October 3

5 Tricks to Help Writers Get Over Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can keep you from getting started on your next story, or it can overcome you while in the middle of one. There your primary character is, knife poised, and suddenly you are at a loss for the written word. Don’t get discouraged, as this has happened to all writers, great and not so great, at one point or another in their career. The trick is to get over as quick as possible and get back to doing what you love.

  1. Step away from story telling and try something else creative. Paint a picture, build a tree house or write some poetry. Sometimes your creative juices need to be stimulated from another direction in order to get them going on writing. So long as the creative part of your brain is being stimulated, you will soon get the flow of writing back down.
  2. Do some free writing exercises. Forget about punctuation and sentence structure, heck forget about making sense, just sit down and start writing whatever comes to mind. One of the best stories I’ve ever written came about when I wrote a detailed description of how I wash my face with a konjac sponge. From a simple beauty product my mind drifted and before I knew it I was writing a fantastic short story.
  3. Start moving your body around. Turn on some music and dance, go for a jog or do some yoga. Once you get up and moving the mind will follow. Allow yourself to completely unwind and relax and your mind will open up to a world of new ideas. Yoga in particular with its focus on deep breathing exercises will help you to break through a writer’s block.
  4. Start getting rid of distraction. Close Facebook and turn off your phone. Clean up the area where you work and put all that accumulated clutter away. A messy desk will put your mind into a state of confusion, not allowing you to come up new ideas. If it is family that keeps getting in the way and breaking your flow, put up a no disturb sign during your working hours and make sure that they respect it.
  5. Think about where you are stuck right before going to sleep. The subconscious mind does a great job at problem solving when it is completely at rest. Then make sure that you are able to get to writing the second you wake up in the morning.


By using these tricks, your bouts of writer’s block won’t last for long, and in many cases the flood gates will open and you will be inundated with dozens of fresh story ideas.

Category: Uncategorized
May 19

Book Recommendation: A Good Read if You are Interested in Learning the Benefits of Sauna Therapy

Acclaimed physician and author Nenah Sylver has released a handbook outlining the use of saunas, and how to best benefit from them. With the popularity of in-home saunas growing, this is the perfect time to learn how they work and what they are doing to improve upon your health and well being.

When asked about how she got the idea for the comprehensive book, Dr. Sylver admits that she thought at first the subject matter would take up a pamphlet, if that much. Yet as she delved into her research she quickly realized that this was a much more complex topic then she thought, and would take more than just a few quick pages to cover.

She started by exploring the origins of sauna therapy and found that ancient civilizations have long known that it is stored toxins in the body that lead to disease. They are in the food we eat, and the environment that surrounds us, slowly killing our bodies. Of course there are now components of modern life infusing the body with toxins that our ancestors could never have dreamed of.

saunabookWhat Dr. Sylver is attempting with her book is to educate people on how important sauna therapy is, and that it is more than just a relaxing 20 minutes at the spa. The history of sauna is explored, as well as the reasons why humans sweat. She then goes on to talk about the various heat types used in saunas, and how a sauna is constructed. The benefits of portable infrared saunas is discussed in detail, and how a daily infrared sauna at home will improve your health. After reading this section you will be compelled to check review sites for portable infrared saunas to invest in one for your home.

While the subject matter is slightly serious at times, you hardly notice thanks to the authors friendly writing style. Not only will she convince you to by a portable infrared sauna tomorrow, she does so in a purely conversational manner. It is a fantastic read that gives you not only a look into ancient medicinal practices, but how our ancestors understood the workings of the human body almost as well as we do, they just did not have the words to express it.

We love when an author is able to turn what should be mundane subject matter into a great read. Especially when it appears in print. Go pick up your copy of The Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy today and be instantly turned on to  an ancient practice that provides multiple benefits.

January 31

Can You Convey an Art Form Like Singing in a Book?

It may seem odd to suggest that someone write about singing, but there have been a number of books on the subject that are extremely popular. And with new technologies available to help people learn how to sing, a book on the subject is not that far off.

If you are a singer or have studied vocals, then you are the perfect candidate to pen the next singing book sensation. Just make sure that you include the following chapters:

Music History

A brief history of ancient music, how it has evolved and the most influential musicians should be included. Brief unless your intent is to write an entire history of music. If your book is to be about singing then the focus should be on vocalists and the impact they have made in the industry.

