Monthly Archives: August 2012

Reading Road to Writing

Do you want to be a writer?

If so, you first need to be a reader.

Sound strange? It isn’t. You learn how to write from reading. When I was in first grade, we learned to read from “Dick and Jane”, “Spot and Puff” books. We also learned to write letters, sound them out phonetically, and finally form words that we wrote on our 1-inch lined paper, with a dotted line cutting the space in half. The reading and writing went hand in hand.

As first graders, we read. We wrote.

It is the natural order of things.

When I first began the process of teaching my daughter how to read and write, we used a program called “Writing Road to Reading” by Romalda Spaulding. It was almost like a college level course for a grade schooler in phonetics, reading, and writing. We had to use a program heavy in phonetics since my daughter was partially deaf at the time. She may not have been able to fully hear, but she could see the sounds I was forming on my lips, and the sounds became clear to her as she repeated them and wrote them in her notebook.

When teaching both of my children, we started using a program in grade school that incorporated all facets of language arts together. It just made sense for us. It got extremely tiring having separate reading, spelling, grammar and writing programs.

Life became a lot simpler when I started teaching a program that tied all of those entities together. The name of the program was “Total Language Plus”. It was wonderful. The kids each got to pick out a classic book of their choosing, and a yellow workbook accompanied the book. The lessons were pulled from the book they read. The lessons were reading comprehension, weekly spelling words, grammar, and writing exercises.

My children read, and they wrote.

As an adult, it can sometimes be hard to find time to read. But try to sneak in some time when you can. Read a variety of book genres to expand your mind. I love Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”, and I’m now reading “House of the 7 Gables”. The language is challenging, to be sure, but I enjoy analyzing the writing of a classic book as I read it. I’m amazed out how much description he goes into to describe even the teensiest little item.

Be a diligent reader to learn how to be a fantastic writer!

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My Books, My Friends.

I remember reading my Nancy Drew books when I was a teen. I would hole myself up in my room to savor and then devour them. The feeling that came over me when I held the “Secret of the Old Clock” in my hands was like anticipation of the first bite of a german chocolate cupcake with coconuty icing. Yum.

Reading was addicting.

I couldn’t wait to dig into a new book. I looked forward to the time I could shut my door, curl up on my bed, and shut out the world. I wanted to be drawn into the world of Nancy, Bess, George and Ned. They were now my friends. My comrades. I was solving the mystery right along with them!

Much of the fun of reading these books came from thinking through the clues and the mysteries, “I bet it was old man Thomas that stole the clock”, or “The maid was the only one who could have known about this…” or “That sneaky gardener sure acts like he is guilty…” The clues would pile up, and I would already be forming a picture of the culprit in my mind, but sometimes the picture would change several times before the book ended.

I always loved endings with a twist. Ones that made me say, “Wow! I would never have come up with that angle!” I loathe books which are predictable and scattered with not very likeable characters. I feel like I am wasting precious time with them. I adore the twists and turns that make my gut clench with that feeling of anxiety. I agonize and experience injustice right along with the protagonist, and love to root for the killer or villain to come to justice.

Shouldn’t justice prevail?

Sometimes the hero first has to slog his or her way through loss, pain, scorn, multiple battles, rage and downright injustice, but they should always win out in the end. Books take me to another world, another place, another time. New friends are celebrated, enemies despised, heroes rooted for, continents traversed, love savored, loss mourned, and redemption cheered.

My friends. Books.

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When Do You Become A Writer?

When does a person become a writer?

When they have a published magazine article?

When they write a best-selling novel?

When they are known by millions everywhere they go?


A person becomes a writer when they write! It is as simple as that. A plumber plumbs. A salesman sells. A seamstress sews.

And a writer writes.

How do you become better at any craft that you set your mind to doing?

Just do it. And do more of it. And a little more. Practice makes well……

We’re not looking for perfection. We are looking for consistency. Write, and write some more. What books do you like to read and why? Read the works of people who are successful, and seek out the experts. People who know how to write. Writers who are successful.

Learn from the teachers. Be the student again.

