Monday, April 23, 2012

Do we know what our kids are doing online?

When we were young there were no cell phones, internet, ipods, ipads, kindles.  In fact, there weren't even computers!  So actually, we have no idea what our teenagers get up to online, because when we were teenagers we didn't have the internet so we can't draw from our personal experiences.  How can we warn our kids about the online dangers when we never experienced them ourselves?  We grew up being told not to take candy from strangers.  What are we telling our kids in this technological age?
Diane Griffin is a security expert who knows all about what our kids get up to online, and believe you me, you will be shocked if you just knew the half of it. 
Diane Griffin is the founder and President of Security First & Associates. Ms. Griffin works with a variety of clients throughout the Security industry. Ms. Griffin has also worked in a wide array of fields to include training, facilitation, communications, human resources and industrial security management and Ms. Griffin is the current Chapter Chair for National Classification Management Society (NCMS), Chapter 26.
Diane's expertise in the security field and her experience as an author of books on Security Clearances helped her make a natural transition to security issues for teens and their parents.  According to Ms. Griffin, Social Media is the way to communicate with teenagers today. Parents have a lot to learn when it comes to  the behaviors of their children online.   To help parents and teachers understand today's teenager, Diane Griffin has written several books on the topic of Social Media and your teens.  She also has a helpful blog that gives good advice about the subject and valuable resources for parents
and teens on the subject of internet and phone safety on her site  Take advantage of a security expert to help you manage this important process in your child's life.  Diane Griffin shares her knowledge about sexting.

Let’s Talk About ‘Sexting”

As a parent, you have probably already had the “sex talk” with your teenage son or daughter, but have you had the “sexting” talk? ‘Sexting’ is the practice of sending sexually explicit messages or images electronically, primarily via mobile phone. These messages and images can spread like wildfire through schools or even across the country and can even get posted on public websites—turning what may have seemed like a harmless act into one with severe consequences.
If you don’t think this is a problem with teens, think again. According to, 22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and 38% of all teens believe that exchanging such sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely. Wow, those are sobering statistics.
As a security expert, I want to help parents deal with this growing problem and keep their children (and themselves) out of harm’s way. Here are some tips from my new ebook, Safe Text: Protecting Your Teens from the Dangers of Texting:
and help small to mid size companies and individuals with their security clearance requirements.
• Give your teen clear rules on what they can and can’t do with their mobile phone.
• Learn how to use and monitor your teen’s mobile phones.
• Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand that they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is,the potential social humiliation will be hundreds of times worse.
• Remind them that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved – and they will lose control of it.
• The buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, have them delete it immediately.

Don't forget to enter the contest on Facebook to win a Kindle Fire and follow the tour for more tips.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Where to Find Inspiration to Write?

Authors, musicians and artists aren't always in the mood to work on their craft.  Sometimes their mind is like a desert, dry and infertile.  Sometimes they need a little help to get inspired, to get into 'the zone.'  When I'm all out of creativity, I read.  There is something about reading the creativity of another that can be inspirational and motivate you to rediscover your creativity and go back to your masterpiece.  David S. Grant shares where he finds inspiration to write.
David S. Grant is the author of ten books including “Corporate Porn”, “Bleach|Blackout”, “Hollywood Ending”, and “Rock Stars”.  His latest novel, “Blood: The New Red”, is now available.  David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City.  For more information go to  Twitter: @david_s_grant

Where to Find Inspiration to Write? by David S. Grant

Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, but sometimes we need a little push or refresher on where to look.  Here are a few places I find inspiration for my stories.
1.      Read books, you may find a topic, scene, or author style you like.  It’s okay to be inspired by another author’s style if you make it your own.
2.      Where do you live?  There are stories around every corner regardless of how urban or rural your area of dwelling may be.
3.      Take a trip, it doesn’t have to be far away, get away for a day.  I have not had one travel experience that couldn’t be turned into a Fear and Loathing type story.
4.      The workplace.  There’s a reason why everyone says, “You should come to my work, and you’ll get plenty of stories.”
5.      Movies
6.      Do something.  Anything.  Go out for a slice of pizza, or just a drive.  Clear your mind with fresh air and let the ideas and experiences come to you.
7.      Talk to people, get their stories.  Stories breed stories, then if fiction, embellish as needed.  I wouldn’t advise embellishment with non-fiction, but if you have no fear of lawsuits, please, carry on!
8.      Television or maybe even commercials.  What happens after the actor eats his Whopper?  Maybe a rock band shows up with a bottle of tequila and stand on tables celebrating a show.  Maybe there is a girl working the register that is a fan, quits on the spot, removes her shirt, and starts stripping for the band…you never know.  There is a story EVERYWHERE you look!
9.      Think about your fantasies.  (Even if for fantasy involves a Burger King cashier stripping.)
10.  Write about what you know.  We all have unique lives, maybe you can find inspiration there.

