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Category: Just for Fun – Writing

Short Story – How Salsa Saved My life

Writeon had a challenge on writing a story in which Dancing helped you get out of a sticky situation. So, just for fun, I would like to share with you the short story that I wrote.

Salsa is an integral part of our Latin culture and we often celebrate the Holidays with a little twist and turn. And if you get a chance to get the original music from Joe Cuba, “Bang, Bang”, also recently portrayed in the movie Chef, I hope you enjoy it!!!

Bang, Bang
“Bang, Bang”. I’m startled by the loud music that blasted from my seventeen year old brother’s room. My parents left me under his care for a few hours. I had to finish my multiplication homework, but I was too distracted– the rhythm of the bongos, the loud noise from the trumpets. My fascination for the beat was unstoppable. Determined, I tip-toed down the hall to find my brother’s door slightly open, tempting my mischievous, inquisitive nature. I ignored his DO NOT DISTURB sign and peaked inside.
His exquisite, choreographed Salsa moves with his invisible dance partner filled me with envy. I pushed open the door with caution, just to get a closer glimpse of his class act performance. But the loud creak of the old, wooden door interrupted his concentration. He saw me. Oh no, here it comes. He screamed, “Gloria!! How many times have I told you…” Frozen in fear, I listened and waited for him to finish his rhetorical sermon. This time, I knew I was grounded for life. Think fast, think fast. And like magic, I found my voice. “I’m sorry, it’s just that you are the best dancer in the world. I wish I could do some of those moves. But the kids just laugh at me when I dance,” I pretended to cry and turned around to leave the room.
“Wait, do you want me to show you?” he replied. Speechless, I turned to face him and with wide open eyes, nodded. He grabbed my left hand and placed it on his shoulder, then my right hand, on his waist. His eyes and head movements directed my footsteps, backward then forward. We began dancing slow at first, but gained momentum as I loosened up my body, mainly my hips. “Bang, Bang, Ah, Beep, Beep”– the music still played in the background. Though not an expert, I became his invisible partner. My ear to ear smile thrilled him, as he sang louder and louder. He lifted me up by the waist and swirled me around until we became dizzy. Once he placed me back on the floor, we tried to keep our balance, but couldn’t and fell on the floor. We laughed, hugged, bonded—and then, it finally hit me, my first and best dance ever, but phew..that was a close one, “Bang, Bang”.

Song by Joe Cuba – Bang Bang


2015: Planning will create success

I am hoping that 2015 will be a year filled with excitement and new developments for all of us.  But unless we take actions to plan for the new challenges, we perhaps will waste some precious time.  I have included an article by Matt Newnan who has some good ideas on how we can start the year ready preparing for what lies ahead of us.  I hope you enjoy it s such as I did.

“Writing isn’t planned, it’s creative and writers just sit, stare out at landscapes and pen their words; they don’t really work”

“Writers cannot work with structure; they need to be a free spirit”

Both of the above are fairly true but the most successful authors have a plan in place and they stick to it. Yes creativity strikes when creativity strikes but to ensure the inspiration doesn’t just equal perspiration with limited results structure is needed.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” and this is as true for a writer as it is any other profession, and whether you are a full-time, published author or just dabbling in writing, without a plan you are heading very close to nowhere. A plan for a writer need not be complex but to gain success in the year ahead it is essential; even if it is just a list of objectives that you need to complete it is needed.

When writing a book or when submitting a simple article such as this a deadline is given and must be met. Deadlines serve a purpose to help the publisher manage their side of the written word to ensure your work reaches the right people at the right time. The deadline impacts budgets, there are always costs when writing and managing these is where deadlines come in. More importantly where there is a deadline their needs to be a plan, there must be structure as writers can be and usually are easily distracted and often lost deep inside their work. The plan is a reminder that something needs to be done.

When you begin any work that you want published, whether it be self-published, published via a literary agent or publishing house, a magazine or even a blog, the first thing that needs to be noted is the deadline. Once this is known, and especially if you are working on multiple projects as I am – my novel, my website content, my magazine articles and this post – having a clear plan of work is essential. Just having a simple spreadsheet or even diary not just with deadlines but a countdown towards your deadline can make a tremendous difference to the success of your writing.

I personally work of a spreadsheet that contains submission dates, subjects, editor’s notes and publisher’s notes. I keep the document on Google Docs as well as on my laptop and can access it from my cellphone so I am always aware of where I am. My writing, whilst creative is managed as if I am running a tight sales operation. The spreadsheet is the first thing look at every day and when I complete a task, as I will do with this post, I check off the item and mark it as complete. It takes only a minute or two and it frees up hours of my time each day. The spreadsheet allows me to be kept up to date and keeps me focused and gives me the peace of mind to know that I know what is on time and what is falling behind.

Managing your deadlines will make 2015 a success

If you can do one thing to get yourself better positioned for 2015 then manage your deadlines better by putting a simple plan in place with deadlines, even if you set the deadlines yourself, you will become much more productive. You will also find that your creativity soars, the peace of mind knowing you are on track and even ahead of a deadline is such a powerful thing. Make 2015 the year of being planned, take a few minutes

Having spent 18 years in Sales and Marketing management internationally, Matt Newnham lives in Cape Town and is a motivational speaker who writes for a variety of publications and websites globally. Currently writing his first novel – The Seed Shepherds – he writes both fiction and non-fiction.

each day to plan and your creative time will become more prosperous and you will have started a habit that changes your writing life!


