Thursday, 20 February 2020

Book Tour: The Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee by Nate Friedman...


About Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee:

The Coffee Monster’s family has a secret. 

The Coffee Monster has been a part of a great family for as long as he can remember. There’s mom and dad, Jenna and James. Everything in the Coffee Monster’s life is perfect until he learns of the place he came from, The Land of Coffee, and is given the chance to visit. There, he’ll learn all about his heritage and the extended family he never knew he had. 

In this sequel to Nate Friedman’s debut children’s book, our lovable Coffee Monster is confronted with the truth of his past where he learns the true meaning of family through a journey to the land of his birth.


Book Details:

Series: The Coffee Monster (Book 2)
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 
Publish Date: February 17, 2020
ISBN-10: 1987976606
ISBN-13: 978-1987976601

Purchase Links:


Question and Answer with Author Nate Friedman

Q-A little birdy told us you have a new book coming out! Tell us about “Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee” and what prompted you to write it.

A-I am super excited to have “Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee” finally coming out on February 17th! It’s crazy to think about the amount of work that has went into this book since I first had the idea several years back. As some of you may know, I launched the original tale of “The Coffee Monster” in 2015, as my first book. This book got some great reception and it felt like the character just had more to say and more adventures to take us on. As a writer, these characters never leave you and almost scream at you write more! Especially Coffee Monsters that can be extremely energetic, there’s always a story to tell when this ball of energy is around causing mischief. I had a lot of children and adults ask me where Coffee Monster comes from and it seemed he needed this book to find out himself 😊 This tale couldn’t have been brought to life any better than with the amazing illustrator Saba Bushnaq who really outdid herself and made the tale even more fun and colourful this time around. This one is more of an origin story where we go on an adventure to a brand-new place!

Q- How is writing a sequel different than writing the original and were you ever worried that this installment of “The Coffee Monster” wouldn’t be as magical?

A-Writing a sequel can be pretty tricky business. As an author it’s easy to get set in how things should be and not want to change your work once it’s already been published. This adds an extra layer to thinking about a new concept while needing to fit it into the same mold as the first. With the Coffee Monster, a lot of the work was already done in terms of imagining the character and the world in which it takes place. Instead of being confined to the existing cast of characters, I made it a challenge to create some new characters, maybe even a fan favourite (*hint hint* Mocha Double Frap). In terms of the magic, I think there’s always some out there to play with. That’s the reason why writers feel such inspiration when they open up. I find the same in movies: where it becomes important to regard each piece of work as its own experience. The themes and moral of this story are much different, including adventure and heritage along with the regular family and friendship. The decision to add a song was also super fun and important to giving this story its own experience. At the same time though, like a well-timed joke, you want to keep the same sentiment and fun that you know works and is the reason someone would pick the book up in the first place. You also do not want to assume someone has read the first installment, which adds an extra challenge but becomes fun to write, like a nice puzzle. The main thing becomes trusting your own intuition and sticking to what you find to be fun as the writer and the reader!

Q- A lot of people reading this may have their own stories they want to share with the world. How did you go about this, and do you have any tips or tricks?

A-Share, share, share, my goodness share! Share until people won’t listen to you anymore, and then share some more. I recently read an article about filmmaker Quentin Tarantino that explained he would continually pitch his ideas to test them on people and make sure he would continually hold interest. I like this idea, along with the Walt Disney approach to work ethic that explains a work is never done and can be continually improved. Write something that drives you so much you can’t wait to get up in the morning and bring it into the world. Coffee Monster makes me smile and I have fun with it. I think that regardless of what that passion project is for you, when you talk about it your voice will speed up, that twinkle will start to appear in your eyes and time will stand still. Don’t let go of these moments, let them guide you. I can’t tell you exactly who to approach or how exactly your work will find a home but it all begins and ends with the product, once that is locked in 1000% stop at nothing to get it out there and take hints from people by assuming that they all want to help you and give you honest feedback. You have an extreme luxury right now that you don’t even know you have: time. This means you can keep working and it won’t matter how long it takes, can be your 1000th draft that makes it out there, and they’ll call you a genius because they will be reading it for the first time. Keep creating and do your best to fall in love with the process. Everyone is potentially someone you can work with and surround yourself by like-minded people. Find your time of day and stay as consistent as possible. The world needs your point of view 😊

Q- Anything else to add? And where can we find you online?

