Perfection at the Expense of Integrity?

By N. M. Cedeño



The 2012 Josephson Institute survey on cheating in high schools found 51 percent of high school students admitted to cheating on a test. Another study found cheating to be common in highly competitive, economically well-off schools. In fact, where the pressure to achieve high scores is emphasized over mastery, students are more likely to cheat according to a 2018 study by Eric Anderman, et al. If you search for cheating scandals in the news, you can read about the many and varied ways students have found to cheat.

Wordcloud by me

When I was in high school, the only students who felt the need to cheat on tests or assignments were academically disinclined students who were trying to pass a class. These students were either lazy and didn’t want to do the work, or they weren’t particularly gifted when it came to academic work and needed all the help they could get to graduate. The students on the other end of the spectrum, the academically inclined students, had no reason to cheat. They could do the work quite well on their own. They didn’t worry about the need for a better than perfect GPA.

In the 1990s a long-fought lawsuit over college admissions procedures, Hopwood v. Texas, caused Texas public universities (and other states’ universities as well) to re-examine and redefine their admissions processes. In Texas, from that re-examination of admissions procedures was born the Top 10 Percent Rule.

Enshrined in law by the legislature (Texas House Bill 588) in 1997, the Top 10 Percent Rule, provides that if a student is in the top 10 percent of a Texas high school’s graduating class, the student will get automatic admission to a public university within the state. Over the years, this law had to be adjusted for the University of Texas at Austin, the flagship school of the UT system, because of the increasing number of applicants and how little room was left for admissions beyond the top 10 percent of students. Currently for the University of Texas at Austin, the standard is even more stringent. A student must be in the top 6 percent of a high school’s graduating class to receive automatic admission there.

The intent of the Top 10 percent Law was to increase diversity in state universities and to increase opportunities for students from smaller school districts. While the law has mostly accomplished that goal, it has had unintended consequences for academic integrity. The people who passed the law didn’t realize that the students seeking college admission would see being in the top ten percent as an absolute requirement, a goal to be achieved by any means necessary. As high achieving students fought to get into the top 10 percent of their graduating class, the upper limits of grade point averages were pushed higher and higher, until bonus points have become the norm and a 3.99 out of 4.0 GPA is no longer good enough. Students began to believe that nothing short of perfection would get them into the top 10 percent.

Parents got into the game, pushing their children to achieve those better than perfect grade point averages because automatic admission to the best in-state colleges depended on it. The pressure on students steadily increased. Suddenly, students were no longer cheating to pass classes. They were cheating to attain perfection: the perfect test score, the perfect grades, the better than perfect GPA. Every class and every test from freshman year to senior year of high school had to be perfect.

The pressure on the students in some highly competitive, high-performing schools can be unbearable. And while student mental health is suffering terribly, so is academic integrity. The drive to perfection has placed academic integrity on the chopping block. Plagiarism, group work to achieve perfect answers, trading of information on test questions, and various methods of discovering test answers ahead of time have become the norm in many schools. Use of electronic devices to cheat became widespread. The methods of cheating have become so prevalent that many students don’t even recognize them as cheating. It’s simply what everyone does to achieve perfection.

What harm is this doing to our society? When our highest scholastic achievers from our best schools, the kids who want to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers, have no sense of ethics or integrity, what kind of adults will they be? We need to return to an emphasis on learning and mastery of skills. We need to move away from a system that makes a numerical goal the only goal in the eyes of the students. Several studies by Dr. Anderman found students were much less likely to cheat in an atmosphere that emphasized learning, in classrooms where the teachers evaluated students on mastery of skills. We may not be able to eradicate cheating, but we can certainly make huge strides to reduce it.


N. M. Cedeño writes short stories and novels that are typically set in Texas. Her stories vary from traditional mystery, to science fiction, to paranormal mystery in genre. Her début novel, All in Her Head, was published in 2014, followed by her second novel, For the Children’s Sake, in 2015. In 2016, For the Children’s Sake was selected as a finalist for the East Texas Writers Guild Book Award in the Mystery/Thriller category. Most recently, she has begun writing the Bad Vibes Removal Services Series which includes short stories and the novel The Walls Can Talk (2017).


