Writing Scenes Part 2

Writing Scenes Part 2

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Scenes – part 2.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

The middle of your scene is primarily where the bulk of the story occurs. The opening of the scene prepared the reader for what was about to occur and now it is happening. And the closing scene will bring it to either an end or a continuing.

While it is true that the middle of the scene usually falls into the middle of the scene (duh), sometimes writers actually begin their scene in the middle. And that is an important thing to remember.

Don’t be stuck in your approach to scenes; experiment with moving the parts around. See what works best. Opening the scene with the middle sometimes works, while at other times it won’t.

That said, it is usually best to have the middle actually take place in the middle. Let the opening set it up.

It is in the middle of the scene where you will see and, hopefully, feel the character’s response to the opening. What is the character going to do in response? Is their further action?

Tip: A middle scene is usually the bulk of the scene’s story. It is also usually the longest. It is where the response to the opening unfolds.

Example

&&&

Adam awoke. Something caused me to wake up. What was it? Wait – Eden River. That is it!  I must have been dreaming about Eden River.

Gently disengaging himself from Woman, he got up. Being as quiet as possible, he headed for the river where he found a comfortable knoll.  From this position, he had a good view of the river. It must be about a half-mile across! I never realized that. Tomorrow, I will take Woman and we will follow the river to its beginning.

In silence, he continued watching the river, estimating its size.  The question was its length.  A glitter caught his eye.  He smiled as he realized that the moon’s light seemed to dance on the river’s surface.

After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.

&&&

This is the same example I used for showing the opening of the scene earlier in the book. This time I want you to take note of the middle scene. Notice that beginning at ‘Gently disengaging’ and ending at ‘on the river’s surface’ Adam is responding to his dream and goes to observe the river. During this time he views the river, mulls over the river’s width, and makes plans for the future.

All of this occurs in a single scene.

Application

You shouldn’t put too much thought into this in your first draft. Write your story (a chapter or two or the entire book) then go back and examine the individual scenes. And don’t try to be perfect, you’ll need to do another edit later anyhow.

Keep in mind that each scene plays an integral part in your story and the middle is very important.

The above was a short scene depicted in the book. Scenes can be short (like above) or longer. It all depends on your story. One thing I hope you’ve caught is that the scene does not have to be a fireball. I chose a mundane scene because often your scenes will be mundane. At some point these mundane scenes will culminate in an action scene.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Is An Open Primary System for Floridians?

Is An Open Primary System for Floridians?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Is An Open Primary System for Floridians?

So what is an Open Primary?

Here in Florida they are pushing for One Open Primary. My understanding of this is that a single Open Primary would replace individual party primaries. The idea is to allow everyone the opportunity to vote for who would represent the various parties. It would appear that Independents could vote on who represents the Democratic Party and who represents the Republican Party. Basically sometime in the future we may only have one party rule. But isn’t that what they have in Russia?

Normally in answering a question like ‘Is an Open Primary for Floridians’  I would take a look at both sides, but I’ve noticed that the ‘Yes’ side already is flooding us with their arguments. So instead of recapping their arguments I will be looking primarily at the ‘No’ side, which in effect tells us what the ‘Yes’ side’s arguments are.

The following is just my opinion.

  • The purpose of a primary is to select a candidate that represents a particular Party

The whole idea of a primary is to select a man or woman who best represents the party’s governmental view. We have Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Progressive, and more parties each favoring a particular brand or theme. Historically speaking the party primaries have served as platforms within a party for various political views vying for control of the party.

In my opinion an Open Primary would dilute the free discussion of ideas within a party. And I might note that the Open Primary System is probably responsible for the dilution of representative democracy in our country. In recent years we’ve seen a rise in the elections of demagogues and others who use emotion rather than facts to carry the day. I think it is not surprising that California is sending to Washington Representatives and Senators who are more interested in camera time than in actually solving issues.

  • An Open Primary allows independents and opposition party members to influence who the party’s nominee is

By having an Open Primary you allow people who do not subscribe to the Party’s view of government to create an alternative view thus subverting the Party Platform. This is contrary to the concept of parties in general and to having a primary in the first place. Eventually this could result in One Party rule!

  • Political Parties are not private clubs; they are organizations representing a view

Private clubs are essentially social and restrict membership whereas Political Parties are open to anyone who wants to join. Someone who’s been a lifetime Democrat could switch to the Republican Party and vice-versa. This has happened in the past and will in the future. It is our right to change our minds.

Moreover joining a party makes a statement. For instance, if you join the Democratic Party you join the party of leftist ideas, rich Hollywood types, the filthy rich, and socialists. Or you can join the Republican Party of rightist ideas, the middle class businessman, the middle class worker, and those who believe in the right to succeed.

  • Open Primaries hinder 3rd Parties

It would be pointless to join a 3rd Party if there were Open Primaries. You join a 3rd Party because they champion a cause you think is important. That cause loses out in an Open Primary System. In the long term the Open Primary System will make it almost impossible to form a new Party. Most of the 3rd parties currently existing I would have nothing to do with, but I believe they have a right to exist and a purpose to perform.

  • An Open Primary destroys the historical party system

Historically we have had at least two parties. We’ve seen parties rise and fall with the times. We’ve seen parties change their concept of government. We’ve seen parties start because of a cause (for example, the Republican Party embraced the end of slavery). In an Open Primary we might still have slavery; we might still have women without the right to vote. In other words an Open Primary suppresses new views that don’t agree with the dominate view. In the diluted primary where everyone can vote you really don’t have a multi-party system because eventually it won’t matter. There will be a single party.

We live in a country where everyone has the right to have a view, the Open Primary campaigns as though it is what they want but the opposite is what is achieved. Look at the states that have Open Primaries. California, for example, is a Democratic state and most likely will remain so; this is not always the case but it can become the case. Don’t look just at what now is happening but look at the end result.

  • There is no such thing as a non-partisan organization or person

Non-partisan means ‘not biased or partisan, especially toward any particular political group’. This is essentially impossible. Yes people and organizations claim to be non-partisan but take a look at their record. If you do that you will find that while a person or organization may say they are non-partisan their overall record favors one view or another. It is the way we humans are. We get passionate about things!

The Democratic Party may have some conservatives (back in the mid 1900s there were Conservative Democrats) but the Party is still liberal and the opposite is true of the Republican Party. And this is good for the country. People want to associate with people who think like they do. And when they enter the public forum their views get expressed and the Primary System is where those views are expressed, examined, and either chosen or refused. But in the One Open Primary that is not necessarily true.

