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As an award-winning global media digest, we come upon dozens upon dozens of writers whom although clearly possessing extraordinary talent, simply don’t have the “clout” to break into the ranks of “published” authors.

Research confirms that self-publishing is easy. Or, more to the point, self-publishing is too easy. Which is why a lot of people do it, of course. Writing and getting a book out there — whether through a publisher or via your own intrepid go-get-em spirit — is a tough row to hoe. And luck factors into it: you can certainly maximize that luck, but just the same, publishing requires that spark of serendipity.

The truth of the matter is, as a self-published author, if you want the book to sell, you’ve got to hustle. Everyday. Consistently. Relentlessly.

Publishers expect you to handle some of the marketing and advertising brunt. Doubly true if you are your own publisher. And yet, there you are, the author standing all by yourself, trying to peddle your intellectual wares with naught but a single clue as to how to do it. So you stand on all the social media corners, alongside tens of thousands of others, with the entire “breakthrough” burden on your shoulders. The truth of the matter is, as a self-published author if you want the book to sell, you’ve got to hustle. Everyday. Consistently. Relentlessly. If you are wanting to sell your project to a publisher then you have a few more hurdles to jump. You’ll need to convince a literary agent (or sometimes an editor) that your story is not only a great read, but that it is also what the market is looking for.

The reality is that when you finish your book, that’s just the beginning to becoming an accomplished writer. Frustration is imminent. You’ll want to give up. Don’t. Because there’s a credible alternative to becoming a published author – gaining the “clout” to open the many doors encountered as you follow your passion.

“Writing” A Wrong

Allow us to put this all in perspective by sharing the “real-world” experience of Rev. Patricia Cagganello, CEO and Founder of Sacred Stories Media, a conscious online media network – and in her own words⤵︎

“I know what it feels like to write your first book and have a message that you want to share with the world. The excitement you feel when the final edit is done and it is ready… but ready for who? Where do you start? Who can help you? Who will help you? 

Feeling overwhelmed with not knowing where to begin I jumped into the world of self-publishing. I trusted a known company and believed them when they told me I would be the next great author and make a huge impact… if I worked with them. I spent over $15,000 that I didn’t have to spend on my trust and belief in what they told me and my inner desire to make a difference in the world. $15,000 later of which $10,000 was for self-publishing costs and $5,000 was for one month of a publicist that didn’t secure me one interview, I was left feeling upset, foolish, and betrayed. I learned later that my experience was shared by many other authors who with little to no audience, platform, or understanding of the publishing industry were taken advantage of.

I knew then there was another way I could make a positive impact and Sacred Stories Publishing was born to offer authors a different experience, a better experience. We are passionate about helping others share their voice and treating them with the honesty and integrity they deserve whether they are looking for traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, or self-publishing.”

A Breakthough “Collaborative” Approach

That is why we are so excited about our collaborative approach to publishing. It’s a unique “book project”, purposefully designed to allow authors to share their stories and be part of a larger collective movement to inspire others and make a positive impact. It also allows new and veteran authors, or people who want to be an author, an opportunity to build their credentials and share their work through the interviews and media campaign we will be doing. A win-win-win all around. Quoting from Rev. Patricia:

“What I have learned as a publisher is that the industry is very competitive. There are over a million books published a year and it takes quite a bit of work, money, and publicity for a book to be noticed. That is why publishers when evaluating manuscripts, look to see what books the author has previously published and what size audience they have. We want to know that the author has the experience, credentials, and ability to generate sales. This book project is a wonderful opportunity for all authors to add to their credentials and build their audience which will help them get their next book noticed.”

Here’s Your “Risk Free” Opportunity

In Search Of Authors – Do You Have The Write Stuff?

Take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to share your story as a published author. But don’t delay, as participation is limited and our acceptance window closes April 30, 2019. 

Read more…

Thoughts on the Writing Life!

Thoughts on the writing life that are the experiences of one individual, that will also be similar to what other writers have tasted in the realm of writing and the like. That is our pen talking. The true muse lives in the ink.

How a Story forms:

A simple idea gets us off the mark and running toward our goal.  We may or may not know where we will end up.  It’s not really a race, but it’s good exercise.  For scammers it is a race for sure; a race for your money.  Be careful what you step in on your journey, loads of cow pies out there!

Story sample - a beginning:

by Don (Greywolf) Ford

The young Indian motioned to the settler to put on his moccasins.  He stood barefoot before the white man who struggled to understand this gesture.  Why was he wanting him to wear his shoes, when the white man already had boots to wear?

The Territory Indian agent stopped by to interpret the young brave’s action.  “He wants you to walk in his moccasins a while, and understand how he lives among his people that’s different than all of the whites and their ways.

“He wants you to “walk a mile in his shoes” is what he is trying to say.  I think even without words this speaks loud enough, wouldn’t you agree.”

“Of course, since you put it that way!” 


Mirror, mirror on the wall 

Show the greatest poem of all 

"Trees" of course without a doubt 

That's what poems are all about 

See Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" poem here 

It's shown below, have no fear 

And if you've never read this one 

So read it now, just for fun. 

Now you’ll see my commentary 

Certain myths we can bury 

Other thoughts I will unearth 

Showing us their depth and worth 

Poems are seen in candle light 

Things going bump in the night 

Poems could rise from mundane acts 

Pickles at night - as a snack 

Setting of a dinner space 

Every fork and spoon in place 

Some see poems in canvass art 

Or some in pie that's not too tart 

Know how a poem comes to me? 

List'ning to the rain - you see 

Ev'ry sound and emotion 

I see it like a magic potion 

Can a poem fall from the sky? 

This Chicken Little won't deny 

A poem forms from anything 

Listen for that special ring 

A meter, rhyme, and its measure 

Stir and mix it up for pleasure 

Cook it up and when it's done 

You must admit, poems are fun! 

Author Notes:

I know where I receive my inspiration, 

my muse waits on every corner.  There 

is no subject sacred to me. I will try 

most anything. How about you? 


by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) 

THINK that I shall never see 

A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 

And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in Summer wear 

A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 

Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 

But only God can make a tree. 

"Trees" was originally published in Trees and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. 

New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914. 

I try to be respectful of groups on LinkedIn that I'm a part of.  I want folks to pay a bit of attention to what I share.  I was on one group once where a member had said, "Oh go publish your work and quit showing the rest of us up.  You're making us all look bad." Then he said they were kidding.  I was sharing valuable information for Newbies who were hungry for any advice I had for them. 

That was a long time ago, and I was just a bit too excited about my work that was being picked up more frequently by magazine editors.  I was having a brag-fest in the process, but I also was offering clues as to how other writers could follow suit, since my ways opened doors for me.  Now I just offer advice in writing only and just enjoy my successes alone. 

So self-promotion has to be sprinkled on like seasoning on a good steak.  After all, the successes I was having, weren't the steak for others to enjoy.  I spent a good long time sending in short stories until I felt I had gotten enough of them published to justify going after a book deal.  I had somewhat of a good readership; now I needed followers! 

Over the last seven years I have written hundreds of poems and short stories, since they are my life.  We all have to find our niche, and Storytelling is who I am.  The book I'm working on now deals with the saving of animals the world over.  These are again my short stories, but they are all animal tales that were previously published in a Book Club at in Portugal. It is a commemorative book that I've dedicated to Mr. Michael St.John, the Publisher.  These stories are now at my fingertips, "Floyd the Dog Story Book Commemorative" is out now in full color.10916227276?profile=original

Where eagles fly,

Don (Greywolf) Ford

Native American Storyteller


I'm always thinking outside the box, and if any of you are creative writers, you must do the same. See sample pondering below from another time and place. Cheers, Don

An older commentary brought back.

Hi, all who ponder original thought, here is one that came instantly to mind (Paper with an attitude).


What is the meaning of this? Someone went to a whole lot of trouble to choose just the right tree and transport it to the saw mill. Then a dozen or so workers did their job to turn me, that same tree, into the paper you see before you.

So Mister Writer, get off your butt and do what you do best. Your job is to be funny, sad, scary, or truthful, but pen something! You need to get out of the rut you're in, and start creating those lines. This is what I was born for. I am your thoughts revealed, or your guts poured out. I enjoy the feel of your pen as it glides across my surface. I am happiest when I am full of your lines, so get a move on.

You conveniently use writer's block as an excuse to ignore me. In confronting you, I realize I run the risk of turning you away each time that I point up your failures. I am not the professed writer here; you are. I am just the tool in your hands.

Don't be afraid to use me to express yourself. Something must be eating at you. Let's get together and help each other. Write down those thoughts and ideas and I will get the word out - my specialty. Open up your mind to new possibilities. Write something funny; make someone's day.

I am here as much for me as for you. When you do your job as a writer, then it looks like I've done mine as well. Maybe we should do some brainstorming together. I have ideas too, but how would you know that, if you keep avoiding me.

Today is a new day and the start of the rest of our lives, why not take on the day

together. Cheers, your friend on paper.

Author Notes:

Just before I penned this, I was thinking "what I wouldn't do for a piece of plain paper. I would make good use of it; both sides!" And so I did!