You never know when inspiration is going to hit you so always make sure you have a place to log your ideas.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  You don’t want to lose your idea for a best seller!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Small Steps Toward Forgiveness

Forgiveness does not come easy.  We might say we forvive a person, but often that hurt is still buried deep inside.  Acacia Beumer and Aaron Slaton have written a handy little book called Launch out into the deep.  Read what they say about forgiveness.

Small Steps Toward Forgiveness
It sometimes seems that those who hurt us the most are those to whom we are the closest.  In close, intimate relationships we lay down our all and are honest about our fears and weaknesses.  The more vulnerable we are, the more difficult it is to recover from betrayal and loss.  Yet, it’s a risk that some dare to take and one that others avoid at all costs.  One may choose to take the initial step to forgive but find that it may take years for the matter to resolve.  As a young lady eloquently said in a group therapy session, “We may never forget the act but can eventually release the emotional agony that came with the insult.”  In other words, we can come to the place where our emotions no longer have dominance.  One day we’re able to face the individual who caused the hurt and honestly say “there are no hard feelings.”  The following are steps I’ve taken personally in my life to walk in forgiveness:
·         Forgive myself and not blame myself for the offense.
·         Realize that hurting people hurt people.  This is not an excuse but a way of coming to terms with the fact that the person did not truly know how to love me because of unresolved issues in their life.
·         Apologize for any wrongs I may have done unknowingly even if I believe I did no wrong.
·         I don’t focus on the negative but try to remember all the good things about the individual and ways in which they may have contributed positively in my life.
·         Last, I find closure by realizing that some friendships only last for a season. Thereby, I hold on to the good and choose not to focus on the bad experiences.
 Hopefully, these steps can lead you toward the path of forgiveness in your own life. I want to re-emphasize the fact that just because you choose to forgive does not imply that all negative feelings about the individual will cease.  It may take time.  Also be aware that forgiveness on your part does not always equate to acknowledgement of guilt or even empathy on the perpetrator’s end.  Remember that forgiveness is for you.  “The forgiveness that you refuse will be the forgiveness that you seek. When you have compassion for others when they make mistakes you will receive compassion when you make yours. And, you will continue to make mistakes.” (Williams, 2011)
Acacia Slaton Beumer,  Author of Launch Out Into The Deep!
Williams, N. A. (2011). Girl’s Best Friend: Forgiveness is for You.  Retrieved April 10, 2012 from
Acacia Beumer:
Acacia Slaton Beumer is a graduate of Oral Roberts University; she will earn her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy in the summer of 2012. She works in the Social Service field and finds a sense of joy from helping others. Her husband John is in the United States Army. She has two daughters; Jana is 3 years old Jaci is 1. Acacia loves to interact with readers and welcomes questions and feedback. Her next project is to write an autobiography about her many life experiences. If you're interested in contacting Acacia email her at . May you be tremendously blessed and continue to persevere and daily grow in your walk with Christ.
Aaron L. Slaton:
Aaron Slaton is the author of the poetry and one chapter featured in this book. Writing since the age of twelve, Aaron has been gifted with the ability to bring the Scriptures to life through rhythm and rhyme. Aaron is an aspiring songwriter and producer. If you're interested in contacting Aaron email him at .

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Harnessing Creativity and challenging thinking

  Peter Taylor and Jeremy Szteiter have brought out an interesting book which
presents frameworks and tools to help you become more engaged in research and writing.  Here Peter talks about Critical and Creative Thinking.

"I direct an unusual graduate program called Critical and Creative Thinking (  I think we do quite well in achieving our goal, which is to provide our mid-career or career-changing students with "knowledge, tools, experience, and support so they can become constructive, reflective agents of change in education, work, social movements, science, and creative arts."   Before explaining my sense of creativity, let me explain why critical thinking is combined with creative thinking and also, ‘though it is not in the name, with reflective practice.