It is my opinion that the One Open Primary concept favors the Liberal movement. It preaches one thing, but practices something altogether different.

  • Independents have the right to register with a party and vote in that party’s primary

Also the Independents have the right not to participate in any party primary. In my opinion this is the stronger position to be in. Because the nominee of the respective parties are going to have to appeal to the Independents and bring along their constituents! Almost all elections are that way.

Here in Florida Ron DeSantis won the Republican nomination for Governor by embracing President Trump and his policies. It drew in both existing and new voters who saw the President as one who championed the little guy and traditional values. But in the general election he had to reach out to others, which he did and without losing the Republican base. I contend this made him a better candidate and possibly a better Governor. In an Open Primary who knows who would have won the Republican nomination?

  • Open Primaries don’t really force candidates to speak to ‘all’ the people

That’s a joke. Again using the Florida election, if Ron DeSantis had to speak to all the people, and the other candidates did this along with him, we would have ended up with a very weak candidate; probably one that never actually ran in the election. It could have been a liberal voted in by crossover leftists and liberal leaning Independents.

The Open Primary System may be why we get such weak candidates. These weak candidates try to be all things to all people, they give speeches against people rather than promoting ideas that will actually help. A good example of this is the movement toward socialism. Instead of honest debate on the merits and history of socialism it ends up being a raucous attack on honest working people and the promotion of ideas that have no chance of helping America but sound good to the uninformed. A robust debate would demonstrate this, but this won’t happen in an Open Primary System.

The above are my opinions based on 55 years of observations as a voting adult. Could I be wrong? Of course. You make up your own mind, but as you do you might want to revisit our country’s history. I contend that the multi-party system has served us well and that an Open Primary is a step toward one party rule.

A further thing to study is the current malaise in Washington D.C. where the Democrats still haven’t gotten over their defeat in 2016. Along with an Open Primary System they also want election by popular vote which our forefathers correctly saw as an evil to be avoided. Basically it allows a few states like New York and California to determine who our rulers will be.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Writing Scenes Part 1

Writing Scenes Part 1

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Scenes – part 1.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Scenes are like the pieces of a crossword puzzle. Individually they may be interesting but when placed in the proper place then they form an integral part of the puzzle. Before they had little meaning but now a complete picture is shown.

Each scene, in a sense, is a miniature story. While by itself it can’t stand, it does have something to contribute. Basically each scene should have four parts: Plot, Character, Theme, and Suspense.

How long should a scene be?

The answer to this is in the context. For example, Plot, technical information, and scenic descriptions should all be short scenes. On the other hand, conversation, emotion, and suspense often require longer scenes. Don’t over think it. If you are a reader as well as a writer you will likely know what works best for your scenes and ultimately what works best for you.

There are many ways to start a scene. Books have been written on crafting and you should build a library on writing. But a good start is to consider using these techniques:

  1. begin with action
  2. begin with conversation
  3. begin in the middle
  4. begin with a promise or anticipation
  5. begin with a problem
  6. begin with the setting itself
  7. begin with the time of day

These are just seven techniques.

Tip #1: Before and after writing a scene consider the four parts (Plot, Character, Theme, and Suspense).

Tip #2: No matter how you write your scenes you need to clearly separate them. I use the ampersand (&) or the asterisk (*), some use (xxx), and others use other markers. But don’t use blanks!

Example

&&&

Adam awoke.  Something caused me to wake upWhat was it?  Wait – Eden River.  That is it!  I must have been dreaming about Eden River.

Gently disengaging himself from Woman, he got up.  Being as quiet as possible, he headed for the river where he found a comfortable knoll.  From this position, he had a good view of the river.  It must be about a half-mile across!  I never realized that.  Tomorrow, I will take Woman and we will follow the river to its beginning.

In silence, he continued watching the river, estimating its size.  The question was its length.  A glitter caught his eye.  He smiled as he realized that the moon’s light seemed to dance on the river’s surface.

After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.

&&&

The above scene is taken from Perished: The World That Was which takes place in the Garden of Eden. Notice that it is a brief scene (scenes can vary in length), it relates to the Plot, concerns Adam, and sets up the reader for the following event (exploring the river). More importantly the scene is separated from the following scene which may or may not be related.

Did you notice how the scene started? It began with ‘Adam awoke’. While not the most exciting beginning it does denote sudden action. It attracts the reader’s attention with an implied ‘something is about to happen’. In other words, it opened with action, although mild. This is acceptable, but if you can liven it up do so.

The sooner you get to action in your scene the better. But beware that the action is appropriate to your character(s).

And I used separators before and after!

Application

When writing a scene you want this mini-story to excite, intrigue or provide necessary information to your readers. In the example above the scene prepared the reader for Adam and Eve’s exploration of the Eden River plus it gave information about the river itself.

By itself it didn’t seem very important but it provided a solid intro to what became an interesting and exciting journey for the two of them. Not to mention the reader.

When you break your story up into scenes it becomes easier to edit, move, or even delete scenes as deemed necessary.

Note: in Tip #2 I said never use blanks. Some authors do and they are successful. My problem with blanks is that it is easy for the eye to pass over them and the reader doesn’t realize a change of scenes has taken place. That has happened to me. The result was that I had to go back to the beginning of the scene and clarify who and what is taking place.

Part 2 or the Middle Scene will be next as we study scenes.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Independence.

(Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing)

This is one of the most common motivational factors in anyone’s arsenal.

We have an inner desire to be independent, to be free to do our own thing. Think of a baby or young child, they often have an “I’d rather do it myself” attitude that needs to be broken. Hopefully it will be tamed rather than merely broken.

This desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Tip: The desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Example

Shortly after my first novel was published I began to see the advantages of self-publishing. Although the publisher did an excellent job on my book and even offered marketing tools for me to use at attractive prices, I was the one expected to do the work.

This is true of most writers unless they are famous in their own right or have an agent. But for those of us relatively unknown and not having an agent, it is a true experience.

I had the desire to do it myself, but lacked the knowhow. As time passed others (publishers) still published my books and collected money in the process.

But the day came when I decided to make the jump.

Application

My wife and I are a team. Up until recently I wrote the books and she critiqued them. But then her own desire to write began to surface. And it wasn’t to merely copy me but to establish her own writing career in her own genre.

In the summer of 2014 I took her out to eat at the Big M Supper Club (better known as McDonald’s). As you can see I didn’t spare any expense.

I had an idea I wanted to share with her. For eleven years I had an independent online bookstore. And it had enjoyed success up until we moved to Florida to take care of her mother. The care of her mother who had Alzheimer’s became a full time job thus requiring the closing of the store. The store was gone but the idea of having independence never died.

