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D. A. Ratliff: Why Writers Should Exercise!

Why Writers Should Exercise!

D. A. Ratliff

Before you start sweating, not that kind of exercise. After sitting at a computer writing for several hours, physical exercise might be prudent, but we will discuss that another day. This discussion is about writing exercises that help hone your creative writing skills and why they are essential.

If you belong to an internet or in-person writing group, take a writing class, or are inquisitive and search the internet for information, you are familiar with writing exercises. Let’s look at the myriad of activities created for improving your writing skills.

Writing Skills

These are some skills necessary for writing.

  • Character Development
  • Plot Creation
  • World Building
  • Opening Sentence/Paragraph Hook
  • Creating Tension
  • Dialogue
  • Story Structure
  • Grammar
  • “Writer’s Block”
  • Editing /Word Selection
  • The “Elevator” Blurb
  • Query Letters
  • Synopsis
  • Covers/Cover Blurb

Exercises for Writers

The exercises to practice the skills listed above are numerous. You can do some exercises alone, and some benefit from group participation, all designed to improve the quality of your writing.

The exercises include:

  • Character arc – Write a character at the beginning of a story and the end to show their development or lack of development.
  • World Building – Interview a member of a society, asking questions about the geography and culture.
  • Timed writing sprints – Setting a time limit on an exercise helps focus thoughts.
  • Opening Sentence – From an image or writing prompt, create an opening sentence.
  • Editing/Word Selection – Write a story based on a prompt with a word count limit which requires careful word selection, story structure, and editing of unnecessary content.
  • Query Letters, Synopses, or Cover Blurbs – Writing any of these items from a prompt is helpful, as is offering one of these writing excerpts for peer critique, which also helps hone skills.
  • “Writer’s Block” – There are conflicting opinions on the nature of writer’s block, but, at times, all writers hit an impasse, and writing is elusive. Suggestions include freewriting for a set timeframe, writing a scene further into the story, or writing from a prompt.
  • Read the works of others and learn how they crafted their stories.

You can do many exercises, from focusing on one individual aspect of writing to practicing general writing. Finding writing exercises is as simple as checking with your favorite writing group or using a search engine on the internet.

The Benefits of Writing Exercises

Besides the obvious mechanical skills that writing exercises help improve, there are other reasons for doing these exercises.

The Muse

Perhaps the most important benefit gained from writing exercises is the spark to your muse—your imagination. A common complaint from writers is “I don’t know what to write about” or “I’m stumped and don’t know where to take my story.” While imagination is not an acquired skill, you can stimulate it.

As with any profession or hobby, we can burn out or become weary of the task. When that happens professionally, we turn our attention to another project or take a vacation. A writer or hobbyist can do the same.

Writers can look to the word prompt exercises as a project change. Utilizing prompts to write something new can stimulate your imagination. Vacations are also necessary, and despite all the ‘experts’ telling you that you must write every day, you don’t have to do so. A break from a routine allows you to return with a fresher perspective.

The Fundamentals

There are basic tenets to writing. The story structure that we follow today is the same as the first stories told. As a society, we feel compelled to tell stories to pass on cultural and historical information to following generations and for entertainment.

Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Writing mechanics, sentence structure, grammar, character, plot development, and world-building have, for the most part, remained the same since storytelling began. Exercises that target these components help to reinforce the fundamental skills a writer needs to tell the story effectively. Knowing the fundamentals also allows writers to deviate from traditional structure and add a creative touch to their writing while keeping the story cohesive.

Do not forget one of the best ways to learn the fundaments is to read. Reading is one of the most fundamental exercises you can do. Learn structure, plot construction, character development, and more from other writers. Even writers who are not so skilled can teach us how not to do something.

Focus

An overactive imagination is a wonderful thing for a writer to have. However, too many story ideas can be overwhelming and cause a loss of focus.

There is nothing wrong with having several projects going simultaneously, but task focus is crucial to completing a story or novel. Timed-writing exercises are an effective way of learning to organize thoughts and keep story progression on target. A ten-minute sprint of freewriting or an hour of writing with an end goal in mind sharpens the focus, as does finishing a prompt with a specific word count limit.