Cheers, Don


I warned everyone a while ago that I was working on about 20 books, and I don't think anyone believed me, or they had a wait and see attitude, and that's okay!  I've been crafting them for over 8 years, but I began writing at age 15.  I'm playing catch up as my books are all written.  I just need to finish the hard part of editing them.  Fortunately, I do Editing for others, and so it goes quickly for me. The last time I submitted my book I was told there were two errors, but they weren't life threatening.  I feel that's great progress.  Cheers, Don

P.S.  They're all gonna love my pixie and fairy book.  You know I love storytelling and kids especially, but this isn't a fun for all tale, but has a bit of edge to it.  Enjoy, "The Great Migration".  If anyone gets it, I'd love a review!!!  It fits anyone 8 and older. 

You said, "Have loads of ideas/plots in mind but not motivated enough to get started."
My son was about ten when he began "scribbling" to borrow Christopher's word. He drew a picture of himself scribbling away while his head was open like a hinged door. Little tiny people were escaping out of it on strings and lowered themselves to the table below. Hundreds of them were descending the top of his head where they seemed to be escaping his brain.

I fear in my life time I have lost many of these escaping ideas, since I failed to pen those stories or poems before they got away. When I get an idea, even if it is in the middle of the night, I have to capture it and set it to paper and ink. These were some of my better ideas I came up with. The imagination is a wonderful gift that we all have. My son mentioned to me when I asked about all of those little guys, that they were all of the thousands of ideas that were pouring out of him.

My problem was not "what should I think of to write about, but which of the many ideas that come to me at various times -so many- should I choose to write about? It seems to always begin like a germ of an idea that grows and grows as long as my pen and writing hand will hold out. Cheers, Don

Now let me introduce you to a famous scribbler >>>
Wait until you meet “The Amazing Cynicalman” by Matt Feazell.

My son worked with Matt in comics in the 90s. Now this famous stick figure drawing machine is nearly a household name. This guy was my son’s first inspiration as he bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t draw well. Then Matt told him, don’t worry how your art work looks, just get your story out there, and out he put it. The first to see my son’s work and comment favorably on his writing, were some folks at D.C. and Marvel Comics. His own art still wasn’t good in his opinion at that time, but his story captivated them.

My Son is Andrew Michael Ford see creations here >>> 

Andrew recently sold a story to D.C. Comics and another to Dark Horse Comics.

Andrew Ford goes by the name Drew, and his work is found at “It’s Alive Press”

AND here > 

A great artist from Boston contacted my son with his art to add to the story, and it was Mike Kelleher, author and artist of “Legend Killer”. 

So many books out there have little merit going forward.  I do!  I have real feelings and purpose, something worth sharing.  I’m decades old; at least some of my stories are.  Many years in the making, that’s me!  Sometimes what’s old is new again.  Who ever thought bell bottom pants would come around again.  They are here and given a new name; flare jeans. LOL

I remember my son asking me if I had any new ideas about doing a story with a subject that hasn’t been done to death.  I suggested doing a story about a WORM that lost his parents in an excavation.  He laughed, then said, “I like the worm idea, but I’m dumping the excavation.”

As a result, RIB was born.

Blurb info:

What began as an interest in Poetry at the age of 15 grew over the years into a good mix of poetry, storytelling, and art.  I do my our story cover pieces.  I can help others with their covers too.  My art is digital photography.

I love being around kids, and much of my writing is kid generated and kid oriented.  I'm an environmentalist and thus the many faces of nature in my poetry and my prose.  On Saturday July 23rd I will be reading stories to campers at Verona Beach State Park, in Verona, NY  

Humor is a hallmark in most of my writing, since I look forward to turning smiles right side up. Why so glum?  Now with so many short stories published across the U.S. I have recently gotten work in Portugal and Cyprus that spreads to 62 other countries.I am going after the book market as the new home for my work.

See my stories that have been published with  Many of them are archived there.  See more of my work below:   

Lone Dragonfly published by the GoodNews Paper 

Siamese Earth Angels  (Not for Sale)  went to Guidepost Magazine 

A Fish Story went to Adirondack Life Magazine 

No Fish For You went to the  American Intercultural Magazine

Q & A Column for Sew News Magazine 

This One’s For the Birds has 9 of my stories, pictures and poems  

Various story pieces have gone to “Little Words” out of Nevada.  

Floyd the Dog Book club of Portugal and now Creature Features Magazine on the island of Cyprus have taken my story pieces too.   See attached for book cover.  A few more stories and art pieces have been attached here also!!!

Much of my poetry has been published on various sites such as "Four and Twenty Poetry", Dead Mule Poetry, Shine Journal, and has sold to many individuals for special occasions. 

From: donna crocker To:

Sent: Fri, July 15, 2011 9:17:03 PM

Subject: RE: I got here as soon as I could ! :-} Don

Hi Don, thank you for the email. I'm excited to have a blog with you. If you would send me a blurb, book cover, and links to you, I will post everything. Anything else you would like - feel free to send. I agree we all can use help getting our name out there; good luck with your story telling it sound very exciting.

donna crocker author of romance books .


Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 16:49:14 -0700


Subject: I got here as soon as I could ! :-} Don

Hi Donna,  

I'd enjoy doing a blog posting with you.  We all can use the extra publicity for our works.  I have a few things running right now.  One is my short story at Solstice titled "Royal Ferdinand".  Also, I will be storytelling for the first time on July 23rd at a New York State Park. See attached.  Also I may be asked to share stories at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY  HOORAY!!

Where eagles fly,

Don Ford

D. M.

We live in an unedited You Tube generation I would be interested to hear what the younger generation has to say on this issue in a few years time when a whole new generation of publishing has taken hold. Will the status quo prevail? Who knows. what I look forward to is an uncontrolled wild creative crazy pool where anything goes, just like music and art. What rises to the top is anyones guess. i suspect as ever that like art we will buy what we are told to, but then again could anyone have guessed that garage, punk rock, rap etc would become mainstream. One persons terrible writing is another persons hip hop.

5 hours ago• Like1

Follow Ray

Ray S, I'm far from being in the younger generation, but I like your comments. Your perception is good and I agree with your prospection.

4 hours ago• Like2

Donald Ford • Declan,

You are right, it can only get worse from here. What they tried to cram down our throats in high school about Evolution, because mosts folks are always looking for answers, is headed down hill not up, and the garbage in - garbage out is working.

If Evolution is a true concept, then we are headed back to primordial times. I for one, am not looking forward to being made to look like a monkey or a jackass.

This is a declining generation, but as an Editor, I'll try to salvage a few other young writers, who show promise along the way. Your comment is very sad, but it is easy to draw that conclusion. Maybe I can open a few eyes and ears to what is a better way to go.

I have an obligation, with paid venues for my Storytelling, to keep it from becoming terrible writing. Cheers, Don

57 minutes ago

Follow Colleen

Colleen Moore • Whew! Thank you Don for being the voice of reason. I was worried there for a moment. Being neither old generation nor young, I have one foot in each camp. I'm all for progress, but I'm also big on certain rules. The English language is, of course, always evolving, but I'll be darned if I'm going to stand by and watch it degrade in the name of possible (and I mean possible) creativity. My children speak the language of texting, but I'm happy to report that they're also excellent writers. The next generation is welcome to experiment all it likes, but when it ceases to understand Shakespeare and Austen, then the lowest common denominator wins. We do not have to accept Orwellian Newspeak just because it simplifies our life. Simplification means the absence of richness. Encouraging the youth to abandon standards of craft would lead to a very sad literary world indeed.

37 minutes ago• Like

Donald Ford • Colleen

You are very welcome; it had to be said!

Where eagles fly,

Don (Greywolf)

Native American Storyteller and Story Editor

15 minutes ago

Donald Ford • Colleen,

You are very welcome; it had to be said! My son is an amazing writer, and my daughter 22 years later, has her pulse on the literary market as well. If they are any example of the new generation, there is much hope in the future. This is not because they are my kids. It is a fact, that they are potentially becoming better writers than I was at their age.

Where eagles fly,

Don (Greywolf)

Native American Storyteller and Story Editor

Read more…

Back to the Garden

In 2019 I opened an imprint called Dragonfly Publishing and posted about my 2nd edition of Back to the Garden (pen: Clara Hume). It's part 1 of a duology called Wild Mountain. More about the book:

Back to the Garden is in its 2nd edition, launching the new Wild Mountain series in October 2018. The newest book in the duology, The Stolen Child, is expected in 2022. The 1st edition was published by Moon Willow Press.

Clara Hume’s speculative ecofiction, Back to the Garden, is told from the perspective of a group of “tipping point” survivors–a generation of mountain folks who have experienced the collapse of late-stage capitalism, along with widespread ecosystem degradation due to climate change. It is within the framework of a unique time, when these characters live through two worlds, vastly different from one another, that they tell their tales, a way of documenting their journeys in life.

