Winter Storm

Winter Storm

It starts with a flurry and a gentle westerly wind,
That’s just the beginning to a terrible end.
It’s been predicted for days, but never fully believed,
Not till the first warnings of the storm are received.

You’re still on the road, thinking there’s still plenty of time,
Then a gust of wind hits your car and you start to slide.
Pushing yourself back onto the roadway,
You know you better get home now, some way!

There’s already a drift in front of your door,
You say to yourself, “Really, how much more?”
Then you realize your shovels are still up in the attic,
You thought there would have been time not to panic.

It’s late at night, not much you can do now,
You’ll get them in the morning and start shoveling somehow.
You still have your snowblower in the garage, thank goodness,
But what about fuel; Oh no! What a mess!!

You try to sleep as the wind starts howling louder,
The temperature drops, there’s two feet of fresh powder.
The lights flicker for a moment then all goes black,
This is not a storm it’s a winter blitz attack.

The generator you wanted was still on back order,
One good thing, you’ve always been a toilet paper hoarder.
You find an old flashlight with dead batteries inside,
And the fifty used candles from your last birthday surprise.

You’ll have a little warmth as you light them one by one,
But, not near enough light to get any work done.
So, off to sleep you go with 10 blankets on top,
Hoping and hoping the snow will just stop.

You awaken in the morning and the alarm clock’s flashing.
Your jaws are tired from all the teeth gnashing.
You relight the furnace and reset the clocks,
Looking out the window nothing’s moving for blocks.

Schools are closed and most businesses too,
There’s no place to go, and you can’t get through.
Neighbors you have never met,
Start popping from the snow, shoveling and wet.

You meet some new friends and old ones as well,
Going house to house with blankets and lots of shovels.
When everyone is safe, and you are stuck waiting on plows,
You start sharing ways how you’ll all get through it somehow.

Life slows down for a few hours or days,
The first plows come by, to a huge “Hip, Hip, Hooray!”
Storms always come at the worst possible time,
But, bring people together who need to share life.

Autumn’s Song

Autumn’s Song

Autumn’s flocking, trumpeting, migrating geese,
Signaling the finale’ of the season’s powerful masterpiece.
Shadows stretch out in the late afternoon,
Announcing winter is coming soon.

Days grow shorter while colors explode,
Every tree, each bush, hitting the perfect note.
Grasses cease to grow, taking a dramatic pause,
Allowing rest for landscapers to enjoy the applause.

Farmers rejoice to see bounty from their labor,
A successful harvest for all to savor.
Reaping what was sown so many days before,
Fruits and vegetables, beans and corn.

The harmony of sun and rain,
Has brought us to this joyous refrain.
So much to be thankful for,
Enough for all and even more.

Soft golden sunsets emblazon the skies,
Gentle warm days and crisp cool nights.
This is Autumn’s song of praise,
A standing ovation that lasts for days

Tips for Optimizing Speech Recognition Applications

High-Quality Headset With Microphone.
High-Quality Headset With Microphone.

I have been using speech recognition applications, sometimes called dictation, for several years now and have learned to appreciate it. However, there are deftly some things that will make it work better for you regardless of the dictation software you use. I most frequently used Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but I have used other speech recognition software in a pinch, including the Windows 10 speech recognition software.

I’ve even written other blogs on the value of speech recognition applications, but I thought it might be time to provide a couple of quick simple tips to help train and improve the value of your speech recognition applications.

Use A Powerful Computer With Plenty Of Memory

I have written an entire blog post on why it is good to have a powerful computer, but I will mention it here in general terms. Having a computer with fast multiple central processing units (CPUs) and high levels of memory will, in general, improve the speed of the speech recognition software and therefore be less distracting and less likely to make you hesitate when speaking to allow the software to catch up.

Get A High-Quality Headset With Microphone

Having a high-quality headset with microphone is the first place to start it works far better than using the microphone on your laptop or the cheap headphone that may have come with the software if you purchased it.

A good headset has several advantages, among them, are the fact that this microphone is closer to your mouth and therefore can more easily hear your voice without interference. Also, the improved quality of microphone reception will help to improve the accuracy of the voice recognition application you’re using.

Train Yourself

Now, this topic may seem a little silly, but the way we speak will affect the overall performance and quality of the speech recognition software. Therefore, we must train ourselves to use speech recognition applications correctly and efficiently. This will require us to learn a few commands, at least, the ones we most commonly use.

Speak Normally

when we first start using’s speech recognition applications we tend to want to speak in short bursts and watch to ensure that the application is interpreting correctly and keeping up. However, this practice not only is unnecessary, but it disrupts your writing flow as well. Speech recognition software has been engineered to learn from us and to interpret under normal speaking conditions, so, we must have a conversational pace to our speaking in order to get the best out of speech recognition applications. This means not speaking slowly, or into jilted of a manner, or to rapidly. We just need to speak with a steady natural rhythm and with clear normal enunciation.

Don’t Forget About Punctuation

this is more of an efficiency factor in a bit of an exception to the speaking normally rule, but it does follow the train yourself rule. As you speak train yourself to say the punctuation words where they would be appropriate in the text. Commands like parentheses, period, and question mark, make the results more readable and facilitate editing. And the facilitation during editing applies whether you added visually or using applications such as Grammarly. Ultimately, speaking punctuation as you go will save time, even if it takes a little effort to develop the habit.

Use Verbal Correction Commands

now I willingly admit that this is a practice that I frequently violate. However, if you learn and use the “correction” commands for the speech recognition software you’re using, assuming it has one, will help the application learn and, in some applications, they will even make suggestions for correction. Using the voice commands to make corrections will help the software learn more efficiently and shorten the learning curve to improved accuracy and efficiency. This is particularly true if you use vocabulary that is unique to a particular topic on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Well, I hope you find these basic tips useful, and if I had to add one more quick tip it would be used to software frequently. The more you use your speech to recognition software the more practice it has and the greater the opportunity for it to learn your speech patterns and common vocabulary usage.

