Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Favorite Halloween Posts

As it turns out, I haven’t posted a scary story on Halloween on the blog. Instead, here are three past posts for your consideration for your Halloween reading.

Not Just Any Ghost
Rediscovering the Ring
How can a Christian write a story where a character commits a murder?

Among my novels, Hags, Steel Pennies and the Snpgrdxz series should tickle your scary bone. Save Fulfillment for your Christmas season reading.

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.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Writing Prompt #5

Prompt: Gather your woolens, mateys, there’s a storm a brewing.

4 Minute Timed Writing Result
Gather your woolens, mateys, there’s a storm a brewing.
Be there pirates and buccaneers, Cap’n Hightrousers?
I’ll take a dozen.
A dozen what?
Ears of that corn there. Buck a piece, right?
What are you talking about?
You said buck an ear. Here you go, matey.
Prices are high this summer. What happened to saving money at the farmers market?
In Naperville? You’ve got to be kidding me.

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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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Squeeze Out the Cider

The cider press is painful to the apple, but joyful for the juice. Maintaining a work life balance works the same way. You seek a quality work life yet find it often puts the squeeze on you as you attempt to maintain your family and career.

Cider is the liquid essence of all that is good and sweet in an apple. In the same way, you are put through the cider press of life which is always a painful experience while you are undergoing the pressure of the press. However, it is joyful to be on the other side of the press, a transformed soul for the Lord. Take care that you do not spoil and lose your sweetness, but if you do, then even vinegar has its work to do in the purification of God’s people.

What is your joy today? Is it the joy of working? Or parenting? Or studying? The greatest joy and therefore the greatest challenge in life is blessing others. It’s counter intuitive. We naturally think of ourselves, our needs, our wants and our desires. Ayn Rand called this the “virtue of selfishness,” but Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Self-centered thinking is easy since all you have to do is focus on the person you love most – yourself. It’s not easy to turn that thinking around to bless others.

In my younger years, I focused almost entirely on myself. As I matured, I learned that it was good to love others and to bless them with my gifts. Today, I seek to bless others through my smile where once I never smiled, a kind word where once I was silent, or a friendly hug where once I kept to myself.

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Here’s another blessing for you. Try Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters. It’s book 1 of my new time travel adventure series available in ebook and paperback formats. Both qualify for my BOGO so be sure to click on the BOGO button above so you can obtain two full-length books for the price of one. The second book is The Case of the Knife-Tossing Networker: 12 Mysteries Requiring Deductive Reasoning. This 154-page PDF ebook is not available on Amazon or other book sales outlets.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Are You an Expert?

Blog Your Way to a Book Series #2

When you publish a book, you automatically qualify as an expert because… well… you wrote the book, didn’t you?

But how do you attain the confidence that you are an expert in the first place? Begin by understanding the two kinds of experts:

Knowledge experts: people who carry most of the needed information around inside their heads as a result of education and experience. Physicians fall into this category as do other professionals like lawyers and accountants. You already have a certain amount of knowledge expertise thanks to your education and business experience so you bring at least some of this kind of expertise to your book. You may even bring a lot of this type of expertise to your book project. But either way, you will want to use the other kind or expertise as well.

Research and Reporting Experts: People who research a topic and then report on their findings are experts. College professors fall into this category. For example, a philosophy professor has researched the world of philosophy to the extent that he or she now has a Ph.D. in the subject. The information the professor shares in their philosophy classes is derived from their research and learning experience. They also bring some of their original thinking to the class, but most of the “facts” are derived from research. You have this kind of expertise whenever you learn something through a Google search or a grad school class. You will use this kind of research and reporting in the process of writing your book.

When you combine your knowledge, experience and research, you build the base of knowledge needed to write your book. You also want to add your own insights, opinions and recommendations to the mix of expertise deployed in a book writing project.

Think about the know-how you have acquired through your education and experience. Make a list of things you know well and then review it to see if it points you in the direction of a topic you’d like to write about. Have fun. 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.

Monday, October 3, 2016

What to Read For

Read Like a Writer Series #2

For your personal reading, try a balance of classical literature and modern. The authors of the classic novels will teach you about stories that hold their appeal over the generations. The current bestselling authors will teach you about the kind of writing that succeeds today. 

The first time you read a story, enjoy it. If you like the story, study the plot to learn how the author builds the story to a climax by ratcheting up the suspense as the story moves forward. 

What problems keep the main character from success? What is the big issue the main character has to deal with in the story? This problem will be so big that it starts early in the story and isn’t solved until the climax. What is the main character’s secret problem – so secret he or she isn’t even aware of it? This problem will be psychological rather than physical. This hidden problem also takes the whole story to develop, reveal and solve.

Study the way the author develops the characters. How do they change as the story progresses? Observe the author’s voice in the story. What is unique or special about the way the author writes? What’s the theme of the story? Did you spot multiple themes?

Read the story several times until you understand how the author created it. Consider what works and what doesn’t work. For the classics, ask if the story would be published by today’s publishers? Consider what makes a classic a “forever” story.

I would be honored if you choose 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.