Sunday, May 27, 2007

Learning a Language by Listening

Have you ever tried learning Spanish? It used to be difficult but there is now a new, easier and faster way to learn.

One of the biggest problems when learning any new language is pronunciation. This needs to be heard to get all the inflexions and nuances of each word right. One of the worst languages to learn from the viewpoint of nuances is English.

And Australian English is even worse because we have words with two or more meanings. Often these can be very derogative indeed. Some could even say they are ‘fighting words’. Or at best you could get involved in a blue or a scrap from misusing them.

And then there are some words that sound extremely derogative but are actually words of endearment or praise!

But Spanish isn’t far behind. Just ask any person learning Spanish. This is one of those languages that need to be listened to in order to understand all the nuances.

I remember years ago when I tried to learn German. I went to night classes and tried to make sense of the grammar. I had a great deal of trouble with the tenses. Past tense, present tense and future tense eluded me. These are all part and parcel of every language.

And as for trying to tell the time, I simply never got beyond putting the hours past the minute. So I stopped the clock there and then because I never heard the language actually spoken.

But technology has come to the rescue again for anyone wanting to learn English~ Australian or the Queen’s English~ German or Spanish. Now the books talk to you so you hear all the nuances, inflexions and can marvel at the words themselves.

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(c) 2007 J Smith From Huckleberry Finn to Hanoi ~ Audiobooks are here for you to Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tips on Building Revenue for Your Business

(NewsUSA) - It's a dog-eat-dog world. You must be prepared for anything when deciding to open your own practice or small business. And once you become a business owner, you need to know how to make your business grow.

"What keeps business owners, practice owners and partners up at night is likely the challenge of managing and growing the business," says Steven Stralser, clinical professor at Thunderbird: The Garvin School of International Management and author of "MBA In A Day."

In his book, Stralser addresses business professionals who have extensive training in certain industries but want to learn the skills necessary to manage businesses of their own.

Packed with examples, helpful anecdotes and real-world case studies, this straightforward guide gives readers a comprehensive business education without having to spend the time and money on graduate school.

The book covers essential principles and concepts taught at today's top business schools. Topics include negotiation, accounting, marketing, effective communication, information technology and leadership.

Stralser offers the following tips to help your business grow.

* Focus on existing customers. With advertising and other marketing costs, finding new customers can be expensive. Acquiring new business is important, of course, but so is keeping and growing your current clientele.

* Stay in touch. Offer more products or services to existing customers, clients or patients. They will respond with loyalty and future business. Think "greater share" of customers instead of "market share." It's simpler and more profitable in the long-run.

* Develop a Web presence. Developing a Web page puts information on your business right at the fingertips of clients or potential clients. And not only does accessing your Web site save them time, it saves you time as well.

For example, a client can have access to old reports from past projects. By having this information accessible online, you won't have to take time out of your busy schedule to print and ship the reports to that client.

For more information on Stralser's book, visit

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Article Marketing - Todays Most Popular Tool

Getting consumers interested in any product or service can be done more easily through direct article writing. Everyday, we read articles written to entice us into trying something new. Once referred to as "advertorials," these paid advertisements resemble real articles. Once reserved for the top, bottoms and sides of a publication page, they used to be designed to look like the real thing, but were actually written much like a hard-sell sales pitch in an article format.

Today's marketing articles are much more subtle and much more sophisticated, often tricking consumers into thinking they are reading a true unbiased account written by a professional journalist.

Marketing writing takes a special knack for presenting information in an interesting and compelling manner, while not making it seem as though the piece, or its writer, is trying to coerce or convince the reader to try or buy something new, or even support a certain cause. Articles aimed at marketing a specific product or service may be used in several different formats: as submissions to actual print media outlets ranging from local newspapers and tabloids to consumer magazines, regional publications and trade journals; used as "expert" pieces in conjunction with other marketing tools to help validate other sales material; and even website text, helping to educate the reader on a topic through a company or organization's website. The main goal of the marketing article is to make it NOT appear to be an ad, even though that is the actual purpose of the piece.

On the surface, it may seem as if the writer (and the client), are trying to "trick," the reader, when in reality, they are just using a more successful form of writing to gather consumer interest and attention. A man, for instance, may not be interested in reading an advertisement about flower delivery services, but may want to learn more about using certain types of flowers to get noticed by a special lady. Advertising agencies have long since recognized the impact of emotions when selling their products. That's' exactly what marketing articles try and do: give the reader an emotional or personal connection to the product or service through first-person accounts, dramatic statistics, and so on.

