Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Regardless of whether you have been writing stories for a long time or have recently picked up writing as a side project/hobby that you figured you might enjoy, you will sometimes find that things can be going smoothly with your writing for a while, and that you can then (all of a sudden!) find yourself stuck in a certain part of your story, realizing that you do not have the slightest idea as to "what happens next." While a few different approaches exist (each approaching tending to appeal to a different type of writer), many of the typical approaches are far more destructive - to the story and even the writer - than other approaches, and if you want to avoid losing the story altogether (or pressing through with the story and later realizing that it was all a bunch of wasted time, as you did not write anything good after you got stuck!), here are a few things for you to keep in mind. Think it through: Instead of planning the next steps of your story by examining the big picture all at once, it is best to make sure you are only looking at your story in the light of "one step at a time," as this will simplify your thought process a great deal. Write it down: A big mistake a lot of writers make is that - when they come up with an idea for the next step of their story - they assume they will remember whatever they come up with, but if you do not write it down immediately, there is a good chance you will lose it for good! Wait: And sometimes, you will find that you are less likely to actually get anywhere when you are "pushing"; instead, be willing to sit silently (or to take some quiet, solo walks), and your breakthrough just might come to you of its own accord. Becoming a better writer is a fun and adventurous journey - both for the upstart writer and the seasoned veteran - and when you follow these tips, you will know what to do when you hit those troublesome walls that sometimes stand in your way as a writer!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
If you have ever gone to a restaurant and gotten a delicious quesadilla, you certainly understand what a great dinner treat one can be, but what you might not have known is that making great quesadillas at home is not difficult at all - and in fact, if you go about it the right way, they can be even more delicious, as you will be able to make them to your specifications. Before you get started, you will need to go to the grocery store for flour tortillas, sour cream, salsa, yellow onions, peppers, cheese, and chicken; you will be all set to begin now that you have these items in stock. Start out by heating up some oil in a large frying pan, slicing up the onion, and adding the onion to the pan; once the onions are slightly brown, add the sliced-up chicken and the diced-up peppers, add whatever spices or seasonings you want to use, and add a bit of patience until all of these are cooked up and ready to be consumed. The second step for creating a delicious quesadilla is no more difficult than the first: pile the ingredients from the frying pan into one side of an open flour tortilla, then add some salsa to the top of the chicken mix and spread some sour cream over the other side of the tortilla; once you close this tortilla up, you will be ready to conquer the last step - grilling the tortilla. When it comes to grilling the quesadilla, you will want to make sure that there is a nice layer of hot oil at the bottom of the frying pan, as this will ensure that you can get the quesadilla crispy; with the quesadilla closed up, set it in the oil until one side gets crispy, then flip it onto its other side until it gets crispy - and your quesadilla will be done! Cut the quesadilla into thirds or quarters, let it cool off enough that it will not burn your fingers or your mouth, and - of course - enjoy!
Monday, May 18, 2015
With the weather starting to heat up as summer approaches, it can be annoying when you go to your car and find that it is so hot you can hardly hold the wheel! Whenever this happens, after all, you end up either sitting there for 10 minutes until the air conditioning cools things off, or you end up looking silly - putting a T-shirt over your steering wheel just so you can touch it! A better approach than either of these is to learn a few simple tips that can help your car to not become nearly as hot as it sometimes wants to during the summer. Of course, none of these tips are complicated - but you will have a much cooler car if you do all of them and combine their effects. The most obvious of these tips, of course, is to park your car in the shade whenever this is possible. After all - more than even the heat outside - it is the sun that makes your car so hot. And if you will be parked somewhere for a while, try to position your car so it will be in the shade during the time before you return to your car, rather than during the time right after you have left it! Another reason why your car gets so hot in the summertime is because your car captures the heat, acting like a box that traps it in. When you park your car on a hot day, you should always leave your windows cracked just a little bit. In addition to preventing your car from getting so hot, this will also help to protect your windshield from cracking due to the built up heat. Finally, you should get window shades if you either have a really dark car or live in a place where the weather in the summer gets really bad. The Basix Magic Jumbo Sunshade is a great option for your windshield - and it is an inexpensive way to keep your car cool! You will save money on air conditioning when you follow these simple tips - and what's more, you will save yourself a lot of discomfort!
