The Power of the Short Story – Motivation for Writers

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I’ve been writing a few short stories lately. The biggest reason, if I’m totally honest, is that I’m stuck on several big projects. But it is these short stories that are renewing my energy for writing. Given a limit of 500, 1000 or 5000 words, every single one is crucial. Connecting a character, a setting and a plot within those constraints is challenging and fun!

Try it.

hurricaneAnd when you need to take a writing break to read something inspiring, Hurricane Blues And Other Stories, is collection of short stories by Marcia Calhoun Forecki that are sure to please readers.

In the title story, “Hurricane Blues,” meet a Louisiana blues piano player who protects her home-alone son by averting hurricanes with a whiskey shot glass and a mother’s love.

In “The Reader,” a dreamy bookworm stumbles into manhood.

In “Soul Most In Need,” the friendship of two southern widows is the one truth at a tent revival.

“Nahualli” presents a sharp-tongued Mexican recluse and her shape-shifting lover. Meet a good-hearted deacon doing reconnaissance on a philandering preacher from a classic car in “T-Bird Recon.”

A cruel medieval father, a frontier lawyer’s silent child scrivener, and an aspiring teacher caught in the 1918 influenza epidemic also populate this eclectic collection of previously published and new short fiction.


All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available from Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.

A Tale of Immigration and Entrepreneurial Terror

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trunkIn the corner of my mother’s living room, under several plants, there sits a trunk. It is the one her grandfather packed all his belongings in when he boarded a ship and moved to the United States. He eventually settled in Northern Wisconsin and started a small business. The rest of his story, I don’t know much about, but the trunk is a symbol of his journey and desire to start anew.

Tales of immigration fascinate me. What does it take for someone to leave their homeland and completely start over? War? Famine? Love? Hope? I don’t know that I would be able to do it, which makes the journey of others so much more inspiring.

I would like to share Ready, Fire, Aim! An Immigrant’s Tales of Entrepreneurial Terror by Charles Ota Heller with you. It will be released on June 1, 2017, but it is available for pre-order now:

ready-200x300Under the best conditions, being an entrepreneur can be filled with anxiety and trepidation. Throw in some challenging circumstances, and trepidation turns to downright terror. Charles Ota Heller is a Holocaust survivor who arrived in the US as a penniless thirteen-year-old who spoke two words of English. Exhibiting strength, persistence, and determination, he earned an athletic scholarship to college and obtained three degrees in engineering. He became an academic at the cutting edge of new computer technology and was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.

Over the next twenty years as CEO of technology companies and an additional twenty as an investor in, and mentor of, startup companies, Charlie experienced the joys, successes, failures, and terrors of entrepreneurship. When the FBI attempted to shut down his company on a trumped-up charge, memories of World War II and the Gestapo filled him with the terror of uncertainty. He was betrayed by a member of his management team and was deposed from leadership of the company he founded. Then he discovered that his partner in a venture capital fund was dishonest and Charlie had to fight to maintain his own reputation.

Ready, Fire, Aim is the story of his riveting journey, told as a powerful, candid, engrossing adventure that will not only entertain but will leave present and budding entrepreneurs with valuable takeaways.


All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.

Four Stretches/Exercises for Writers

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Last night I returned from a four day trip in which I did not take my computer. And guess what? My back feels great!

Anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer can tell you that sitting is very hard on the body. So, here are a few easy stretches and exercise to get your body moving and keep the stiff muscles from taking control. I know you’ll find, when you get moving, the brain gets fired up as well.

  1. The Wrists

To keep wrists from staying in the same position for too long, take frequent breaks to roll hands in circles, shake them out and pull back gently on your fingertips.

  1. The Legs

One of the simplest exercises to get legs moving is to march in place. Stand up, make sure the area is clear, and march in place for one minute (or several minutes). Feel that blood flowing? Marching is a great mini-break.

  1. The Neck

A stiff neck is the worst. Several times a day, take a break, look to the left, hold it and count to twenty. Now look to the right, up and down. Hold each one for twenty seconds. That only took eighty seconds and it was so easy.

  1. The Whole Body

Now it is time for a walk. It doesn’t have to be long, a trip to the mailbox, to the next floor to hand-deliver a memo, or to the corner and back, is very refreshing and in addition to making your body feel better, hopefully you picked up a new idea along the way.

Exercise is healing for many. If you’re in the mood to be inspired, try picking up this award winning book:

flowing2Flowing with the Go: For what seemed like a lifetime and probably was, Elena Stowell wandered aimlessly in a personal prison of self-doubt and lack of purpose after her fifteen-year-old daughter Carly died suddenly before her eyes. By some combination of miracle and necessity, she walked into a Seattle area Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym and rolled for the first time in her life. Through that experience and others that followed, Elena discovered the tenets of the martial art form and healing were the same. With a ripping raw honesty and refreshing balance of humor and introspection, Elena’s story reminds us to never stop panning for the gold within ourselves.

And here is a book to help readers meet goals. Whether it is exercise or something completely different, this is a great read:

working on your nowWorking on Your Now (WOYN) by Lori Beard-Daily is a guide to help you plan your life’s course, no matter what stage you are in on your journey. Within its pages you will discover how to take ownership of what WOYN means to you, what WOYN looks like to you, and how you will embrace your WOYN. It provides a solution for how to get started when you are not sure where to begin. It is a wake-up call to your senses. It does not have all your answers, but it does give insight into many of your questions. This book is not intended to be a quick fix that will inspire you for a moment and then have you go back to your same routine after you’ve finished reading it. This book is a thinking book. It is a doing book. In other words, you think about what you want in life, and then you go out and do it! YOU make it happen.


All books from BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available from Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.