What was my new idea?

In short, I wanted share the new idea of the two of us forming a new business with her as the President (she has an MBA) and myself serving as the Vice President. I prayed to God before presenting this idea because I didn’t know how she’d react. She’d always been supportive of my writing career but would she support getting involved this way?

But Teresa jumped at it. She had long wanted her own business. Even within the bookstore she’d had a division devoted to creating and selling cards. The concept of having a business in partnership with me was the spark that was needed.

We decided upon T&R Independent Books because ‘T’ would stand for Teresa, while ‘R’ would stand for Ronald, Independent marked us as unique, and books obviously referred to our product. T&R Independent Books represented everything we wanted to be as writers!

I learned at this time that she also wanted to write novels. I was delighted. That meant our new company would have two authors providing the merchandise to be sold. So we formed the company. Then happy days, right? Not exactly. Like any new business we had growing pains, which in this case involved an unexpected heart attack.

But we persevered and worked our way through the whole experience. At first our efforts were directed in getting the company organized and ready to do business. By the summer of 2016 we had published two books (nonfiction and a novel). And since then we have continued to work to publish new books and Teresa (aka Tess) began seriously working on her debut novel.

Whatever success God sends our way the formation of T&R Independent Books marked us as entrepreneurs.

And now we’ve added TR Writing Services. This endeavor is for the purpose of helping writers like you. At one time we thought of starting an academy but this book pretty well covers that need. But how about a low cost service that enables the beginning or struggling author to get their book crafted with good grammar, spelling, book cover, and published. These kinds of services are usually expensive but we decided to offer a service that most people could afford. So on February 11, 2019 TR Writing Services was launched.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

When is Good Grammar Correct?

When is Good Grammar Correct?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Is Good Grammar Good Enough?

I have over time written a good deal about writing. I’ve covered numerous subjects including publishing and marketing. Having recently written TR Independent Books Guide to Writing I’ve decided to take one particular aspect of writing and focus on it. If you’d like a free copy of the book simply write me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com, request the book by name and whether you want the Word version or PDF version. I will promptly email you a copy. This book is not available at retail.

In today’s blog I’d like to take a look at grammar, so I’ve copied the chapter that deals with the subject in general (other chapters deal with certain aspects).

So let’s talk grammar. If you were writing for a college course or a college professor you might be expected to write perfect grammar. Less than perfect might have disastrous consequences. But when you are writing novels good grammar may be more desirable than perfect grammar.

Huh?

To understand what I mean you must understand what perfect grammar is. In perfect grammar you are not allowed mistakes. In addition, perfect grammar has rules that must be followed religiously. It requires a very rigid structure. But good grammar may at times be perfect (as when the storyteller is narrating) and other times less than perfect (as when characters are talking or thinking). That’s a simplistic explanation but it will do for now.

Let me put it another way; perfect grammar is usually stilted whereas imperfect grammar brings a certain aliveness to the story. In a story with multiple characters you don’t want all your characters to sound alike.

In my speculative fiction series Christland there are robots and androids. There are also humans. Humans tend to use contractions like ‘isn’t’, ‘don’t’, or ‘haven’t’. But androids use a more perfect grammar and say ‘is not’, ‘do not’, or ‘have not’. Same meanings but spoken differently. I constantly check to make sure that the androids never use contractions unless desired.

It’s the same thing with humans. In the series World That Was I had Methuselah use an expression, ‘So God has said, so shall it be’. This becomes a phrase he uses and is therefore identified with him. No other character uses it.

Is it good grammar?

It doesn’t matter. It is something he says.

And that is an important distinction. When someone is talking or thinking their grammar may or may not be good let alone perfect, but it must be consistent! The only acceptable reason for inconsistency would be a change in the character like having matured, gotten educated, or some such thing. There must be a reason that the reader sees and understands!

So here is a chapter from the book.

Watch Your Grammar

Principle

Your grammar must be perfect!

Right?

Actually that depends on who you talk to and the specifics involved. Here is my take:

Generally speaking you want your grammar usage as correct as possible, but there are exceptions. For example, let’s say one of your characters only has a ninth grade education.

You would not want that character talking like a professor. For that matter, you really don’t want any of your characters to talk that way unless they actually are professors.

Now I don’t recommend that you try to imitate slang and accents, but just be cautious. Maybe allow a character to have a favorite saying. In Perished: The World That Was I had Methuselah with a favorite saying, “So God has said, so shall it be.”

Which brings up a related principle: Be consistent. If I later had someone else using that same phrase it could have been a jolt. Be consistent.

So here’s the principle: When you are dealing with conversation (or even thoughts) you can and should be less than perfect but consistent. Everything else should be perfect.

Aside from speaking, there is the matter of punctuation and spelling. With the tools available this should never be a problem, but it does occur. It is therefore necessary to check your spelling and punctuation as often as possible.

Tip: Be consistent. If Bob is talking like a country boy on page 2 and a professor on page 132 then you better have shown a transformation. Because your reader will spot inconsistencies.

Example

The boys is clothed alike. [This is poor grammar.]

The boys are clothed alike. [Much better.]

“You guys look the same.” [OK.]

“The boys is clothed alike,” Martha said. [OK, if this is consistent with Martha’s education and you’re emphasizing it.]

A rule of thumb is that grammar rules don’t have to be followed rigidly when verbal conversation is taking place or when someone is thinking. (This is an argument for emphasizing thoughts with italics.)

Tip: A rule of thumb is that grammar rules don’t have to be followed rigidly when verbal conversation is taking place or when someone is thinking.

Application

Both my wife and I try to watch our grammar usage. One of the tools we use is Microsoft Word’s grammar checker. It’s not perfect, but it helps. Also, we use the spell check, but it is not always up-to-date. So we make use of the ‘Add to Dictionary’ tool.

Other resources are grammar books (especially older versions that really emphasized good grammar), and the internet.

Make use of as many resources as needed. And pay attention to grammar and punctuation when editing.

Tip #2: Don’t use slang or social media language. It might be good on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media but not in a book unless the language belongs to the character(s).

That was the chapter on Grammar, but actually the subject of grammar is more extensive than that, which is why other chapters deal with some particulars of grammar. For instance, you can include scenes within that subject. The book has chapters on the Starting Scene, the Middle Scene, and the Ending Scene. You could also include viewpoint (there are chapters on the different viewpoints). Grammar is broad and yet specific.

One of the various resources (yes, there’s a chapter on that also) an author needs a Grammar book that includes capitalization, sentence structure, and a whole lot more.

