Short Story Review – Stephen King’s "Harvey’s Dream"

From the book “Just after Sunset,” by Stephen King: “Harvey’s Dream” a ten page story, in a book over 350-pages, $28.000 (I got it on sale for $7.00; thank goodness), dated 2008. To my knowledge, Mr. King hasn’t written short stories for a while, this book was his first in a number of years. It says on the leaf inside the book “Stephen King…delivers an astonishing collection of short stories….” Harvey’s Dream, is far from being astonishing. I read a few of his books years ago, only one impressed me, but I never read his short stories, and this story is badly written, by anybody’s standards. I haven’t gotten to the full book yet, it make take a year or two after reading this ten-page story which is real stale, oversimplified, written in short sentences that don’t seem to connect properly.

He uses stupid phrases, idioms that don’t fit the character or mood or life of the story-and perhaps a bit confusing for the younger reader; it seems he’s simply grabbing at anything, knowing his name will carry the book over the silliness of it all, the sentences-in particular their endings awkward to say the least. He sounds like a reporter, and a 3rd person reporter, that shouldn’t be reporting. He uses four-letter words, cuss words, to maximize the potency, or let’s say, to emphases the mood, and by gosh, it just falls fat, like someone staring at you, dumbfounded.

He uses click, catchphrases, tags like “Waterloo,” or “Alfalfa of the Little Rascals,” or “The Sopranos,” to make his point (dumb, dumb and dumber). I can’t imagine any one wanting to reread this story, and I’m afraid to move on and read the other several stories in the book, it’s embarrassing, I’m embarrassed for him-odd isn’t it. He’s evidently, not working for posterity of his works, most folks, writers nowadays aren’t, and it shows. But this story should never have been put into the book, it’s really beneath him. (8-11-2010)

"Follow Your Dream" is the Theme of New Historical Fiction Novel

When reading historical fiction, the reader feels transported to another time and place. You can go on an adventure, learn about history, feel intrigued by courageous men and women, or fall in love all over again. “Jenny’s Dream: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho” (ISBN 978-1-58982-446-1) is one such novel, where dreams can come true.

Melynda Gascoyne of The Amherst Bee Newspaper: Buffalo, New York wrote: “Clarke draws the reader into a world full of color and intrigue right from the first page.”

Jenny Roberts has many dreams, but will she be able to fulfill them? Jenny is home from college and is restless. She feels the need to spread her wings and fly away. She has dreams of becoming a writer and wants to pursue it. When her kindred friend, Will, asks her what her outlook on life is, she answers, “Dreams are an important part of life, and without them, life would be so dull. If we can envision it, then I believe it can be accomplished.”

Allison King, of Rebeccas Reads, wrote: “Linda Weaver Clarke has captured the essence of reaching for your dreams, no matter what happens to throw you off the path of getting there. The amazing details of the family dynamics, descriptions of the beautiful scenery and the historical facts of the time all made the story believable. The ease of the writing made it feel as though I was eavesdropping in on their lives. Jenny’s Dream is a book for all ages that can wrap you up and make you feel all warm inside with the love and hope that dreams can come true if you believe hard enough.”

Jenny’s dreams also include falling in love. She feels that one day she will find a man to love, the “prince of her dreams.” But is it possible to find love in one’s own backyard? As the summer passes, Jenny begins to recognize her true feelings for Will. When she realizes that he means more to her than a kindred friend, she must now choose between a career and romance. The only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory from her past, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can choose which dream to follow. This book is about the miracle of forgiveness.

Betsy Brannon Green, Best-Selling Mystery Author, wrote: “Clarke’s characters are well developed and her setting is compelling. But what separates this book from others is Clarke’s historical accuracy and meticulous attention to detail. The reader feels transported to another time and place.”

While Jenny is trying to realize her dreams, her father is concerned about the safety of his family. A ten-foot grizzly bear is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community. There is one man with the courage and determination to protect his family and neighbors: Gilbert Roberts! He attempts to defy this great beast but Melinda will not have her husband be part of it. Gilbert has other ideas. Old Half Paw must be stopped. “Jenny’s Dream” is the story of a young girl’s desire to become a writer and how she finds love and forgiveness, with the legend of Old Ephraim as the subplot.

Paige Lovitt, Reader Views, wrote: “Jenny’s Dream tells a beautiful story that incorporates the value of loyalty, love, family and forgiveness into it. I found myself greatly enjoying the romances between Jenny’s parents and between Jenny and Will. Each relationship demonstrates friendship, respect and love. I also enjoyed how the author put real experiences, taken from her family, into the plot. This is a great touch because it makes the story seem real. Jenny’s Dream is a wonderful story. It is a wholesome novel that will be enjoyed by family members of all ages. I think this series is destined to be a classic.”

