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Daily Dose of Inspiration

It is time for her to stand up and claim herself.

She must now bring forth from beneath that bushel basket

The wonders she has kept hidden for fear they’d be snatched away.

 

She will collect the many griefs and burdens

And surrender them in exchange for

Solace in the arms of her treasures.

 

She will gently close the door to yearnings for what will never be

And throw wide the gateway to a paradise

Where innumerable possibilities await.

 

She will prod her failings and shortcomings into that basket

And stand atop it, hugging herself in glee,

Reveling in the wonders she has freed.

 

I am She

And I am so very much more

Than I ever knew or expected.

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We All Have a Voice

Our first amendment rights not only allow US the freedom of speech, they allow OTHERS the same right. Why do we become so hateful when we hear things we don’t like? Each of us is entitled to have our own beliefs and give voice to them.

If I don’t agree with you, are you more apt to listen to me if I try to win you over to my side respectfully, with explanations and facts that support what I’m saying, or if I holler at you, call you names, and point out [what I perceive as] your flaws? Why do we insist on always having our own way instead of finding a way to have some of what we want all the time?

When did our society decide that the better person is the one who can dig up the most dirt on an opponent rather than SHOWING his or her innate integrity and capabilities? As a writer, I was trained to SHOW and not TELL because readers want to see and feel the characters, not listen to blathering words. As an American I want to see and believe in my president; I don’t want to listen to baloney.

Has everyone forgotten why this country was founded?

A leader is someone people follow because the individual has qualities everyone admires and trusts, someone who leads by example and walks the talk, someone who leads for the purpose of serving the people.

Right now, our country lacks true leadership and I don’t see any examples I’m willing to follow.

How can WE convince our government we want a president who not only has read the Constitution and the laws of our country but also abides by them? How can WE convince our government we prefer a president who values loyalty over power? How can WE convince our government we are tired of being treated with disrespect … as if we don’t even know how to think for ourselves?

WE need to speak up, respectfully. WE need to live by the same standards we want our leaders to embrace. WE need to set the example and demand that our government follow it.

I challenge both our presidential candidates to conduct this final debate by only talking about themselves and their beliefs: what they are willing to do for us and about their past actions and words. Instead of pointing fingers at their opponent and saying, “S/he did something worse than I did!” let’s hear each of them dig down deep inside and SHOW us who they really are so we have a real reason to vote … or stay home.

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Book Review: BEYOND the RAGE by Michael J. Malone

BtRageMichael J. Malone’s Beyond the Rage is one of those novels that keeps you thinking long after you turn the last page. Its hero, Kenny O’Neill, made appearances in Malone’s previous books in the DI Ray McBain series (Blood Tears and A Taste for Malice).

Kenny, a successful criminal with friends in many places, is an unlikely hero. He’s a good bad guy, one who struggles to make sense out of senseless violence while avoiding the memories of a troubled childhood.

Kenny’s father abandoned him shortly after his mother committed suicide when he was 12-years-old, at which time his mother’s sister and her husband took him in. Now, however, family secrets  have surfaced and Kenny is determined to find out the truth about his father … and what really happened to his mother.

But Kenny get gets sidetracked from his mission when his girlfriend Alexis, a high-class escort, is attacked. Kenny’s attempt to hunt down her assailant is thwarted repeatedly because Alexis refuses to provide details about the man who brutalized her. As Kenny  copes with his frustration and mounting anger, he begins to wonder who he can believe, who he can trust, and why no one wants to tell him what really happened–both in the recent past and all those years ago.

MickMalMalone paints his characters with vivid strokes of genius and slashes of colorful dialogue. He also mixes reality with dashes of fantasy and encourages us to believe Kenny probably isn’t going to find his happily-ever-after while at the same time persuading us to have hope. Malone’s plotting is brilliant and the story’s ending is sure to be a surprise.

Michael J. Malone is a novelist, poet, blogger, and reviewer. He can be found on Facebook, his blog May Contain Nuts, and on Goodreads. His books are available in the U.S. via the Book Depository, which provides free shipping.

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Guest Blogger: Michaelbrent Collings (Part Two)

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My guest blogger, Michaelbrent Collings, finishes his little rant about writing rules. Specifically, The ONLY Three Rules You MUST NOT BREAK. Here’s Part Two. Part One appeared on Sunday, February 23rd.

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3) Make Me Better Or Leave Me Alone

A few of you might have noticed that these rules are NOT written from the point of view of the writer. No, they’re written from the point of view of the READER. From the perspective of our AUDIENCE.

This is intentional.

Because the reader is the person on whom I am going to inflict my work. The person who will enjoy my triumphs, but who will have to suffer through my mistakes. And I’m not talking about typos here. I’m not worried about whether I used a semi-colon correctly or if I misspelled “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.” (I didn’t misspell this. I rock at that word.)

No, I mean that every work that goes out into the world should go out with the intention of improving the world. Of making the world we live in, this lone and dreary place, a little bit better. A little bit closer to Paradise. A little bit closer to God. Even if you don’t believe in God as a reality, think about it for a moment as an abstract – an all-powerful, all-knowing being who wants nothing but the best for us.

You are the god of your story. You craft and create a world, organizing all the ones and zeroes of your computer program into something amazing. Out of the quantum nothing of computerized chaos emerges character, setting, plot.

And what then? What is the purpose, the point?

Some of you may be turning up your noses at this point, saying, “This is none of his business. I write what I write, and I don’t worry about whether it improves the world. It’s art, dammit!”

I think “artists”–meaning people who do creative stuff and expect others to look at it–have a responsibility to leave their audience better than they were before looking at the creation. This doesn’t mean “shiny, happy, feel-good” necessarily, but BETTER. Sometimes this means challenging them to look at the world in a different way, sometimes it means giving them hope in the darkness, sometimes it means just allowing them some time to escape and enjoy something for a few hours of pure fun.

If you are going to create art and send it into the world, it isn’t for you anymore, it’s for everyone. And if it’s for everyone else, it should make everyone better.  It should improve the universe that it has become a part of. It should represent you, and in so doing, should be your agent for positive change.

CONCLUSION

There really aren’t many rules that you CAN’T break as a writer. But there are a few. Three, to be exact. Break any of them and you’re still writing. But are you a WRITER? Nah.

IMAGINARY CREATIVE WRITING CLASS

Teacher: In writing we never use run-on sentences.

Student Writer: Unless you’re Shakespeare. He did it, like, all the time.

Teacher: Yes, well. Of course. I guess you can use them. Just don’t use sentence fragments.

Student Writer: Everyone speaks in sentence fragments. And poets pretty much only use them.

Teacher: Of course. But one rule is that we never start sentences with a conjunction. And the reason for that is –

Writer: Uhhh … you just did that.

Teacher: Get out of my class before I kill you.

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Michaelbrent Collings is a #1 bestselling novelist and produced screenwriter. His most recent novel, Crime Seen, is a paranormal thriller.

 He hopes someday to develop superpowers, and maybe get a cool robot arm. Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that’s a low bar to set), and much MUCH cooler than he is (also a low bar).

Michaelbrent has more writing advice at his website, MichaelbrentCollings.com

He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

Follow him for awesome news, updates, and advance notice of sales. You will also be kept safe when the Glorious Revolution begins!