Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: Zack’s Choice by Harry Gilleland

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Zack’s Choice is one of those silly crime novels, a work of fiction, written about one of the most gullible, dumbest criminals of all time. Naive and positively stupid, the main character makes me want to reach out, grab hold of him and shake some much needed sense into this positively dimwitted 20 year old. He’s one of the biggest fool’s anyone would care to read about, one who consistently proves it is possible to be dumber than a stump. 

There’s nothing spectacular about the story, which is completely unbelievable from the start. Yet, as I flipped through the pages, it continued on an endearing path, clear through the ending. Simply put, Zack’s Choice is a light-hearted, easy read. It’s enjoyable enough, has plenty of twists and turns to make you wonder what might happen next and has an unexpected ending. If you like reading about dumb criminals and their romantic love interests, this is a book you’ll probably appreciate.

Best to all! Thanks for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips. I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Monday, April 28, 2014

Poetry Analysis: Xenophanes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

By fate, not option, frugal Nature gave
One scent to hyson and to wall-flower
One sound to pine-groves and to waterfalls,
One aspect to the desert and the lake.
It was her stern necessity:all things
Are of one pattern made; bird, beast, and

Song, picture, form, space thought, and character
Deceive us, seeming to be many things,
And are but one. Beheld far off, they part
As God and devil; bring them to the mind,
They dull its edge with their monotony.
To know one element, explore another,
And in the second, appears the first.

The species panorama of a year
But multiplies the image of a day, -
A belt of mirrors round a taper’s flame;
And universal Nature, through her vast
And crowded whole, an infinite parquet,
Repeats one note.


A kaleidoscope, or so it would appear, Ralph Waldo Emerson expresses the unique wholeness of life, divided by its elements. Take the kaleidoscope apart and we are left with intriguing, distinctly different colors which, when joined together create a symphony in harmony with each other.

So it is with the elements of Nature, who uses each element out of necessity, to create many things that make up her entire being.

It is interesting how Emerson brings for the the spiritual reality of it all - tending to God and the devil as masterminds of the inescapable plot to “dull its edge with their monotony.”

All things combined make one. Each individual aspect provides partial, yet valuable insight into the entire whole of all that is.

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review: The Well of Being by Jean-Pierre Weill

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Based on 18th Century Italian philosopher and mystic, Ramchal, Weill produced an artistically crafted adult picture book, which is sure to delight and capture the hearts of anyone who sees it. It is a picture book for people of all ages, certain to delight anyone who reads it. 

One of the things I truly like about The Well of Being is the message of healing it offers, with lessons about how to overcome the negative messages we so often give to ourselves as humans. Weill does an excellent job of exploring how we communicate with ourselves, often dismissing our best qualities in favor of conforming to society’s demands on us.

The other thing that stands out so beautifully in this book is the artwork. Weill is an amazing artist, depicting pictures that could easily stand alone, without the few beautifully crafted words on each page. Each picture is uniquely painted in such a way, that you almost feel like you are visiting an art exhibit. Weill’s artwork is quite simply exquisite and aesthetically pleasing for his audience’s pleasure.

The Well of Being is a coffee table book, one all owners will be proud to display in their homes. It will definitely be added to my Recommended Reading page, with every encouragement that many people will find as much delight in owning it as I do.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. It’s always so nice when you stop in for a visit.

M. J.
©2014 All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Review: Vladimir Putin, The Controversial Life of Russia’s President

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Strikingly current and informative, Vladimir Putin, the Controversial Life of Russia’s President by Charles River Editors, is a book everyone should read. From an historical standpoint, this book shares valuable information about one of the world’s most influential leaders of current events. 

Vladimir Putin is KGB, capable of doing almost anything, and in my mind, after reading this book, biases from previous perceptions aside, he’s a narcissistic madman. History is doomed to repeat itself - think WWII, should he continue on the path he’s carving for Russia’s future, in light of his world views and strict claim for old-world Russian culture.

