The Importance of Perseverance

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Thomas Edison refused to give up when his first efforts to discover a filament for his carbon incandescent lamp failed. Edison continued his search by doing countless experiments with a variety of materials, but each failed. With each failure, Edison, perhaps out of pure frustration, tossed the worthless element out the window until the pile eventually reached the second story of his home.

Then, on October 13, 1879, after thirteen months of repeated failures, Edison finally succeeded in his search for a filament that would stand the stress of an electric current His persistence against discouraging odds had given the world the wonder of the electric light bulb!

Perseverance is the commitment you make to yourself to do whatever is necessary to accomplish your most treasured dreams and goals. Perseverance means you refuse to give up in spite of the difficulty that may surround you and in spite those who tell you that your goal is unattainable. Perseverance is a fundamental attribute of a winning character.

To accomplish something that is easy is something anyone can do. However, to accomplish that which is difficult – even seemingly impossible – is something that sets you apart.

History is replete with examples of men and women who have persevered in spite of the odds:

An editor once told Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, acclaimed as one of the best children's books ever written, that she would never write anything popular.

Even deafness could not stop Ludwig Von Beethoven. He composed many of his greatest works unable to hear the grandeur of the music he was creating.

At nineteen months of age, Helen Keller contracted a serious illness that left her blind and deaf. In spite of the odds being stacked against her, and with the help of her family and friends, she developed a winning character with a fierce sense of perseverance. She set herself apart from those with similar handicaps by refusing to give-up and give-in. She became the first blind and deaf person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, and ultimately became a prolific author, political activist, and lecturer.

A coach to former Angels' shortstop, David Eckstein, once told him that he would never play major college baseball. "That was hurtful but not defeating. I did not believe him. I was raised to believe in myself, so I just kept playing hard and giving 100%." A winning character, armed with perseverance, remains undaunted by the negative comments of others and simply continues moving forward toward the goal.

Jim Abbot, a former pitcher for the Angels enjoyed frustrating his cynics by continually proving them wrong. He overcame incredible odds and reached his goal of becoming a major league pitcher. He was born without a right hand.

Abraham Lincoln rose from a humble childhood in the Indiana frontier to become the 16th President of the United States. Before his election in 1860 Lincoln had been a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the US Senate.

His life is a testament to winning character and perseverance. "Honest Abe," as friend and foe affectionately labeled him, was largely self-educated. He was an avid reader and would sometimes walk several miles to borrow books in order to learn.

His accomplishments set him apart from the ordinary politician. He successfully led a fledgling country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery.

He overcame incredible odds to accomplish his goals including the loss of a son, suffering multiple illnesses, being plagued with frequent bouts of "melancholy" (clinical depression), and a host of betrayals by those in whom he had placed his great trust.

Albert Einstein was slow in learning how to speak. In fact, his parents were so concerned about their child's lack of normal speech development that they consulted a physician. During Einstein's youth, one headmaster expelled him from school; another said that he would never amount to much. Nevertheless, Einstein persevered. Best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass-energy equivalence, expressed by the equation E = mc2 Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. " Today his name is synonymous with genius.

The List Goes On!

John F. Kennedy the 35th President of the United States had to take the New York bar exam three times before he passed.

Ray Charles, world-renowned musician and singer was blind.

Thomas Edison – had a learning problem.

James Earl Jones – had a speech impediment.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – was paralyzed from polio

Itzhak Perlman – contracted polio at age four that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Stevie Wonder- blind from birth.

Stephen Hawking – has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a condition that has progressed over the years and has left him almost completely paralysed.

Woodrow Wilson – suffered from dyslexia and was ten years of age before he learned to read. As a teenager he compensated for his handicap by teaching himself shorthand. His academic achievements were largely due to his absolute determination and self-discipline.

Terry Fox – diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age fifteen. His right leg was amputated several inches above the knee. Three years later, the young athlete decided to run from coast to coast in order to raise money for cancer research. His goal was to raise one dollar from each Canadian citizen.

Steps to Improving Your Perseverance

1. Don't Give Up! When you are working toward a goal and someone or something offers you an excuse to give up, say "NO." So many people are living lesser lives today than what they could have had if only that had not allowed someone or something to steal their dreams.

2. Overcome Fear with Faith. Do not let fear dictate who you are or what you are able to accomplish.
Have faith in yourself; know that God has a plan for your life and that it is He who places opportunities in your life fully expecting that you will make the most of them.

3. Learn from your Failures. Each of us experiences failures along life's journey. There is a reason for this: wwithin every failure there is the seed of a lesson well learned. Each failure we experience reinforces an emerging solid character trait. It is our failures that contribute most intensely to our character development.

