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Temptation of Eve

Although I’ve titled this the temptation of Eve, at the time of her temptation she hadn’t been named Eve yet.

I love the Bible. It is filled with the story of the gospel, heroic men and women, and enough adventure to satisfy any appetite. I have read and studied the Bible for 48 years and I think I know a thing or two about it.

There are some passages in the Bible that I have heard pastors try to wiggle around. Sometimes to avoid offending anyone. One such passage is Genesis 3, verses 1 – 6, which covers the temptation of Eve.

Usually when people read verse 6, they insist that Adam was there at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with Woman. I will get to that in a moment, but we will first deal with verses 1 and 2.

Please understand this, I am not anti-women. And I don’t blame women for our sin condition; that wholly rests on Adam as I will explain.

But on the other side of this break, I want to clarify what I believe happened when Serpent tempted Woman.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

In Genesis 3:1-2 Serpent, who was a created creature but became possessed by Lucifer, challenged Eve by asking, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Let’s give Eve her due. I think Eve loved God and immediately sought to defend His honor. She quickly realized that for some reason Serpent was attacking the goodness of God.

So, she responded with, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

Her statement was incorrect. God never said, “neither shall ye touch it.” If you doubt that check out Genesis 2:17 which happened before Eve’s creation, and Genesis 3:11 which occurred after Adam sinned.

Now I have heard pastors explain this as Eve must have been told by Adam that God said, “neither shall ye touch it.” But there is no scripture in the Bible that says such a thing. More importantly, God doesn’t rebuke Adam for such a misquote.

Eve said what popped into her mind probably to emphasize God’s command. It certainly wasn’t intentional. That being the case, why make an issue of it and shift the blame to Adam?

‘But that is a minor issue compared to Genesis 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto here husband with her; and he did eat.’

Notice the part I highlighted. The common interpretation is that Adam was with her when she ate the fruit. If that argument is correct, then I contend that Adam was a terrible husband and was at least partly responsible for Eve eating the fruit.

You see, according to the Bible, Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). So, here is my problem with that interpretation of Genesis 3:6.

That would mean that Adam was with her from verse 1 when Serpent cast doubt about God but didn’t offer any response. Instead, it was Eve who responded.

But when she misquoted God, Adam didn’t correct her. Now if he had told her God had said that then no correction would have been forthcoming. But it gets more interesting.

In verses 4 and 5 Serpent (actually Lucifer speaking through him) attacked God’s honesty and virtue. Yet, if Adam was there, he remained silent!

And then in verse 6, he didn’t warn Eve. Remember, he wasn’t deceived. So, he should have warned her and told Serpent to take a hike! But he didn’t!

If Adam was with her at the tree, then he was a terrible husband. One man, no matter his faith, would allow the woman they loved to stand alone against these lies and temptations. His silence would have been all the justification Eve needed.

But when God asked Eve for her reasoning in verse 13, she did not point a finger at Adam, only at Serpent. Despite the fact that Adam had just pointed a finger at her.

In the Old Testament there are many occasions when a single verse refers to multiple events or time periods. I believe that verse 6 can be broken into at least two parts. Part one relating to Eve’s sin, and part two meaning that Adam was with her in the garden not with her at the tree. When you look at the chapter in context then that understanding makes perfect sense.

Why do I make such an issue of it here? Because pastors make an issue of it in their sermons. As if to exonerate the woman. But I have heard it taught that if Adam had not eaten of the fruit, woman (Eve) would have died, and God would have replaced her. I don’t know if that is correct but given God’s command and the circumstances that took place, it sounds reasonable.

In addition, our sin nature stems from Adam not from Adam and Eve. She shared in the action and the consequences of that action. But it is, “…by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

Eve doesn’t need to be exonerated. Adam was not deceived but chose to sin, perhaps because he loved Eve. But, if so, he put Eve above God in his heart. There is no excuse, and Adam’s only attempt at one was to point a finger at Eve, and ultimately at God.

When he ate of the fruit, the consequences of that sin fell upon both him and Eve, and all mankind. The great truth here is that God in His mercy provided a Redeemer Who took our place on the cross and provided forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

If you would like to comment on this article, please do.

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Preparing to be Published

I am preparing to be published again. It is always the same feeling of excitement mixed with anticipation.

The manuscript has been proofed, the cover is ready, and I am nearing the time when the eBook will go on PreOrder status. But that is not all.