Charles River Editors composed a biography of Putin that is both enlightening and frightening, given Russia’s past history and the President who holds it so dear. Putin’s ideologies and philosophies are readily present, dating from their formation in his youth through present day. Included in this book are numerous references to events dating as late as March 2014, detailing interactions with former Russian President Yeltsin, President Obama and various political associations, all of which he seemingly has little or no tolerance of, should they differ in any way from what his premeditated plans are; he is willing and capable of doing almost anything, to form the world according to his own views of how it should be.

This is not exclusive of causing panoramic chaos, in my mind making him a viable political threat as a leader on the world’s stage. Understanding what Vladimir Putin is capable of and how his past plays into his present leadership is vitally important for all of us, as this man has the potential and willingness to bring great harm to many - indeed he already has done so, and will continue to do so if the opposition to his leadership doesn’t stand strong in the face of his ill-attempted global policies and old-world philosophies.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I really appreciate your feedback.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Ten Busy Brownies by Talia Haven

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Ten Busy Brownies is such cute and playful children’s counting story, I’m certain many little ones will enjoy. The creatively artistic and colorful pictures, illustrated by Sytiva Sheehan, make it all the more delightful.

If you have little ones around, I’m sure they will really get a kick out of this book, undoubtedly reading it multiple times. Between the rhymes and the pictures, this one is sure to be big hit with them.

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 21, 2014

Poetry Analysis: Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Under the wide and starry sky, 
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:

Here he lies where he longed to be, 
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.


Perception is reality in this seemingly harsh remembrance for the man who died. There is no fondness, no heart-felt mention of good character, loving family man or loyal friend. In death, this man is remembered as one who was absent, not only because of the work and duties, which rightfully kept him away, but also in spirit. The very first line of his epitaph so declares, “Her he lies where he longed to be.”

Human connection is lost in the translation, with a tombstone engraving that leaves one cold. Clearly the man himself felt deserving of more - simple recognition perhaps that he was glad in life, with a possible inference that he was also peaceful in death.

Clearly he died with a will. My first inclination is to believe “will” refers to an inheritance for those he left behind. However, it cannot be dismissed that “will” is also desire. Was the man happy to die?

My personal analysis approves both meanings of “will” in this poem, determining that he was ready to go and put his affairs in order accordingly. This makes his epitaph all the more chilling, because those he left behind apparently didn’t know how much he meant to them.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poetry Analysis: Quiet Waters by Blanch Shoemaker Wagstaff

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Our lives float on quiet waters…
Down softly flowing streams,
Where silvery willows
Shadow calm waves.
Gentle bird-songs
And murmuring freshets
Leap from the woodland

In snowy circlets.
Green embowers us,
And fragrant mosses,
Spicy odors
That drift in the languid
Swaying breezes…

Our lives float on quiet waters…
And my Love and I
Wonder at twilight,
When flaming banners
Spread in the heavens,
How long this Beauty -
This stately silence…
E’er once again we shall drift
On the turbulent, open sea.


Picturing two lovers in a canoe was easy for me as I read this poem silently, and then aloud. Becoming entranced with this poem was practically unavoidable, as I toyed with my diction, tempo and tone, until I found myself staring up at the sky and figuratively drifting on the lake.

Sunsets have always intrigued me, whether they are vast and endless over the wide blue ocean, or ferociously fiery in the Arizona desert.

It was nature’s whisper that caught my attention in the first stanza - the excitement of the day beginning to settle down.

Transitions in this poem are subtle, yet intricately stimulating and vibrant - filled with detail, action and a certain futuristic fate. For night will come, and with its arrival, the silence of sunset will disappear.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: Public Relations for Authors by Babs Hightower

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Public Relations for Authors, Take Hold of Your Own Promotions by Babs Hightower is one of the sloppiest books I’ve ever read. Considering this book is supposed to be written by a (self-proclaimed) Public Relations expert, I was shocked by the lack of editing and careless workmanship shown therein. 