Read-Aloud: “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – A Book for Kids

Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book!

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation’s past. Included with the book is an audio CD of the speech! I highly encourage everyone, especially children who may not have heard his voice before, to listen to the speech provided on the audio CD to hear it in Dr. King’s own voice.

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

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Believe In Yourself And Dreams Come True! – Huffington Post

2016-01-25-1453739995-2732000-Eli1.jpgImagine if 18 time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps’ mother never took him to swimming practice, or if three time Oscar winner Meryl Streep was told not to audition for the school play. What if Hamilton star Lin Manuel Miranda’s drama teacher told him that Broadway was too competitive, or Taylor Swift’s mentor told her to get a more “secure” job? These superstars, and so many before them, believed in themselves. Others believed in them too, and the result was that their dreams came true.

Last year I was in a meeting with the head of development of a major children’s television network. I told him that we need to encourage children to follow their dreams and his response was that this was irresponsible and setting children up for failure. There I was in the plush offices of this children’s television leader, with a man responsible for developing television programming messages for our children’s young malleable minds, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

When I was a child I dreamed of becoming a writer. Had it not been for my Aunt Kay, a National Teacher of the Year, who lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, I may never have pursued my dream. “Never forget your writing,” she would say. “Always believe in yourself!”

And so, when I graduated from law school, I worked for a Judge and it inspired me to write a legal thriller titled Crimes of Fire. I thought I was going to be the next John Grisham overnight. While I toured about 10 Barnes and Noble stores with the book, it ended there, and John Grisham I did not become. Years later, I came up with an idea for a children’s book character – a fluffy little lamb named Loukoumi that just wants to make the world a better place. Seven children’s books later, my dream has come true!

2016-01-22-1453499199-4329320-Cat_Coora_4.jpg In 2006, I released the second book in the series titled Growing Up With Loukoumi in which Loukoumi explores various careers and learns that she can be anything when she grows up if she works hard and believes in herself. The book also launched the national Loukoumi Dream Day contest where kids submit videos saying: When I grow up I want to be (or “I wanna be” as they often say) a ___________ because…

The winners of the contest get to live a day in their dream career. Our first winner, 10 year-old Sophie, wanted to be a Mars Rover Engineer. To be honest with you I didn’t even know what that was and I was secretly hoping she would not win the contest because I did not know how in the world (or in outer space for that matter) I was possibly going to make her dream day come true. Sure enough, our judging panel selected Sophie as our winner and before panicking I called NASA, blindly. I did not know anyone there and after being transferred on the phone to several people I finally got someone responsible for landing the Rovers on the planet Mars.

They said they loved the fact that Sophie wanted to be a Mars Rover Engineer and they invited her to their Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California to watch the Phoenix spaceship land on Mars, Memorial Day Weekend 2008. It was an unbelievably incredible experience watching the Phoenix in real time enter the Mars orbit and actually land on the red planet. I will never forget Sophie’s joyful face after the spacecraft landed when she turned to me and said that because of this experience there was no doubt that she wanted to be a Mars Rover Engineer. It was then that I realized that helping kids achieve their dreams was an important part of mine.

Subsequent Loukoumi Dream Day contest winners have played soccer with New York’s professional team, The Red Bulls; cooked their favorite recipes with celebrity chef Cat Cora at Disney World; visited New York Giants Training Camp and hung out with players like Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.; met and received acting tips at Lincoln Center from their favorite Nickelodeon actress, Nathalia Ramos; spent the day with the NYPD riding in a patrol car, driving a police boat and visiting the K-9 unit; visited Rachael Ray on the set of her show and cooked on television with CBS food host Tony Tantillo; and 11 year-old Sophia lived her dream of being a Broadway star by very appropriately singing the Journey anthem Don’t Stop Believin’ from the Rock of Ages stage with Tony Nominee Constantine Maroulis. Sophia’s dream experience was featured in our Make A Difference with Loukoumi TV Special on FOX, and now she is energized to audition for Broadway plays.2016-01-25-1453740097-349452-dreamdayhighres2.jpg
2016-01-25-1453740235-560700-Policecar.jpg Last week was our latest Dream Day winner Panagioti’s turn. He wants to be a meteorologist and chase storms one day. We brought him to the FOX-5 studios in Manhattan where he got to shadow legendary meteorologist Nick Gregory. Watching this almost 8 year old, or any of these kids for that matter, actually live their dreams is pure magic! Their eyes light up, their speech quickens and you can almost see their hearts beating as they all of a sudden come to the realization that their dreams ARE possible.

Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to receive encouraging career advice from Eli Manning, Rachael Ray or Nick Gregory. In fact, too many children are discouraged today from pursuing their dreams. That is why it is incumbent on us as parents, educators and mentors to listen to our children. We need to hear the voices that are in their souls – the voices that one day could sing from the Broadway stage, or cheer after scoring the winning touchdown. It is our responsibility to nurture these dreams and help these children blossom because if by contrast they are taught not to pursue their dreams, what a shame it would be for a promising superstar to spend the rest of their lives wondering what might have been.

What I always tell a child with a dream is that they should follow their passion with everything they’ve got, work hard, believe in themselves and their dreams can come true.

I realize that not all dreams work out the way we plan, but by pursuing your dream it opens up a whole new world, and you may stumble across a variation of your dream that you may not have otherwise thought about. If you want to be a baseball player, along the path to the World Series you may realize that you don’t want to be a player, but instead you could be a coach, or an announcer, or work on the business side of a professional team. If you want to be an actor, along the road to Hollywood you may realize that instead you might want to be a screenwriter, or a director, or a make-up artist.

The path to your dream could take you to another magical place that you may never have dreamed of before. When I was a kid, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that my passion to become a writer would take me to a book series about a fluffy little lamb named Loukoumi. And now that path continues with the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation where we encourage children to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. To all you dreamers out there: Don’t let anyone, TV Producer or otherwise, tell you that you can’t follow your dream. Work hard, believe in yourselves and along the way, your dream, in one form or another, can come true too!

The Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation is now accepting entries for its 2016 Loukoumi Dream Day Contest. Simply have your child (ages 5 to 14) submit a cell phone video, 30 seconds or less, stating: Hi, my name is ___________ and when I grow up I want to be __________ because……. Email all entries to [email protected] by May 1. The winner will live their dream career for a day! For more on the Loukoumi Foundation please visit

Photos from top: Jordan lives his dream day at NY Giants training camp pictured with Eli Manning and Nick Katsoris (photo by Jillian Nelson), Grace lives her dream day with Cat Cora, Sophie lives her dream day at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab pictured with Nick Katsoris, Sophia lives her Broadway dream day with Constantine Maroulis (photo by Jillian Nelson), Panagioti lives his dream day with Nick Gregory (photo by Jillian Nelson), and Evan lives his dream day with the NYPD.

Three Must Have Books For Your Personal Library

Book one – A journal

I cannot stress how beneficial keeping a journal of your day to day activities, thoughts, feeling and accomplishments would be in the improvement of your life and situation. Even strictly for self knowledge and identification of trends, the task of journaling will create awareness of patterns and open your eyes to bottlenecks in your life which you may be completely unaware of. A journal is a factual, as you see it account of your life from one day to the next. It can contain words, pictures, poems, whatever you deem necessary to accurately describe you day and life in a way that you prefer.

Anything worth doing is worth recording. Think about it as though you are looking through an old photo album. The second you see a picture it puts you back in that memory, even though prior to looking at the album you couldn’t even recall that memory. Keeping a journal allows you to look back at your development and see progress where you thought there was none. It allows you to tap into the lessons learned during times that were less then easy and it allows you to tap into powerful tools that you used to create special and fulfilling times in your life. Most importantly it allows you to see that you were able to deal with anything and everything that came your way. It allows you to see that you are a better person today because of the multitude of different experiences that you went through in your life.

How do you know what works and what doesn’t if you don’t keep a record? Do you think that we would have had any great scientific breakthroughs if the scientists didn’t keep a record of their results? We would still be using leaches to cure all diseases. Your life is as important as any science project…record your results…remove the ambiguity.

Book two – A dream book

A dream book is just that, all about your dreams. Much like your journal, it can contain words, pictures, poems, articles, whatever you desire to fulfill your desires. Unlike your journal, it is a complete fabrication of your reality. Your dream book should have sections in it for every aspect of your life, your relationships, your health and wellness, your financial position, your spiritual connection, your philanthropy, and so on. Take a picture of your dream home and photo-shop yourself into it mowing the lawn. Write yourself out a ten million dollar cheque and glue it in your book. Write a million dollar cheque out to your favorite charity (be careful not to accidentally mail it). List the attributes that your perfect mate would have, but do so as though he/she is already with you. This is a scrap book for your dreams, be creative, be bold and above all else be unrealistic.