Sunday, May 17, 2015
As you plan your Easter, are you tempted to surrender to the fattening traditions of Easter candy and an artery-clogging holiday meal? If you or your family members are overweight, consider making a change that will give everyone a chance at being more healthy. Instead of lecturing your family, make changes that won't feel drastic but will help get you all moving in the right direction. Fill Easter baskets mostly with presents. Choose spring-themed gifts that will get the kids moving, like chinese jumpropes, sets of jacks, sidewalk chalk, or a football. Strategically choose toys you think will encourage the kids to get active and use their minds instead of sitting in front of the television. Select only a few pieces of candy for each basket. Instead of eliminating candy altogether from the basket, place a few really good pieces of something indulgent, like a couple truffles from a chocolate shop or some Jelly Belly jelly beans. Have the kids guess at each jelly bean's flavor, which will force them to eat them one by one and savor them. Serve a low-cal menu. Serve a lean ham, topped with slices of pineapple secured with cloves. Eliminate buns, mashed spuds, and the creamy green bean dish topped with those Funions since these are the least healthy traditional Easter dishes. Instead of the unhealthy side dishes, serve a fresh steamed vegetable, a green salad, some sort of fresh fruit such as grapes or pineapple, and halved baked potatoes. Don't serve something dastardly for dessert like cheesecake, but instead serve something like berries with whipped cream. Plan an active agenda for the holiday. Plan a fun egg hunt, hiding eggs all over the place so the kids have to search hard to find them all. Go for an after-dinner walk to a nearby park if the weather permits. Get the kids playing something fun like hide and go seek or running through an obstacle course. Dye and eat eggs. Eat the hard boiled eggs plain, without fattening them up with mayonaise. Coloring eggs will stimulate creativity. By setting this example, you may set new healthier traditions in motion.
Life has a tendency to get hectic for everyone at times, and no matter what you do for a living or what a typical day in your life is like, there will be times when you simply need to be alone - and even more so, there will be times when you need to get some thinking done. As so much of life is surrounded by a hectic swirl of busyness and business and family and friends and other forms of interaction, many people do not realize how little time they spend thinking in silence until they actually start making the time to do so - but when you start to find times and places for thinking quietly, it will make all the difference in the world. If the reason you feel like life is so busy and non-stop is because of work, there is a good chance that you commute to and from work each day - and if you take this commute in the car, this gives you a perfect time and place for thinking in silence; get into the habit of turning off your radio sometimes, and let your thoughts carry you forward into the day. If you are wanting to enjoy a bit of thinking in silence, another great place where you can do this is on your back patio on a pleasant afternoon - and in fact, this can even be the case if you live in an apartment instead of in a house, as being "separated" from everything can feel the same as being in true silence. And if you need to move around a bit while you are doing your thinking, there is nothing that fits the bill better than a walk - which you can do through your neighborhood or through a park, and you will be able to get your blood flowing and get your thoughts flowing at the same time. Once you begin to make the time to do some thinking in silence, you will soon be surprised to find what a difference this can make in the direction of your everyday life.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
If you are the kind of person who is always keeping your eyes open for a good book to read (or, in fact, even if you are the sort of person who never reads at all), you are surely familiar with the general idea of the Harry Potter books - but what you may not have known, if you have not read these books yourself, is that these books, in spite of their label as "Children's Books" might actually be right up your alley! It was in the late 1990s that Rowling started writing the Harry Potter series, when she was just a single working mom and was struck with an idea for a story about a boy wizard finding his way in the wizarding community; after failing to find a publisher on her first several tries, someone finally gave the book a chance, and the rest is history, as Rowling soon became one of the most well-known names in the world, and became the first author in history to become a billionaire from their writing! What most people (even those who know nothing specific about the books!) know about Harry Potter is that it is a series about wizards, but calling it simply "a series about wizards" would be like calling the Lord of the Rings series "a series about a magic ring"; part of the reason why these books have become such a phenomenon is because the story is not only multilayered and intricately woven - with fine plot points that stretch across and weave their way through all of the books - but the story is also written in such a way that it captures the reader and makes each part of each book difficult to put down. Of course (as is the case with any book ever written!), not for everyone will love the Harry Potter series, but if you love to vary the sorts of books you read, and who enjoys anything that is engaging and adventurous, the Harry Potter series is definitely worth giving a chance. Even though these books are categorized as "Children's Books," you will find soon after you begin reading that there is another category these books fall into: lasting classics!