Related References

What Is the Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy?

SciFi Alien World
SciFi Alien World

When discussing various writing genres, it is common for people – both writers and readers – to lump science fiction and fantasy together under the catchall term “speculative fiction.” On a general level, this comparison between these two genres is accurate. However, these two very close kins are inherently different on many levels. Let us look at the difference between science fiction and fantasy creations.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy: Identifying Major Literary Differences

Possibilities
Possibilities

1. Possibility Vs. Impossibility

Science fiction, also commonly known as Sci-fi, is a fiction literature genre whose storyline and elements are imaginary but are based on science and scientific facts. Sci-fi novels and novellas follow a logical and plausible theme and prose that has scientific backing.

Follow a logical and plausible theme means that the occurrences and events presented in sci-fi literature are possible to occur. Science fiction needs to be set in the future where technologies used may not be available but are still not beyond the realm of scientific theory. It is essential that sci-fi creations make sense within the natural laws of the universe so that the readers can connect the now and the future.

On the other hand, fantasy as a genre deals with mythical, magical, or supernatural occurrences that have no scientific backing or explanation and cannot possibly occur in our real world. Fantasy stories told in an imagined world, often entirely different from our own, which involves a mystical base.

For example, a sci-fi creation may present a space ship that travels faster than light. The writer would hope that in tomorrow’s world, such technologies can be possible owing to advancement in science and technology. On the contrary, fantasy creations might present human characters with abilities to fly or are bulletproof, something that does not and is likely not to exist in our reality.

Mythical Unicorn

Mythical Unicorn

2. Concept

Science fiction deals with scientific concepts while fantasy creations are merely written on the foundation of imaginative ideas.

Heroine Using magic

Heroine Using magic

3. Heroes And Heroines

Fantasy and sci-fi creations have different types of heroes and heroines. With fantasy creations, the heroes are usually mythical creatures or humans with supernatural powers.

The use of mythical creatures or supernatural humans is however different with Sci-fi creations which present real human heroes with unique talents and skill sets that make them formidable risk takers, valuable leaders or effective problem solvers which help them succeed in the end.

Futuristic City Skyline

Futuristic City Skyline

4. The Setting

Often, science fiction works are almost always in the future. A sci-fi story would extrapolate our world across time and explore what would happen in the advent of new futuristic technologies. Pundits maintain that today’s disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual realities were envisioned and inspired by yesterday’s sci-fi works.

On the other hand, fantasy literature setting is almost always in a world so different from ours, and often in the past. This past could be ancient or medieval, and often involving magic. Fantasy works present an alternate world with mythical occurrences that would only be possible through imagination.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy


Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy

Conclusion

Understanding these science fiction vs. fantasy differences will help you create or choose a clarified genre that satisfies your readers. Often, readers look for specific literary identifying marks in a fantasy or sci-fi novel.

Being aware of the difference between science fiction and fantasy can help you blend and shade these two genres to create literary works that can move readers seamlessly between the possibilities and the impossibilities.

Related References

Why writers should have a powerful computer?

Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration
Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration

Recently, when speaking with a friend of mine, he questioned why I had purchased such a powerful computer? It seemed to him to be unnecessary to purchase such a powerful computer.

By way of background, my most recent personal computer (PC) is a super high-powered gaming computer, meaning it has multiple CPUs a high-powered graphics card and several gigabytes of memory.

Pondering on his question, I decided to write a short article explaining my reasoning. After having written several books and running several blogs for years I have come to this understanding of why a high-powered computer is a benefit to writers.

As it happens, my most recent computer purchase was a desktop. However, I have laptops, iPhones, iPads, as well.

I would like to note, that even though I own a gaming computer, I am not nor have I ever been a gamer. As a matter fact, I’m never found much purpose in games; computerize or otherwise.

Computer Application Performance
Computer Application Performance

Perhaps, my biggest reason for investing in a really powerful computer, is application performance. There are a number of applications that I use in the course of my day, which I like to have work quickly and efficiently. This is especially true, for tools such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking (my speech to text tool), my word editor, and my photo editors; all of which I use on a daily basis to support my writing and my blogs.

Speech To Text

Nothing hinders my performance more than sitting around waiting for an application to catch up. I find waiting on the computer to catch up when I’m using speech to text, for example, to be super annoying and distracting to the point of causing me to lose my focus sometimes. This hasn’t been a problem in a while with the new computer but is definitely work on my nerves in the past. This is an area where high-speed CPUs and significant amounts of memory can be very helpful.

Photo and video editors

I use a number of photo editors and today even if you take a photo with your iPhone modern cameras take photos which can be quite large sometimes. This is even more true, if you’re working with video. This would be the reason that I lean toward a significant amount of memory and for high-end graphics card.

Web-based tools

in addition to having high-speed Internet access, in my case 1 Gb optical, it pays to have plenty of memory, high-speed CPUs, and a good graphics card, so you’re not sitting around waiting for your tools to keep up online and so that they’re not always having to buffer to your PC. And this can be true for any number of tools including WordPress, Grammarly, and online word processing and editing tools.

Web research

for the same reasons that having a powerful computer helps will web-based tools, it also helps when you do online research and when you download online content. This is particularly true, when downloading large content.

Photo Editing On A Computer
Photo Editing On A Computer

What I look for when I buy a new computer?

Plenty of memory

Plenty memory is important, 16 GB of memory is kind of the minimum these days, so, go for as much memory as you can reasonably afford. Memory isn’t terribly costly these days but unless you just like buying more memory and switching it out (assuming your not tech savvy and like that kind of thing), I recommend that you get the memory up front in your computer or have it installed by their support team at the time of purchase. The more memory you have the more work at one time your computer can do in memory without writing to disk–working in memory is always faster than writing and reading from disk.

Several high-speed CPUs

Since CPUs are the real brains of the process along with the high-speed memory is important to get modern high-speed CPUs and several of them.  Multicore computers are not terribly costly these days, either, and with a 64-bit operating system can be quite fast and efficient. More CPU’s and/or Cores will allow you to run multiple programs efficiently at the same time.

