Writing Song Lyrics

Writing song lyrics is a challenging and rewarding process. Challenging in the sense that it can take you many hours or days or possibly even weeks to write. Rewarding in the sense that you have accomplished the difficult. I won’t say that you have accomplished the impossible because you haven’t. While difficult, it is far from impossible. Writing song lyrics is a lot like writing poetry. Either you must have a way with words, or you had better have a good book on rhyming with you. Of course, not all songs have to rhyme. It is just easier to get a reaction out of the audience if you do rhyme it. If you feel confident enough to write a song that doesn’t rhyme, then go for it. Confidence is key. Just remember that it had better be a very good song if it’s meant to be successful.

 

If you do not yet have a talent for rhyming, then do not panic or give up. All is not yet lost. There are dozens, possibly hundreds of books out there that were written specifically for rhyming. There is no shame in it. You are not “cheating”. I used to use a rhyming book myself. It is very helpful when you are stuck on tough words. It also helps you become a better writer. I found that the more I used my rhyming guide, the less I needed. All of those hundreds upon thousands of rhymes will eventually stick to. I rarely use a book anymore. I don’t need to, but I advise any newcomers to the game to use one. It will save you a lot of trouble. Be wary though, some of these books are better than others. If you can, pick a book that rhymes sounds rather than words. It is easier to rhyme sounds than it is to rhyme words.

Never forget what I am about to tell you. You can have all the rhymes in the world in your song, but it means absolutely nothing if you do not have some sort of message or story in the songs. You can’t just run things. Every word in your song must have a purpose. If it has no purpose, it will become weak and the audience will be more inspired to reject it. It must have a meaning. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a message, but it must have a meaning. It must have a purpose. That’s really all there is to song writing. Except for the fact that you have to be creative, but I’m sure you are if you are reading this. Happy writing, colleagues.…

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Book Review: Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Book Review: Story of a Girl

They made us clean our lockers on the last day of sophomore year. I tore down the class schedule I’d taped to the inside of the door at the beginning of the semester and tossed it into the pile of recycling that already included ninety-five percent of the crap I’d busted my ass to do all year. What was the point of all that so-called learning if, in the end, it was going to the trash?

After reading a particularly interesting review at Maw Books Blog, I went to look for a copy of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl. This is the hard, bittersweet story of a sixteen-year-old girl named Deanna.

Deanna made a mistake when she was thirteen: she had sex with a seventeen-year-old boy, and was discovered by her father. Now that she’s entered high school, she’s still branded as the school slut, and her father can’t look at her in the eye. It doesn’t matter that Deanna hasn’t touched a boy since Tommy: her mistake seems to have defined her forever.

Deanna has a lot to deal with. Things at home aren’t going well for her: her father’s angry and distant, her mother is tired, and her big brother is a young parent living with his girlfriend and their baby girl in his parents’ basement. Deanna also has two best friends, Jason and Lee. Too bad she has a crush on Jason, while he’s dating Lee.

When Deanna gets a job for the summer, she happens to be working at a pizza place with Tommy, the boy she once was with and who still teases and provokes her. Can she manage to leave her past behind and go on with her life?

I really liked this book. The reader’s made to feel for the main character, a girl who once made a mistake and who can’t let this get past her. A girl who’s made remembering her sorry past every single day of her life. Deanna’s only outlet for her feelings is dreaming that one day she will be able to move in with her brother and his girlfriend, and writing stories in her journal.

Deanna’s story is a search for her own identity, a quest to find out that she is who she wants to be, and not what others think that she is. I’d definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait to try out some other novel by Sara Zarr.…

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Book Review: Loving God when You Don’t Love the Church by Chris Jackson Foreword by Dutch Sheets

Lets be honest, the church isn’t always your friend. Many Christians love God, but don’t love his people. Why you ask? Because the church has the power to hurt its own parishioners. Gossipers, backstabbers, green-eyed monsters, and evildoers roam in churches like they do on the street. They’re Christians – just not good ones.

 

Victims of bad Christians end up feeling, hurt, angry, depressed, embarrassed, and sour about the church. Loving God When You Don’t Love the Church helps Christians who have been hurt by the church. Jackson tells stories of victimized Christians and uses the bible to help people forgive and move on in the church.

Jackson explains that people are more offended when Christians hurt you because they proclaim to be Christians. They talk about walking in Christ’s footsteps, but they fail. People have a higher opinion (non-believers are the exception) of Christians and when they stumble and hurt someone it’s harder to swallow.

