How to write a commencement speech

A commencement or convocation speech should deliver a powerful message, one that students can draw on for inspiration in their lives beyond the academic walls.

Commencement speeches, typically about 10 minutes long, have the power to change lives. Not usually in big ways, of course. More in the sense of giving an uplifting message that students can take with them from graduation out into the world when they need inspiration.

Sevy Petras is co-owner of Priority Life Care, a chain of retirement homes. She was invited to speak to the graduating class at Tiffin University in Ohio. [Read more…]

How to write the plot of a story

Writing the plot for a story is never simple. If you are just starting out writing fiction, a template can help you get started and structure your outline.

So many people want to write a book or movie, but find it hard to structure their story. They aren’t sure how to write the plot of a novel or a screenplay.

The Infographic below is more than just how to write a plot of a story – it reads like the plot summary of a typical fiction story, or even of an epic non-fiction story. [Read more…]

Dr. Seuss books – to cancel or not to cancel?

It is right to rethink old literature. But does cancel culture amount to book burnings?

It was on Twitter that I first saw news that people were cancelling Dr. Seuss. Sooner or later, everybody gets cancelled, but I could not imagine why anybody would pick on Dr. Seuss, a childhood favorite of mine.

It turns out that all the discussion is because Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the organization in charge of Dr. Seuss’s legacy, announced that it would no longer publish six of his books, saying that “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

It was a proactive action. But it got media play and people have weighed in both against and for Dr. Seuss. [Read more…]

New book tells baseball stories from around the world

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes a best seller. A Pilot’s Passion: Baseball Travels the World is a genre-defying book by Scott Weaver.

Is it an anthology of short stories?

Is it sports?

Is it self-help motivation?

It’s all three!

If you love baseball, you’ll love this book. If you have a world view, and would be thrilled to read about how “America’s pastime” is taking roots in the far corners of our planet, you’ll really, really love this book.

Retired USAF fighter pilot Lt. Col. Scott Weaver loves baseball. He even headed well down the path of a career in baseball, and was invited to try out with both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds. [Read more…]

Magical Mountain fantasy novel published

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes. Magical Mountain is the first in the four-part Kingdom of Treasures series by Asmaa Jamil.

An Iraqi-born American author, Asmaa Jamil set out to retell not one, but two compelling folk tales:

  • Cinderella
  • Two Sisters Who Were Jealous of Their Younger Sister

However, Asmaa gives them a fresh and exciting twist. [Read more…]

Poetry and Rhetoric in Washington DC

How do you inspire a divided nation to unite around a common cause? With poetry, of course.

The world was held spellbound on January 20, 2021, as a 22-year-old read poetry composed almost up to the last minute for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

There have been only seven inaugural poets in US history. Amanda Gorman is the youngest. And two weeks prior to her recital, she was still struggling to put it all together. [Read more…]

10 New Year’s resolutions for writers in 2021

Welcome to a new year – 2021. It’s the perfect time for fresh beginnings. If you are a writer, here are some New Year’s resolutions for you.

There is nothing special about New Year’s Day. It’s just the day we start counting over.

There is no reason why you can’t make resolutions to change your life today, tomorrow, next week or on June 17.

But, as we start to count over, many people take advantage of that event to also make over their lives. And why not? Any excuse to make ourselves better is a good excuse. [Read more…]

Christian motivational book against child abuse: No Reason to Believe

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes. No Reason to Believe is Rodney Timms’ fifth book, a Christian motivational work.

The product of an abusive father and a neglectful mother, Rodney Timms learned that violence was the only way to deal with things. But in time, he failed to cave in to the dark forces of his youth. Instead, he chose to shine a beacon of hope for all who suffer.

No Reason to Believe: The Greatest Mistake Ever Is Giving Up is a beacon of hope. It is a story that will change many people’s lives.

Rodney’s turning point was when he learned that his birth father was not his only father. He found his Father in Heaven, and with faith he never had as a child, he reached out as an adult. [Read more…]

The Last Ones – best drama screenplay at the Los Angeles Film Awards

Another client of THGM Writing Services strikes gold. C.D. Peterson’s WWII-era screenplay The Last Ones wins “Best Drama Screenplay” at the Los Angeles Film Awards (LAFA).

It’s always exciting when a venerated organization singles out your work as the best of the best. The Los Angeles Film Awards is such an organization, and The Last Ones is the screenplay it just singled out as “Best Drama Screenplay”.

Here’s the log line:

Douglas, a New England farm boy, and his family survive the hardships of WWII, but then must fight to save their way of life from developers during the unbridled post war boom.

[Read more…]

Simone B and the Magical Mirror – new children’s book published #kidlit

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes her book. Simone B and the Magical Mirror by Dr. Denita S. Bottoms is a motivational self-help book for primary school-age girls.

Have you ever been bullied? Has your self-esteem ever been challenged? Stories are a wonderful way for children to process the events around them and learn how to cope.