Critical thinking, creative thinking, and reflective practice are valued, of course, in all fields. In critical thinking we seek to scrutinize the assumptions, reasoning, and evidence brought to bear on an issue-by others and by oneself; such scrutiny is enhanced by placing ideas and practices in tension with alternatives. Key functions of creative thinking include generating alternative ideas, practices, and solutions that are unique and effective, and exploring ways to confront complex, messy, ambiguous problems, make new connections, and see how things could be otherwise. In reflective practice we take risks and experiment in putting ideas into practice, then take stock of the outcomes and revise our approaches accordingly.

Against this backdrop, my thinking is that creativity comes not out of individual inspiration, but from borrowing and connecting.  The more items in your tool box—the more themes, heuristics (rules of thumb), and open questions you are working with—the more likely you are to make a new connection and see how things could be otherwise, that is, to be creative.  Yet, in order to build up a set of tools that works for you, it is necessary to experiment, take risks, and reflect on the outcomes.  Such reflective practice is like a journey into unfamiliar or unknown areas—it involves risk, opens up questions, provides more experiences than can be integrated at first sight, requires support, and yields personal change.  We might then say that creativity is part of what happens to “journeying inquirers.”

As an educator, I like to play with the 3Rs (only one of which actually starts with an R).  Here (from page 257 of the book) are the many Rs that journeying inquirers might pursue—sometimes focusing in, sometimes opening out—in their personal and professional development as critical, creative, and reflective practitioners.



    Reasoning w/ respect to evidence & alternatives

        Relationship w/ oneself (moving towards autonomy)

                 Reflection & metacognition


     Relationships w/ peers & allies (dialogue & collaboration)

               Risk & experiment


                     Rearrange, adapt & create

       Reception: being Read, heard, & Reviewed

                 Relationships w/ authority (negotiate power & standards)

                                Revision (incl. dialogue around written work)


                     Research & evaluation (learning from the work of others & your own)

             Respect (explore difference)

                          Responsibility (concern w/ aims, means & consequences)


      Recursion & practice (address same concern from many angles & in variety of settings)

   Reevaluation (of emotions at root of responses) so as to better take initiative

                       Reconstruction (personal/organizational/social change)"

Peter Taylor:
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he directs the Graduate Program in Critical and Creative Thinking and the undergraduate Program on Science, Technology and
Values. His research and writing links innovation in teaching and interdisciplinary collaboration with studies of the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context. This combination is evident in his 2005 book, Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (University of Chicago Press).

Jeremy Szteiter:
Jeremy Szteiter is a 2009 graduate of the Critical and Creative Thinking program and now serves as the Program's Assistant Coordinator. His work has centered around community-based and adult
education and has involved managing, developing, and teaching programs to lifelong learners, with an emphasis on a learning process that involves the teaching of others what has been learned and
supporting the growth of individuals to become teachers of what they know.

Title: Taking Yourself Seriously: Process of Research and Engagement
Format: Print & Ebook
Genre: Personal & Professional Development, Research, Writing Skills
Publisher: The Pumping Station
Released: February 2012
Purchase Link: or regular online retailers
Link to Tour on Main Site -

A field-book of tools and processes to help readers in all fields develop as researchers, writers, and agents of change A wide range of tools and processes for research, writing, and collaboration are defined and described-from Governing Question to GOSP, Plus-Delta feedback to Process Review, and Supportive Listening to Sense of Place Map. The tools and processes are linked to three frameworks that lend themselves to adaptation by teachers and other advisors:

 ñ  A set of ten Phases of Research and Engagement, which researchers
move through and later revisit in light of other people's responses
to work in progress and what is learned using tools from the other

 ñ  Cycles and Epicycles of Action Research, which emphasizes reflection and dialogue to shape ideas about what action is needed and how to build a constituency to implement the change; and

 ñ  Creative Habits for Synthesis of theory and practice.

Researchers and writers working under these frameworks participate in Dialogue around Written Work and in Making Space for Taking Initiative In and Through Relationships. These processes help researchers and writers align their questions and ideas, aspirations, ability to take or influence action, and relationships with other people. Bringing those dimensions of research and engagement into alignment is the crux of taking yourself seriously. The tools, processes, and frameworks are illustrated through excerpts from two projects: one engaging adult learning communities in using the principles of theater arts to prepare them to create social change; the other involving collaborative play among teachers in curriculum planning. A final section provides entry points for students and educators to explore insights, experiences, and information from a wider world of research, writing, and engagement in change.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Real Moms Love to Eat

