"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Breaking News...During My Break!


 Dear Pen & Prosper Family,

I hope that you had a beautiful and bountiful Thanksgiving, celebrated safely. Personally, I ate so much that I'm avoiding my scale like tax time! When I stopped blogging earlier this month, to take a vacation, it was in an effort to regroup, rest and re-charge, so that I could return in December well rested, renewed and raring to go.

Fast Forward....

Not long after I retired my pen, I was recruited for a great new Content Creator program. And I am happy to report that I am now a contributing writer for NewsBreak.com, which is a news app and local news aggregator.

Because many of you have been my biggest cheerleaders and faithful readers, I wanted to give you the 4-1-1 now. I hope you'll show the same support, check out my articles, "follow" my work and leave comments.

What I love about this site is that they have an array of interesting, informative, well-written pieces from very talented writers around the world. And dig this: I have the "creative license" to write on so many diverse topics and themes. Savor the flavors!

In fact, if you like what I have offered here @ Pen & Prosper, I'm betting you'll love my work@ NEWSBREAK.COMAccordingly, I am providing my link here so that you can check it out and perhaps add it to your weekend reading material.

I look forward to seeing you there. And as always, thanks for your readership, friendship and support.

God willing, we'll reconnect in December.

HERE'S THAT LINK NOW.

https://www.newsbreak.com/publishers/@561129


Warmly, 

Jen

  



 Images: Pixabay.com

Saturday, November 14, 2020

4 Tips For Balancing a Blog With Full-time Work


Fitting creativity into your life can be a struggle for those who also work full time. Often by the time all the daily requirements are filled, there is simply nothing left mentally or insufficient time to invest in creative or personal ventures. Here are a few tips for balancing a compelling and interesting blog and your full-time job, while still keeping your sanity. Remember that trying to do it all and have it all is a great goal, but it can get overwhelming and leave you feeling like you are not doing enough. You are enough, and as long as you show up and try each day, then you are doing enough. 

Four Tips For Balancing A Blog 

With a Full-Time Job

Set aside specific and regulated time. This may seem obvious but think about how often you planned to get to work on your creative project and put it off instead for week after week. Treat the time you set apart each day for your blog just like you would your clock in time at your regular job. You would not put off your eight-hour shift at "work" so do not postpone your one-hour shift on your blog. You may be surprised at how much you can get done in one focused hour.

Put your distractions aside. If you find that when you sit down to work on writing or formatting your blog, you instead end up on social media or answering emails then leave your phone in another room and add an app on your computer that locks certain websites for a determined amount of time set by you. Princeton University actually recommends that if your friends distract you from your study or work at home goals, you can enlist them to help to counteract this.


Train your brain. Have you heard of Pavlov's dogs? You can classically condition your own brain by only doing certain things in specific areas. For example, if you set aside a certain time and specific place to work on your blog then your brain will automatically switch to this mode after a few weeks of practice. You can even program yourself with other cues, such as a particular scented candle or gum that you only use when you work or a certain level of light that means, to your brain and senses, that you are writing.

Some effort is better than zero. Even if you are not feeling it, show up and do the work. Some days you will not feel proud of your content; other days you will amaze yourself. But either way, just do it, and do it every day. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns not to overcorrect if you feel like you did not accomplish enough one day because that will lead to burnout. Do your best and start the next day fresh.


IN CONCLUSION



Time management is about so much more than simply planning each moment meticulously. We all get 24 hours in a day; yet some seem to do so much more than others. There are factors ranging from distractions, skill, support, and even self-worth that come into play. Just remember your voice matters. Do not overthink it, be yourself, spread your message, and try to enjoy the process. Running a blog can be rewarding in many ways -- including financially -- but it should also be somewhat organic, reflect you, and be of quality to the people searching for a real voice and real answers to the issues covered on your site.


 Author Bio: 



Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and mental health world and enjoys writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. 

Learn more at Patrickbaileys.com


Thoughts here?


PLEASE NOTE: 

Pen and Prosper will be on a brief hiatus until/around December 15th. 

Have a great, safe Thanksgiving.



Image credits: Pixabay.com

Monday, November 9, 2020

What's on Your Writer's Bucket List for the Future?

 


There's no denying it. The ushering in of the global pandemic in 2020 has caused a paradigm shift in how we view our mortality. The sobering, daily death stats serve as a constant reminder that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. 

Hello?

I certainly don't want to be a "Debbie Downer" here; I'm merely providing a reality check. For me, the current climate has created a greater sense of urgency for my "to-do" list and a need to re-align my priorities. 

