Why That Title? – Breaking Faith.

Stuart Aken

Titles for works of fiction often cause authors a lot of soul-searching. Ideally, we want to give potential readers clues about content, theme, style, and storyline. Not easy in anything from one to, say, a dozen words. Of course, the best titles are revealed as obvious choices once a book’s been read, so this series is largely for those who’ve yet to read the books featured here.

I struggled with the title for my first published novel. The major theme of the story is the effect of corruption on innocence. But I also wanted to explore how good and evil react with each other, how easy it is for outside observers to completely misjudge the character and actions of an individual. And I wanted to dive into the vexed questions of how religion is perceived as a guide to goodness and how faith can have such a devastating hold on…

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4 Reasons To Use Internal Thoughts In Your Writing

This was *NOT* written by me. The author is K.M. Allen.

K.M. Allan

While there are just as many writing tricks as there are ways to tell a story, there are some specific ones that can help make your book something special, and one of those is internal thoughts.

If you’ve never heard of the concept, it’s where you let the reader inside a character’s head by writing what they’re thinking but not saying out loud.

Why is this such a good trick to use? Because it gives the reader something extra, like letting them in on a secret. That and the following other reasons are just some perks that internal thoughts can bring to your manuscript.

4 Reasons To Use Internal Thoughts In Your Writing

Internal Thoughts Ensure Motives Don’t Come Out Of Nowhere

As the writer penning the story, we know it inside and out. We’ve plotted, planned, and rewritten countless drafts so any motives are seared into our brains…

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Why You Can’t Catch a Rocket to Mars, by Prof Lyndon Neal Smith PhD: #BookReview.

Stuart Aken

275 pages
Science & Scientists Humour/Automatic Control/Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

Subtitled: Some Personal Reflections on Science and Society.

Whether a reader can empathise with the writer of a book essentially driven by personal ambition, hopes, or dreams, depends on how that reader feels about those aims. I confess I’m definitely with the author here. Given the chance of a return flight to Mars, I’d jump at it! After all, having written a sci-fi trilogy set there, I’d love to experience the world in person.
Prof. Smith, an engineer by profession, has a deep understanding of the science and mechanics involved in getting transport off Earth and across millions of miles of hostile space to another planet. He also understands the need for such an enterprise (forgive the pun, but he’s also an avid fan of Star Trek!)
The book is divided into four parts, each subdivided into sections, and starts by…

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#Words and #PictureOfTheDay: 18/May/22

Stuart Aken

Tractor wheels track through

A cereal crop growing

Green undulations


These posts were scheduled to maintain the series while I’m offline. I can’t respond to comments, likes, follows, or questions. But please interact. I’ll try to catch up on my return. In future, I’ll post a picture once a week instead. Books and writing have taken a back seat for too long. I started when Covid confined people to their homes, unable to enjoy nature. It’s time to return to my writing. If you’d like to spread joy, respect and responsibility for our wonderful planet, please share these posts on social media (‘share’ buttons below help), comment with your thoughts, and help sustain our environment for the future. Thank you. Earth’s our only home.

More pictures appear in the Gallery.
And you can view over 2000 images for book covers, calendars…

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Do you use a Google Chromebook?

Recently, my Windows 10 laptop almost died. I’ve been a loyal Microsoft customer since the days of Windows 3.3, and before that with DOS (Disk Operating System) 3.3. It’s been my experience that the more bells and whistles Microsoft adds make it just a little easier to screw things up. If the corporation was as smart as it says it is it would have made features such as Cortana optional. Cortana is the voice that natters at you whenever it feels like it. It’s like a parrot on speed. The damn thing can be silent for months, then announce it’s cold as hell outside. Only, it’s hot as hell.

