 Eponym and allusion are similar literary devices. In the example above, the writer didn’t say the person is smart, it’s implied.

 “You’re a regular Ringo Starr.” EPONYM

 “He plays d...

Disallowed To Enter

I’ve been riding on this train for hours and now we had to make another stop for ten or fifteen minutes. I made my way out along with the other passengers and couldn’t help but stop and look intriguingly at the sky. It was orange. It was very interestingly orange. It gave the whole place that eventful feel – like something was happening here, or was about to happe...

Meet Meg

There is one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.—Herman Melville 

Call me Ishmael. Call me bored. Moby Dick may be considered one of the greatest novels in the English language, but do you know anyone who has actually read it? Don’t lie. Maybe you got a…

Steampunk Forever!

“Hey Grandpa, we are having an art show at school. Do you want to come?” 

“Sure,” I said with a little apprehension, I mean after all it is kindergarten art. I asked my grandson “What did you do for the art show?” 

“Steampunk!” He said with enthusiasm.

I thought to myself ‘What is steampunk?’ 

The day of the art show I was given a list of cost…

My Afternoon with Gustav Klimt… a Century Later

Yesterday, I spent a whole afternoon at the Gustav Klimt Experience in Rome, an electronic, immersive display of the Austrian painter’s major works.

I soaked up the cultured atmosphere of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Vienna through paintings, pictures and music. I was immersed literally in Klimt’s work, as his paintings were projected onto the walls a…

Thaland of the Walk Parts 1-4

The dark, noisome, refuse-flecked waters of Stormhaven Bay slapped listlessly against the stone jetties and the wooden hulls of the ships anchored nearby. Sails and banners hung heavily in the still, humid, night air. Tendrils of mist, born of the lowering clouds, snaked through the air and across the water’s surface, appearing and vanishing at ghostlike whim.

The f…

Thaland of the Walk Parts 1-4

The dark, noisome, refuse-flecked waters of Stormhaven Bay slapped listlessly against the stone jetties and the wooden hulls of the ships anchored nearby. Sails and banners hung heavily in the still, humid, night air. Tendrils of mist, born of the lowering clouds, snaked through the air and across the water’s surface, appearing and vanishing at ghostlike whim.

The f…

Thaland of the Walk Parts 1-4

The dark, noisome, refuse-flecked waters of Stormhaven Bay slapped listlessly against the stone jetties and the wooden hulls of the ships anchored nearby. Sails and banners hung heavily in the still, humid, night air. Tendrils of mist, born of the lowering clouds, snaked through the air and across the water’s surface, appearing and vanishing at ghostlike whim.

The f…


As an author and an artist, you have to take inspiration everywhere. When sitting in a busy restaurant, listen to the other patrons. Take note of how they talk and interact with one another. Don’t look at them and use their voice to paint a picture in your mind of a character from a story. Now match that characters speech patterns to the voice you hear. Is it a Texas dr…

Literary Device Allusion

The literary device called Allusion can be used as shorthand and gets the point across. Allusions engage the reader and will often help the reader remember the message or theme of the passage.

It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge. Allusion is a quick reference to a famous person or event.

Make sure the ref…

Everything is Difficult, Especially for a Tenor

Roberto Alagna, on being a tenor:

The tessitura—the range most consistently exploited in a given piece of vocal music—is not natural. The voice of the tenor was something built, and the modern tenor is very young. The other voices, like baritone and bass, you have in nature. But tenors are like a mutant. When I speak, my voice is much lower than w…

The Lady or the Tiger?

This is simply barbaric. I’m hot. I’m tired. And I haven’t had a decent meal in days. It’s supposed to make me more vicious. Hungry for the kill, but it really only makes me drink more water to fill my empty belly, and then I can’t stop pacing. My bladder is so full, and I won’t soil the fresh straw. 

The smell of perfume tickles my nose. Why do th…

Leaning to Unplug (and reeeaaally struggling!)

It has come to my attention (and probably should have a long time ago) that I am way too dependent on my computer. Seriously, when my computer breaks down, so do I. Recently, I decided I’d like to change this, so I’ve committed to having one day a week be computer free. To make things fun, at the beginning of the week I literally roll a die to see which day it’s…

March, The Party Isn’t Over

Hope you all had fun trying out something new in January and February. Let’s keep the momentum going this March.

March 1 – Peanut Butter’s Lovers Day

March 1 – National Pig Day

March 3 – I Want You to Be Happy Day

March 6 – National Frozen Food Day

March 12 – Plant a Flower Day

March 13 – Ear Muff Day

March 16 – Everything …

Alone With You, by Jenn Brink

“Knock, Knock”

The sound is almost imperceptible in the empty house. Glancing at the clock, my heart begins to race. There’s only one person I can think of who would be knocking on my door at this hour. I nervously peek through the peephole just in time to see soft blonde hair swishing past. My heart stops.  Aching inside, I take a moment to catch my breath. I can’t…

Literary Device

Oxymoron is a literary device that is more well-known than many of the others. It is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. It’s a two word paradox, an ironic contrast.

The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective preceded by a noun with contrasting meanings, such as cruel kindness, or living death. A few short...

Black Panther: More Than A Movement

There has been so much hype surrounding the movie “Black Panther”, and rightfully so because it is the first major black superhero movie “set in a technically advanced African nation during a time people of African descent were fighting for equality.” Now, let me be honest- I’ve never been a fan of Marvel comics or movies, but occasionally, I’ll endure an hour or 2 for…

You See Me

Our praise team at Church last Sunday performed the song, So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong UNITED. If you’ve never heard it, I highly recommend giving it a listen. As like most of the groups music, this one touches the heart in so many ways. This Sunday was no exception. As I stood there singing along, I suddenly stopped and just took a few minutes to take in the…

Saving Silvie

Saving Silvie 

By Janet Leigh Green

Maddie Stern focused on the single thought that screamed through her brain; she was running out of time. She needed to get to her daughter before her step-father hurt her baby, the way he hurt her. Confusion poked at the edges of her subconscious, but she pushed it away. Only one thing mattered, saving her…

My Characters on Valentine’s Day

I’ve had a few people contact me after reading The World That Forgot How to Dance, to tell me that they were curious about what happened to Ellsie and Lester after the book. So, since it’s February, here is a drabble of the two of them sharing their fi…

Business of Musicals

I love musicals! From Oklahoma to Wicked we see how stories are being told with words and music, and songs. When I was in college we were taught that Oklahoma was the first musical that moved the story along with songs. This changed the face of theater and musicals were really born. Before Oklahoma all theater had up to the time of Oklahoma was the follies and vaudevil…

Still Celebrating February

February has been a blast so far, with lots of new challenges, experiences and getting myself out of my comfort zone. To date, this month there have been so many interesting and fun “National Days”, but the ones I’m most excited to celebrate are still coming up.  

I am not a big wine drinker and am often the only one of my friends and associates who abstains; how…

Short Story Part One

Kate Foster was perplexed with her current situation. She sat in a room that was infinite white space, on a chair that didn’t seem to be there at all. She really didn’t understand where she was or how she got here. The last thing she remembered was stepping into the shower. She was trying to beat the approaching storm by taking a really quick shower after a hot after…

What makes a great critique group meeting?

What makes a great critique group meeting?

I just attended a great meeting of a critique group. I always find our meetings helpful to some extent. But why?

I was glad to see each individual attending because of the quality of the writing and  feedback he or she presents. Each person has been in the group long enough to know the rules and informal customs s…

The End

What follows is a short story I wrote as a submission to an anthology put together by the local writer’s guild. It’s a science fiction piece and the only requirements were that it be less than 1000 words. This came in at just under 800 words so I think I achieved their one requirement. One refreshing thing about the anthology, mine was the only science fiction in the w…

Dreaming Of A Pie?