Friday, May 15, 2015
Many people dream of running their own small business, but if you look at the statistics, you will find that most small businesses fail. In fact, less than 5% of small businesses are still in action just 10 years down the road from their initial startup date. If you own or plan to own a small business of your own someday, you can avoid failure yourself by becoming aware of the major mistakes so many small businesses make. Poor location: If you have a small business, chances are you will probably have a storefront, and location will be important. The excitement and anticipation that is part of the early stages of a small business creation causes many people to jump the gun on getting started. While they should be waiting for the "right location," they instead going with whatever becomes available, neglecting the fact that they will likely remain in that location for as long as their business remains alive. Another reason people often take a poor location is because it is less expensive; but it is worth paying the extra money to be in a good location! Saving money: Trying to save money on a location is not the only place where small businesses fail because they try to save money. Too many small businesses cut corners in the creation or presentation of their product, and they suffer the consequences. If you want people to spend money on your product or service, you need to first spend money to make it good and appealing! Name recognition: One reason why big brand names continue to do well is because they are already big brand names! When people know a product, they are more likely to feel comfortable using it; this means that small businesses need to do what they can to create name recognition. You can begin to stir up name recognition yourself by doing promotions, by advertising, and by creating an online presence; in fact, you can even combine all these elements together. You can certainly achieve your dream of running a small business that sticks around for a while. But first, you need to understand that important steps you must take and mistakes you must avoid if you want to make it happen!
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Scrabble has been around (and has been providing enjoyment) for a long, long time, and with the emergence of the game Words With Friends – which, of course, enables you to play Scrabble on your phone with other friends of yours – Scrabble is played more often these days than it has ever been played before; if you enjoy playing Scrabble, and find yourself playing on a regular basis, here are a few things you can keep in mind in order to improve your chances of winning, no matter who you are playing against. Scrabble is not nearly as much about the words you know as it is about the strategy you use – specifically, the strategies that will enable you to maximize the points you get on each turn; with this understanding in mind, realize it is also important for you to prevent your opponent from getting big points, and the best way to do this is to be aware of where the triple word score boxes are, and to make sure you are never opening up these boxes for your opponent. Not only will you want to make sure you are not opening up the triple word score boxes for your opponent, but it will also be beneficial for you to make sure you are not opening up the board in general; when you open the board, your opponent will usually end up benefiting a lot more than you will, so wait for them to make a mistake and open up the board for you, as this will greatly increase your chances of winning. And when you are working with a closed board, the most important thing of all for scoring points will be knowing as many two-letter words as possible; oftentimes, you will be able to get a lot more points from a two-letter word then you would be able to get from a much longer word, so spend a bit of time with the Scrabble dictionary, and learn all the two-letter words that will help you in the game! Of course, the biggest thing about playing Scrabble is simply that it is fun and it is good exercise for your brain, but it does not hurt to win when you play Scrabble, and keeping these tips in mind will help you in this goal!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
When you are hiking or enjoying any sort of outdoor adventure, a compass will be one of your most loyal (and most important!) companions, but while many people go into their outdoor adventures with a compass in hand, a lot of these same people actually have no clue how to use a compass properly! If you are planning an outdoor adventure of your own, make sure you not only have a good compass with you, but that you are also schooled in how to use it. The first thing you need to know about a compass is that the only thing it can do is point to magnetic north, but if you know how to implement this information correctly, it can be invaluable. When you get started using your compass for navigation, you should hold it perfectly flat in the palm of your hand, which will allow the compass needle to point north. On most compasses, there is a red end to the needle and a white end to the needle; the red end of the needle will always point north, and the other end will of course point south. Once you are holding the compass flat and the red part of the needle is pointing north, turn the compass until the "N" on the compass lines up with the needle, which provides you with an accurate reading as far as every direction. Finally, there should be markings on your compass around the edge that range from 0 degrees to 360 degrees; by using these, you can figure out exactly which degree you need to follow in order to reach the landmark you hope to reach, and as you walk in this direction - even when you cannot see the landmark you hope to hit - you will know that you are heading exactly where you need to be! You should make sure you always keep a close eye on your surroundings when you are traveling outdoors, so that you will have more to guide you than the compass alone; but should your memory or your wits fail you, you will still be able to find your way with the help of your trusty compass!