While the friends and family in this novel struggle to survive, and overcome personal losses and grief, they do so with the strength of character that allows people to gracefully succeed during times of societal failure. They understand that true riches of life come from the great outdoors and from their relationships with each other. They learn to survive and adapt in a climate-changed world. Part “road” novel, part survival tale, and part romance, this literary novel looks into the human psyche as people similar to how we imagine ourselves find hope in the face of disaster.10916227072?profile=original

Read more…


Ghost Writer, Inc. on Living and Dead Jews…PEOPLE. Maybe they’re where we want to be. No, I have a family to serve and protect. With my hard-earned money. Which I make by being a ghostwriter. Lately, only of sorts. I am now semi-retired and do certain select projects. Mostly editing and shorter works. Things that get my attention fast and really capture my unlimited fancies.


The rest, I send to other ghostwriters. In a way that is so all along. I’m careful about what I pick to do. Everything else, advisement capacities. I know exactly what I’m talking about…somewhat. I’m a human woman and make mistakes. Honestly, I can’t do absolutely everything. Or some things completely right. But we all certainly can try. It’s what makes us the Noblest Animal, I guess. Suffering while doing things wrong. Or trying hard to understand why people won’t let you do things. When they want to do them instead of you.


My currently SEO-friendly title tag. I’ve hired Indians to do my SEO work in the past. But nowadays, Filipinos instead. Indian is something I might partially be. The Cherokee Nation Trail of Tears kind. White looking, not enough. Seems “foreigners” are both trustworthy and otherwise. Same as everyone else. Same as Stan Lee. He’s been accused of sexual misconduct. Probably something real. Too much of that everywhere and gone.

He also invented Spiderman…and Mary Jane. I reinvented Batman, not Wonder Woman. But due to World War II and then Vietnam, I called myself a name: Wonder B—h. Due to wondering what was going down. It can all be viewed as only sexism. Anti-men and anti-women. War does that to the human mind. And bends mentality in either positive or otherwise negative directions. Well, at least I “invented” my daughter, I guess.


She’s so far away now, she’s a dream. Due to male violence, and female persistence. Sometimes I doubt I even had her. She’s in her mid-20s. I am praying someday she forgives her family, and opens the lines of communication again. I have one major book in The Library of Congress, and dozens of others too. Well over 500 now I’m responsible for and counting. I either contributed, worked on or arranged all those works.


That book I mentioned was about how the FBI found the killer in two months. By being thorough and checking records. I was the “editor” for an FBI agent's daughter. His team caught James Earl Ray. It took checking passports at Heathrow Airport in London back in 1968. Found Ray. Well, I didn’t. So although I tried to hunt down Jerry Ray (JER’s brother), I wasn’t able to. Wanted to interview the other possible killer.

If you ever see a man carrying a rifle, consider doing something. Unless he is hunting deer, bear or quail…in the bushes. Somehow, I'm not making fun of Dr. King. I respect and admire him, except for his attitudes about women. Not rare.



I wonder what Stan Lee really did? Not be squeaky clean, I guess. Racial impurity? Sex and strut your stuff. Too much. Date young girls, and think they exist for only that reason. Just like Jerry Lewis and me. He handed me a match stick cover at a party with his room number scrawled up top. Didn’t keep it; threw it away. Wanted to do more in life than lose my virginity funny. Figured he’d hand me money for it. Or be waiting for me in his room with someone else. Possibly, or be eating a banana while smiling gamely and watching television.

Lucille Ball was somehow inspiring to me. For all I know, she kept me away from that hotel room. I wouldn’t put it past her; she’s rather somebody. She is the person most behind the invention of Star Trek. Well, at least the promotion of it through her studio. No Lucille Ball, no Star Trek. She financed it, with or in spite of Desi Arnaz. Our Lucille had faith in the series for some reason. Desilu was the production company. Most people don’t know that, and mainly Ball is responsible for the entire Star Trek and Star Wars franchises.


Read the background book about Star Trek recently. Great jokes about balling, everyone having fantastic fun. Star Trek was infamous for everybody on it having sex with everybody else. Good for them; but what about me? Lucy was probably a Jewess. Braver than a lion and modest, too. I feel obligated to try, doubt I am either. She doubted herself frequently. I have to make money to support my entire family. While I’m disabled. NO, physically challenged. Something to call it. I am doing this; tell me if you see any typos.


Well, Stan Lee inspired me to come up with this business. Him and Philip Roth’s “The Ghost Writer”. I thought since I might not work anywhere else great, I’d set myself up online. Didn’t want to just be Roth’s “Monkey Girl” from Portnoy’s Complaint. If I use that word, I will be screened out by Google. Words that hurt and bullies and love. What do you have to write about today? There are jobs in the writing field abounding.

Due to the Internet. Like my Mom said, I was able to do so. The World Wide Web is something special; so was my mother, dead at 86. Mom and Dad are gone, so are 11 people. Jewish women and men. Now we have bodies in Pittsburgh, or even Philadelphia. It wasn't a wonderful day in Mr. Roger’s old neighborhood. Yes, it was the Squirrel district, and it certainly attracted one.

Or trying to mimic Lucille Ball. Is squirrel for the killer a tasteless joke? Sadness.

Why are you a Book Ghost?



Ghost Writer, Inc. started as an idea by a 14-year-old girl. In the basement of our family house, in 1974. I was reading Marvel Comics about Stan Lee’s Bullpen when it dawned on me – I didn’t like comic books, I liked real books! They were more adult and made much better intellectual sense.

On the spot, I dreamed up Rainbow Writing, Inc. I decided to send ghostwriting work out to a bullpen like Stan Lee’s. But mine would be a cattle pen of ghosts. Men and women, no children. Black and white, brown, different countries. Seattle, Chicago, New York City. Los Angeles, London, Bangladesh. Much later January 2003, RWI online and I began sending work out. Rebranded the company as Ghost Writer, Inc. in 2011. Getting more business than I could handle. I’m expecting the floodgates to open. They already have, but not yet.


Over the years, GWI expanded. To provide all types of ghostwriting services. We do books, film screenplays, TV scripts, plays, research, music, lyrics, Hollywood soundtracks, speeches, business documents…anything you name, we can staff it. Our motto is, “We do it All!” From short stories, poetry, work and academic statements, children’s through adult literature, all types and every genre.

We specialize in memoirs and science fiction, plus business nonfiction books. As to awards, we’ve won dozens of them for our writing and editing skills. Including the Literary Arts Association award for books, inclusion in The Library of Congress (not remunerated, voluntarily inclusion), several and awards. Academy awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, Tellies and several other awards for films made from our ghost’s screenplays.


My business is a one-woman effort by a differently abled freelance writer. I have health issues. Am overcoming them. Lots of fear, lots of pain and pleasure. Through the years, I ghost wrote 50+ books, some of which became NYT and Amazon best sellers. However, largely I have fulfilled my dream of sending work out to other writers. I have people on my team with dozens of bestselling books, under their names and those of their clients.

I have given many people their start as a professional writer. We have bestsellers nowadays who started out as students. I gave them a chance through GWI. And now a decent lot of them are golden!


Ghost Writer, Inc. will consider any project, if it’s ethical. But we will edit, rewrite and proofread works when it’s unethical to ghostwrite. We take payment upfront, except for celebrities and stories of timely events. We will consider a split and half a book advance, but generally we work solely for upfront pay. However, we always consider our clients’ budgets, and we will work only within them.

GWI advertises affordable ghostwriting services. We strive mightily to get first-time writers published. We don’t turn anyone away. Instead, we give out professional advice. We plan out payments over time for low-income clients. If budget is a problem, we suggest editing or book coaching instead of ghostwriting. We’ve helped many achieve success who couldn’t afford a ghostwriter. People with inspirational stories of abuse, and how they overcame it. And we plan to continue these business practices well into the future.

Read more…

In the last decade, things have changed dramatically in the writing and publishing business, and will never be the same again. Anybody, perhaps almost everybody nowadays with any kind of computer seems to be having a go at it! Nowadays then, to some agents and acquisition editors, it must seem that there are far more writers around today than there are readers. Why do they do it? The irresistible lure of possibly doing another Harry Potter?

Perhaps things have become an amateur's dream of a preferable alternative to a normal occupation? Maybe they’re making it an exercise in self-fulfilment too, a way to express and analyze their feelings about the world. Where they fear it's going, and the urge to communicate about it to anyone who’ll listen.

Well, there are easier ways to relieve one's feelings of frustration when it comes to requiring therapy. You could try beating up your partner… but that can be very expensive, especially in America. In some countries I believe you can buy little clay idols, horribly hideous to behold. With just a little imagination a suitable one of them can be identified with the galling irritation of the moment. Rage and indignation does the rest. Trials and tribulations presumably scatter in the breeze with the dust of the thing as it crumbles in your fist, or shatters under your heel.

I've no doubt it works for some people, but if you lead a very frustrating life, it might soon get to be expensive. However, there are more economic ways to relieve one's feelings when the need for therapy arises. Years ago, to become your own psychiatrist, the minimum you needed was pencil and paper.

