Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pretty Much the Only Success Manual You'll Ever Need

The true principles of success are not new. Most of the ideas in this book and the many others that fill the self-help shelves of bookstores have been around for decades and even centuries. What Jack Canfield has done, going all the way back to his first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, which spawned a franchise that has sold over half a billion books, is to bring these ideas together in meaningful ways. His books act as portals, to use a web analogy, collecting and presenting the ideas of others.

Many of the principles that are given a single-chapter treatment in this updated version are detailed and broadened in separate books, such as Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction: A Simple Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams. But in The Success Principles, he gives a description of all of the principles in one volume. It is like an encyclopedia of success concepts, with sixty-seven entries.

That sounds like a lot and it is. This is a thick, five-hundred-page book and it is all about success. So it is a bit difficult to take all at once. Although I read the entire book, I had to take breaks and read other things as my interest waned from time to time. That is not to say it isn't well-written. Far from it. I was motivated and inspired by the text. But this is more of a reference work than an inspirational monograph. I look forward to revisiting chapters, looking up referenced books and websites, returning to it for smaller bites of useful instruction and self-improvement tips from time to time.

The Success Principles covers the gamut of areas for personal improvement: financial, occupational, physical, psychological. There is a spiritual aspect to it, but one that is not tied to any religious tradition.

I think this book belongs on the shelf of anyone who is serious about doing real work to achieve his or her goals.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

One Sentence Story #23 - The Gates of Hell

Her wait finally over, she walked the black gravel path toward the gates, and met her eternal doom.

Friday, April 8, 2016

One Sentence Story #22 - Bob Went to Town

Bob went to town, not knowing what he would find, and he never returned, for he found love.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Winslow Haiku

In the Boston Mountains
There is an Arkansas town
It's called Winslow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ghostwriting 101

I am a writer. Which can mean a lot of things. Some writers write only novels. Some write only news articles, or technical manuals, or product labels. There as many kinds of writers as there are types of writing. One of the types of writing that I do is called ghostwriting. Since I started last January, I have been surprised at the number of people who tell me they did not know about this type of work or that it even existed.

A ghost writer is someone who writes something for which someone else gets credit. Some books are written this way, both nonfiction and fiction, and even short stories. One of the most well known ghostwriting situations is when a famous person hires a professional writer to write their biography, and then publishes the work as an autobiography. DerekLewis.com claims that a number of famous authors used ghostwriters, including Tom Clancy and Alexander Dumas (notice that I am giving Derek credit here!)

When a book is published with the credit "as told to" or "with" and an author's name, technically it is not ghostwritten, but co-written. Often the main author is a famous person and the co-author is a professional writer. Hiring a ghostwriter is not plagiarism, which is taking credit for someone else's work without his permission. Plagiarism can also have a broader definition, especially in academic settings, in which any work submitted must be the student's own, and any quotes or referenced work must be cited in a particular way. Securing legal permission does not excuse academic plagiarism.

Why would a writer give permission for his work to be used without credit? The objective is usually financial. Writing does not generally pay very well, and even best-selling authors often do not make a living wage, especially if they are not able to turn out a fast-moving stream of best-selling books. Ghostwriters generally get paid when the book is written, not when it is published or sold. We also do not have to worry about agents, publishers, public appearances, and all of the mostly unpaid and non-writing work that is necessary in traditional publishing.

The use of ghostwriters is a time-honored practice. In the Internet Age, it can be quite anonymous, and you don't need to be rich and famous to do it. I have just finished my first ghostwritten book and I have already been paid for it, which is very nice, because as far as I know, it has not been published yet. I am working on a second book and I get paid every 10,000 words or so as the work is completed. This allows me to have regular income on a project that will take two to three months to complete. It is also helpful to get payments early in the process, so I know I can trust the anonymous person who hired me.

I am currently looking for work that will start later this month (April 2016). I write fiction and nonfiction books. You can hire me by going to Outsource.com and posting a job there. Outsource.com and similar sites provide escrow service as well as connecting writers with clients. You can click here to view my profile and get started.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

One Sentence Story #21 - Biblical

It came to pass that
Mary begat Jesus Christ
Right at Christmas time.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Heinz makes a sauce but
It is not a Memphis sauce
Though they call it that.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Real Haiku #2

Late at night there are
Drifts of snow blowing to
Keep us warm inside.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Real Haiku

Early morning rain.
Finishes on its own time.
Thus we learn patience.