I had a dream not too long ago which I want to try and interpret.

I was in a very strange bathroom. It was a bathroom and a gym. And there was food there too. There was also a girl on what seemed to be either a treadmill or a stairmaster. She then asked me to bring her some pie. I did, but I think she started asking me to either bring it closer or take a slice out...

Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze

By Janet Leigh green


Butterflies fluttered in Kevin’s stomach, he felt a mixture of nerves and excitement. Long years and even more sleepless nights, accompanied him as he clawed his way through class after class, and lecture after lecture to get to this point in his life. Head down, deep into his day planner, he made his way to h...

Choose Your Plot

From Charles Dickinson to Dan Brown there are only seven plots in writing. We learned this in our creative writing and English class. When we understand that the eighth plot basic category has not emerged yet on the writing scene, however, if and when it does authors will flock to the new plot line to explore all the accepts of the new plot category.  

What are the s…


In Fearless Creating and Mastering Creative Anxiety, author and creativity coach Eric Maisel describes several types of anxiety arising in the life of artists and other creatives. He also provides some techniques for dealing with them, as well as some exemplary parables.

In my experience, it is possible to ascribe creative anxiety to the ups and...

Thaland of the Walk Part 4

picture from

“I trust a Justicar.” Grandfather Bones insisted. “It was written in the Scrolls of Klamath IV that Justicars cannot lie, they also see the souls of the living and thus know each person’s character. I charge you to use my treasures to benefit the innocent and the victimized. That is something a person w…

Lessons from Overdramatic Binge Writing

I’ll admit it: I’m addicted to drama. I was giving the Dagger Trilogy a full read-through before I dive into revisions, and a lot of the scenes just seemed dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. So, I devised an exercise to help me get my head around precisely what adds that kind of tension to a scene.

Here’s the exercise, if anyone else wants to try…

A long time coming!!!

  It’s been pretty rough being a Philadelphia Eagles fan over the past thirty or so years. I mean dont get me wrong, we have never had a bad football club. It just seem that evertime we get close to the big dance, we just fall short. We have won three out of four NFC championships over the years but not one Super Bowl. I’ve seen so many fans give up on on this team. I was…

Levels of Money Possession

If you ever wondered what area of money possession you were placed in, this article illustrates just that. Whether you’re at the low end of ‘security’ money or if you possess ‘world-owning’ money, you’re somewhere here.

$3000 – $15,000 (low end security money)

This is where the average working person hovers. Or at least if they are young th…

Celebrate February

How fun was January! I loved it so much, so as promised let’s keep these celebrations going. This is going to be the best winter yet!

Let’s start off with some of what February is all about, pick a few and join me in the fun:

Feb 2 Bubble Gum Day (first Friday of the month)

Feb 3 Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

Feb 5 National Weathe…


When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the advertisements popping up in the magazines about these incredibly small “Ming” trees. To learn how to grow (or shrink?) these miniature trees, one only had to pay a pittance for an instruction booklet, and some exotic tree seeds, and you too could raise these exotic specimens. This was during the era of the Korean War, when soldiers...

The First Sentence


The first sentence in the first short story I ever got published gave me the most important lesson about writing ever.

Fifteen years ago I attended my first writing conference at the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave in Manhattan, Kansas, where the organizers were very helpful and supportive. They announced a contest to write a shor…

That Darn First Sentence

Thank goodness for authors! And authors that grab me from the get-go!

There are plenty of worthy writers who have published their grand opus, but because of the way they write, the tone and presentation, I am yawning through the first page. The topic may be one of interest to me (history of all sorts); the book cover may have enticed me; the book may have come highly …

The inner editor: how do I turn it off??

I’ve been editing for a long time. The ‘typos, syntax, and grammar’ kind of editing. I normally don’t have a problem keeping the creative fire well-stoked in the early editing stages (You know, the ones where you’re adding new scenes and clarifying character arcs) but when I get to this point, it gets difficult.

Mostly because I don’t know how to turn it off. I fi...

Thaland of the Walk; Part Three

A sudden sense of impact through his entire body jarred Thaland’s mind into awareness. His eyes reluctantly opened, giving him a close-up perspective of slightly mildewed boards resting atop rough-fitted stone. A short moment of disorientation passed before Thaland realized he was exactly where he had ‘died’, lying face-down on the stone floor of the warehouse baseme…

Character Growth – Part 1

Let Your Characters Grow

This has been a long time in coming. In fact, I’ve been dwelling on this topic for over a month now and I first want to apologize because I’m certain that this article will be longer than what I normally write. Something else I need to disclose here at the beginning is the fact that this discussion on character growth will rely heavily on t...


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, YA BOOKS ARE GOOD FOR ADULTS TOO. We’re not here to shame you — nay — we’re here to empower you! Fly your flag, read your favorite books, and be yourself unapologetically! Now. That being said, where are you going to start in 2018?! As per … Co...

The Power of Love

When you think about the relationships you experience in your life, do you ever wonder if they are real? 

 Wow! What a statement. Relationships, real… hmm? 

 We interact with many people throughout our day. How many of those become scripted into our life? What percent of the people you come in contact will you write into your day intentionally? Is that so...

Productive 2018 pt 1

Go read article 

In my last post I talked a lot about my issues coming up with an organizational system that really functions with my life. The issue is that I do multiple things. Ar my core I am a singer, writer, educator, production manager and Graduate student, which leads me to work in different venues with different people at different times. I love t…

Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day

January 17th was cDitch New Year’s Resolutions Day. So how many of you have joined the band- wagon and ditched all those wonderful plans and intentions you had 23 days ago?  

Although I didn’t make many new resolutions, I did have a few new ones which I planned to start doing this year. Although we are only a few weeks in, I feel that I have plenty of tim…

Noir Fiction

Noir Fiction

Image from Pixabay

I’ve been asked what inspires me to write noir fiction.

“Noir” (black in French) was reportedly first used by film critic Nino Franklin in 1946 to describe the downbeat, bleak themes of American crime movies release…


When we celebrate literature, we are often celebrating male-centric stories, written by men, concerning the habits of men. However, as time goes on, we are changing our tune. The female-driven agenda in literature today owes a lot to the Jane Austen’s of the past (OG #bookbabe), who paved the way for a brightHER tomorro...

The Ghosts of Owners Past: The People of the Book

I’m leafing through a used book, and to my wonder, a check falls out. Made payable to the Tolrevo Clinic for just over $2,000!! The name in the upper left corner identifies the check as belonging to one Sarah K. Cheever, of Baltimore, MD. I silently whistle: I bet Sarah was frantic to have misplaced that check! The date reveals that the check was written in May of 199…

More Dashiell Hammett

Like many of us, I am busy doing many things during an average day. One of those things is working on my current novel. I am one of those writers who schedules time daily to write, or else I would not get any writing done. Does this sounds familiar? The time I set aside to write includes researching related topics, diagraming genealogies, world building, outlining the p…

Thaland of the Walk; Part Two

When the guilds moved, they did not act with subtly. Twice, small squad of thugs ambushed him. Once between the Watch Station and his home, the second on the route between the Station and the docks. He’d survived each attack, killing or wounding each of the thugs. When the surviving attackers talked, Thaland acted. Those who’d commanded the thugs were pursued, captur…

Finding Famous

This is the prologue from my book on Kindle

Finding Famous


A glimpse of movement in her peripheral vision froze Famous in her tracks. Something was moving toward her, she didn’t dare move. The sound was coming closer. Famous was backing up to a tree slowly, so as, to not make a sound. She was holding her breath for fear of the noise…

Villains and Their Villainous Villainy

Writing villains and antagonists is not easy for me. I think that’s partly because I don’t think I’m much of a villain at heart. Now writing is a challenge, but in one of my stories, I decided to write from a villain’s perspective, and that made everything twice as difficult (more on that later). But also I believe creating villains is difficult because they need to be belie…

Do You Believe in Magic?