The information shared is elementary enough that I wouldn’t waste my time or money reading it in this book, which seems to be nothing more than a self-promotional ploy, attempting to lure unsuspecting authors in with its appealing title. After reading this book, I certainly would never consider hiring Babs Hightower to work on my own PR campaign, if the writing in this book represents how she might run my promotions and campaign.

Much of the book appeared to be nothing more than notes she forgot to draft into clear and concise thoughts. There were punctuation and spelling errors too, something I don’t enjoy finding in published books, and certainly wouldn’t want sent out in any press releases.

Another oddity was her reference to using landlines instead of cell phones for radio interviews. Call me crazy, but I don’t know a whole lot of people who have landlines or house phones anymore. Needless to say, I strongly urge you to avoid purchasing this book, as a valid reference to help you publish and promote your own book. Sorry Babs, but when you represent yourself as a professional, you should at least do us the courtesy of editing your book.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Open-minded Writing Increases Popularity

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Open-minded writing is such a positive force in this world. It is writing capable of making an audience digest and think about the words and ideas being shared. Expressing opinions in one’s writing is perfectly fine, provided these opinions are expressed in a balanced and non-judgmental way.

No one I know likes to be told what to think, do or say. People would rather contemplate and discuss things, than listen to someone preach to them. Tone is so important in writing; an open-minded tone, one that values the reader, knowing each and every reader comes from different places and experiences in life, is welcoming and friendly, as well as a joy to read.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t kill a fly with a sledge hammer.” This philosophy holds true in so many circumstances. Sharing your point of view in your writing is one thing. Imposing it on your readers, as if they haven’t the ability to think for themselves is quite another. That’s why it is so important to keep an open mind, not only when you are writing, but also when you’re doing your research, because if you do, you’ll be able to engage your audience, and if you engage your audience, you’re more likely to be popular with it.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I really appreciate you stopping by.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Negativity Almost Never Leaves Your Audience Happy

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Negative writing can destroy your reputation. I mean, who wants to read a bunch of negative words, griping and complaining all the time? That’s not to say you need to be happy and jovial all the time. It is to imply you should consider your tone, and minimize the harshness of your words, if necessary.

Negative writing is a lot like venting, except you’re venting on an unsuspecting group of readers. There’s almost nothing that will make me hit the back button or put a book down faster, than when I feel bombarded with some nasty, ill-mannered writer who doesn’t want to do anything but explode and blow up the entire world with them.

Expressing negative thoughts is a worthwhile thing to do. I’m doing it here in this post. However, I’m not bashing anyone or spewing anger and hate all over the place. I’m simply expressing my point of view, stating that I personally don’t like to read negative writing, and I won’t waste my time doing so.

How do you feel about reading negative writing? Does it put you in a bad mood, or do you choose to ignore it and move on? Do you try to understand and empathize with the writer, or are you more inclined to leave him be, wishing him all the best, and hoping he isn’t too bad off?

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I really appreciate you stopping in for a visit.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: Middle Damned by Shane Stilson

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Without hesitation, let me begin by saying, “I want to see this book made into a movie.” It was that good, showcasing special effects that lit up my mind, captured my imagination and increased my adrenalin, making my blood race in anticipation and excitement at times. Sci-fi, action/adventure, fantasy and whatever other genre this book might get categorized, it doesn’t matter. When such a page turner comes along, you’re caught up in the moment, and don’t want to put it down.

Transitions were a huge part of Middle Damned, moving from one spiritual plane to the next, contemplating past memories and tempting fates unknown. Stilson writes fluidly, drawing readers in from the very first paragraph, while weaving what seems to be almost two stories into one, the past with the present and future, making his written transitions read so easily.

Characters were stunning - oh, how I’d like to meet some of these creatures. Others, I’d just as soon pass. The balanced mix between aliens, demons, critters and people, as well as their interactions is quite simply remarkable. Stilson’s detailed descriptions of their appearance and actions make them come alive in the story. It was fascinating.

