Portfolio

The best way to test a chef is taste his dishes. We can write about anything. The following excerpts are gathered from a few of our most popular subjects; a rather small sampling from the million or so words we’ve written throughout the last year.

Marriage

~ Sliding Doors

364324338_df213a10ae1-300x275Each of us is the sum of an infinity of thinly sliced seconds, where each one matters, at least to some degree. How could we ever hope to pinpoint that decisive second when things forever changed; the instant the axis of our world shifted and began to orbit in a different direction? It might be difficult, but can be done. Tally your life, take it apart, and turn a seemingly impossible task to tremendously simple.

I know the moment my life took its first step down an aisle it would never leave. I ponder it often…

~The Unwavering Faith of Marriage

…Our adventure is scary, but only because we cannot see past its horizon. However, knowing what lies in wait does not lead to the absence of fear. It merely embeds the bricks deep in the boardwalks of boredom. I will go anywhere with her.

The best places I’ve gone in this life have been those where we’ve braided fingers whilst stepping on unfamiliar ground. The mistakes I’ve made have been those where I stepped forward absent her breath by my side.

Marriage is the ultimate adventure, a podium from which every other dream might declare its intention. I am fortunate to have a wife who believes in me without fail, and who has given birth to the remaining two of my three best friends…

~ Lobster Racing

The next five minutes felt like a neat slice of forever, though they were the last I truly remember from that memorable evening. Even those details might have dimmed were it not for the black and white photograph; the one where I’m smiling, slightly off guard, in sunglasses unwrapped just twenty minutes before.

The picture isn’t old enough to be a legitimate black and white, my wife and I just happened to be in the midst of a phase where we preferred black and white to color, before the days when hues could be bleached by the click of a mouse…

Parenting

~ The Seven Year Ouch

“Mia, You need to stop that! You are almost seven years old.”

The moment the words left my lips, I felt them at the tips of my toes, crackling through my body the entire trip down. The room felt colder and the walls looked a little darker; as though the sun had ducked behind a cloud, or perhaps my eyes were just a bit more tired…

~ Teaching My Son to be a Man

platts07-300x214-11Whenever I’m watching a movie that harkens back to a sepia tinted yesteryear, it isn’t the simpler times I long for so much as a return to the distant days when a man rose alongside the sunrise and was expected to give the daylight his best.

Clothes were sharper, adolescence shorter, and the word man still deserving of the first spot in the word manners. Now it seems as if there is something missing, something stripped from today’s men, besides their buttons and blazers. I peer at photographs of my grandfather in his prime, and ponder the polarity of our worlds.

A dozen decades have hurtled by with such speed; it seems they have left our populace with a case of collective amnesia. I look past the creases of my curling photographs, grateful that I can still teach my son what I believe it means to be a man…

~ The 7 Secrets to Raising a Happy Child

Nature and nurture are in a never ending battle to claim the disposition of our children. While it’s true that the apple rarely tumbles too far from the tree, it is also true that there are a multitude of things we as parents can do to safeguard the childhoods of our children, limit their exposure to the more damaging elements the world will see fit to introduce in time, and do our best to raise a healthy and happy child…

Poetry

~ We the People

…We buy a lot, we spend a lot, and then we hit repeat.
We never want the sour, but we always want the sweet.
On this fair election day, I suggest we all reflect.
There are more important things than who we should elect.
The most important thing we have is who we are inside.
Can we stand up tall and wave our country’s flag with pride?
We shouldn’t look to Washington to solve our every hitch,
to keep us all from going poor, or help to make us rich.
Government by populace means populace should rule.
We must be intelligent and never act the fool.
I am optimistic that we’ll pull a proper course.
Wipe the dust right off us and then swing back on our horse.
Today is our election day. Tomorrow is first light.
No matter who the winner, it is our chance to do things right…

~ Best Writer on the Net

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the show – the first one where I sit and spit a bit on SEO.
Content is compelling, so let me spread out what I learned. All the little lessons and those tricky corners turned.
I spent a while searching for some keywords that could fit, but couldn’t settle down. It was a labor I admit.
It wasn’t that there were any shortages of choice. I just wanted something I could slam with all my voice.
I thought of, “Writing it With Style” and even penned a pitted draft, but it’s in a crumpled corner ’cause it didn’t fit my craft.
I’m starting this post over, gonna pen another page, clear my throat and mop my brow, then walk onto the stage.
The keyword that I’m running with is cool you sure can bet. I’m gonna see if I can score “best writer on the net.”…

Fiction

~ February

…The interior of the park was distant cousin to its perimeter. The park which blurred by at 35 MPH was pretty. Seen up close, it was beautiful. One hundred trees swayed softly in a circle surrounding a placid pond where a dozen ducks danced in a crooked line across the water. February frost capped the mountains which severed horizon, completing the postcard perfect setting of a Leap Year afternoon.

