A Way with Grammar

I’d like to spread some humor and a bit of sadness by sharing a few grammar mistakes found on signs, ads, and text. These do not need any explanation, but if you are having trouble figuring out what’s wrong with them, I suggest you attend your child’s English lessons or watch Schoolhouse Rock.



Your going to be sorry if you’re English is not good even thou their are plenty of things out they’re for you to do.

Literacy and Silence,
Baer Necessities

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Guest Post by Tara Woods Turner

Today’s guest post is by Tara Woods Turner. I met Tara on Goodreads, discussing writing, politics, political correctness, and many other subject matters she tackles with an intelligent, clear, and kind voice. She is the second non-fiction author I am proud to introduce and have on my blog.

Bio: Tara Woods Turner is an author, etiquette consultant and publisher. She is founder and CEO of Turner Etiquette Press and has been a frequent guest on radio talk shows, podcasts and blog spotlights. A Salisbury, NC native, she currently lives in New York, NY with her husband and her hyperactive puppy, Catherine. Tara subscribes to the belief that great families build great societies and spends far too much time analyzing James Taylor lyrics.

The Power of Polite –  Good Manners and Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Could your child’s emotional boost be one etiquette lesson away? Whether it’s in a formal class with a certified etiquette consultant or from your own dinner table discussions, exposure to the finer points of social interaction can have beneficial effects on your children’s self-esteem and sense of worth.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians the single biggest element that determines how children feel about themselves is how they perceive their worth to parents, friends and peers, respectively. This puts parents squarely in the driver’s seat when it comes to establishing the crucial metrics by which children will measure their  value. Understanding the tenets of etiquette can assist parents with this goal. The thoughtful, respectful treatment of others is an expression of the value we place on not only others, but on ourselves. It performs multiple tasks, becoming both result and motivation – we can treat others well because we understand that we deserve the same treatment in return. The social contract becomes a vehicle through which our children can see their value through our efforts to prepare them for lasting success. In short, by teaching good manners you are letting your children know that you want the world to see that they are as wonderful as you know them to be – a powerful symbol of the value they hold in your eyes and within the family unit. Your children will see that they deserve to reap the noteworthy rewards of possessing the character, integrity and ethics you have instilled in them.

good manners
Here are some powerful benefits of teaching your children how to treat others – the dynamic results that will enhance their pride in themselves and their social acumen:

Positive Feedback Loop

Processes that yield positive results initiate an organic desire to repeat them and children who exhibit great manners and a winning attitude experience the same phenomena. People will respond favorably to them, praising their conduct and singling them out for special privileges and distinction. Peers will seek out their company, as such children are loathe to engage in less than amiable behaviors such as gossiping, teasing or taunting. These beneficial social foci increase the chances that your children will continue the behaviors, which in turn, continue to reward them for the practice. Children who observe their table manners, for example, and are capable of polite, interesting, engaging conversation will be asked out on more worthwhile excursions than those who make no effort to do so or are unaware of the ways in which to be more accommodating and polite. The positive cycle continues!

Shining Star

When children mind their P’s and Q’s they are more likely to stand out for all the right reasons. Respect for others, including authority figures comes with its own rewards above and beyond the satisfaction that can be derived from good behavior. Those who care for and instruct our children have an important role that is replete with responsibility. Children who are responsive, attentive and cooperative make their jobs infinitely easier. The result is an appreciation of model behavior that often manifests itself as special acknowledgements, added responsibilities and increased trust. With even basic encouragement your children will make a great impression simply by making eye contact when conversing with others, speaking clearly and distinctly and giving their full attention to conversation partners, just as an example. People notice the exemplary and a child who is keen on courtesy is sure to make the social grade.

Leaders vs Followers

One of the best off-shoots of  teaching children good manners is watching their confidence bloom. Interpreting social norms and deciding how closely to adhere to them is a personal choice and your child will make these decisions based on personality, interests, character and individualized  family dynamic and value ecosystem. But a conscious regard for others coupled with respect and consideration gives your child a firm foundation on which to form a unique sense of autonomy. This develops confidence in a healthy way because it is based on choice and self-determination and it is this confidence which decreases your child’s need for group approval. The more certain children feel that they are doing the right thing in every situation the less they will look to their peers for guidance and validation, finding strength in their own choices and potentially becoming an example for less secure friends and acquaintances.

So the next time your children exhibit less than model behavior remember that by crystallizing these habits they may be missing out on an opportunity to organically learn how to celebrate their best, most amazing selves!

Don’t forget to visit Tara’s Website and check out and follow Tara’s Amazon Page regarding her current publication and future works.

Manners and Self-Esteem,
Baer Necessities

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Adventures in Germany

Today we’re taking a break from the written word. I’ll be sharing some random pictures from a few explorations we did this year in Germany.

In August, we took an English walking tour in Cologne. It was great because we were the only people who showed up-our own private tour.

 Then we went to a British Flair in Krefeld.

And last month, we were spooked in a haunted zoo.

What interesting things have you done this year?