QUESTION: What is THE best Fandom? ANSWER: Harry Potter, obvi. “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows   Harry Potter is a fandom known by all and loved by many, but why? What is it about this particular fandom that has made J.K.Rowling ...


New Year, New You! Haha, just kidding, you’re perfect, NEVER CHANGE!   And, in the spirit of being the same old you, it’s time to jump into a good book! 2018 has so many amazing new releases to offer you….how will you ever choose?! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!   Check out our “Top … Continue ...

Denise and her Original Role in the Book

Since I sent “The World That Forgot How to Dance” into the world, I’ve gotten some good feedback on Denise – one of the secondary characters in the story. People liked her passion. They commented on ho…

Sealed Fate


By Janet Leigh Green

My car moved through the high-speed curve like a train, only to greet a large group of rubberneckers standing on the edge of the highway. I swerved right as I slammed on my brakes jerking to a stop praying I would avoid the commotion on the roadway. “Oh, my God. What the hell happened?” I said, getting out of my c…


Someone says, “The flight was not smooth.” The direct statement is “The flight was turbulent.”

If someone else says, “That was no small problem.” The direct statement is “That was a big problem.”

The above examples that are not direct statements are litotes, which are ironic understatements in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary…

Thaland of the Walk; Part One

The dark, noisome, refuse-flecked waters of Stormhaven Bay slapped listlessly against the stone jetties and the wooden hulls of the ships anchored nearby. Sails and banners hung heavily in the still, humid, night air. Tendrils of mist, born of the lowering clouds, snaked through the air and across the water’s surface, appearing and vanish…

One Too Many Subscriptions??

Happy New Year! As we continue to welcome in 2018, I can’t help but evaluate and examine how we currently take in various forms of entertainment. This past year I couldn’t help but notice a growing list of subscriptions I had. Following Netlix’s dominance over how we consume Movies & TV shows, media giants couldn’t help but cash in on that same subscription based…

The Times of Your Life

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

When I look at the picture above, my imagination takes on a life of its own. I watch the woman walking down the street and wonder about the flowers—the burst of color cascading over her arm. Were they a gift to her or are they an offering she brings to a friend?  Are the flowers a final gift offered at the …

My Mentor: Dashiell Hammett

I am in the middle of writing a mystery novel, based circa 1935 with supernatural elements. It’s been over 20 years since I attempted a mystery story so I thought I’d try it again for the annual 2017 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I powered through over 50K words and then realized I was dragging out the storyline for the sake of word count. I was losing the…

Books That Will Make You Break Your New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s. Time. For. Resolutions. And you know what that means….time to find ways to break them! It’s inevitable. So, here are our ‘Top 7’ books that will make you break those resolutions STAT. 1.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Nothing will make you lose dry-January altogether more than this party-hardy ...

When Lightning Strikes

J.K. Rowling certainly has a lot going on right now, from a pub being named after her in Scotland (temporarily) to a controversy swarming the latest “Fantastic Beasts” movie (could we not have recast Johnny Depp?) However, as is her style, she has a new buzz taking over: there’s a biopic in the wor...

Ready Player One- Book Review

In 2011, Ernest Cline’s debut novel hit the shelves full-force. After a massive bidding war with publishers, it found a home at Random House and quickly rose to be a bestseller. This Science Fiction dystopia resonates with readers immensely, because it has something for everyone, from environmental repercussions and opulent consumerism, to pop-culture, nostalgia a...

Fun Things to do While Waiting for Beta Readers

Can I just say, first off, that I love beta readers? (Particularly my beta readers. Because they are glorious people.) I truly don’t know what I would do without them.

So, right now I’m in that stage where I’m waiting for feedback, which used to be really frustrating, but I’m actually kind of loving it this time around. Here’s what I’ve been up to:


The Use of Hyperbole And Epistrophe

The mouse’s tail is a graphic example of hyperbole, an exaggeration which may be used for emphasis and humor. It’s a literary device that can make a boring story more interesting. The following sentences using hyperbole are from

“It was so cold I saw polar bears wearing jackets.”

“I ate so much at Thanksgiving, I must weigh more than a wh…

Down There

My passion is writing and my genre of choice usually revolves around the paranormal or horror. The following story is entitled, Down There and was written for our local writer’s guild to share at our Halloween meeting back in October. I thought I’d share it here with everyone: I hope you enjoy, Down There…

* * *

“I’m not going down there.” He cl...

Lang’s Metropolis



It was 1926 when Fritz Lang got the call to direct ‘METROPOLIS’ his early masterpiece and most famous film – written in conjunction with his wife Thea von Tharbou. He got the idea by looking at New York’s skyline at night from the deck of a ship. It was an early visionary story coming along at the same time as H.G. Wel…

Malice Domestic

When people in publishing or film think of conventions, nicknamed “Cons”, they usually think of crazy science-fiction fans — forty year old guys dressed in Star Trek uniforms, or teen girls dressed in elaborate costumes from Japanese comics. This kind of scene has recently featured in an episode (or two) of the popular TV show, “The Big Bang Theory.”

There is anot...

Chimera: The World’s Most Perfect Pet

The first fossilized dog remains were discovered alongside the bones of their human companions over 14,700 years ago, marking the start of humankind keeping and developing pets. Bred for temperament, loyalty, and functionality from the wild wolf, dogs would become the first animal created by man rather than nature.

Soon, we would start to harvest and grow our own…

Blizzard Birth, Part Two

This is Part Two of how Tishamon the Long Walker, came to be Freeborn’s Mentor 

Tishamon placed a hand on the girl’s swollen belly and felt the babe inside move. The babe was still alive and seemed to be healthy, at least to his limited ability to judge.

Suddenly, her abdomen tightened in contraction, bringing a feeble moan from the unconscious girl. Tisha...

Blizzard Birth, Part Two

This is Part Two of how Tishamon the Long Walker, came to be Freeborn’s Mentor 

Tishamon placed a hand on the girl’s swollen belly and felt the babe inside move. The babe was still alive and seemed to be healthy, at least to his limited ability to judge.

Suddenly, her abdomen tightened in contraction, bringing a feeble moan from the unconscious girl. Tisha...

January – Holiday Season Continues

When we speak of the Holiday Season, we usually refer to the time around December/January with the approach of Christmas and New Year and the days off from school and work that accompanies this time.

However, just because New Year’s celebrations are over, this doesn’t mean you have to stop celebrating. With this new start to the year, why not look out f…

The Totally Ninja Raccoons Meet Bigfoot

Excerpt from “The Totally Ninja Raccoons Meet Bigfoot” the first book in the Totally Ninja Raccoon series. The Totally Ninja Raccoons are specifically written for reluctant readers. Short chapters, humor, adventure, and one picture per chapter keep kids feeling a sense of engagement and accomplishment as they plow through these stories and ask for …

The Bookstore, Last Reliquary of the Creative Mind

In a world where everything from groceries to game stations can be summoned to your door with the click of a mouse, the bookstore still reins high on the throne of the community. Its presence offers solace to those in need of decompression and a good quiet place after a hectic day, those who still grasp at the ever diminishing “simpler time”, and those who are on a soli…

This Week in Literature: December 24th-December 30th

Do you celebrate the passing of time with the turning of pages? Then we’ve got you! We’ve curated this week’s hottest scoops for you concerning book news, author insights, and everything you need to know. Thank you for joining us in 2017 for all your literary musings: we have big plans for 2018, a...

End of the Year

  This year was a roller coaster ride. I thought last year was the death drop. We were just ticking up the hill. I feel sorry for all the dead celebrities of 2016, but this year was the focus for the living. Political upheavals, racial divisiveness, and sexual harassment allegations. Hashtag Me Too.