Getting Educated on Marketing

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

As a writer there are two things I truly suck at, punctuation and marketing.  One of my New Year’s resolutions was to work on both.  So when an on line course I had been eyeing was offered for free for one week only I signed up.


This was my first experience with an on line class and how they work.  I knew each day of the Book Marketing Summit I would receive an email with links to the days segments.  On day one I learned there would be 4 or 5 segments each day.  Each link was accessible for 48 hours and then it disappeared.


The segments consisted of interviews with a knowledgeable professional about a specific aspect of marketing; most of them were an hour long.  That’s four or five hours a day, add in my part time job, laundry, meals, etc, etc.  I would not be spending any time with critters that week.


At the end of the seven days I had worked 26 hours and traveled close to 400 miles to do it.  I had completed all 28 segments and had 40 pages of notes. 

I have now sorted my notes into categories and have a game plan.  The first order of business for me is to start building my list.  What list you ask, why my e mail list of course.  This list will consist of people who want to follow the progress of my publishing journey with my new book. 

On a bi-weekly, or possibly monthly basis I will e mail each of them an update on my progress, and offer a free look behind the scenes every now and then to keep them engaged.  Once the book is released they will get an e mail with a bonus if they purchase the book.   .  If this sounds like a journey you would like to take with me just E mail me   Feel free to share this blog with others that may also be interested.


The timing on this marketing summit couldn’t have been better. I am in the final stages of finishing a book my sister and I wrote together.  The working title of the book is simply “Sisters”.  It is a memoir that takes the reader through 12 years of our lives as we become adults.


As I build my list I will also be putting together my launch team. What is a launch team?  It’s a group of people that are super interested in this process.  The launch team is my sounding board for decisions on things like the book description, the cover,  keywords, what freebees to offer (launch team members get all the freebies)   categories and more. The launch team members will have first access to the book and I am hoping most will write reviews. 


There is still a lot to do before we go to print, but I have learned a lot about on line marketing and I am hoping my new found education will serve me well in the future.  What are your marketing secrets? How will you apply them to your next project? 

Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.


S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See CoverHow will you apply them to your next project.






A Little Bit of Why

Post copyright by Doris McCraw

edit hhj spc

We all seem to have the Big Why in our lives. Why did I do this, or that. We tend to beat ourselves up over some mistake. Let’s take a look at the Little Why.

Why do I continue to comment on other people’s blog post even when they do return the courtesy?

I do so because I know people who write these post have something to say. It is a joy to see how they think, what’s important to them. By taking the time to comment, even if it is to say thank you, I acknowledge their efforts. Let’s face it, we all want to be heard.



Why do I continue to write post that no one seems to read or care about?

This goes back to the comments in the first Why. As I learn new things I want to share. The world is a big place, we can’t all do everything, so if something I think about or research will make a difference, I’m going to share. It goes back to my days working with juveniles. A wise lady once told me, “just keep talking, you never know when something you said might make all the difference.”

Why do I continue my photo and haiku practice?

This one is easy. It has become a habit, and I plain enjoy the challenge.



Why write romance?

I want to tell stories, and if there is a bit of romance in them, I’m okay with that. One of my cover models said she loved my novella, but it didn’t follow the formula. That is what I aim for, a good story that doesn’t have to rely on formula to succeed.


Why is telling the story of early women doctors so important?

Why shouldn’t it be? Dr. Susan Anderson had Virginia Cornell to tell her story. While I do not aspire to the universal love that the Cornell book has, I do not want these women to be lost to time. They did as much if not more than the more ‘famous’ ones did. They may not be famous, but they are worth remembering.

                                          from Elizabeth Blackwell, MD

Why am I doing history symposiums and speaking in public?

See the above answer. There is so much rich history to be shared. If I can add just one small part to the overall knowledge or get someone excited about a piece of history I am happy. Life is too short to be too afraid. No one really told me I couldn’t and if they did, I chose not to listen.

So there you have it, a little bit of Why.

For those who are interested you can stream the symposium on June 11. Here is the link:  The program starts at 9am Mountain Time. The topic this year is Myths and Mysteries of the Rocky Mountain West.