Middle Damned primarily takes place in the spiritual realm, or is it someone’s mind. I will never think about death, dying, comatose states, the unconscious mind and dreams the same way again. The images of hell and purgatory have definitely been defined in my mind, after reading this story. No spoiler alerts. You’ll simply have to pick up a copy and read it for yourself. It’s good and you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by and chatting on Writing Tips today. Your visits always make me smile.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review Request: Living Nude Statues by George Arthur Laureau

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Receiving a small PDF sample of the book, and never one to turn down an offer to review (even if it does take me quite a while to get through all the books on my list), provided the books are sent to me free of charge via the Internet, I invited Lareau to send me a mobi or PDF copy of his latest work, Living Nude Statues. The file he sent via dropbox was huge. My computer gave me a few bells and whistles, warning me with a couple of red flags about it. I proceeded to do some computer scans and “poof,” it disappeared, without any trouble to my computer whatsoever.

None-the-less, I wanted to offer a few comments regarding this new book of Laureau’s. It’s a coffee table book, one you’d probably put up if the minister or any prudish family members or neighbors might be visiting, and definitely one you wouldn’t have out, if there are young kids living in your home. The couple of photos I saw from his initial inquiry were unique and artsy enough, if you like that sort of thing.

Laureau is a photographer (an older man), specializing in nudity. Young women model for him. In Living Nude Statues, he poses them in the buff, then body paints them and poses them in different settings - on a vintage car, in front of an old brick building or window with curtains blowing wispily around them.

In reading some of the comments on a few of his web profiles, I sense he’s into erotica, perhaps even the porn industry a bit. Young girls hoping for a break schmooze him in the comments, seemingly desperate to catch a small break in their quest for some elusive modeling career, one they’ll sacrifice a lot for, in hopes of being discovered.

Still, there’s no discounting that the few photos I saw were pretty good, as far as photos are concerned. I have no desire to own the book, didn’t try to download it again after the mishap with my computer the first time, and am really not into glamorizing young nude women trying to make their way in the world.

He calls them “bodyscapes.” And clearly, he enjoys the photographic process of making his pictures turn out just the way he wants them. I say to each their own, and I sure wouldn’t send my daughter to him for a photo shoot. There are plenty of ways for young girls to enter the modeling field, without stripping off their clothes for him and his pinhole camera.

Thanks for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Review: Kindle Buffet by Steve Weber

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Kindle Buffet is a wealth of information for anyone wanting to know how to use their Kindle and its features better, or simply wanting to find free books, newspapers, apps etc. There’s also a website where you can sign up for a newsletter, to have new lists of kindle freebies (primarily ebooks) delivered directly to your email. 

I learned so much from reading this book. It’s an overview for now, but in time, I’ll go back and use Kindle Buffet like the resource it is meant to be. It has graphics, links and step-by-step instructions, guiding me through the process of so much of what I need and want to know about using my kindle, borrowing and converting ebooks from libraries, so I can read them on my kindle, using various apps and features, as well as how to cross communicate with different devices, as well as how to get multiple newspapers delivered to my kindle, absolutely free.

Yes, I signed up for the email from the website too. Some ebooks are only free for a short period of time. This is a valid way to know when free promotional ebooks, for newly published works, are offered. Of course, Weber wasn’t selfish in his quest to hand out freebies. He gives a list of other free websites, even going so far as to explain how to use some of them that might be confusing.

Oh, and in case you don’t have a kindle, you can get the app for free on numerous devices from computers to tablets to phones. Weber explains how to do this too. So now you have no excuse not to read Kindle Buffet and add it to your resource library. It’s one of those must haves for anyone who uses a kindle.

Thanks for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. Here’s to lots of free reading material.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 11, 2014

Writing Job Resources and Information

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Strong competition is expected for full-time (writing) jobs because many people are attracted to this occupation.” The average salary was approximately 56K in 2012, and the growth rate for jobs is determined to be slower than average at 3% annually. 

The Top 10 Best Job Sites of 2014  provides a list of reputable job sites, where writers can type in their city and find writing jobs in their area. General searches for writing jobs online come up with some of these sites as well, but they also include many sites providing services for writers or trying to sell them something.