 Well, it’ll be my birthday Monday, so I’ll be c…

A Gift For Father

It was June, the middle of the Texas hot season, and the drought that plagued the state wrapped around the farmers like a shroud of death. My father was one such farmer and unfortunately, he would not live to see the next year, or a better day.

It’s been over forty years, but I remember the last half of that year like it was just yesterday. The sun gouged the uncl…

Blizzard Birth, Part One

This is Part One of why Tishamon the Long Walker, came to be Freeborn’s Mentor.

Tishamon, the Long Walker (a Copper Elf wanderer of the wildlands) added another log to the fire in the fireplace of the tiny shack before he sat down to resume cleaning and polishing his chain mail jerkin. When worn over leather or padding it provided excellent protection against most…

The Resolution of a Book-dragon

New year, new you, blah, blah, blah, I like the person I am. I’m a bibliophile, a bookworm, a devourer of books. No, scratch that. I’m a bookwyrm–a veritable, voracious book-dragon. I’ve always loved books. When other kids were playing baseball and blowing up frogs, I was reading, exploring the wonderful world of my imagination, stretching my synapses. I could get lost fo…

Handel’s Messiah

Handel’s Messiah

Image from Pixabay

This music, usually heard around Christmas, has a unique history. In 1741, while living in London, Handel received an invitation from the Lord Lieutenant of Dublin to write a new oratorio. The work would be performed at the New Music Hall on April 13, 1742. The Messiah’s English-language libretto…

Handel’s Messiah

Handel’s Messiah

Image from Pixabay

This music, usually heard around Christmas, has a unique history. In 1741, while living in London, Handel received an invitation from the Lord Lieutenant of Dublin to write a new oratorio. The work would be performed at the New Music Hall on April 13, 1742. The Messiah’s English-language libretto…

Reading Rhetorical Devices In Written Work

Rhetorical devices are used to increase the language’s effect on the audience. Writers write them and readers read them often without knowing what they’re called.

Most people are familiar with alliteration, but what about anadiplosis or anaphora to name two more from a long alphabetical list of devices. Margie Lawson, international presenter, offers an in- depth onl…

Over Spending Again!

We all know that December can be a very expensive month. This is the month that in addition to time off from work for the holidays, many of us choose to take vacations. Vacationing at this time of the year is often a huge expense as it is such a popular time to travel and prices are often exorbitant.

To add to our woes, stores most often take advantage of t…

Skye’s Big Adventure

It was a cold winter day. Skye drew a smiley face on the frost coating the window. She drew two triangles for ears, and added lines for whiskers. Now it looked just like a kitty. Skye loved cats. When she grew up to be president, she’d make sure all the kitties and puppies had nice warm homes.

Skye smiled. Big, puffy flakes of snow were falling from the sky. May…

What Does it Mean to Write from the Heart?

Years ago, when I set out to form my business, I was deeply connected to exploring my life’s purpose, and I had a calling to create programs for aspiring authors to get their voices heard. But not just aspiring authors, anyone with a message to share and a calling to share that message with the world. That was my mission, and I knew in my heart it was, and still …

Sam’s Dilemma

The horrific night still haunted me. Indecision made its daily appearance as I stared into the gloomy shadows of the dark forest from my favorite chair by the window. I fantasized about escaping through the dark woods, but the only answer to my worries seemed to be murder, not fleeing. The slightest noise shot my anxiety through the roof making …

Book of the Year Part 2

A good book can be like a freshly baked cinnamon roll. Add a hot cup of coffee and you have the start to a good winter day. A bad book however, can be like the satisfaction after eating a bologna sandwich. You’re no longer hungry, but it wasn’t very good either. 

I started off with a list of the 34 books that I could remember reading in this past year. Some good…

Christmas Character Meme

Merry Christmas, everyone! I put together a quick holiday character meme for anyone in need of some winter-themed chuckling. Just pick five characters (could be either your own, or from fandoms you like), write them down, and substitute their names into the following questions. Feel free to share your answers in the comments or post them on your own blog if you w…

Creating a “Good” Villain

Fellow writers, I ask you has anyone else had the villain of their story take over the storyline? It has been said that in order to have a good protagonist, there needs to be an equally good antagonist. But sometimes the villain is just more interesting than the hero. Is this a bad thing?

It is easier to have this good versus evil approach in fiction than non-fi…

Three Factors of Creating a Memorable Character


 I’ve read many books where I’ve forgotten a character. I remember the titular characters, but the supporting cast became two dimensional and shallow.

 I’m not saying the support characters should be as intriguing as the primary characters, but they shouldn’t be window dressing in your story. Unless you’re doing a ‘masses’ narra…

12 Techniques For Getting Past Writer’s Block

Some writers struggle with writer’s block. Others don’t. As one who often does, I will share with you techniques that I have learned to use which help me move past it and on toward the finish line of my books. I do not promise these techniques will solve every problem you have, but they are definitely a good place to begin.

What Writer’s Block Tells You


Life is a Storm – So GoRead

Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.                                                   ~ Edmond Dantes/The Count of Monte Cristo

What a profound statement!

Life is a storm. We …

That’s not practical!

This is something I have been hearing throughout my life when it comes to my writing. I’m sure this is true for most writers. When I declare I am a writer, I get a few people who get excited and flood me with questions. But nine times out of ten, I get people that give me a funny look, ask if that’s practical.

So, I got curious. What is the actual definition of the …


Personification gives creative writers an amazing array of flexibility. It allows us to bring depth to our descriptions by assigning human characteristics to inanimate (well, dead) objects. It works for animals too. Adding this creative writing tool to your writer’s toolbox can add a richness of depth to your prose that might otherwise read stale and flat.

So what d…

Exerpt from my novel- December Twenty Third

Allison crept into the family room that welcomed her as the cozy lights in the new dark glowed. Her mother slept with her empty tea mug depicting Santa Claus on the stand beside her. Allison looked in shock and wonder at her mother, appearing so young in this subtle light with her blossoming belly. She was beautiful, she had to admit.

She hadn’t seen her mother …

I’m in love! And there’s a book about it.

I love books, writers, wannabe-writers, young moms and dads, nerdy kids, teachers, librarians, first graders clutching Junie B. Jones, retired couples, vacationers, loyal locals, book clubbers, new grandparents, the tween boys who come for their latest manga installment, railroad aficionados, folks doing jail ministry, college students, expectant parents, bird watchers, hike…

My thoughts on Glyndebourne

My thoughts on the news that Sebastian F. Schwarz stepping down as Glyndebourne general director.

There is a lot happening in the world of entertainment right now, so it’s understandable if the news of Sebastian Schwarz leaving his post at Glyndebourne doesn’t exactly stand out. But for someone who is paying attention to the direction of opera and artistic managem...

The Holiday Spirit is Here

 December has arrived! This is for many people, the most anticipated and favourite time of the year.

It does mean of course that winter is officially here and snow is likely falling. Bulky winter coats, mitts, scarves and boots are making their way out of closets and it’s bundle up time.  It is also an excuse to stay home, light a fire, cuddle up and…

Building On The Synopsis

Over the last 7 weeks, I’ve been discussing why you should write a book, how to get started, and have led you through the process of creating your single page synopsis. Now that you have done all of that work, you’re nearly ready to begin writing the book. However, there are still a few things I recommend you do before starting to actually write. These will help to eli…

How to Write with Color

 When I write, I don’t just tell about an environment or a character’s feelings. I want to put you in that world. I want you to relate to the character I’ve created. Fiction is escapism. Good or bad, it isn’t factual accounts.