Simone B and the Magical Mirror is that kind of story. Simone is an 8 year old African-American girl who has to face the school bully. It’s every kid’s worst nightmare. [Read more…]

Self-help book published – From Chaos to Contentment

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes her book. From Chaos to Contentment by Mary France Banda is a self-help book for people who want to heal the past and move on.

A social worker by profession, Mary Banda had recently survived a crisis point in her own life. Professional motivation and personal interest compelled her to write a self-help book for others who are in a similar situation.

When Mary decided to write her book, she had a very poignant goal in mind: [Read more…]

New foraging cookbook for homesteaders and nature lovers

A THGM ghostwriter publishes her own book to help homesteaders, survivalists and nature lovers turn edible wild plants into gourmet dishes.

Usually our ghostwriters remain in the shadows, writing books, screenplays, speeches and articles for our clients.

But Karen Stephenson has stepped out of the shadows to pen her own Foraging Cookbook. This recipe book is built completely on edible wild food – plants you can find by foraging. [Read more…]

8 tips to write a successful memoir

A memoir is not quite the same as an autobiography, but it can be more powerful. Here’s how to write one.

I was told a bad joke a while back.

What’s the difference between:

  • a summer dress
  • clean underwear
  • a funeral gown

Answer: The same as the difference between a memoir, an autobiography and a biography.

Just as a summer dress covers you for a season, a memoir covers a season of your life.

Just like clean underwear, an autobiography is something you do for yourself…and nobody else really wants to be exposed to it.

Just like a funeral gown, a biography is something that someone else dresses you in for eternity. [Read more…]

Entrepreneurs – 10 reasons to write your book

Entrepreneurs! Consultants! Experts! CEOs! Professionals! Have you written your book yet? If not, now is the time.

This blog post is specifically written for anyone whose personal reputation is vital to their business success.

If your credibility, if your knowledge and skill, if your personality can help increase your conversion rate, keep reading.

If your credibility, if your knowledge and skill, if your personality can help increase the value of your sales, keep reading.

If your lack of credibility, if your unknown skills, if your unexplored personality can – oops! – lose you sales and cost you business, keep reading. [Read more…]

Hagrid moonlights – short screenplay

If you really like Harry Potter, you might think twice about reading this ‘original’ screenplay from my archives.

I can’t really tell you how it started. One of my daughters has always been a huge Harry Potter fan. One day, she stumbled upon Potter Puppet Pals, a series of puppet shows on Youtube. At the end of this post are a couple examples, in case you are interested.

I would always tell a story to my kids at night when they were younger; even when I was too tired, they wouldn’t let me off for a night. I always made the stories up on the spot.

At some point, they asked me to tell a Potter Puppet Pals story. [Read more…]

9 mistakes new authors make when self-publishing their books

Writing and publishing are two different worlds. But if a writer self-publishes, one needs to know a few things about publishing.

There’s nothing quite like the high of finally completing you manuscript. Yes!

But a manuscript is not a book. You still have to get it published.

And you have many options for publishing. [Read more…]

How to describe characters in a children’s book (with free crib sheet)

Character development is complex. But in children’s books, and even books for teens, the approach is a little different. Here’s how to develop characters for kids and teens.

It seems like just yesterday (but it was actually a few months ago) that I announced the Character Development Crib Sheet. That crib sheet was, of course, intended for an adult audience with adult characters.

Children and teen characters are different. [Read more…]

Why your blog posts need to look amazing to attract and keep readers

It’s not just what you write in your blog that counts. It’s also what your blog looks like.

NOTE: This is Part 5 of the “mouth-watering blog posts” series. You have come up with a superb idea and a headline to match. Your writing is superb and you’ve added some attractive images. There’s one last piece of business to attend to.

Have you ever noticed how effective a plate of food is on a menu? Studies show that people tend to order the items pictured much more than those that are included just as text.

In fact, they tend to order things that look appealing. Never mind that looks have no bearing on taste; looks have every bearing on whether people expect the dish to taste good. [Read more…]

Book on PTSD published, exposing the mental health industry

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes her book. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy (Part 1), by Nattanya Andersen, pulls back the curtain both on PTSD and on the secrets of the mental health industry.

If you ever wondered whether doctors, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry prefer to cure you or to keep you sick and keep treating you, Nattanya Andersen has an answer for you, at least in the field of mental health.

Keeping you sick and treating you is clearly more profitable. [Read more…]

Why your blog posts need better images than you have now – time to up your game!

Stock photography makes your blog look uninteresting. And it fails to deliver the most important marketing results. Here’s what to do instead.

NOTE: This is Part 4 of the “mouth-watering blog posts” series. You have a great idea and the ideal headline, and ooh-oooooh is your writing ever magnificent. Let me paint you a picture of what you’re still missing. [Read more…]