For further reading on some of the posts that prompted the why, here you go:

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. In addition to Historical Romance, Doris also writes haiku, posted five days a week at:  She has posted over one thousand haiku.“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology

“Angel of Salvation Valley”



Author Page:





“Let There Be Light”

propic11_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

“We’ll leave the light on for you.” proclaimed Tom Bodet in radio commercials for Motel 6. Remember them?

Every Light in the House Is On” written by Kent Robbins and made popular by Trace Adkins in 1996 was nominated at the CMA Awards for Music Video of the year, declaring the man would leave every light on in the house until his lover came home and they could rebuild their relationship. You can watch the video here:

One of my favorite hymns as a child was titled “The Light of The World is Jesus,” written by Philip Bliss. You can listen to it here:


A short definition in the Merriam Webster Dictionary presents the meaning of light as:

: the form of energy that makes it possible to see things : the brightness produced by the sun, by fire, a lamp, etc.

: a source of light (such as an electric lamp)

: a light on a vehicle

You can read the full definition here:PICT0171

How many of you have experienced SAD or know someone who has? You can read about Seasonal Affective Disorder here:…/con-20021047

2015 is the International Year of Light. Did you know that? You can read some interesting facts in an article by Mika McKinnon. You will see some incredible photos and explanations here: here:

This Sunday, November 1, we turn our clocks back.  We lose an hour of light. Did you know that Daylight Savings Time was suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784?  If you’d like to read a full mooncomprehensive article about the reasons for the change go here:

Are you a light? Do you draw people to you? Do readers love what you have written? Are your books light or dark? Do you write best during the day with plenty of light coming in through the windows or in the evening dark with lamps on?

I am sitting here on an overcast day writing this with a “daylight” lamp on my desk. That’s why I came up with this idea. Hopefully, you’ll check out a few links for some awesome information about light. I’ve learned a lot of very interesting information just by writing this post!

Books by L.Leander:

Inzared Queen of the Elephant Riders Video Trailer

Inzared, Queen of the Elephant RidersInzaredonecover

Inzared, The Fortune Teller Video Trailer

inzaredtwocoverInzared, The Fortune Teller (Book Two)

You can also find L.Leander here:

L.Leander Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

L.Leander Books Blog

L.Leander’s Book Reviews and Interviews



A Wilder Rose by Abbie

Abbie J. Taylor 010This post by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Image result for Little House on the Prairie creative commons images.

When I was a kid, I read all the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, some of them more than once. To this day, I still remember the names of all the books and the order in which they were written: Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plumb Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years. For those of you not familiar with this series, these books in chronological order tell the true story of how Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Recently, I was fascinated when I read A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses by Susan Wittig Albert.

This Show was inspired by the books

This is a fictionalized account of the lives of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, spanning ten years between 1928 and 1938 while they were collaborating on most of the books in the series. Telling the story mostly from Rose Wilder Lane’s point of view, the author gives a brief account of Rose’s life growing up. The family was forced to move from their South Dakota home after Rose accidentally set the house on fire at the age of three by putting too much wood in the stove. They settled on a farm near Mansfield, Missouri.

Rose felt guilty for causing the fire and resented farm life. A free spirit, she finally left home at the age of eighteen and became a journalist, traveling all over the country and overseas, getting married and divorced, and giving birth to a son who died as an infant. She finally returned to the family farm in Missouri in 1928 when she felt obligated to help her aging parents. She built them a separate house on the property, wired both houses for plumbing and electricity, and took over the main farm house.

To tell the truth, Rose Wilder Lane was more her mother’s ghost writer. She never wanted credit for the books. Laura wrote the original manuscripts by hand, and Rose typed them, editing and rewriting as she went along. At first, Laura didn’t like her daughter’s revisions, but after Farmer Boy was rejected the way her mother wrote it, she grudgingly agreed to let Rose do the revisions.

Rose not only wrote magazine articles but also fiction, which her mother despised. This was one of many sources of tension between mother and daughter. Several of Rose’s sshort stories and a couple of novels were published during this ten-year period.

Susan Wittig Albert describes other stresses Rose faced during those years. Needless to say, the stock market crash in 1929 and the ensuing depression caused financial worries. Although Rose and her mother lived in separate houses, her mother constantly phoned or stopped by for tea, interrupting her writing. Her writer friends often visited or stayed with her for long periods of time, and her mother didn’t like any of them and was disturbed by gossip about them in the small town. Rose also took in two teen-aged orphaned boys and cared for them as if they were her sons. This all became too much for her, and in 1935, she moved to Columbia, Missouri, so she could be on her own. In 1938, she left Missouri for good and moved to New York where she started doing more political writing.