4. Welcome Difficult Times. Recent studies in psychology and biology, are confirming what our grandparents knew intuitively: exposure to diffiicult times makes us stronger, and psychologically more resilient. When difficult times arise here are some suggestions to consider: a) Focus on what you have, not on what you've lost; b) Do not be blinded by difficulty, search for opportunities that may exist as a result of the situation; c) Think about how you have been helped by the difficulty: how it has changed your personal values, what effect it has had on your relationships with your spouse and family members, how it has changed you spiritually; d) Think about the benefits of the event: perhaps you have rediscovered some personal values, or rediscovered a dream, or learned more about your mission and purpose in life; e) Consider how the circumstance has made your life more meaningful.

5. Be Totally Committed to your Goals. Whatever you embark upon do it with all of your heart. Invest your whole self in each project. If you cannot make a 100% to a goal, you should come to terms with the fact that it is unattainable. Extraordinary success demands extraordinary commitment.

6. Always Do your Best. Never make the mistake of thinking that something less than your best will due, it will not. There is an old adage that will forever be true: Do your best and the best will be returned to you. This is another law of the universe that is immutable. Use it to your advantage.

7. Meet the Challenge. This requires discipline and hard work, but doing whatever is required to meet the challenge is exactly what it takes to succeed. There are no short cuts, no side steps, and no cheats.

8. Never Give Up. In the words of Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, "If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go, and how to get there, and then never, never, never give up!

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Source by William Larson, Ph.D.

Warning When Bidding For a Ghostwriter For Hire

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If you are looking for a ghostwriter for hire and you are on a tight budget, you can try finding one in a bidding site. Bidding sites are the websites where freelancers bid against one another in attempt to get projects.

There are bidding sites which allow a writer to see the bid of another while others keep such information private. You will most probably observe as you enter these sites non – professionals bidding exceedingly low rates just to get a job. It’s easy to know that anyone who has quality would never work under such low rates.

Other sites feature more realistic bids wherein even amidst the competition the least prices you will find are only fairly low. When resorting to acquiring the services of a ghostwriter for hire through bidding sites, you will have to take this warning: you will find very few ghostwriters who can write with good quality.

The most probable reason for good writers to bid very low rates is because they can’t support themselves or their families. Therefore generally, you will only find inexperienced ghostwriters here. However it is still possible for you to find a good ghostwriter, although inexperienced. You will get good writing but do not expect an inexperienced ghostwriter to know much about publishing books.

Safer Option

If you are the kind of person though who can not afford the risks, try broadening your options by searching for a ghostwriter for hire in the Internet. There are good quality ghostwriters who offer their services at a low cost. Extending your budget a little is more practical in this type of circumstances where quality is critical. This is most particularly true for persons who know so little about the publishing process themselves. An experienced ghostwriter for hire is knowledgeable about the subject, therefore can offer you more assistance than merely writing texts.

Contract

Once you get a ghostwriter for hire, you have to provide timely answers to drafts and queries from the writer. This will ensure that the project will be completed on time. You may also get into a contract providing that a penalty will be imposed for a late product.

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Source by John Halas

The History of Colin’s Jeans Brand

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The history of made to measure jeans by Colin’s started in 1983 when a Turkish businessman Nurettin Eroglu and his four brothers established a small garment manufacture called “Eroglu Holding”. Originally the factory produced coats and down jackets, but in 1986 the first jeans were manufactured there. That year the trademark “Kulis” was introduced. The production grew and by 1992 the company manufactured 1500 pairs of jeans a day. The brand was that year renamed and called “Colin’s Jeans”. The first sewing factory occupying a space of 10.000 square kilometers was opened.

In 1993 the company begins to export its jeans abroad. Today Colin’s Jeans are sold in the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia and Middle East.

Colin’s Jeans brand has chosen the right marketing strategy from the start. Unlike other Turkish manufacturers of denim, Colin’s Jeans brand didn’t try to copy jeans models produced by world established companies. Instead of this the brand made inexpensive clothes of good quality and advertised for its own trademark. This policy contributed to the success of the brand all over the world.

By the end of the 1990s Colin’s Jeans already had 11 shops in Turkey and 6 shops abroad. The brand also introduced a new more expensive denim line called “Loft”. In 1997 Central Office and trading center Marka&Marka in Istanbul were opened. According to the conception Marka&Marka Eroglu started production for the leading world manufacturers of custom tailored jeans: Levi’s, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Next, Polo, GAP, Ralph Lauren, Lee Cooper, Matalan and Liz Clairbone. In 1998 a factory occupying a space of 35.000 square kilometers was opened, followed by the largest denim clothes manufacturing factory in Europe opened in 2003 and occupying a space of 45.000 square kilometers, capable of producing 17 million of clothes pieces a year. In 2005 Eroglu Company Group bought one of the biggest jeans brands in Europe “Big Star”, fortifying its positions on the world markets.

Today the company is represented in 33 countries and has more than 24.000 employees. The brand produces men’s, women’s and children’s clothes and each season introduces more than 2000 models of customized jeans for the new collection, following the latest trends of the world fashion. Colin’s represents an entire production cycle, including draft designing of jeans models, construction, curve gradation, sewing of clothes pieces, packing and delivery of ready goods to the customers. The most progressive technologies of processing and dye are used in Colin’s Jeans manufactory.