The Write Life posted a very in-depth article, The 100 Best Websites for Writers 2014 on its website last January. This is quite a list of writing resources, including everything from writing tips to how to get paid as a writer. With over 100 sites to browse through, it’s almost certain you’ll gain some much needed knowledge and advice about how to launch your writing career and turn it into the writing job you’ve always dreamed of having.

Purdue OWL Engagement  is a wealth of information for anyone on the job hunt. Here you will find resources on a variety of things including: Reading and using job ads, filling out applications, writing resumes and cover letters and much more. 

The following sites have current 2015 information for finding writing jobs. Use at your own risk and determine if they are right for you. This site holds no responsibility or opinion as to whether their information will help you or not. This is my formal disclaimer. Use this information at your own risk and to your own benefit. 

Entrepreneur Magazine:  The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs

US News and World Report:  5 Websites Job Seekers Should Know About

Jobscan:  5 Best Job Sites for Writers

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I hope this information proves helpful to you in your writing endeavors.

M. J. 

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Impress Your Audience with Great Content

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Content is king in the writing and blogging world. Sure, you can put up an amazing headline or title, but if you have nothing to back it up - like great content to follow the header, you’re going to miss out on an opportunity to impress your audience and keep them coming back for more. 

Impress your audience with content they expect from you, and once you’ve set that bar fairly high, don’t lower it on a whim. It’s up to you to be innovative and use your imagination and creativity, to implement a large blog following and continuous comments on your blog.

That’s why you need to be organized when you write. I’m not referring to individual writing styles. I’m discussing orderly organizational skills, a proper use of language and an ability to express yourself without explaining what you are trying to say. I’m indicating a need to double check spelling and punctuation, plan and implement a logical post and publish to a topic as if you are an expert and truly know what you are talking about.

If you know your stuff, you can easily engage in the conversation, when the comments start pouring onto your post. They will too, with no shock value necessary. If you impress your audience with quality content, people will be drawn to what you have to say, and they will want to come back for more, because your voice will be valued here in blog land, and people always enjoy visiting blogs where the author takes the time to give them something in return.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. It’s always a pleasure when you stop by.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Get More Comments and Followers on Your Blog

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/16/15

Getting comments and followers is fairly easy to do if you follow these simple guidelines.

Get More Comments

Become an Active Blogger - Being an active blogger means participating in blogging, which might include commenting on the blogs you visit, posting more often and sharing yours and other people's posts. It can also men engaging in the conversation, with more than just an acknowledgement that you were there. It's nice to say, "Hi" and all, but it's even better when you actively share your thoughts and views about what you are reading, thereby creating the possibility of developing relationships with other bloggers.

Turn off Captcha - It’s one of the most frustrating comment turn-offs in the world. No one enjoys spending time commenting, only to have to decipher a bunch of numbers and letters, in order to leave their comment for you. Use comment moderation to protect your blog from spam, but skip the Captcha, because deciphering those letters and numbers is nothing more than a pain in the neck, and a strain on the eyes.

Make Comments User Friendly - Check your settings and make it easy for people to comment on your blog. This doesn't mean you should disregard security. Keeping your blog safe on the web is not only good for you, but for everyone else too. It does mean that people should be able to submit their comments readily, even if they have to wait for them to be published by the owner of the blog.

Return Comments - You have a handy list of blogs to comment on right at your fingertips. If someone comments on your blog, be sure to return the favor. Oh, and don’t be afraid to be the one to comment first on someone’s blog. Chances are, they’ll return the favor too. If that's not enough for you, make a point to comment on several blogs per day. After a while, or maybe immediately, you'll see an increase in comments. You might even see comments from people's blogs you didn't comment on, because they noticed your thoughtful and intelligent comment on someone else's blog.

Get More Followers

Add Multiple Follow Options - Follow gadgets and email are the easiest way to get more followers. RSS Feed and Contributor also have the ability to add to your follower count, because they work in different ways, making your blog user-friendly on a variety of fronts. Provide a few different options, so people can choose their preference. It's important to remember that email followers might be less likely to comment on your blog, because it's in an email and that's an extra step. This is nothing to worry about, because as long as you provide quality content, email followers will continue to read your posts, because they enjoy what you are publishing.