Musical Knowledge and Scales

Yes scales are taught as a part of singing lessons, but some people learn better by reading. Do a rundown of the scales with descriptions and methods on how to reach notes.

Rhythm Training

Vocalists have a different ear than other types of musicians, so a chapter on identifying beats and staying in rhythm will be very helpful. Include examples that readers will have most likely heard on the radio to give a better understanding.

Ear Training

Talk about how to identify notes by sound. This is an important skill for singers to master if they want to stay in sync with the music behind the lyrics.


The book on singing should include how to identify your range. Also talk about how it is important not to strain yourself by going outside of the notes you are naturally able to hit.


Voice Training

This chapter should focus on what good voice training looks like and how they can be training at home. The voice training portion should tie the other chapters together nicely and bring the entire book together.

New Technology

Discuss the advances made in electronic devices that help with range and pitch. Also be sure to include online singing classes like Singing Success (check out reviews here) and how beneficial they can be. You could mention how many aspiring singers are now learning to sing online to help improve their skills.

Vocalist Training

For your last chapter talk about what a good music program looks like and what is to be expected with singing lessons. Mention if you can schools that specialize in singing and any famous alumni they may have.

How to books are not easy to master. You need to understand the topic thoroughly while at the same time think like someone who does not. If you think that you could handle writing advice on how to sing, go for it, this is a very interesting topic to explore.

Category: History
December 13

Choosing the Right Array of Recipes for Your Cookbook

As one of the few genres left that does well in print, a cookbook is a great way to let your creative writing juices flow. Just because you are writing recipes doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting. If you are contemplating the next great cookbook to hit real shelves in a bookstore, consider some of the following ideas:

Healthy Recipes

Superfoods are all the rage now, having people running around in winter searching for fresh blueberries. You can bank on this by taking some of the more obscure super foods, such as dandelion leaves and avocado and making a book of recipes. That ingredient doesn’t have to be front and center, just so long as it is listed. This will give you an array of herbs to use in the book as well, such as cumin and turmeric.


By making superfoods the center of your cookbook you can talk about why it is super, the ancient civilizations that depended on them, and what mystery compounds they contain that make them so healthy. This approach will make your book an interesting read while supplying recipes for obscure ingredients.

Appliance Based Recipes

Of course you aren’t going to base a book around the toaster, but there has been dozens of successful cookbooks on crockpot cooking. Since this theme has been played, think of another appliance in the kitchen you can’t live without. Maybe you can compile a recipe collection for your deep fryer.

This fast method way of cooking is appealing to busy moms and dads and a recipe book that shows them how to make healthy foods using it will have a lot of selling power. You can even include a review section that picks a few of the most popular brands and styles of kitchen deep fryers and talk about the features that make them stand out.

Foods From Around the World

Every country is unique in their staple dishes. Why not pick one, or a region and dedicate a recipe book to it. This can be really interesting if you also talk about different cooking methods and traditions. For example, beans are a staple around the world, but people living and cooking them in El Salvador believe that beans cooked in a round bottomed clay pot over an open fire taste better. You can add little tidbits like that to your book and make it a very interesting read.

For us hard core book lovers, it is hard to get accustomed to the online book world. To keep the printed book business alive, we have to continuously be coming up with ideas on how to create an actual printed book that people will want a real copy of.

December 6

Finding the Right Topic that Will Make it Into Print

If you are an aspiring author who is dreaming of seeing your book in print, there are some things you must first think long and hard about. The book printing industry has changed drastically since the internet was created and now it seems more books are being downloaded then they are printed.

This is a sad situation for those who love to curl up in bed with a good book, and for those of you wanting to see your hard work bound by a leather cover. You can achieve this though if you pick your topic carefully. There are some books that don’t quite hold the same value to a reader when they are looking at it on an iPad.


It makes no difference how advanced your cooking app may be, nothing can replace a hard bound cookbook in the kitchen. If you love food and have enough recipes to fill a book, this could be your chance. Make yours unique with personal anecdotes or stories behind the recipes and plenty of enticing pictures. Cookbooks are one of the few genres left whose popularity has not shifted to the internet.