The product range includes jeans, denim jackets, shirts, skirts, waistcoats, dresses, shorts, overalls, as well as cotton and knitted wear like tops, T-shirts, sweaters, smocks. Colin’s also continues to manufacture outer garments, coats and jackets. Clothes for children and various accessories also belong to the product palette of the company.

The brand now has 300 shops in Turkey and more than 1000 abroad, thus becoming a rightful competitor of the leading world denim brands.

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Source by Stella Tornton

Seven Signs You Might Be A Closet Writer

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Sure you like to read books–in fact at times you enjoy reading them more than living in the real world–but liking a good story, craving a world written of imagination is different from actually creating one, right? Surely a writer is born, calluses on fore and third fingers, and not made? Not necessarily. American master bard Walt Whitman didn’t produce his masterpiece Leaves of Grass until age 35–and nobody has yet figured where his genius came from, near ready-made. Here are seven signs you might be harbouring a fugitive author inside, a writer hidden and desperate for escapism.

1. You really like books. I mean really. You read under the covers as a child, not to mention in the car, on the bus, even heaven forbid at lunch while others played. More than just a borderline literary obsession, yours was the sad ennui that life in the real world could never reach the same heights as on the page. Maybe your true direction in life is to be found in perfectly kerned type. Maybe there you will reach your true heights.

2. As an adult you often avoid reading. Not because you’ve grown out of it, but because your standards in reading continue to grow, and frankly, you’ve been let down one time too many by a poorly written book; you’re just too good a reader for writing that is below you. A writer stuck in the closet is guaranteed to have higher standards than most; perhaps it is time for you to wear the shirt that fits.

3. It’s a cliché–but fiction is the home of clichés so read on–you can name the books that changed your life, whose well-crafted, compelling truths and hidden insights helped you to see the world in different ways, yourself as well. Maybe you have a written truth to offer the world of your own.

4. You often tell others of the faults in what you are reading, how you think a novel could be written better. You intuitively know what makes good writing, know whether an author has something to say before you’ve half-travailed the page. You would write books reviews if only you were a writer you sadly exclaim. Well maybe you should–pick up a pen and you are.

5. When you read words you hear the voice of the author inside you–in fact yours is the long held belief that somehow you know the authors whose work you have read, although you have never met. Maybe you actually do. Writing, like other forms of art, is a bridge between the author and reader, and poet, artist, and meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy writes that if we are aware of this bridge, we can not only enter into the work of a writer, but also acquire their capacity:

“When you want to create something, you want to invoke beauty to inspire you. So at that time, you have to identify yourself with someone who is creating. You want to do something unique, but the type of thing that you want to do somebody has already done or is doing. Only you want to surpass him. So try to identify yourself with the consciousness of the person who has already done the thing or with the person himself, and try to get inspiration, aspiration and capacity from him. If you want to write something spiritual, read my writings and identify with them. If you want to draw something, take your ideal artist and identify with his creation.”[1]

6. You long to discover the hidden meaning of things, the hidden motivations and depths in the hearts of others, the mystery of the world around you, also inside you. Most good writers do–it is why they write–their fascination for life equal if not greater than for writing itself. Follow the path of such writers to self knowledge; pen in hand, start yourself to write.

7. You have always been a storehouse of facts, a walking library of information. You can remember everything that happens to you, often astound friends with precise recall of events and their sequence, without quite understanding why. Your mind itself is a narrator: reporting, observing and describing the events of your day, albeit unbidden usually–a tape recording whose reels are without end. Song-writer Kristin Hersh began writing songs because “If I don’t turn ideas into songs they can get stuck in me and make me sick.”[2] Even if not to this extreme, if your mind is bursting its bounds, put it’s excess creativity and energy to good use; start writing it all down. You might also want to try meditation, and acquire a much needed on and off switch.

According to Hersh, “songwriting is about shutting up instead of talking.”[3] Whether of songs or entire books, if you want to be a writer, now is the time to bite the apple rather than talk about it.

Footnotes:

1. p.42, A Galaxy Of Beauty’s Stars, Sri Chinmoy, 1974

2. Kristin Hersh, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristin_Hersh

3. Ibid

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Source by John Paul Gillespie

Types of Newsletters and Their Content

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Want to write a newsletter? There are three main types of newsletters in this publication, each one with content and features that are tailored to their specific audiences.

The Company Newsletter

Many offices have a company newsletter, which they use to keep employees abreast about new information and developments about the business. Done right (and proofed with a good copywriting software), they help employees come up with a sense of shared purpose, helping build morale.

What kinds of things find their way into company newsletters? The range of content includes news, profiles and features that celebrate both the business and their employees, along with the larger industry they belong to, their partners and other related topics.

The Consumer Newsletter

Ever bought a product signed some forms and suddenly began receiving newsletters in the mail? Chances are, you signed up for a consumer newsletter, a publication put out by companies intended specifically for their current customers.