I have been busy upgrading my website. Why?

It is always a good practice to frequently update your website. It presents fresh material for the bots to explore and report back to their masters whether it be Google, Yahoo, or a host of others.

But in this case, I was updating to make the products I sell easier. Easier for you to buy and easier for me to manage. Earlier this year, I upgraded to WooCommerce on my website. Today, I added the PayPal extension that will allow my customers the safest, most reliable experience as they shop.

There are many trusted venues or gateways that businesses can use for their customers benefit. And I am sure that they do everything possible to ensure a safe environment and a smooth, reliable transaction experience. But, in my opinion, PayPal is the best.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

You may prefer other methods for customers to use. And that is fine.

I am writing this blog not to promote PayPal, but to emphasize that when you are done writing, you still have things you should do. One is to take steps to improve customer experience.

Sitting back and just waiting for the publication date is not being proactive. There are things you can do like developing ads, updating your website, and using Social Media to promote some buzz. In this way, you can help your own cause.

One of the actions I am currently taking is working on a video that I can email to people I know, insert in a blog like this, and upload to Amazon Central. All of these are actions that have the potential to help generate sales.

Whether I use this video or another remains to be seen. There are plans for a professional video shoot, but I want a good backup just in case. What’s the difference?

Well, I use my computer camera and mike, while a professional will use a more sophisticate camera. Also, a professional does it for a living either as photographer or as part of his overall business.

I have been doing all my videos which are admittedly amateur. They could be improved upon, and it would relieve me of the time of doing them myself. A new company, Pure Video, will be working with me in the near future. Right now it is a matter of getting all our ducks in a row.

Most advice you get will tell you to get professional help for editing, proofing, and marketing. But not everybody has the time or money to find the right professional for their project. It just so happens that I only learned about Pure Video recently from a friend who was starting it. I know him and already have confidence in him, so that simplifies the matter of research. I will probably do a blog about him in the near future.

The point I am making right now, however, is that don’t waste time between the end of writing and the launch of your new book! It is tempting to rest because you have been pouring your heart out in writing and it just might have tired you out. Also, it is easy to think that publishing is just flipping the switch.

The truth is that if you are an Indie Publisher, you still have work to do. In my case, I still had to access my KDP account and make sure everything is ready to go, including pricing. I also need to create the book upon my website, which I will be doing this week. Since I have a bookstore, I will need to determine the discounted price (all our books are discounted). This will be a special discount reflecting the fact this is a new book.

My newest book, The World of Joseph, will come in three formats: paperback, hard cover, and eBook. All will be published at the same time to give customers a good choice from the beginning.

On August 8, 2021, the eBook version will go on PreOrder and the actual launch will be August 12, 2021. As noted above, the paperback and hard cover versions will also be published on August 12, 2021. The printed books will be available at Amazon.com and at TR Independent Bookstore where they are always discounted. The eBook will only be available on Amazon.com although we will have a link to it from our store which is called TR Independent Bookstore.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Potiphar in The World of Joseph

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

The title of this blog is Potiphar in the World of Joseph. And it is part of my ongoing blogging about my upcoming book The World of Joseph: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. So, today I will highlight Potiphar and wife, whom I call Zulekha.

According to the Bible in Genesis 39: 1, Potiphar was the Captain of the guard. In my book I used the term Royal Guard as Pharaoh was the king. But it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that this guard was not a dozen men guarding the king, but rather Pharaoh’s army.

In those days Egypt was under one ruler, Pharaoh Sesostris I. His father had taken the throne from another and united the north and south under one rule. But it wasn’t done with just his army. Although he was looked upon as the ruler, Pharaoh did not have absolute rule at that time.

His support was dependent upon the governors of the various regions. These governors had their own armies, and some were strong enough to resist Pharaoh if they had a mind to do so. As long as they were kept busy fighting the Nubians in the south and the Hyksos in the north, they were controllable.

But they represented a problem. As Captain of the Guard, a position probably equivalent to General of the Army, Potiphar would have had responsibility not only for Pharaoh’s life but for the kingdom itself.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

In the Bible, Potiphar disappears from the account of Joseph’s life in Egypt when Joseph is cast into prison. But most likely Potiphar was still around as the commanding general and perhaps over the royal prison. If so, he would have had numerous opportunities to run into the young man.