Learning to focus as you write helps with the biggest disappointment many writers have—not completing the work they have started. Many novels are started but not finished because of the lack of focus on the goal.

Confidence

You’ve heard about it, imposter syndrome. The belief is that, despite your success, you are not as capable as others think you are and that you don’t deserve any accolades. Nonsense. Self-doubt about your ability to succeed at writing or any endeavor you undertake is not a healthy attribute and will cascade into all facets of your life.

Participating in writing exercises is certainly not the panacea for imposter syndrome, but what it can do is validate that you have writing skills. The proverb, practice makes perfect is true. While perfection is difficult to achieve, practicing and mastering the skills to help you become a better writer will give you the confidence to be the best writer you can be and accept your success no matter how you measure it.

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Writing is many things—fun, tedious, demanding, complex. Competition for readers is intense, and all we can do is offer the best storytelling we can to our readers. But as with any other art form, we do not achieve success without working for it. A dancer, musician, singer, or artist spends hours rehearsing their craft, honing moves, notes, or brushstrokes. A writer must do the same and put in the time to study, read, and embrace the practice—writing exercises. You will be a better writer for it.

Resources for Writing Exercises:

Grammar Exercises: Owl Online Writing Lab https://owl.purdue.edu/owl_exercises/index.html

https://www.creativefuture.org.uk/resource/creative-writing-exercises-structure

SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK: EPISODE 24

In our quest to assist writers in becoming the best they can be and remain motivated, we would like to introduce you to John Chuback, M.D. A cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Chuback found his goals waylaid by his lack of motivation.

In a series of interviews with Paul W. Reeves, host on Impact Radio USA, Dr. Chuback continues his discussion of the tools leading to success with his book “Make Your Own Damn Cheese: Understanding, Navigating, and Mastering the 3 Mazes of Success.”

Please click on the link below to hear Episode #24 of SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK, the first episode in the second series, and start enhancing your journey toward success today.

DR. JOHN CHUBACK, a cardiovascular surgeon from New Jersey, is the author of, “Make Your Own Damn Cheese: Understanding, Navigating, and Mastering the 3 Mazes of Success,” “The Straight A Handbook – The 50 Most Powerful Secrets For Ultimate Success In And Out Of The Classroom” and other books.

DR. CHUBACK joins HOST PAUL W. REEVES weekly to discuss his books, “The Straight A Handbook – The 50 Most Powerful Secrets For Ultimate Success In And Out Of The Classroom” and “Make Your Own Damn Cheese“, each of which explores the human mind and becoming all that you can be.

Throughout this portion of the series, Dr. Chuback will discuss “Make Your Own Damn Cheese“, and the research behind his success philosophies.

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Audiobooks on Audible

The Straight a Handbook: The 50 Most Powerful Secrets for Ultimate Success in and Out of the Classroom Audible Logo Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Written by John Chuback, M. D.
Narrated by Paul W. Reeves, Ed. D

Click for Audible version on Amazon

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Previous Episodes of “Success Philosophies With Dr. Chuback”

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Dr. John Chuback

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Dr. John Chuback was born and raised in Bergen County and graduated from the Dwight Englewood School. He earned his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School at UMDNJ, in Newark. Dr. Chuback then completed a five-year General Surgical Residency at Monmouth Medical Center (MMC). Dr. Chuback is the author of Make Your Own Damn CheeseKaboing, and The Straight A Handbook.

All books are available on Amazon. com. 

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Impact Radio USA

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Welcome to ​IMPACT RADIO USA, where we strive to provide the best in news, talk, sports, and music 24 hours a day, 52 weeks per year. Our goal is to keep you as the most informed and entertained Internet Radio audience.

As we are continuing to add content on a daily basis, please feel free to click on the “LISTEN NOW” button at the top of the page to hear us 24 hours a day. While you are here, please check out all of our links to our shows, our podcast page, our blog, and learn how YOU can host your own show with us.  Thank you for listening to IMPACT RADIO USA!!!