Book three – A Fantasy Diary

Write “dear diary” entries under future dates that are in keeping with your dream life. Eg. (I rose at 8 am with a refreshing Caribbean breeze blowing into my bedroom. I walked out onto my veranda and gazed out over the ocean, my husband/wife/lover/friend was already at the pool enjoying a breakfast of tropical fruit. I prepared to join him/her. etc) You get what I mean. Think big. Anytime you get the urge to stop yourself because the fantasy is becoming in your opinion out of reach or too outlandish, stifle the urge and keep going. This is not a current factual diary; this is your fantasy diary. Look at it as if you are writing a novel about someone living your fantasy life. The only difference is that the main character is you.

Dawn Landes and Piers Faccini – Book of Dreams (Official Video)

Music video for “Book of Dreams” from Desert Songs – EP
out Jan 15 2016 (Beating Drum / Six Degrees)

Vinyl 12″:

Video by Richard Simkins

The two songwriters, Dawn Landes (US) and Piers Faccini (UK) met in 2013 when they recorded a Lead Belly song for Faccini’s cover project, Songs I Love. Later that year, Piers invited Dawn to France to perform in a 12th Century Romanesque Chapel in the remote Cevennes region of the south of France near Piers’ home and studio. Inspired by their first experience of performing together, they met up a few months later to write and record the intimate suite of songs that would become the EP, Desert Songs.

Desert Songs will be released by Beating drum on January 15th 2016 in Europe and in North and South America by Six Degrees.

Book Writing Services

Hiring book writing services makes sense if you don’t have enough time to write your own book or simply want to make sure it is written professionally. Book writing services are available to entrepreneurs, business tycoons, specialists in their fields, and people who has an interesting story to share.

By seeking professional writing help, you can have your book written, edited, co-written, reviewed, and published. Perhaps most importantly, the person who ghostwrites for you cannot lay any claim to the work unless specified under terms and conditions you both had agreed upon. If you want to make your dream book become a reality, then look into book writing services.

Benefits of hiring ghostwriter

There are many advantages of using book writing services. These are as follows:

• By hiring professional book writing services, you can rest assured that the work will be reflective of your tone, style, and temperament.

• Working with a professional writer can help you complete the books you always wanted to publish but couldn’t because of time restraints.

• Since you have a dedicated person taking care of your book writing needs, you can easily find sufficient time to promote your work. You can utilize the time by scheduling interviews, meeting bookstore owners for book signing events, and more.

• These services can ensure that your book is published. Established book writing services meet many publishers every day. If you engage these services, they can even help with publishing

• The results delivered to you are finely researched, analyzed, and edited.

Types of writing services for books

There are various types of writers who specialize in a niche of writing. For instance, some are recognized as novelists and others are non-fiction writers. Among fiction book writers, they specialize in a genre such as suspense, comedy, romance, historical fiction, action, adventure, and more.

Book ghostwriters offer extensive help in writing all types of books and at all stages of the writing process, from conceiving the idea, researching, planning, writing editing, and publishing. Whether you only have an idea or a rough draft, they can turn it into a final draft, publishable book. Even if your book is in a specialized field, there is a ghostwriter who can help.

Ghostwriters don’t take credit for their work and the client’s name will appear on the cover of the book. The ghostwriters who offer book writing services can help to ghostwrite your book. Contact a book ghostwriter today to learn more about how they can help to ghostwrite your fiction or non-fiction book.

Leaving a Stable Job to Create Your Dream Career – Harvard Business Review


The great thing about careers in the 21st century is that you get to decide what you want to do. And if you don’t like what you’re doing, you can change. While this is liberating, it’s also scary and confusing. The complexity of today’s employment landscape is overwhelming. Managing your career requires coping with ambiguity and uncertainty and learning some basic navigation skills. After years of research and coaching people on career transitions, here’s what I recommend:

Follow your energy and interest. This is the most fundamental part of your strategy. Energy and interest are to your career path what the North Star is to celestial navigators. Paying attention to what engages and excites you, what lights you up, and what stimulates your intellect points you toward the tasks and situations that enable you to be your best self. That’s where you will thrive.

Take Noah Tannen, who used to work as a copywriter and creative director at an advertising and design firm. Over time, he grew bored and unhappy at his job, which required less creativity than he’d expected from a job with the word “creative” in its title. One evening while talking with a friend, an experienced account planner and strategist, he asked the question that initiated his career shift: “What is an account planner?” His friend explained that it was about understanding the audience, who they are and what really matters to them, doing research, and then distilling it into a brief that articulates the underlying strategy for the creative team to design from. “After that conversation, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep,” says Noah.