There's something about food, eating habits, diets and exercise that often make us run to the local corner store and buy ourselves a chocolate.  And then we promise ourselves that our eating habits and lack-of-exercise regime will change tomorrow.  But as we know, tomorrow never comes.  Beth Aldrich shows you how to change your eating habits and improve your health.
We're celebrating! It's Spring and Summer will soon be here in the Northern Hemisphere. What better time to start shedding pounds and living a healthier life? Now's the time, and I'm right there with you.  In the Southern Hemisphere you can make sure that you don't comfort-eat to get you through the winter!
Purchase Real Moms Love To Eat by Beth Aldrich today, and you will get the following:
Peace Love and Snacks by Stan Starks at 50% off – $4.50
Speed: A How-To Guide to Quick & Permanent Fat Loss – pay just shipping $2.75 paperback edition
A Proper Charlie by Louise Wise – FREE Ebook
Death Upon Me by BK Walker – FREE Ebook

About Real Moms Love To Eat:
Beth Aldrich, author of, Real Moms Love to Eat wants you to conduct a love affair with food and still look fabulous by simply working through her easy-to-follow 10-part plan of making over your entire outlook and relationship with food. You have to eat at least three times a day, so why not love what you're eating and feed yourself food that will love you back? Discover new and interesting ways to prepare and "get involved" with food; complete with 21-days of satisfying and delicious meal suggestions, this funny book will find a permanent spot on your bedside table or kitchen counter. Real Moms really DO love to eat!

Classic Hits: Why PB&J Is All the Rage Again
(Peanut Butter and Jelly for the non-Americans!)
Anyone who subscribes to a food magazine has probably seen what I think is one strange trend: PB&J-inspired desserts. In the last few months I've seen a recipe for PBJ cupcakes, brownies, galette, and french toast. Am I crazy?

I don't know why there's all this renewed buzz for the classic sammy, but I say it's a good thing. It's one of the great easy comfort foods – we all grew up with it, and as long as you use quality ingredients, it can be good for you to boot.

Why love the classic combo? Let me break it down, nutrition-style.

Peanut Butter: Though some fear its high fat content, if you use healthy, natural peanut butter, you're getting vital, heart-healthy fat. According to WH Foods, peanuts are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which may support heart health. In fact, one study showed that a diet that emphasized peanuts and PB was associated with a 21 percent decreased cardiovascular disease risk. Also helping out the heart: vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein, manganese, and reservatrol. There's evidence of other benefits, too, like being helping protect against gall stones and Alzheimers, but I'll leave it here: quality peanut butter has a lot of good qualities! I like the organic, crunchy one from Arrowhead Mills, but most grocery chains now have their own less expensive organic options.

Grape Jelly: For the ultimate classic, you gotta go with grape. And that's a-okay, as long as you don't get the kind that's almost entirely sugar. Just read the label and make sure you're getting real fruit, ideally the organic kind. Here a r a few health highlights associated with grapes, also from WH Foods: They support better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation, and increased insulin sensitivity. There's also evidence that grapes' phytonutrients play a role in longevity. Smuckers makes a nice organic concord grape option.

Bread: Again, get the good stuff, and you'll get rich nutritents from healthy whole grains. We're talking more nutrients and fewer empty calories. Check bread labels for the Whole Grains Council stamp of approval to make sure your bread of choice is actually made with real whole grains. If it's not, check out this HuffPo taste test of top ten organic bread brands.
As for the crazy new twists on PB&Js, I'm still a bit leery. Anyone tried and loved a new recipe? Do tell!
About Beth Aldrich
Beth Aldrich, Certified Healthy Lifestyle Counselor and Nutrition Expert, engaging speaker, media personality and author of the book, Real Moms Love to Eat (New American Library-Penguin Books imprint, January,2012), delivers health, nutrition and environmental fundamentals through keynote addresses, lectures and as a media spokesperson. As an expert health and nutrition columnist for,, and, Beth shares her wisdom, experience and knowledge about all things eco and health. From food coaching, and living a balanced life to, the energetics of food and finding your passion, Beth delivers her message in a charismatic yet compassionate way.