When producing a consumer newsletter, you have to keep in mind that your readers are your customers. As such, you will need to write about things that they will be interested in – if the newsletter is from a sporting goods store, for instance, you can include new sports-related product releases, celebrity athletes, local and international sporting events and consumer reports.

The Organization Newsletter

Organization newsletters function much like company newsletters. In fact, they have many overlapping qualities, since “organizations” are a broad concept that can include companies. Generally, though, this term is used to refer to publications produced by profitless groups, directed towards members, potential members and their sponsors. Content can be much the same as company newsletters, with an additional bent on selling the virtues of an organization.

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Source by Jane Sumerset

How to Be a Niche Expert – 6 Tips for You to Stay Successful in Freelance Writing

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Freelance writing offers many niche areas to select. Going by your passion, interest and skills, starting off is much easier. Having your own blog and developing various blog post ideas for publishing, sets you to achieve mastery. However, it does not end there. Because, you need to constantly publish articles to advertise and market your expertise.

How to describe expertise

Familiarity in writing does not count for customers as expert writing levels are growing in demand. If you have worked through many articles extensively that convey your knowledge and authority over a topic, you are assured of winning contracts.

Another aspect that signifies your expertise is the comment section. The views, likes, shares and discussions from readers confirm that you have mastered the niche.

Keep your style unique, interesting and follow the industry jargon along with SEO keywords.

How many articles to publish

Publish unlimitedly. Find as many sources as you can while ensuring that you deliver quality content. In fact, many small business owners keep a practice to publish articles to have dominion over running a successful business. Maintain a content calendar and record titles in excel sheet.

Use Headline analyzer

Get high score for title. This is very important to drive traffic. It need to have most compelling words and emotion to derive clicks. Score anywhere between 70 to 80 or more promises guaranteed views. Further, it grows interaction and content engagement.

Submit website / blog to directories

There are few directories that index URLs for free. Social submission sites like free submission, Anoox, add more traffic etc, welcome more links for submission. This is one strategy to invite traffic.

Link Building strategy

Take time to read the articles of other writers and appreciate good work. You get a link back to your website. That’s how you grow popular. Stay honest in your opinions and comments. Keep the motive of commenting as professional rather than being commercial. It really helps.

Build Network

Connecting with those in the same field, participating in social media groups and actively voicing your opinion fetches you more followers. As you grow popular, your expert areas are also revealed to your audiences. This is an assured way to grow your business.

Conclusion

While quality publishing takes maximum of your efforts for building expertise, there are also other segments available online that bring you a new foray for your brand marketing. It’s not hard. Just you need to begin and stay active online.

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Source by Arundhathi Enamela

10 Tips For Writing Informed Opinion Pieces

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An informed opinion piece is commonly called an editorial or “op-ed” which means opinion editorial. Opinion articles give you an opportunity to present your extended opinion on a particular issue, event, or other happening that the daily news covers. People with experience and knowledge in the subject area write most op-eds.

A letter to the editor column is not the same as an informed opinion piece, even though they both allow expression of opinion. The readers of the publication write letters to the editor. An expert, celebrity, or well-known public figure authors the informed opinion piece.

Tips for writing an informed opinion piece:

  1. Base your article on current, timely, recent news stories. No one cares about an opinion on outdated news.
  2. It needs to have a local relevance and be of interest to the readers of the publication submitted to. People take interest in events that are not local, but your opinion of distant activities do not interest them as much as events taking place close to home.
  3. Be concise. Be clear and to the point in your writing. Use a strong argument in both the introduction and last paragraph of the piece.
  4. Be specific. Write about only one specific issue at a time. Make sure that the reader understands why your argument or opinion is of interest to them. An op-ed piece is not a forum for general broad hitting complaints.
  5. Keep it short, 600-750 words is the recommended length for your article.
  6. Use simple, everyday language. The general readership has to understand your writing without experiencing doubt about what the subject or your opinion is.
  7. Give suggestions of possible solutions or recommendations to the situation.
  8. Keep your punctuation simple. Exclamation points have no place in an op-ed piece.
  9. Provide facts, base your opinion on well-documented facts, research, statistics and examples. There is no room for personal emotions in the piece.
  10. Proofread your article. Your piece needs logical organization. As in all writing the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are vital. Use the normal language of your reader. Avoid clichés, racism, personal attacks, and sexism.

The target readership of most publications includes people from many different backgrounds and experiences. The piece must have relevancy to the general audience. A good op-ed piece opens with a strong opinion and ends with a hard-hitting summary or final thought-provoking point.

Consider your format; mix long and short sentences to piqué the reader’s attention. Use short attention-grabbing paragraphs. Ensure that the reader does not have to “work” to get your point.

Provide current and accurate contact information. The publication requires your name, address, e-mail, phone number and signature.

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Source by Patricia M Hines

Historical Fiction Set In Ancient Sumer – Secret Of The Scribe By Jennifer Johnson Garrity

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I always loved to supplement history studies with historical fiction. I found picture books and novels aplenty while studying Greece and Rome, the Renaissance and Reformation, or the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. But ancient Sumer? The closest I could get was the story of Gilgamesh, but it is an epic, not a novel, and not nearly so appealing to eight- to twelve-year-old girls!