Nowadays, a personal laptop, or tablet... or even a smart phone is more convenient, and most of us have one nowadays…or something similar. Everywhere can become a couch and it's more socially acceptable than talking to yourself… or taking it out on your partner, which, as I already mentioned, can be very expensive.

So, put it all down then...scribble or tap away, unbutton your creative belt and let everything hang out. Develop your expressive urges and have your characters tell your conscience how you feel. Above all be honest with yourself, even if it hurts. It often does, and I should know…this is the voice of experience.

The nearer I got to the top of the heap, in my business profession the more I longed to release my over-pressurized feelings, throw away my collection of emotion-screening masks, insult all the customers, turn my order book in for an axe and hack away at the plastic feet of all the false idols I seemed to be worshiping. I felt disillusion and contempt for the commercial rat-race, and the way it submerged my appreciation of the simpler things in life. I resented the never-ending battle, that constantly seemed necessary, to just stay level, let alone to expand further, and I was filled with remorse at the neglect of my home-life and family. All the time you see my conscience was wearing me down. It refused to believe my contrived excuses and justification for what I was doing. I eventually knew I needed some kind of therapy, so I started writing again.

I should mention that back in the fifties I wrote and sold a few SciFi tales, as an avid Science Fiction fan and participated in several conventions. My rapidly expanding business life however, soon put a stop to those fascinating activities. Eventually in the late seventies I decided it was time to retire from my professional executive life, and went to work for myself as a software consultant. The problem with that was the way it soon took up all of my time again, so in my early eighties I gave it all up and finally retired.

Since then I have only indulged in writing, editing and promoting my speculative fiction output. Now of course, I am ruefully finding the latter, the essential marketing requirement, seems to take up more and more of my time than the writing does. But to continue…

The smaller magazines and genre websites began to take my work, and still do, and I've also won a few competitions, and received a couple of awards. Altogether I’ve published over ten collections of speculative stories from macabre tales to science fiction and even some humor. I've also had stories published in about nine anthologies in America. My first novel, Points of View, was published in 2012 by Eternal Press in California. In 2015 they were taken over by Caliburn Press in Madison. Wisconsin. The first sequel was planned to be published by them around December 2016. Unfortunately, things went wrong with them as described later.

In 2014, with my own self-publishing imprint, Etcetera Press, I self-published my largest book, 358 pages of THE BEST OF THE TENERIFE TALL TALES, selected from my earlier award winning trilogy, which has that most generous introduction by the late legendary, American SciFi author Harry Harrison. We met up in 2007 at a convention in Copenhagen, and he later visited me for a most illuminating week in Tenerife, Spain where my wife and I were on vacation. He liked my stories, and gave me a glowing introduction to use with one collection, but said I really had to write a novel if I seriously wanted to get anywhere.

So that I did, as described earlier, and now things are progressing well. My very latest effort has been to self-publish an analysis of the coming Artificial Intelligence revolution, in a book entitled, THE SINGULARITY IS COMING. It has become my best selling title. Most people I talk to have never heard of the phenomenon, and yet many scientists and other experts believe it will arrive in less than a decade and change all out lives completely. If you don't yet know about it you should... and you know how to find out about it, don't you? i.e. See my website:

Last October it was acquired by the IT Books Division of the Chinese Information Ministry Publisher, PTPress in Bejing. for publication in simplified Chinese eBook, hardback, and paperback versions, scheduled for release in June 2016... and it was! So how did that wonderful breakthrough come about? Their Publishing Manager simply found me while searching through the Internet and took it from there. In his own words, “I wanted a follow up to Ray Kurzweil’s book on the subject and your book is concise and easy to understand.”
Now for the Eternal Press sad story..

Cotinued in my eBook BEST SELLER PLAN see

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Ever had one of them days?

…where everything goes from roses and sunshine to something much more akin to the southernmost drafts of northbound horse?10916227259?profile=original

I never was all that great at geography, but something about all this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd much prefer talking about it. Always had a knack for the storytelling part of it, anyway. And the editors over at The Ocotillo Review and Kallisto Gaia Press seemed to think so, too, because they recently notified me that they planned to publish my fourth story from my Long Gone & Lost collection, which I’ll be turning in for my MFA here in the very near future.

I’m fairly certain that the two fellows from my story would know all about those ill tasting after effects I mentioned, however. They may be all fiction themselves, but they were indeed inspired by real life events in a real life newsrooms. Dave Kindred wrote about a few folks just like these two who, mere days after everybody was riding a high that only those who win six Pulitzers will ever truly know, them and most everyone they knew were handing walking papers from their jobs. That's right, they were fired!

Sure, they may be one of the best papers anywhere, as the Pulitzers might suggest, but they would soon be so with half as many people.

Trust me when I say this, but if that don’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, nothing will.

I read Kindred’s Morning Miracle two years ago now. He wrote about the world famous Washington Post, and how after one of their best years ever, editorially speaking, half the people employed there lost their jobs because subscribers had dropped off and Facebook could do for free what no newspaper ever could.

What’s that, you might ask, that Facebook so excels at? Namely, creating a platform whereby complete strangers could hound and annoy people with enough asinine questions about the glorified junk somebody is selling that folks will actually give shit away–cars, furniture, boats, livestock, you name it–just so they don’t have to answer, yet again, what color that the blue 1985 Ford Tempo that's for sale might be, or what year model it was again, or what make of that model it might be, or–did I happen to mention the color already? I forget…

(I've had some questions arise on that last paragraph from the original posting of this this blog entry on my author website, so I thought it might need some explaining. You see the Marketplace feature of Facebook, the very culprit responsible for obliterating the common classified ad in a newspaper which in turn all but sank your average newspaper in terms of operating revenue, actually rewards such idiotic lines of questioning a product, because its algorithms push to the top of people's displays those items which are most talked about, so a series of completely useless details about said car, or likewise, 110 people entering one word exclamations, like " Nice!" or "P.O.S!!!" the more likely modifier of an 85 Tempo, especially those that receive a response from the author, actually get shown before those that have none. As a result, people now obliterate said site  with needless words, getting friends to help even, just to have that piece of crap car show up every time you refresh your page, thereby increasing its likelihood of someone purchasing it. I have no idea, but it was a fact I picked up from a fellow who bulls and resells POS cars on a regular basis. And now you know, as Paul Harvey used to say on the radio, the rest of the story).

But there at the Post, they threw parties one day. Couldn’t be prouder of how hard everybody worked to be just like a blood kin family. A few days later, they had security guards following people out to make sure they didn’t take a stapler that wasn’t theirs. They even fired some of the folks who won Pulitzers, I hear. They had to. They couldn’t afford them anymore.

Sadly, that sort of thing is still very much a reality for some of the folks I know well. In fact, newspapers are nothing like the bastions of economic security they once were. And sure, you gotta feel bad for the guy who tops his profession, only to be rewarded for his efforts with a layoff. But what if those employees fired–the ones the reader gets to know best in the story–are complete and utter slacker morons? I mean they serve a function-- albeit, doing something I don’t want to do--but somebody has to, I guess. Or not. But how would that dynamic affect the story?

I wondered. So, I wrote.

Wound up calling it “Forget the Alamo” (which isn’t near as heretical as it sounds to all my Texas purist friends. At least, I hope not, anyway). I can’t say much more about it, for now. Not until it publishes. They want first publication rights and all.

For more information, and to see a full compendium of items published this year, log on to my author website at




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Dag and the other cats made their way down the silent street in an effort to find the second course of their dinner. Unconcerned, they strolled down Maxwell Street, the home of Flinz, a notorious cat who was feared by the entire feline population of the city. It was rumored that Flinz’s breath could kill a dove!
Maxwell Street lay in the belly of discomfort, and its ugliness was there for all eyes to see. The streetlights were dim; they had seen better days. The buildings, too, were swimming in the pool of old age and begging for renovation. Parts of the old street were overrun with rats and mice—meals that poor Dag and friends would normally have found promising but tonight lay beyond their reach and strength. 
The cats were tired from their long walk, so they rested a short distance from a shopping mall, which housed the finest buildings on the old street. But just as they settled down, Flinz emerged from behind a cracked old fence and stole past Dag and the others. He dashed into the mall, almost unnoticed, to commit what had earned him the nickname ‘the notorious cat’. After a few minutes inside the mall, Flinz found some groceries on a shelf and lost his balance trying to reach the food. Blaize was the first to be alerted. “What’s that?” he asked with a grimace.