When writing I like to ask questions and my first question was, What happened when Joseph became Mentuhotep the Vizier, and he came into contact with Potiphar? It was an intriguing question that led to the development of Potiphar’s position and interaction with the vizier.

A follow-up question was, Did Potiphar keep track of Joseph while the lad was in prison? After all, it appears in the Bible that Potiphar did not believe his wife’s charge of attempted rape by Joseph. Another question would be, As the second most powerful man in the kingdom what, if any, relationship would Mentuhotep have with Potiphar?

In other words, there is a lot of room for speculation about their relationship. And for that matter, Joseph’s relationship with Potiphar’s wife!

Research didn’t answer those questions, but it did provide the backdrop that I could use to develop the story. And if you are a writer reading this then I want you to see that no matter how hard or uncomfortable research maybe it has the benefit of adding to your story. Not only as historical backup, but it can lead to subplots that bring your story alive!

I have mentioned in previous blogs about recent developments in Egyptology. When I began writing, Egyptology was based on Traditional chronologies. These chronologies were totally unreliable. So, I was very pleased when modern archaeological research resulted in a far more reliable chronology.

In the past I had to try to make the Egyptian timelines match with the Biblical. And that was horrendous! So, you can imagine my relief when I discovered that there was now a newer, clearer, and far more accurate Egyptian chronology.  I was even more excited when I compared that chronology to the Biblical and found virtual agreement!

If you are an author and you are leery of doing research or you regard it as too much grunt work, I recommend you purpose to do it anyway. And remember, when using secular sources, they tend to radically change. If your book is related to the Bible, then consider the Bible as your ultimate source. The King James Bible is an excellent resource and doesn’t change unlike some of the newer translations.

When you pick up my book to read take the time to see how much of a role Potiphar had in Joseph’s life. And take a look at his wife, Zulekha.

On August 8, 2021, the eBook version will go on Pre-Order and the actual launch will be August 12, 2021. The paperback and hard cover versions will also be published on August 12, 2021. The printed books will be available at Amazon.com and at TR Independent Bookstore where they are always discounted. The eBook will only be available on Amazon.com.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Insights From World of Joseph

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

In this blog, I am reporting on some insights from The World of Joseph, my latest novel. Today’s insight takes a look at the different names of Joseph. Let’s begin:

Joseph is the name that is most commonly associated with this man. According to the Biblical account he was a young man who God chose to reveal two particular dreams. These two dreams indicated that Joseph’s brothers and parents would someday bow to him.

This became problematic and led to his being sold as a slave. He was first a slave to Potiphar, a captain of Pharaoh’s Royal Guard (which can be interpreted as General of Pharaoh’s Army). He was a slave for three years and followed that up by ten years in prison for a total of thirteen years. Then, at the age of 30, he became the Vizier of Egypt.

Zaphnaath-paaneah is the Egyptian name given by Pharaoh. It has various interpretations, such as life’, ‘Support of Life’, ‘the god speaks and he lives’, ‘god speaks’, ‘says the god’. The last phrase which says ‘the god speaks, he will live’ seems to capture Pharaoh’s acknowledgement that the wise Joseph had the “Spirit of God” within him (Genesis 41:38).

However, this name is used only once in Scripture.

Mentuhotep is the third name and you don’t find it in Scripture. However, it is found in Egyptian history. There were actually at least two Mentuhoteps and due to the confusion over pharaohs and their dynasties, our Mentuhotep has been referred to as Mentuhotep II. But researchers now know that the Mentuhotep of the 12th dynasty was never a pharaoh, but rather the Grand Vizier or Prime Minister of Egypt. He served under Pharaoh Sesostris I in the 12th dynasty.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

So, what can we learn from these names?

First of all, we learn what we already knew: the Bible is reliable. This has been proven over and over again. People point out supposed errors and eventually, sometimes after hundreds of years, the Bible is proven correct. But the Bible doesn’t need to be proved, it is the Word of God no matter what man says or thinks.

The name of Zaphnaath-paaneah gives insight into the mind of Pharaoh. He was deeply impressed by Joseph and believed that Jehovah God of the Jews spoke through him. That belief followed Pharaoh throughout his life. It helps us understand the true power Joseph had. He was not only second to Pharaoh in position, but in his power. Since Pharaoh acknowledged that God spoke through Joseph, he never according to the Bible, overruled Joseph’s decisions.