 I’m not saying a non-fiction writer doesn’t need any color. I think historical recordings, how to books, and text-based books need f…

Getting Started

Ironically, for many people beginning their creative journey, getting started isn’t the hardest part of getting started. No. The hardest part is moving forward once you have something. The hardest part is actually posting what you’ve made. So many people have books and stories sitting on their hard drives, gathering virtual dust. And why? It’s not because they cannot fin…

Rethinking Page-Turners

I’m not a very fast reader. I tell you this not only because my alter-ego gets annoyed when I confess such things (See my Fictional Author’s Bio for more examples…) but also because it will give you some context when I say that I remember the first book I read in one day.

It w…

On Writer’s Block

Ever suffer from writer’s block or just don’t know how to begin your story or novel? I’ve been there before and it’s a troubling feeling to have my fingers standing poised over the keyboard, eyes fixed on the blank Word document in front of me and yet, nothing comes. My mind is an empty well. Yes, I’ve been there too. But I have started doing a few things to help me get ov…

A Season of Chills

A Season of Chills


Ron Schaefer (with a little help from H.P. Lovecraft)

“There is snow on the ground,

And the valleys are cold,

And a midnight profound

Blackly squats o’er the wold;

But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of feasting...

A Tasty Memoir

I realize that it’s no longer en vogue to be a Francophile. These days, France is more likely to be the punchline for a joke about military history or about culture snobs than it is to be the focus of an article singing her praises. I, however, will always have a big mushy spot in my heart for the French language, as well as for the food, film, art, poetry, travel d…

Book of the Year Part 1

Going through the list of books that I’ve read this year is a daunting task in itself. To narrow that down to pick a favorite, that will take more than one Saturday morning to decide. Here’s the list in no particular order. No, my book is not in the list. I would surly pick it, but I’ll settle for a shameless plug in…

Top 5 Books of 2017

Do you have a book lover in your life itching for a thoughtful tome this holiday season? Are you overwhelmed by choices and not sure where to turn? We got you. There are literally thousands of books that came out this year, but we’ve narrowed it down to our “Top 5” (plus some runner ups!...

When your date clock actually ticks…

Our first date – for my husband and me – was 12 hours long. Literally. He picked me up at 11:00 am in front of my West Hollywood apartment 16 years ago, we bummed around at the touristy Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, then bummed around some more and appreciated or made of fun of the things we saw at the beautiful Getty Museum in Brentwood, made a homemade meal a l…

Teen Advice Quiz Week Seven

Advice to Your 15 Year Old Self: Week 7

If I knew then what I know now… but would I have listened? Teen Advice is a plentiful as leaves on a tree, but I’m offering some advice… with a bit of a twist.

I polled a huge variety of people, asking them this one question:

If you could go back in time, what advice would yo…

Five Tales of a Lost Teddy

Remember how I said each of my five main characters for A Book Without Dragons is written in their own unique writing style? (No? Never fear, I’ll get you up to …

Conquering The Single Page Synopsis

For the last six weeks, I’ve been discussing why you should write a book and the necessary steps to get started. This week, I’m going to show you how to conquer the single page synopsis – one of the things most authors dread more than just about anything else they have to write.

If the thought of condensing your story idea into one double-spaced, 12-point font, …

The Components of Making a Rock-solid Plot


 How many times were you fooled by a flashy cover, or a very interesting title only to be disappointed by the story inside? I’ve read many indie authors (we need solidarity), but falling into the complete disarray of the story with pacing, grammar, and plot hole problems makes it tough to support my indie family. The indie author isn’t in a race to…

Wish You Were Here

Seg 783

What does Lady Diana ask Tommy to do in this flashback segment of Wish You Were Here (the search continues?)

As I stood in Lady Diana’s house a guy, sitting with the others in a group, suddenly, “I said, “I was also cremated.”

I didn’t have a chance to answer. Another guy said, “We were all cremated. She helps us learn to co…

Resolutions for a Writer in 2018

The new year is quickly descending upon us, and its time to start reviewing and revamping our old resolutions. Instead of creating a list of the same old cliche goals, why not make yourself a list specific to you as a writer? This is my list of resolutions for myself, but I suggest you consider adding a few of them to your list as well.

1.) Write every da…

The Widow of the South

The Widow of the South was a real woman, a fact I did not realize when we chose the book of the same title to read for our book club selection. Carrie McGavock did, in fact, exist, and as she and the cemetery of Confederate soldiers she tended on the land of her family’s former plantation, her reputation grew. People all over the still-healing nation came to know her d…

Christian Dior Vintage Couture at the ROM

In celebration of the House of Dior’s 70th anniversary, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is pleased to present Christian Dior, an original ROM exhibition focusing on the early years of Christian Dior haute couture, 1947 to 1957. This stunning retrospective, on display fr…

Struggling to Find My Tribe

Where are my people?

I always expected my “tribe,” or my platform if you’d rather speak in more traditional publishing parlance, would include my family and friends. In some ways, this has been true, but not in the ways I hoped.

Expectation vs. Reality

I always imagined that if I ever finished writing my novel and published it, that my family and …

A Full Moon on Christmas Eve

It was Christmas Eve at last! The last 364 days of hard effort had finally paid off. The elves quickly loaded the last of the gifts into Santa’s sack. Though no bigger than garbage bag, the old red sack could hold thousands of gifts, which were shrunken down to the size of marbles as they were stuffed into it. Santa could toss all the presents for the night over his…

Minding The Mentor

This is the sixth article in the series on how to get started writing your next book. Two weeks ago, we discussed developing your main character. Last week, we discussed how to tap into the villain that transforms your main character into the hero the world needs them to become. This week, we’re going to discuss the mentor.

The Role of The Mentor

The mento…

The Power of Kindness and Appreciation In-Turn

Acts of kindness can be carried out in true altruism… just from the goodness of our hearts to help others. Other times we perform acts of kindness in the hopes of receiving a smile, a ‘thank you’ or even an act of kindness in return.

I often go out of my way to hold a door open for the person behind me but I do expect a ‘thank you’. When I allow someone to pass in...

A Dip Into Madness



Ron Schaefer

So let’s say you are something of a loner. Let’s also say you are something of a prude who is somewhat suspicious of the relations between men and women. Let’s also say you have a high intelligence, are well read, and have a fevered imagination. What do you do for fun? As a matter of fact – what do you …

Segment of Wish You Were Here.

Seg 779


What drastic measures does Gabriel Tommy’s spiritual guide do with Tommy in this flashback segment of Wish You Were Here (the search continues?)

“Are we home?” I asked Gabriel when we touched down on a street.

“You are almost home. We undershot it because you were not paying attention to concentrating on my face, as we flew from the…

Raymond Livingston: From Gang Member to Missionary

Eighteen-year old Raymond Livingston is the primary protagonist of the my drama novel, South Central Prodigals. Throughout the novel, he is known as Elder Livingston. When we learn of Elder Livingston’s life background in the earlier part of the novel, he becomes who many would view as an unlikely missionary.

Raymond was born and raised his whole life in...

How to Create a Great Antagonist

  My background is collecting comics in high school. In comics, the villain should be just as popularly liked as the hero. Not agreed wit, but liked. It doesn’t matter the amount of opposition. Numbers won’t make your antagonist factor interesting. It could be Batman against The Joker or X-men against The Hellfire Club (classic comic lore), the antagon…

Writing Fiction is a Metaphor for Fact


 I know things. I used to sell. Knowing your products, the psychology of selling, goal projections, and confidence are integral factors of sales.

 That was my old life along with my military intelligence. I enjoyed knowing things no one else was privy to. All of that knowledge, but I never wanted to write non-fict…

“Justice League,” A Movie Review

To give you some backstory on my comic book fandom, let me tell you this. I was one of two DC Comics’ fans in high school, surrounded by and often ridiculed by Marvel fans. I never read a Marvel comic while growing up and only started reading Thor: The Celestial Saga a month before the film opened. I couldn’t even get through the Beta Ray Bill saga. Reading a DC comi…

Teen Advice Quiz Week Five

Teen Advice

If I knew then what I know now… but would I have listened? Teen Advice is a plentiful as leaves on a tree, but here is a bit of a twist.