Accordingly, a couple of months ago I actually stumbled across and purchased a beautiful, hard-cover,  beige " My Bucket List Journal." It includes an ample supply of lined pages with guiding questions to chronicle my experiences such as:

  • What did I do?
  • How did it make me feel?
  • Who was I with?
  • Why is it on my bucket list? 
It allows for 100 items to be identified.
Each page is punctuated with this sage quote: "Every man dies, not every man really lives."

---William Ross Wallace 

In the spirit of sharing, (before I reveal some of my bucket list items) I want to provide you with a link to the website of Journalsunlimited.com, (the creator of this journal).They have one of the most extensive and creative lines of journals I've ever seen. They even offer a "Beer Journal." Who knew?

I'm not a beer drinker, but I was thinking that it might make a great gift for a friend for the holidays. Sweet!

Explore their inventory here:

https://journalsunlimited.com/shop/product-category/write-it-down-series/


HERE ARE A FEW OF MY WRITING BUCKET LIST ITEMS TO DATE:

  • To interview a few of my favorite celebrities and noteworthy individuals including but not limited to: Martha Stewart; Robert Townsend; and Dr. Phil
  • To publish two non-fiction books with a traditional publisher
  • To publish my poetry chapbook by 2021 via a traditional publisher
  • To be published in Writers Digest or Poets & Writers Magazine
  • To secure another relationship column (or emotional intelligence column) with a print or online publication
  • To partner with other bloggers on some creative projects to expand our reach
  • To expand my client base
  • To become more socially media savvy
  • To have a book on the "best seller's list"
A girl can dream, can't she?

Now, I open the "floor" to your comments.
What's on your writing bucket list? Do you even have one? Do share. 

Thanks for reading.

Image credits: Pixabay.com

Monday, November 2, 2020

How to Write a Book Review for Your Blog (Guest Post)



Writing a book review is an excellent way to create engaging content that your readers will enjoy.  It also allows you to keep up in your genre or niche and through the use of amazon associate links, you can even generate extra revenue from your blog. 


Common mistakes in writing reviews

When it comes to writing a book review, many authors make the mistake of writing reviews that are long winded, or give up too much information. However, there are article layouts, and even some designs that will help increase the effectiveness of your review. 

In this article, I want to lay out some things you should consider when you write your next review. To do this best, we’ll discuss some design elements to your review, as well as how to structure your writing.  I’ll even provide some examples of both book and product reviews so you can see it in other industries as well.   

The Writing Structure of a Perfect Book Review



When it comes to writing a book review, many authors jump right into creating a full synopsis of everything that occurred and add some commentary about their thoughts as they go.  

While this may seem like the right thing to do, there is actually a stronger way to layout your review:

· Hook

· Quick Synopsis

· Pros and Cons

· Concrete Grade

Let’s start with the hook

Creating a Hook for your Book Review


Like the intro to a regular blog post, you should create an engaging hook to get your reader interested in the book itself. When doing this, one angle I look to use is by discussing the story of how I came about the book.  

Was it a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague in the industry?  Did you find it on a list of top books in genre? Or, was it at the behest of another author?  Either way, what made you decide to buy the book, sit down and read it, is usually a good start.  

Otherwise, another angle for your hook is to discuss why you choose to read it, if there isn’t a story about it.  Perhaps there were elements to the cover or the book description had something that caught your eye. 

Finally, if there isn’t a why or how to your choice that you think is engaging enough, think about using the first sentence or two of the book’s amazon book description.  If the author is good at their trade, they probably wrote a great hook to the book description.  

Quick Synopsis

This is where many authors fail in their book review. Instead of writing about their thoughts on the book, they spend most of the time giving every detail the book. This is far from what you should do.  

Instead, think of this like a written movie trailer. Give them an idea of what the book is about, but more so in a way that would make them want to read it.  This means not giving too many details or any hint of an ending.  

A rule of thumb I like to use for this is 3-4 sentences max. The most important part to the entire book review isn’t how you retell the story, but what your professional take is on the book itself. So, be quick, and get to the good stuff. 

Writing Pros and Cons

I love to call this section the pros and cons or likes and dislikes section because it reminds me to give both sides. Too many times I’ll either focus on the negative of a book I didn’t like or vice versa.  

When you’re overly negative or overly positive, this can cause readers to lose credit for your take on the book. Therefore, be intentional to provide both sides.  