But it is the name of Mentuhotep that speaks the loudest in the sense that it provides insight into the Egyptian hearts of the people! The cover of my novel shows a headless statue of Mentuhotep. The loss of the head probably speaks of time, erosion, and maybe vandalism, but the statue itself reveals something altogether different.

First of all, it was unheard of to make a statue of anyone other than Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was considered divine. And yet here we have a statue of someone who obviously was not a pharaoh.

Why do I say obviously?

Because Mentuhotep is shown wearing the garb and cradling on his lap the tools of a trade. Not the tools of a government official, but of a scribe. This depiction tells us that Mentuhotep was a scribe, which fits in well with Joseph’s career as a slave where he ran Potiphar’s house, his career in prison where he ran the prison, and his career as Vizier where he ran the whole government’s effort to provide for the coming famine and to distribute food during the famine. This was a man who wielded great influence and power affecting Egypt and other nations, and he did so by using the tools of a scribe. In other words, pen and paper in modern times.

The Egyptian historical records also reveal insight from secular records that agree with Biblical records. Viewed from opposing perspectives, we see a commonality of facts. While the Bible does not need verification, it is nonetheless always a positive reinforcement. And it helps the unbelievers put their trust in the Bible.

I always emphasize research as a tool of an author. The above is just one of the reasons; it expands your knowledge! But another reason is that it expands the book itself. In my case, it provided the subtitle of my book, Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. But it also contributed to the story writing itself.

The World of Joseph: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt is available on Amazon.com and at T&R Independent Bookstore beginning August 12th. Pre-orders of the eBook will begin August 8th. You will find that this book comes in the following formats: paperback, hardcover, and eBooks. Paperback and hardcover are available at both Amazon and our bookstore, but the eBooks are only available at Amazon.com!

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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FREEDOM TO WRITE

The debate concerning the Freedom to Write is all around us, but rarely do we as authors hear anything about books or magazines, but censorship hurts everyone, including authors!

Throughout history the Far Left and the Far Right have striven to suppress the right to hear or read opposing views. Basically, these two opposing viewpoints agree on one thing: the written and spoken word is powerful, dangerous, and must be controlled.

Furthermore, both sides have attempted to control the printed word. All of us know how the Catholic Church opposed the Bible being printed and put in the hands of common people. They didn’t just oppose it, they used every means possible to stamp it out. This included the hunting down of the printers, destroying the presses, arresting and burning at the stake those brave enough to oppose them. But they are not the only ones. We have seen dictatorships use it and we’ve seen it used right here in the United States.

This opposition to the printing of information contrary to the ruling powers desire, is neither Left nor Right. Both sides use it and when they do, the rest of us are harmed.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Today, we have a news media, both print and digital, in the hands of the Left with strong efforts taking place in the Social Media area. Their goal is to squelch the voice of the Right. It doesn’t matter how well written, or how well established their argument is, if they are on the Right, they must be stopped. What government could not do, the high-tech giants seem unstoppable.

Are books next?

I don’t mean just non-fiction. I mean all books. We’ve had book burnings in the past by both sides, but the type of suppression we now have has the courts stymied. Why?

I’ve heard it is because they fear what Congress will do if they act. And that is a strong argument. But it is also possible that judges are simply petrified because high-tech is hiding behind the Constitution, especially the 1st Amendment.

This is a threat to all who value freedom. And it is a real threat to those who write.

We’ve all read or at least heard of books about to be published that were suddenly pulled back. Someone was against the book and used money, prestige, and maybe a little blackmail, thus forcing the publisher to back off publishing the book. When that someone has political power, financial power, or both, we the people suffer.

Why?

Because it keeps us from having the right to hear or read opposing views.

Everybody should be able to read or hear news or opinions that differ from the ones in power. In the current mixture of the Cancel culture and the Left, we are faced with increasing pressure to bar opposing views whether audio, video, or written. And this includes news, opinions, and even tell-all books.

I think there have been attempts to censure novels.

None of this is new. It has been going on for a very long time, but now is getting worse. And we’ve seen it from both the Left and the Right, although it does seem that the Left has it mastered.

The Freedom of the Press is a slogan that the Left uses to protect their drivel, but if a person on the right criticizes them, they do all they can to shut that person up. The Freedom of the Press doesn’t just mean newspapers and TV News. It easily extends to books and blogs.