Coffee Table Books

Books in print have always been known as the go to gift when you don’t know what to get. Think about the number of people who may share your same interests and the number of friends they all have who don’t know what to buy them for their birthday. My mom started growing interest in essential oils last year, and the healing powers that some have. So I bought her the hard cover copy of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valarie Ann Warwood. This covers everything she wants to know about essential oils and diffuser methods without having to run any search engines.


In this case you want to make sure that your book looks presentable as a present. I chose that essential oil book over the others because it had a beautiful cover art that I knew my mom would love to display. Think of the idea of the coffee table book, and then write one that you feel passionate about.

Children’s Books

If you are also a good illustrator, this is a genre that is still thriving in print. To write for children though you have to learn to think like one and what they would want. You could realistically pick any topic and turn it into a lovely story with beautiful pictures for young kids to enjoy.

It is sad to see that the age of the printed book is slowly dwindling down. I for one do not ever want to see it come to an end completely, and encourage anyone who has a book idea that would sell great in print to go for it. Click here for more tips on how to write a compelling book.

December 6

Can a Children’s Book Really Teach Important Life Lessons?

We think of books aimed at young children as just being silly stories that sometimes rhyme – thank you Doctor Seuss – there are some that have lessons that young kids can start to learn at an early age. These stories are engaging for young minds as well as providing them with useful information in a simple manner.

This revelation came to me when I was recently visiting my sister and her young son. He has his primary teeth and she was trying to get him to brush. All he did every time she tried was burst into giggles and roll on the floor.

The next day I was browsing the book store looking for picture books my nephew might like when I came across Brush Your Teeth, Please by Leslie McGuire and Jean Pidgeon. This was the ideal book for his age to show how brushing your teeth is important.

I made one stop before heading to their house and bought a small electric toothbrush (I think it was a Braun from WaterFlosserHQ.com), special kid’s toothpaste and a water flosser just for him. I knew this was the perfect – go brush your teeth – package. It was, and in just a few days my nephew was working his new electronic toothbrush like a pro, and asking to read the new book every night.

Other Types of Lessons For Kids

While that book set off this thought process, I started thinking beyond brushing teeth or even going potty. I thought about Guess How Much I Love You and how children learn that there is no love greater than that of their mother. I also thought of the beloved Seuss and To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry St. and how children have to learn to appreciate what is right under their nose.


The more I pondered the more I realized that children’s books for all ages contained messages about the value of friendship, love and honesty. Even the classic The Ugly Duckling teaches kids to love themselves and to never judge others too harshly.

How a Book Can Engage a Child

If you are considering writing and having printed your own children’s book, keep the following things in mind. The text needs to be simple. Rhyming is great but not necessary, so long as the sentences are short and to the point. Also you will want the print to be large. This allows even the tiniest of minds to start to understand the alphabet.

Make sure that the illustration is bright and cheerful with lots of faces. They don’t have to be human faces, but there should be features that are easily recognized by a child. One of our first instincts is to search for like beings, which even babies do by searching for eyes.

You don’t have to aspire to be the next Dr. Seuss, just find a topic that you are comfortable with and convert it into kiddy language. Whether it is a self help book to teach how to get around in the world, or subtler messages about love and emotions, so long as you approach it right, children will pick up the point.

November 28

Outdoor Adventures in Literature: Camping Portrayed in a Number of Genres

CampingSpreeWhile it may look from the outside to be a boring topic portrayed in books, setting up a family tent and sleeping out in the woods is a fun and exciting adventure to be explored. Over the years there have been a number of stories printed centered around the topic of camping that have made millions of readers want to try it out for themselves.

One of the most endearing children’s books about camping is A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee. This is a fun camping tale of the hero, Mr. Magee and his loyal dog Dee. While they are enjoying a they suddenly find themselves’ plunging down a mountain, landing on the edge of a huge waterfall! This is a great story for read a louds around the camp fire.

A 2013 best seller, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a great book to read by flashlight while curled up in your sleeping bag. This is the story of a young woman, who after suffering a number of personal losses, decided to hit the Pacific Crest Trail and traverse it all the way to Washington. With nothing but her compass to guide her, the heroine learns a valuable lesson about the strength with all possess inside to overcome hardship and learn to move on in life.