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Dag raised his head and glanced about. “I don’t know.” His voice revealed his caution.
Fred cleared his throat and said, “It could be a thief!” He exchange glances with the others.
“You may be right,” said Blaize. “Let’s go see who the criminal is,” he suggested, and faced the mall with a good speed. The other cats followed, flinging glances in every direction to make sure that no one was on their trail. As soon as they got to the mall, Blaize signaled his friends to stop. Before they could blink, Blaize climbed up to one of the half-open windows and peered inside. There was Flinz, feasting on the groceries! A ray of anger flushed over Blaize’s face. Returning to his friends, he reported, “We have an enemy in there!”
“Who?” Dag probed, simpering.
“It’s Flinz!” Blaize replied. 
“Who is Flinz?” asked Pork.
“Flinz lives on the street that leads to the train station. It is said that he once ate an animal that had been sacrificed by humans, and is now immersed in a pool of misfortune. After losing his fine attributes, he withdrew from public life and became a terror to the people.”
“What a pity. Life is no bed of roses!” Dag said, and turned to go.
“No! We must fight him!” Blaize proclaimed. “The wicked soul killed my brother after they had a heated argument over a piece of meat in the market square. And I have vowed to avenge my brother’s death. There is no better time to do so than this beautiful night. Then my brother’s death will have had a purpose!”
Dag now recalled the sad story. “Yes, I remember. Wasn’t it the cat you told me about that lived in the train station?”
“Yes!” Blaize responded. “And that was four days ago.”
Then Pork offered a jewel of advice: “You’d best forget about Flinz and mind your business. I don’t think vengeance is the way to handle this issue.”
Blaize reacted, “Check my face and read my lips, and you will see that nothing can stop me tonight, Pork. My brother cannot have died for nothing!”
“Pork is right,” Dag interjected. “We came here to find a befitting meal for the night, not to battle. Don’t allow this issue into your head, my friend.” The elderly cat pulled Blaize to his side.
Blaize shoved him off. “You don’t know how it hurts to lose a brother. My brother was my best friend and was everything to me.” Tears gathered in his eyes as Blaize moved away. Before Dag and the other cats could make a move, Blaize had disappeared through the window and was received by the treachery inside the mall.
There was a momentary silence as Blaize advanced to the corner where Flinz was having a one-cat party. Red with rage, Blaize shouted, “You are a wicked soul, and your madness ends today!”
Raising his head, Flinz cleared his throat as a queer look paraded over his face, “Why call me such a name on a cold night, my poor friend?”
“I see that you have forgotten that you killed my brother!”
Flinz pushed his meal to one side, and tried to recall who the fellow was, but he could not remember. So he fixed his gaze on Blaize: “I have no memory for an ugly past. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. Who exactly is your brother?” 
“Don’t tell me that you have forgotten the fellow you slew at the market square some months ago!”
“Oh, yes… Now I remember. But it is one of those things. Brother killing brother and so forth,” Flinz replied unrepentantly and went back to his meal.
“I have vowed to avenge my brother’s death.”
After swallowing a lump, Flinz replied, “You don’t have to announce it. Let your actions speak for you. But I will advise you to refrain from vengeance, because it is not in our power to take life.”
“But you killed my brother!”
“Yes. But I never wanted to. He refused to let me have my way. And that was why I sent him to the silent world. Now, please go away. Sometimes I lose my temper and find myself going against my nature in circumstance such as this one.”
“No! I refuse to leave!” The arched back and bristling fur demonstrated Blaize’s aggression; his tail was confidently upright and his rear stood firm, while the front of his body retreated and his fur stood straight up to make him look bigger than he actually was. He was certainly ready to give Flinz a good fight.
Flinz chuckled. “So you want to fight me? Do not add your death to this tragedy, my friend. Leave here!” Flinz ordered. He crouched low, not ready to submit, with chin tucked in, ears turned to show their backs and whiskers forwarded and ready to face the threat. 
Blaize started the fight with a fierce blow that caught Flinz on the neck. But just as he pressed his advantage, and no eye was watching, he made a slash across the cat’s right cheek and some whiskers were lost. Blaize let out with an agonized cry as they shared blows from one end of the store to the other. However, it was only a matter of time before the advantage shifted to Flinz, and Blaize tasted frustration that night. Flinz had left Blaize devastated, then dashed out of the mall and raced towards the train station for all he was worth. Before Blaize could even blink, his enemy was gone. 
Not long after, Dag, Pork and Fred rushed to the scene where Blaize had received the beating of his life. Dag was the first to speak. “Where is Flinz?” 
Blaize pointed towards the train station and managed to croak, “There!” There was no strength left in him.
Pork and Fred tried to give chase, but before they could get out of the mall, Flinz had disappeared into thin air. With darkness hanging around the corner, and disappointment taking its toll, they shook their heads in disbelief and returned to the store. As a matter of fact, Blaize had yet to shrug off the injury he’d suffered at the hands of Flinz. “You were not prepared for the fight, Blaize.” Pork said.
That much was true. Later, they could discuss how to cut the bully down to size, but for now Dag helped the injured Blaize to his feet. “We must leave now,” said Dag. But just as they made for the window that was halfway open, they were alarmed by a strange sound from the street. “What’s that?” Pork took cover behind one of the shelves.
“Sssh! Keep your voice low,” Dag warned as, one after another, they scaled the window only to witness a bizarre occurrence that was taking place under the gloomy eyes of the silent night. On the street was a man being mobbed by a crowd of people. One after another they rained down their clubs upon the man until at last he lay gasping and choking. His head rolled to one side as life itself faded from his lips. After the assault was over, and after all the belongings of the dead man had been placed in the pockets of his assailants, the mob disappeared into the night.
“What have they done?” Pork inquired incredulously.
“Can’t you see that they just beat a man dead?” Blaize replied.
Dag shook his head in dismay. “What a wicked world! Humans do not value life as we do. No cat I know could be that brutal!”
But Blaize had something different to say: “What about Flinz? Is there any difference between that scoundrel and the mob?” 
“Flinz is a bad example, and his days are numbered,” Dag replied with a frown.
“I hope so,” Blaize mumbled.
Fred sighed. “I’m not so sure that the man is dead…”
“Nor am I,” Pork said. “We are too far away to assume that he has gone to meet his ancestors.”
“Let’s go and see if he is still alive,” Dag said, and led the cats to the street where the man lay in a pool of his own blood. Once they reached the scene, they were sad to see that the man had indeed walked into silence. Dag said, “This is not good. I know this man. He lives at the end of this street. I wonder why he’s come home so late today.”
“That is not the issue, Dag. No one has the right to take his life. Like every citizen of this land, each man has the right to freedom of movement,” Fred stated.
“Whatever kept him out late must have been important,” Blaize said.
“Only God knows. If humans would take security seriously, this man would have returned unharmed to his house,” Pork said. He sighed a long sigh.
A momentary silence hung in the air as the cats stared at the poor soul. Not long after, thunder crashed in the sky and it began to rain. “I’ve heard enough for today,” Dag announced and walked away. The elderly cat climbed the roof of one of the buildings and disappeared. The other cats knew that venturing further into the treacherous night was not the best idea, so they followed the path of their old friend.

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How to market to multiple book review websites at once

The K-Instant Dashboard is a powerful web-based software that every writer/publisher need to acquire for themselves. It is a do-it-yourself website application that can instantly promote your Amazon books to thousands of readers every time it is used. 

Although the K-Instant application is closed to new buyers, writers who are still interested in this program can take advantage of it through the Indie Writers Support initiative.

Here’s a recap of why this is the best Kindle tool you can get your hands on…

checkmarkManage all of your Kindle books from one dashboard – Just open up Kinstant Dashboard and see exactly what’s going on with your books. Track reviews, keyword rankings, and marketing progress — without having to go anywhere.

checkmarkMake as many sales as possible from your books – We’ve listed out everything that needs to be done to get as many book sales as possible. All you (or your outsourcer) has to do is click “Yes” each time they’re completed. Our Progress Bar will help make sure you make as much long term passive income as possible.

checkmarkRack up the downloads on your Kindle promotions – Our system will go through and submit books on your behalf when you have your Free Days. This helps you get thousands of downloads for free. If you were to pay for this service, you’d pay upwards of $100 PER BOOK — and you can do it unlimited times on our software.

checkmarkReach thousands of people who want to leave you a review - Another component of our system is that we will automatically, as soon as you request it, go to Facebook and submit your book to Facebook groups full of authors who want to support each other. Once your book is in front of them, you can request downloads and reviews.

checkmarkEnjoy higher rankings on Amazon’s search engine – We use a loophole on Amazon to make sure that every time your book gets submitted, you’re getting the juiciest SEO benefits possible. You don’t even have to do anything extra — just know that every time you submit a book, you’re silently going to get higher search engine rankings.

checkmark…and that’s just the beginning.

Your book(s) will be submitted to these 16 book reviewing websites when it is used:

  • E-reader News to Day
  • The E-reader Cafe
  • Pixel of ink
  • Indie Book of the day
  • Frugal Free Bies
  • Free Digital Reads
  • Kindle book Promos
  • Digital Books Today
  • Get Free Books
  • Book Deal Hunter
  • Its Write Now
  • E Reader Perks
  • Book Goodies
  • Free Book Dude
  • Erotica Everyday
  • E-Books Habit

Apply for the program at,

That's not all. In addition to having your book added to these great websites, this application also lets you promote your book to the twenty-two Facebook groups listed below with one push of a button. That's right. All you'll have to do is compose a message about your book that you want to be posted to these Facebook groups (each with an average of 25,000 members or more) and press send. The book message will post on the Facebook groups' walls instantly.