With her daughter’s help, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the first eight books in the Little House series. After These Happy Golden Years was published, Laura wrote The First Four Years on her own. This details her early life with her husband Almanzo. Since Rose didn’t have a hand in this book, readers wImage result for Little House on the Prairie creative commons images.ere disappointed because the prose wasn’t the same as in the other books.

According to the epilog, Laura Ingalls Wilder died in 1958 after being diagnosed with diabetes. Rose Wilder Lane lived for another eleven years. The book also provides a bibliography of material by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and others.

As I said before, I read all the books in the Little House series including The First Four Years. I must have been around twelve when I read that one, and I didn’t notice a difference in the prose, but kids don’t notice these things or care. It’s all about the story.

Reading these books helped me put my life in perspective at such a young age. I became thankful for electricity, hot water, and plumbing and was glad we didn’t have to deal with blizzards, drought, or grasshoppers. As an adult, reading A Wilder Rose gave me a glimpse into Rose Wilder Lane’s writing life which I found intriguing. I recommend this book to adults interested in learning more about Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane.

Did you read the Little House books? Were there any favorites that you read more than once?

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of:

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome


Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Visit my blog.

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.




Vote for my new book idea.


Elevation Education by Doris

hhj spc 3Post copyright Doris McCraw

Ever Envision Entertaining the thought of writing about E? There are a lot of avenues of possibilities. For myself after entertaining the idea of Electricity- Tesla V Edison, I realized I lived at 6,000+ feet above sea level and traveled to 8,000 and 10,000 regularly. What is common place for me can be challenging and sometimes hazardous to others. Therefore a lesson in Elevation seemed in order.

Colorado Topographic Map-USGS

Colorado is considered one of, it not the highest state in the nation. It is home to over 50 peaks above 14,000 feet. The highest incorporated town in North America is here, the town of Leadville, know for it history, minerals and the folks who came, went or died there. Many people in the late 1800 and early 1900’s came to Colorado for their health. The clear air, the exact opposite of the coal laden city air of the eastern cities, was the factor that drew them here. It was life saving for many, but for some, a death sentence.

Colorado Springs historic map – Colorado Springs, Colorado City and Manitou, CO, 1882

Why a death sentence? If you have ever been to Colorado you will notice cities have their elevation listed, not population. If you have heart problems elevation is a defining factor in your traveling. It is my thought that one of the reasons elevation is listed is for that very reason. Many people with heart problems have trouble when they go above certain elevations. For many that is 8,000 feet, for others it is much less. For Mary Lincoln Mellon (Queen) Palmer, it was the reason she could not remain in Colorado Springs with her husband, Wm. Jackson Palmer, the city’s founder.

Palmer and his wife “Queen” Palmer …

Even those without heart issues can find the change in elevation challenging. Coming from sea level to Colorado Springs or higher can lead to altitude sickness, depending on your susceptibility. The following are two links describing the problem and some tips:

One interesting side effect, especially for those who imbibe in alcoholic beverages; folks you can’t drink as much at a higher elevation as you did at a lower one. There ain’t as much oxygen at higher elevations. Even when going from my 6,000 to the top of Pikes Peak’s 14,115 is a big change. I’ve been to the top many times, sometimes to speak and sing ‘America the Beautiful’ as Katharine Lee Bates, and I have to conserve and use what oxygen there is to be effective.

Pikes Peak as seen from the West
Pikes Peak as seen from the West, from the authors collection

Now you have had a bit of an education, please don’t let it stop you from traveling. There are many beautiful things to see in this world. But as they say, education is power. Power to make good choices and to prepare for eventuality. Until next time, may this little education about elevation help you make plans for travel and add insights and ideas to your writing.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page:
Photo and Poem:

A to Z Blog Challenge Post A-to-Z Road Trip

Descriptions, From Tell to Show by Cher’ley

This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

She swooped into the book store. Her fiery red lipstick matched her bright red dress which fit her like the skin on an apple. She wore too much sky blue, eye shadow and her cheeks flashed as pink as a Florida Flamingo. Her fluffy, black hair with white roots resembled a bird’s nest. She batted her dark black, fake eyelashes at the clerk. She tilted her head to the side, with a slight smile, and then she licked her lips before she leaned toward the young man. It didn’t seem to bother her that he drew back. She continued with sultry movements, tossing her hair and sticking one curvy hip out. When she was sure she had his full attention she leaned in showing a little cleavage and whispered in her huskiest voice, which now sounded cacophonous, “Where are your books on knitting?”

