Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Writing Prompt #4

Prompt: Bridgette fell from the…

4 Minute Timed Writing Result
Bridgette fell from the larger of the two sunflowers. How she happened to be up there, while something of mystery in regards to the why part of it, was easy to explain in terms of the how. Gilplaster’s ladder leaning against the stem of the 40 ft. plant explained that to everyone’s satisfaction except Principal Parsons who insisted the ladder needed dusting for fingerprints before he would believe anything. Bridgette had "ladder polishing" on her job description so naturally her fingerprints were all over the ladder, but this held no sway with Principal Parsons.

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I would be honored if you chose one of my stories for your next reading experience. If you do, please let me know how you enjoyed it by commenting below or on Amazon. I also enjoy hearing from readers at my author’s email address which is paul dot lloyd dot author at gmail dot com. (Thanks for taking time to figure out that email address so I don’t have to worry about the spider bots getting me.)

Be sure to click on the BOGO button above for my latest buy one, get one free book offer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fill a Box with Your Thoughts

A quality work life is essential to success, but we need to consider our family and career. This article looks at one aspect of work life balance using the image of a box as a container for your thoughts.

The thoughts are all jumbled in the thought box. They need to be organized. They are a confused, bunch of ideas. Organize your thinking so that there is no confusion. Take out each piece of crumbled up thought and organize it according to a plan.

Some thoughts can be filed one way, some another. Some can be cross-referenced and duplicated. Redundancy is good in thinking because it helps you retain the message.

Start a real thought box. Whenever you think of something, write it down and add it to your thought box. Then with a box full of thoughts you won’t be so thoughtless.

When the thoughts pile up big enough, organize them. The thoughts represent a blessing to you in the form of ideas, opportunities and solutions to problems. The important thing is to not be so thoughtless. Then you too can become a blessing among God’s people.

Have fun watching your thoughts grow. Fill the box with joy. Receive the ideas with gratitude and then share them with others. Go in peace.

Another Thought
Try clicking on my BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) page above. Purchase one of my novels or short stories and receive The Case of the Knife-Tossing Networker: 12 Mysteries Requiring Deductive Reasoning. This 154-page PDF ebook includes a Special Bonus: The first 9 chapters of Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters.

Monday, September 26, 2016

No More Football

We are one nation under God. Let’s keep it that way. We can disagree on religion, politics and just about any other topic you can think of. You can divide us into categories based on what we look like, where our ancestors came from, what we believe, what we read, what we watch or in any other way you choose. BUT we are all Americans and we stand united as one nation.

To symbolize our unity as a nation, we have chosen a flag of 50 stars and 13 stripes. It’s red, white and blue. When our precious flag waves it means we are still the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Anyone who desecrates the American flag or refuses to honor it during the playing of our national anthem disrespects what America stands for.

America is not a perfect place. No country is perfect. It’s right to protest when you believe you have been wronged or when you feel a disenfranchised group needs to raise its voice. But when the flag is raised and our national anthem is played, we should all stand together as one. One of the best examples of this unity in diversity concept has traditionally been our sports events. Two teams, bitter enemies, stand together as Americans to honor the flag and our national anthem before the game begins. There are plenty of opportunities to protest or express your personal beliefs without seeking to break the bond of unity that is our nation.

With the recent decision of professional football players to dishonor the anthem, I have decided to dishonor the sport of professional football by no longer watching the game on television or attending any professional games. You are invited to join me in this protest.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Write That Book!

Blog Your Way to a Book Series #1

Writing a business book is one of the scariest of activities. Yet, becoming an author is often the key to opening the door to promotions and new job offers, launching a new business, taking a local business global, and increasing sales. Along the way, your book project becomes the means for taking your expertise to a new level through research and learning opportunities associated with your book project.

But Paul, book writing is such a huge project!
You can handle it because you’re not going to sit down and write a book. You’re busy and you don’t have the time in today’s fast paced world. What you do have time to accomplish is a blog. With enough planning upfront, you can turn your blog posts into a book. Think what you can do with a 15-minute daily commitment. And if you find you have more time on your hands for the writing process, you can speed the whole thing up and get your book to market faster.

How book is a book?
Books in the traditional book store sense can run to several hundred pages. But with the Internet, people are self-publishing ebooks of a much shorter length. With planning, you can write a series of small books and later combine them into one large book so you don’t have to wait for long before you have your book up on Amazon. And you do it by first writing blog posts.

Hey, Paul, I don’t know what to write about.
You may feel that you are no expert like those national gurus who come around making speeches and selling lots of books and six-figure consulting gigs. Guess what? Those folks didn’t start out as experts either. They became specialists when they combined their knowledge and experience with a boatload of research needed to write a book about their topic. And they don’t think of their book as an educational tool for a grad school class. Instead, they use it like a company brochure or business card to minimize or eliminate their competition.

I’ll write more about what it means to be an expert in the next post in this series. In the meantime, start thinking about your area of expertise. What would make a good book topic for you? And begin having fun by outlining and writing about your book idea. And if you would like my coaching help, post a comment below or contact me through my company’s info@ email address at ironlayersecurity.com.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Read Like a Writer

Read Like a Writer Series #1

In high school and college literature classes you are taught to read like a critic. In criticism, you are concerned about how the novel, short story or poem fits into the long history of literature. To understand the book you are reading, you want to first have an understanding of the main currents in English and American literature. As part of this study, you will learn about story structure, but the main focus is on the way the story fits with other stories in the same genre or school of literature.

Writing a story is about constructing a story that hooks your interest and holds it to the end. The more the writer knows about literary tradition, the better the writer will be at producing a story consistent with past trends in literature. But the main issue for the writer is crafting an interesting story rather than its literary merit. To put this in perspective, I have heard too many literature professors over the years say something along the lines of: “We know a good story when we read one, but we can’t always tell why it’s good.” That’s a critical opinion. A writer on the other hand better know what makes a good story good or he or she won’t be able to write a good story.

This blog series is about how to read a novel or short story like a writer writes a story. The first rule in reading a story is to simply enjoy it. If it’s no fun to read, then it’s okay to not finish it. An author has to earn your reading time by holding your interest.

Rule number 2 in reading a story is on you. You are allowed to stop reading at the words THE END and move on to another story. However, if you ever wondered how the writer “did it.” That is, how the writer got you excited about the story and moved you in some way, then you want to turn back to the beginning of the story and take another look. This series is about what to look for when you take that second look. Over time you will learn to see some of these things the first time around, but it’s always okay to take a second look at a favorite story. And a third, a fourth, a fifth, etc. It’s up to you.

I would be honored if you chose one of my stories for your next reading experience. If you do, please let me know how you enjoyed it by commenting below or on Amazon. I also enjoy hearing from readers at my author’s email address which is paul dot lloyd dot author at gmail dot com. (Thanks for taking time to figure that email address out so I don’t have to worry about the spider bots getting me.)

Be sure to click on the BOGO button above for my latest buy one, get one free book offer.