There are a lot of couples who spend a lot of time struggling through issues that they have created themselves, and then, upon realizing the issues they are dealing with, they pay someone else a great deal of money to help them solve these issues; while it is true that there are some issues that are big enough that they will require the help of others, there are also plenty of times when you and your significant other should be able to easily solve the problems on your own, and once you understand the things you should do to carve out your perfect relationship, this will be a much easier task to accomplish. As a couple, the first thing you need to recognize is the importance of being a “team”; you and your significant other should make sure you are always presenting a united front, and while there will certainly be things that the two of you disagree on, realize that these disagreements should always be brought up when the two of you are alone together, rather than when you are around other people! Not only should you always present a united front when you are around others, but the two of you should also learn to make an effort to have fun and make memories together when it is just the two of you; many couples get in the habit of simply “being” together, doing nothing that is significant or fun when they are around one another, but when you make an effort to have fun and make memories instead of simply being together, you will continue to strengthen your bond, and will continue to carve out your perfect relationship. And in order to carve out your perfect relationship, one of the best things you and your significant other can do is to each learn to always put the other person first. In the beginning, this can be difficult to get used to, as putting the other person first can cause you to feel that your needs will not get fulfilled, but as the two of you both put the other person first, you will not only strengthen your relationship, but you will also each be consistently fulfilling the other person's needs.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
While you are on a vacation going snorkeling is some of the most fun you can have. Snorkeling allows people to interact with ocean life in a first hand way. Recreating a fish tank at home is great, but it is nothing like interacting with a real live coral reef in the ocean. A reef will allow you to see fish and corals in a habitat that they always call home. Yet when many people go snorkeling the experience leaves something to be desired because the equipment they have to use is poor. Going on a vacation it is a good idea to bring your own snorkeling gear for you to use while gone. Your snorkeling gear is very important and the most crucial part is the flippers. Your flippers attach to your feet and allow you to move around the coral with ease. Flippers that don't allow you to keep up with your group will make your snorkeling excursion less enjoyable. Often times they don’t fit your feet correctly and this causes them to be too loose.
Monday, May 11, 2015
When it comes to spending money, there is the consideration of whether you will buy using cash or a card, and this can actually be an important decision. After all, not only does each item function in a different way, but each person tends to have different spending habits depending on which item they are using. You need to make sure you are using the payment method that is best for you if you want to optimize your spending habits. First off, when it comes to plastic, you need to make sure you understand the distinction between credit cards and debit cards. While money comes directly from your bank account when you purchase using a debit card, you are able to purchase "on credit" when you use a credit card. With a credit card, you will need to pay a minimum balance on the credit owed at the end of each month - and this is where so many people get into trouble! For anyone who uses a credit card, it is absolutely vital to understand exactly how credit cards and credit work. And when it comes to credit cards and credit, the basic rule of thumb is that you should always pay off the entire balance on your credit card each month! But just because someone is using a debit card does not mean that their spending habits are the same as cash. Some people find that they spend money more quickly (and more frivolously!) when they use cash, and others find that they spend more quickly when they use a card! The best way to find out which way works best for you is to alternate between the two, and track your spending with each. Whichever one you find you are using to purchase more frivolous, unnecessary items should be the one you aim to avoid using as much as possible. Of course, these days, it is nearly impossible to function without a card of some sort, as anything you purchase or pay for online requires a card number. But once you have established which spending method is better for you, you can make it your goal to minimize your use of the other method as much as possible, which will help you neutralize its negative effects!