One trick that I’ve seen other industry reviews do that I think authors should start thinking about is creating boxes in the article that recap in a visual way the pros and cons or likes and dislikes for a book.  You can see from this example how they used large images of pros and cons and check marks and x’s to denote their recap of the product.    

To create pros and cons like this, most Wordpress Themes have something like that built into them.  Or, if you are using a WYSIWYG editor like Thrive Architect, or Divi, you can easily build these using their templates or designing it yourself.  


Concrete Grade in Book Reviews

When it comes to giving a final grade or final thoughts, I believe many authors fall short.  

First, they fail to give a concrete grade or result for the book.  It sort of comes across as wishy-washy and thus, doesn’t help their readers make a decision.  However, to be an effective book reviewer, you should have a final conclusion to the review. 

“Yes, I absolutely love this book and I will recommend it to anyone who likes books such as …”

“In the end, no, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone for the following reasons…” 

However, if you’re more diplomatic like me and don’t want to create enemies or hurt people’s feelings, then one method you can use so as to still give a concrete grade would be to liken the book to something else.  For example: 

“While I didn’t like the book for these reasons…I still think that people who like books like this or this, would probably enjoy this.  It just wasn’t my kind of book.”  That’s still concrete enough, but also plays a diplomatic tone to it.  

Another thing that I think authors should start developing in their reviews, that other industries are starting to do is give actual grades.  I’ve started seeing them in product reviews like this one, but as you as you can see, they broke down the product into different components or aspects, and gave each aspect a grade with a final overall grade.  

This helps your readers compare your previous grades to the current one.   It also allows you to compartmentalize your review as well.  Some ideas on aspects book reviewers should use would be Entertainment, Pace, Characters, Writing, and Overall. 

A Little Extra to Make Your Review Look Even Better

Just having a well-written book review isn't going to guarantee that it will be read. Most reviews on the Internet aren't read in-depth at all. Many people are skimmers instead of content readers. So, to get more skimmers to slow down and read your quality content, you'll need to cater to them and make your review more exciting.


Formatting and Spacing is Essential

When writing your book review, you need to keep in mind how it looks on screen. Does your review contain large walls of text? If so, you need to reevaluate your spacing considerations. Online readers prefer to devour their data in little bite-size pieces. This is why you’ll see many successful blog sites such as Momdot break up their long-form content into smaller paragraphs. Although there’s plenty of content it’s easily digested by everyday readers. 

If you need help further breaking down your article, utilize numbered and bulleted lists. These provide more height to your article and cut through the monotony of block text. Unsure as to what should go into an ordered list? A good rule of thumb is that any dataset over three entries long can fit neatly into a list. 

Add Personal Proof to Build Credibility

Unfortunately, there are quite a few sites and bloggers out there who post fake reviews to spam their affiliate sales or more nefarious reasons. And this has made the community wary of bad review sites and untrusted reviewers. 

That’s why it’s so important to be honest within your reviews. Don’t just steal blurbs and quotes from other reviewers to craft your own. 

One technique to help build credibility with your reader is to post pictures of you with the book in hand—if possible. This will let your reader see that you've obtained and read the book being reviewed.  Plus it continues to build your connection with your readers.  

Extra Idea: Creating List of Books

I know this isn’t a book review, but it is a great idea that you should also consider.  Why not create a list of your favorite books? Or, create a list of favorite books for each favorite genre or subgenre?  

As a reader, If I love reading your writing, then I’d love to see which books you like.  Furthermore, you can use amazon associate links for each of the books and make some decent commissions.  

If you do decide to do this, then I’d absolutely recommend you create a organized list that includes the book cover like Top Sci Fi Books does here with their favorite LitRPG books.   As you can see, they are clean and it is easy to scroll through the books. 

So, if you aren’t currently reading a book or can’t come up with a good book review, then think about creating a favorites list.  

Final Thoughts

Writing a quality book review isn’t an impossible task.  And by breaking it down into sections, you can make your review turn out better than ever. But remember, just because you have a well-written review doesn’t mean that it will get read. 

So, be sure to take advantage of formatting and other attention-grabbers to keep your readers interested and engaged.

Cheers!


BIO:

Dave Chesson is the book marketing Super-Nerd behind Kindlepreneur.com. His focus is on providing in-depth, actionable information for indie authors, such as his recent guide to book writing software. His free time is spent reading, immersing himself in sci-fi culture, and spending time with his family in Tennessee.


What are your thoughts here, readers? Do you conduct book reviews on your blog? Why or why not?