These are the Facebook groups that you will be able to promotion to anytime and every time:

  • FREE Ebooks -- Reviews & Promotion
  • Authors
  • Amazon Book Clubs
  • Awesome Free Kindle Books Here!
  • The Literary Lounge authors, writers, publishers, and illustrators
  • Book Club
  • Writers' Group
  • Aspiring Authors
  • Books
  • Authors for change
  • Kindle Freebies, New Authors, and other eBook info
  • Celebrating Authors
  • Free E Books
  • Authors Promoting Authors
  • I'd Rather Be Writing
  • Free E-Books
  • Rick Frishman Author101 Alumni
  • Kindle Wealth Formula Authors Club
  • The Literary Lounge authors, writers, publishers, and illustrators
  • Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers etc.

These youtube tutorial videos will demonstrate and show you how to use the web-based application:

Apply to use this program with this link;

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A Twisted Shade Of Green series, book one "Portrayal Of Lust and Revenge", is now at,, Paperback: $13.99  e-book/kindle: $3.99. Visit website for more details:  


Two opposites illustrate how love can conquer hearts of lust, revenge, and deception. Kali Mathias possesses an appetite of lust, and Glen Monroe has a raging spirit for vengeance. And together, Glen and Kali both have deceit souls within. But, love turns one date among two total conflicting hearts into one which requires each other to be alive in the midst of any storm. Through a new-found love, God taught Kali to know that not everything has a price tag; at least, not real love! God taught Glen to realize even love can conquer the grips of a sought-after heart’s revenge!

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Let's Meet

Before the bananas ripe

let's meet at least once

lest the fog dampen passion

let's water our love

the sun is bright this morning 

and night's promising

let's meet and unfreeze winter

of years, drink some wine

restore warmth of faith and hope

and heal the breaches

without black goggles for seeing

let's  meet at least once


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The Archer's Diary hits the markets!!

Logan Daggett has irrefutable proof the legendary Robin Hood is real. A 900 year-old heirloom holds the answers to all the questions ever asked about Robin Hood – even his origin and real name. But others want the heirloom for themselves and are willing to kill for it before Daggett can release his news to the world.


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How long should a scene be?

One of my clients asked me this question. This may seem like a dumb question, but it’s worth discussing so as to help writers who are new to the game. Short answer: The god of fiction has not prescribed the length of a scene. A scene should be as long as it needs to be in order to accomplish its goal. Each scene should be planned before the writing begins. The plan must begin with establishing its purpose. The scene should incorporate at least one of these purposes:

• Move the main plot line ahead.

• Present necessary information

• Introduce or develop characters

• Create atmosphere or develop setting

• Introduce or worsen a problem

• Solve a problem

• Set up a later scene.

In addition, you must answer the following questions before you begin writing a scene:

• Who will be the viewpoint character?

• What other characters will be in this scene?

• Where will this scene take place?

• When will it take place?

• What is the primary action that will occur in the scene?

• What will generate conflict?

When you have determined the purpose of the scene, answered the questions above, and fulfilled its purpose, the scene will find its natural length.

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New Release: Bringing Home Christmas


"Vicki Hinze writes with heart.  Hallmark Movie fans will love this holiday treat!"

--Debra Webb, USA Today Bestselling Author

About the Book:  On the eve of their wedding, Lauren Holt receives a text message from her fiancé David Decker saying their marriage would be a mistake.  He is out of the country and will not be returning to Holt Ridge, Tennessee.  Lauren is devastated and the pity and questions from friends in the community drive her to leave her home and move away.  Time passes, a couple of years, and now she’s summoned home due to her ill widowed mother.  Lauren returns and finds David, who had no ties to Holt Ridge, has moved his business there and has been there living what should have been her life!  Now they must work together to plan and execute the community’s Christmas celebrations.  In doing so, can she discover why David called off their wedding?  Can they find their way back to each other?

Read the first three chapters of Bringing Home Christmas.

Get a copy: Books2Read  Amazon

Why I wrote the book...

We've all encountered situations where we suffered a loss and we had no idea why.  We blame ourselves in all manner of ways, attribute motives to the other person that might or might not be accurate, and we wonder.  And wonder.  We can't close that chapter of our lives because we don't know what happened, and it haunts us.  We can't go back, and we fear going forward because loss could happen again and we have no idea how to stop it, what the warning signs are, or how to protect ourselves.

With infinite mercy for the fragility of us mere mortals, Fate sometimes grants us a reprieve from this position of being stuck by giving us a second chance.  One we fear taking...and not taking.  Usually, this second chance comes with a lot of trepidation--dare I say, fear--that because we don't know why what happened did happen the first time, it will again.

That's the position Lauren was in when I first "met" her.  It nagged at me that she was stuck and didn't have a clue why, and I could so easily see myself in her position and how much I would hate it.  That steals the joy in the past, monopolizes your present, and robs you of your future.  I had to write Bringing Home Christmas to see what happened and how it worked out.

Hope you enjoy the story--and if you're stuck--that it in some way helps you to break loose!



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10916226281?profile=originalSince starting Thayer Literary Services, a book editing business, in 1997 and after reading what seems like a gazillion first novels, I have seen the same mistakes over and over again. After a while I started calling them “the usual suspects.” I have considered collecting them into a book, but I thought that seeing so many of them all in one place would drive me to drink.

So I decided to create this blog as a way to discuss grammar and punctuation problems one at a time, along with many other writing issues, all of which I think will be helpful to budding writers. Follow this blog, and I’m sure you will find some information that will help you become a better writer.

Welcome aboard!

Paul Thayer
Thayer Literary Services


Paul Thayer is a full-time professional book editor with more than 35 years of experience. During that time he worked in the trenches of the real world of writers, editors, and publishers. He uses his extensive knowledge to help writers who still have a lot to learn, offering them critiques and line editing of their work.

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My Journey as a Writer

First off, thank you Indie Writer’s Support for giving me this opportunity to air my dirty laundry, well not all of it. I’ll save something for next time.

           Every writer’s journey is fraught with humorous anecdotes, stumbles, pitfalls, and miracles. Yes, it is a journey that perfectly mirrors this adventure we call life, and just like life, you better hold on tight, because as the country western lyric says it’s going to be “one Hell of a ride”.

           I have always been a writer, or at least dabbled in it, whether it be speeches, short stories, poetry, screen treatments, but it was my sideline, not my profession. However, my serious journey began in 2010, when I published In the Face of Evil a historical novel based on my mother’s survival of the Holocaust. I should say self-published, as no one showed any interest in doing it for me. Much of that was due to the lack of editing, and not knowing the publishing business. It took me three years to write, and a stack of rejection notices wasn’t going to stop me from publishing it. Call it beginners luck, but that book became a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. Not bad. Imagine if I would have had it professionally edited? To this day it is one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads, not easy to maintain with those angry trolls that cruise the virtual world and live and breathe to write abusive one and two-star reviews. Anyway, after toiling, suffering, through one of the darkest times in human history I needed to write something lighter, less taxing on my psyche.

            Just around that time I read this little book entitled Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, it doesn’t get lighter than that. Not a particularly well-written book, but it held my interest. I began to study the romance genre, reading voraciously, everything from paranormal to BDSM. Oh, my goodness those sweaty nights of reading, who wouldn’t be hooked. I was literally infected with the romance germ and the only cure was for me to pass it on through my writing. In February 2014 I self-published (at this point I was fairly turned off by the publishing industry) my first book in the Romance/Sexy/Suspense genre The One, which became the first in my The Only One series. In June, I published The One & More, bringing me to my release with Soul Mate Publishing One More Time is Not Enough. These three-feature explicit sex with very suspenseful stories.

            Then came a publishing contract with Hartwood Publishing and my next two books Escape and Vengeance about an uber Mossad agent and his art curator muse Layla. In this serie,s I toned the sex down and focused more on the suspense and thriller aspects.

            In between I wrote and self-published on June 1, 2018, a romance/thriller/paranormal entitled The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci, which is the first in my Out of Time series. Really excited about this book as its doing phenomenally well.

            Presently I'm finishing my third in my Tip of the Spear series, which will be titled Ransom, before starting the next book in the Out of Time series.

            What I’ve learned along the way could fill a book, however, I have no interest in writing that one. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of money on poor editing, PR, advertising, the list goes on-and-on. Yes, I’ve sold books in a vacuum, despite myself. What I wanted was a home, a place to hang my hat. Fellow authors to communicate with, share ideas, brainstorm, all of which had been lacking in my creative world.

            My goodness, what an inspiration it is to finally develop a writing family. I have a notebook filled with review site possibilities, book tour companies, raffle copter events, marketing tips, and a whole slew of new Facebook and Twitter friends and my very own, growing with leaps and bounds, newsletter. I’m learning what works and what doesn’t work from writers who’ve walked barefoot over the burning coals and are kind enough to share, preventing me from burning my Tootsies.

            I now have a fabulous critique group and most importantly I have a personal assistant who has changed my life. She’s my editor and marketer and I bless the day I found her.