Impact Radio USA ListenNow

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Paul W. Reeves 

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Paul W. Reeves, Ed. D. is an author, radio talk show host, educator, composer/arranger, and professional musician.

Listen to “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” on Impact Radio USA and visit Paul’s websitehttps://paulwreeves.com for more information on his books and CDs.

https://www.impactradiousa.com/

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D. A. Ratliff: What? I Can’t Write Like Stephen King?

Images are free use and do not require attribution. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What? I Can’t Write Like Stephen King?

D. A. Ratliff

I came across an article that focused on the reasons not to listen to advice from Stephen King. I wondered, why not? Stephen King is a highly successful author and the author of a popular book on the writing process.

When reading articles such as this one, I always remind myself that there is advice and there is opinion. In our quest to improve, writers should always read both to obtain a broad base of information to utilize in our writing.

The author of this article isolates three of Stephen King’s “rules” and proceeds to show how the opposite of his rule can be appropriate. Of course, writing passive sentences or using an adverb or a “five-dollar word” as the author describes can be effective—in the proper context.

What this author fails to mention is that you should use these rule-breaking exceptions in moderation. A plethora (see what I did there?) of passive sentences will eventually bore your readers, too many adjectives, and you create “purple prose,” writing that is too ornate.

As for those “five-dollar words,” I prefer to call that an extensive vocabulary. In the author’s example, her use of complex, long words was entirely appropriate. When writing an educated character or one from the aristocracy, formal dialogue and those “five-dollar and change” words add realism and depth. The same terms used by a character who is uneducated or from a lower socioeconomic level would not feel authentic to your reader. A book laden with too many complex words becomes a textbook and will be difficult for most readers to follow.

This author ends by saying that writers should write anyway that they feel comfortable and break the rules if they are skilled enough.

It seems as though I have heard that advice/opinion before. That statement is what writing is for all of us. We develop our style based on what we have learned and how we arrange words on the page.

I have authored articles on the rules and my opinion of the writing process. However, I want to stress that writers should read everything they can about this art of writing. Take away those ideas, rules, and suggestions that suit your style of writing. This author inferred that if you follow Stephen King’s rules, you will write just like him. No, you won’t. The rules are not his style. How he uses words to convey emotion and create tension is his style.

I offer only one piece of advice here. As I said above, read everything you can about the writing process, read books, and glean from those sources what you need to become the writer you want to be. Always learn the rules first, then you can break them.

In the words of the infamous fashion icon Tim Gunn:  Make it work!

Image from https://me.me/

Draft

In case you are curious about this post… we have a WU! who had business issues interrupt the writing of his WTS.. so we are reserving a post in the January Archives to post his story. Will update as soo as we can!

DR. PAUL’S FAMILY TALK: BOOK REVIEWS WITH DEBORAH RATLIFF — Part Four podcast

If you missed host Paul W. Reeves and Deborah Ratliff for Book Reviews — part 4 of a five-part Expert Series, here is the podcast.

WU! Admin Deborah Ratliff reviewed three books on the December 9, 2020 broadcast of “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” on Impact Radio USA.

The Law of Innocence“. Michael Connelly

Once a Warrior” Jake Wood

The Girl Who Lived“. Christopher Greyson

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Miss last month’s Book Review segment? Check out the podcast here!

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Welcome to ​IMPACT RADIO USA, where we strive to provide the best in news, talk, sports, and music 24 hours a day, 52 weeks per year. Our goal is to keep you as the most informed and entertained Internet Radio audience.

http://www.impactradiousa.com
(click on the LISTEN NOW button)

” Dr. Paul’s Family Talk”
Live Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
11:00 am Eastern Time

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Caroline Giammanco: The Call

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.  Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support! 

Please note: the images used are free-use images and do not require attribution.

The Call

Caroline Giammanco

Autumn blew on the breeze as trees waved in a sea of reds, oranges, yellows, and lingering greens. Breathing in the refreshing, earthy smells of a beautiful October morning, Greta Maxwell savored this season. Soon the wind would bring a biting, icy chill, but for now, the world seemed perfect. This was her favorite time of year, and it made her sentimental as she longed for the people she loved.