Life Experiences,
Baer Necessities

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An Underwater Dreamer

Let’s dive right into another author interview. Today, I’m introducing you to Jenny Burke, a woman who streams together her experiences, research, and dreams to create characters and stories. Passionate about the outdoors, exploring and imagining possibilities, please welcome Jenny and enjoy.

Describe yourself in 150 words or less.

octopusI’m an author, reader, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. I write and draw the worlds that grow in my mind and research details to understand them. My Dragon Dreamer series has dragons and an undersea world. I toss colored lightning with my dragons and grow pearls beneath the waves with my shape-shifters.

My stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The Dragon Dreamer series grew from my years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. I live in Georgia. Visit my website at www.jennysburke.com to see some of the fantasy snowflakes that my dragons grow in the winter clouds!

If you didn’t decide to become a writer, what else would you like to be when you grow up?

I’ve worked as an artist, chemist, teacher, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. I’ve always been a writer, but more recently a writer of novels. I’m fascinated by all that goes into a novel and marvel at the variety of worlds within the minds of fellow authors.

Tell us about your published works.

The Dragon Dreamer by J.S. Burke has flying dragons, an undersea world, and unexpected friendship. It’s a science fantasy adventure layered for readers age 9 to 99.

Arak is a dragon misfit. Determined to prove himself, he leaves on a quest, flies far over the sea . . . and crashes. Badly wounded, he faces death. A fearless, shape-shifter octopus named Scree finds and heals him, and an unexpected friendship begins.

Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. When an undersea volcano erupts, this triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his unique gifts to save the dragons?

Dragon Lightning by J.S. Burke is Book II of the Dragon Dreamer series, with ice dragons and a waking super volcano.

Drakor seems like a normal young ice dragon with a talent for making lightning swords. But he alone feels the changing heart of his island Volcano. It destroyed his beloved sire. Now he foresees their doom, but none will listen. As he seeks proof, the Volcano shakes him off into the frozen sea.

Meanwhile, Arak sails north with golden dragons and undersea shape-shifters. Dorali joins the quest, searching for adventure and escape as she struggles to cope with her terrible scars. The crew seeks a beautiful legend but discovers a terrifying reality when they rescue Drakor. Ice dragons are not what Arak expected, and Drakor’s waking volcano threatens all three realms.

Do you sing in your car? If not, where can someone catch you singing?

I sometimes sing in the car, and more often when I’m alone, anywhere. Every song I know is attached to strong memories.

What’s your biggest source of inspiration?

I have vivid memories of my experiences diving, sailing, caving, and hiking. I’ve read hundreds of research papers and I’ve known many people. I like to imagine “what if”, and then this all flows in to add detail. It’s extra fun to understand the science behind my science fantasy world.

Is it important for people to like you? Explain.

It’s nice to be liked, but not the most important thing. I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes to understand their needs, and help if I can. Ultimately, it’s more important to do the right thing even if it means some won’t like you.

In regards to writing, what are you working on now?

I’ve started writing Book III of the Dragon Dreamer series. I want to finish my Dragon Dreamer Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book, and also finish Crystal Book III.

What’s the one gift for writers that you would love to get for your birthday?

I’d like more #2 envelopes for mailing my books. I’d also like quality watercolor paper and brushes to paint my covers (this can be expensive).

When you’re not writing, where can people find you hanging out in the virtual world?

Amazon
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

I asked Jenny to send me one of her favorite underwater species with a little synopsis as to why it’s one of her favorites. Here’s what she had to say.

octopus2Octopuses are extremely intelligent and clever undersea beings. Some kinds can change their shape, color, and texture to match almost anything. Recently, a true undersea octopus village was discovered by scientists. I was prescient! Scree, the main octopus shape-shifter in my Dragon Dreamer books, has become popular.

Dragons and Dreamers,
Baer Necessities

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Writing Advice List!

This post is a bit different. I thought I’d create a fiction writing alphabetical advice list based off my experience as a writer, author, and publisher. Hope you find something of value.

ABCs of writingAudience – It’s rare I hear authors talking about their audience, which is an important aspect to selling your book. Let your audience feel as if you wrote the book for them, and that comes from knowing who is going to read it. Don’t try to sell a romance novel to a thriller audience. All will suffer in the end.

Beta Readers – Target audience readers, who read a novel and provide feedback to the author regarding what works and doesn’t work for them. Beta readers and/or critique partners are invaluable in getting an outsiders point of view. Writers are too close to their characters and plot, so plot holes go unnoticed and/or a lack in character development.

Characters – Some types of genres rely heavily on character development because they’re character-driven. Even those that are plot-driven still need plausible characters. Are they uneducated, funny, mean? Take the time to study your characters. This helps with the development, dialogue, and believability, which ultimately connects the reader to the story.

Dialogue – Dialogue is great in molding a character. Readers can get a sense of a character from how they interact with other characters. If you have a character that lived their entire life in the countryside, you can change their speech to reflect their surroundings and naiveté of city life. This is part of character building.

Evolution – Like life, we like to see character’s evolve, growing and advancing throughout the story. You want them to learn something they didn’t know at the beginning. Keep in mind that your characters can only evolve within a realistic amount of time. Realistically, a killer can’t turn their life around overnight.