Did you enjoy this paragraph? I could have said, “The cougar walked into the book store and asked where the knitting books were.”



I’ve been studying descriptive paragraphs this week. Here’s a clip about deepening the elements. Follow the link to this blog Writing for Success.  for a little more about these next couple of sentences. Grey the color of storm ready sky or the ironic half-smile the felt as familiar to me as a hug. A little more research revealed an essay about the development of entertainment media and how the instructor broke it all down.
In it, she describes TV-watching in her family to make a point about how central TV was as a form of entertainment in the 60’s.

(1) As I was growing up in the 60’s, television was the only entertainment my family knew of the electronic sort. (2) The 7 o’clock nightly news was such an important part of our family that my dad knocked a wall down and built a huge cabinet in its place just to accommodate our 19-inch black and white. (3) No one was allowed to talk or make a sound when the television was on; all eyes were glued to the moving and flickering image. The box commanded absolute respect.(4) In the daytime, “the television needs its rest” my mother would say, as she patted its pseudo-wooden top and covered it with a doilie she had made herself. (5)There is no doubt that TV was as central to our lives as it was to the lives of all our friends during that period. (adapted from an essay by Angeline Chan, used with permission.)

  • Notice the writer’s use of action verbs (knocked, glued) and her use of sensory words (19- inch, black and white, huge, talk, sound, flickering)) to paint a picture of the scene in her living room. In the final sentence, she states the main point of the paragraph: that TV was central in families’ lives during the 60’s. The appearance of a topic sentence at the end of a paragraph, rather than at the beginning is common in descriptive paragraphs, and it works well for this kind of development.

Do you think about these elements when you’re writing?

Give me an example of your descriptive paragraph.

I have a hard time writing descriptive language, because my first writing instructor taught me to be as frugal with words as I could when writing. I don’t think I actually caught on to what he was teaching, but I mostly wrote stripped down paragraphs. Now I’m trying to re-educate myself.

It hasn’t been that long ago since I had a little B/W  TV in our bedroom.

Cropped screenshot of Dan Blocker from the tel...

It got the UHF channel on which we watch PBS and retro shows. I loved Bonanza, B/W or colored.

Do you have suggestions or thoughts about my being retrained or the blog in general? Let’s roll up our sleeves and get descriptive. 


Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. She will have 3 more coming out this summer. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 
Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE



Cognitive Content of Conferences by Cher’ley

This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

What is the Connitive Content or the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned about my Conference Experiences?

  1.  I walk away wiser than I went
  2. Meet famous writers
  3. Interact with other writers
  4. Make new friends/See old friends
  5. Share knowledge and experiences
  6. Buy autographed books
  7. Sell my books
  8. Autograph books
  9. Get exposed to different genres
  10. Fun
  11. Gather material for future writing projects

The next Writing Conference that I’m attending is coming up real soon. October 10th-12th in Maryland. The C3 (Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity) I’ve written about this conference before. I truly enjoy this conference.

I have a short story in their C3–2014 anthology. I’ll get you a link when it  comes  on sale.

I will be on two panels at this conference. Moving an Idea from Conception to Completed Work and The Writer’s Muse. What inspires and cures Writer’s Block?

Here’s the line-up:

Keynote Author

Rebecca York


romantic suspense,

paranormal and dark fantasy writer

Keynote Author

John Gilstrap

NY Times

bestselling thriller author and


Guest Author

Brad Parks

Shamus, Nero and Lefty award winning mystery writer

Guest Author

CJ Ellisson

NYT Best-Selling

Urban   Fantasy & Contemporary

Romance writer

I think all of us could certainly choose one of these to spend some time with over the Conference Weekend.  Not to mention some other well known authors. There is also the bookstore and I will be signing my books and the C3 Anthology.