Graphics cards

Now graphic cards may be a little more optional if you don’t do a lot of work with photographs and videos but I would still recommend that you consider getting a computer with a powerful graphics card installed. Even if for no other reason than the ability to work efficiently with your content on the web and in the cloud. Powerful graphic cards improve the performance of photographic and video editors, as was as, providing a smoother overall user experience.

High Speed drives

If you have the budget for it going with a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than Hard Disk Drive (HDD) can also add performance with it comes to caching and saving you data and files. My most recent computer actually had both types. An Solid State Drive (SSD) as my main drive (C Drive) and an Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for backup, recovery, and long term storage for less frequently used file. This combination has worked very well for me.

Best Writer Tools to Replace Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word Application
Starting Microsoft Word Application

Having recently received my renewal notice from Microsoft for my office 365 suite, I got to thinking about do I really want to pay for Microsoft Office even though I’ve been using it for many years and what my alternatives might be to Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word for me is a very familiar tool which I’m exceptionally comfortable, but I’m not sure I need it just to write books and blog posts.

Microsoft Word has been one of the most used tools for writing, and Microsoft Word is familiar to many people because of Microsoft Word’s prevalence of use in business. However, this does not mean that it is the only tool that can be used for this purpose as there are others which can even do a better job than Microsoft Word.

Admittedly, which tool is best for you is going to boil down to your value proposition based on how well the tool’s functionality fits into your mental framework and how exactly you intend to use the tools. If all you’re doing is writing a few simple blogs, you may not even need a software tool beyond your blog provider software or the app on your phone. Also, for really short works grammar league can be used in much the same way.

Nonetheless, this article tries to provide you with the best writer tools to replace Microsoft Word.

WPS Office Phone Application
WPS Office Phone Application

WPS Office

Word Processing Component is a writer tool that has most of its features similar to those of Microsoft Word. WPS has a ribbon interface and icons that are almost identical. Any writer who enjoys using Microsoft Office 2007 will find this tool very convenient to work with.

WPS beats Microsoft in that it has a multi-document browsing tab making it appealing to work with. It is also possible to open any document format with the tool. On the issue of the cloud support, WPS ha a whole 1GB of storage that assists to back up or sync your documents easily. These are some of the reasons why WPS might prove to be one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Word.

LibreOffice
LibreOffice

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is another tool that will give you an excellent writing service. This tool comes with a variety of features that you might want to experience when doing your writing tasks.

To start with, LibreOffice comes as part of a great office suite that meets a variety of your writing needs. Still, it provides you with a modern user interface that simplifies its usage as well as its efficiency. On the issue of supporting files, it is excellent since it is compatible with a variety of documents. Examples include the Microsoft Word documents like DOCX and DOC and other text formats.

The icons of the LibreOffice are simple and very intuitive to you as the user.

On the issue of integration, LibreOffice gives you a chance to import files like a spreadsheet from the calculator or even a graph from chats. It simplifies the whole process of writing for you.

SoftMaker
SoftMaker

SoftMaker Free Office

SoftMaker Free Office is another writer tool that has some features that you might love as a writer. Although some of its features are inside the sub-menus, you can customize them and experience them.

The free office feature makes it possible for you to create documents that are interactive. The bookmarks and the fields are meant for this purpose. Please note that you will not lose your documents if they were initially in word format because Microsoft Word documents can be opened by SoftMaker Free Office.

Apache OpenOffice
Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice

This writer tool is part of a great suite that comes with a Microsoft Word Office interface. The Apache Open Office offers the writer excellent compatibility with word documents. It can work with an imported spreadsheet, present applications or database.

Google Docs can also be added in the list as it offers one of the best services to any writer. Documents can be stored and retrieved any time the writer needs them.

These are some of the best writer tools to replace Microsoft Word. They come with more significant features found in Microsoft Word, and this makes the writing process simple and enjoyable.

Related References

Blogging – Why Should Your Blog Post Have More Than One Picture?

Adding Photos to you Blogging Content
Adding Photos to you Blogging Content

In blogging, images play a crucial role in your success. No matter the subject you are writing about, believe me, or not pictures are not easy to ignore if you are looking forward to succeeding.

Thus, in this article, we have comprehensively covered why blog pictures are important towards achieving success in the blogging field.

Below is why blog pictures are essential in a blog post:

Visually Appealing Photograph Of A Butterfly
Visually Appealing Photograph Of A Butterfly

Visually Appealing

Having a picture and the right picture makes your content to create a positive impression.

If your post is visually dull and has no emotions, most visitors will run away from your site even before reading anything thus creating a lousy impression.

However, if your posts are visually attractive, the chances of creating emotional connections with readers are high thus luring them to take actions.

In some cases, images are the main focus of your post. Make sure the pictures you have used are beautiful and relevant to the content of the post to make them attract the reader and convey the message you intended to pass.

Selecting From Search Engine Results Based on the Pictures
Selecting From Search Engine Results Based on the Pictures

Search Engines Traffic

When you use appropriate images in your blog post, be assured to get better results in search engines.

There are some things you should consider when adding images to increase the traffic from the search engines. Adding tags, descriptions, and titles is vital in boosting performance in search engines.

Use of relevant keywords in a good way, help to make your post easily seen. Compressing and resizing your images helps in optimizing them to load faster and rank well in search engines.

Social Media Apps On a cell Phone
Social Media Apps On a Cell Phone

Social Media Exposure

Many social media users will pay a little to no attention when bypassing their timelines and come across posts lacking images.

Use of emotional and creative pictures will make your post easily seen in a timeline that has been overcrowded.

Posts accompanied with pictures get higher engagement which is contrary to posts without images.

If your post has images, you will get more likes than that lacks. With a picture, some users will like the post even without reading it.

When users are interested in the image you have used, there are higher chances of clicking on your post and open it.

If social media has no pictures, it would be a dull and unimpressive place. Use relevant photos to ensure your posts are standing out.

