A Look at Adult Education in 2011

When one thinks about alternative college education, the images are rarely flattering.

We’re talking about the schools that aren’t traditionally set about on sprawling campuses, where there is no Greek life or college football game days or Ivy-stained brick walls.

These are the schools sometimes found in strip malls, the ones that get advertised on daytime television in between court reality shows and 17th consecutive days of Maury Povich telling yet another guest that, indeed, they are not the father. They seem like the kind of schools where the motto could be, “I went to such-and-such so that my daughter doesn’t have to!”

The most prestigious and socially impressive schools these places are not. And yet vocational schools, non-accredited universities, and online schools serve a definite place in the education sphere and can be a valuable part of a career search. It can be the entrance into a great job. The schools themselves might not be glamorous but perhaps the ends justify the means.

The thought may be that these kinds of schools might be the kind of place where someone could only learn something menial, like say, basket weaving or short order cooking or gluing the sand onto sandpaper (because someone has to do it). All kidding aside, with modern career finder tools available on the internet, an increasing number of individuals are recognizing the importance of advanced education and training in securing a better job and a better future.

The reality is that in the 21st century a range of alternative universities exist. Consider that there are now online radiology schools. Schools can also be found for everything from massage therapy to court stenography to medical assisting.

Sure, the first exposure to one of these schools might come from a cheesy commercial some depressing late morning or afternoon, as people sometimes find themselves watching daytime television in the purgatory of less than ideal life circumstances. But from this point on, the experience with any sort of school only gets better.

Can We Twiddle Our Thumbs?

Can We Twiddle Our Thumbs?

Can We Twiddle Our Thumbs?

Posted: 27 Apr 2011 03:01 PM PDT

Whether you find an agent or a publisher or you skip that and go with self publishing your book chances are you will get to a point in time where you are doing nothing. This is especially true if you acquire the services of an editor. It is strange to think that there will be downtime when we think about a book being published. I mean many of us picture editors and publishers as evil taskmasters cracking a whip behind our ears to hurry up and get done.

Granted, I have been told that once you get the edits from the editor he or she reaches into their cabinet and pulls out the whip but until then we get to wait patiently. How long do we wait? That is a great question and I'm not sure a there is a standard time set for it. It really depends on how busy your editor is and also how much work is needed on the manuscript. What do we do with all that time? Do we relax and soak up the rays of our publishing success? Do we relax and focus on other activities? Well, both sound good and, by all means, they should be a part of life; however, this is also a time that will test our time management skills.

In my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with having fun, relaxing, and enjoying the fact that soon your book will be out there for all to see. We worked hard for that moment and it should not pass us by without acknowledgment. However, after a little time is spent in that environment we must face the music and get back to work. No, I don't consider the next novel as work and I assume we will be working on that no matter what because, after all, writing is in our veins. The works I speak of are the intangibles that can make a huge difference when our book is ready for release.

What are these intangibles? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Make sure your blog or site stays current. It is important that you maintain your connections and your blog stays fresh.
  2. Research! What should you search for? Book clubs, forums, chat groups, twitter hash tags - anything that relates to your genre, topic or plot that connects you with other people. These people can be authors and/or readers but, in the end, your audience will increase in size. Why not do that before you write your book? We really can't narrow down our search until we know for sure what the genre and topic of the book will be. Sure we have an idea but that can change until we finally get to that point where we think 'this is it; this is what I wanted to write.' After that we can refine our search and reach out to those that make up a specific audience.
  3. Introduce yourself and build those connections. WARNING, we don't want to seem like we are pushing our novels on anyone nor do we want to come off as 'just another author.' It is important to be genuine and honest just as we did when this ball was first kicked.
  4. Generate a blog or website for your books or refresh your existing site. Have fun with this so your personality shines and draws attention to the fact that your book is coming out soon. This is the place to let it out.
  5. Update your profiles. This is another great way to get some free promotion about your upcoming release. By updating your profile information and e-mail signatures you can be sure that people will notice.

These items are easy to do but they also consume a great deal of time because we are also working and writing. With that said, if we do these things now than we are free to do other things when we draw closer to that release date and our nerves are in overdrive.

What would you add to this list?

Review of the Garden

Review of the Garden

Review of the Garden

Posted: 25 Apr 2011 01:52 PM PDT

Title: Garden of Heaven an Odyssey
Author: Malcolm R. Campbell
ISBN: 978-1-935407-69-0
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 702
Reviewed By: Brian Knight
Official Premium Promotional Services Rating:

Take a journey of mind and body.

The wisdom of the elders is passed from one age to the next. As this wisdom is passed to the younger age some experience a change in their life while others experience a journey that transcends both time and space. In "Garden of Heaven an Odyssey" we journey with David as he makes the transition from boy to man.
On David's tenth birthday his grandmother, Katoya, gave him a wondrous gift – magic. Not just any magic, but the magic of nature and the secrets the universe holds in that magic. With the help of Maisto, the black raven, Katoya demonstrates how that magic works and also sets David on a path that he will travel long into his life.