I asked many people this question:

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 15-year-old self, knowing what you know now?

I’ve been compiling and publishing what you said. …

The Villain and the Victory

Over the last 4 weeks, I’ve been discussing how to get started writing a book, no matter which kind of book you’re trying to write. The pattern is the same, it’s the content that changes. Last week, we took a closer look at our main character and got to know them a little better. This week, we’re going to get inside the head of the villain and discover their role in h…

Dream Life

Dream Life


Ron Schaefer

No one took the stuff of dreams, ala Freud and Jung, more seriously among the artists of the time than the French Surrealists. “French” is something of a misnomer here. Surrealism had its nursery in Paris post World War I, and its chief practitioners and advocates were, in fact, French. But as with German Ex...

Segment to Wish You Were Here

Seg 774

Where did John Bonham take Tommy to and is this possible in Heaven in this flashback segment of Wish You Were Here (the search continues?)

“So this is the place?” I asked with his hands on his hips. “It looks like a storefront.” “Yeah,” John Bonham said as we stood in line to get in.

“This reminds me when I ended up like being sandwiched i…

Embracing Your Passion: Inspiration for Artists

How many of you have felt limited to pursuing one passion? The message often heard is,“Just focus on one thing as the rest becomes a distraction.” 

“Doing everything will turn you into that embarrassing Jack of all trades, master of none.”

This “advice” may come from a teacher, a parent, or a partner. Many of us have tried conforming to this ideal, giving…

Letters About Literature

Here at, we are all about Children’s Literacy. Our corporate culture and mission statement reflect our efforts to work towards eradication of illiteracy. Our Corporate Responsibility aims to get us involved in our community, helping to make an impact on the lives of young people, and to change the way we write, read, an...

NaNoWriMo 2017

NaNoWriMo – A Writer’s Odyssey

For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s National Novel Writing Month, and you can check out the official website here. The goal is to write a 50,000-word first draft of a novel…

Getting To Know Your Main Character

This is the fourth article in my series on how to get started writing whatever book you’ve been dreaming of writing. In the first article, I discussed the reasons why you should write a book. In the second article, I discu…


Although we don’t realize it, many of us use various horse terms every day, without knowing what the expressions actually mean. Here’s a list of a few with the light of some “horse-sense” shed onto them. 

“Horsing Around”:  Maybe this expression is dated now, but this expression, along with “horse play” and “horse wrestling” are used in every…

It Started with a Story

It Started with a Story…

I have always loved writing, but never seemed to have the time, with a job, school and raising two kids it seemed impossible. I also didn’t know myself. It is true, the statement, that says the sum of yourself is cultivated by the company you keep, and I must say, I have met some amazing people these last few years, and re…

Sex in YA Novels: How Far is too Far?

What is the top grossing genre in fiction? The answer might surprise you. Romance/erotica rakes in a whopping $1.44 billion in sales each year and is the most read genre of books among women. Adult women. But what about teen girls? They like romance, too, and while girls will read what they want to read, as a writer of teen fiction, where do I draw the line between …

This Week in Literature for November 5th-11th

Do you celebrate the passing of time with the turning of pages? Then we’ve got you! We’ve curated this week’s hottest scoops for you, concerning book news, author insights and everything you need to know. This is “This Week in Literature” for November 5th – 11th Electric Lit Bodega-Writing Series: The website Electric Lit is counteracting a movement ...

Segment of my story Wish You Were Here.

Seg 767

What is making Sharon so upset in this flashback segment of Wish You Were Here (the search continues?)  

“Where is she?” I groaned, throwing down the phone in my kitchen. “Why won’t she answer the phone, Daniel? Oh wait, Daniel is in heaven to visit a relative.” I went to make her breakfast, some cheerios, and milk. Every time I called my mom, I got h…

How to Alleviate Writer’s Block

 It’s time to create a new groundbreaking novel. You have everything prepared. Your pen and pad are primed if you write ‘old school’, but if you go contemporary, your typewriter or computer are ready. You have your snacks or coffee for the long haul. You sit down ready to write or type. Just as you’re ready to write your masterpiece… nothing. The blank page or scr…

Creating A Rough Outline: From 5 Steps to 5 Acts

Last week, I promised that I would teach you how to take the first 5 steps to getting started writing and build a 5 act outline that will act as a blueprint for your book. This is where you start to get a more concrete feeling for where your book is headed, how you are going to get your main character (the reader, in the case of non-fiction) from where they are at the …

Love to Read? Enter to Win

Bookworms Unite!

The Creative Kitchen, located in Bay Minette, Alabama, is holding a Book Swag Raffle for the holidays! So, if you love to read or know someone who does, you can purchase a ticket fo…

October 31st


I know I’m a week late, but rather late than never…

Everyone knows October 31st as Halloween. For little kids, it’s known as a time to dress up and get free candy from neighbours. It’s the one time of year where the saying “never take candy from a stranger” doesn’t apply.

For adult women, it’s a time to dress up in sexy outfits and not be judged. Fo…

Capturing Emotions in Prose

She leans across the table. The chattering of other diners is near deafening, but there is no mistaking the fierceness of her gaze toward the young man sitting across from her. Her lips, as if in slow motion, carefully construct her words and even though I can’t hear her icy voice, I have no trouble reading her lips. Her eyes narrow to thin lines and crystalline tears b…

The Shape of a Story

If you were to describe how a story works, you might say that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and for the most part you’d be right. The majority of stories (novels, plays, movies, TV shows, etc.) are told linearly. That is to say events in the story are arranged in a straight line. One event follows another, until the climax and resolution are finally r…

Making the Most of Your Deer

Clear, cold–more than a little frosty, a good morning to hunt, and it just got better. A nice eight point cautiously makes his way along the edge of the woods. All the fatigue from the long hours of waiting washes away in a rush of adrenalin. I raise my rifle for the killing shot. I squeeze the trigger and the buck crumples. Silence fills the air. The hunt is over, but the …

A Visceral Review of the “Chimera Minion”

If you’ve kept a close eye on my author page, you’ll know aside from the whole weird “Malumunus” thing that strange mysteries are amok in this dark land of my making. So let’s just say for information’s sake you ha…

How To Start A Book Club

Do you insist on re-arranging your personal library by the Dewey Decimal System? Is your local library threatening to cut you off? Before the gentlemen in the clean, white coats come to take you away, perhaps you should consider joining a book club. A book club, you say? “I won’t have to serve those damn tasteless cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, or weak tea like…

A teaser from my book “Heart of a Warrior

   After High School I tried college just because my uncle hated “Smart Ass College Boys” and I just knew that if he hated them they must have something going for them. I joined the civilian flight-training program not so much out of a desire to fly but more out of a desire to go fast. Where the cockpit of a small plane was cramped for most, it fit my frame just perf…

Creating a Horror Book

 When you’re trying to create a scary tale, don’t go for the standard generation’s tropes. Now we have splatter porn. This may be viable in this decade’s movies, but you want your work to outlive you, ergo Edgar Allan Poe. The Tell-Tale Heart was published in 1843 without gore, and the short story is timeless.

These are the components you …

Celebrate NANOWRIMO (and Get to Writing!)

NanoWriMo’s Mission Statement:  National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.   November is designated “National Novel Writing Month,” and has been transformed into a time when wri...

The problem with “bringing yourself” on vacation


When you are so stressed with work, bills, family life, personal issues, and any other hardships that might be bothering you, you might dream about how great a vacation would be, where you can leave your troubles behind.