She is the founder of For Her Information Media, LLC (FHI) established in 2003, with productions such as the PBS TV series, For Her Information (aired in Turkey, Israel and 60 cities, nationwide), the radio shows, A Balanced Life with Beth Aldrich, and Real Moms Love to Eat with Beth Aldrich, and the online magazine and newsletter, FHI Online. Her company's mission is to be a life guide for conscious-minded women. Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Beth received her education from Columbia University's Teachers College and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Writing about rape

There are some topics which are difficult to write about, just as there are some topics that it's difficult for a reader to read about.  However, it's important for those topics to be addressed because they are, like it or not, a part of our everyday life.  Rape, child abuse, domestic violence are some of those sensitive topics.  It takes a brave author to write about it.  Some readers might feel horrified, some might feel offended, But that is the point.  We want you to feel.  We want you to feel so much that you will do something to stop it.  In The Case of Billy B I looked at child abuse.  In Not Telling I looked at rape and it's impact on the life of the victim.  In Defective I looked at using emotional and mental abuse to manipulate others.  If you don't put these sensitive topics out there, people won't read about them and become aware of what is going on.  There are sick individuals in this world.  We have to stop hiding our heads in the sand.  Lydia Brew is an author who has tackled the sensitive topic of rape.  Here's what she has to say.
"Many people wonder why authors write what they write. I have cerebral palsy, and many people wonder why I do not write about my disability.  Fiction authors need to able explore different worlds and entertain. Some novels are pure entertainment while others deal with social issues as well. All novels should entertain as well as make a reader think.
A few years ago, two teenagers were kidnapped and their names were given on the national news. Luckily they were found alive. It was determined that the teenagers had been sexually assaulted and their names were not given after that. What is wrong with this? Society says they were violated; therefore, they need their privacy. Why is that? After extensive research was done for Ungolden Silence, the information gave a little insight as to why the name of a rape victim is kept private by the media.
Why are sexual crimes against women hard to talk about? It is because of the way women have been treated throughout history. The earliest account of women is that they were taken in as bounty between hostile tribes during war. Rape is an English word, which is derived from the word “rapere” which means, “to steal, seize, or carry away.” Now in early society rape was considered marriage. Once a man raped a women, she was taken to his home, “Bride capture” is what they called it. A man saw what he wanted and because he was stronger, he took the woman he wanted. Society needs to begin to understand that women are not objects of pleasure.
While there are many kinds of sexual assaults, this blog will deal with rape. Some think that rape is about sex. Sex is between two consenting adults. A rape is about power, while being intimate is about love. The problem is the action of lovemaking and rape are similar - making it somewhat impossible to tell the difference between the two. Therefore, keeping the name of rape victim private, does not help the victim, but it helps the rapist.
Society needs to realize that rapists are people. There are many kinds of rapists. There are many reasons why people rape. The one thing that all rapists have in common is the fact that they will do it again.
It is imperative that society sees that keeping the name of a rape victim private is not helping anyone. Rape is a crime and the victim does not need to hide.
Ungolden Silence takes an extensive look at all of this. I first started writing the story for entertainment. Once I was finished and other people read it, they suggested that I do a little research.  I began to realize that the media unknowingly protects the wrong person. A lady told me that women who are raped feel violated, and that it is personal. While that is true, the whole picture has to be looked at. Does any lady want another lady to be violated?   After reading Ungolden Silence, it is my hope and desire that society sees a rape victim as a person who needs her rapist to be found and put in jail. The rapist more than likely will find another woman and will rape her.   Here is a quote from one of the characters in the novel, Rape is a crime, and not to report it is a crime.”
It is my desire for the reader to enjoy Ungolden Silence, then begin to think about the social issues that the story dealt with. I dealt with my disability in a subtle way. Having a disability, from birth is a part of who I am.  I dealt with how society deals with rape because it something that I think society needs to think about.
Writing a good story is hard work. However, if the writer has the passion about what he is writing, then he would have done two things: entertain the reader, and told a good, thought provoking story. It is my hope that Ungolden Silence will be entertaining as well as thought provoking." Lydia Brew.

Lydia E. Brew was born with cerebral palsy but has not allowed her physical limitations to stand in her way. Her writing also provides insights into the world of the physically challenged. She graduated from Texas Southern University where she received The Society of Professional Journalist Sigma Chi Citation for Achievement. She was a member of the drama club and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Under the leadership of one of her journalism professors, Miss Brew penned her first book Edith, The Story of Edith Irby Jones, M.D. about the first African-American to graduate from The Arkansas School of Medicine. Upon finishing college, Miss Brew worked with the Houston Association of Black Journalists. She is a Christian and attends St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church.