I might remind you that it was the pamphlets (revolutionary blogs?) that stirred up the people to resist tyranny and rebel against England. These pamphleteers were the bloggers of the day.

And I must add that it was novelists who revealed the exotic world of royal shenanigans. They not only entertained, but they revealed the inner evils of the world. Censorship is never a good thing. Some have tried it with the purpose of protecting us from evil, but it only makes the censored item more desirable.

The latest example of censorship is the coverup concerning the voting rights bill being voted on in congress. There are some serious issues with this bill, but if you listen to the Left, they aren’t worthy of our concern. If the average American wants the truth, they have to plug their collective ears to the drumbeat of the Left and focus on discovering the truth.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Fishing Week My Biggest Catch

Since the first week of June is Fishing Week I thought I would share with you the story of my biggest catch.

As a child I lived in West Branch, Michigan which is pretty much in the center of the Lower Peninsula. It is also about 22 miles southwest of Sage Lake where this story took place. Back then my parents had friends who had a cabin on Sage Lake and we would occasionally visit them. This was one such visit.

I don’t know if the boat was owned by the friends or just a rental but one day we rowed out into the deeper water and began fishing. In all transparency I was never much of a fisherman. Somehow the fish seemed to know I was on the other end of the line and they boycotted me. There simply isn’t any other explanation.

As I recall there were four of us in the boat which included my father, my mother, my sister, and myself. I am not sure about the pole I used although I am thinking it may have been the trusty old bamboo rod.

One of the things I don’t like about fishing is the waiting. You cast your line out and simply wait for a fish to come along and decide to check out the amazing lure. In any case, it did seem like a long time before I had even a single bite.

I would cast my line out let it sink below the surface, wait a while and then being recast. This involved flicking the line up and over my back and then casting it again. Even this was becoming tiring.

But then it happened!

I flicked the hook behind me and cast again just as I had been doing. But this time I caught something. And it was big! I got excited as did my mom who was sitting right beside me. It was probably the proudest moment of my life.

“Ron!”

That was mom hollering at me. You could tell she was just as excited as I was, perhaps more so. Because, you see, that biggest catch ever was her!

If you are reading this, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Journalism Debate Misses the Mark

The Riddle Report 05 04 2021

In today’s newspaper, I came across two articles focusing on trust in the media. Both were through Insidesources.com and both tackled the sad state of trust in the media.

The first article was by Carrie Sheffield and it was a good, well-researched discussion on the lack of “trust” that exists of media. She identified several points of concern and closed by saying, “Progressives in the media these days speak of “equity” and “inclusion,” but the question is whether they’ll include better ideological diversity in their work moving forward.”

In the second article written by Yosef Getachew and Jonathan Walter, the argument centered around the absence of women and people of color in the newsroom. They ended the article by saying, “The challenges to our current media landscape are multilayered that require bold solutions. In order to revive journalism as a pillar of our democracy, we need a vibrant ecosystem with diverse and independent voices, investigative reporting that holds power accountable, and robust reporting that can meet the information needs of our communities today.” (This article sounds more like an ad or perhaps a politician.)

Both of these articles were interesting and both brought up important points. But, in my opinion, the piece by Sheffield came closest to the answer. Just the same, I believe they both missed the mark.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

The solution to the problem with today’s journalism won’t be found in looking at charts and dissecting data. The answer is both simple and complex. Let’s take a closer look.

Yes, the trust in the media is broken! That is a fact. But I believe there is a very simple solution to that problem. Before I tell you what it is, let me be transparent. I hold no degrees in journalism, have never taken a class in journalism, and the only reporting that I have done is in my blog.

I am almost 78 and I have lived long enough to have observed both good and bad journalism. So, what do I think is good journalism?

The best way I can answer that question is to relate how I read the news when I was much younger.

When I was a kid, the local newspaper published news on local news and national news. And just like now they used the AP to publish stories that were primarily national. These stories were not only well-written and researched, but they were also written in a way that left the writer’s personal opinion out of it. That is, they reported just the facts; if they wanted to express their views, they were published elsewhere in the paper.

For all I knew, the writer could have been liberal or conservative. If I wanted their opinion, I could turn to the back pages where there was the Editorial page for the Editor and the Letters to the Editor where the letter writer could express his or her opinion. There were also guest opinion articles. (All of which we still have.) The bias was separated from the article and often was found elsewhere.