Her eyes grew misty as she remembered her husband’s favorite line about the bitter cold air of deep winter. “It smells like Canada out there,” he would say, breathing the crisp air into his lungs. Oh, how she missed him. He would return one day. For now, she relied on her own gumption and wits to make it through the days. She never regretted choosing him above all other men, even with the prolonged separations they endured, and she knew their chance meeting had changed the course of her life. He saved her, and that wasn’t something Greta was used to. She’d always been one to save herself. 

Her brother’s absence also caused tears to well in her eyes. Yes, it was her choice to leave their homeland of Germany, but weekly phone calls with him just weren’t enough on some days. This was one of those days. Memories flooded back, and she found herself lost in those long-ago days of childhood. In some ways, their youth was commonplace, yet it had its extraordinary moments. The two remained remarkably close regardless of the distance. Truly, no one understood her more than her brother did. 

He’s the only person who can relate to what drives me to be who I am today.

She loaded her vehicle and pulled away from her hideaway set deep in the woods. Greta was a hermit in many ways. Bad experiences with strangers—and some family members—as a young girl created scars, and those scars resulted in her desire to live as far away from others as possible. 

As with many who suffered abuse as a child, she carried a distrust of people in general. The best way to avoid trouble, in her mind, was to avoid the public once she was safely tucked back into her home each night. She was kind and caring, but none of her distant neighbors knew her well, and she wanted to keep it that way. No one was welcome at her house unless invited, and few were invited.

Ironically, at work, everyone described her as a “people person.” She loved to make others laugh and she eased their burdens when possible. People turned to Greta for moral support when they felt down. Somehow, she empathized with them, no matter their struggle. A heart like that was born of survival. She’d suffered hardships few knew of. Greta refused to make herself the center of conversations. No, she was there to give aid and comfort to others. She fiercely guarded her own sadness and worries. 

For several years, as long as anyone could remember, she taught literature at a school in the neighboring county. Watching fine writing impact young minds was one of the most rewarding aspects of her job, and she was quite attached to her school. Coworkers asked from time to time why she wouldn’t move closer to work. Others asked why she didn’t find a job closer to her home. That was nonsense as far as Greta was concerned. 

If I love my job, and I love where I live, why would I want to make a change? 

Her lengthy commute gave her time to prepare for the day ahead in the mornings and to unwind from a stressful day in the evenings. What was time anyway? She’d learned to become patient, especially with her husband away for so long, and if she was to be alone for now, why not enjoy the sights she encountered during her drive? On this October morning, the miles disappeared behind her, and she thought about the profession she chose. 

Oh, how she loved teaching, even if it had changed—for the worse, in her opinion. Being a teacher was simple in her early days of education. Back then, a teacher focused on not only the content but on inspiring her students. Now the world complicated her passion. Too many rules, too much reliance on technology, and too much dependence on test scores had practically ruined the joy of teaching. Yes, negligent parents and lazy students played a part in the downfall of modern-day education. Greta understood that some families failed to foster healthy childhoods. She dealt with the unruly children—those who simply wanted someone to care. Greta relished her time spent with her students. To her, teaching was always about the children. Besides, no matter how many generations passed, children were full of energy, and being around them kept her young. 

On this morning, she knew what her school expected of her. Every Tuesday, Greta arrived with platters of tasty treats. People for miles around talked about the fine desserts she created. Some asked her to open her own bakery, but Greta had her reasons for declining. 

“How ever did you know how to make these?” Margaret Humphrey stuffed another gooey bite into her mouth. Greta barely had time to set the platter on the table in the teacher’s workroom before Margaret grabbed a handful.

“Oh, I learned how to bake as a young girl back in Germany. It was expected of me.”

“Well, you know I’m a big fan of your desserts. I always admire people who carry on family traditions.”

Greta simply smiled. It wasn’t worth getting into the backstory of her baking skills. 

It’s enough to know they enjoy my goodies.