Social Networking - Share your posts, so people can read them. Add widgets to the bottom of each post, and include social networking options in your RSS feeds too. Then produce irresistible content that people are eager to share and pass around. It is not enough to put a post out there and click on a social networking button. Your content has to be something people want to share, which means it needs to provide valuable and important information.

Market Your Blog - Join groups relating to the content of your blog. Not all of these people or groups need to relate to blogging, because if you provide quality content, they’ll likely follow your blog, even if they don’t have a blog themselves. Add your blog to specific blog directories, and seek out focus points, where your blog and content will be a welcome addition to their purpose, and the goals they are striving to achieve.

Be yourself and be unique when you blog. Your words matter, and when you present them to the public, they will make a difference. Have faith in yourself and don't worry, because at the end of the day, it's not a competition to see who gets the most comments or is most popular in the blogging world. Your blog is an expression of you, and however you choose to express yourself, it matters, and so do you.

M. J. 

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: CCO Public Domain

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/13/15

Finding Cinderella is a short, cute novella taking place in a high school setting. It’s written very well, one in a series, but a stand alone story with a variety of twists and turns. 

Reading the story, I felt like I’d gone into a time machine, reverting back to my days in high school. Some things never change, like cute boys who know they’re cute and lunch in the cafeteria. Oh, the drama of those days…

There’s much more to the story, however. High school romance, boy meets girl - both fall head over heals; a secret emerges, taking time to be revealed.

It’s a good story, a quick read I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and am happy to recommend in this post. If you like this sort of thing, you’ll enjoy reading Finding Cinderella.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Poetry Analysis: Evolution by L. F. Rea

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/16/15

It must have been a beautiful place
Before man rose from the mud
Before the embryonic membrane made its journey
Before the flowering bud

But in the age of dragons that flew the sky
Before the moon was captured as our all-seeing eye
And man made an exception to evolved in its embrace
Where the Earth was so much different, a very different place

Love made its deceiving journey
Along with beauty of all things
And it seems in evolution
Love always pulled the strings

This planet has a history of the stronger ones on top
The weaker one submitting, then both partners lose the plot
Where no one thing is equal as Einstein’s theories prove
If love is the greatest attractor, do emotions always lose

But now our earth is dying and it’s aged before our eyes
Its rivers are polluted with garbage on the tides
Its air is the getting harder to take into my lungs
And the physics of pollution bring large tears to my sums


If ever there was a call to action, a screaming from the rooftops to quit living in denial, this poem, Evolution brings it home! From the beginning of time to present day, we can’t help but to embark on the journey, taking note of where we’ve been, where we are and where we plan to go.

Each stanza illustrates a captivating moment in time, while transitioning to the next phase - slowly, like the millions of years it took to get us to this point.

O, and what a point it is too, from the vast beauty to the polluted legacy of individual illness becoming our foray, the implied future being painful death and certain decay.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. It’s such a pleasure when you stop by.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved   Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Friday, April 4, 2014

Things To Do and Not To Do when Submitting Review Requests

By M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/20/15

Things To Do when Sending Review Requests

Read any and all information telling you what the reviewer wants and expects to receive. After doing so, send the reviewer what he or she wants, along with your request for them to review your book, app, movie or whatever else it might be.

Include a copy of your book or product with your request. Having the book or product in their possession is half the battle. I have a ton of books filed and ready for me to review, even though I haven’t promised reviews for all of them. When it’s time for me to select a new book, I always browse through my varied selection. Having a variety of books on hand makes it easy to select books I'm in the mood to read, and if they're good, it might even mean they'll get a better review, because I looked forward to reading their content when I chose to read them. 

Be appreciative of the time and effort it takes book reviewers to read your book or study your product. So many authors and publisher, so little time - and reading books, playing with apps, checking out products take time. Reviewing is not an easy process, because reviewers put their name on the thumbs up or thumbs down, so they better be able to back up their opinions.