Image credits: Pixabay.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Announcements and Updates for October 2020

 

Greetings, Readers!

Today's post will be brief, as a new week ushers in more projects, different priorities and preparation for upcoming holidays. I'm in the middle of some fall landscaping plans as well. I have a pretty spacious back yard and I am contemplating whether or not to have a fire pit built for toasting marshmallows, along with some other planting and trimming work. The pits always look like such fun on the Home Depot commercials. But, I digress...on to the announcements here.

HOW SWEET IT IS...

A special thanks to all of those who entered the "I'm Sweet on Chocolate" competition. I received comments on the blog; direct email entries; and even phone calls regarding participation.
After careful consideration, the winners have been declared as follows:
1st PLACE---SUSAN WICKER
2nd PLACE---KAREN LANGE

Please join me in congratulating these writers for a job well done.

HERE'S SUSAN'S ORIGINAL POEM






When the weather is dark, cold, and gray,
There's one sure  way to save the day.

                  Chocolate


There's magic in one single bar.
Its taste will, no doubt, take you far.

                 Chocolate


Creamy, yummy, and oh-so-sweet.
This elixir is more than a treat.

                 Chocolate


It makes all troubles melt away
It keeps worries and problems at bay.

                Chocolate


A nibble will make you want more.
A big bite goes straight to one's core.

                 Chocolate


Dark, semi-sweet or just milk,
It will go down the gullet like silk.

                  Chocolate


Keep a stash of bars in a drawer
You'll be ready when you really need more.

                  Chocolate


No one will know how you do it.
Keep happy, there's nothing to it.

                    Chocolate


At the end of the day, close your eyes,
Dream of tons of it filling the skies.

                      Chocolate


Susan and Karen can email me directly with their mailing addresses for the awarding of some sweet treats and prizes!

Special thanks also to Writers.com for contest collaboration. They are offering 50% off  for any writing class that Susan opts to take!



CORONA COLLABORATIONS?

As many of you are aware, Covid-19 has restricted and redefined how we as creative artists are able to connect with audiences, entertain, make money and expand our reach.
Still, we can't stop sharing our messages and touching the masses.
Accordingly, I am reaching out to fellow bloggers, publishers, freelancers, crafters who are interested in:

CO-SPONSORING CONTESTS
EXCHANGING GUEST POSTS
CONTRIBUTING RECIPES FOR A FUN NEW COOKBOOK I'M WRITING
DONATING BOOKS FOR GIVE-AWAYS (OR FUNDS) FOR CREATIVE PROJECTS
SERVING AS CONTEST JUDGES, ETC.
Because, "there is strength in numbers."
Interested parties can leave a comment here or email me at: Gemsjen@yahoo.com.
Thanks in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

BLIND BAT ALERT!

About two weeks ago, I unfortunately broke my reading glasses. What a bummer. I'm in the process of getting them replaced. In the interim, please forgive any typos in my blog posts.
When I can see better, I can do better. LOL

PEN & PROSPER WILL GO ON A BRIEF BREAK...

I will be out of the "blog building" from November 15th-December 15th.
Feel free to browse my current content (over 800 posts) and to leave periodic messages to stay in touch.
I always enjoy hearing from you.

Have a terrific Tuesday. Thanks for reading.


Thoughts?

Image credit: Pixabay.com
 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Author Addresses Integrity Breaches in Leadership

 

Rande Somma

There's a reason why the movie "Horrible Bosses" did so wonderfully at the box office. It was a satiric look into our corporate culture that resonated with many. This dark comedy originally released in 2011 grossed over 209 million; so popular that there was actually a Horrible Bosses 2 that followed shortly thereafter.

The secret to the movie's success was that it "hit home" with scores of workers in Corporate America that could relate to the movie's theme of oppression, office politics and bad and incompetent leaders. 

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

According to a Monster.com jobsite poll, "76% of job seekers say their boss is toxic." Psychology Today further reports that: "Horrible bosses are not identified and therefore allowed to do their dirty work in organizations because most organizations do not have mechanisms in place to identify and weed out these bad apples."   

HORRIBLE BOSSES IN REAL LIFE

Though the story line of Horrible Bosses makes for a hilarious cinematic theme, bad bosses aren't very funny in real life. I should know. I've had my share of them in my former careers. In fact, their ability to create toxic environments, erode office morale, cause stress and make decisions grounded in their own self-interest has far-reaching consequences both internally and externally.
A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD PROBLEM...
Author and business leader, Rande Somma has published an eye-opening book entitled "Leadersh!t," that explores and addresses poor management, incompetent leadership and America's broken corporate system. Today he shares some of his insights and experiences with Pen & Prosper readers. 