Your vacation place of preference could be somewhere warm to relax with white sands and blue oceans or snow covered peaks where you can…

German Expressionism, Freud, & The Great War




Ron Schaefer

A funny thing happened on the way to the 20th Century. Everybody got pissed off. And it happened in several ways. First, the world was ruled by half a dozen empires. People on all continents had to dance to their tune. They had to. The emp…

About the Totally Ninja Raccoons and Kevin Too!

We all know that cats want to take over the world. What? You didn’t know that? If you have a furry feline in your life, you know they are planning on world domination…right after their nap. 

Yes, cats are planning world domination. There’s even an international organization known as the Cat Board that is planning right now as you are reading this. Lucky for humans...

Picking A Baby Shower Book

You took your nephew fishing for native brookies. You taught him not draw to an inside straight. You educated him in the fine art of talking to women. You’re a great uncle. So when you found out your sister-in-law was expecting a new bundle of joy, of course you rummaged around to make sure you still had that child-size fishing pole. Yep, right there behind the deer antl…

5 Steps To Get Started Writing

One of the biggest challenges I find that new would-be authors face is knowing where to get started when trying to write a book. This article is designed to answer the question of how to get started in about an hour by answering just five questions. The trick is to remember that you are not really writing a book. Instead, you are leading your readers through a doorway o…


You might’ve seen the video already on my author page (and if you haven’t, CHECK IT OUT NOW!)…. Of course, you can view it right here, as you can see. I pride myself in making things really easy for my fans….

Scary stuff, eh? Naaaaah. It’s child…

Top 10 Literary Ensemble Halloween Costumes

Are you struggling with a last minute Halloween costume? What are you going to do to celebrate? Would you rather stay home and read a book, but are going to make an obligatory public appearance? We feel you, which is why we are bringing you the best of both worlds! Celebrate your love of literatu...

3 Ways to Make Your Writing POP!

Congratulations! You’ve written an amazing book. The story is exciting, the characters are memorable. It’s the best work you’ve ever produced. But for some reason, readers just aren’t getting into it. It falls flat. Sales are low. Reviews are disappointing.

The problem might not be with the story but with your writing. Like any talent or craft, writing well takes a…

The Hidden Life of Trees – by Peter Wohlleben, book review

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben Review by Tiffany Harelik German forester Peter Wohlleben takes the “science” out of science and describes the interconnected life of forest activity with charm. He uses endearing terms like the “Wood Wide Web” to explain how electrical signals go across a fungal network to send neighboring trees information about their environme...

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, a Gateway Fantasy for the Curious Reader

Let’s talk about the Fantasy genre. Elements of Fantasy have been alive and well since the oral tradition, but has blossomed into a multi-layered medium of storytelling, taking huge leaps and bounds since the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga.  While there are so many stories to choose from, one ma...


Author between assignments


as dictated from catspeak to Ron Schaefer

I have a human buddy. He seems to want to look after me and feed me and stuff. I used to be on the street for awhile – which is kind of a confusing place. Dogs barking. Big human machines zipping by all...

5 Reasons You Should Write a Book

You are an avid reader. If it has print on the page, you read it. You don’t care about genre. You care about the quality of the writing. You will read anything if it is well written enough. You’ve even been known to read cereal boxes from time to time. And, like 80-90% of your fellow Americans, you secretly believe you have a book in you. But you haven’t written it. Not…

This Week in Literature: October 15th-21st

Do you celebrate the passing of time with the turning of pages? Then we’ve got you! We’ve curated this week’s hottest scoops for you concerning book news, author insights and everything you need to know.   This is “This Week in Literature” for October 15-21 Together We Rise:This book to celebrate the Women’s March anniv...

Creating a Book Series



Creating a Book Series


 When you are growing a library, unless you are well known, you need to create a series of books. Creating a series of a certain franchise needs planning. You just can’t make another book just because your fans want it. I think Stephen King wrote a story about that. He called it Misery. Read it before you try ...

Since We Fell- by Dennis LeHane, Book Review

Since We Fell by Dennis LeHane Review by Tiffany Harelik After up and coming journalist Rachel Childs visits a devastated Haiti, she is fired for having a breakdown on the air. She then spends 18 reclusive months in her apartment dealing with panic attacks, her damaged relationship with her mother and the father she never knew (but found),...

Literary Libations

“Beer’s intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it.” — Ray Bradbury   If the likes of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald have taught us anything, it’s that literature and libations pair well together, if we are so inclined.   One does not have to drink to enjoy literature, of course, but for … ...

The Best Bookstores Have a Cat

The best bookstores have a cat. You won’t see a cat in a big box store. The internet was invented for sharing cat photos, but you won’t hear any purrs when you download an eBook. Cats and books just go together and the cat staff at From My Shelf Books & Gifts understands this.

Hobo, a large, friendly buff colored cat whose specialty was customer service, was th…

Creatives in Toronto: October Events

Here is my round-up of events, opportunities, workshops and performances that may be of interest to the Creatives in Toronto community. Interested in finding out more? You can become a member by joining our Facebook group here:

To submit your event...

The Elmira Express, The Ernie Davis Story

I love Northern Pennsylvania in the autumn. The days are still warm; the nights cool, giving birth to vibrant fall colors. The hills seem almost alive, and the threat of colder weather is a promise on the wind. Fall in Pennsylvania ushers in a revered tradition. When the leaves fall in America, it’s time for football. Across the land, in big cities and small towns, in …

Why I wrote Sin of Mages

I wrote this book in a desperate time in my life. Sin of Mages helped ease the pain. Click here to read it. 

Nothing says, “its time to get to work,” like when you lose everything and in fear of becoming homeless. 

Yeah, that fear was very real. You know…

Thoughts on “The Saga of the Skolian Empire”

Greetings, all! 

This article is a retread of one I made awhile back. I’ve been powering through this series yet again, and so I was grateful for a new venue to post this article. Chiefly, these were my initial thoughts on a series of books that I’d been whittling through little by little, and that I discovered by a sheer fluke. Submitted for your approval, Catherin…

Creating Believable Characters

Beth is completely engrossed in her work. Her fingers dance across the keyboard, bringing up new charts and graphs that she compares with printouts strewn about the desk around her. She’s on a timeline. A short timeline. And it’s up to her to find whatever it is she needs to find before…well, you can fill in the rest with your own imagination. Realize that, as a writer, t…

Friday the 13th Recommended Reads

So- it’s Friday the 13th, during the spookiest month of the year, with the chills of fall setting in:  what are you to do? How about curling up under a nice soft blanket, in the comfort of your home, with the darkness setting in outside, with a good spooky book to keep you up ...

Creative Slumps

Writer’s block can get the better of us (much more than we’d like it to). More often than not, we can find ourselves with half scribbled ideas, ripped up sheets of paper, notes jotted down in our phones, and other attempts at getting an idea to takeoff. Lyrics to a song is no exception and even though we have moments of intense creativity, we also get stuck in times when i…

“The Awakened Aura:” A Book Review

“The Awakened Aura” is a book by Kala Ambrose that I picked up soon after purchasing and beginning to read another one of her books “The Awakened Psychic.” I felt drawn to “The Awakened Psychic” at Barnes & Noble, a book I felt would trigger me into remembrance regarding the use of my abilities, and it helped to do just that. At this point, I was feeling drawn to lear…

The Three Cores of Writing Fiction Stories


 When you begin to write a fiction story, you need the proper elements to make your tale good. That’s creativity, subtext, and facts.

Creativity: This is the core to any tale you write. You must use your imagination to make a reader want to turn the page to find out what happens next. You must make sure your story doesn’t have…


Why did we pick the Kybalion of all things to start a season of theater? Well for one thing, we were premiering at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. We needed something paranormal-ish as an excuse to be there. The second thing was that most people associate “paranormal” with all things creepy and spooky and things that go bump in the night. I was once interviewed by a cl...