Blog Pages with Little Written Content
Blog Pages with Little Written Content

Article Length Increment

There are posts which require few words to pass the intended message, i.e., “Top 10 best web designs trends in 2019”.

In this case, you’ll to have ten images, ten subtitles, as well as ten short descriptions and you, ’re done with the post.

Thus, relevant and well-chosen images are perfect in creating a lengthy blog post using very few words.

Understanding Complex Information
Understanding Complex Information

Makes Understanding Complex Information Easier

In some posts, for example with more technical data like how a specific technology works, may be hard to be understood by those with little to no knowledge on that field. Thus, the use of screenshots can be a good way to go.

So, it’s good to provide images to make the information easily understood. These images are crucial and educate the readers about whatever you are writing and illustrating.

The use of screenshots, educational images like tables, graphics as well as wireframes will give more precise meaning to the information making it easy to be understood and relevant to the reader.

Photos Support Your Point
Photos Support Your Point

Supporting Your Point

Whenever a reader reads, a blog post gets a kind of a certain feeling. Depending on the posts, some will encourage, guide among others.

With the help of images, you can achieve this comfortably. Let us say your post regards losing weight and the content is about healthy eating, using a picture of a slim and fit woman will motivate the reader.

Relevant images will support your statement, and your post will be useful to many.

People are visual
People are visual

People are visual

If for no other reason because people of all ages are visual and simply enjoy pictures and graphics. Vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch are the five traditionally recognized senses and sight (or vision) is almost always listed first among them for a reason. A person need look no further than Comic books and children’s books to understand this. Also, a reader can derive meaning from context and content of a picture or graphic, people will tend to remember it faster, better, and longer.

Pictures Add Color and Character to Your Writing
Pictures Add Color and Character to Your Writing

Conclusion

Images play a crucial role in blogging. The just discussed why blog pictures are important reasons are a tip of an iceberg. They are many and endless.

However, when you use images in your blog post, you will get all the benefits discussed above, and you will have a breakthrough in the blogging industry.

Related References

The Importance Of A Table Of Contents In A Nonfiction Book

Book Table of Contents
Book Table of Contents

There’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling through 100 pages of a book looking for something specific when there is no table of contents (TOC). While most authors treat it as an afterthought, it’s an important part of the package. A table of content displays the big ideas in a non-fictional book and where to find them. If you’re writing a book about `The Devil in the City’, you want the reader to have a quick reference guide of the contents. Obviously, this is a strong selling point so failing to include a table of contents (TOC) will make your book less marketable. Let me walk you through the importance of a table of contents (TOC).

Makes navigation a breeze

Readers need a reference point to locate all the important information. A TOC contains numbers which come in handy when viewing the soft copy of the word document. If your idea has no direction, your message may take a meandering path. It’s worth mentioning that a book without a clearly defined table of contents (TOC) can make the readers get lost along the way.

A detailed TOC is the perfect way of taking the reader where he or she wants to travel. He can focus on the most essential information and skip the most irrelevant. If you have a challenge with the structure, that problem needs to be solved before you work on your table of contents (TOC). Read on and learn more.

The Table of Contents Informs the reader And Tells what the book is about

Without a strong table of contents (TOC), the reader will have a rough time following your story. It’s imperative that you ensure the table of contents (TOC) supports the idea fully and benefits the readers. Not only that, the chapters should be worded in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are in the book itself. A non-fictional book needs a sound structure, so you want a table of contents (TOC) that supports the manuscript. Even better, the straight lines on the table direct the reader’s eyes. He can quickly grasp the idea rather than hunting through the text.

Gives the reader the scope and completeness of the book

A table of contents (TOC) is found on the page before the start of the book. It gives a brief description of the chapters and the page number. If it’s misaligned or misplaced, the entire content won’t function optimally. Note: the list chapters are the backbone of the book’s outline.

Without a clear table of contents (TOC), the reader will put down the non-fictional book – if they pick it up at all. Needless to say, they will give a bad review. It’s important that you create a structure that fleshes out and is unique in its category. If your book is in eBook format, the reader will prefer to have a table of contents (TOC) tied to a chapter.

Allows the reader to repeat the major parts of the book

If you’re downloading eBook on your mobile device, it becomes quite easy to look for what you want – you can read summaries and jump through chapters. More interestingly, you’re redirected to the table of contents (TOC) by tapping the same icon. While all the information on the book may be useful, some parts may be more eye-catching. At some point, a book to be finished because everything cannot be included in the book. When writing the table of content, be sure to nail down the real essence of the book.

Indicates the author’s style

If the table of content is smart and witty, the reader will know the manuscript features creative writing. To ensure you bring a wow factor to your audience, you should add a little originality. More clearly, a nonfictional book requires the writer to think about the reader.

The TOC will allow the reader to skim and understand the message the writer wants to put across. If it resembles a certain style, chances are that the rest of the book features the same writing. Therefore, before you sit down and write imagine it exists on Amazon or in a nearby bookstore.

Final thoughts

Let’s be honest: there is more to a non-fictional book than a catchy cover. The table of contents shows the reader what lies within the book. The table of contents can make the difference between an average and a great book. Without preparation, you’ll not get the results you want. Unlike a glossary or an index, writing a table of content is a piece of cake. It’s all about compiling a list of the parts – sections, chapters, and sub-chapters. Remember, young readers, are always drawn to books that give information about something they’ve always wondered about.

Related References

What are the most popular themes and tropes in romance writing?

Romance themes and tropes in writing
Romance themes and tropes in writing

Romance can be a tricky genre, because it features a lot of double-edged themes. When handled correctly, such themes can create great stories, but when handled poorly, they can lead to poorly written clichés.

If you’re writing a romance novel for the first time, it’s important to be aware of all the major romance writing tropes, so that you can use them correctly. Here are four examples to help you get started.

Youthful Love

Youthful love is more than just about youth and romance. It’s also about innocence, recklessness and in certain cases, first heartaches. This theme usually focuses on the adventures of a bright, young boy looking for his princess, or a young girl looking for her prince charming. They are innocent about the ways of love, and their sense of romance is almost entirely made up by their imagination.