As they say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." This is a compelling and timely read, purposed to change the status quo and cultivate better future leaders.

So, let's get started with the business at hand.

Hi, Rande. Thanks for joining us. 

Can you tell readers a little about who you are and your background?

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. My mother and father were both high school drop outs. We lived in a 700 square foot house so we were a very average middle income family. I enjoyed participating in a number of sports and, even though I haven’t lived in Pittsburgh since 1973, to this day I am a big Steelers fan. As they say, you can take the kid out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take the Pittsburgh out of the kid."

1973 was a very busy year. I received my bachelor’s degree from Robert Morris University’s School of Business. I married my wife and best friend Georgia (just celebrated our 47 anniversary). We relocated to live in Reading, Pennsylvania and I started my professional career as a Junior Buyer in a machinery plant. Subsequently we relocated four additional times as my career journey progressed. In 1981 we moved to our current residence in Bloomfield, Hills Michigan.

In 1988 I joined Johnson Controls Incorporated’s (JCI) Automotive Operations as Sales Manager for the Chrysler Business. At the time JCI Automotive essentially operated only in North America with annual sales of approximately $800 million. After serving in a number of other positions with increasing responsibility I was promoted to President of the Automotive Group’s North American Operations. Three years later I was elected a Corporate Officer and President of the Automotive Group’s Operations World Wide. Over my fifteen-year career with JCI we had become a truly international Fortune 100 company. When I left JCI in 2003 annual sales were approximately $20 Billion and we had over 250 facilities in 26 countries. Technical Centers in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China and approximately 75,000 employees worldwide.

After leaving JCI I started my own consulting firm focused on coaching /mentoring leadership development. In addition, I became a member of several boards of directors. The boards were for companies that were automotive/non-automotive, for profit and non-profit as well as both private and public. In addition, I am a member of the Robert Morris University’s Business School’s Board of Visitors, and was honored to be the commencement speaker at the 2015 graduation ceremony. 

Is this your first book? What was the inspiration behind it?

Yes, this is my first book. What is amazing is that I am not a reader per say. While I would love to sit, relax and read a book, I have tried many times through the years and I can’t remember reading one cover to cover. Therefore, writing this book is quite ironic!

All of that said, writing the book was something I came to feel that I needed to do. In looking back over all my many opportunities to witness our leadership culture in action, they all had two things in common. First, every organization had a Mission and Vision Statement and they all communicated what the Values would be that would essentially establish the culture and guide their decisions. Values such as The People, Integrity, Customer, Shareholder. 

Second, when I sat in the closed-door meetings the way things operated and how decisions were made had very little alignment with those Values. However, that wasn’t what motivated me to write the book. As I became more and more upset with what appears to be a systemic leadership culture in our country, it struck me that there are victims of this culture where it is acceptable for leaders to surrender their duties to their self-interest. Those victims are the people that depended on those leaders to be authentic in terms of character and talent. In this system those people shift from being something the organization values and its most important asset to simply line items on the spreadsheet. While I knew I could not fix the problem I also couldn’t just look away. So, I wrote this book as a way to do something to try to help.


How would you describe your leadership approach?

My leadership approach was deeply rooted in what I believe should be a leader’s number one objective…. Earn (not entitled to) the trust of the people you are leading. I found that the most effective compass to guide me to that goal was to consistently “walk the talk” when it comes to embodying the company’s stated values.  I want “humanize” myself whenever possible. Be a person who consistently demonstrated trustworthiness and humility. After all, people don’t decide whether or not to trust Titles, they chose whether or not to trust People.

My goal was to establish a culture where integrity had value, decisions that are made as a function of collaboration and consensus, team over self, the long-term goals are equally as (if not more) important as short term goals and where center of gravity was more on the “prevention” versus the “reaction” side of the priority equation. Lastly, a culture where achieving your goals is indeed important; but what is even more important is the means by which they were used to meet those objectives. After all, the HOW is where the credibility and sustainability of the results reside.


Give us the “4-1-1-”.  What would it surprise others to know about you? 

Even my oldest friends would be surprised to know that I am a basically shy person. Over the years I have noticed that it just was in my nature to be uncomfortable when connecting with new people and situations. However, once I get through the “introduction phase” I’m able to relax.