Actually, both girls and boys alike will delight in Secret of the Scribe, the first historical novel about ancient Sumer I’ve seen. Author Jennifer Johnson Garrity transports the reader back 5000 years to the time of Abraham and the bustling city of Ur. Told in first person, it’s the story of a young girl, Tabni, who grows up in comfort as a slave to a Sumerian queen-until a great calamity forces her to flee the palace by night and make her way into the world alone.

Don’t we love The Boxcar Children and My Side of the Mountain, where the courageous protagonists must live resourcefully on their own? This universally appealing theme appears in Secret of the Scribe as well. As the young scribe Tabni weaves her narrative, the reader journeys with her by boat down the broad Euphrates River to the Sumerian trade center of Ur, where we experience both the grandeur of the gleaming ziggurat and the stench of narrow back alleys.

Tabni’s tale draws us in. We feel her grief and hunger as she finds herself homeless in a new world. We discover her pluck and courage as she forms a daring plan while living alone in secret. And we taste Tabni’s fear of vengeance from the many gods she tries desperately to appease.

In true “historical novel” fashion, Secret of the Scribe teaches the reader about life and customs in Ur-how people in this ancient civilization lived, ate, dressed, worked, and worshipped. Italicized words sprinkled throughout the book point to a glossary of unfamiliar terms, making it easy for the teacher or homeschooling parent to incorporate vocabulary into their Sumerian studies.

Secret of the Scribe would also make a great springboard into arts and crafts. The book introduces students to Sumerian trades such as weaving, metalwork, jewelry-making, and pottery, opening up all sorts of possibilities for accompanying projects. Trained as a scribe, Tabni writes on clay tablets, suggesting a project that dovetails art with learning about Sumerian cuneiform.

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Source by Kim Kautzer

The Study of the Gothic Element of Double in Poe’s Selected Works

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The Study of Doubles in Poe’s Works

General Background

Poe

An important and innovative re-interpreter of the Gothic in the literary world was Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) who asserted ‘that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul’. His stature as a major figure in world literature is primarily based on his highly acclaimed short stories, poems, and critical theories, which established an influential rationale for the short form in both poetry and fiction. Poe is also famous for his Gothic style of writing. Fisher affirms that: “Few would hazard a challenge to long-standing opinion that Poe was a master of the Gothic horror tale, although many might not as readily be aware that he did not invent Gothic fiction” (p.72). Indeed Poe turned the Gothic fiction of the eighteenth-century to the internal cries and desires of human being. Aside from a common theoretical basis, there is a psychological intensity that is characteristic of Poe’s writings, especially the tales of horror that comprise his best and best-known works.

Double

A significant element of Gothic genre is the theme of double. In Gothic (1996), Fred Botting writes that “at the end of nineteenth century familiar Gothic figures-the double and the vampire-reemerged in new shapes with a different intensity and anxious investments as objects of terror”(p.135). It seems so terrible when one looks at everywhere and sees his own image and likeness. The presence of the double, thus, could be interpreted as an explanation for the alienation of human being in the modern world. Botting expresses that “the loss of human identity and the alienation of self from both itself and the social bearings in which a sense of reality is secured are presented in the threatening shapes of increasingly dehumanized environments, mechanic doubles and violent, psychotic fragmentation” (p.157).

Doubles are seen in different forms and shapes in Gothic texts. The mostly used forms are doppelgangers, mirror images, shadows and even mandrakes. In most of Gothic fictions the theme of doubles and mirrors exist. Dealing with their doubles, characters come to know those aspects and facets of their personality which have been alien and unknown to them. Doubles appear in various forms; doppelganger, alter ego, shadow, twins, mirror images and even mandrakes. As Botting asserts, in Poe’s fiction: “Doubles and mirrors are used to splendid effects…” (p.120). However what seems essential to notice is that the meaning which the doubles convey is the same; they are used to show the concept of self-estrangement and self-destruction of the main characters to the readers. This lack of self-knowledge which in many cases leads to self-destruction is emphasized by both authors in their works like “William Wilson”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Fall of House of Ushers” by Poe. The writer’s use of the idea of ‘The Double’ implies that all people can be misled by appearances through their emotional tendencies, just as everyone can be reassured by knowledge through the operation of his/her rational functions. The term doppelganger which has been remarkably used by Poe will be defined first.

Doppelgänger

According to the Merriam Webster’s Dictionary (2004) doppelganger means “a ghostly counterpart of a living person.” In German it derives from Doppel (double) and Gänger (goer), meaning “double goer”, in German folklore, a wraith or apparition of a living person, as distinguished from a ghost. The concept of the existence of a spirit double, an exact but usually invisible replica of every man, bird, or beast, is an ancient and widespread belief. To meet one’s double is a sign that one’s death is imminent. The doppelganger is a popular symbol of horror literature, and the theme took on considerable complexity.