However, the theme of youthful love isn’t always cute or adorable. One of the most famous stories that feature youthful love is Romeo and Juliet, and we all know how that story ended. Other good examples. Whether the story ends in happiness or in tragedy, what’s important to remember about this theme is that it transforms the young characters from innocent and naive children into full-grown adults who understand the real nature of love, including its beauty and pitfalls.

Wounded Heart

This wounded heart theme is more oriented toward older audiences. It usually features characters who have had their hearts broken over and over again, making them cold and cynical in the process. A good example of this theme can be found throughout the classic film, Casa Blanca. Another good example is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s character Prince Myshkin, who became insane later in his story arc.

The wounded heart theme can also act as the background of a particular character. It can be a woman who had her heart broken by her boyfriend/husband or a man who had lost his girlfriend/wife due a tragic accident. Their past experiences will not only help drive the story’s narrative, they can also help set the tone for character interactions.

Tragic Love

Tragic love is one of the most major romance themes. It focuses on characters who love each, but who are doomed to never be together either because of

destiny or a flaw in their character. A good example of the tragic love theme can be found in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the titular character Buffy cannot be with her boyfriend because the latter is a vampire.

Another good example is the love story between Aeneas and Dido from Aeneid, where the former had to leave the latter, so that he could fulfill his destiny to found Rome.

The tragic love theme is the number one theme for people who like to write tragedy. It usually starts with the promise of something beautiful and magnificent romance, only to break that very same promise as the story progresses or when new characters are introduced.

This theme can also be used to create tension between other themes, such as destiny, honor or even family. It forces characters to choose between what their romantic feelings and their other obligations and desires.

The Great Struggle

The Great Struggle is a theme that requires characters to struggle to achieve their romantic aspirations. A good example of this theme can be found in the Great Gatsby, where Jay Gatsby amasses a large fortune just to get the attention of Daisy Buchanan.

What makes this theme so compelling is that it creates stories where the characters must struggle and fight to earn the affections of the person they love. It’s also the kind of theme that often love triangles and social barriers. In rarer cases, these themes may even require writers to challenge social taboos or amassing wealth. If the story is set in a fantasy world, it may even include dragons and monsters.

In any case, the great struggle is an excellent theme for writers who write stories about, well, romantic struggles. One word of caution, though, the great struggle must also create a lot of conflict. It’s not enough that a character fight to win the love of their beloved. He or she must pay a price or get hurt throughout the course of the story.

Related References

Why and How to Prioritize Blogging?

How do I prioritize blogging?
How do I prioritize blogging?

Why and How to Prioritize Blogging

Blogging is on the list of trending things of the era. The term that finds its origin in the phrase ‘web log’, blogging is one of the marketing tools, of businesses nowadays. A blog is a website or a page, published on the internet meant for informational or discussion purposes. Nowadays, blogging has evolved from a mere hobby to full-fledged professional activity. The informal diary style text entries have now been replaced by theme based layouts with attractive images, etc.

Importance of prioritizing blogging.

Blogging is not just the cult; it is also a beneficial marketing idea in today’s era. There are several ways in which a blog can attract a large number of audience and viewers to find you. Blogs allow for reader engagement. They are also high on the visibility aspect on the internet. With the advent of novel social media platforms, blogs are a popular tool to reach the audience of your interest. Nowadays, many businesses and entrepreneurs are turning to blogging. It is a great search engine optimization tool. Also the more pages there are on a website, it is increasingly easier for the audience to locate that site in a web search. For businesses, blogging is an excellent method of maintaining an interface with the customers. The big and small business houses can keep their customers up to date in terms of information, give them tips, suggestions, update them about new deals, etc. This way blogging helps build trust and credibility among users. There are innumerable reasons to prioritize blogging for your businesses. A business blog increases the effectiveness of your business initiative, spreads your entrepreneurial ideas and attracts new customers as well. In today’s commercial world, any business needs to carve out its own niche and work upon a brand identity. Once a popular brand name, and you are the rogue’ in the industry. A blog can help you achieve all this- by creating a brand hub, where you can display the creative potential of your brand through discussions, images, stories, etc.

Blogging lets you reveal the untapped potential of your business, not only to your loyal customers but to the world as well. As per statistical surveys, blogging increasingly attracts traffic to a website or a web page, 50% more than other marketing mix tools can, in a combined manner. It sets you apart within the particular industry and is a guaranteed method of gaining the trust of your clients. Blog posts provide you with fresh content that you can later share on social media platforms. You can also use these blog posts as ideas to create a soft or hard copy advertisement for a particular product/ service pertaining to your business. Consistent blogging is a way to tell your clients, that your website is current and active. Consistency in blogging, speaks of your commitment towards the business, which in turn attracts the trust of your clients. You need to brew up more ideas, fresh content, creative concepts to make your blogs interesting and engaging. This way, the customers are ensured of the fact that, the business is being run by people who are interested in the pursuit of it and are not just maintain a blog, for the sake of doing it.

The most important fact is that blogs are an owned channel. Unlike social media platforms, you are not barred or restricted in performing functions as and when you like. You are the owner of your own business blog, and this freedom allows you to work in a wide format.

How do I prioritize blogging?

All business owners are aware of the fact that at a particular point, they need to seek an outer form of help. Since an entrepreneur cannot handle all the stakes at a single point of time, it is crucial to hire people to assist you, and at times manage the work on your behalf. Being the head or an important manager of a business, whether big or small, requires undivided time, energy and attention. Hence, there arises the need to hire people who handle simpler tasks for you. Also, not all individuals are good at every task, hiring a person who has the best knowledge and skills, as per the requirement is very important. Since a company’s need to market itself, is never-ending, all businesses need to reach audiences far and wide. With Google being such a prominent aspect of our daily lives, we all primarily hop onto a Google search, before a new purchase of a product or a service. This gives rise to the need of a prominent internet presence, and you can hire a writer or a blogger to manage this on your behalf.

