The White Topped Dress

By, David Wahlstrom, Guest Writer

lilly Maxwell2

©Lilly Maxwell

The world is made up of a multitude of people,

Each and every person wants to be treated equal.

There are a lot of tough times and good ones too,

However, there are so many things we like to do.


It is difficult to tell someone how you feel,

Nevertheless, when I tell you my love is real.

Currently, I feel like my world has faded to black,

I feel there is no one who can bring the color back.


I don’t feel like there is any one I can lean on,

Today, I know you are not here and you are gone.

Everything I touch seems to turn into a mess,

Since I met the girl  wearing the white topped dress.


©2016, David J. Wahlstrom

Freelance Authors: Avoiding Scams


Scamming Authors….BEWARE!

If you have to pay them to publish your creative works or to send you a book…it’s a scam! If you are a well developed writer, a publishing house will give you money and copies of your creative works.  As a struggling freelance writer, you must beware of publishing scams that exist on the internet. According to Mrs. Allen (2007), you should investigate the publishing company that you plan to sell your work too.  So many, gifted writers actually get caught up in these types of scams.

Before signing any contract with a publisher, please take time to investigate the history of the company. First, by calling the Better Business Bureau and ask them about the company’s history of complaints. Then, look for local or online writing communities and ask other writer’s about the publisher that approached you. Many of these writing groups have information about current scams that exists and can help you avoid new ones.  

Next, take time to do your homework and research the many paying markets, which are waiting for a talented writer to come their way. Your writing should speak for itself and it will, if you treat it as a career and keep learning as you continue writing. Keep submitting your work often and listen to the editor’s notes, because they know what they want or need. Never allow other people to edit your work that you do not know or who do not have reference. Instead take writing course online, in college, or at a local community center.

Begin searching the internet or your local bookstores for books that list the current paying markets like the Writer’s Market for the current year. There are many books that deal with every writing market like: magazines for children and adults, novel and short stories, poetry, and song writing. You may find a home for all of your writing and you won’t have to deal with annoying scams. Additionally, you may find some freelance markets or communities on the internet that will pay you to write for them.

However, watch out for the freelance communities that exist on the internet that charge you money, but don’t bring you any work.  Always look for communities, which allow you to speak with their other authors through discussion forums or chats. Only you can protect yourself from being swindled, by the phony promises of a scammer. As an author, it is your job to sell your writing, so spend an abundant amount of time researching the market and its current preferences.  

Finally, never sign any type of contract without reading it first and seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer. This way, you will know, whether it’s a scam or a reputable publishing company, who is ready to give you a chance to let your writing shine. It doesn’t matter, if you are a struggling freelance writer or a passionate hobbyist, scams are out there and please do your homework so you can avoid becoming a victim.      


Allen, M. (2007) Avoid Writing Scams

Retrieved on the World Wide Web July 7, 2007

The Rules for Mystery Fiction Writing

My favorite reference book when writing my mystery novels.

My favorite reference book when writing my mystery novels.

As a new mystery author, you will find that there are certain rules, which you must follow when writing your novel. Read other mystery novels, in order to familiarize yourself with the rules and see how other writers incorporate the rules. Each resource will word or list the rules differently, depending on what website or reference book that you consult. There are many websites, which list tips and advice for new mystery authors.

Always use the beginning of the story to capture the reader’s attention and hold their interest, as the story develops. If you follow these simple rules, you will finally be able to write that best-selling mystery novel.  The story must keep your readers interested and compel them to see what happens to the main character at the end of the story. Furthermore, create a sleuth that has a rounded personality with problems and issues. Therefore, when your sleuth solves the mystery, their personality grows also.

Keep yourself out of the story and allow your characters to come to life with each word. Here are ten mystery writing tips that will help you get started from Mystery Ink Online.

     First: Never open your story, by describing the weather unless you are trying to create an atmosphere. Try to be brief in your description of the setting or you will bore your readers and lose their attention. In addition, describing the weather is permitted, but only if the main character is discussing the weather with a friend.

Second: You will want to avoid adding a prologue, because they are unnecessary and annoying. Actually, prologues usually belong in non-fiction writing, but there have been exceptions to this rule.

Third: Use only the verb “said”, when carrying dialogue between the characters. This way, the author stays out of the story and the characters take the lead.

Fourth: You should never use an adverb that modifies the verb…said. Since, it will disrupt the flow of the  words and make the story hard to understand.

Fifth: Always limit the amount of exclamation points that you use, to only two or three per every 10,000 words. This way, your dialogue stands out for each the reader, without the use of the exclamation point.

Six: Don’t words like “suddenly” or all hell broke loose”, since you do not really need them in your story.

Seven: Use dialogue sparingly, since mystery stories do not need much dialogue between the characters

Eight: Never describe your characters, since the characters should remain a mystery also. You should give them a voice, which speaks throughout your writing.

Nine: Try not to use too many details in describing the settings the characters are in.

Ten: Always omit the parts of the story, which you think that a reader will skip. A good mystery novel should keep the reader on the edge of their seat and begging for more.



Leonard, E. (2001) Writers on Writing

Retrieved on the World Wide Web on July 11, 2007

Tips for Note Taking in College

My first Degree

My first Degree

As a student, I found an easy way to keep my notes separated for each different class. At the beginning of school, I bought about ten dollars worth of the spiral one subject notebooks. I found them at the local Wal-mart and they were about ten cents for each one. I used one spiral notebook per class and I placed all my notes in them. When the class was over, I just placed the used notebook in the file cabinet with the folder that held all handouts as well.

Furthermore, I always wrote the name of the class on the notebook and the folder. That way, I never got my class notes mixed up or lost the important information I needed. By staying organized, you will find your material that is needed for homework. There are some other ways to stay organized, like a three ring notebook that holds all your class notes. However, make sure that you use several paper dividers and mark them properly. Try using these tips and you will be more organized when it comes to note taking.

Tips for Choosing Your Own Writing Space

writing spaceFirst, you will need the basics, like a desk or table, a comfortable chair, a decent reading lamp, and a computer with a word processing program. Make sure that you have enough space to work in, since you will be taking notes. Look for a cup to keep pencils and pens in, so you will not have to waste time looking for something to write with. Always keep a pencil sharpener and paper clips on your new desk, because you will use them daily when you work.

Setting Up

Second, you will need to leave room for a filing cabinet or some file boxes, so you can keep track of what you are submitting and receiving. Pick out a special place to keep your references books, your important files, monthly earnings, and important tax information. As you pursue your freelance writing career, you will find that your career can stay on track if you stay organized! Never keep all your files on the computer’s hard drive, unless you back up your information on a CD or floppy disk.

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