A-I’ll keep this one short haha. I just want to add that I hope you love my brand-new book and reading this article inspires you to go out and be creative today in some way! Do something that scares you or just go read your favourite book and be swept away! You can always visit my website for upcoming appearances and links at www.natetfriedman.com. There is also a section there you can e-mail me directly with questions and/or feedback. I always love hearing from you. I am also on twitter: @bowtiecomedy1 and on facebook at facebook.com/natefriedmanauthor Hope you have an amazing rest of your day!



Re-launch of The Coffee Monster, Book 1

About the Book:

There's a little 'Coffee Monster' in all of us...

In a pleasant little town lives a normal family with a mom, a dad and two beautiful children. There is just one thing that makes this family different from most other families; they don't have a dog, a cat, or pets of any kind. Instead, they have a Coffee Monster! Follow Jenna and James as they try to deal with the Coffee Monster's antics and help him overcome a personal struggle. Through this simple, but comedic tale, learn about the value of telling the truth, taking care of oneself and each other, and how to work-through everyday issues. Most of all, you just might learn that there's a little 'Coffee Monster' in all of us...


Book Details:

Series: The Coffee Monster (Book 1)
Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 
Publish Date: July 1, 2015
ISBN-10: 0994749015
ISBN-13: 978-0994749017

Purchase Links:


Follow the Book Tour:


Meet the Author:

I want to change the world, one smile at a time!

A writer from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Nate graduated from the Kinesiology program at the University of Windsor. His education has fuelled a keen interest in how people think and what drives them to be their best. Comedy is his first love and his desire to be creative has directed him towards writing children’s literature. He enjoys reading to his nephews, two of his biggest fans.

Connect with Nate:

Facebook

Publisher Website:

Mirror World Publishing



Monday, 17 February 2020

Cover Reveal: The Demons of Wall Street by Laurence Raphael Brothers...


Today is the cover reveal for The Demons of Wall Street (Nora Simeon Investigations #1) by Laurence Raphael Brothers an upcoming Urban Fantasy, Paranormal novella.

About the Book:

Nora Simeon hates demons.

But as an investigator for the secretive Commission, the organization that regulates financial sorcery in New York City, she deals with the creatures a lot more than she'd like. Her latest case has her on the track of a rogue demon, escaped from magical bondage as an analyst for a leading investment bank.

On the demon's trail, Nora crosses paths with a beautiful young man named Eyre. He's too pretty and complaisant to be human, and too kind to be a demon in human form, but what else could he be? Together they become embroiled in the secret corruption at the heart of the financial industry. But before Nora can untangle a twisted skein of sorcerous murder and intrigue, she has to untangle her feelings for Eyre. And before she can do that, she has to find out who and what he really is.

Release Date is March 17


Publisher Website: 


Pre-Order Purchase Links:



Amazon e-book

Amazon paperback

Please visit the tour hosts and share their post and/or leave a comment!


Meet the Author:


Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist. He has published over 25 short stories in such magazines as Nature, the New Haven Review, PodCastle, and Galaxy's Edge. His WWI-era historical fantasy novel Twilight Patrol was just released by Alban Lake. For more of his stories, visit https://laurencebrothers.com/bibliography, or follow him on twitter: @lbrothers.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Guest Post: What Do You Do with the Mad You Feel? by Elliott Baker...


A couple of days ago, Sally and I had the pleasure of watching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster and directed by Marielle Heller. In the movie, Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers. I am incapable of writing spoilers so I can’t speak about the plot of the film. Go see it. It’s different from what you think. Sally and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fortunately, all of my generation had the privilege of watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” if not through our own child eyes, then through those of our children.