Writers who specialize in blogging.

Nowadays there are several freelance writers and bloggers, who work on a contract basis, and can manage the blogs of your company quite well. Not only do they manage the blogs, but they also specialize in blog writing, and they can attract the right audience to your business, by their crafted work. You need to decide the number of blog posts you want them to post, choose the subjects for the post and assign it to the writers. Nowadays writers specialize in different areas of writing, so you also have the choice of hiring different writers for different subjects. Since there are different blogging styles, like narrative, confessional, investigative, listicle, rebuttal, open letter, pictorial, round up, instructional, etc. a business needs to figure out which writing style would best suit which post, and hire writers accordingly. Also, the type of writer you hire for your business fulfills the demand of the particular set of audience, who might have a particular reading style. Hiring a writer helps you focus on other tasks, enables you to reach the desired audience, and the expertise of a writer adds worthiness to your blog. Also, hiring different writers as per the demand of the subject, keeps away the monotony a blog may acquire with time.

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Most Popular Themes in Science Fiction Writing

Science Fiction
Science Fiction

As an aspiring writer in the science fiction genre, you are presented with limitless possibilities. However, while there are so many themes that you could write on, there are some popular themes have repeatedly proven to be the most successful. Given that there are potentially hundreds of themes to choose from, I have compiled ten of the most popular science fiction themes found in modern science fiction.

End of Humanity

Sometimes referred to as post-apocalyptic or apocalyptic fiction, this genre is set in a world in which the technological civilization of the Planet Earth is collapsing either due to manmade or natural phenomenon such as depletion of resources or a nuclear holocaust, fictional happenings such as an alien invasion or zombie apocalypse, or an eschatological happening such as the Second Coming.

Life Extension

The desire to achieve immortality is a popular theme in science fiction. The major themes typically involve aspects of mind uploading where one uploads their consciousness into a computer or digital equivalent; Digital immortality where the person’s personality is uploaded on digital media including their thoughts and memories, which continue to live in perpetuity; and cryonics where a dead person is preserved until human technology develops to the point of bringing them back to life.

Alien Invasion

Alien invasion is one of the oldest themes that has been a favorite of science fiction fans. Alien invasion typically involves the visit of extraterrestrials to Earth usually in the form of an invasion that is intended to supplant or exterminate human life. This could take the form of stealing of resources, enslavement of the human population, or in some instances the destruction of the planet.

Parallel Universe

One of the most popular sub-genres particularly in literary science fiction. A parallel universe refers to a different world where an alternate reality that may or may not be a variant of the Earth exists. Such universes may have some differences from our current reality such as having different laws of physics or biology. The parallel universe is thus a crossroads between the planet Earth and a fantasy world.

Bodily Transformation

This theme refers to several subgenres that may include genetic engineering, cloning, and biohacking. Genetic engineering themes tend to involve the creation of a super race of humans through technologies such as brain-computer interfacing, nanotechnology, and eugenics. From the opposing direction, is biohacking, in which individual person transform their bodies by introducing chemicals or cybernetic devices. Prosthetics or the use of robotics for enhanced bodily function also falls in this category

Super Powers

While closely related to bodily transformation this is a different subgenre of science fiction. The acquisition of superpowers typically encompasses aspects of teleportation, psychic phenomena, and enhanced mental function. Teleportation is the ability to transport persons or objects from one location to another without necessarily making use of the physical space between them. Psychic phenomena may include persons who have telekinetic, telepathic, precognitive and clairvoyant abilities. An enhanced mental function may include mind uploading, higher memory, mind-swap, and mind control abilities.

Time Travel

Time travel is one of the original and most popular themes popularized by novels such as “The Time Machine” by HG Wells. As a science fiction theme, it involves the movement of persons or objects between two points in space that typically has one going back to an earlier era or going forward to a future era. For instance, one could travel back in time to the Roman first century AD or go forward in time to the technologically driven world of 2100.

Military Conflicts

Military conflict is a common trope in many modern science fiction movies and literature. This will typically involve interstellar travel and combat in space between armies of antagonists from different planets or galaxies. These types of conflicts normally make use of exotic and strange weapons though some weapons used in science fiction have found use in conventional militaries.

Galactic Empires

Ever since science fiction franchise “Star Trek” became a mass phenomenon and gained acceptance even out of the science fiction community, the theme of Galactic Empires in science fiction has grown in leaps and bounds. The writing of this theme is modeled along the lines of the decline or rise of an empire that has significant technological advancement as compared to human civilizations or other civilizations in its vicinity. Given the differences in technology, social and economic advancement, there is tension between empires which usually results in conflict.

As an aspiring writer, you could write in any of the science fiction overarching themes we have discussed and been relatively successful. Nonetheless, you can always dig deeper into the subgenres of science fiction and still find success as long as you can write something that captures the imagination of the reader. This is by no means a complete listing of all the overarching themes, but rather an exposition of the most popular ones that I have found to have a higher probability of success with audiences.

Related References

How To Write A News Blog Post

The Latest News
The Latest News

Blogging for your website provides content that the major search engines welcome. For a start, the more frequently you update the content of your website, the better you will rank over time. If your content is interesting, relevant and engaging, there’s the possibility that a news blog post may be shared within the social media channels. Search engines love this. It’s good for SEO!

The question that has plagued bloggers is how to write a news blog post. After all, if no one is reading your content; all of the countless hours, sweat, blood, and tears are in vain. But writing a news blog post much easier than you think!

News blog post best practices

Choose a defining title tag

The first thing is to choose a defining title tag. It should include keywords related to your blog. For example, if your blog is about foodstuff; make sure that the word food is in your title tag.

Focus on your headlines

The second important step is to focus on your headlines. For this, you must give vibrant, smart headlines full of significant keywords. If your headline is not good, no one will bother to read the content even if it is good.

Add media effects

You should add some more media effects like podcasting, video blogging, photography and so on.When you want to make it more appealing, just add photos, sounds, and even videos to your blog.