But a key principle that you should remember is what was stated earlier: Generally speaking you want your grammar usage as correct as possible, but there are exceptions. It is your job as an author to find those exceptions, such as conversation, and use them to enliven your story!

Conclusion.

So, is good grammar good enough? Yes, if you’re careful and consistent.

Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into grammar. In the future I will periodically visit a subject found in the writing guide. In the meantime don’t forget that the book is free, easy to read, and the entire book is only 101 pages. And if you’d like to know more about our Writing Services simply request a free copy of our booklet TR Writing Services and we will send you a copy absolutely free and with no obligations.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday

Why We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday.

On Sunday we celebrated Easter or Resurrection Sunday. In either case we celebrated the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some people favor the crucifixion as taking place on Friday (Good Friday). However this is based on a misunderstanding of Scripture. It is true that it took place the day before the Sabbath, but there was the Passover (a Sabbath) that week on Thursday.

There is the additional problem of getting three days and nights between Friday and Sunday. There are some pretty fanciful ideas out there to solve that problem. The truth is that we are talking about real days as in 24 hours. You simply can’t get three 24 hour days between Friday and Sunday.

To resolve this some have placed the crucifixion on Thursday. But this still doesn’t work because the Jewish day started at dusk (around 6 pm). So you’d have Friday and Saturday (2 days) and Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday evening (3 nights). An additional problem is that the Passover (a High Sabbath) was on Thursday.

The only solution that works is the crucifixion was on Wednesday. Passover began at 6 pm, thus beginning Thursday and the Passover. Now you get three days and nights with Jesus rising sometime between Saturday 6 pm (start of Sunday) and Sunday 6 am.

I’ve included a chart to show the events of those days.

However the real point of our celebration is not the name (Easter vs. Resurrection Sunday) or the day of crucifixion. Nor is it just the resurrection. We celebrate His death, burial and resurrection. He died for our sins thus satisfying the holy justice of God and rose on the third day to signify that we have new life in Christ. The two must be together.

It has special significance for believers: It proves the deity of Christ; it fulfills scripture; it proves that what Christ said about Himself and His power to forgive sin is true; it shows there is eternal existence after death; and it shows that ultimately Christ and all believers will have the victory irrespective of politics, etc. here on Earth.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Every week  I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

The title of this blog is taken from the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon. That sermon dealt with the fact that the only thing keeping the ungodly (unsaved) out of Hell is God. In other words, God keeps such people alive and out of Hell to give them the opportunity to be saved. How long He gives them is strictly according to His will not theirs!

Just as this truth shook millions of churchgoers who heard or read this sermon the same should shake those of us who are believers. The same Bible that teaches the truth about the unsaved also teaches that while the saved are secure in the Lord they also are kept from a different judgment purely based on His will and purpose.

What do you mean?

As a believer I am forever secure. I was saved by grace, I am kept by grace, and I will continue to live according to His grace. But my rewards in Heaven are based on works.

But before we discuss that let’s take a look at the very first word in the title, namely Sinners.

Who are Sinners?

Many people believe and some even teach and preach that there are small sins, medium sized sins, and then the whoppers! Furthermore, they teach that Hell is the destination of those guilty of the big sins or whoppers. But the Bible doesn’t teach that.

In fact the Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” and in Roman’s 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” In verse 23 it says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners! And in case you think you are the exception take a look at Revelation 21:8:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Did you notice ‘and all liars’? It only takes one lie to become a liar. And you, my friend, have told at least one lie; and so have I!

Then all will go to Hell?

Without God in your life the answer is yes. The Jonathan Edwards sermon showed that the unbeliever (aka unsaved) is only a fraction of a second from Hell. But Roman’s 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” and has provided for us a way to Heaven. In Romans 10:13 it says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”; in other words, if you sincerely ask Jesus to save you He will. And He knows whether you are sincere or not!

Then a Believer isn’t under God’s Wrath?

That is true. However, God sets a very high standard for our behavior. When we got saved He didn’t take us home to Heaven. Instead, He left us here to serve Him. To accomplish that He wants us to triumph over our sins but we live in sinful flesh and will continue to do so until we are raptured or die!

Then we have no hope!

Wrong! If you belong to God (and all believers do) He loves you eternally. He loves you and will make a way for you to confess your sins and restore your fellowship. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Oh, you mean we can sin all we want as long as we ask forgiveness afterward?

If you approach life with that attitude you will find yourself in a world of trouble. 1 John 1:9 is not a free pass. It’s talking about real confession of the heart with the understanding that God can read our hearts and knows whether it is true or not. And don’t forget, it’s talking about forgiveness not consequences.

I’m confused.

That’s because you haven’t discerned that the wrath of God and the judgment of believers are two separate issues. The wrath of God is upon unbelievers (unsaved) while God’s judgment of works is reserved for His children (only believers are the children of God; all people are the creation of God).

So what is this Judgment of Works?

In the old Roman arenas the victors were rewarded by leis or something of that nature. The victors would wear them like crowns. The governor or some other high official would sit upon a seat called the Bema Seat to award the victors.

Just as that governor watched and awarded the winner God is watching us. When His people (all believers in Christ) do His work He takes notice. Someday we’ll stand in His presence and He will reward us for what we did for Him. He will reward us with crowns that we’ll cast at His feet in awe and worship for Him.

Oh, then our works are involved!

For rewards, yes; for salvation, no. In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Combine that with James 2:18, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” and you get a powerful statement of faith.

Then we are ordained to work?

Yes. We are saved by grace, ordained to work, and displayed for all the world to see.

But what if I don’t do good works?

Good question. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul touched on this issue. Within that verse is the following phrase: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Castaway is not the loss of your salvation. Rather it is the loss of usability. It means to be put on the shelf; to be worthless for service; to be unusable! It means God will reject your service!

I can’t think of anything worse than that for the believer!

That’s scary!

Yes it is! And some don’t like that idea because it doesn’t fit with their concept of a loving God. They’ve adopted the Hollywood concept of love where God ignores our sins because He loves us! But this is not found in the Bible. He is both a loving God and a holy God. He does and He will judge sin!

God loves me but He hates it when I sin. And then there comes broken fellowship, correction, forgiveness, and restoration. But before forgiveness I must first confess. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a promise from God to all believers. And please note that it’s sin being forgiven, but nothing is said of the consequences! (God promises to forgive a man for drinking alcohol if he repents, but He doesn’t promise the man won’t get Cirrhosis of the liver.)