John sat on a bench, sipped his coffee, and watched a parade of people he had never seen before and would never see again. An enormous man losing his leash, and the chihuahua attached, brought a quiet smile to his lips, and the angry mother grabbing her toddler with enough force to purple the arm, caused him to wince, but it was the couple he spied on the other side of the pond who brought a full smile to his long face…

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~ Redbook

…The elders were the biggest addicts, as they had nursed the biggest burden of transition. The young understood the technology that was turning the gears of the world as though it was a native tongue, which to most of them it was. Use of the Primotion chip among the under twenty population was nearly non existent. For those in their golden years, it was near epidemic.

Once the chip went whirring in the brain, life was all rainbows and dolphins. The problem was, when life is only good, then you don’t know when it’s bad. If you don’t know when it’s bad, you’ll be clueless to when it starts getting worse. If you’re clueless when it’s getting worse, then you are powerless to stop it.

Imagine that thirty percent of the Newmerican population was living beneath just such an umbrella, and you’ll know precisely where we are when fifteen year old Conner Quick pulled himself into the Skyler, and why he was smiling at the holocaust he’d left behind…

~ Available Darkness

Available Darkness is a genre-bending story involving elements of horror, suspense thrillers and fantasy. We wanted to take the vampire legend and turn it on its head. For the story, we chose to parcel it out in a serial fashion because we are huge fans of cliffhangers. There is nothing quite like reaching the end of a chapter or episode of a serialized TV show and screaming “What the?”

Reader response has been remarkable thus far, prompting comments such as:

“The plot and your writing are exquisitely torturous… or perhaps torturously exquisite is more accurate? You’re becoming [evil] masters of the fine art of torching and cruelly fanning mind-searing flames of anticipation. Yeeeessssss!!!!” ~ Mary Anne Fisher

“Oh God… that`s horrible, what`s wrong with you? My jaw actually dropped when I read that. This is getting scarier and scarier and now Friday seems so far away” – Rosa Peña

“I. Am. Breathless.” ~ Trina

“I keep thinking I will lose interest from a lull in the flow because maintaining a pull on the reader from one week to the next is hard, but not so! You are getting better and better.” ~ Lori Hoeck

“So I thought I’d make some lunch, sit down and read the next chapter of Available Darkness. Constantly thinking, as I always do, of what to put in the comments that’s going to do Dave and Sean’s masterpiece the kind of justice it deserves. Indeed, there I was, lost in thought when I smelled something burning. I think that says it all.” ~ Marc Pienzak

Creative Writing

~ Are You a Writer?

I’m a writer. I spent over three decades unaware of this essential truth, but I’m ready to atone for my ignorance.

For some reason, it never mattered that I’d been reading at least a book a week since my eyes could string the syllables together. I could never be a writer.

Writing, I believed, was a spectator sport for me. I imagined the process as long, tedious, and certainly not something I was capable of. I pictured the lone man, tugging on his beard and banging on his typewriter; a single swallow left in a tumbler on the table, waiting as reward once the thread of inspiration had been pulled from his mind…

~ 10 tips to avoid writing insecurity

istock_000005190966xsmall-copyFace it. There are few things as intimidating as the blinding white of a blank page.

It makes no difference if it’s an empty sheet lying on our desk, or a blank screen, aiming between our eyes. Defeating “nothing” by subjecting it to “something” with the sheer power of our words is what gives a writer breath.

Whether to pay our bills or please our muse, eventually words must spill. Here are ten tips to help plow past writing insecurity…

~ Building a Perfect Bouquet of Words

…Each of us has what it takes to be a better writer. It is already inside us, waiting for salutation. For some, this means discarding the rules the gatekeepers have handed down and listening to the quiet whisper of our instinct. Only we know how we view the world, and it is us who best understand how to make our thoughts sing with all our soul…

Copywriting

~ Freelance Writing Success

The Internet is bloated with freelance writers in search of opportunity. And that shouldn’t be any surprise. An online writing career holds the promise of limitless possibility–as long as you’re willing to work hard and climb your way up rung by rung.

The pay is solid, the flexibility fantastic, and (let’s face it) the commute is about as good as it gets.

So how are writers supposed to compete against the flood of freelancers on Elance, Guru and Constant Content, many of whom are willing to work for rates that would barely pay the rent on a fifth-floor Bangalore walkup?…

~ 5 Ways to Bulletproof Your Copy

Whether you are writing a simple article, a cornerstone blog post, or a landing page designed to breathe life into your budding dreams, there might be nothing more important than the care you give to crafting your argument.

Even the smallest child’s mind hums with hundreds of constant questions. By the time we’re adults, our minds tumble with queries and theories. Some of us are more doubtful than others, our eyes scanning long copy, always searching for flaws like hunters on safari…

~ A Freelance Writer is Always Full of Ideas

The demands of running an online business or blog can be daunting. The writing requirements are easy enough at first, as our passion is inflamed and mental stamina untested. Soon enough our spirits are tested and we hit that invisible retaining wall that every blogger eventually finds themselves colliding against.