Posts should be precise

Make sure that the news blog post is precise and clear-cut.

Post Regularly

You should on a regular schedule, and the frequently you can post quality news copy,  the better.

Get your own niche

Next step is to look for a niche. It is better to focus on one. You will find a number of blogs available these days. Make it different from others. Hence it is better if you have your own style and establish an identified place for yourself.

Add a free link

You need to make set-up with other bloggers and influencers and then link out to all your friends and enemies in a similar way. If you want to become an authority, remember that you will have to network and learn from other people. You can get authority and credibility if you also give credit when it is payable.

Add your own viewpoint

You should always try to develop your own style and personality online. Cover the stories by adding up your own perspective in it. You should not be scared to be controversial or just agree or disagree.

After adding your perspective, you need to make your blog optimized for various search engines by tagging your posts. It is essential to admit your mistakes and then make the required improvement in it. You can also allow comments on your blog. People leaving comments should feel safe in your blog.

Lastly, before finalizing the blog, you must see that it is well written. Read thoroughly and also check your facts, spellings, sentence structure, etc. This is important to do because once you post your blog; it is displayed globally via the internet.

As you can see writing a news blog post is much easier than you think. As the possibilities of your mind are limitless so are the possibilities of writing an engaging blog post.

Related References

Amazon Short Reads: How Many Words Equal A Page?

Kindle Short-Reads
Kindle Short-Reads

Kindle Short stories are increasingly becoming popular on Amazon. These are stories that range from about 1 to 100 Kindle pages. They can be read in about 15 minutes to 2 hours or more. If you are publishing, you must be wondering how many words exactly are needed to get 10 pages for instance. You may also want to know if the length of the story matters likes it did in print. Here are a few highlights on amazon short reads word count.

Kindle Short-Reads Word Count

There is no definite amount of words that a Kindle short reads should have. Amazon Short Reads word count could be anything between 250 and 25000 words. It depends on the quality of the content, quantity of pictures, genre and sometimes category. The page counts of the Kindle ebooks can range between 1 and 100 pages. As a writer and/or publisher, you are at liberty to choose how much to write within this range.

Normally, the estimated length is determined based on the page turns on a Kindle. These settings are meant to represent a physical book so that each turn becomes a page. The kindle settings for determining a Kindle page include font size (smallest), condensed typeface, small line spacing and default words per line.

Kindle Short-Reads Words to Pages

If you are planning to publish, say 20 pages, of a Kindle e-book, you must be wondering how many words exactly can fit in a page. Most people that have used this platform will tell you that a Kindle page is about 250 to 300 words. So for a 20-page short story, you may need 5000 to 6000 words.

Another way of looking at it is deciding how much time you intend your target audience to spend on the short story. Here are some tentative time frames that you can use to determine the short read words to pages for your audience on kindle:

  • 15 minutes: 1-11 Kindle pages (approx. 250-2750 words)
  • 30 minutes: 12-21 Kindle pages (2751-5250 words)
  • 45 minutes: 22-32 Kindle pages (5251 -8000 Words)
  • One hour: 33-43 Kindle pages (8001-10,750 words)
  • 90 minutes: 44-64 Kindle pages (10751-16,000 words)
  • Two hours or more: 65-100 kindle pages (16001-25,000 words)

Kindle Short-Read Categories/Ranges

When it comes to guidelines on amazon short reads word count, the category of the story does not matter so much. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, romance or art & photography, the main idea is to work with the provision of kindle pages as well as timelines.

Depending on the goals of your writing, you can use this e-book segment for different categories topics such as pitches, manual, photography or a short memoir. Remember, do not focus too much on quantity – short read word count – and forget to deliver quality to your readers. Ultimately, with proper marketing, a concise, quality Amazon short read will beat a wordy, low-quality short read hands down, any day.

What Are The Most Popular Romance Sub-Genres?

Romance Books
Romance Books

Romance genre books list is very long. If you love romance topics, then you may have noticed several sub-genres. Even the subgenres have several distinct themes. It does not matter how long the list of romance sub-genre books is, they all share something in common. The books have emotionally satisfying ends which leave the readers with great optimism.

The reason why there so are many sub-genres in the romance

The many sub-genres in the romance novels are motivated by the fact that there is a high supply and the demand for the books. The writer’s research on what the readers want and they proceed to write. The publishers publish the books

and eBooks according to the demand. After the books have been written, the publishers classify them to make it easy for eager readers to access them. The high number of sub-genres in the category has both advantages and disadvantages.

How the classification system can become horrible

You may be a lover of romance books with suspense. In such a case, you will search for romance books with suspense, and you will be taken directly to the category where the romance books with suspense are listed. Your search will narrow you to specific few books which you will concentrate to read. The classification will have limited you in such a way you will only focus on the small number of writers who have focused on the romance with suspense while you ignore other writers who are highly talented but they are listed in other sub-genres of romance books.

There are several sub-genres in the romance category. You will have to be a dedicated reader to explore the different sub-genres available so that you can know the best readers whom you can focus on their books. Some of the sub-genres in romance include the following:

Romance books category

Series Titles

The category in romance books under the series titles consist of romance books with less than 200 pages and less than 55,000 words. The books come in clear categories. There are few books published in the various categories on a monthly basis. The books will share themes, but they will slightly differ from each other.

Single-Title Romance

The label is available on many romance eBooks, but it is not yet declared as a category. They consist of long books with 350 to 400 pages. In most cases, they can have words ranging between 100,000 to 110,000. Each of the books is different, and it can be listed on the bookshelves until the bookseller makes a decision to remove it.