You are also going to find that there are some fantastic books with campground cooking recipes and tips on how to use a camping stove. Look for Camping and Cooking: Everything You Need to Know About Camping and Cooking in One Place.  Food always tastes better when it’s cooked at the campground and this book not only gives you some easy recipes to try, it offers advice on how to make sure that everyone is satisfied. The recipes you will find inside are meant for camping, but so delicious that you will want to try them at home.

Another inspiring book based around camping is From a Wooden Canoe: Reflections on Canoeing, Camping, and Classic Equipment. The author, Jerry Dennis, writes amazing prose about the ordinary things one uses while out camping. Whether he is extolling the virtues of having a waterproof camping tent, or how cozy his new sleeping bag is, each short blurb makes you want to roll up your own gear, stick it in your backpacking backpack and head out the nearest campsite.

Part of a series of books, the literary classic Swallowdale takes place around Ransome’s Lake in the North. With the protagonists setting up the camping tents in the hills surround the lake, this 1931 book gives a clear look at the differences between camping with today’s conveniences and the real struggle it was almost a 100 years ago. This is a great read for those who lament over the inconveniences of having to sleep in a sleeping bag.

There is a lot to be learned from reading books that revolve around camping. From how to make the best of a bad situation, to cooking tips and how to overcome life’s obstacles. If you are not already an avid camper, reading these books will make you want to be.

Click here to read about more outside adventure books!

Category: Top Genres
November 8

7 Best Children’s Stories of All Time

When we talk about children’s books, popular titles like Goodnight Moon and The Little Engine That Could always come to mind. These are superior books for young children of course, but we forget about those tales geared for those a little bit older. There is an entire genre of amazing stories designed to entertain pre-teens as well as teach important life lessons.

Charlotte’s Web

Who could forget the story of the little pig and the spider that took care of him. This story set on a farm is of everlasting friendship among those who should not be friends in the first place. Wilbur’s reliance on Charlotte and his taking on her children at the end show children how no matter what happens you have to chin up because life does go on.

Charlotte's Web

Anne of Green Gables

The entire Green Gables series is an epic tale of an epic girl and her trials and tribulations growing up. There is great adventure, school woes and even a little romance to keep the reader interested. Girls especially can learn a lot from Anne about how independence is possible.

Robin Hood

The perfect thief, Robin and his band of merry men are a literary classic. Boys in particular love reading about the kind woodsman with his recurve bow and arrows, helping the poor by stealing from the rich. (Thanks to our friends at www.fastflightarchery.com for giving us some amazing history and information about the types of bows out there!)

Little Women

Not even two different movie adaptations can match the strength of this story when read. The tale of 4 young girls as they grow into women is absolutely timeless. Young girls who read this story learn how to face adversary, over come shame, and become whatever their heart tells them to.

Harry Potter

A new tale in comparison with the above classics, the Harry Potter series is already a must read for any pre-teen and teenager. This is more than a magical mystery tale, this is a series of books that teach children how to be brave and face their biggest fears. Even if you are an adult, you will become immersed in this marvelous storytelling masterpiece.

The Wizard of Oz

Everyone has seen the movie, but a young person needs to read the book to truly understand how important home is. The kindness in Dorothy’s heart shines through the entire story as she befriends those who others would shun. From Dorothy and her friends kids learn to always follow their heart to get what they desire most.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Every teenager should read through Alice at least once, if not for anything but to kick themselves when they get older. The symbolism is lost to them at a young age, and the story is only of a lost girl who possesses great bravery.

Parents have a habit of forgetting about the importance of books, once their kids learn how to read on their own. This is a mistake that can lead to them missing out on some excellent story telling with a whole lot of wisdom about how to grow up.

Click here for more top picks

November 7

The Art of Writing a Descriptive Passage – Examining A Scene on Shaving

There are some books you will read over your lifetime that just stay with you forever. For me, it is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. One thought of Scout or Boo, and I am instantly transported back to the South. What is it about this book that has stayed with me for over 30 years? Sure the story is a great one, but there was something in the way that Ms. Lee set the stage that made you feel like you were there playing next to Scout.