Some stories offer supernatural explanations for doubles. These doppelgängers are typically, but not always, evil in some way. The double will often impersonate the victim and go about ruining them, for instance through committing crimes or insulting the victim’s friends. Seeing is the primary category here; the doppelganger, as it appears and reappears in literary and other cultures, is above all a thing of visual fascination and terror. Thus notions of doubling involve not only replications of identity, but also transformations in identity, where the self appears to be in the wrong body. A case which combines the two possibilities would be Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray.” The idea of a phantom ‘double’ has existed throughout recorded history, and still flourishes in superstitions, fairy tales, and folklore throughout the world. It is taken seriously by some psychologists as an example of an out-of-body experience. It figures in many primitive religions, where the ‘double’ is assumed to be the person’s soul. But the doppelgänger concept has also schemed sophisticated people, and induced in them a dread of the unknown and a morbid assumption of doom akin to the responses of primitive groups.

Poe and the Double

One of the best examples of Edgar Allen Poe’s obsession with the theme of the double can be found in his extremely strange story “William Wilson”, the tale of two souls who actually seem to become one. The story begins with a foreshadowing of cryptic reality when the narrator immediately states, “Let me call myself, for the present, William Wilson”. As the story opens, the narrator, a schoolboy, finds himself in the same class with another boy who shares his name. This is not so unusual, except that the narrator feels the other boy takes a perverse delight in copying his “gait, [his] voice, [his] habits, and [his] manner,” thus making himself a virtual copy of the narrator. Eventually the two boys actually take on the same facial features.

Reluctant to reveal his true identity, the narrator leaves the reader wondering if the claim is a lie or perhaps the result of a “conflict within the soul. Further disclosing his inner conflict, the narrator admits “William Wilson [is] a fictitious title not very dissimilar to the real”. Acknowledging the similarities between himself and the other William Wilson, the narrator, points to the first hint of doubles in the story. There are, however, two areas in which the other William Wilson does not resemble the former. Due to some sort of physical defect, the “other” William Wilson’s voice can scarcely be raised above a whisper; and the “other” William Wilson’s every instinct is good. The narrator, on the other hand, proceeds from schoolboy mischievousness to a life of crime, primarily through an addiction to drinking and gambling.

Here, nevertheless, the “other” William Wilson persistently intrudes into the narrator’s life, either warning the narrator that he is going beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior, or warning others that Wilson is going to hurt them. He feels that he is being conquered by his double: “…a proof of his true superiority; since not to be overcome cost me a perpetual struggle”. Finally revealing the conflict between the two William Wilsons, the narrator addresses the other William Wilson as “Scoundrel! Impostor! Accursed villain!”.

Regarding the narrator’s point of view, at first glance it seems that he is addressing a doppelganger; since everything that this double does sounds unpleasant to him: “although there were times when I could not help observing, with a feeling made up of wonder, abasement, and pique, that he mingled with his injuries, his insults, or his contradictions, a certain most inappropriate, and assuredly most unwelcome affectionateness of manner”. He continues to challenge the double, “You shall not-you shall not dog me unto death! Follow me, or I shall stab you where you stand”. He often calls his double as “my tormentor” or “my antagonist” and “my evil destiny”, since he always annihilates his plans. Eventually the narrator can stand it no longer, and fatally stabs his opponent to get him out of his life. The story ends with both of them covered in blood, and both of them apparently dying.

The “other” Wilson finally finds his voice: “You have conquered me, and I yield. Yet, henceforward art thou also dead — dead to the World, to Heaven, and to Hope! In me didst thou exist — and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself!”. However, in arguing “Homely Gothic” Botting believes that what happens in “William Wilson” is that: “his mortal foe has been his inverted image, an alter ego that, unlike the doppelganger, is a better self, an external image of good conscience.” This statement is true when the reader recalls that in the course of the story the hero of the tale leads an immoral life; from the time he grows up as he confirms: “I grew self-willed, addicted to the wildest caprices, and a prey to most ungovernable passions.” while he finds, wherever he travels, his illegitimate scheme let down by the figure that haunted him at school.

“This interference often took the ungracious character of advice; advice not openly given, but hinted, or insinuated”. Thus, in this tale of twin-selves, the surviving William Wilson represents man-without-morality. His troublesome double, who constantly interfered with Wilson’s schemes by whispering caution or truth, represents everything that was wholesome or positive in his personality. Poe externalizes his character’s internal struggle. Virtue finally succumbs to vice. However, in murdering his conscience, Wilson failed to achieve the liberation he sought. Instead, his life turned into a living death. The climax turns the tale around; what appeared to be an account of some external haunting is seen as the subjective alteration of a hallucinating individual. “It was Wilson; but he spoke no longer in a whisper, and I could have fancied that I myself was speaking while he said…”

In “The Fall of House of Usher”, doubling spreads throughout the story. The tale highlights the Gothic feature of the doppelganger and portrays doubling in inanimate structures and literary forms. The narrator, for example, first witnesses the house as a reflection in the tarn, or shallow pool that lies alongside the front of the house. The mirror image in the tarn doubles the house, but upside down, an inversely balanced relationship that also characterizes the relationship between Roderick and Madeline. The theme also appears in the metaphor of a mind infected with madness, suggested by Roderick’s poem “The Haunted Palace.”