Sub-genres:

Some of the sub-genres include the following:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • African –American Romance

Under the sub-genre of contemporary romance you can find the following themes:

  • Action/Adventure
  • Bikers
  • Baby Love
  • Billionaires
  • Cowboys
  • Chick Lit
  • Humorous
  • Love in the Workplace
  • Vacation Love
  • International Lovers
  • Medical
  • Rubenesque (Curvy / Plus Size)
  • Rock n Roll
  • Sports

Themes under Erotica sub-genre

  • African American
  • Fantasy
  • BDSM
  • Historical
  • Humorous
  • Horror
  • Interracial
  • Multiple Partners
  • LGBT
  • Mystery
  • Romantic
  • Paranormal
  • Suspense
  • Sensual
  • Thrillers
  • Victorian
  • Urban
  • Westerns
  • Gay Romance
  • Historical Romance
  • Fantasy Romance
  • Gothic Romance

There are several themes in the historical romance sub-genre, they include the following:

  • 20th Century
  • Gilded Age
  • America
  • Gothic
  • Medieval
  • Highlander
  • Native Americans
  • Pirates
  • Paranormal Historical
  • Regency
  • Scottish
  • Restoration and Enlightenment
  • Suspense and Intrigue
  • Victorian
  • Time-Travel
  • Western and Frontier
  • Viking
  • Holidays

Common themes under the Inspirational Romance sub-genre

  • Amish
  • Historical
  • Contemporary
  • Western & Frontier
  • Mystery & Suspense
  • Lesbian
  • Military Romance
  • New Adult Romance
  • Multicultural Romance

Common themes under Paranormal Romance sub-genre

  • Dragons
  • Ghosts
  • Fantasy
  • Historical
  • Psychics
  • Magic
  • Shapeshifters
  • Thrillers
  • Suspense
  • Vampires
  • Time-Travel
  • Romantic Comedy Regency Romance
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Sports
  • Science Fiction Romance
  • Time-Travel Romance
  • Western Romance
  • Vampires
  • Young Adult Romance

There are some romance sub-genres which are very popular. They are available in different print formats. Based on their popularity, you can get a clue on which is best to get started. Remember you need to locate the most interesting books in both print and eBook formats so that you can stay motivated to read them. The more the books you read, the higher the chances you will locate the best writers.They include the following:

Print format:

  1. Romantic Suspense -53%
  2. Contemporary Romance -41%
  3. Historical Romance -34%
  4. Erotic Romance -33%
  5. New Adult-26%
  6. Paranormal Romance -19%
  7. Young Adult Romance -18%
  8. Christian Romance -17%E-book format:
  9. Romantic Suspense -48%
  10. Contemporary Romance -44%
  11. Erotic Romance -42%
  12. Historical Romance -33%
  13. Paranormal Romance -30%
  14. New Adult -26%
  15. Young Adult Romance -18%
  16. Christian Romance -14%

Top ten popular romance Categories:

  1. Soul Mate/Fate
  2. Friends to Lovers
  3. Second Chance at Love
  4. First Love
  5. Secret Romance
  6. Strong Hero/Heroine
  7. Love Triangle
  8. Reunited Lovers
  9. Sassy Heroine
  10. Sexy millionaire/billionaire

There is a lot of reading materials you can enjoy if you love the romance topics. The books come in both eBooks and print format to choose your preferred format and category. It can be challenging when trying to choose the best book to read. If

you can apply tips such as checking on reviews other readers offer; it will be easy to locate a popular book. Going through the preview can as well give you an overview of what you can expect after reading a given book. You will never run short of options considering there are many books on Amazon which you can read and learn a lot in the field of romance.

Related References

7 Best Practices for Writing Listicles

Listicle
Listicle

A listicle is a web article or blog post in the form of a list and which is outlined in a numbered or bullet point fashion. Why listicle best practices? Well, because listicle writing is actionable, it is imperative to do it right. Simple! Since listicles easy to write and read, and are often straight to the point, they can be a great way to reach your audience, easily.

Here are a few ideas on how to write a listicle that will increase traffic to your blog massively:

  1. Explain the benefit of the list

This is a must-have for any list looking to gain any significant traction online. This should be some introduction that explains the actual advantage of your list to the audience. Be sure to deliver what you’ve promised on the intro.

  1. Number each item in the list

Listicles can be about any topic. When writing one, choose a topic which you’re super excited to write on. Then, once you’ve settled on a killer topic, start by defining and numbering your subheads. Numbering your list will make readers keep track of where they are. It will also have a tremendous impact on the neatness

  1. Use an odd number in the listicle title

Research shows that readers are more inclined to click on an odd number listicle. Having a listicle with odd numbers, therefore, means that your list is likely to generate more engagements, likes, and shares.

  1. Be creative with your Title.

Top, best, most, brilliant. These words, when used in a listicle title will be icing on the cake. People are always looking for information but will trust an article that is titled as the best. Some of the examples would include:

  • 11 top reasons to be a vegan in 2018
  • 21 Mistakes most writers make
  • 9 top bloggers to follow today
  1. Table of content

Providing a list of tables to a lengthy article makes it easy for your target audience to scroll through the list by simply clicking on the ToC. If you’re using WordPress, you can use plugins such as TOC+ plugin to help you itemize your list.

  1. Break your list into categories.

If your list is too big, it is best practice to break it down into palatable categories. This makes it easier for readers to browse the listicle and easily find important info. You can group similar processes, or methodologies together to help organize and segregate the content.

  1. Add Images:

Images allows you to break the walls of a rather dull listicle down. Images and GIFs give you the freedom to add some humor and breathers.

How to write a listicle

These are some of the best practices when writing your listicle. With some of these best practices in mind, let’s now briefly look at the process of writing a listicle blog post. You will need to:

  • Choose an appropriate topic for your listicle
  • Select your keyword(s) if you’re hoping to rank it
  • Choose a unique angle that falls within your niche.
  • Write the list points. Use catchy subheads to keep the audience engaged.
  • Use images and gifs to illustrate your points.
  • Include a solid conclusion.

That’s all folks! I hope this guide inspires you to seize the full advantage of listicles. If you haven’t made a listicle blog post yet, try posting one today and see if it has any significant impact on your blog traffic, your audience engagement and customer conversions. Be sure to add some humor, good writing, honesty, research, and originality.

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