When I first got Windows 10 it was on an Acer laptop. It self-destructed after less than a year. I took it back to where I bought it. There was some fault with the motherboard which caused it to die. It was replaced with another Acer Aspire E 15. After the first Acer laptop was replaced and I replaced the software that was fouled up in the disaster, all was right with the world. I was in such a good mood I bought myself a copy of Windows 10 For Dummies. I looked through it, added the lock screen feature, and gave my new laptop a password thinking I’d be a little bit more secure. Guess what, I wasn’t. I kept getting notifications (lordy, they’re annoying) that some nefarious computer system was trying to hack into my bank account, documents, photos, and credit card information. There’s just one problem: I don’t bank using my laptop, I don’t have any documents or photos worth stealing, and my credit card info was never put into computer memory. All credit card transactions are done in person. Still, Microsoft seems to think notifications about my parrots health are absolutely necessary. There’s just one humongous flaw with that so-called logic. I don’t have a stupid parrot!.

Google Chromebook User Interface

So, I’m investigating the Google Chromebooks. I know its operating system is cloud-based, and it’s open-source. I just don’t want the same hassle I had with Microsoft. I don’t want to pay for crud I don’t need or want (Hey, Cortana…I’m talking about you). Can anyone provide me with an in-depth first-person review of their experience with a Chromebook? If you can provide any assistance kindly leave it in the comments section or email it to me at thaustin56@gmail.com. Click on the email link or cut and paste it into your email. Thanks.

#Words and #PictureOfTheDay: 14/Mar/22

Now that’s a photo. Spring is coming back…yay!

Stuart Aken

How blue that winter sky
how still the surface of the lake
how bare the branches of the trees
how full my heart with love
of the world of nature
that sustains us all

A few of my pictures appear in the Gallery.
And you’ll find over 2000 here for use in book covers, calendars, greetings cards, jigsaws, advertising, or anything else you fancy in print or online, or as art quality prints to decorate your home or office.

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Preparing To Be A Guest On A Podcast

K.M. Allan

Being a modern writer has a lot of perks. We get to use computers and grammar checkers to craft our masterpieces.

We also have social media to get the word out about our work on a global scale.

Another advantage of modern technology is podcasts, and how anyone with a microphone and one of those wonderful computers can have one.

While some writers start a podcast themselves, others are asked by said podcasts to be a guest.

While you might think you need to be a big name or have a bestseller to guest on a podcast, that’s not the case.

If you have a platform, like a blog, a popular social media account, or if you’re a well-known/interactive member of the writing community, there’s always a chance you’ll be asked by someone.

Now, we all know your first instinct will be to turn it down. You’ll go through…

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The Imposition of Restrictions

The following was written by Stuart Aken and not by the owner of abitsa. Any comments should be directed to him, on his website at https://stuartaken.net/.

Stuart Aken

Stuart Aken

Mar 3


2 min read

The Imposition of Restrictions

Image created by author using https://wordart.com/

We now live in a world where information is ubiquitous, overwhelming in quantity, often dubious, and yet essential to our survival. Our problem in the Western region of our world is one of overload. But there are lands, too many, where people are denied access to much information, and it’s for those people this short piece is intended.
If the authorities in charge of your country, state, group, or congregation restrict your access to information from any source, they’ll tell you they do it for your own good. This is always a lie. There‘s only one reason authorities restrict information: because it undermines their power. That is it.
Any person or organisation that censors, restricts, removes or destroys information does so from the fear of being questioned. If subjects are kept uninformed, it is much easier to control them. This is true whether the authority in question is political, as in the obvious cases of Russia, China, and North Korea (there are many others, of course), or religious in nature, as in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, (again, there are many other situations where religion rules).
The first duty of any individual, whoever you are, wherever you live, is to question those in charge. Failure to do so makes the people as guilty of potential crimes as the leaders who commit them. And, if restrictions are so draconian as to make questions difficult to raise, those subject to such restriction must ask why, what is it your overlords are terrified you might discover? That they’re lying to you? That there are other ways to see the world? That you’ve been kept ignorant in order to control you? Because, it’s undeniable that restrictions on information are placed only to protect those who make such impositions. There’s no other reason.
Sorry if this is blindingly obvious to many readers. It’s intended for those deprived of knowledge and information, and those who impose such restrictions.