Find The Right Angle:
Finding the right angle for your article is essential to its success. No one really cares about lice treatments - until it's their kid being sent home from school with it, and their house in need of fumigation. But, almost every Mom will take the time to read a humorous account of one mom's fight with the nasty critters. Why? Because they relate. Find an angle your reader can relate to and you can hook them on to just about any subject.

Don't Sound Like A Salesperson:
The trick to successful marketing writing is the ability to sound like a real person, and not someone trying to sell something. Use your article to offer practical advice and tips that anyone can use - whether they buy your client's product or use their services, or not.

Finding Clients and Setting Rates:
Who needs this type of writing? Every business, doctor, organization and service provider. In today's fast-paced consumer-driven world, every business and professional needs to get their name out there in the most efficient way possible. Finding clients for your writing business may be as easy as contacting local businesses with your services (always have plenty of samples available to show them how successful this type of advertising can be); contacting local public relations firms to see if they are currently hiring freelancers to help them get caught up on assignments; or checking freelance websites and forums for job postings. Remember, fees vary depending on your experience, as well as the size of the company seeking your services and the type of writing job you'll be completing. This type of project however, usually yields between $50 and $1,000.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Poetry: Exploration And Experience

Are you ready to abandon your poems? Before you toss your newest poem away, revisit it using some exercises that have proven helpful to poets who are feeling “stuck.” If you explore some of these ideas, you may be steps closer to placing your poetry in a well-known literary journal.

You can make submissions on your own, or hire some help. Every poem, on average, must be submitted to 100 markets before it is accepted. For poets, these numbers are sad, but true. Even the best poems must cover a lot of territory before they appear on the printed page. A reputable author’s submission service may offer you more time to write while they take care of the submissions. Remember that a good submission service screens potential writers for quality work. They don’t take everyone.

When writing poetry, a poet considers language. They also consider form, and may even consider audience. But that is not all. Though form serves as a vehicle or container, and audience can help drive a poem; and while it is language that gives voice to poetry, it is basically the root of the poet—the poet’s experience—that gives voice to the voice. Even when poetry does not reflect the poet’s direct experience, it is still filtered through her or his eyes. Both poem and poet are inextricably connected; one cannot exist without the other. The material from which the poet culls the poem is that which has been sown, tilled, pulled, dumped, dredged, fermented, stored, and often kept hidden all the poet’s life. If the poet feels brave enough, or even if she is terrified beyond belief, she will excavate this treasure and use it to lay a foundation. Foundation laid, the poet then uses language to form the structure, build the ramparts which hold the poem together. Having built the poem with the blood and bone and truth of her, the poet thus offers a monument that withstands even the critic’s wind. Or, at least the storm of self-doubt.

Following are some simple ideas for exploring poetry and using your own experience to create a poem. If you’d like in-depth technical information on form and poetry structure, there is a brief list of recommended books at the end of this article.

* Practice using your voice by writing a poem about a life experience, a memory, a desire, or a belief.

* Write a poem about your name. You may do this in either a positive or negative light—whatever is meaningful to you. You may even pick a name you like and write a poem about that name, making it your own.

* Select a poem written by someone else; write your version of the poem.

* Select two poems by different poets which contain the same theme. Write a couple of paragraphs comparing the poems.

* In your own words explain what you think makes a “good” poem.

* Pick a topic you dislike and write a poem about it.

* Try writing song lyrics. Compare your lyrics to a poem you’ve written.

* Read some material on different structures of poetry (iambic pentameter, rhyme, sonnet, etc.). Write a poem with the same theme in each specific structure. Pick at least three different structures.

* Write a poem explaining poetic rhythm.

* Explore and write examples of lyric and narrative poetry.

Some books on poetry worth owning:
A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit
How to Interpret Poetry by Laurie E. Rozakis
The Poetry Dictionary by John Drury

Exploring the ideas listed above may help open new doors for your writing. In addition to your poems being well crafted, they must be submitted regularly and extensively. Beat the odds with strong writing COMBINED with a powerful and tenacious submission strategy.

About the Author:

Mary Diane Hausman was born and raised in the Texas Hill Country, and that experience provides a strong voice for her work. Her work appears with Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Rita Dove in the anthology, Unsilenced: The Spirit of Women (Commune-a-Key Press), as well as in numerous other anthologies and literary journals, including: Primavera, Inkwell, New Texas, My Lover Is A Woman and Pillow Talk (Ballantine Books and Alyson Books), The MacGuffin, The Texas Review, Out of the Dark. She teaches college level creative writing and poetry as well as public workshops. She has utilized Writer’s Relief Inc., an Author’s Submission Service, for ten years which frees her time to write. For more information, visit their web site at

Read more articles by: Mary Diane Hausman

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