A piece of advice from Jackson – confront the Christians that have hurt you, but do it in a non-aggressive manner.

Loving God When You Don’t Love the Church isn’t a deep reference guide, but it will give you a foundation to work off of in terms of forgiveness.

Dutch Sheets is the President and co-founder of Dutch Sheets Ministries. The ministry is devoted to world revival and passionate prayer. He also wrote Intercessory Prayer and Watchman Prayer. Chris Jackson is executive pastor at Freedom Church in Colorado Springs.

Chosen Books published Loving God When You Don’t Love the Church in 2007. Retail price is $14, but the book can be purchased for $5 on the Dutch Sheets Ministries’ website.

Loving God When You Don’t Love the Church is recommended for anyone in or outside of the church who has been hurt by the church. This book is also recommended for pastors and Christian counselors. It can be a good assist to people that they counsel.…

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The Education of Your Life!

HIgh Above the Appomatox


In the past some Historically Black Colleges and Universities have gotten a bad “wrap” for not being customer service friendly to students. Virginia State University quickly dispatches that myth. University personnel are eager and quick to assist students. Employees working in the registrar’s office, financial aid office and residence life are some of the best employees on campus.

Residence Life, under the direction of Dr. LaVerne Briggs has adopted the phrase “Building community one floor at a time.” Residence Life personnel are committed to providing not only safe and healthy environments, but living and learning centers as well. Residence Educators, Resident Assistants and Graduate Assistants work together to provide programs on a variety of subjects to residents.

Parents can rest assured that their child is well taken care of. There are programs and forums in the residence halls on everything from substance abuse awareness to movie nights! Students residing in the residence halls are in excellent shape as they pursue their respective degrees. Residence halls are equipped with high speed internet connections and cable tv connections in every room. In addition there is a full staff to help with academic advising, mediation and counseling.

If you’re looking for an HBCU that’s at the top of their game, turning out future leaders and gives quality customer service, then look no further. Virginia State University is the place.…

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When Should Freelance Writers Proofread Their Work?

Freelance writers will spend hours crafting their work, drafting assignments, and then correcting their work until it meets with their clients’ requirements. But when would it be best for freelance writers to proofread their work? Should they proofread their work as they go along or wait until they have finished to proofread their writing?

Proofread Gradually

Some freelance writers proofread their work gradually as they go along in the hope that they will be more likely to spot a typo, spelling error or incorrect usage of a word. This works well for some freelance writers, who are then able to spot a mistake and put it right straightaway. But, this method can interrupt and disrupt the creative flow and make the drafting process much more laborious and time consuming.

Limitations of Spell Check

Spell check Software can help freelance writers to craft their assignments. However, spell check Software has its limitations. While it can help freelance writers to spot obvious errors in spelling and grammar usage, relying on a spell check alone to discover all errors in your writing will not work. For example, a spell check will let you know that “threough” is incorrect and offer you alternative spellings such as “thorough”, but the spell check will not pick up on the wrong usage of words such as “their” when you really meant to say “there”. That is why it is important to keep spell check Software in its proper place and not rely on it too heavily to alert you to errors in your writing.

Proofread at the End

Many freelance writers wait until after they have produced the final copy of their work before they start to proofread what they have produced. This is a good method to use, as it means that the bulk of the work has already been done. The final stage of proofreading can then proceed. It is also easier for some freelance writers to spot typos and errors more easily if they wait a day or more after they have finished their work before they start to proofread their writing.

Freelance writers must decide for themselves what proofreading method works best for them and to then stick with that method. Some have great success in proofreading their work gradually as they go along. While this method can help freelance writers to spot errors early on, it can be quite time consuming and disrupt the writing process. Proofreading the completed article or assigment at the end can be a better option for some.…

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Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty in Minocqua Wisconsin a Unique Dining Experience

Paul Bunyan is a legionary Icon from the great north. He comes from many woodland areas of the United States. It seems to be hard to come from more then one place but he was a lumberjack so he cuts down trees and travels to a new woods to cut down more trees. That is why he comes from so many areas.

In Wisconsin one of the areas he comes from is the the great north where you can find a restaurant in his name sake. This restaurant is a unique dining experience that can leave you full and wanting to come back another time. The restaurant is called Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty in MInocqua, WIsconsin.

At Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty you sit down at a table family style and a waiter or waitress comes to bring you all kinds of food that was served in the lumber camps of Wisconsin in the 1800’s. You can come for breakfast lunch or dinner and eat all you want.

Once you are seated you can look around you at all the lumber camp artifacts. Saws, axes, and other logging equipment hang on the walls. There are also pictures of lumber camps in Wisconsin. The tables are made of wood and so are the floors. You get the feel that you are in an actually logging camp mess hall.

You may ask yourself, “Do I really want to eat at a logging camp?” Yes you do. Lumber Jacks burn up a lot of calories so they need to eat a lot of food to keep them healthy. This is not the place to go if you are on a diet but it is fun to come and enjoy a day off your diet.

At Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty you get meat, potatoes, bread, apple pie and great big donuts along with other items. I went on my birthday and they gave me a button that says “I ate at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty.” I had a good birthday and a souvenir to remember my day.

Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty in Minocqua, Wisconsin is a great place to go if you are dining alone or with a big group. You do not need a reservation since they are ready for a big party anytime. This is a unique dining experience that gives you a feel of what life was like for lumber jacks in northern Wisconsin. If you would like to know more about Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty you can go to http://www.paulbunyans.com/minocqua/.…

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Five Ways to Put an End to Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block is an Occupational Hazard for Authors, but it Can Be Remedied!


Writer’s block occurs when writers are stuck in the middle of their manuscripts or can’t find inspiration to write about new ideas. Writer’s block generates the feeling of being mired in creative quicksand. Writer’s block is one of the biggest crosses that virtually all writers have to endure in varying degrees of fashion at least once during their careers. This condition can be remedied if you will apply the tips I have implemented to navigate myself out of this:

Research Markets: I strive to follow this rule: “If I am not writing, then I need to be researching markets, and if I am not researching markets, then I had better be writing.” Oftentimes, I come across new ideas to write about because I spend some time daily checking the market listings of newsletters and databases. The way editors craft their market listings varies from publication to publication, so you will eventually come upon a market listing that will reignite your creativity. In addition, you may find a new place to submit one of your unpublished or published works to.

Write at a College Library: If you normally write at home, seek out your closest college library to put an end to that writer’s block. There is an ambiance of creativity and intellectual pursuit in these places of higher learning. Most college libraries allow any local resident the opportunity to use many of their facilities for free. And a writer also gets the benefit of being out and about rather than being all cooped up alone. Being in the midst of others can spawn new ideas just by people-watching.

Listen to Your Favorite Music: Get works from your personal collection and crank it up to your desired decibel level. Don’t listen to the radio, unless you have commercial-free type, because with traditional radio flare, you often have to wait for your favorite tunes to come on while being barraged with endless advertisements and the same current hits being played every two hours. A flow of quality music has this special way of bringing deep emotions to the surface. It is when we tap into our feelings that new ideas and our best writing will emerge.

Take Some Time Off from Writing: Give yourself a break from attempting to produce something. Take a day, weekend, or a longer amount of time off. If you can, leave town for awhile. I come back from my journeys ready to write with a new sense of purpose. One’s writing is best when it is done with interest and from the heart. The writing profession should not imitate the role of Inspector #48 on some assembly line. If it gets to that point, ask yourself why you aren’t solely working in a factory, where the paychecks come a lot easier! Furthermore, apply for all the press trips you can which are in your area or beyond. Going to these events will result in more writing ideas, as well as networking opportunities with other scribes who may even help you find some good tonics for treating writer’s block.

Watch Writing-Themed Movies: When I see my profession showcased on the silver screen, I’m able to identify with the characters portraying writers because they are often going through the positive and not-so positive issues onscreen that I go through in reality. Two of my favorite movies about writing are “Reds”, a three hour-plus epic about writers during the time of the Russian Revolution in the early 1900’s. My other favorite movie with a writing theme is called “The Shining”. This movie, if nothing else, will scare you out of your writer’s block! I mean, you’ll realize what real writer’s block is after you witness Wendy Torrance peeking at her husband’s manuscript that chillingly reads “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, typed over and over, page after page!