            My thank-you to all who have come before and who continue to be an inspiration. It just keeps getting better, and the future looks ever so bright.

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Minding Writers’ Health

Working as a writer in today’s world has become more challenging and probably among the most dangerous jobs there is. We could easily produce a roster of prolific writers who battled with certain types of illnesses, including depression. 

Most writers would find themselves sitting in their nook and getting immersed with their work for as long as they could. Not to mention, the long hours of staring at blank screen monitors and waiting for the right words to come. Journalists, on the other hand, face different threats to health and security. We know for a fact that journalists do not just beat deadlines. They could also be assigned to areas in conflict. 

We could argue that writers suffer from unjust stereotype of being manic-depressive individuals or having a temperament of artists (another stereotype for artists). Some can even say that writers have all the time in the world looking out for a sign that will turn on the light bulb. But these are just myths about writers and their careers. 

Writing is a real job where the individual would devote his or her time and strength. In fact, here are some of the harsh realities that each of us face in the writing world in one way or another - deadlines, rejections, toxic workplace, skipping meals, incessant smoking, grueling period of waiting time, confusion, snacking uncontrollably, lack of sleep, losing drive and inspiration, miserable pay, and the list goes on. 

The triggers for each person might be different. Some writers would show symptoms of depression, some will not, while some will suffer other diseases that are related to the kind of lifestyle they have as a writer.

Writers Are In-Demand  

Moreover, while the world of writers become more challenging as ever, with the competition getting tougher as we keep all our eyes on churning out quality content as frequently as possible, the market demand for quality content writers continues to grow. There will be more need for ghostwriters and freelancers.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment, and Projections program, the employment of authors and writers is expected to grow by eight percent in 10 years time from 2016 to 2026. It might be a small number, but the agency said it is just about “as fast as the average” growth of employment for other occupations. 

When we said that the market is growing, we refer to online services and publications. Readers nowadays are voracious consumers of online contents. This prompts businesses to tap the market online and make sure that they get the right people to do the job of taking care of their contents. This is where talented writers like most of us come in the picture. 

We are also tapping the market the best way we can by pitching in our stories and working on as many projects as we can handle. And while most of us deal with the harsh and cruel world in online writing and self-publishing, we keep on moving forward and perform our duties. 

But we don’t have to sacrifice our health and sanity in order to write a masterpiece or to beat the deadline. Remember, the world would be colorless without writers and artists so we should also look at the long term effects of our unhealthy practices and weigh in the consequences. 

How Writers Can Take Care of Their Health  

Writing proficiently takes a lot of hard work and practice. So our aim is to take care of our health the best way we can for us to gain more experiences and keep writing. We have to be well to write well. Here are four ways on how we can take care of our health:

  1. Learn to tame the beast. We all know how unstoppable we are as writers once we let out the “beasts” in us. We can pounce on the keyboard endlessly chasing the ideas, the drive, or that provocation we need that are at times difficult to come by. But we should master taming the beast once it is out. 

Let yourself control the drive to write and not the other way around. A lot of studies have shown that sitting for a long time would increase a person’s risk of developing health conditions. Learn to take a pause. Get that period out to end a chapter and make time to rest.

  1. Know your vulnerability. Writers are vulnerable to a lot of risks and to avoid them is to know our vulnerability. Sun Tzu was not kidding when he wrote that when you know yourself and your enemy you don’t have to fear a hundred battles. 

Writing is a battle that we can win by knowing when we should push ourselves some more and when we should tap ourselves at the back and say: “Tomorrow is another day.” It’s a real race out there, but we need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses to work with them and be truly in control.

  1. Sit properly. It’s easy to visualize writers these days - a hunched silhouette behind a table making either light or heavy but fast tapping sound. But posture makes a difference when writing, especially for a long time. 

Poor posture can cause pain on our backs and necks. This could also lead to headaches, fatigue, and poor blood circulation. So when you feel you are ready to write, relax, and sit up straight. Keep your feet grounded and feel your weight in the center. 

  1. Be grateful and express it frequently. This is probably what most of us have forgotten - being grateful for the little things we have and the little victories we achieve. Whether we score a big or small project, or we get rejected, we have to be grateful for it. Being grateful for rejection is looking at it as a way to improve our style of writing. 

Writing letters or a journal piece to express our gratitude to people and things that have kept us afloat can go a long way. Having a grateful heart and mind keeps us ready to receive any challenges heading our way. 

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This topic is really big right now. Any writer or reader familiar with books coming out these days has probably noticed a huge trend in shorter fiction. Short stories, novellas, even episodic or chapter-length works are releasing all of the time on Amazon and other book sellers. And it appears that there are two schools of thought in response.

One is comprised of a group of writers and readers who see no issues with shorter fiction. In fact, they encourage it! 

Writers enjoy publishing these works because they can write faster and move on to the next project on their ridiculously long to-do list. Not that writing such a story doesn't take a lot of plotting or research. Believe me, they still do. But, instead of cranking out a big novel every six months to a year, or longer, the turnaround time is a few weeks to, at most, a few months to completely polish one and have it ready for release. For some readers, they enjoy what the industry terms as an hour or "two hour fiction", a quick read on your Kindle while you're at the beach during your vacation, or when you finally get a moment alone at home. And I guess it depends on how fast you read too. LOL. A certain group of readers even enjoy the episodic, sort of Dickensian approach certain books are taking now.

There's nothing wrong with liking shorter fiction. Most writers who start out are practicing their skills by writing short stories. Even writing workshops or classes at universities usually will only expect a story turned in as the project because it's hard enough to write, but still deemed 'manageable' during the time that a semester runs. Only a Master's program would expect a full-length novel pitched as a dissertation. In some ways, shorter works are a tad easier to read or write because they just go faster. 

Why, I bet you've even seen more multi-author anthologies coming out these days. Writers will submit short stories to publishers for such anthologies. It's a good way to launch new authors before they come out with a larger piece, like a novel. A lot of seasoned authors, as well, are participating in charity anthologies. I know a few writers who enjoy a little break between their full-length novels, so they tackle shorter works during that time. I have submitted for several anthologies as well, and for those I've seen anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 words, but sometimes up to 10,000 word stories accepted. It probably depends on how many authors are involved.

So, let's talk length. I have included a few good diagrams and tips below depicting the range of length on shorter and longer fiction. This is just to give you an idea of the industry standards. Shorter fiction exists as well. I have seen writing contests for one-sentence or one-paragraph fiction. That is called micro fiction. Flash fiction, which is different, is about a page long, and will sometimes be termed 'short-short'.

"That's weird, Marie."

Maybe. But the writer who can accomplish it is quite talented. I don't think I'm brave enough to try it. I'll stick with works that are a bit longer, at least for now. 




As you can see, it's looking like they really can't decide what should be counted as a novel or a novella. And every publisher has different requirements.

There's nothing wrong with writing short fiction. Right? 

Well, it's a matter of opinion. In fact, there's also a group of readers (and writers, for that matter) who never bother with shorter works. Stories or novellas aren't long enough, they say. And in some circles, they feel that only longer fiction is "true fiction".

Everyone has the right to their preferences in books – genres or lengths – but I can't agree with the former assessment. Length doesn't affect quality in any way. As long as the writer develops the characters, gives enough description of the setting and such, moves the plot along and offers a satisfying conclusion, should it really matter if the work in question is a short story or a novel? Apparently, for some people, it does matter. But that's completely fine. We're all entitled to our own opinions.

So, what's my approach? As a writer, I try not to fuss over length while I'm focused on a project. When I'm editing, I can worry all I want about length. But, during the composition of a work-in-progress, the story stands on its own. For me, it's all about the characters and what makes them tick. It's about the story, what drives me to tell it. Where is the tale set? How can I flesh out a character or even a scene a little better so that a reader can "see it" in his or her mind? What's next in the story? How do I keep the action going? And how do I wrap it all up in the end? These are subconscious, and conscious, questions that, I think, most writers try to tackle. However, during the writing process, it's not about length for me. Do I celebrate milestones with word count? "I made it to 25,000 words!" "I reached 50,000 words today!" Yes, of course, I celebrate it. Every writer likes to make progress. 

But we shouldn't place a huge emphasis on word count or manuscript length during composition. Why? Because it can affect everything. I know one writer who can't finish more than one chapter because he's always asking, "But, how long should my book be?"

And that's a problem. It's possible that some writers need the aforementioned word count guidelines to give themselves a goal. However, it can be extremely limiting at the same time. My answer on how long it should be? The manuscript will be however long it is. If it ends up a short story, then so be it. A novella or novelette? Great! A full-length novel? Nothing wrong with that. It is what it is. By the time you're done writing and polishing, you have a finished product and, as a writer, you should be satisfied with the results. You have to love your story or book as much as your readers do. If you don't fall in love with your characters, if the story doesn't "compel" you, then you're in the wrong profession. 

Enjoy writing your manuscript and, I assure you, you'll get more out of it. AND you'll worry less about book length. Be concerned about word count when you're ready to tackle editing and about to research possible publishers to submit the book to, not BEFORE you start a project or while you're writing.

