In Other Words
by: Darren Thompson
I have shown in this series of articles that there are several pieces of evidence that the Persian Empire did not last the 200 years proposed by historians but only 21 years as described in the Old Testament. This is an idea I presented in detail in my book, The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate. My article, “Old Testament History Revised-Jeremiah’s Eclipse” provides astronomical evidence from the Bible for this idea and my article, “Old Testament History Revised-The 390 Days of Ezekiel” provides evidence from a famous prophecy from the biblical book of Ezekiel for this idea. This article provides archaeological support for a “short” Persian Empire based on information described in Peter James’ book, Centuries of Darkness.
Archaeological Findings of the Babylonian and Persian Empires
Recall that earlier in this book I proposed that the Babylonian Empire’s reign over Judah occurred about 180 years later than the Conventional Biblical Chronology dating. The Conventional Biblical Chronology dates the Babylonian captivity of Judah as 585 B.C. while the Fourth Day Biblical Chronology places it in 401 B.C. If the Fourth Day Chronology is accurate shouldn’t it be reflected in the archeology? What about Judah’s migration from Persia in accordance of the edict by Cyrus II to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? According to the Conventional Biblical Chronology this would have occurred in 539 B.C. however the Fourth Day Biblical Chronology dates this event in 350 B.C. Let’s allow Peter James’ book settle the matter. According to the Biblical record during the reign of King Cyrus the Persian it was a very active time in Israel. Those that acquired wealth in the Babylonian and Persian reigns of Babylon returned home. The land was resettled, the Temple rebuilt and walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. Despite all this activity Peter James records that there were few findings for the 539-332 BC timeframe in the region. (Centuries of Darkness, page 170)
If the Fourth Day Biblical Chronology is the correct model this lack of archaeological findings is easily explained. Persia was only present from 352 B.C. to 331 B.C. so there should only be about either 21 years of artifacts present. If you believe the Conventional Chronology there would have been 207 years (539-332 B.C.) to indicate the presence of the Persians. The Persians were just not there for much of the period in question. Peter James states that information is lacking on many levels. A Persian strata is difficult to see and few architectural remains are present. Those strata that are present are of the timeframe after 450 BC (there is almost no evidence of finds prior to this period). According to Peter James other archaeologists have lamented the fact that to be such a relative recent timeframe in history there is surprisingly few finds for this period. (page 170, Centuries of Darkness). All these observations just enforce the observation that the Persian Empire was a short-lived event in the history of Judah. Peter James doesn’t have much better news about the Jewish Exile to Babylon. James paints a bleak picture for archaeological findings in the timeframe 587-539 BC that represents the Babylonian Conquest. More than one hundred years of Biblical history is barely evident in archaeological evidence. Peter James poses the question: does the time period from 587-450 BC in Palestine represent some kind of dark period in Israelite and Babylonian history? (Centuries of Darkness, pages 170-171). Indeed not. Since, according to Fourth Day Biblical Chronology, the Babylonians and the Persians did not show up in the lives of Judah until after 450 B.C. there is certainly no reason to believe in a ‘Dark Age’ in Palestine. The evidence speaks for itself, the Babylonians and the Persians were just not there from 587 B.C. to 450 B.C. They were not there because the Persian Empire only lasted twenty one years, not the more than 200 years that the conventional chronology model claims.
My name is Darren Thompson and I am a chemical engineer that has worked in the rocket propulsion industry for over 15 years. I hold 10 patents and am the author of over 20 papers in rocket propellant development. I have written two books, “The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate” and “Why the Bible is Historically Accurate (2nd Edition)” which are available at http://amazon.com or http://lulu.com. You can check out my book website at http://lulu.com/dmthompson
by: Corey Blake
When it comes to hiring a ghost writer, you need to be incredibly strategic about who you choose to pen your piece. Writers, like everyone, see the world from their own unique perspective, and their voice is going to come through loud and clear in your work. So how do you go about selecting the perfect ghost writer to string together the words that will attract your customers, speak your mind, communicate your knowledge, tighten a relationship, or spark a romance? Here is a list of 10 questions that should be asked and answered when interviewing ghost writer candidates.