As he grows and learns the ways of his people from Katoya he also learns the common sense and hard work of life from his parents and grandfather. All of these lessons combine to shape the man he will become. However, the journey of the universe often takes unusual turns and David finds himself with both lost time and memory. As he puts the puzzle of his journey together he is introduced to multiple and varied individuals; all of whom are there for a reason.

Will David put together the pieces of the puzzle and truly understand the journey of his life? How will his journey impact his friends and family?

"Garden of Heaven an Odyssey" is the culmination of author Malcolm R. Campbell's imagination and attention to detail. It is this fountain of detail that anchors his story between reality and the dream realm. Campbell develops characters that possess a certain depth and connectivity. The vivid settings will entice your senses and elicit memories in the minds of the readers.

"Garden of Heaven an Odyssey" is the fourth novel published by author Malcolm R. Campbell. Like the odyssey novels of old this epic is sure to capture your mind as you twist and turn through an ever morphing journey until you reach the end. I recommend this book to those with a vivid imagination and a mind ready to see a larger scene.

To learn more about author Malcolm R. Campbell and his book "Garden of Heaven an Odyssey" please click HERE.

Sinking in the Sequel

Sinking in the Sequel

Sinking in the Sequel

Posted: 22 Apr 2011 02:05 PM PDT

Show of hands; how many of you have written or are writing a sequel to one of your stories? Are you finding it difficult? Did you find it difficult? I'm neck deep in my sequel at the moment and, while I can't say it is difficult, I can say that it is a more labor intensive experience compared to the first book. I completely understand now why we always hear "the second book or movie is never as good as the first or the last." I mean, think about it, we are picking up where we stopped in book one only to leave many unanswered questions to wrap up in book three (unless your series is longer than three books). What is it that sets that second book apart from the first and the future stories so it can shine as it should?

Before we get into that I would like to share a lesson learned from my writing experience. If you are planning to write or writing a sequel it is of the utmost importance that you keep your notes from the first story. Why? This will make it easy on you when you have story-lines and characters that cross over from book one to book two. Oh there are times when I really wish I thought of this earlier but that is now water under the bridge.

As I said, a good portion of your story will cross over but we  need to generate a new plot or a meaningful expansion to the original plot so the story can carry itself from begin to end. This sounds easy but it can be difficult. To add to the equation we need to include new elements to the story in the form of characters, settings, motivations, and things of that nature but here is the complex part. The new portions of your story in book two must be able to connect with the old parts of your story from book one in order to maintain the flow and structure of the overall plot. Yes, that was a mouthful.

I think the most important questions to keep in mind when writing a sequel is - how and why. For example:

  •  We introduce new characters in our sequel. Why? How do they connect and interact with the characters from book one?
  • We unveil a new motive for the antagonist, Why? How does that new motive fit into the overall plot and propel it through the story?
  • We remove a character that was in the first book. Why? How will that impact future scenes?
These are a few examples but I believe you see the big picture. A sequel requires the same thought process as a first novel does but it is more focused, intense and continual. For instance, in the first story if something doesn't fit or make sense or just doesn't work we can go back and remove it or rewrite it. If we run into the same problem in a sequel we have to think about the change before we make it. Will it make sense and match up with what we wrote in the first novel? Are we contradicting what we wrote before? Yes, we have to keep track of this because readers will pick up on it if we miss it. Actually, I bet we have all found it, at least once, when reading a series or two.

As I said before, it is not difficult to write a sequel; it takes a little more thought and time. Notes really help and so does patience. Is it worthwhile to write a sequel? I believe it is because it demands that we intensify our focus and anything that does that can only help; even if you never plan to actually write sequels except for that one time. We know that writing is a never ending learning experience and this is but another lesson.

What has been your experience with writing a sequel?

Gene Doucette - Blog Tour Part II

Gene Doucette - Blog Tour Part II

Gene Doucette - Blog Tour Part II

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 05:00 AM PDT

Below is an excerpt from author Gene Doucette's book 'Immortal.' This is he second stop at the New Author during his month long blog tour.

In which Adam contemplates a prior encounter with a demon.

Demons are not—as has been so often assumed—supernatural minions of some higher (or lower) evil deity. They are not supernatural at all, any more than pixies, iffrits, or vampires. Or me. They're just another race—or underspecies, as my unnamed nemesis called them.

This is not to say demons are in any way capable of being nice. Not at all. Demons are the worst combination of big, strong, and nasty on the planet. Worse even than dragons, because dragons were just animals and animals don't have enough self- awareness to be evil. Demons do. They understand money and they understand violence and they don't care about much else. Also, unlike dragons, they managed to avoid extinction, possibly because something deep in the cavernous recesses of most demon brains is the understanding that survival and secretiveness go hand in hand.