Greta didn’t leave her students out, either. No, she made sure every child had a delicious snack during each class. She was pretty sure some of the upper-classmen took two or three of her electives classes for that very reason. Double- and triple-dipping her pastries was okay as far as Greta was concerned. It made the children happy, and if it got them to take more literature courses, then all the better.

Greta baked for one reason only: She believed in turning bad experiences into positives. For her, baking was designed to bring joy. No one needed to know the price of those recipes.

That night she arrived at her eccentric little home in the woods. People whispered about its unusual architecture, but Greta ignored their comments. The design had a purpose. It reminded her of that house years ago that shaped who she became. Some people run from their ghosts. Others embrace them. Greta chose to embrace hers.

At exactly eight o’clock, as the flames in her fireplace flickered and shadows danced on the walls, Greta called her beloved brother in Stuttgart.

“Hello, Hansel.”

“Ah, my dear Gretel. How I have looked forward to your call.”

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Please visit Caroline on her blog: https://carolinegiammancowrites.home.blog/

Rico Lamoureux: Uncle Charles

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.  Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support! 

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Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.

Uncle Charles

By Rico Lamoureux

“It’s due to go up for auction in two months, but we would be willing to accept an outright option at twenty million.”

Exquisite violin, image for the short story, ‘Uncle Charles’, written by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

From its beautiful contour to its fine detail, the first word to come to mind; exquisite. A true work of master craftsmanship. But Peter, a distinguished older gentleman, hadn’t travelled over a thousand miles for a Stradivarius.

“Exquisite,” Peter replied, “but I’m actually here for another violin you recently came in possession of. I called earlier.”

Slightly perplexed, the dealer of luxury goods glanced at his record book. “Ah, yes, Mr. Lundstrom. One moment, please, I’ll have a look in the back.”

With the utmost of care the Strad was closed up tight and taken away, a couple of minutes later the dealer returning with a tone of distaste. “I’m afraid there’s been a mistake, Mr. Lundstrom. This… fiddle, is the only other piece we have at the moment. My sincerest apologies. Sometimes, very rarely, mind you, we unintentionally acquire a less-than-stellar item. Perhaps­—”

Peter reached out. “Please, may I?”

This time it was he who displayed such a gentle touch, the poor man’s violin about a hundred and fifty years younger than the Strad yet appearing more weathered. He turned the instrument over and read with a nostalgic whisper the name carved into its back. “Ingalls.”

“Is that the name of the crafter,” the dealer asked. “I’ve never heard of him.”

With such reverence Peter turned the violin back over and just stared. At its body, its neck, its strings. “Crafter of violins, no. Crafter of the man standing before you, yes.”

Beginning to notice the sentimental value Peter was starting to display, the dealer’s salesman nature began to show. “I’m sure we can come to a fair price, Mr. Lundstrom.”

“Indeed, we already have,” Peter replied as he took his eyes off the violin long enough to show he was not one to haggle with. “A grand. Already confirmed over the phone.”

The dealer looked back at his record book, spotted the $1k written within the margins.

“Of course, Mr Lundstrom. May I ask, what makes this piece so special?”

Peter looked to the box the violin called home, lightly running his fingertips over it and the old pillow inside used for cushioning before picking up the bow and softly placing it on the strings of its counterpart.

With closed eyes Peter began to play a few notes, the level of emotion across his face not dared interrupted by the dealer.

He opened his eyes and again affixed them down upon the treasure in his hands.

“This violin, this fiddle, belonged to Charles Ingalls, a man of integrity beyond reproach.

“When I was a mere boy, my father sent me to a rural town known as Walnut Grove for a summer, to get, in his words, ‘a sense of values’. My uncle owned a store out there, so I stayed with him for a few days, but for some reason I can’t recall, more than likely having to do with my mischievous behavior, I was sent to work on his friend Charles’ farm.

Peter Lundstrom from the Little House on the Prairie episode ‘The Stranger’, image for the short story ‘Uncle Charles’, written by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“Mind you, for a privileged preppy this was no day at the park, calluses and blisters, working from sunup to sundown, it was a world I wasn’t used to. But before long I was shown something else I wasn’t used to; love.

