Barbara Scott, Author
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Readers prefer the Alpha hero...

On this page I'll include some of my tips and tricks I've learned while writing. Where appropriate, I'll include steps or pictures to help clarify my explanations.

Please feel free to contribute your own tips - I'll post the best ones so everyone can see them.

Advice for the Beginning or Faltering Writer from
Morgan Ashbury
Romance...with that extra bit of heat

reprinted with permission

You have to believe in yourself.

Let me state that again, because I want to make absolutely certain you read the words at least twice:

You have to believe in yourself.

Yes, I know that's easier said than done. But do you understand that believing in yourself is at the very heart of every single one of life's successes?

I encounter a lot of people day-to-day; some of them face-to-face, and some only on line. And an amazing number of these people have little or no self-esteem, or have no faith in themselves whatsoever.

That used to be me. Not that many years ago, I was the one who would walk with my head down, I was the one who didn't have a very high opinion of myself, who believed that I didn't deserve good things in my life, let alone success, or the respect of others.

How did that change for me? Two things happened. The first was someone dared me to believe in myself for thirty days. Seriously. I thought it was a load of horse pucky at the time, but this person dared me, and I accepted the challenge.
I wrote down three good things about myself, and
I wrote a mantra just a few lines of a statement of belief in me.
Every morning before I got out of bed, every afternoon before lunch time, and every night before I went to bed, I recited this mantra. Everyday I added one "good thing about me" to the list.
For thirty days.

It wasn't an instant cure for my incredibly low self-esteem, but I did notice that at the end of the thirty days I was happier, and I did feel better about myself. Because I felt better about myself, I began to do better. So I decided to carry on with this new "good habit".

Every morning I'd be greeted by someone who would say to me,
"How are you today?" and I would invariably answer, "I'm terrific!" And on those days when I really didn't feel so hot?
I'd answer the same thing, "I'm terrific!"
Because I'd discovered by that time that my subconscious was an extremely malleable creature. If I said something enough times, my subconscious believed me and worked to make it so.

That's why it is so very crucial that you never, ever trash talk yourself. Because if you say anything often enough, it becomes reality.
This isn't new-age anything I'm telling you about. This is a truth that is as old as...well, as old as time. You have, I'm sure, heard this `natural law', expressed as a Proverb: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

The second thing that happened was I began to consciously practice what you've heard me refer to several times in these essays as "the giving of increase". That doesn't mean you go around giving people money or gifts although there may be a time or two when you need to do just that. What it means is that you make the effort, in every encounter, to do or say something positive.
It's very true that people will remember how you made them feel long after they've forgotten anything you ever said. I took up this new habit, and now it's second nature to me.
Not that I'm perfect far from it. But I make the conscious effort each day to be positive, and to smile. I smile when I'm all alone. I smile when I answer the telephone, because I know people can hear the smile in my voice.
I'm grateful, every single day, for every blessing I've been given. I say "please" and "thank you" as a matter of course, and I laugh easily and often. When I chat with friends or relatives, or strangers on the street I strive to put my best foot forward.
Where compliments are warranted or needed I give them. Where a helping hand is requested, I supply it.
I honestly believe in the giving of increase. I strive (and thankfully rarely fail) never to say bad things about people, repeat negative gossip, or insult anyone even behind their backs. Words of edification will never come back to bite you in the butt.

If you can make someone feel better for having encountered you, I think it's the greatest thing you can do in the whole world. In return, you'll find after a time that you have very few dark days, you'll feel absolutely wonderful inside, and you'll welcome each morning as the precious gift it is.
This practice of the giving of increase is also as old as time, and a natural law. Some people call it, perhaps a tad cynically, "what goes around, comes around."
But I prefer its other name.

The law of sowing and reaping.



Tip 2: The Mindset of the Alpha Hero

I received this list in a forwarded email. Source unknown.

Guys' Rules
Please note.. these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Crying is blackmail.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: -Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only If you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.
1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one .
1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.
1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really.
1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or golf.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!
1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

Kurt Russell, Alpha #1
Eric Bana, Soulful Alpha

Tip 3: Heaven or Hell?

The source of this bit is another forwarded email, author unknown.

Writers' Heaven and Hell

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

"Wait a minute," cried the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"

"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

Lewis Black says about writing: First take a pen and stab it through your hand. If you like that, you might like writing. It's like having homework every single day, even Sunday.

Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake Recipe in the World


1MicrowaveableCoffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour(that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well . Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The
cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)

List of Tips

Tip 1: Perseverence; Rejection is just another word for try again

Tip 2: Mindset of the Alpha Hero

Tip 3: Writers' Heaven or Hell

Tip 4: 5 minute Chocolate Cake

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