In short, the facts were reported without bias. And the bias was easily identifiable in another section of the paper where the reader knew it was an opinion based on their understanding of the facts.

Today that is not so.

In the modern newspaper we find the bias mixed right in alongside the facts. It is not rare to find article after article where this is the case. It is disheartening. But worse still, it is dishonest.

Reporters are supposed to report the facts and leave the opinion making up to the readers. But I am afraid the colleges and universities no longer teach journalism that way. Nowadays, it appears to me that reporters write with an angle or agenda. They insert words, sometimes only one or sometimes several, that are meant to convey certain ideas that the writer wants conveyed.

If you only want the facts, you have to try to filter out all the bias. It takes longer, is not always possible, and it provides a false narrative. I am an author of fiction and it is expected that I will write in a way to create a scene or show a person a certain way. But that is unacceptable for a reporter!

In response to the two articles, it is not what the color of skin the reporter has nor the sex of the reporter. Nor is it whether the reporter is liberal or conservative. It is telling us the facts and letting us form our own opinions. Let’s get back to what we knew when we were youngsters; report the facts on one page and state your opinion on another page!

Unless you bring honesty back to reporting and report the facts without the bias you will discover that increasing diversity and creating a vibrant ecosystem with diverse and independent voices won’t change our mistrust. It will just continue to grow and fester. Then we will get our news from blogs like this.

If you are listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Videos on a Budget

The Riddle Report 03 25 2021

We’ve all experienced working on a tight budget. It usually isn’t fun. But I’ve come to the conclusion that you can lay a foundation for when the fun begins. And you can achieve goals even though on a budget.

In a sense we are always on a budget. Even when you have a lot of money you are budgeting where that money goes. But our human nature is such that we sometimes get swayed into spending more money than we should on different items.

In today’s blog, I am addressing using videos as a way to augment your business. There are a lot of tempting products out there that are yelling at you and telling you that you MUST have them. They sound attractive and the need seems to be great if you want to compete with the big boys.

Like most authors I have looked at the idea of marketing my books and/or services via videos. I’ve experimented and learned a lot, especially over the last year. I am now investing my time into creating videos that not only market my products but provide information that can help others be better authors and Indie businesspersons.

All in all, the video industry is growing and becoming a needful place to be if you want to see your business grow. What you see on the Internet are very successful people with fancy equipment and studios, but they didn’t start that way. We all, or at least most of us, start small and grow. And that usually means we start with a small or tight budget. Today’s blog is directed at you.

Go High Tech or Basic

One of the most interesting questions is whether to go high tech or Basic. By Basic I mean using the equipment you already own. Let’s take a look.

News Item #1 Overview.

  1. The Budget – For a new or struggling author budgeting is king! And even after you succeed you need to follow a budget. I mentioned that above. The fact is that lack of money is a huge factor controlling what you can and cannot do.
  2. Computer Camera – Not so long-ago computers with built-in cameras were not of very good quality. The picture was not all that sharp, picture stability was not good, and the resulting video was not something you wanted for your business. But times have changed! Nowadays, you can buy a middle of the road computer and it will come with a decent built-in camera. It is certainly not on the level of a camera that costs hundreds of dollars, but it is good enough for advertising clips, instructional videos, and the like.
  3. Cell Phone Cameras – You could almost copy and paste the comments I made above. Cell phone cameras have come a long way. I plan on buying a new phone in the near future and I am already excited about the possibilities I will have with the new camera (or cameras as some phones have multiple camera lenses). When reading someone’s evaluation of a cell phone camera and you see “It’s OK”, don’t let that turn you down. You don’t know the reviewers background or needs. I suspect they often are more demanding than most of us are or need to be.
  4. Award Winning Video – It is important to remember that you are not trying to win an award for your video. You are creating a video for a particular purpose, such as teaching or marketing.
  5. Studio – Many of the videos you watch show the person surrounded by expensive equipment and a large studio. But you don’t need expensive equipment nor a large studio. The studio can be the corner of your living room, a converted bedroom, or some other place in your house.
  6. Presentation – This is what is important and what I address below.

News Item #2 There are 3 basic parts to Presentation.

If budget is the King, then Presentation is the Queen. You can have the best equipment, and the best studio and still stink!

Presentation consists of 3 parts: Visual, You, and Message.