Charles Ingalls playing fiddle, image for the short story ‘Uncle Charles’, written by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“Although he wasn’t kin, Charles Ingalls, who I started calling Uncle Charles, was more of an uncle, a father, an anything I ever had before this time. And it was in that little house on that prairie where he and his family taught me the value of hard work, true character, love.

The Ingalls Family from Little House on the Prairie, for the short story ‘Uncle Charles’, written by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“They didn’t have much. In fact at times they hardly had anything at all, Uncle Charles pouring out through this fiddle their hardships which seemed insurmountable, the level of perseverance shown unimaginable, all endured with an eternal optimistic spirit, ending each evening’s gathering with uplifting melodies that would propel one to a hope of a better tomorrow.

“This has within it the soul of The Ingalls Family, my dear boy. Sure it lacks the perfected detail which can be found in one of your Stradivarius’, but this is precisely what makes it special, being an actual embodiment of the human condition.

“I’ll take it.”

All Rights Reserved.

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Please visit Rico on his blog: https://theflashfictionponder.com/

Dr. Paul’s Family Talk: Chuck Walsh

“Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” Impact Radio USA

While Impact Radio USA’s “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” program is on vacation, let’s listen to some of our member’s interviews from past shows.

Join host and WU! admin, Paul W. Reeves as he talks with author Chuck Walsh from a show broadcasts on October 25, 2018.

Click to listen to the podcast of the radio show interview:   https://pod.co/impact-radio-usa/author-chuck-walsh-10-25-18

Chuck Walsh, a writer from South Carolina, called in to discuss his latest release, Black Mingo Creek. ​ ​From his website:

“I developed a passion for writing in 2004 after my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I decided I wanted to write something to show how much she meant to me. And so, A Passage Back was born. The book is a tale about Chase Watson, who has an accident after the death of his mother, sending him back in time to when he was a boy. It’s a chance to test the question, “Wouldn’t it be great to go back in time, knowing then what you know now?” From there the writing bug had me in its grasp, and I haven’t slowed down. I love fiction, and I love to write stories that are deep in prose and storyline. I truly want the reader to know intimately each and every character in my books. I want each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter to have meaning and purpose. I hope you enjoy reading my books.”

For information on Chuck Walsh, and to order his books, please visit his website at: https://www.chuckwalshwriter.com

https://www.chuckwalshwriter.com

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Host Paul Reeves

A product of the Detroit area, Wayne State University, and Eastern Michigan University, Paul Reeves, Ed.D, has spent over 30 years as a professional educator and musician, as well as his work as a radio talk show host and author.

IMPACT RADIO USA provides the best in news, talk, sports, and music 24 hours a day, 52 weeks per year. Launched in the spring of 2017, their goal is to keep you as the most informed Internet Radio audience. Click on the link below for the station’s complete show lineup!

http://www.impactradiousa.com (click on the LISTEN NOW button)

DR. PAUL’S FAMILY TALK: Kimberly Love

“Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” Impact Radio USA

While Impact Radio USA’s “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” program is on vacation, let’s listen to some of our member’s interviews from past shows.

Join host and WU! admin, Paul W. Reeves as he talks with author, editor, and radio host Kimberly Love from a show on 9-27-18.

Click to listen to the podcast of the radio show interview: https://pod.co/impact-radio-usa/author-kim-love-9-27-18

Kim also host her own radio show, “Crushing 40”, live on Thursday at 2:00 pm EDT

(repeated seven days a week at 2:00 pm EDT)

To hear “Crushing 40” and other great shows in Impact Radio USA go to:
https://www.impactradiousa.com Click on LISTEN NOW!

Kimberly Love, an author from Windsor, Ontario, called in to discuss her latest release, “You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine”, as well as her upcoming projects and the creative process.

From her Amazon page, “WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK AWESOME? There’s an evil queen, a demented father, some amateur boxing and a trailer park story. Even a silver fox makes an appearance. Why wouldn’t that entice you? If you are looking for something different from the rest of the books out there, something that might make you question your sanity then you will love this book. Seriously!