The first broadcast of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” took place on the National Educational Television network on February 19, 1968. I was already a teenager, and I remember thinking that the pace of the show was slow. I also remember thinking, “That guy can’t be for real.” Why did I think that, but perhaps more importantly, what caused me to change my mind? In 1980 I saw Mister Rogers through my son’s eyes and that image has stayed with me all my life.

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was broadcast from February 19, 1968 to February 20, 1976, and again from August 20, 1979 to August 31, 2001. It was almost like he came back on the air for our three children. Our eldest was born in 1978. Two out of our three children watched the program and Sally and I loved the half hour we could use to do life other than children. Our daughter didn’t like The Neighborhood because she felt that Mister Rogers’ mother didn’t dress him properly if he had to change clothes every time he entered. Still, when I was home, the show would occasionally catch me and I’d sit with whichever little ones were glued to the set. My memory of those days was that Sally and I were both at a dead run juggling whatever momentous tasks that needed to be done. Why did I, a young adult, stop and watch Fred Rogers?

Most everything is new to the 2 to 5-year-olds which were the preschool ages Fred Rogers’ series was aimed at, even though it was labelled by PBS as “appropriate for all ages.” It might be said that children are unsophisticated about their choices of what to give their attention to. I don’t think that’s true, mainly because their choices followed a pattern and they often requested Mister Rogers. What they didn’t have was an unconscious experiential barrier to love, either giving or receiving. My first response to the show was “That guy can’t be real. He’s acting in order to catch an audience and maintain the success of the show in order to bring him more fame and money.” When I saw Mister Rogers through the eyes of my children and through their expressions, (I watched them watch him.) I saw the truth. Without the colors we add in through the bumps and mistakes of life, there’s just what is in front of us and we know it for what it is. The man in that sweater was exactly as my children saw him, a gentle soul teaching a child the benefits of kindness to oneself and others.

As children we lust after the power of the adults in our lives. We are hurt and the hurts scab over, but remain with us informing our lives and our search for acceptance. We learn what to do with mad from our heroes whether they’re heroic or not, whether we love them or hate them. Anger comes from fear and only from fear. We are never angry about the things we love. Anger is a signpost of an injury along the way. Acceptance leads to forgiveness which is the only true healing we can exchange.

That was Fred Rogers’ gift to us. His ability to surmount appearances and portray genuine acceptance. I wonder that the ability to accept others wasn’t the first and most powerful tool that allowed us to survive in a dangerous world. The only reason homo sapiens managed to survive a vicious primitive environment was their aggregation, not their aggression. Individually, tools notwithstanding, we were helpless. Together we were more powerful than the carnivorous fauna that surrounded us, more tenacious than the environmental disasters that beset us. Being accepted by the group implied the opportunity for survival, rejection was a guarantee of death. Those early motivations are still resident within each of us like old outdated programming, and in fear, we lash out at any attempt to challenge the group that has deigned to accept us. No matter the underlying motivation of the group originator. Even if the group’s destination is eventual destruction, we can’t seem to disobey that prime directive. Belong or die.

In his gentleness, Mister Rogers taught power, real power. There is such power in forgiveness and compassion. Forgiveness causes structural change, long lasting change whereas anger and its effects are always temporary. If compassion is forgiveness for the self you see in others, doesn’t its exercise release us from our own fears at the same time? Doesn’t it make our load lighter and the road easier to navigate? We all suffer from the belief that we are powerless no matter how many missiles we command. To an adolescent, adults have power in that they can compel behavior using the threat of bodily or psychological injury. And, as adolescents, we lust after that power. We use all kinds of behaviors to compel others to accept us. That strategy which often appears to work in the short term, always fails in the end because while we may have destroyed the self we see in others, that short lived victory has not given us the ability to accept ourselves. In fact, it reinforces our nonacceptance and without that self-acceptance, the world remains in ego colors of black and white, good and bad.