  1. Visual – This includes anything that the eye perceives. However, I am zooming in on office appearance while your appearance will be dealt with separately. As stated earlier, the studio can be anywhere, and it can vary in size. I’ve seen large studios and small studios and they all seem to work. I have found that a small studio can dramatically be changed by simply adding a display of books in the background, a banner on the wall, or anything that adds color and may represent your message.
  2. You – I think this is the second most important part of your video (message being #1).
    1. How does the viewer see you? A long time ago I realized I wasn’t Prince Charming. No matter how I dress I will never be a magnetic person, but I can dress for success and that isn’t as hard as you may imagine. The next time you watch a video that is teaching or selling, note the speaker’s manner of dress. They don’t dress like a slob nor do they dress like they are going to a White House event! Generally, they dress casually. In my case I dress casually, which in my case that means no coat and tie. There was a time I dressed in a tie, but eventually that went. From videos I’ve watched the casual approach is best. I also try to be consistent in style of clothing.
    1. Don’t feel speech must be letter perfect. Your viewer needs to hear and understand your speech, but you are not trying to win a speech award.
    1. Don’t need to be a star. The message is the star!
    1. Be Genuine.
    1. Speak clearly.
    1. Be enthusiastic, but not overbearing.
  3. Message – This is the most important part.
    1. Your message should be short. Usually around 10 minutes or less. Some of my teaching videos have gone over 10 minutes out of necessity, but I recommend you keep it shorter.
    1. Be Direct – Whether selling or teaching you want your message to be clear and less distracting as possible. I have tossed videos simply because of a coughing spasm, a momentary pause in my speech, or other seemingly mild interruptions just because they were distracting.
    1. Be honest – Don’t make claims you can’t back up. I have watched videos where the speaker practically promised the product would do wonders for the viewer. It is better to show or tell them what they need to know and let them connect the dots.
    1. Don’t Brag – This is related to being honest. When you brag about what you have done you can be irritating, but you are suggesting that if the viewer does what you what them to do, they will have the same success. You can’t really prove that. If they think they can do better, that is one thing, but bragging (especially showing bank accounts) could be a can of worms if they buy your product or service and it doesn’t perform as advertised.

News Item #3 Conclusion

I believe I have found the best way: start with what you have and build upon it!

Namely, start with the current equipment you have, yourself, and your message. Yes, you will make mistakes, but you can redo a video. That is one reason for keeping them short. You can also do really short clips and when you have them all done, use an editor to make one complete video.

As you move forward, your message will be refined and stronger, you will be more relaxed and composed, and the equipment will improve.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Corruption of the Left

The Riddle Report 11 20 2020

The corruption of the Left appears to be far greater that I or anyone else ever anticipated. I knew they would lie and cheat. That is there history. But what stunned me is the sheer magnitude of what they have done! Mounting evidence demonstrates that the 2020 election was in the process of being stolen before the first votes were ever cast.

2016 Election.

There is plenty of evidence that the Left tried to steal the 2016 election before and after the actual election. At this time, they inserted the Dominion software by convincing people it would be a good and secure tool for election. But the real reason for buying the software was the expectation they could control of the votes for their candidate Hilary Clinton.

Unfortunately for them, the software didn’t function as well as advertised and Donald Trump won. But their own bitterness and pride would not permit them to admit any mistake on their part. For the next three and a half years they used every trick in the book to unseat President Trump culminating on December 18, 2019 in a House of Representative approval of Articles of Impeachment which then led to a Senate trial on January 16, 2020. On February 5, 2020 the President was acquitted.

This is where we wondered if they finally had learned their lesson. No, they didn’t, but they did learn that the software had been fixed and the upcoming election would be different. So they set about to steal the election from the American people.

2020 Election.

I used to believe and even wrote that the Democrats were making a mistake in pursuing their efforts to unseat the President. But I was wrong. They knew something that I didn’t, namely, that the election was rigged long before Biden received the nomination!

Now weeks after the election was held, we are beginning to see the tip of the iceberg. Across multiple states the fix was in. I believe, however, that somehow President Trump learned of the rigging and set about preparing for the battle ahead.

At the same time, the Democrats were aware that the Republicans suspected but didn’t really know about the rigging. If you were listening, they started accusing the President of not accepting the results if Biden won. There was no evidence to support such an accusation, but hindsight shows that they may have known about the fix and wanted to thwart any challenges he might make. Thus, we heard repeatedly the charge that he wouldn’t accept defeat. They were operating on the idea that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it to be true.

