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Yes, Freebies are Real! If you tell someone that something is free, they immediately start looking for the catch. After all, the words of wisdom “there is no such thing as a free lunch” have usually been proven true for people time and again throughout life, and so a healthy cynicism towards free stuff usually springs up with good reason. If you are one of these skeptical types, however, you may be missing out on some really great stuff. The truth is that you CAN get free things that are really and truly free, and yes, actually worth having. You just have to know where to look. OK, here is where the caveat comes in. The definition of “free” often depends on the definition of “cost.” As any economist can tell you, cost really doesn’t only come down to how much money you have to hand over to get something. There are additional costs, like inconvenience and time spent doing something. And true, some freebies have these “non monetary” kinds of costs associated with them. You have to balance all of the costs with the value of the free stuff you are getting and decide if it is worth it to you. The two biggest costs associated with freebies? Time and convenience are at the top of the list. Time is a big factor in many free offers. Companies want a bit of your time in exchange for their free products. Indeed, some companies literally want hours of your time. Have you ever taken advantage of one of those “free weekend vacation” offers in which you received free accommodation in a beach house or condo for a weekend in exchange for suffering through a long presentation and intense sales pitch? For some people, they can handle the presentation and have no qualms about refusing to buy anything and the free vacation more than makes up for it. Other people would rather pay any price to avoid having to listen to one of these spiels. So, while these weekends are freebies, for some people, they cost too much. More often, a company wants your time in a less obvious way – they want you to spend time filling out forms. These forms may simply be your name, address and email address, or they may be very lengthy, quizzing you about buying habits and the like. The reason the companies want you to do these forms is often for market research, and they are more than happy to give you a freebie in exchange for this. Many people find the time spent filling out these forms will worth it to get a great free product. Convenience is the other cost involved with many freebies. Time and convenience go hand in hand in some cases – after all, it may not be especially convenient to fill out form after form simply because it is time consuming, but convenience takes another hit from freebies in the form of spam email. Often, signing up for a freebie can land you on a spam email list, and for some people, getting tons of spam is so inconvenient that they would rather pay full price. The truth about all of these costs of freebies is that the freebie is in the eye of the beholder. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in order to get a free product. Once you know the limits to your freebie costs, than you can cash in on some really great products that don’t cost you a dime. When you spend five minutes filling out a form and get rewarded with a free DVD player that you have been wanting, you will realize that there are free things out there to be had.

How to Choose Writing Software and a Few Suggestions (writing software) There are many choices available to today’s writers. From the cheapest to the most expensive the choice is entirely yours. Writing software can make you life easier and more organized. Whether you are an established writer or just starting out there is writing software available for you. First, you need to figure out what features you are looking for in the writing software. You do this by first accessing your needs as a writer. What kind of writing do you do? Do you write screenplays, novels, technical writings, or a collaboration of things? By knowing what you are going to expect from the writing software will make it much easier to pick out. From writing poems, to advertisements, to novels there is writing software out there for you. Here are a few that you can consider: Write That Down is software that is geared towards agents, publishers, freelancers, and screen writers. The application has tabs for contests, publications, submissions, accounts, and many more. It offers features from both sides of the writing world, for the writers and publishers. This may be a little too much for some. The Wizard of Words is pretty much a one size fits all as far as writing software goes. It has formatting for novels, articles, short stories, term papers, and so much more. For book writers is has a repair editing wizard that reformats just about any aspect you need it to. It even has tools for creating book proposals and query letters and mass mailing them. It requires Microsoft word 97 and higher. Style Writer is a style and grammar checking. It checks your writing against over 35,000 common language problems. You can change the type of writing it is checking and it adapts to the document type. It has 15 specialized features that will help you in your writing ventures. You can add and delete the grammar and style advice. It will track your progress and show you as you learn to stop making these mistakes on your own. When you install the software it merges itself with your own word processor. Writers Block is a replacement for Microsoft word. This software is a word processor and spread sheet rolled into one. It allows you to write in blocks and then arrange them how you want. It has a power panel in which you enter the writing for the current block. It floats above other programs so you can easily read from one page and type into the power panel. Rough Draft is a free download program. Well they would like donations but that is your choice. It is similar to Microsoft word but is more user friendly. It has special modes for plays and screenwriting. And it has an instant back up feature. Unfortunately, it does not have a grammar checker, tables, pictures, or footnotes. A popular choice for written media publishing is Adobe Page Maker. You can type your text right into the formatted layout and has a new data merge feature that you can merge previously saved spreadsheets or other databases to create new projects. That is just a brief overview of a few of the writing software products out there that looked interesting to me. During your writing journey, search for writing software that have multiple purposes, such as those software titles that create congressional letter, name generators, poetry, and jokes. Whether you are an inspiring new writer, an accomplished novelist that has been writing for years, or maybe a publisher or editor there is software out there for you.

Prayers, Ploys and Passions: The Poetry that Gets Published (published poetry) Some people may tell you that poetry doesn’t get published. Published poetry is only that written by people who have already died. That is not true however. Poetry is not as frequently found as other kinds of writing, but it is a genre that is still alive and well in today’s publishing world. If you are a poetry writer, you are also probably a poetry reader. You of all people know that poetry publishers are still out there. There are specific types of poetry that tend to get published though. There are special interest outlets for other types, but in general, what gets published gets repeatedly published as time goes on. There are three main categories that currently published poetry falls into. Those categories encompass the most important interests of people today. Prayers and Matters of Faith The first category of published poetry involves faith. There are people that subscribe to all different kinds of faith and it is that belief that is at the core of many people’s lives. Atheists are a minority in the world. Since faith is such an important part of so many people’s understandings of the world, it is no surprise that it draws poetic words from those who believe. It started long ago. The Bible, for example, is full of poetry. Those people who first knew God were inclined to speak of him through the illustrative voice of poetry. Today people are the same way. Such is their deep experience with God that they must express their emotions with an emotional type of writing. Since so many people have personal experiences with God, those who do not write are interested in reading the writings of others. For that reason, matters of faith, and especially expressive prayers placed in poetry get published. Ploys and Plans for the Nation National interest is also of major interest to most people. As a group of people head through their lives, united with others of the same nationality, they must want to know where the group as a whole is headed. Much of the published poetry in this category contains hopes and dreams for a country’s future and expected path through history. More of the poetry in this category though is in protest of how a nation has forged its path as it has grown. Frustration with events beyond one’s control elicits words that can only have their full meaning in poetry. Since those of a nation are united with each other, poetic commentaries about that nation are of interest to everyone. They help each person express their feelings and frustrations and hopes for their home country. Passion and the Human Condition of Love People are obviously not only connected to each other as citizens of the same country. People need each other in a much more personal sense than that. A third major category of published poetry is that which contains expressions of love between people. Love poems are a genre that dates back, again, to biblical times. Romantic love has always been a popular theme within poetry because of the passion that can be displayed with poetic devices. Other kinds of love are also well expressed in verse. The love of a mother for her child or that of a friend for another friend is a common topic in poetry. Humans thrive on love. That is why poetry about love gets published. Published poetry does fall into three major categories. It appears in books and anthologies, but also in magazines and even greeting cards. As long as a poem is effective in describing a common human reaction to life, it will probably be passed along from person to person. Poetry is a beloved form of writing that connects people to one another. As long as humanity feels, poetry will continue to be published.