1. WHAT ARE YOUR CORE VALUES? Your core values are the guiding principles that help you make decisions on a daily basis and define what you stand for as a person or a business. For example, Walt Disney’s core values are imagination and wholesomeness. The U.S. Air Force’s core values are integrity, service, and excellence.
Let me start by telling you ours, and maybe they can attract some ideas for you.
• Integrity — Holding ourselves accountable to the highest standards in everything we do AND creating an environment where those around us are inspired to do the same.
• Brilliance — Nurturing an atmosphere where brilliance is the natural result.
• Joy — Having fun and enjoying the game of building the business by delivering a unique voice on behalf of each and every client.
• Synergy — Taking the best assets of the client, the writer, and the project manager and fusing them together as this team moves towards a common goal.
• Creativity — Encouraging everyone who is part of our culture to use their hearts and minds to create outside the box by constantly sparking thoughts, generating ideas, and stretching our cumulative brain.
We use these core values to guide our decisions in ALL matters as often as possible. In fact, we do everything we can to live by them! Once you determine your own core values, you can start looking for a ghost writer who shares them. Why? Because a ghost writer who reflects your core values is a ghost writer who looks at the world from a similar perspective. Choosing a ghost writer with similar core values is going to make writing on your behalf SO MUCH EASIER!
2. HAVE YOU DETERMINED YOUR PREFERRED WRITING STYLE? Different ghost writers have different styles in which they excel. If you want to create really personal writing that emotionally grabs people but you hire someone who has an academic style, you’re going to spend a lot of time pulling your hair out and wondering why your ghost writer isn’t producing in a style that appeals to you. So when interviewing potential ghost writers, make sure you ask for samples that are written in the style you’re after! Various styles include personable, dramatic, inspirational, academic, factual, scientific, fun, humorous, intellectual, romantic, and technical.
3. WHAT TYPE OF EXPERTISE DO YOU NEED? Just because you’ve found a ghost writer who pens excellent articles doesn’t mean you’ve found someone who can write exceptional brochure copy, sales letters, business plans, or fiction. Besides asking a ghost writer to discuss their core values and writing styles, make sure they show you examples of previous work that reflect their expertise in exactly the type of written work that you need!
4. WHAT’S IT GOING TO COST YOU? When discussing price with a new ghost writer, ask if they charge by the word, by the page, or by the hour. Be wary of ghost writers who charge by the hour, as your costs can be driven up quickly. If they charge by the word or the page, tell them what your ceiling is and ask them to contact you before exceeding that limit. If you do not want to go over budget, be very clear with your new ghost writer up front, letting them know that they need to stick to the agreed upon page count/word count.
5. WHAT DELIVERABLES SHOULD YOU EXPECT? Is the ghost writer going to handle research, prepare an outline, provide multiple drafts, and hire a proofreader to verify that the document is error-free? (Forget spell-check; using an outside and objective proofreader is imperative!) Be VERY specific about your expectations when negotiating your contract. Also, in case you request additional revisions, this is the time to predetermine the cost. Know exactly what you’re getting for your money!
6. ON WHAT TIMELINE IS YOUR GHOST WRITER GOING TO DELIVER MATERIAL? It’s important that you establish deadlines and that your ghost writer meets them. Set specific dates for when you expect each deliverable — from drafts to a final proofread version. Your contract should also outline what penalty will occur if the ghost writer is not able to meet these deadlines.
7. WILL THE GHOST WRITER PROVIDE ADDITIONAL WRITING SERVICES? If they are working on your manuscript, are they also going to help you write your marketing copy, query letters, book proposal, etc? It is imperative that your “voice” remain consistent throughout your materials. If you have one ghost writer putting together your manuscript and another putting together your marketing copy — you risk confusing your potential customers/readers.
8. WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIPS DOES YOUR GHOST WRITER HAVE? Other than handling the creative side of your writing, does your ghost writer have business relationships and strategic ideas that are going to help you use your writing to generate revenue if that is what you are after? When it comes to writing a manuscript or a screenplay, it is especially advantageous to hire a ghost writer who has legitimate contacts in Los Angeles and New York that can get you where you want to go.
9. WILL YOU OWN YOUR COPYRIGHT? Make sure that your contract (even for small writing assignments) states that, upon final payment, the copyright of the work done on your behalf is transferred to you. Be VERY clear about this point! An oversight here might cause you a BIG headache later.
10. DOES YOUR GHOST WRITER HAVE STRONG REFERENCES? Speak to people who have worked with the person you are considering. Ask them to share their perspective of this ghost writer’s greatest assets and weaknesses so you are aware of what they do well and can plan how you’ll fill the gap in areas where they don’t excel. Any good ghost writer has previous customers willing to talk to you for 15 minutes!
At the end of the day, so many factors need to be considered. But you’ve spent a long time developing your idea, and deserve the perfect writer to breathe life into it. Determining the answers to these 10 questions will help you make a solid decision about the ghost writer who will represent your voice.
Here’s to better business and a better life!
Corey Blake the co-author of EDGE! A Leadership Story (Morgan James, 2008), is President of Writers of the Round Table, Inc., a strategic literary development company that assists authors, directors, executives, and publishers to generate writing content of substantial quality and bring it to market. Visit us at http://www.writersoftheroundtable.com/ to request a consultation to discuss your writing needs. We put the words in your mouth!
by: Michael Mould
When you set out to write your “How To…” book or any book selling information, do not make the mistake of leaving your readers with more questions after reading your book than they had before starting it. They will punish you for misleading them and the Internet will get their opinion out to anyone with an interest in researching your book before buying it.
Before you publish your book and start selling it, give copies to a few friends that do not know a thing about the topic. Ask them to read it and let you know if they have questions that were not answered in the book, but should have been. If necessary, do some editing to make sure these questions get answered before you make the book available for sale to the public.
As a consumer myself, I always look at what other readers have to say about a book before I purchase it. If a particular book has a few stellar reviews, an equal number of good reviews, and some negative reviews, I do not assume it is good or bad, I try to determine if the book gives the reader what its marketing says it will. That is, if the negative reviews come from readers that were advanced practitioners of the subject, and their negative reviews are owing to the fact that they got nothing out of a book intended for beginners, I cannot fault the book or the author. On the other hand, if I am looking to buy a book about advanced engineering mathematics and reviewers gave the book bad reviews because the book only included high school algebra, I would decline to buy it and would assume the negative reviews were deserved.
In writing “How To…” books, the old saying, “Honesty is the best policy” is certainly applicable. In a world where everyone is looking to make a quick buck, you will find yourself in debt as an author if you shortchange the customers of your book. If your book is marketed as a book that will teach them how to do something, make sure it does. This is particularly true if you are marketing a book that purports to instruct the reader with respect to how to do something to generate an income. Readers of this type of book are not happy when they pay good money for your book and find that after they have read it, they still do not have a clue about how to use the information to make money. They will justifiably give you bad reviews assuring that others do not become victims of deceitful marketing. Give your readers everything they expect and more, and they will give you good reviews that will lead to even more sales. Then, if you do write a follow-up or companion book, they will know they can expect a quality book from you.
This practice applies to other products and/or services as well. I cannot count the number of products I have purchased over the years that broke or malfunctioned within a week of taking them out of their packaging. In fact, I have found that packaging these days is usually more durable and functional that the products inside.
How many times have you purchased something that looked or sounded great only to find out when you open the package that the product is significantly less that what you expected? The Internet and information sharing can be devastating to even the best product if it does not meet the expectations of the consumers buying it, so before you start selling something, whether it be a book or another product, test it yourself and ask others to test it to make sure it will live up to consumer expectations. If it does not and you proceed to sell it, sales will be brief and your customers will speak their mind.