The Plan.

This Plan is so convoluted and mind boggling that it is hard to understand. Consider:

  • Thousands of deceased men and women voted in the election. While not proven yet, there appears to be a great deal of evidence showing that is what happened.
  • Ballot switching where ballots fro Trump were switched to ballots for Biden.
  • Evidence of Democratic Governors and Secretary of States spearheading voter suppression.
  • News media has consistently downplayed, ignored, or denied the evidence. In some instances, they have implied Republicans are desperately making stuff up. Such lack of journalistic integrity will be a stain on the media for a long time.
  • Cases of certified election observers being denied the ability to observe  the recounts in violation of the law.

The Dominion Fiasco.

As mentioned above Dominion software has been involved in the 2020 election. They deny any wrongdoing, but a former Prosecuting Attorney has pointed out that they have a great deal of evidence demonstrating Dominion’s duplicity. This is coming from an attorney with a great reputation.

Although I expect President Trump has been re-elected, it is a sad day when any person or group of persons think they can steal an election. We shouldn’t be surprised since the idea that the ‘end justifies the means’ is a favorite maxim for the Left.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Thanksgiving

The Riddle Report 11 18 2020

So, now the government wants us to forego Thanksgiving. Governors are not only suggesting it, but some are going Orwellian and threatening jail time. We Americans have the right to assemble in our churches and in our homes to worship and thank God for His blessings.

Shouldn’t we be careful though?

Should we be careful? Of course, but suggesting we limit the size of family that visits us or that we insist on testing is going too far. That is the politics of fear. I understand that the cases have been spiking and some hospitals are having difficulties. But the nation as a whole is experiencing a decline in the death rate. That means that the virus is still deadly, but less so than it was in May when the death rate hit its highest level at 5.8%. It is now down to 2.23% and dropping.

What about locally?

Here in Florida the cases have risen to 897,323 since January and 17,644 deaths for a death rate of 1.97%. Meanwhile Texas has year-to-date cases of 1,078,875 and 20,147 deaths for a death rate of 1.87%. With the media constantly emphasizing the case load and the total number of deaths it lends itself to creating panic. It is a case of overreaching by the media and perhaps by some politicians seeking their own glory.

It might also be noted that now there are effective measures in place to help people who contract the virus. It is not like it was in the period of March thru May. Doctors have the tools, hospitals can order the supplies needed, and the government can get these supplies to the hospitals. One more thing to consider. The media points to the fact that 11 million people have contracted the disease and 245,000 have died. But the total population as of 2019 was 328 million.

What does that mean?

It means that only 3.35% of Americans have contracted the disease since January and 2.23% of the patients have died. We need to keep these low numbers in mind because the media will ignore them. And remember those numbers include all cases since the beginning of January not just the last two weeks!

What should we do?

Common sense tells you that if you live in an area that is hit hard you need to practice social distancing and wear masks. In fact, that is not bad advice for anywhere. But the testing part I am not so sure about. It seems to me that the testing is so broad that it captures people who don’t really have the disease and instead have other conditions like the flu or a simple cold. It is misleading and creates doubt and fear.

To put it simply, I don’t believe the doctors really know the symptoms and are using a wide net hoping to catch the real infected people. And if your only concern is to beat the virus then perhaps that is ok. But our concern needs to be more narrowly focused.

With the election over, as far as the voting is concerned, the need to cause panic should also be over. Politicians need to act more responsibly and more in line with our constitution. Locking down homes and businesses is a draconian response and certainly not responsible leadership. I know of people who have contracted Covid-19 and everyone of them has responded responsibly. That is the American way.

Personally, my wife and I will probably stay home for Thanksgiving, but not because of Covid-19. It is an opportunity for the two of us to spend some time thanking the Lord for His care. Our health is good right now, my wife is in remission, and we enjoy one another. If we have the opportunity to visit family, we will certainly consider it.

Here’s a thought: Instead of letting a disease control you, take control yourself. You decide what the risks are and what, if any, risks you are willing to take. Thanksgiving is not just a time of fellowship; it is a time when we can and should thank God. It is a spiritual right and responsibility for all Christians.

It is not the responsibility of the government to tell us whether we can go to church, visit family, or what health steps we should take. We are fully capable of handling this without the government’s intervention.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.