Conclusion

We who have trusted Christ for our salvation are spared the Wrath of God which is for an unbelieving world. But God will judge our works that follow our salvation. And if we are disobedient and thereby sin we are in danger of being castaways. It means that we could enter Heaven without any crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet! What a tragedy that would be!

In writing this blog I am very aware of my own sinfulness. I received Christ as my Savior on May 9, 1973 and have a home in Heaven. The Bible doesn’t teach sinless perfection. In fact it says in 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Therefore we need to trust God, rely on His help and mercy, and worship Him with all our being!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Are They Making the Trump/Pence Space Challenge a Reality?

Are They Making the Trump/Pence Space Challenge a Reality?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Are they making the Trump/Pence Space Challenge a Reality?

The following is a posting of a Newt Gingrich article.

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence announced what may prove to be the boldest space challenge since President John F. Kennedy said America would go to the Moon in 1961.

In implementing President Donald Trump’s historic vision for America to go beyond the Moon and Mars, Vice President Pence sent a clear message that Americans were returning to the Moon by 2024 – and we are going there to stay.

The boldness of the Trump-Pence plan can be seen in the fact that this new target is four years sooner than NASA’s most recent estimate. It was a strong response against, NASA’s long history of budget overruns and project delays. Vice President Pence made it clear that “what we need now is urgency,” and that the competition for American leadership in space is “not just competition against our adversaries; we’re also racing against our worst enemy: complacency.”

The Vice President’s challenge to NASA was remarkably bold and direct. In his words, “failure to achieve our goal to return an American astronaut to the Moon in the next five years is not an option.”

His words signaled a profound move away from the traditional space bureaucracy:

“We’re not committed to any one contractor. If our current contractors can’t meet this objective, then we’ll find ones that will. If American industry can provide critical commercial services without government development, then we’ll buy them. And if commercial rockets are the only way to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years, then commercial rockets it will be.”

In some ways, Vice President Pence’s challenge is even greater than what was facing President Kennedy. It’s true: Kennedy was inventing a new organization and radically expanding the Washington bureaucracy. But that meant he was building something young, fresh, excited, and innovative.

Trump and Pence are trying to reinvigorate, reorient, and redirect an existing, deeply entrenched bureaucracy with a long history of great achievements – that is deeply committed to doing things how they’ve always been done.

Furthermore, President Kennedy was able to use the threat of the Soviet Union to get a massive increase in space funding. At its peak in 1966, NASA was spending 4.4 percent of the federal budget. At that percentage in President Trump’s 2020 budget, NASA would have a budget of $208.8 billion instead of $21 billion. If NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine had almost ten times more money in his budget than he does now, he could do amazing things — but he doesn’t.

Vice President Pence recognizes that a new approach must compensate for the absence of new money. He said on Tuesday, “we will call on NASA not just to adopt new policies but to embrace a new mindset. That begins with setting bold goals and staying on schedule … NASA must transform itself into a leaner, more accountable, and more agile organization. If NASA is not currently capable of landing American astronauts on the Moon in five years, we need to change the organization, not the mission.”

The Trump-Pence-Bridenstine team has two great advantages over the Kennedy era efforts in space.

First, we have a half century of developing new, better, more reliable, and more flexible technology. The reusable rockets of SpaceX and Blue Origin are miraculous improvements on the rockets of the 1960s. Radically smaller microelectronics, breakthroughs in materials technology, the development of 3D printing, and the emergence of artificial intelligence all combine to give us a chance to do more in space – and do it better, faster, and cheaper. However, this is only true if the bureaucracies can be overcome.

Second, there are now competitive companies that can undertake dramatic challenges previously unimagined for the private sector even ten years ago.

Since the bold, exciting challenge of Vice President Pence’s speech, I have talked with key people in the private sector space industry. They are prepared to enter a competition to put astronauts on the Moon — and to stay there. Moreover, they say they can do so ahead of schedule and under budget.

The Trump Administration should propose an open competition. It should not be about planning, engineering, paper pushing, or having meetings. It should be about flying.

Boeing should be challenged to fully take over the Space Launch System project — which it has been paid billions to manage in a traditional cost-plus process. Boeing should be liberated from NASA’s traditional pattern of management, over-planning, and underperforming. If Boeing could liberate its designers and engineers to be mission-oriented rather than process-dominated, the SLS could leap forward, and its price would drop.

At the same time, companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin should be invited into the competition. The central goal would be getting Americans back to the Moon and keeping them there. Companies that meet the goals ahead of schedule should get a bonus. The first company to meet the project goals should get an even bigger bonus.

Furthermore, companies that come in under budget should be allowed to keep 20 percent of the savings. And there should be an opportunity for fully funded new entrants to come and compete.

Importantly, participants should be paid only for achievement – not for planning or process. One suggestion I have heard from industry was for companies to be paid a price per kilo of delivery on the surface of the Moon.

There would have to be a lot of details worked out, but the excitement of a genuine American space race – with each company going all out – would inspire a new generation of Americans to go into space.

At the same time, each company would acquire new capabilities that would be a resource for our military, a building block for getting to Mars and beyond, and an enhancement for low Earth orbit tourism and manufacturing.

This would be a bold implementation strategy worthy of the bold Trump-Pence vision.

Your Friend,
Newt

In the above article I emphasized words and phrases I thought significant.

Note: This was such a well written article I felt that it should be seen by others. For transparency I had nothing to do with the writing of this article. Personally, I found this exciting news; something that should have happened a long time ago. But we needed a President with vision and the willingness to proceed. We’ve got him and he’s doing it!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Is Democratic Socialism the Hope of America?

Is Democratic Socialism the Hope of America?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Is Democratic Socialism the Hope of America?

That question actually opens up a Pandora’s box of questions, so let’s dig in.

What is Democratic Socialism?

Well, it isn’t your traditional socialism, that’s for sure. Let’s start with a few definitions:

Democratic or democracy simply means political power resides with all the people and that that power is exercised directly by the people. Sometimes we in America get confused and call our American system of government a democracy, but it isn’t. Our government is a Republic where the political power resides with all the people and it is exercised by representatives elected by the people. Thus, we live in a Representative Democracy. Pure democracy is dangerous and can be demonstrated in mob rule.

Socialism is the public collective ownership or control of the basic means of production, distribution, and exchange, with the avowed aim of operating for use rather than for profit, and of assuring to each member of society an equitable share of goods, services, and welfare benefits.

Social Democrat is a socialist; especially, a socialist who emphasizes gradual reform.

The above definitions are according to the dictionary.

It would be easy to confuse Social Democrat with Democratic Socialism but I think you will see that they are not the same. Below is a definition of Democratic Socialism found on the internet.

Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy.

The key difference between socialism and democratic socialism is that democratic socialists don’t want the government to own the means of production and socialists do. They believe that certain general social goods like health care should be run by the government, but otherwise support capitalism.

Are you confused yet?

What Benefit is there to Democratic Socialism?

I read an interesting article that listed the pros and cons of this new concept.

Pros

1. It reduces classism within local societies.

In Democratic Socialism, there are not “haves” or “have nots” because there is a sense of community ownership in all things. Private production is used for the public good. At the same time, individuals within the society are able to elect their government officials freely, without fear of political reprisal. That means the differences in wealth and culture are reduced because everyone is working toward a common good. (Emphasis is mine)

2. It gives everyone an opportunity to pursue success.

In a truly capitalistic environment, only those with means and opportunity can pursue options like good healthcare coverage or a college education. In the U.S., there is already a form of Democratic Socialism in place with the public schools offered in the K-12 grade range. This form of governing simply extends the concepts which are already working in a democratic society and applies them to other components of it. Each person has an opportunity to pursue their own definition of success. (Emphasis mine)

3. It eliminates the threat of price fixing.

In Democratic Socialism, the government either controls, owns, or monitors every organization that provides goods and services. Instead of using free market demands to raise prices or form mergers or monopolies, the society is able to govern pricing and regulations to allow access to anyone who may need those items. There is no structure available that allows suppliers to alter pricing simply because there is a high demand for what they have.

4. It creates income equality within society.

In the United States right now, the inequality gap has been growing for more than two generations. In 1980, only 50% of children earned more than their parents. In 1940, 92% of children were able to earn more than their parents. The Top 1% of income earners in the U.S. bring in more than 20% of all income. In 1970, the bottom 50% of earners brought in more than 20% of all income. Adults in the top 1% earn 81 times more than adults in the bottom 50%, on average. Under Democratic Socialism structures, these gaps wouldn’t fully disappear. They would, however, become greatly reduced.

5. It reduces the threat of economic cycles.

During the Great Recession years of 2007-2009, many families around the world struggled to make ends meet. Jobs were lost. People were forced to find underemployment opportunities just to pay their bills. Since then, wages have exploded for the upper income tier, growing as much as 230%. For the bottom tier of income earners, some individuals haven’t seen a pay raise since 2007. Democratic Socialism reduces the threat of these economic cycles, making it easier for households to take care of their basic needs while still having income access to pursue opportunities.

6. It creates an economy that is more efficient.

Within the structures of Democratic Socialism, there is no longer a push to sell unneeded goods or services to consumers. That means less money is spent on marketing, allowing for more to be spent on production, innovation, or wage growth. People still receive what they need for comfort and daily living without the constant brand messaging demanding to be heard.

7. It offers more room for value judgments.

Products can be offered in a society based on Democratic Socialism that are based on value judgments instead of profit judgments. Even if production creates a loss, the government can subsidize production to make needed items available to everyone. In a structure based on capitalism, goods and services are based on profits first and value second.

Cons

1. It cedes more control over basic needs to the government.

Even though officials may still be elected, Democratic Socialism is still on the socialism spectrum. That means the government is given more control over how lives can be lived. There may be added benefits to social access, but that requires money, which means higher tax rates. Then there are fewer options available because the government is in control of the competition. At the end of the day, in its extreme form, the government would be telling everyone what they can do, where they can work, and what they can purchase. (Compare the highlights here to the highlights in Pros #1. Whenever the government is in control of commodities increased taxes seem to be the result.)

2. It could cause a net financial loss instead of gains for families.

Even Bernie Sanders admits that higher taxes are required in such a system, with a 25% tax rate proposed for the median income earner in the United States under his plan. In the Sanders plan, the top tax rate would still be under 40%. That means a greater tax burden, relative to available income, is given to the middle- and low-income earners instead of the higher income earners.(as noted in #1 higher taxes; not only that it is higher taxes for the middle and low income people!)

3. It would limit the influence of unions, civilian oversight committees, and similar institutions.
Democratic Socialism would cede the rights of workers to the government through employment. If the government decides that having a union is not in their best interest, then they can get rid of it. Public employees have already experienced this in government structures that are closer to capitalism. That means there is a greater potential for unsafe work places, lower wages, and less overall incentive to work if all the physical needs of an individual are automatically met by the government. (Unions aren’t perfect and don’t always represent their members, but do you really want to do away with them?)

4. It can reduce innovation.

There may be an advantage in Democratic Socialism in that people with specific skills or talents are placed into jobs that directly benefit from that experience. At the same time, however, production within a socialism-style government structures tends to focus on domestic needs instead of new opportunities. That limits innovation because there is little, if any, competition with the government to develop new ideas. Over time, that means the society can lag behind others that incentivize innovation. (In other words, no mom and pop stores, no inventions occurring in the basement; all of which has had a strong vibrant history in America. It will disappear!)

5. It can create more bureaucracy.

The government will want to determine who is eligible to receive specific benefits. Applicants must fill out paperwork to prove their eligibility. Ongoing renewals must be processed. The goal of Democratic Socialism may be to streamline society and equalize access to services, but more bureaucracy is created in doing so. That means it could take much more time to make services available to those who need them. (Another word describing this is Big Government.)

6. It creates more government spending.

For an economy to grow, there must be a balance between domestic and foreign trade. As innovation declines and manufacturing grows stagnant, fewer international opportunities develop. That means the government may be forced to import more items, creating trade deficits with their neighbors. Without innovation, maintenance and repairs overages become common as equipment ages. In time, the government spends more than it would if it had simply invested capital into existing systems to upgrade them. (Speaks for itself.)

7. It can create a lack of societal motivation.

There will always be people within any society that do not participate in the workforce. In the United States right now, about one-third of all people who are of a working age are choosing not to join the workforce. Under a system of Democratic Socialism, those figures could increase even further. If there is no reward for producing more than someone else, yet both individuals have their basic needs met, the individual working is more likely to give up than the individual not working choosing to join the workforce. (Democratic Socialism fails to take into consideration our human nature. If we don’t need to work to eat, then why would we work?)

8.It cannot prevent a corruptible government.

Human beings are fallible creatures. We are prone to mistakes. We are also capable of doing abhorrent things to one another in certain circumstances. Under the structures of socialism, no matter where it happens to be on the spectrum, there are fewer checks and balances in place to limit the effects of corruption. New leaders can be elected by the people, but not immediately. Hierarchies tend to emerge under this structure, with leaders working to shore up power where they can. (Where absolute power exists absolute corruption also exists. While the love of money is the root of all evil, power is the driving force in our world. And Democratic Socialism breeds a very powerful government sector supposedly representing the people but actually controlling them to a severe degree.