Or consider Chris Anderson, who was tiring of his job as a political science professor when his wife gave him a copy of the book Moneyball. He was fascinated by its account of using statistics to build a winning baseball team by identifying high-potential players that other teams overlooked. As a quantitative social scientist who’d played semi-professional soccer in his native Germany, the ideas in the book brought together two of his major interests. Chris was captivated by the idea of applying analytic methods to soccer.

Further Reading

Learn about the work by researching and networking. When Noah told his bosses that he wanted to do account planning, they said he’d have to learn it himself. He started by meeting with every account planner or strategist he could find to pick their brains. “That was incredibly helpful, and those people became a valuable professional network.” On the advice of the friend who’d piqued his interest, he also paid his own way to a conference. “The conference was just as inspiring as our first conversation had been, and I still use some of the techniques I learned there.”

Chris started a blog to explore and develop his ideas about soccer analytics. He enjoyed writing it and soon developed a following. People from British soccer clubs began contacting him with questions. Spurred on by the response, he started talking with a friend about writing a book on the topic. When his friend asked why he wanted to write the book Chris admitted, “my dream would be to run a club—to actually play Moneyball. But you wouldn’t leave a tenured academic job to do that, would you?” Ultimately, he would.

Try out the work by taking on projects or consulting. Noah’s first challenge was “to convince my coworkers that I was an account planner now, even though my official job was still copywriter/creative director. I learned to formulate and present my ideas, to explain the research and the thought process so that my colleagues understood why I was recommending a particular course of action.” Some account managers agreed to work with Noah, and together, they were able to sell a few strategy projects to clients. “For a couple of the bigger projects, the partners brought in more senior freelancers to meet with me from time to time and offer direction. That was so valuable. I remember particularly being stuck one day and the senior planner saying, ‘You need to start writing this all out. Get these voices out of your head.’ I started writing random scraps of ideas and eventually it ended up being my strategy deck—I didn’t know that I’d learned enough, but he could see that I had.”

Chris and his coauthor David Sally were learning so much about soccer analytics that they decided to start a consulting firm to provide their services to teams and to investors looking to acquire teams. A sabbatical from teaching gave him the opportunity to spend time in London, an important city for professional soccer, during the months before the book came out. Their research for the book revealed that the decision-making practices in football clubs are often sub-optimal; the analytic methods he and his partner offered were in demand. As Chris explained, “the consulting life was a great way to learn about the industry and a whole lot of things without taking on the commitment that you would have in an internal position. You get in, get out, and soak up what you can. But then I reached a point where I wanted to implement, not just advise.”

Find or create a job that lets you do exciting work. Noah’s firm never appointed him to a full-time account planning position. He figured that if he was going to have to keep writing copy, he might as well just freelance and see if he could do account planning as well. “I quit in December 2008. Thanks to the network of account planners I’d built up, I got a freelance gig for 35 hours a week at a global firm by February (even with the economy in free-fall). After doing that for about eight months, I’d learned that there are many different kinds of strategy jobs and that the one I wanted was both rare and not the one I had. So I started my own branding and design firm, Rupert, where I do most of the strategy and account planning.”

Chris’s original idea was to work with investors who would buy a club, and then he’d manage it. That didn’t happen, but Coventry City Football Club did approach Chris as an advisor and eventually offered him a job as executive vice president and managing director. He now runs the club’s day-to-day operations. It’s a turnaround challenge, much like the team featured in Moneyball.

Keep learning. The work of managing your career never stops. Noah is currently training himself to be an account director. “It’s a new role for me, but I need to be better at it for the firm to keep growing. I just contacted a friend today to get her advice on a tricky client. Last week I spoke with a friend in technology sales to learn how he manages his client relationships.”

Chris’s main strategies for ongoing learning are asking questions, listening, and being present. “Academics are not used to listening; they are used to giving answers. The learning takes place for me when I shut up and listen. I try to understand every little aspect of what we’re doing. And I try to be physically present in every part of it. I walk around and poke my head in. I ask to be copied on e-mails so I can see everything that goes on in the business. That has been very instructive for me. Then I have to ask questions, because there are plenty of times when I don’t understand what’s going on.”

Crafting a fulfilling career doesn’t require a grand plan. As these examples illustrate, it’s an ever-evolving process: follow your interests, research and network, try the work in a low-risk way, find a job that excites you, and repeat. Chris’s lifelong approach boils down to doing what he enjoys. “I say to myself, ‘This is fun, I can do this, I’ll be okay, I enjoy doing this, let’s see where it goes.’ Once you know what you’re passionate about, you’ll invest time in it. Once you invest time in it, you’ll get good at it. Once you get good at it, someone will pay you to do it.” Noah agrees, with one caveat. “If what you have to offer has value, there’s probably a job for you. But the catch is that you might have to make it up yourself.”