Coyote America – Book Review

As seen on “What’s on My Nightstand?” Coyote America: A Natural & Supernatural History by Dan Flores Review by Tiffany Harelik  New York Times Bestseller Pen America Literary Award Finalist   The coyote is known as the trickster, and the “wolf in our backyard.” Part science, part folklore, part personal observation, author Dan Flores explores the cultural significance of the coyot...

Expectations of the upcoming TV series or Movie


Everyone loves the summer time, less work, nice weather no more heavy coats to be lugged around, people are in better moods, vacation time, sun kissed skin and pedicure season.  What’s not to like about the summer? If you are that person who looks forward to relaxing at the end of a busy work day with a beverage, a snack and your favourite TV shows, then you also...

What’s THE END?

On November 1, 2013, I started writing the spiritually themed private investigator novel titled Average Joe. The premise to the novel had been floating around in my head for many years now, but it wasn’t until October of that same year, when I started outlining and preparing to begin the National Writers Month Challenge (NaNoWriMo for short – although it’s actually…

A Deeper Look at Alexandra Glade, Vampire Hunter

Perhaps you’ve seen a glimpse of this fiery auburn-maned vampire hunter with the raptor gaze in the excerpt of THE CAIN LETTERS, or maybe you’ve rea…

Work Life Balance

This article carries a fairly different rhythm than what I usually share with you. When thinking of the subject matter, I began to think about my life situation and how many people in similar shoes are able to keep a balance in life. The balance between the beloved entertainment industry, and a good old-fashioned love life.

During my first couple of courses in col…

I Met S.C. Gwynne (And It Was Awesome)!

Recently I got to speak with NY Times Best Selling author S.C. Gwynne at the West Texas Book Festival where he was presenting about his most popular book, Empire of the Summer Moon.   Gwynne took the stage at noon while festival attendees finished up a taco salad lunch. He shared with us how the Wes...

Vengeance! Chapter 20 The battle of Kings Mountain

A teaser from my latest book “Vengeance” Chapter 20 The Battle of King’s Mountain

Despite Shelby’s minor victories the War in the South was not going well for the Patriot cause. That same month British General Cornwallis had met General Gates’ Patriot army at Camden and inflicted an overwhelming and humiliating defeat that sent Gates running North to avoid capture. Co…

A tale of patience, courage, and wisdom…

Erik Daniel Shein & L.M. Reker have a message that cannot be ignored. Animals are important to our world and their preservation has a global impact on all of us. As active members of the Arkwatch Foundation, some of the proceeds from sales will go to the Arkwatch Foundation whose mission is to prevent the depletion of rare animal and plant species. The Arkwatch Fou…

Getting Lost in the Music

Twenty-three years ago, I had an opportunity to see “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera” in London, England with my sister and family. I was sixteen at that time and it was my first experience of live theatre. I was enthralled by it all. What a production?!! So grandiose: the theatre, the costumes, the colours, the dance, the music, the voices, and the story! I was…

Ludlow Lost – Coming Soon!

I am so very excited for my dear friend Alexa Nazzaro, owner of Two Pigeons Press. She is the publisher for a fantastic novel to be released by Author Kate Robinson Dunne. It is always very exciting when the women in our community are achieving great things. Huge congratulations to both Alexa and Kate. 

I was in the fortuitous position to receive an ARC copy. Wond...

Preventing Whiplash in your Writing

Establishing Point of View

Since I began writing for publication, I try my best to leave ratings and reviews for all the different authors I read. However, I came across one gem of a book (I’ll call it Book XYZ) that I just couldn’t bring myself to type even a single word review. Why? Book XYZ overflowed with errors in editi…

FW17 Guo Pei & Caroline Scheufele

On July 2, 2017, at the prestigious hotel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris, Guo Pei presented her fourth Couture Collection, this time in collaboration with Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and

Artistic Director o…

FW17 Guo Pei & Caroline Scheufele

On July 2, 2017, at the prestigious hotel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris, Guo Pei presented her fourth Couture Collection, this time in collaboration with Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and

Artistic Director o…

A Moment of Happiness

Why is it that happiness does not last forever? When you are on an emotional high the world is perfect, your life is perfect. You do not believe this feeling will ever end; perhaps happiness can last forever…until it doesn’t.

How about the phrase “happily ever after”, which is how every fairy tale ends? It instills in us at a young age that there is such a thing…

Heed the Call

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear…”

H.P. Lovecraft

A quiet, little hamlet that might be set down anywhere in New England, and call itself at home, but located in the rolling hills of north-central Pennsylvania. The man who rented me this house was accommodating enough, but there was something–reptilian about him, for lack of a better word….

Why I am breaking up with you NFL

I have been in love with you for 45 years now. I have stuck with you through good times and bad. I have put up with immense ridicule from friends when things weren’t going well, yet still believed in you and supported you. I have shirts, shorts, socks, hats, jackets, pajamas, and loads of other memorabilia with your name and logo pasted all over most of what I ow…


Just a taste for you from the book….


She whispered, “Come on out, threll…come on….”

Alexandra took a few careful steps closer to the center of the roof. She narrowed her eyes to better see through the darkness. She heard the faint sounds of traffic, sensed the flicke...

Wild Space Saga – An Overview

I’m backed up with a ton of book reviews, which I believe will be my bread and butter from here on out, but since I’m new to this venue, I want to start off with something that is a bit about myself as a writer, and to bring a good friend into this. I’m talking about going into the meat of a project that I’m working hard on and would like to expand interest in. So why …

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...

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…

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…

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 ...

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 …

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…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling 

This book is the original screenplay as the name says and the author dedicated the book to her late father-in law who was a veterinarian.

226 pages.

It was a great addition to J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. I absolutely loved it! I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I love…

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...

#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,...

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…

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 ...

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…

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...

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…

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 …

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 …

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…

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…

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...

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...

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...

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...

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…


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…

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 …

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 …

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...

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 …

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…

#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…

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 ...

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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...

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...


(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…

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…

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 …

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...

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. …

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,…

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…

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…

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...

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…

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…




Middleton, Patrick

CreateSpace (270 pp.)

$11.50 paperback, $3.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1494224202; October 15, 2014


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


(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...

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….

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 … ...

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…

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…


“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 ...

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 …

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…

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…


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.  


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…

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…

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...


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…

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 …

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 …

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…

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 …

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...

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…

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…

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 …

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….

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 …

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...

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 …

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 …

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...

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…


     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 ...

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…

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…

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…

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…

Welcome to GoRead!

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Foul Territory: Chapter One


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...

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 …

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 …

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…

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…

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 …

Doug’s Delivery March 2017 Toronto Ravines

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…

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…

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...

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...


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:


Dust Conductor [Active Nanochondria Count 87….

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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...

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…

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…

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….

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 …


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, and …

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…..

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…

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…

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…

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...

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…

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…

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…

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…

Now Available!

Now Available!


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

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...

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 …

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...

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 ...

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...

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…


“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 htt...

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 …

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…

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.



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…


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…

A Light in the Dark, The Journey Begins-Part 4

I nearly drop the food in shock, having a hard time believing in what I just heard. O.P. and Bizo smile boldly, looking to be proud of an accomplishment of some sort. Are they wanting to come?

“I think I misheard you,” I answer honestly, “it sounded like you said, ‘then that settles it, we’re going with you.'”

“You heard me correctly,” O.P. states, “we’re g…

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...

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…


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 o…

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 ...

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…

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...

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…

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…
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 …

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…

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…

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…

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…
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 …

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…

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...

Confessions of a Book Collector

Confessions of a Book Collector


I will review what Ellery Queen said and add my comments at the end.


In the Queen’s Parlor and Other Leaves from the Editor’s Notebook by Ellery Queen was published in 1957. They (Ellery Queen was the name used by cousins and co-writers Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington) present fifty snippets of …


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