Writing Styles: I can’t stop reading until I finish! – Part 2

As a follow-up to my last article, I am describing different writing styles that ignite my emotions. While I can keep writing on this topic forever, I am going to narrow it down to two more styles that I look forward to when I consider buying a book. Yes, I am one of those that sometimes can’t wait for the book to be for free or offered at $0.99. While I’m too old to be part of the NOW generation, when I see a book that its excerpt excites me, I buy it. I am a Kindle Edition member and love it!


I enjoy books that make me laugh out loud when I read them. The problem is that I only read late at night and my laughter can be somewhat annoying to my husband. I’m encouraging him to read so we can have more peace at night so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime….

Derrick Hibbard, an indie author of several non-fictional and fictional books, wrote Impish, about a lawyer who made a contract with the Devil and then tried to revoke it. This book made me laugh out loud the two nights it took me to read it. (I’m a slow reader) Below are just a few of the many funny lines in this book:

“I’m going to lose this bad boy.” He lifted up his white shirt and squeezed the skin around his belly button, making it appear to be a mouth. “No please don’t get rid of me”, the belly button said in a high-pitched voice. You’re gone buddy, Cal replied, “History”. Location 1% in Kindle, Derrick Hibbard, 2012

As a disclaimer, humor is like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. But I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

Action Packed and Fast Paced

“You need to come with us..Like h…I do,” I said as I kicked the guy in front of me in his knee. He jerked and doubled over; I put him in a head lock and cut off his circulation. I looked to Jones and saw that he already had the other man pinned to our table.” 253 of 3428 location in Kindle, 2014, Karina Espinosa

These are a few lines from Karina Espinosa’s latest novel Greed, part of her series, Sins of the Fallen. In two lines she crafted a visually vivid fight scene, and as a female, writing from a male perspective. She has a loyal fan base including myself, because of her fast paced, action packed writing style. This book left me gasping during several scenes and to top it all, she has an excellent sense of humor.


I want to clarify that my opinions of these writing styles pertain only to fiction work. When it comes to non-fiction, I focus more on the value of its content advice. For example, when building my blog, I had to find a quick reference and quality guide so I purchased Molly Greene’s book, “bLog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand”. It was very well written, easy to use and helped me in setting up my blog from scratch. It also contains other valuable information regarding social media.


Writing Styles: I can’t stop reading until I finish! – Part 1

As a writer, I’m always looking at the styles that other writers have. While I have my own, I like to see not so much their syntax but their descriptions, dialogue and most important, how they make me feel. I’m not a Reviewer as I don’t have the experience to be one. However, passion is not an acquired skill nor requires experience. These are some the writing styles that I’m passionate about. This blog is not to review the author’s or their books but to share with you the different styles that keep me up all night!

Poignant and Lyrical

Meg Collett, The Hunted One, is a book that I can read over and over and never get tired of it. She is a master at describing one scene in one word. An author of a few words, her dialogue is many times short, direct and does not need any elaboration. Her descriptive words have the perfect balance of complexity and simplicity. In her books, the Hunted One, for which she’s received rave reviews, she gives life to her characters with minimal effort. I just purchased her book “fakers” and can’t wait to read it. I emailed her to ask her why does she excels in this area and if she was influenced by other talented writers.

“So I put a lot of effort into my descriptions and scene-setting. I think sometimes what you don’t say is just as important as what you do. My writing style was heavily influenced by Andrew Davidson (he wrote this book called “The Gargoyle”). His writing was lyrical and very poignant. But he made you feel the scene rather than just read it. I always aim to achieve that! “ Meg Collett, 11/11/2014

My hat off to you, Ms. Collett, and hope to continue seeing you succeed!

Beautiful Descriptive Prose and Romance

I’ve read many books that are written almost like poems. The descriptions are elaborate and transport me in a limousine to the setting of every scene. Their scenes are better than movies that have won Oscars. The skill set and talent that I think it takes these authors to write this type of novel inspire me to keep writing. The combination of words is like crocheting exquisite lace. I’ve read several works of this kind, but then I learned of John J. Geddes. Just his tweets s “like having a candle light dinner”. After reading several of his exquisite paranormal, romance short stories, I purchased his book, “Epiphany”.

It is fantastic. Every emotion that I could hold inside just erupted when I read this book. In this short sentence, he uses several beautiful descriptions that show a part of the personality this character in his novel.

“The intoxication of celebrity totally fulfilled her and she was never more sparkling and effervescent than in a room full of adoring strangers. “ Epiphany by John H. Geddes, 94 of 5497 or 2% using Kindle reader, 2013

Even his tweets are full of flavor.

Tweeted 11/14/2014
“she vanished and there was no trace of her, only footsteps in the sand.”
“she was a parachute descending out of a clear sky-another part of my landscape”

I strongly recommend you subscribe to his tweets. There is nothing more enchanting than to end dinner with a French delicacy.
Mr. Geddes, please, never stop writing. It would break my and many of your fans’ hearts!

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