Also, while Roderick’s declining mental condition is echoed in the collapsing house, overgrown with parasitic plants and wrapped in a sort of unpleasant swamp gas, the fissure which finally destroys the Usher mansion literally brings the theme of dualism to a crashing climax. Roderick’s extreme sensitivity to Romantic literature and his inordinate desire to preserve Madeline’s corpse hint at other important themes, those of decadence and decay. Beside doppelgangers, Poe uses another form of doubles in the story; that of mirror imagery. The House of Usher is also similar to Roderick in their description. The house’s facade, as the narrator describes, resembles a giant face or skull with its eye-like windows and the hair-like fungi that hangs on the house’s facade. The stonework that covers the Usher house is in decay. This stonework reminds the narrator “…of old wood-work which has rotten for long years in some neglected vault”. The Usher House seems so fragile that it seems its instability will cause it to fall. Roderick’s complexion mirrors the house’s facade. Roderick’ large and luminous eyes are a mirror image of the house’s “eye-like” windows. Roderick’s soft and web-like hair resembles the house’s hair-like fungi that hang on the façade. The stonework on the facade looks old just like Usher does. In addition, Usher’s trembling resembles the house’s instability which will cause it to fall. One can see how the Usher house and Roderick Usher mirror each other.

There are other “objects” that can be found in the story that mirror each other. These two “objects” are Madeline Usher, Roderick’s twin sister, and Roderick. Roderick projects his own morbid self-absorption onto the figure of his dying sibling, in effect turning his twin into an external mirror image of his deteriorating mental state. One might say that Madeline is the reflection of Roderick’s mind and the Usher house of which will “fall.” This “fall” might be physical and/or mental. In Roderick’s case, he fits both categories. The similarities and links between Roderick and Madeline are too obvious to be emancipated. One of Roderick Usher’s paintings features a burial vault lit from within, as if he knows about a life-force coming from inside a coffin. Roderick loves his sister like no other. Their birth and death occur at the same time. Both siblings release feelings of gloom and doom.

Madeline appears ghostly, as if she is just an apparition. Roderick too appears deathlike and feels his sister’s every move and presence; when he announces that she is outside the door and has come for him, she appears exactly as he predicts. The elimination of one sibling thus spells the end of the other. Indeed, after entombing his sister, Roderick becomes more disturbed, wild, and fearful, realizing fully that his death time has also arrived. If the two siblings are in fact one in spirit, then their actions may also be interpreted as suicide rather than murder. What seems clear is that Poe does not concern himself with the moral actions of the characters in “The Fall of the House of Usher”; therefore the narrator feels no guilt for having assisted in the entombment of a person who may possibly be alive. The story seeks primarily to stir fear in the reader, with the issue of morality marginalized. The characters operate in an enigmatic universe where all of them, particularly the protagonist and the doppelganger, are equally amoral. These two can be defined as doppelgangers that are of opposite sexes; together they form a unity, of body and mind.

The identification of the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” with the old man is a primary theme of the story. The narrator and the old man are on such equal balance that they seem almost like the same person. Many times throughout the story, the narrator says that he knows how the old man feels. He claims to know the groans of the old man, and that he too had experienced the same moaning – not of pain or sadness but of mortal terror. It is a terror which “arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe”. The narrator says: “I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when the entire world slept, it has welled up from my bosom, deepening, with its echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I know what the old man felt…” The narrator is familiar with such terrified aggravation quite well: “He (the old man) was still sitting up in the bed, listening; – just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall”. Apparently, the protagonist has no rational reason for wanting to murder the old man.

Definitely, he claims the old man has never done him wrong and that he loves him and does not want his money. Why, then, is there a need for murder? “Object there was none. Passion there was none”, says the narrator. The narrator never explains how or why exactly the old man’s “pale blue eye, with a film over it” bothers him so greatly. Indeed he only thinks it was the eye that first prompted him with murderous thoughts: “I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this!”. If one interprets the “eye” not as an organ of vision but as the homonym of “I.”, thus, what the narrator ultimately wants to destroy is the self, and he submits to this urge when he could no longer contain his irresistible sense of guilt. Thus, the murder becomes an act of suicide and that the protagonist and the antagonist are moral equals; In fact it could be suggested that the two characters are the same person. One clue for this argument could be this fact that the police find no trace of an old man in the house. The narrator has hidden him so well that the old man may exist only in the narrator’s mind. Consequently the beating heart can be interpreted as the sound of the narrator’s own heartbeat.