Fred Rogers was a shining light dispelling the darkness of that youthful inability. He wasn’t a saint. He was from our neighborhood. That we’re having difficulty accepting ourselves now does not mean that we can never do so. We do not live in a black and white world no matter how we choose to see it. Yet we all participate in thought conventions that use that limiting paradigm. Good or bad. My father-in-law, a man very much in the mold of Fred Rogers once told me a story about a young man in Russia at the turn of the century. I’ll shorten the story, but you’ll see the thread.

This is a universal story and my father-in-law set it on a Russian farm. One day, the farmer’s horse ran away. The neighbors commiserated with him saying, “Such bad luck.” “Who knows,” replied the farmer. The next day, the horse returned bringing three other wild horses with it. The neighbors came over. “Such good luck,” they said. “Who knows,” replied the farmer. The next day, while trying to rope one of the wild horses, the farmer’s son was kicked and his leg broken. “Such bad luck,” said the neighbors. “Who knows,” replied the farmer. The Russian army heard of the horses and came to collect them. While there they asked to see the farmer’s son who they intended to recruit. They needed more fodder for the front lines.

A world of color is so much more exciting. The complexity of our world is frightening because our personal knowable resources are shrinking against the total knowledge available. It is this fact that threatens our survival more than any carnivorous fauna could. It is also the reason why it’s imperative that we learn to accept each other in larger groups than our current tribes. No matter how it may look, the only way to accomplish this is one at a time until eventually the one becomes all.

There are many Mister Rogers among us. They don’t speak loudly. We have to quiet our egos and listen to hear them, but they all tell us the same message. What to do with the mad you feel. Thank you, Mister Rogers, for reminding me I can do better.

Award winning, international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and done throughout the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to turn his skill to writing action adventure novels.

A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his beautiful wife Sally Ann.

Learn more about Elliot Baker on his website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook. Like Elliott's Author Page on Facebook to learn all his latest news.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Escape to the Past with Sharon Ledwith's Honey Bun Cake Recipe and her Young Adult Book Series...

Some recipes take me back to a time when life was simpler—a.k.a. living with my parents, eating their food, and not having to any pay bills or a mortgage. As the name suggests, this cake tastes exactly like the honey bun I used to buy during my high school days. Trust me, just one mouthful of this sugary bliss propels you back to those days where all your happy memories and good times of the past, still exist.

A warning to the wise: it’s quite a sweet cake and not for those who are watching their waistlines, so wait until after you’ve blown your New Year’s Resolutions to try this delish dish. I’ve found this is the perfect cake to serve during holidays, celebrations, or perhaps as an indulgent dessert at your monthly book club.

Heavenly Honey Bun Cake

1 package of yellow cake mix (432 g or 18.25 ounce)
¾ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (250 g or 8 ounce) container of sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and sour cream. Stir by hand approximately 50 strokes, or until most large lumps are gone. Pour half of the batter into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over the batter.

Spoon the remaining batter into the cake pan. Be sure to cover the brown sugar and cinnamon well. Twirl the cake with a butter knife or icing knife until it looks like a honey bun or whatever design you want to make.

Bake 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Frosting

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread across the cake while fairly hot. Serve warm.

Tastes wonderful if served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

While you’re waiting for the cake to bake, take a seat in your favorite comfy chair and crack open one of my books. May I suggest a nostalgic visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Whichever you choose, I guarantee either series will take you on a journey far away from thoughts of paying bills or putting in a load of laundry.

Here's a glimpse into one of the books from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, my teen psychic mystery series.

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder. Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice.

Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:
The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:
Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:
Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:


Monday, 27 January 2020

6 Writing Tips that will Make any Writer King or Queen of the Castle by Catherine Castle...


Have you heard the story about the goldfish? She was swimming in her bowl and passed the front entrance of the castle that decorated the small aquarium.