But keeping a low profile is only one reason demons still walk the Earth. Another is usefulness. They're the ultimate mercenaries, and really come in handy during wartime. Alexander the Great had ten demons on retainer when he conquered most of the known world. Hammurabi had twenty-five. Genghis Khan had thirty, and rumor had it he was one himself. (I don't believe the rumor—a demon would make a lousy general—but I never met the Genghis Khan, so I could be wrong.) The biblical Goliath was also a demon, which should tell you plenty about the accuracy of that little story, because it'd take a hell of a lot more than a stupid slingshot to take out a demon. (David actually lured Goliath under a cliff face and had some friends drop a big rock on him.) I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a few of today's governments had one or two demons on the payroll, although with modern weaponry their talents are really more useful to drug cartels and the like.

It is notoriously difficult to kill a demon. Their skin is much thicker than human skin (but not as hard as dragon hide), they don't burn easily, and if they have a heart nobody has been able to figure out exactly where it is. At the battle of Troy I saw a demon run through with a pike three times in three different places and keep on coming. It took twenty men to hold him down and two working with heavy battle axes to cleave his head from his shoulders.

You've probably seen one. I don't know how they move about in today's world because I haven't laid eyes on one for over a century, but I know they usually favor baggy clothes and hats to obscure their obviously non-human features. You might be thinking professional American football would be a good place to find a few, but I don't think it's violent enough for them.

The really extraordinary thing about demons is that they don't rule the world. They reproduce normally—I've never seen a female demon, but I know they exist—and they were around back when it really wasn't all that hard to take over the world. Pretty much everyone took over the world at least once back in the day. I even thought about it a couple of times. For some reason it just never seemed like there was enough of them to truly dominate. Why there are so few demons in the world was one of the questions I posed to the only demon I ever had a face-to-face conversation with. Unfortunately, he was not all that forthcoming.

Free Ebooks

Free Ebooks

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 04:25 PM PDT

ISBN13: 9780785289050 Condition: New Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell combined insights learned from his 40-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with [...]

Original Post: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You Original Blog: Buy Books Online

Related posts:
  1. Rising Through the Ranks: Leadership Tools and Techniques for Law Enforcement
  2. Strengths-Based Leadership
  3. First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department
  4. The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition
  5. Leadership And Self-Deception: Getting Out Of The Box

The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 09:12 AM PDT

ISBN13: 9780373892327 Condition: New Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold! Nutritionist and beauty expert Kimberly Snyder helps dozens of A-list celebrities get red-carpet ready—and now you’re getting the star treatment. Kim used to struggle with coarse hair, breakouts and stubborn belly [...]

Original Post: The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted Original Blog: Buy Books Online

Related posts:
  1. Beauty and the Beast
  2. Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself
  3. Harnessing Renewable Energy in Electric Power Systems
  4. Powering the Future: A Scientist’s Guide to Energy Independence
  5. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days (Recipes: a Problem-Solution Ap)

Dreamweaver CS5: The Missing Manual

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 08:25 AM PDT

ISBN13: 9781449381813 Condition: New Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Web designers, web producers, and webmasters rely on one program above all others to design, build, and manage professional websites: Adobe Dreamweaver. It provides the tools you [...]

Original Post: Dreamweaver CS5: The Missing Manual Original Blog: Buy Books Online

Related posts:
  1. iPad: The Missing Manual
  2. CSS: The Missing Manual
  3. Windows 7: The Missing Manual
  4. Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Snow Leopard Edition
  5. Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Classroom in a Book

Macs For Dummies

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 12:25 AM PDT

ISBN13: 9780470278178 Condition: New Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Whether you're thinking of switching to a Macintosh computer, are looking into the latest Apple products, or have a Mac and want to [...]

Original Post: Macs For Dummies Original Blog: Buy Books Online

Related posts:
  1. Windows 7 For Dummies
  2. Windows 7 For Dummies Book + DVD Bundle
  3. Manga For Dummies (For Dummies (Sports & Hobbies))
  4. Android Application Development For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
  5. Kettlebells For Dummies (For Dummies (Health & Fitness))

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

Posted: 16 Apr 2011 09:14 PM PDT

ISBN13: 9781433215452 Condition: New Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, has become a leading expert in geopolitical forecasting. Drawing on a profound understanding of history and geopolitical patterns [...]

Original Post: The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century Original Blog: Buy Books Online

Related posts:
  1. CK-12 21st Century Physics: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies
  2. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning)
  3. Graphic Design for the 21st Century: 100 of the World’s Best Graphic Designers
  4. Things Mother Used to Make: A Collection of Old Time Recipes, Some Nearly One Hundred Years Old and Never Published Before [ 1913 ]
  5. Between Rome and Jerusalem: 300 Years of Roman-Judaean Relations