Over my life and career I have given countless speeches and presentations to both small and large audiences. I’ve given interviews for newspapers and magazines, and have appeared on both television and radio shows. Not exactly a recipe you would associated with someone who is fundamentally shy!

How has the book been received thus far? 

Let me address that question with what I have heard from readers. In addition to the 42 reviews on Amazon, I have been in touch with dozens of folks, from Yokohama, Japan to Munich, Germany. All representing different businesses and industries. I was amazed at the two things in common from their feedback. 

First, they were all working in an organization managed by leaders that made far too many decisions that were completely inconsistent with the company’s stated mission and values. The dynamics made them feel like they were trapped in the dilemma of either selling out on their own personal values and therefore conform to the organization’s true culture, or to not abandon their values and thereby eventually put their position with that organization in jeopardy. While the book did not give them the answers it enabled them to understand exactly why they found themselves in that position.

Secondly (and by far the most fulfilling for me), so many of them said that by having a better understanding of today’s broken leadership culture, it was cathartic to know that they were not the problem, rather it was the system they were operating in.

Can you tell us about your Integrity First Scholarship program?

After years of achieving so much success in our lives my wife and I decided to “give-back” to organizations that added significant value to our life’s journey. One of those organizations for me was my alma mater Robert Morris University. 

Eleven years ago we established (and fund) the Rande &Georgia Somma “Integrity First” scholarships. In addition to providing for five $5,000.00 scholarships each year, it invites Business School students to express their views on how an organization or individual operating grounded in integrity, ethics and morality is not mutually exclusive from achieving their highest aspirations. In fact, in the right leadership culture they are quite compatible.

Since its inception scholarships have been awarded to over 50 students. Formal presentation of the scholarships is made at an annual dinner and Ethics Workshop typically attended by approximately 250 students. 

I am grateful to the Business School’s Dean, faculty and staff for providing me this platform. Feedback from students over the years has been amazing and quite fulfilling.


To learn more about Rande Somma or to order his book, visit his site:



BONUS HERE, READERS. 
Leave a comment or question on this post and one random winner will be chosen to receive a free autographed copy of his book!

 
Anybody out there work for any "horrible bosses" ?

Image credits: Pixabay.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I'm "Sweet on Chocolate" Writing Contest* It's Back!


With all the doom and gloom we have had to contend with this year, resulting from the current pandemic and racial tensions, I think it’s high time to lighten the mood and find something worthy to celebrate. My vote is for chocolate. How about you? 

In fact, chocolate and writers just go together. For many of us, it's the ultimate in "comfort food". It's as synonymous with scribes as donuts are with cops. :-) 

Interestingly enough, while doing research for writing ideas, I stumbled across some "trivia" that I thought was pretty sweet. Did you know that there is such a thing as National Chocolate Week? 

Yep. There really is. It's actually celebrated in the U.K. October 16th-October 22nd.

There are shows, events, tastings, and a whole lot of fun happenings. So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to celebrate it here at Pen and Prosper, with another "I'm Sweet on Chocolate" writing contest!

Pencils ready?

Here's your "mission," if you should choose to accept it:

1. All entries must be original and unpublished.

2. Send me a slogan, quote or poem that has to do with writers and chocolate.

3. Word count can not exceed 114 words, (let's keep things interesting, shall we)?

4. Submissions can be entered as "comments" through the Pen and Prosper site, or they can be emailed to me at Gemsjen@yahoo.com embedded in an email. Please, no attachments. 

5. Two winners will be chosen from entries received.

6. No entry fee required.

Prizes? 

Bragging rights. A badge to place on your site. Free Ebooks. And some form of chocolate mailed to you. It could be a book of chocolate recipes, a chocolate certificate, or real chocolate! And more! 

Details to follow...

Get in where you fit in! The deadline is October 22nd (in America...not in the U.K.).:-)

Good luck!

CHOCOLATE TRIVIA...DID YOU KNOW?



1). Chocolate produces serotonin, which reduces sensitivity to pain and promotes a feeling of well-being.

From Belleabouttown.com

2). An organic molecule in chocolate can help strengthen tooth enamel, according to research from Tulane University.

From Womenshealthmag.com

3). 87% of men consume chocolate, as compared to 91% of women.

From Mintel.com

4). Every Russian mission and American voyage has included chocolate bars.

From Lindtusa.com

5). Dark chocolate contains flavanoids, which is said to lower blood pressure.

From Womenshealthmag.com

6). The biggest bar of chocolate ever made weighed 5000 pounds!

From Lindtusa.com



Thoughts? Comments?

Image credits: Pixabay.com