“Oh, I have a new castle!” she exclaimed. Then she went around the bowl again and spied the fortress once more.

“Oh, I have a new castle!” she exclaimed.

She went around again, and not remembering what’d she just seen she exclaimed once more, “Oh, I have a new castle!”

And again, “Oh, I have a new castle!”

And again, and again.

The moral of this story, beside the fact that goldfish have memories that only last for three seconds, is that you, the author, may forget you’ve written a particular piece, or pieces, of information in your story and repeat yourself. While you might not remember dispensing the information, you can bet, that like those of us who are laughing at this funny story, your reader will remember those words, phrases, and information that you’ve inadvertently added more than once.

Don’t get bent out of shape if you discover this in your work. It’s a natural result of writing a book over a long period of time. Most authors only write a few thousand words in any given day, and unless you’re writing a short story, blog post, or essay, it will probably take weeks, or months, before you’ve finished your project. With all the stuff that happens in between your times at the computer, it’s only normal you’d forget something you’ve already written, especially if you get in the zone and your muse or characters take over.

SO WHAT’S A WRITER TO DO?

Here are a few tips to help you catch those repetitions.

FOR REPETITIVE WORDS AND PHRASES:

• If you know you’re fond of certain words or phrases, and you use them a lot, make a list and do a search for them at the end of each day’s writing. A quick way to search is by using the find function of Microsoft Word. Type in the word, ask the computer to highlight all forms, and see how often you’ve fallen victim to repetition.

• Eliminate repetitive words and phrases as you go. By doing this you will make the chore less bothersome at the end of the book. A daily reminder of your trouble words will also help prime yourself to catch them as you work.

• Reread the previous day’s work (or even a couple of days work if you’ve been away for a long time) when you sit down to write. By keeping what you’ve written fresh in your mind, you will be less likely to repeat yourself.

FOR REPETITIVE INFORMATION:

• Keep a list of the important points/information you want to be sure to include in your story. When you’ve made that point, notate it, indicating where in the book you placed the information.

• Double check how many times your characters repeat a story or information. If the event or information they are revealing to another character has already been shown to the reader, if may not be necessary to repeat the whole story again. The author of Downton Abbey was a master at this technique. When something was being related to other characters that had happened in an earlier episode, he often had a one sentence referral to the incident. Enough to trigger the viewer’s memory, but not enough to bore one to death. For the written word, a simple She told him what happened at the skating rink and the character’s reaction to the story may be enough to get the point across without rehashing the information a second or third time.

• Consider becoming a plotter. When you draft your book’s scenes in outline form, chapter synopsis, or whatever works best for you (and follow them), the tendency to repeat oneself is reduced. Yes, you may still have to double check that you’ve eliminated those pesky repetitions, but you will find they are fewer and, hopefully, farther in between.

What tips do you have for eliminating repetition in your work?

Here's a brief intro to my inspirational romantic suspense. I hope you enjoy it.

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.


Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

Monday, 20 January 2020

The Escape Network of the 1800s: The Underground Railroad…

Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Since today falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day around the time of writing this post, I thought it fitting to do a piece on the Underground Railroad. I’m actually fortunate enough to live in an area in Ontario, Canada that played a large role in helping slaves escape the horrors of plantation life in America’s southern states during the 1800s. It’s even more of a blessing that I live near the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, where the museum’s mandate states, “To tell the stories of Amherstburg’s role in the Underground Railroad, and African-Canadians’ journey and contributions to Canada and the region”. Believe it or not, at one time this area was a chief entry point into Canada for those escaping slavery.
While doing research and outlining for the next book in my young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, I found a lot of interesting tidbits and facts about the Underground Railroad, and where the name came from. If you don’t know the history, this ‘escape network’ was not literally underground nor a railroad. It was figuratively “underground” in the sense of being an underground resistance. It was known as a “railroad” by way of the use of rail terminology in the code. Pretty darn clandestine, don’t you think?
The Underground Railroad consisted of meeting points, secret routes, transportation, and safe houses, and personal assistance provided by abolitionist sympathizers. The resting spots where the runaways could sleep and eat were given the code names “stations” and “depots,” which were held by “station masters”. “Stockholders” gave money or supplies for assistance. Participants generally organized in small, independent groups; this helped to maintain secrecy because individuals knew some connecting “stations” along the route but knew few details of their immediate area. Escaped slaves would move north (usually following the north star, or when overcast, the river) along the route from one station to the next. “Conductors” on the railroad came from various backgrounds and included free-born blacks, white abolitionists, former slaves (either escaped or manumitted), and Native Americans. Church clergy and congregations often played a role, especially the Quakers, as well as certain sects of mainstream denominations such as branches of the Methodist church and American Baptists. Without the presence and support of free black residents, there would have been almost no chance for fugitive slaves to pass into freedom unmolested.
Harriet Tubman
In 2019 the movie Harriet was released, telling the story of one of the most famous conductors, slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman. She was a true hero in every sense of the word, who would give every drop of her blood, and wouldn’t stop freeing her people until “this monster called slavery” was dead. Crowned “Black Moses”, Harriet, with a strong and unwavering faith in God and the help of free blacks and sympathetic whites, managed to successfully lead more than three hundred slaves, including her family, to freedom. Now, that’s some track record!
If you get a chance, please check out the Amherstburg Freedom Museum’s page called ‘Sharing Our Stories’, and watch some of the videos. I guarantee that you’ll rethink the meaning of FREEDOM, and what it meant to those who escaped the evils of slavery during the 1800s, and those who chase freedom even now. I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the narrators sharing her family’s story, “You need to know who you are and of the sacrifices made for your freedom”. Amen to that.
So what does freedom mean to you personally? Have you ever thought of the sacrifices made by your ancestors that has led you to living the life you are now? Would love to read your comments. Cheers, and thank you for reading my blog.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Guest Post: How a Task Swells to Fill the Time Allotted by Chris Pavesic...

Parkinson’s Law originated with Cyril Parkinson in a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and was reprinted in Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress by John Murray (1958). The law states that work will expand and swell in importance so as to fill the time available for its completion. Alternatively, some define Parkinson’s law in regard to time as the amount of time that one has to perform as task is the amount of time it will take to complete a task. This theory posits that the more time you give yourself to do something, the more complex and daunting it will seem.
The perceived amount of work swells to fit the time allotted.
According to this law, if you give yourself a month to work on any project, that project will take a month to complete. You will not be working on this project for the entire time, of course. During that month you will be doing other things. You will procrastinate. You will work on it a few hours here and there. The project, though, will remain in your consciousness. It will cause you stress. It will take mental energy. At the end of the month when you complete the project, it will seem like you worked on this for 30 days, when in fact if you count up the actual hours worked, you may find you worked for less than a day. This theory is interesting to me as a writer. It reminds me of a passage I read in Ariel Gore’s text on writing, How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead:
Deadlines matter. Obviously, you don’t want to get into the habit of delivering mediocre work—that’s not going to do you any good in the long run—but you’ll notice that if you force yourself to meet your deadlines, you’ll learn to produce better and better writing in whatever amount of time you have. You’ll master the sprint as well as the marathon. Meet your deadlines. Meet them every time.
The key line for me in Gore’s quotation is “you’ll learn to produce better and better writing in whatever amount of time you have.” She is, in fact, talking about Parkinson’s Law for writers. If you can focus, you can get a writing project done in a shorter amount of time. If you work to develop this habit, the quality of your writing will improve in the shorter time frames for the projects. So what lessons can writers learn from Parkinson’s Law? Set tight deadlines for each project. Set time limits and time deadlines for everything you want to complete that day. Once you get into that habit, it will be easier to estimate the amount of time it actually will take you to complete a task.

If you give yourself forever to do something, it is going to take forever to do it.



4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.