There is this one scene, where the author was describing just how hot an Alabama day could get. We all know hot, but when reading how “ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were life soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum” you suddenly really knew hot. The entire story is laced with descriptive writing like this, where you can actually feel what the author is describing.

Another unforgettable scene in a book that will never leave my mind is from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Forget what you saw in the movie, Ms. Walker magically takes us inside of Celie’s mind as she prepares to slit the throat of Mister using a straight razor. For years after reading that shaving scene, I could not look at my husband’s razor and beard grooming kit without shuddering.

color purple

It takes a lot of skill and imagination to bring a reader to that point. Most of the time it is due to personal experience, Harper Lee did grow up in the south, but sometimes it is pure imagination. (I hope that was the case for Ms. Walker, otherwise she’s a little bit too skilled with the beard trimming devices for my comfort!)

Descriptions are the hardest part of putting your ideas into words. You can tell the story with ease, but finding the right analogies to let the reader know how things look, feel, taste and even smell is something else entirely. What gets so many writers is the presumed boring-ness of being descriptive. How many adjectives can be used to describe a face, or tree or even a person? Millions once you learn how to think beyond adjectives.

Harper Lee does not tell us that Calpurnia is skinny, but she does say that Cal is all angles bringing immediately to mind the image of a thin woman. This is the type of writing that keeps the reader involved in the book and turning the pages. They make the story seem real, like something that just happened to you yesterday.

If you are interested in becoming a descriptive writer start using all of the senses in your writing. Sit back and close your eyes and imagine how what you are describing tastes, smells, and feels. Not just how it looks. Once you have mastered this, your story will start to come alive.

A good writer tells a story that keeps the reader going until the end. A great writer is one who has you still thinking 30 years later. Learn the fine art of description and that is exactly what you will become.

Category: History
October 23

The Use of Symbolism in Literature

Symbolism is a literary tool that uses imagery or objects to portray an idea or feeling. You can find this used throughout famous works going back hundreds of years. While some readers can easily pick out the symbolism immediately, many readers are too caught up with the story to realize that they are being drawn into it with subtle symbolism. Colors and objects and are common tools that are enhancing a story without you even realizing it.


The use of color in literature is one of the easiest forms of symbolism to pick out. A character dressed in white is automatically read as being innocent, or pure of heart, while red will invoke feelings of passion, romance and love. Green is used to symbolize hope and a new life.

Think of the color of Scarlett’s curtain dress. Bright green to symbolize her hope that Rhett would save her from her financial despair. Margaret Mitchell uses color with the character of Melanie as well, who is often dressed in blue or white. Blue is common symbol of calm and peace, the epitome of what Melanie represents throughout the entire book.

lanieWhen the thief is murdered at Tara, Scarlett strips of her of her clothes, symbolizing the one moment in the story where Melanie is not at peace with what is going on around her. This is an excellent example of how color can be used continuously throughout a story to help track a character’s emotions.

Objects as Symbolism

Water is often used in literature to symbolize emotions and themes in the story. A rainstorm is a reflection of a new life, while a free flowing river such as the Mississippi in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn is representative of freedom and adventure.

The quest for freedom is a common thread in many great novels, and has been symbolized in dozens of different ways. The minute you read about a character hopping on a motorcycle for example, you automatically know they are on a quest for freedom. And regardless of who that character is, there is not a reference to men’s or women’s motorcycles helmets in sight.

Just look at this passage from Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley: “I was panting, and he was cursing. It was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me. If he would have asked met to, I would have jumped on the back of his bike and ridden to the ends of the Earth with him.” The image of the bike, and the riders without any motorcycle helmets, instantly evokes feelings of a dangerous and thrilling lifestyle, free of any type of social constraint.

If you wish to be a successful writer you will want to learn how to incorporate the fine art of symbolism into your works. Once you get started you will be amazed at how much you already know about symbolic reference and how to use it to tell your own story.

This is a fine art to incorporate into your work that makes your written word compelling, leaving the reader anxious to turn each page. Use it to build a strong characterization or to set a running theme in your tale. Either way, the words will hold more meaning and your book will pack more punch.

Click here if you are curious about how the above mentioned masterpieces made it into print.

Category: History