Michael E. Mould is the author of “Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed Explanations and Insightful Tips,” [Paperback ISBN 1427600708, CD-ROM ISBN 1599714876] and the developer of “Bookkeeping for Booksellers” [CD ISBN 1427600694], you can learn more about online bookselling at: http://www.online-bookselling.com , or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
by: Karen Cioffi
We all know how difficult it is to break into the business of writing for children. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, it is a tough business and can be overwhelming for those just starting out. While all writing must adhere to certain guidelines, writing for children has additional principles unique to its genre.
To start, the words used in childrens writing must be age appropriate. This may sound easy to do, but it can be a difficult task. There are also certain techniques and tricks used specifically in writing for children, such as the Core of Three, sentence structure, and the timeframe in which the story should occur when writing for young children. In addition, its essential to make sure your conflicts, storyline, and point of view are appropriate for the age group youre writing for.
Along with this, there are general techniques for writing, such as adding sensory details, showing instead of telling, and creating an engaging story that hooks the reader right away, along with great dialogue and correct punctuation.
This is just the beginning though, there is also the business of editing your work, writing a winning query, and following submission guidelines; the list goes on and on.
But, dont get discouraged, there is help. Here are three basic tools to get you started and guide you down the childrens writing path:
1. Childrens Writers WORD BOOK by Alijandra Mogilner is a great resource that provides word lists grouped by grades along with a thesaurus of listed words. This allows you to check a word in question to make sure it is appropriate for the age group youre writing for. It also provides reading levels for synonyms. Its a very useful tool and one that I use over and over.
2. Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just 6 Weeks! e-course by the Childrens Writers Coaching Club creator and director, Suzanne Lieurance, is a gem for learning the ins and outs of writing for children. I have just about finished this course and can say with confidence that its worth every penny. Its jammed packed with practical, easy to understand, and detailed information. It answers your questions and provides the necessary tools, tips and advice to guide you from the basics of writing for children (books and freelancing) to queries, submissions, networking and more.
The e-course has 6 individual lessons to get you on the road to writing for children and working toward having your work published. Each lesson has three parts with assignments and additional resources.
The Trick of the Trade e-course also includes a 2 month membership in the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club. With this membership you have the opportunity to have your assignments professionally reviewed and critiqued by Lieurance or another published children’s author on staff at the National Writing for Children Center each week. Lieurance is also including, as a special bonus, 4 additional instructional CDs with tips for freelance writers. With these perks this e-course package is a bargain.
Suzanne Lieurance has created a purposeful writing for children road map. This road map eliminates any guess work or doubt it provides step-by-step guided instructions to get you where youre heading. Tricks of the Trade: You Can Learn to Write for Children in Just 6 Weeks! is a phenomenal writing navigational tool it offers top notch writing instruction and guidance.
Find out more about this course at: http://www.dkvwriting4u.com/learn-to-write/
3. The Frugal Editor by award winning author and editor, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, is a useful book for any writing genre, including childrens. It is great resource that guides you through basic editing, to getting the most out of your Word programs features, to providing samples of queries. The author provides great tips and advice that will have you saying, Ah, so thats how its done.
Ive invested in a number of books, courses and programs in writing and marketing, and know value when I see it; these products have a great deal of value for you as a writer, and they are definitely worth the cost.
I consider these three resources essential tools in my childrens writing tool belt. But, the most important aspect of creating a writing career is to actually begin. Remember, you cant succeed if you dont try. It takes that first step to start your journey, and that first step seems to be a huge stumbling block for many of us. Dont let procrastination or fear stop you from moving forward start writing today!
Karen Cioffi is an author and freelance writer. She is on the team of DKV Writing 4 U (writing services); the creator and manager of VBT Writers on the Move (group of authors using cross-promotion to increase visibility); a reviewer for BookPleasures.com; and a co-moderator of a childrens writing critique group. She is a member of SCBWI, Linkedin, AWAI, JacketFlap, and a number of other groups and forums.
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