In researching this subject I ran across an article put out by the think tank called niskanen center. This article referenced Kevin Williamson who wrote for the National Review. Apparently he is a conservative although the article doesn’t reflect that tag. His ideas and the ideas of the libertarian quoting him seem impractical and naive. For any political system to work well you need to consider human nature.

But I would like to respond to one of the ‘Pros’, namely #2 – It gives everyone an opportunity to succeed. In that item those supporting Democratic Socialism made this statement: In the U.S., there is already a form of Democratic Socialism in place with the public schools offered in the K-12 grade range.

Now I find that interesting. The United States is nowhere near the top when comparing our education with other countries. And when you dig down you find that Christian or private schools as well as home schooling outperform public schools! And that is in spite of billions of dollars being poured into our public schools! Is that really an argument for any form of socialistic governance? Not only outperform but provide a better quality of education instead of the revisionist education dribble being called education today.

Democratic Socialism may not be communism but it still represents Big Government, still rewards laziness, suppresses innovation, and would eventually destroy our country.

So Capitalism is our Hope?

Capitalism is ‘An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are for the most part privately owned and operated for private profit’. (Dictionary definition.) Unfortunately Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and, I imagine, those who agree with her, apparently failed or outright skipped any education relating to capitalism. Her characterization of Capitalism is outright buffoonery.

Still pure capitalism is not desirable. There needs to be basic regulation and by this I mean ‘basic’. We live in a world where unscrupulous people live. So I would be in support of reasonable laws (most of which I believe are already on the books) designed to protect the people or consumers. The problem as I see it is not capitalism (capitalism allows me the freedom to write and sell books), but rather men and women who abuse others. Interestingly enough there are such people on both sides of the political spectrum. Proper enforcement of the existing laws would go a long way toward leveling the field.

But we also must deal with the moral problem. Bringing us back to the school issue you can trace much of the problems we have today to the misguided action to kick God out of our schools. Today we are constantly hearing reports where Christianity is being opposed by our school system when they actually need more Christianity. It is very telling when you see that the teaching of the Bible, which is both a holy book and a very practical instruction on proper behavior, is forbidden while other ‘religious’ material is allowed.

Today our school system is exploring a laundry list of immoral acts and doctrines. To make them palpable they call these immoral acts moral. This is Democratic Socialism in action! And what are the results: unwanted pregnancies, shootings, suicide, and more. Yes, we had those back in the 50’s but nowhere near to what we have now.

In my opinion Democratic Socialism is far worse than Capitalism. Capitalism can lead to price gouging and many other crimes. But Democratic Socialism when taken to its ultimate source will steal our economic success, our economic freedoms, our privacy, our health care, and ultimately our morals.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why It’s Wrong for Colleges to Queer the Bible?

Why It’s Wrong for Colleges to Queer the Bible?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Why it’s wrong for colleges to Queer the Bible?

There is a movement going on today that is taking over our colleges, a movement that attacks God’s Word. It is called Queering the Bible. In doing research on this issue I came across the arguments for queering the Bible and a site that comes out in direct opposition to this movement. The site is called True freedom Trust and it is for those people who have homosexual leanings but take a stand against it. I will be taking excerpts from their site and using them in this blog. I will also add comments throughout the excerpts which will be enclosed [ ].

I am a Christian totally opposed to homosexual, lesbian, transgender, and any other tag these people use. Before I get to the gist of the blog I want to, in my own words, answer the often given reason for such behavior, namely “I was born this way”.

Isn’t It True that People are Born Gay?

Normally we answer that with an emphatic NO. But let’s take a Biblical view. Back in the Garden of Eden Adam sinned and ever since we have been born with a sin nature. With that in mind the answer could be YES!

What?

Let me explain. When you and I were born we were born with a sin nature. When we get saved we don’t lose that sin nature, it is with us for life. We are given a new nature which is sinless and wants to please God. But in the beginning we have a sin nature.

That means we have the ability and tendency to commit any sin! That includes murdering, lying, gossiping, homosexuality, stealing, lesbianism, bullying, transgendering, voyeurism, drunkenness, cheating, and the list goes on. It is sin and we are all capable of the vilest sin!

What is Queering the Bible?

Let’s define queer first. The term queer is a word that encompasses homosexuality, lesbianism, and transgender.

Queering the Bible means studying the Bible from the homosexual point of view. The article I referred to earlier is actually Queer Theology.

What is Queer Theology?

Queer theology is a theological method that has developed out of the philosophical approach of queer theory, built upon scholars such as Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Judith Butler. Queer theology begins with an assumption that gender non-conformity and gay and lesbian desire have always been present in human history, including the Bible. It was at one time separated into two separate theologies; gay theology and lesbian theology. Later the two would merge to become the more inclusive term of queer theology. [emphasis is mine.]

  1. Theology done by and for LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) individuals focusing on their specific needs.
  2. Theology that purposefully opposes social and cultural norms regarding gender and sexuality. It seeks to unearth hidden voices or hidden perspectives that allows theology to be seen in a new light.
  3. Theology that challenges and deconstructs boundaries, particularly with respect to sexual and gender identity.

Queer theology is inclusive to individuals’ sexual and gender identity and allows the LGBTQ community to reclaim their space in Christianity.

How Do They Support This?

Well let’s start with Jesus. According to Wikipedia:

In a paper read at the Conference of Modern Churchmen in 1967 titled “Jesus, the Revelation of God”, Hugh William Montefiore offers a controversial interpretation of the early life of Jesus. Jesus was not aware of his vocation as Messiah until approximately age thirty, Montefiore argues, and this vocation can therefore not explain the celibacy of Jesus.

[My reply to this: Such a belief completely ignores, dismisses, or misunderstands Jesus’ visit to the synagogue when twelve years of age! Not only that, it completely discounts Jesus’ statement to his parents: “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? Jesus knew Who He was and why He came! Joseph was his step-father, God was His Father; and please note the capital F in ‘Father’s’.]

Montefiore finds the explanation that Jesus was homosexual consistent with his identification with the poor and oppressed:

All the synoptic gospels show Jesus in close relationship with the ‘outsiders’ and the unloved. Publicans and sinners, prostitutes and criminals are among his acquaintances and companions. If Jesus were homosexual in nature (and this is the true explanation of his celibate state) then this would be further evidence of God’s self-identification with those who are unacceptable to the upholders of ‘The Establishment’ and social conventions.