You are always on the path of learning–or should be. I am happiest when I am learning something new. Don’t have time? Make yourself up a schedule for each day. Write 3 new things down on your schedule that you want to learn about. If it is writing, learn new things each day about how to do your craft. Be the best at everything you aspire to. The more you practice, the better you will get.

Doctors are practicing medicine.

Lawyers are practicing law.

Writers are practicing writing.

Thousands have gone before you and were successful. What will you do with this one precious life that God gave you?

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Blinded by Good Intentions – Steve White

This is a story about redemption. If you find yourself wondering how to handle all the crazy things that life throws at you, this is the book for you.

A great new book is now available. The book is “Blinded by Good Intentions” written by author Steve White, and published by Winepress Publishing. It will be available on, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all digital formats: Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Apple iPad (available through iTunes), and Standard ePub Format.

I had the privilege of being granted a pre-release copy. What follows is my review:

Steve White was a husband, father, and corporate trainer for a national company. He thought he had life by the tail. He had all the trappings of success, but not the peace inside his heart to go along with it. He really had good intentions in everything he did, and he believed this was all it took. But he was wrong.

His early life was a mess. His mother took out her internal rage on Steve and his younger brother and came close to killing them, and his father left them. His mother’s rage then transferred to Steve. He carried this rage inside of himself as he grew from a boy to a man. Of course, this caused problems in his personal life and then transferred again to all of his relationships. His wife, his daughter, his son. The relationships with each of them was a tangled mess. His son, especially, turned to a destructive lifestyle, and almost did not make it out alive.

went through the majority of his life lashing out, raging, and basically alienating all the people around him. He didn’t know what the problem was, but thought it was everybody else. He could not have been at fault, could he? He did believe so at the time. Not until he found the love that is available to all of mankind, did he truly learn how to love himself and his family.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is written in a format which should appeal to most people. The writing style is easy to relate to, but the content might be disturbing to some people. Sometimes, it feels like Steve is really underwater, and will never surface. Most people would crumble under the pressure. This is a story that feels like there could never be a good ending. Suffice it to say, Steve went around the block and back. He knows what he is talking about from personal experience. Everyone should read this book–young and old alike. This book could be the life preserver that you have been looking for–it’s ready to be thrown out to save you. Will you grab on?

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Kindle FIRE is Hot!

I just had an opportunity today to view the New Kindle Fire for myself, and I will have to say that it is fabulous! Not only can I get my reading books online, but also movies, news, and articles with colored pictures that come alive. I would recommend you take a look at the new options the Fire provides. You may, like myself, get so hot you’ll burn up your fingers using it.

Chuck Garfield, field editor

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Computer Certifications

Your Certification!
Your Certification!

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Kindle and Me

I love BOOKS and I LOVE Kindle!

I fought getting a Kindle for the longest time, but since I received one for Christmas 2 years ago, I have never looked back!

Now I just have the super simple one, with the basic grey screen and black letters, but that’s fine with me. I may upgrade to the Kindle Fire one of these days if I want to add more color into my life.

I loved my Kindle so much that I wanted to publish and my first book is up and going on the Kindle store:

If you would be so kind, please take a look and give the book a “Like” for me. I would really appreciate it. If you decide to purchase, please leave me a review! I am currently working on several others that will be published soon.

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Why the name PhilosBooks?

Because I LOVE Books!

  • Philia (φιλία philía[3]) means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

A dispassionate, virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle

Philos describes the love between two people who have common interests and experiences, or a fondness for. Hemophiliacs apparently seemed to ancient doctors to have a “fondness” to bleeding, for example. Unlike Eros, which pulses up and down like waves on the ocean, Philos steadily grows, like a building being constructed stone by stone. For this reason, when close friends are separated for a while and reunited, they will often say “it is like we picked up exactly where we left off.” Philos is half about the circumstances, and half about the commitment of two people to one another; it says “I love who we are together,” or in case of a non person: “I am fond of this food.” Philos love generally grows over time except in the case of some kind of betrayal. It is commonly used in the New Testament, as in Matthew 10:37, John 12:25, and Revelation 3:19.

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