Remember when I said it will ruin everything if you're concerned with length? It's true. Because if you listen to those naysayers who feel your story isn't "true fiction" due to its length, then you have spoiled the joy of writing for yourself. And that assumption? That's all it is, just a belief, not fact. Don't let one opinion discourage you from writing. You can see more about this and other issues in my article, "Don't Limit Yourself", also on the Writing in the Modern Age blog, and you can learn about how to cope with such adverse opinions in my guest post on Penny Estelle's blog. It is titled "Fighting the Naysayers".  

There are plenty of readers who LOVE short fiction. Just out of curiosity, let's count some of the famous authors who became known by their shorter works: Aldous Huxley, Anton Chekhov, Dr. Seuss, Elizabeth Gaskell, Honoré de Balzac, Herman Melville, J.D. Salinger, Jack London, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Joyce Carol Oates, Jules Verne, Louisa May Alcott, Roald Dahl, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens and so many more! Obviously, the word count snobs never thought of that one, did they? LOL. And it should be about what's inside the book, anyway. 

In the end, does book length really matter? Not really. The point is that you write your story or novel to the best of your ability, then you sit back and are proud of your work. And what is the second goal of writing? To reach readers who appreciate our stories, who 'see' our characters the way they were meant to be seen, of course. If in the process, you give someone a wonderful experience for an hour, two hours, a day or however long it takes to read the book, then I'd say you've done your job as a writer.

So, get out there, pick up a pen and your favorite journal, or set up your laptop, and start writing! After all, who's stopping you? No one. Just you, and I hope by the time you've read this article, you won't be stopping yourself either. Write that book to wherever it takes you. You won't be disappointed by the experience. I hope I've helped to shed some light on the question 'does size matter in books?'. 

Have a great week, everyone. And, as always, happy reading  :)

(Sources: Wikipedia,,, Better Storytelling,The Famous, Ranker, Classic Shorts, Listverse)

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Constant Noise (flash short story)

The streets of Tokyo teemed with people. A never ending flow of suits and interesting fashion statements. Crowed sidewalks and jammed traffic. Bumper to bumper people and cars. Just another weekday in the land of the rising sun.

Unlike most ex-pats living here, it wasn’t the culture that brought me, Jonathan Merced, from Perth. Old things and historic sites don’t interest me. Never have.

I came here for the hi-tech gadgets and neon lights. After three years I can safely say, Japan is stuck in the past. There is one major intersection, on all the movies, that is ‘bright lights, big city’; the rest is concrete, Pachinko, and the constant jabber of people on phones, to friends and to themselves. It never ends.

Only public transportation is silent, and I can get a chance to think. Riding the trains and buses is awesome. Totally quiet. It’s the reason most people sleep on their way to work or home. I assume all the talking tires them out.

It doesn’t tire me. I hate talking. It gets on my nerves. Angry, violent thoughts magically appear from nowhere, and in my vision, I’m stomping a person’s head on the ground--harder and harder until it cracks open. If I’m especially exhausted, the vision turns darker and sometimes other people come to the aid of the victim. In reality, they’d just get their phones out and stream to YouTube or some other site.

Way of the world, over here.

Jabber. Jabber. Jabber.

It’s one of the few things that grate my nerves. I can handle a few minutes but ten to fifteen is pushing it. Even my MP3 player can’t drown them out. They seem to get louder and louder. Before I know it someone has pissed me off, and in my head they are getting stomped.

Such thoughts are not good but try as I might, I can’t block them. The talking never stops on the streets, in offices, hospitals or riding elevators. The constant noise is maddening.

Today I have a late start at the school and that means I have to dodge talkers in the early afternoon. It’s the worst time to be on the streets. The sun is out and the country is wide awake.

My ear buds are in and Megadeth is blaring, and for a short time all is right with the world. Until a woman next to me answers her phone. Her voice is high and shrill. Her laughter is the call of a hyena. She cackles and overreacts with every second breath. My Japanese is limited but I understand she is meeting this phone friend in five minutes. Five bloody minutes. She couldn’t wait. 

In my head, I picture grabbing her long wavy hair and yanking it backwards. Forcing her head to smack into the concrete and driving my boot down into her face--again and again and again. I imagine her screams dying out. Onlookers shocked but phones are uploading to YouTube. Live action attack. Foreigner goes nuts.

I imagine someone is calling the police on an old flip style phone. He can’t upload video on that. The woman is unmoving on the ground. Her face is caved in. Calmly, I walk away, turned a corner and my mood changes. There’s a happy feeling warming my insides.

However, dark thoughts continue to ride with me, hanging around like a bad smell. They don’t seem to want to vanish as they usually do.

There’s a young man leaning against a convenience store wall and shouting on his phone. He’s pissed at his mother. She found his magazines and DVDs, and he is disgusted she snooped through his things.

His jabbering is far too loud and he has no problem exposing himself as an asshole to the entire world. So many people openly stare at him.

I imagine in my bag is a kitchen knife. Full of confidence, I stride up to him. My right hand is inside my bag and it is gripping the knife handle. With a finger on my lips I try to shush him. He should keep this call private.

He gives me a look of contempt and raises his volume.


I’ll shush him.

In my imagination, I move with lightning speed, my right hand comes out of my bag and the kitchen knife gets noticed too late. The man has no time to react. I drive the knife upward, under his chin and into the roof of his mouth. The blade sticks in the mouth plate and I use my palm to punch it higher. His right eye deflates; goo is sliding over the eyelid. I know that most of it is coating the knife’s sharpened steel.

He drops his phone as he collapses to the ground. I can hear the mother on the other end still yelling at him. Her voice is as bad as his.

I imagine taking his wallet and learning his address. It’s full of money, so I pocket the wallet for later.

His mother’s voice follows me as I turn and cross the street. Onlookers are busy with phones while others have lost interest and continued on with their day.

I’m across the road in seconds and that damn woman’s voice continues to grate my nerves. I can still hear the bitch. Her voice matches the shrill of police sirens filling the air.

Up ahead, I spot a black taxi. Its rear door is open, meaning it is looking for passengers.

Learning through the open back door, I ask if it’s alright to get a lift. Sometimes they refuse foreign passengers. This cabbie says no problem and I show him the driver’s license. He nods and pulls out into the traffic.

The ride is silent. In this country, public transport is the best.

END pop in  for a visit. I don't bite hard ;-) 

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Where to with space exploration?

Now that Pluto and Ceres have been visited, the question then becomes, what now with space exploration? I think we should start thinking beyond sending more rovers and probes, although that does not mean we stop sending rovers and probes. Nevertheless I think it is about time we consider what our ultimate ambitions are. Essentially, this comes down to, do we want to send people into space or not? If all we want to do is to potter around on our own planet, then there is no need to do anything else, but if we want eventually to go into space, there is a lot to be done that involves nothing more than thinking, and thinking is relatively cheap.

There is a school of thought that all we need to do about planets is explore them with rovers. These are relatively cheap, and will not involve risk to human life. However, I disagree. I feel for a given technology, the law of diminishing returns applies. The very first missions that visit an object send back information that totally changes our view of the body. The relatively airless desert with huge erosion features that is Mars changed our view of Mars forever. The cracks on the surface of Europa, the volcanoes of Io, the image of Miranda, and more recently, Pluto.  Before the missions, these bodies were faint smudges, so of course our view changed. But what happens now? We get a lot of rock analyses from Mars, but they are starting to look the same, varying only in location. I am not suggesting we know all there is to know about Mars, but I think we are starting to know enough that it is not worth while spending this amount of money to find out not much more. Basically, I feel we are reaching the limits of that sized rover. We know most of what is important about the top centimeter of the surface of Mars. We also know that that centimeter of rock is very highly oxidized, thanks to the interaction of ultraviolet light with water vapour, which results in the formation of highly reactive and oxidizing species such as the hydroxyl radical. The chloride ions appear to be converted to perchlorate. If we want to know about possible early life, about any organic chemistry, or for that matter, the initial conditions of Mars, we have to get below that layer of oxidized species, and if we want to know about anything associated with water, we have to go to depressions to where water would flow, and get below the wind-blown dust, and then to the depths to where the water would sink. That requires digging.

To illustrate, consider two of my predictions:

(a)   there will be nitrogenous materials buried below the bottom of Hellas Planitia,

(b)  where there should have been ponding in the Reull Vallis, there will be mineralization, the nature of which depends on the initial conditions.

To check the first, we need to drill, but because there could be a lot of wind-blown topsoil, it may take several tens of meters to find any deposits. What sort of rover can assemble a hundred meter drill pipe and drill to the full depth? What sort of rover could carry good lengths of drilling pipe and descend the walls to get to the bottom of the Reull Vallis? How many rovers could navigate with sufficient accuracy to get safely anywhere near an interesting section of the Reull Vallis?

My view is that to find out whether Mars is worth doing anything with we need to send people. We know enough about it to know what has to be done, even if we do not yet know how to do it. Then maybe we settle Mars. But if we wanted to do that, what has to be done? What do you think?

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