One proponent of queer theology was Marcella Althaus-Reid, who drew on Latin American liberation theology and interpreted the Bible in a way in which she saw as positive towards women, queer people and sex. She proposed a theology that centered marginalized people, including people in poverty and queer people. For Althaus-Reid, theology ought to be connected to the body and lived experience. She put it this way:

Indecent Sexual Theologies […] may be effective as long as they represent the resurrection of the excessive in our contexts, and a passion for organizing the lusty transgressions of theological and political thought. The excessiveness of our hungry lives: our hunger for food, hunger for the touch of other bodies, for love and for God. […] [O]nly in the longing for a world of economic and sexual justice together, and not subordinated to one another, can the encounter with the divine take place. But this is an encounter to be found at the crossroads of desire, when one dares to leave the ideological order of the heterosexual pervasive normative. This is an encounter with indecency and with the indecency of God and Christianity.

One theme in the theology of her The Queer God (Routledge, 2003) is the holiness of the gay club, as she explores the intersection and essential non-contradiction of a strong, vibrant faith life and sexual desire. An example of finding otherness and desire in Biblical texts is her reading of Jeremiah 2:23–25 from the Hebrew:

[…] a young camel deviating from her path: a wild she-ass accustomed to the wilderness, sniffing the wind in her lust. Who can repel her desire? And you said, No! I love strangers, the different, the unknown, the Other, and will follow them.

[My reply to this: This is a very convenient quote particularly when you leave off verse 22. Here’s the KJV version of Jeremiah 2:22 -25.

For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.”

Please note that this entire passage (plus verses preceding it) are directed at one who is clearly not pleasing to God. This passage condemns the gay life not exalts it. The above highlights are mine.]

The remainder of this blog features excerpts from the True freedom Trust (some words may seem odd but that is because it is written from the United Kingdom – I have done some editing.)

Introduction

This article offers a brief critique of the movement known as queer theology, by analyzing two of its main distinctive features. These two distinctive features are firstly the broadness of queer theology and its unity of purpose and secondly, its aim of blurring boundaries in the areas of sex and gender.

Distinctive One – Broadness and Unity

One key distinctive of queer theology is how broad the movement is and yet how an overarching goal unites it. We will define the goal as a ‘…revision of the church’s understanding of the Bible, sexual morality and the meaning of marriage.’

The broadness of queer theology can be seen by contrasting scholars such as Brooten, who acknowledge that the Scriptures condemn same-sex practice but in doing so argue that they should be ‘disregarded,’ with those who are supposedly more ‘evangelical’ in their approach.

An evangelical approach can be seen through the arguments of Vines who seeks to show that the Scriptures do not prohibit all forms of same-sex sexual expression. Instead, Vines asserts that ‘Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.’ The approach of Vines and others is often argued by attempting to show that the explicit references to same-sex practice in the Scriptures should not be taken as applicable to modern, committed same-sex relationships.

Others, like Rudy, would not seek monogamy or commitment as a moral principle for which to strive. Rudy, for example, claims that non-monogamous sex can be viewed as a hospitable, progressive ethic.. .Wilson, on the more liberal wing, talks of ‘bodily hospitality’ where promiscuity is considered a gift, whereas Jeffrey John articulates an approach which talks of same-sex relationships being ‘permanent, faithful and stable.’

 John is seeking what he sees as equal rights for same-sex couples, whereas Wilson is celebrating a more expressive sexuality. One approach wants a seat at the table of societal institutions such as marriage, whereas the other is happy to tip the table over. Both, however, have a minimal aim of encouraging others to see same-sex practice as honorable to God.

Someone who seeks to argue from the Bible for faithful same-sex relationships is James Brownson, who states ‘my… commitment to the centrality of Scripture has not changed’. We can contrast Brownson’s approach with that of Adrian Thatcher. Thatcher makes it plain that his books are ‘always written from a progressive, liberal perspective’ with the aim of helping to make churches ‘more inclusive.’

Thatcher, Brownson, Vines, and Wilson all highlight the broad and varying hermeneutical approaches taken within the sphere of queer theology.

One lamentable strength regarding the broadness of queer theology is that it reaches a wide audience. If for example, queer theology was to exist only in more liberal forms, its blasphemous conclusions would be dismissed out of hand by many Christians and would never pose a challenge to many in our churches. Two examples of this are Boer’s view that God should be understood as a sexual top who engages in sadomasochistic relationships with humans, and Althaus-Reid’s view that the Trinity should be understood as an orgy.

Although still assiduously seeking to twist the scriptures, the more conservative wing of queer theology is much less likely to be dismissed as quickly as scholars like Boer. This wing at least has what it describes as a ‘high view’ of Scripture, and claims to discern the true meaning of the biblical texts. As previously mentioned, however, the common goal of validating same-sex practice within the Church is shared by both ends of this movement.

We have seen that the broadness of queer theology gives it a regrettably broad reach. Both ends of queer theology do, however, have serious flaws, which mitigate against it being considered a useful hermeneutic.

The more conservative wing of queer theology has failed in its attempt to reconcile a high view of Scripture with a consistent hermeneutical approach that highlights how and why the Biblical prohibitions on same-sex practice are no longer applicable. Even if this were achieved, however, it would still be in danger of arguing from silence as there are no positive references to same-sex practice in the Scriptures. It is hard to reconcile arguments from silence with what many deem to be a ‘high view’ of Scripture, although Wilson does argue that biblical narratives such as David and Jonathan affirm an LGBT experience.

[It is rediculous to claim David and Jonathan were gay. These were best friends. Period!]

The work of theologians like Brooten highlights how weak the more evangelical wing of this movement is. Brooten’s work highlights that it is not just exploitative relationships which fall under Paul’s condemnation in Romans 1.

Romans 1… establishes the universal sinfulness of same-sex practice, rather than as merely a culturally limited prohibition.

[This first chapter of Romans displays the weakness of the arguments in behalf of queer theology. Verses 26 and 27 clearly describe female same-sex and male same-sex practices. And it is clearly condemned! Moreover the references to the Creator take us all the way back to Genesis and establishes the universal sinfulness of same-sex practice.]

The information above was on the technical side but it was so good I felt I had to include it with only minor editing.

Conclusion

Queer Theology is simply bankrupt! Try as they might you cannot truly queer the Bible. It is the Word of God and must be taken as a whole. God has consistently condemned the queer life-style. On the other hand He’s never argued against the claim they were born that way. We are all born sinners, capable of the filthiest sins, including same-sex practices. That is why we all must be born again!

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ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.