From what was discussed it can be concluded that the element of double in some short stories by Poe is significantly used, but in rather different forms. The similarity is that the element of double in all its forms is used to convey the act of self-estrangement of the characters that finally leads them to their self-destruction.

Works Cited:

Botting, F. (1996). Gothic. London: Rutledge

Botting, F.(2000). In Gothic Darkly: Heterotopia, History, Culture. In D. Punter (ED.), A Companion to Gothic. Oxford: Blackwell. (pp.3-15)

Brennan, M.S. (1997), The Gothic Psyche: Disintegration and Growth in Nineteenth-Century English Literature .Columbia: Camden House, Inc.

Fisher, B. F. (2002). Poe and the Gothic Tradition. In K. J. Hayes. (ED.), The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (pp.72-92)

Massé, M.A. Psychoanalysis and the Gothic. . In D. Punter (ED.), A Companion to Gothic Oxford: Blackwell. (Pp.229-242)

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Source by Somayeh Hoseini

How to Find a Ghostwriter

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They say everybody has a story to tell. The problem is in the telling. Let's face it. Some of us can string words together into decent, readable sentences, and others of us cannot. The former sometime go on to string words together professionally, helping out the latter, and getting paid for it in the process. And it's no shame to admit that, although you've got a super nice keyboard, the latest word processing program, spell-check, punctuation-check, grammar-check, and all kinds of other checks, you're just not able to write something that reads the way you've got it in your head.

That's the problem with writing. It seems easy. The materials are cheap enough. (You can use a pencil and a notepad, for crying out loud.) You know the alphabet. You've got a decent vocabulary. And you've got a great idea. Unfortunately, there's a significant gap that stretches from mind to paper. It's a long ways to go. From the time most people ride their idea from their brains all the way down to their fingertips to push the letters on their keyboards, something invariably gets lost. And what they end up reading on the screen in front of them is nothing like what they had imagined it would be. Worse, some people can't even get past the idea stage and don't even know how to get started, let alone see their efforts materialize on paper.

If this sounds like you, then maybe you need somebody to help you with your writing. Maybe you need a ghostwriter. What can a ghostwriter help you with? Anything from an article to a book. Want a little publicity for your business? How about writing an article about what you do for publication in your local paper? It's a good way to become an expert in the eyes of your potential customer base. Have an idea that you're sure will be a bestseller? Write a book! Don't let your ideas go to waste just because you're having trouble putting them on paper. That's what ghostwriters are for.

Ghostwriters can either write from scratch, or edit and rewrite something you've already written. If you have any writing talent at all, the second way is obviously a cheaper route. But if you're completely stuck and can't even get started, a good ghostwriter is worth his or her weight in gold.

An effective ghostwriter will talk to you and, more importantly, listen to you. He or she will be skilled in the interviewing process, making sure to get all the information you have so that it can be translated to the written word. A good ghostwriter will get into your head and become a natural extension of your thoughts. He or she will bridge that gap from mind to paper.

It's a partnership, the relationship between writer and client, and, depending on the size of the project, it can be a long one. Therefore, it's important to choose your ghostwriter carefully. First and foremost, make sure you're comfortable with the writer. Make sure you feel as though the ghostwriter is a person with whom you can communicate. This is somebody you're going to spend some significant time with so you'd better feel a healthy level of trust.

Secondly, especially in the case of a book you hope to get published, the writer ought to have some rudimentary knowledge of the publishing industry. No ghostwriter can guarantee publication (run screaming from one who does), but they should at least be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to finding an agent or a publisher. They should be able to help you write a book proposal that summarizes your work (most agents and publishers will prefer to see this first, rather than the whole book), as well as help you with a query letter, a letter sent to agents and publishers to get them interested in the book proposal in the first place.

Naturally, of course, you also need to work with a writer that can deliver within your budget. Be aware, though. Good ghostwriters do not come cheap. A book might take several months to write. Don't expect a writer to basically put his or her business on hold for that period of time to write your book, for mere peanuts. A decent ghostwriter might charge anywhere from $ 50 to $ 200 per page. Those who charge on the lesser end sometimes look for compensation by taking a percentage of the book's potential royalties, sometimes up to 50%, while those charging on the upper end might take nothing at all.

It might be wise to look for somebody in between. I personally like the idea of ​​giving the ghostwriter an incentive to finish the book by giving him or her some percentage of the royalties (even ten or fifteen percent). This makes the writer just a little more invested in the book's outcome.

Terms of your deal with the ghostwriter should be spelled out in advance. Make sure there is mention of a timetable. And your payment to the writer should be split over this time frame. If it's going to take four months to write the book, then your payment ought to be split in quarters.

Other terms include an understanding of how the ghostwriter is to receive your information, the fact that the work will belong to you and appear to the outside world as though it was written by you and not the ghostwriter, and a note on non-disclosure to ensure the writer will not divulge your story to anybody without your approval.

Do you have a story to tell? Don't let it just sit there in your head. Find the right person to put it into printed words and get it out there for the world to see.

Copyright 2009, Jerry Payne

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Source by Jerry Payne

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