***Who would you like to meet at a conference? Which is your favorite Conference?***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. 

Stamp Out Murder”.

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey BackThe JourneyBack 3


Boys Will Be Boys   

The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology

 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE


The Big Picture

Post copyright and written by Doris McCraw 2014







So what is the big picture? Thinking of the answer, high school popped up. There we studied “The Bard”. My favorite was “The Scottish Play, (Macbeth)”. I loved the line from the play “The Valiant” by Middlemass:  “Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death but once”.

On into college and it was the study of Camus, Sartre,  Saint-Exupery and Hesse. Enjoyed “The Little Prince” by Saint-Exupery, but Siddhartha by Hesse has stayed with me all these years.

Later “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and Lao Tzu’s work came out of my study of Japan and Eastern Philosophies and religious studies.

So why, you may ask am I talking about these earlier ‘required’ reading. They are part of the big picture of my storytelling, both verbal and written. The concepts snuck in without my even being aware of them.  Then the big three arrived: Campbell, McKee and Chubbuck that brought focus and question.

Joseph Campbell spoke about ‘the hero’s journey’.  It’s composed of three primary parts:  separation, initiation, return. Our characters, especially in novels do take journeys. Campbell gives an outline for that journey. For a more complete discussion of the concept:

Next McKee and his book “Story”, a must read for screenwriters, but the concepts translate well for other works. A long book, but one that goes into detail of all the elements that create a compelling story.

Finally, Ivana Chubbuck’s “The Power of the Actor” for a way to understand the inner life of characters. Primarily written for actors who strive to create the full character from the script, the ideas also add to the richness of an authors understanding of their own characters.

Do all the concepts of Campbell apply in every situation? Can McKee save a bad story? Will understanding where your characters have been make a difference in a short short story? Perhaps not, but having the knowledge, using it helps to create the big picture that can only help writers create the best story they can.

Just a bit of something I have thought about and wanted to share.  What have been your literary and educational influences? Until next time.


Cover for Home For His Heart

HOME FOR HIS HEART by Doris McCraw, available on:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Follow my haiku post five days a week at:

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” : the stories of the people who made film and photograph history on the Colorado Front Range. You can buy online at:




To Promote or To Not Promote-That is the Question by Cher’ley

This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

A few more tips about promoting.

The Business of Being an Author

Even if you’re an accomplished writer, it takes more than a few hundred brilliant manuscript pages to become a successful book author. From writing an attention-getting query letter or book proposal, to understanding the clauses of a book contract, to marketing and publicity in the digital age, the business of being a book author is hard work and can be as complex as it is rewarding.

New Author FAQs: Book Publicity

Here are some common answers to questions about book PR

There are lots of articles about book publicity on this site, but many new authors have the same basic questions about getting their books in front of the media.

How will reviewers hear about my book?
You need to figure this out. It’s very important.

Book Daily 

I am going to try the free section this month on Book Daily to see how the promotions turn out. I will keep you posted.

Don’t for get to use the ones that we normally use like posts to Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter, Your Book Blogs and your Fan Page.


Another powerful tool, I believe is your Amazon Author Page. You need to get your book out there and your face too. 


Image of Cher'ley Grogg

Cer’ley Grogg first wants to greet you, “Howdy”.Cher’ley writes different genres. “The Journey Back–One Joy at a Time” is a devotional book she just finished. “Stamp Out Murder” is a cozy mystery and “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk is a YA novel. Cher’ley co-authored “Small Town America” and “West Virginia Memories”. She is featured in and she has many poems, short stories and articles published online and in print books. Some of her hobbies are photography, and painting fine art. She has received awards in both mediums and she has art is in collections throughout the United States and foreign countries. She enjoys fishing, reading, walking, dancing, and long, long baths. She loves the Lord, her husband, children and grandchildren, and loves spending time with each of them. Tootsie, her Cairn Terrier is a true joy. Cher’ley and her husband, Del, have seen the country through the… Read more





    ***What are you doing for Promotion? If you are a reader, what gets your attention? ***


    Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. Stamp Out Murder”.

    The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

    The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey BackThe JourneyBack 3


    Boys Will Be Boys   

    The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology

    Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

    Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE


    This is a guest blog from Linda’s site and Alan’s site