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    Writing: The Flow of Time & Sequence of Events

    Of all the skills required to write a great novel, effective management of timing and sequence is one of the most difficult to master. In this article, I will offer some insights on how to write a book that flows naturally as the plot unfolds. Have you ever found yourself completely lost when halfway through a book or movie? Chances are that you are not the only reader/viewer who felt that way. The story may have made sense to the author as they know the whole story, but the mismanagement of time, timing, and sequence can create confusion. Whether your story is set in the past, present, future, or some…

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    Where Is The Love?

    Unable to understand what has happened to humanity, I am writing this post with a heavy heart. What is it that has caused our world to change? What has influenced us to grow numb to those around us? Where is the love? In this article, I will try to address those questions and offer my own perspective. The impetus for this article is the death of my good friend who we will simply call Big Man. A Liberian man living in Vietnam and looking out for the African community here, his willingness to help others made an immediate impression on me and we became good friends. Due to his muscular…

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    Why Can’t I “Like” Blog Posts?

    Are you unable to click the “like” button on blog posts? Are you frustrated that you have to enter your name and email address every time you want to add a comment? In this post, I will explain why those things are happening and how you can permanently resolve the issue. Just as is the case with Facebook (or any other social media platform), you cannot “like” a post or smoothly interact with one unless you have a registered account with the platform (WordPress, in my case). The only reason you can single-click on “like” or add a comment to a Facebook post is that you have a registered Facebook…

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    Blogs: Follow or Subscribe?

    There are some important differences between followers and subscribers on a WordPress blog. Bloggers and blog readers need to understand the difference. In this post, I will shed some light on the topic. In order to follow a WordPress blog, you must have your own WordPress account. Most bloggers like to follow other blogs on topics of interest. Oftentimes, they will follow many of their own followers to support those who are supporting them. It is a simple process that just requires the click of a button. What happens when I follow a blog? Once someone starts following your blog, they will see each post you make in their newsfeed.…

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    Traveling Abroad: The Life of a Nomad

    Some people homestead; others travel. I’m a traveler. I’ve always been a traveler. Oftentimes, I am asked what it is like to constantly be on the move. In this post, I will share my experiences and perspective on living a life on the go. Although I consider myself a world traveler, I have not been to nearly as many places as some of my friends. Of the 50 states, I have visited (or lived in) all but six (Alaska, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming). I have also been blessed to spend some time in 14 foreign countries: Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cambodia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands,…

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    I Miss the Restaurants in the U.S.A.

    One of the best things about traveling the world is having the opportunity to enjoy different cuisines. From Vietnamese Pho in Saigon to British Sunday Roast in London to Korean Barbecue in Seoul, I have had more than my share of delicacies during my time abroad. As much as I enjoy tasting new dishes in foreign countries, I still miss the food back home. In this post, I will write (quite painfully as I’m currently hungry) about the restaurants where I would gladly pay double-price just to taste their food once again. Fast-food Restaurants Although we do have Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC here in Vietnam, it’s not quite the…

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    An Impersonal World: Social Interaction vs. Social Media

    Since Andrew Weinreich’s Six Degrees in 1997, the social media revolution has all but replaced physical social interaction. Two-and-a-half decades later, young men are women are much more likely to communicate through text messages, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or Facebook posts than to actually converse in person. In this article, I will discuss my view of the impact of this paradigm shift in interpersonal relations. Smartphones are so prevalent in today’s society that you would be hard-pressed to find someone without one either in their hand or readily available. Even young children can be seen scrolling through the posts and messages of their friends on a daily basis. Technology is becoming…

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    Words Have Power!

    That is not a sentiment, it is a fact that has been scientifically proven. In this article, I will share my thoughts on the positive and negative impact of words and how you, as an author, can use that power to your advantage. In my lifetime, I have had several opportunities to teach. At the Air Force Academy, I taught cadets about time management, discipline, motivation, and teamwork. During several of my military assignments, I taught soldiers about computer systems, network security, and software fundamentals. In Vietnam, I taught children how to speak, write, and understand English. In corporate classes, I taught teamwork, management styles, and public speaking. In every…

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    The Fine Line of Creative Liberty

    In order to keep up with the writing community, I follow several groups, forums, and blogs. Recently, while reading an author’s post for thoughts on the start of his new novel, the concept of creative liberty came to mind. I believe in freedom of expression; I even wrote an article about the topic. However, I do think the potential exists to take that freedom a little too far. In this post, I will share my thoughts on the fine line of creative liberty. Out of respect, I am not going to name the author, but I am going to share the general concept of his story as a reference point.…