Understand that reviewers often get inundated with requests, which means it may take them days or even a couple of weeks to respond to your first email, if they ever find time to respond at all. The more time they spend on email, the less time they have to review books, apps and products. As an avid reviewer, I sometimes skip the back and forth email chats, opting to maximize my time in favor of providing as many reviews as possible. 

Be patient with your reviewers. They’re people too, and they have lives to attend to, other than reading your books, playing with apps, watching movies or checking out products. Respect their lives, time and the work they do to produce quality reviews. It's not easy determining pros and cons of things to review, but that's what good reviewers do. They spend time studying whatever it is, to provide a balanced appraisal of the item they discuss, so people can make educated choices about whether or not they want to invest in that same item.

Things Not To Do when Submitting Review Requests

Do not be rude to your reviewers. Remain professional and accept reviewer criticism graciously. Also, avoid giving them a time limit, ultimatum, or harassing them for not responding to you the way you'd like them to. Accept that they may not have time to chat with you, and their work isn't about helping you market yours. Their task is to offer an honest opinion of your work, so others can make educated decisions about whether or not to purchase it.

Don’t bash reviewers or get negative with them, especially if you don’t like the review they gave your work. They’re offering their opinion, not promising to praise you as an author and help you get more sales. Being rude and uncivil to someone for not liking your work is self-centered and egotistical. It speaks volumes about you, and in some instances, validates the negative review.

Don’t expect flattery and praise for your work in any review. Honest reviewers will likely put pros, cons and everything in between in their reviews, providing their best overview for anyone who might consider purchasing a book or product. They have a reputation to build and maintain too, and it is in their best interest to provide the most accurate information and opinion possible in their reviews, so those who listen to their advice, continue to trust the service they deliver.

Don’t write a sloppy cover letter when you request a review. If your cover letter is any indication of the work you are submitting, it better be well written. Also, avoid making your cover letter too short or too long. Edit and proofread your cover letter, taking into consideration that reviewers receive multiple requests on a consistent basis. Be considerate of their time, by presenting a professional cover letter that is respectful and contains valid information, to help them make an informed decision about whether or not they want to review your submission.

I hope this post helps you succeed with all your review submissions, and makes it easier for you present your work to the public for approval,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  CCO Public Domain

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Publishing DIY Articles

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/20/15

Craft and cooking tutorials need to be clear and concise. Provide a list of supplies, tools or ingredients, depending on the type of how-to guide you publish, followed by an easy to follow step-by-step set of instructions, illustrating how to follow those instructions perfectly. Strategically placed pictures of the process help tremendously.

When writing your tutorial, break it down as much as possible, making your steps easier to follow. If this means you have more steps, so be it. The goal is to create a tutorial easy enough for people to replicate what you are sharing. You might also include video tutorials for extra clarity, but it’s not necessary if your written instructions and photos are clear and easy to follow.

Avoid using unnecessary words that have nothing to do with the project or recipe provided. A few words are fine. However, brevity is preferred, especially if the reader wants to print the page for personal use.

Copyright your original designs and recipes. Give credit where it is due, or better yet, link to your source, if the project, pattern or recipe isn’t yours. If it isn’t yours, you might do it yourself, and provide commentary about your experience and results.

Include tips about how you improved or learned from the process of your tutorial. Offer alternatives whenever possible. Things like substitutions for difficult to find supplies or ingredients is always a plus, when writing a craft or cooking tutorial.

Provide some sort of contact information, so people can ask you if they have questions. If you do receive questions for clarification, be sure to follow them up readily, and if you receive a lot of questions about the same thing, it might be a good idea to up-date your how-to with extra information that explains things a little bit better.

Finally, thank visitors for being interested in what you are sharing. You can never appreciate your visitors enough. The Internet is saturated with all sorts of information, so the fact that someone is paying attention to yours is no small deal at all.

Thank you so much for spending time with me today. I hope this little how-to on how to publish diy articles is helpful for you.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: CCO Public Domain