Miss Brew founded Lydia’s Educational and Charitable Organization (LECO) when she decided to encourage young people to write. LECO did this by sponsoring a yearly contest in which the contestant had to write about positive role models who were alive and from the Houston area. Each student who wrote an eligible essay was given a certificate of participation. Winning writers received cash prizes.
Her second book Our Learn Together Book is based on the biography of Dr. Jones. It tells her story in a simplified format on one page and allows the child to writes his biography on the other. There are activities in the back where children can learn developmental skills and older children can learn to do research.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to stand out from the rest!

Every now and then you come across a genuinely funny person who is able to put a little sunshine in an otherwise gloomy overcast day.  Steve Novak is that person.

AUTHOR BIO: Born in Chicago Illinois, Steven Novak has spent the whole of his life creating. After attending The Columbus College of Art and Design for four years he moved to California where he married his wife. The pair have been together for nearly a decade. He likes pizza. He’s sort of a nerd. He has terrible luck and worse personal hygiene. He also hates having to write bios about himself. He thinks bios are stupid. His work can be found online at
When I was asked by Cindy to type up a little something about how I make my writing “stand out from the crowd,” and what I do to “make it different,” I had absolutely no idea what in the world I was going to write.
Does my writing even, technically, stand out from the crowd?
If my writing passed you on the street, would you drop the sunglasses from your eyes like Corey Haim in a terrible 80’s flick, lick your lips and watch it’s booty sway hypnotically as it walked away?
I doubt it.
Would the construction guys across the street toss it a catcall?
Probably not.
Would the cops arrest it for loitering?
There’s a decent chance.
Honestly, in my mind I’m not the least bit qualified to offer advice on this subject. I’m going to do it do it anyway. Why? Well, the only thing Phil McGraw is qualified to give advice on is being a pompous blowhard a silly mustache, and that putz has his own television show. If Phil can pretend he knows everything about things he really knows nothing, so can I.
So here it is: The best advice I can offer anyone when it comes to making your writing stand out from the crowd is to learn to hate the crowd. That’s right, I’m telling you that you need to hate more stuff. That might be contrary to what you’ve heard in the past, but I need you to forget what you’ve heard in the past. I’m not John Lennon. My beard isn’t nearly as impressive. I don’t own a single pair of tiny glasses and I’m not married to a weirdo that drove a wedge between my childhood pals and I.
I don’t want you to give peace a chance.
I’m asking you to give hate a try.
Okay, that’s not really true. It was funny though.
It also extended my word count into the 500’s.
Truthfully, when I set out to write Goats Eat Cans there wasn’t any actual thought put into how exactly I would go about making my writing stand out. I wrote what I knew and I wrote it the best way I knew how.  That’s it. I personally don’t believe there’s any great mystery to writing and in my opinion people tend to over think the process entirely too much. My best advice is to be honest with yourself and your words.
When someone opens up your book they should be reading you.
If you’re writing a horror novel, don’t try and write it like Stephen King. Leave your characters as far away from Maine as possible and certainly don’t make the lead a middle-aged writer.
If you insist on writing another damn vampire love triangle book, try and avoid making your shirtless emo-boy vampire sparkle. Sparkle vampires are overhyped Meyer’s thing. Do your thing.
If you’re writing humor, don’t try to do David Sedaris. David Sedaris is already doing David Sedaris and the world doesn’t really need another David Sedaris. You should be doing you.
Writing isn’t sex. Writing is masturbation.
Pleasure yourself first and foremost and if you’re good enough at it the world might just take notice.
Just don’t do it in movie theaters.
That’s Paul Rubens’ thing.
Goats eat Cans is Steve's new book. 
BOOK SYNOPSIS: Remember the weird kid with the greasy hair and the odd smell you went to school with? You know, the one who never talked to anyone? That creepy little jerk who sat alone at lunch? The oddball who never took a shower in gym class? The one you imagined might one day go on a shooting spree?
Believe it or not, that kid grew up.
He grew up, he got married, he never shot a single person, he wrote a book, and he even started taking showers after his workouts – most of the time.
Goats Eat Cans is his story.
Follow along as Steven Novak recounts the sometimes hilarious, sometimes hilariously painful, and sometimes painfully hilarious moments that have made his life so wonderfully frustrating. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even vomit. No matter what, you won't be able to stop reading.
Goats Eat Cans features 55 stories, 55 illustrations, 99 luftballons and enough nonsense to keep you chuckling and giggling for days on end – or hours – or at the very least a few minutes.