Freewriting – This is when you write without worrying about the condition of the Freewriting is freeingwriting—to write without editing. It’s a great way to let ideas pour onto the page by exploring characters and plot without the baggage of grammar and outlines. If you struggle with writer’s block, this is one way to combat it.

Genre – Genres define the type of book written. This is still a troublesome area for most authors because there are so many categories a book fits into nowadays. Some authors have redefined or created new genres. For help in finding your genre, list the themes in your book, such as romance, humor, and adventure equals a romantic comedy.

Hook – This is what writers refer to when hooking readers at the beginning of the book. The first/opening line or paragraph of a novel need to have a good hook. A novel should capture a reader’s attention from the first paragraph, so they’ll continue with it.

Imagery – Describing a character or setting using the five senses. This is part of showing instead of telling. Aside from sight, use the other senses. This gives the reader a better understanding of character and setting.

Jargon – Language used by a particular profession or group that other’s don’t understand. If one of your characters is a doctor, they might rattle off medical jargon—another additive for character development.

Killjoy – This isn’t actually a writing term, but I thought I’d use it in my alphabet advice. Killjoy is a person who ruins the enjoyment for others. Writers sometimes tend to explain too much, insulting the reader’s intelligence. Don’t explain everything to the reader, which I consider a killjoy. Give your audience some credit when it comes to following and understanding the story. If it’s written well, they shouldn’t have any problems.

Lazy – Many people who are starting out as writers feel the need to ignore writing rules. They believe there is no such thing. This is a lazy way of thinking. Of course there are rules because writing is a craft—a skill that very few have without practice and knowledge. Those who think this way are too lazy to learn the skills of writing, for example, character and plot development, show vs. tell, language, and the list goes on.

Mood – Book covers, language, set the mood of a novel. It helps define genre. If a novel is a crime mystery, then you want the book cover, blurb, and language to set the mood. There’s nothing wrong with throwing in humor or other themes, you want layers, but the main tone is what deepens the reader’s experience.

NavigatorAnother word I thought I’d add to writing. You are the navigator of your story, and it’s your job to navigate through characters, conflict, climax, up to the end. Sub-plots are great. They interrupt the flow, similar to life, navigating the main story or characters. If you go off-course, unfocused, there’s a good chance your reader will stop and navigate to another book.

Opposition – Hostility and conflict are great in novels. They keep the reader’s attention. Life is all about obstacles and successes. Let your characters and plot reflect reality.

Point of View – This is the perspective of the story sometimes told from a character’s perspective or a third party. Every writer finds their own comfort in POV. Here are the different POVs: First person, Second person, and Third peson (limited, multiple, omniscient.

Quit – Writing can become lonely. Many writers question whether they’re good enough. If you love writing, put in the time to learn, then I suggest you stick it out. Accept the fact that you will feel alone at times. You might not sell the amount of books you had hoped. But isn’t life all about doing what you love? Just make sure that if you’re going to publish and charge for your works, that you’re offering your best.

Revisions – Revising a book is so important. I see writers posting on forums that they finished writing their story and want to publish now. They only have one draft—the rough draft. You and others must revise your book many times. Revise, revise, give to a beta reader or critique partner. Revise, revise, and give to an editor. Revise some more. Send for a few proof copies, and revise some more. It’s much better to get it close to perfect the first time you publish than taking your book down because of editing complaints.

Sabbatical – It’s good to take some time away from your manuscript. This allows your mind and eyes to rest before tackling revisions. Even during revisions, make sure you put it aside, especially if things start getting jumbled.

TenacityTenacity – To be a writer, one needs to be persistent when it comes to all aspects of writing. There are times when you will want to give up. Maybe you feel someone writes better than you. Or you’re having difficulty writing dialogue. If you love it, keep the drive going. What you put into it is what you’ll get out of it. Writing isn’t all about sales. There’s a personal satisfaction when you finish a novel—a sense of accomplishment. This is what usually drives us onto the next project.

Unacquainted – If you’re unacquainted with medicine, and your story contains a doctor, it’s your job as a writer to make sure you research it. There’s nothing worse than reading a book where the author did not know the subject matter. They didn’t research it. Get acquainted with whatever subject you put into your novel that you don’t know much about.

Voice – Writers have their own voice. Don’t wish you could write like Stephen King because you won’t be able to, nor should you want to. Find YOUR voice when it comes to writing and try to perfect it.

Writer’s block – Most writers experience writer’s block. Nothing comes to them to write, or they’re stalled on a project. Step away and try something new, such as freewriting. The more you worry about it, the harder it is to get rid of. Instead, try to jiggle your creativity in other ways.

Xenial – It means to be hospitable between host and guest. Be hospitable to your readers. They will stick around if you show them love.

Yell – Sometimes a character, the way the story is going, writer’s block makes you want to yell. Go ahead and do it. Yelling is a great way to release frustration.

Zealous – Passion, eagerness, this is the glue that keeps us writing. Stay committed to the craft, to your passion, to your dream, and in the end you’ll be rewarded.

Did I miss something?

Passion and Advice,
Baer Necessities

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