When you really think about it, writer’s block has some messages for you: It’s to let go of having to have a new idea in every waking moment; to go out and explore the world around you; and to get into touch with your …

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Freelance Writers: How to Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients

While working on your own as a freelance writer has certain perks, there are also a few drawbacks. When it’s just you, your computer, a high-speed Internet connection and your clients, you open yourself up to potential problems, such as unscrupulous clients who refuse to pay you for your work. Here are a few tips for freelance writers on how to protect yourself from those unscrupulous clients.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Prepare a Contract

Although a contract doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be paid for your work, it is definitely good insurance. A contract is an agreement between two people-the freelance writer and his or her client-that states the specifics of the project as well as the payment terms and the consequences for non-payment.

Have an attorney create a standard contract for you or talk to other freelance writers who might have a contract template. You can find pre-made contract templates at FindLegalForms.com and USLegalForms.com (state-specific).

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Be a Good Judge of Character

As a freelance writer, it isn’t your prerogative to accept every client who comes your way. If you’re getting a bad vibe or if you’ve heard negative things about an individual or company, feel free to say “no”. Even if you’re worried about paying the mortgage next month, you won’t be farther ahead to do work for free.

It is also not inappropriate to ask a client for references from previous contractors. Even if they’ve only worked with web designers or virtual assistants, it will give you peace of mind to know that other contractors have been paid in full and on time.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Be Firm From the Beginning

One thing that I’ve learned during my short tenure as a freelance writer is that you have to be firm from the very beginning or clients will walk all over you. State your terms up front and let the client know that there isn’t any room for negotiation. Don’t let a client talk you down for your price or convince you that your work isn’t worth what you advertise.

That said, don’t be rude or inconsiderate either. Act like the consummate professional that you are and you’ll earn the respect of your clients. Turn in projects when they are do and send prompt invoices to encourage payment on time.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Don’t Advertise That You’re an Amateur

If you’ve only been freelancing for a few months (or a few weeks!), don’t advertise that fact to potential clients. Instead, behave as though you’ve been freelancing for years. This will discourage clients from trying to get one over on you and will further illustrate that you’re a professional.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Don’t Start a New Project Until You’ve Been Paid for the First

If you’ve completed a project for a client, wait until you receive the check before starting a new project for that same client. This will ensure that you’ve judged his or her trustworthiness before putting more work and effort into their cause. If you’re sent a check, wait for the payment to clear in your bank before starting a new project; bounced checks are hell on a freelance writer’s income.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Hire an Attorney

If you’re knee-deep in a dispute with a client, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney for representation. Sometimes just a demand letter written by an attorney will be enough for a client to pay up, but if you are forced to take it farther than that, you will need an experienced attorney to help you through the legal process of collection.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Clients: Don’t Allow Mid-Project Changes

If your client wants to change the scope or content of the project when you’ve already begun work, charge a fee. As a freelance writer, you must remember that you need to be compensated for any work that you perform, regardless of whether the client changes his or her mind. Put that policy in your contract and make sure that your client understands ahead of time.

Freelance writers are taken advantage of every day in America and overseas, but ultimately, it’s up to you to protect …

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Educational Challenge Helps 3 Woburn Schools Raise $40K

How do you calculate ‘success’? Well the students of three Woburn, Massachusetts schools calculate it 30 different ways!

On April 13th , the Hurld Elementary School PTO held a PTO Ideas’ Educational Math Challenge fundraiser that was an enormous success.

Students collected pledges for each correct answer on a 30-question math test. A concept similar to a walk-a-thon; but instead of walking, the kids are learning to earn money for their school.

Over a 7-day period, parent volunteers organized fun, educational, math-related games and challenges to motivate the students and get them ready for the final challenge test this past Wednesday.

The PTO’s goal was around six to seven thousand in order to purchase computer equipment for the school. The students far exceeded that goal and raised over $11,000.

Similarly, in 2008 the Wyman School ran the PTO Ideas’ Educational Challenge as a Spelling Challenge and this 200-student school raised over $13,000. The Linscott-Rumford , also in Woburn, joined in to run the Challenge fundraisers two years in a row resulting in profits of $8,500 and $7,200.

The fundraiser comes from Vicki Blaze of PTO Ideas (www.ptoideas.com), a web-based company in Massachusetts. Blaze started the company in October 2006 and has written the Budget BashesTM series of fundraising ebooks, inlcuding the Educational Challenge and the $5ForKids Campaign.

Word has been spreading across town and across the country about these fundraising books that are helping schools increase their fundraising campaigns by thousands of dollars. Together Blaze’s ebooks have helped these 3 schools alone raise over $40,000.…

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