Independence Day – 2017

I will not write a lot today. I’m just honoring the day, together with you, friends, family, and followers… thanks for your ongoing support!

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RAGGED OLD FLAG
by Johnny Cash

I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, “Your old courthouse is kinda run down.”
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town.”
I said, “Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that’s a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.

He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down.
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?”
I said, “I think it is.” He said, “I don’t like to brag,
But we’re kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”

“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing -Oh Say Can You See-.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams.”

“And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.”

“On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.”

“She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she’s been abused —
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied and refused.”

“And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in.
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.”

“So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don’t let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”

(Source: http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-poems.net/independence-day-poems.html)

Picture courtesy of: http://www.imagesbuddy.com/

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The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag,
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands,
One Nation, under God
Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

 

Picture courtesy of: Tumblr18.Com

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My 600th Blog Post

‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ exists for 22 months – and yesterday I published a blog post which marks a magic number:

 

I’m very proud of this number… I’m very proud of having more than 24,000 comments and 596 followers. I’m very honored to have you as my guest, here on

‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’.

 

 

Thank you for making this blogging adventure such an enjoyable one for me!

You rock!!

How To Write A Great Book Review – Research by A.J. Alexander

 

Lately, I’ve been asked by a fellow writer if I read his book and would be prepared to write a review. Even though I know how much work, effort, and heart blood a writer invests into books, I know as well, a writer is honored by a review. I was told this numerous times already. I read truckloads full of books since my childhood and of course, couldn’t review all of them. (Let’s not talk about the school book reports). And I found, even if I didn’t like a book too much, it wouldn’t be nice to ‘rip it to shreds.’ It might not be a bad book – just not the right book to read for me.

I liked what I read this time, and I agreed to write a review. If I only knew how to do so. This needed some research.

I started and found hundreds of articles, books, blog posts and lists. Are they all different? No, more the opposite! They all seem to be similar, some more simple, some more detailed, some complicated and long, with little variations. So I picked what I needed from some of them.

 

  1. The purpose of a review

I find it very important to learn what exactly the purpose of what I’m writing is. What is a review for? One of the first articles, referring to “reviews” in general, more than book reviews, in particular, was written by Karol K, a freelance blogger, and writer. He writes:

  • to learn the pros and cons of a given product
  • to find out if the product is meant for them
  • to find out if the product is of high quality and easy to use
  • to find out about alternative solutions
  • to find out about other users’ experiences with the product
  • to ultimately learn if the product is worth buying.

With those needs in mind, let’s look at what you can do to craft a truly valuable review.

His entire article can be read on: http://www.problogger.net/how-to-write-a-must-read-product-review/

 

  1. Writing Amazon reviews

Neal Wooten, author, writer, blogger, and comedian published an article on the Huffington Post Website, using six tips to writing Amazon reviews and in my opinion did a great job. At least to me it seems valuable, especially considering the “start” use of the Amazon rating.

Additionally, he mentions something quite powerful: The responsibility that goes with writing a review. Let me give you a couple of examples I picked from his article:

What if a car manufacturer was to drop off a brand new car to a person’s home, completely at random, and explain they had 24 hours to drive the car? Afterward, they would take the car to another home at random and do the same thing, and repeat for three months. They only asked that the homeowners/drivers would write a review of the automobile. What do you think would happen?

I suspect most of the drivers would do exactly what they should. They would write intelligent and informative reviews about how it handled, how it drove, gas mileage, the comfort, the power, the sound system, etc.

But there would be some drivers who would abuse this privilege. It’s human nature. Some wouldn’t even drive the car. Some would complain about everything from the visors to the texture of the floor mats. Some would complain about the color of the free car they were provided. Some would get drunk, drive 100 mph, wreck the car, and then write a bad review.

And that sums up Amazon reader reviews. While most are very helpful, many are just people exercising their basic nature to be useless. So here are some tips.

Then his six tips follow. He gives simple, easy to understand and helpful advice. To read his tips, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neal-wooten/tips-for-writing-amazon-r_b_6959118.html

 

  1. What do I write about in my review?

Fran Stewart, the author of the Biscuit McKee Mysteries, writes in her “Southern Writer’s Blog”: Questions to Spark Book Review Ideas 

Her idea is, to ask the reader questions which I can build my review on. Her questions refer to the characters, the settings and the plot.

This, I decide, might be a great start for my review.

To see all of Fran’s given questions, please go to http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/2015/05/questions-to-spark-book-review-ideas.html

 

  1. Am I scared to write a book review?

You BET! I’m a writer myself, of course, I one day would like to get positive reviews for the book. I want to honor the author, his ideas, his talent, his magic, his story, his efforts, his work and his masterpiece. I want to make others read the book I loved so much. I don’t want to spoil it for the other readers.

Rosie Amber wrote four quick ways to overcome your fear to write a book review. It helped me a lot. If you are suffering from the same fears, read it here: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/4-quick-ways-to-write-a-bookreview-and-overcome-your-fears-mondayblogs/

 

  1. Rules for book review writing

These are the ones that are more or less the same all across the internet. One of the blog posts I particularly enjoyed reading, is the one Tara Sparling published:

5 Book Review Rules Which Could Make Writers Hate You Less

I think, the post is very helpful – and a great read too!

 

Oh well, I figure now I’m armed with the basic knowledge of book reviews. Let’s see if I really can get a review that is as helpful as I want it to be to other potential readers!

 


 

International Humour Writing competition in honour of Mark Twain

International Humour Writing competition in honour of Mark Twain.
What a great chance for writers!

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Mark Twain

Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand  — Mark Twain

This is the second annual competition organised to raise funds for the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut USA and entries are welcome from around the world.

Humourous essays and stories can be up to a generous 7000 words long AND you’re allowed to send in work that has already been published. Your submission can’t have won a prize in a humourous writing contest before, but that’s the only restriction. Entry fees are on the high side at $22 for those 18 and over and $12 for 17 and under. At the time of writing $22 was roughly 20 euros or £14.25 . However, the prizes are reasonable wads of cash.

PRIZES

•      1st Prize: $1,000 (Adult), $600 (Young Author)

•      2nd Prize: $500 (Adult), $400 (Young Author)

•      3rd Prize: $250 (Adult), $200 (Young Author)

•      Three Honorable Mention Prizes: $100 Gift Certificate for the…

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