The comedic and sassy perspective will make you see things differently, and you may even find yourself laughing out loud. It’s a good story and one that I truly believe needs to be told. Period. It’s dark, raw and takes you to a door that keeps all my innermost secrets. I hope that the book makes you laugh, makes you cry, and inspires you to be the best version of yourself.”

To learn more about Kimberly Love and to order her book, please visit her website at:

https://www.kimmilove.com

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Host Paul Reeves:

A product of the Detroit area, Wayne State University, and Eastern Michigan University, Paul Reeves, Ed.D, has spent over 30 years as a professional educator and musician, as well as his work as a radio talk show host and author.

IMPACT RADIO USA provides the best in news, talk, sports, and music 24 hours a day, 52 weeks per year. Launched in the spring of 2017, their goal is to keep you as the most informed Internet Radio audience. Click on the link below for the station’s complete show lineup!

http://www.impactradiousa.com
(click on the LISTEN NOW button)

Sarah Anne Steckel – Anthem of Man’s Dying Day

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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Anthem of Man’s Dying Day

By Sarah Anne Steckel

The divine and otherworldly being hovered far up above the bustling seaside metropolitan city, completely unseen to the human eye, as he watched the ant-sized men and women as they scurried to and fro in their menial daily lives. His obsidian wings gently flapped to call forth the twilight and blanket the sky, causing the city lights to rage and burn like fire against its radiant darkness. Clutched firmly in between his hands was a leather-bound tomb, and in his free hand was a quill pen with a single vulture feather; for he wasn’t an ordinary ethereal man but an angel of death, and it was his job to write down the death of man.

Off in the distance there was the low rumbling of thunder, and from his high vantage point he was able to witness the turbulent storm as it rolled in across the eerily calm ocean front. The ocean air grew thick and heavy, as waves that only grew larger and larger began to crash angrily against the somber sandy beach. The maleficent gray clouds masked by the darkness of the night, plump and heavy with rain, opened up their mouths and spewed hail and flooding rain on the civilians down below. Chaos erupted within the streets as individual blocks of power began to experience mass power outages at a single time.

The omnipotent being began writing on the pages of his book, his keen and wary eye on the tsunami that had formed in the center of the ocean, its epic size continuing to rapidly grow as it traveled further inland. The sounds of sirens caused his attention to shift to the humans below him as they screamed and wailed, their city streets already flooding with a mixture of rainwater and sewage. What remained of the city lights flickered and died, leaving the metropolitan metropolis lifeless and dark; the city went eerily silent, the literal calm before the storm.

The tidal wave arched high above the tallest building, casting a shade even in the darkness of night across the entire island. The celestial man gracefully flapped his wings a second time, pausing briefly in his writings to watch the exact moment that the water crested over and descended down on the silent city. A bolt of lightning illuminated the sky with its bright, electrifying blue-hued brilliance, capturing the wave as it struck the tallest skyscraper, the water’s weight toppling the iron-rod building as if it were made of straw.

The humans below screamed and bellowed as the water swallowed entire buildings and blocks whole, dragging them along with their occupants helplessly into the hungry sea. Whatever had remained after the first wave was quickly demolished by the second tidal wave that bludgeoned the already welted and deliberated streets; there was less of a human rebuttal now, their cries and pleas only a murmur in his ear. He made a few more scores in his epic tomb, listening as the rumbling of thunder began to roll north.

The archangelic man smoothly flapped his obsidian wings a final time and closed his book; observing how the once lively and bustling city and all of its scurrying and busy creatures quickly perished. He could feel their restless souls as they still continued to cry on, unwilling to accept the truth that they all had died. He felt no remorse for them, this was a job that he was sent to do, and dutifully he obliged. In silence he placed his vulture quill pen behind his ear and took flight. Just like he arrived, Azrael, the angel of Death, departed the human world unnoticed but sure that he would be called back once again to dutifully record the anthem of man’s dying day.

©Sarah Anne Steckel

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