What on earth will I write about today? Our dashboard grows suddenly daunting and we wonder if we will ever pull another original thought from inside us. There isn’t any need to worry, for that is a well that has no bottom…

Blogging

~ 5 Surefire Methods for Effective Online Communication

BLOG…Effective online communication requires genuine connection with others. As in offline relationships, quality connections are encouraged through clear communication. Online discourse will continue to expand its significance, but isn’t without its flaws.

Though lightning fast, the black and white of boring text can be an impediment to effective online communication, at least when compared to the visual seasoning found in a wayward gesture, roll of the eyes, or sheepish grin. However, clear articulation is a must if our road to success will wind through the weaving roads of the internet…

~ Changing the World

There is no doubt, blogs are changing the world. Only a few years old, something entirely new is already evolving into something entirely different. Their immediate accessibility gave instant rise to a new fad, but the inherent power and immediate validation pushed blogging closer toward revolution.

Blogging gave birth to social media, and social media is fundamentally altering the manner in which millions of readers access information. Blogs have democratized media, and though they have not yet fully wrested control from the gatekeepers, the inevitability is impossible to argue…

Social Media

~ 10 Ways to Find Your Voice With Twitter

Finding your voice is fundamental to achieving vigorous online growth. Online fashions are fast; an endless steady stream of new patterns to practice. It is impossible to adopt every trend that comes along, but there’s no doubt that Twitter’s here to stay. By the end of this year, Twitter will further cement itself as one of the essential tools for online business, social marketing, and overall online connection…

~ Twitter is the New Recess

For the first few months after I’d signed up for my Twitter account, it sat there doing little outside taunting me with what I didn’t know and was not yet ready to learn.

It was the newest of the new; the styrofoam peanuts still sticking to the blue bird’s feathers. I’d heard how amazing Twitter was; a shot of adrenaline to socializing, marketing and a dozen other ings all singing in unison…

~ Tweeting Your Best Self

Twitter has no doubt altered the entire landscape of blogging. It’s accessibility, immediacy, and wide availability to anyone with a working Internet connection have made it the fastest thriving online application ever, currently growing at twice the speed of Facebook.

I myself was late to the Twitter party. Though I did have an account, I rarely used it until recently, vastly preferring the broader canvas my own blog provided. It wasn’t until I finally realized the true benefit of what Twitter offered that I fully embraced its almost limitless possibility…

Inspiration

~ Breaking Bad Habits Shatters the Rung Beneath You

20090207abundanceI’ve always thought of life as a spiraling staircase, gracefully wrapping around time and achievement, as opposed to the blunt vertical found on a ladder. Comparing life’s ascension to a set of stairs is often apt, but there are moments when life as ladder is far more fitting, such as when we find ourselves stuck between rungs, mired in the middle of old pattern and new performance.

This is when the decisive climb from one rung to the next must begin so that we may climb toward our tomorrow, while leaving yesterday behind…

~ Sink or Swim

When we spot something at the edge of our horizon, and we desire whatever that something is, it isn’t enough to simply wait. Providence is not often so kind. It’s up to us to pump our arms and propel ourselves forward.

We must sink or swim, the chances of that special something bubbling beneath our bobbing noses is, perhaps, just a reduced fraction better than the odds of getting all five numbers in the Powerball…

SEO Web Copy

~ 3 Potty Training Tips to Help Any Family

Your toddler just blew out his second candle, and for the first time in two years you find yourself looking around the room with a whole new breed of hope. You can see yourself leaving the house, relieved of your normal arsenal of diapers and wipees sitting in a satchel slung over your shoulder. Life’s about to change, you wistfully think.

You’re nearly ready to find a leaner you strolling around town sans diaper bag and a fatter set of pockets, without the never ending expense of diapers. Not to mention a little extra closet space without the neatly lined rows of absorbent plastic…

~ Leaving Sleeping Problems in the Past

…Your body is a machine, unable to ignore the quality of the food it’s given.

Avoiding sleep problems is no different. You may think that as you sleep, your body just lies listless, but nothing could be further from the truth. Thousands of functions take place while we rest. When your body is able to engage in essential functions, sleeping problems fade like afternoon fog. It is only at rest when our bodies are digesting, producing new cells, breathing, and even doing some of our deepest thinking. Your body is still, efficiently working.

The fewer sleeping problems you have, the healthier you’ll feel…

~ Stairlifts are Key to Elderly Safety

Stairlifts effectively eliminate the hardship of sauntering up the stairs, a task that grows increasingly difficult with every passing year. Stairlifts sail past frivolity, right to necessity as our bones age and mobility is threatened.

As climbing the stairs grows harder, it also becomes more dangerous. Installing stairlifts can help keep the elderly safe in their own home…

~ Searching for Sleep Apnea Symptoms

beautiful-sleep…Identifying sleep apnea symptoms is the first step towards treating the disorder. Dealing with a loss of sleep on a daily basis is difficult, and sufferers are often in search of something to alleviate their horrible sleep apnea symptoms.

Once identified, these vexing problems can become the guiding light leading toward liberation. Some sleep apnea symptoms are so common that suffers sometimes don’t realize that they are suffering from sleep apnea. Symptoms as common as regular snoring or night sweats could actually be early indicators that you have sleep apnea….

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