Monday, June 27, 2011

Tony Robbins, Hypnosis and Success

I’m no longer a hypnotist.

I never had a private practice.

I met Tony Robbins once.

I believe in self-hypnosis and have practiced it for 21 years.

In the early 1990’s I was working as a packaging consultant, had dreams like everyone else of success, had no idea how to find it but knew one day I would. One of my customers would provide the path.

And his message like Tony Robbins has stuck.

My packaging client asked me to come to their office Friday morning. I thought for sure we had screwed up the folding carton, maybe botched the printing. I was nervous. I liked these people, they were always positive, up beat.

I went into the owner’s office. Did I tell you I was nervous? We shook hands. He held it longer then normal. Erickson induction, confusion. Didn’t let go, held it for a beat then spoke.
             “You could be a successful hypnotist if you want to.”

My mind raced. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Took me a moment to think about what to say. I managed to mumble something out and we sat down. He told me a about his company, personal stuff. Emotional stuff about each employee. Eight hypnotists traveling the world. Where they had come from and how their lives had changed. I remember him saying, “This will change your life.”

I went home, took about thirty-five minutes. I remember thinking how my wife would respond. She wouldn’t want me to travel away from home weeks, maybe months at a time.

I told her what had happened. Told her I said no!

She reacted. Told me my customer was right, “It’ll change your life forever.”

All weekend I kept thinking how I blew it. Maybe the opportunity of a lifetime was right in front of me and I didn’t see it. I couldn’t believe I said no.

Tony Robbins does info commercials. I had seen him live a year earlier, was following his principals to be a successful sales person. He was on cable, late at night that weekend. I watched him, got excited, new what I was going to do Monday morning, get the job that was going to change my life.

Monday morning, I phoned the company told them I changed my mind. I didn’t lose the job. I got it. Started training to be a hypnotherapist. Took a month. Was tested and certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists on December 1991.

Travel for over two years facilitation large group seminars throughout Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand. I was helping people. Getting them to quit smoking. Some of the most fulfilling experiences in my life.

Over the years I’ve looked back at how my life has changed. What I’ve accomplished, who I’ve become. One Friday I had said no to the greatest opportunity sitting in front of me. By Monday morning I was beginning the journey. One that would change my life forever.

I understand Tony Robbins, he’s an Erickson trained hypnotist. I understand self-hypnosis, NLP, and the way we talk to ourselves. We are capable of much more than we think we are…

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped - Tony Robbins

Into the Spell, a paranormal thriller.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

10 Ways to Improve Your Writing

If you follow my blog you know I repost from "Writing Tips." This is one of the better suggestions. If you're editing, these ten tips offer excellent examples of re-arranging a sentence to add verity to your writing. I would even go so far to suggest using this as an author's checklist. When proofing your work see if there are sentences you can modify to give the reader a better experience.

English is a remarkably flexible language in terms of syntax, because a simple statement can be rendered in so many ways. Take, for example, the statement “I went for a walk,” and consider all the ways you can attach the additional information included in the statement, “I saw a dinosaur.” Here are just some of the most basic of many variations in syntactical organization:
1. Write the statements as consecutive sentences: “I went for a walk. I saw a dinosaur.”
2. Add the second statement to the first as a dependent clause: “I went for a walk and saw a dinosaur.” (The second statement does not stand on its own.)
3. Add the second statement to the first as an independent clause: “I went for a walk, and I saw a dinosaur.” (The second statement stands on its own, which means it can be separated into two sentences, as in the first example.)
4. Begin the sentence with a dependent marker that turns the initial statement into a modifying phrase that expands on the second statement: “While I was walking, I saw a dinosaur.”
5. Begin with the second statement and reword the first statement as a modifying phrase that follows it: “I saw a dinosaur on my walk this morning.”
6. Insert a nonessential phrase, which must be bracketed by commas, one of two ways: Locate the phrase between a pair of independent clauses (but after the coordinating conjunction), each consisting of one of the two statements: “I went for a walk and, to my surprise, I saw a dinosaur.” (Notice that “to my surprise,” which can be omitted without altering the sentence’s meaning, modifies the second statement and so must follow and; note, too, that the comma preceding the coordinating conjunction can be omitted.)
Or, separate two statements with a nonessential phrase inserted before the coordinating conjunction: “I went for a walk, following my usual route, and I saw a dinosaur.” (Notice that “following my usual route,” which also does not alter the sentence’s meaning if it is omitted, modifies the first statement and so must precede and.)
7. Emphasize a nonessential phrase by bracketing it with em dashes to indicate an interruption of thought: “I went for a walk and — no, I was not hallucinating — I saw a dinosaur.” (Alternatively, to deemphasize the phrase, or for humorous effect, enclose it in parentheses.)
8. Insert an essential clause — one whose absence would alter the meaning the sentence — between two statements: “I went for a walk that followed my usual route and saw a dinosaur.”
9. Attach a variation of the second statement to the first, preceded by a semicolon when the second statement is an independent clause that is nevertheless closely associated with the first one: “I went for a walk; a dinosaur was grazing along my route.”
10. Separate two statements with a semicolon when the second statement is preceded by an adverb or an adverbial phrase, which requires a subsequent comma: “I went for a walk; unexpectedly, I saw a dinosaur along the way.”

It is this rich variety of word and phrase order and variation in punctuation that makes prose — fiction or nonfiction — readable. As you review your writing, make sure that you vary sentence structure among these and other constructions to create a pleasant reading experience devoid of lockstep syntax — questionable enough for a Dick-and-Jane reading level, and deadly for more sophisticated readers.

Source: Dailywritingtips

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Book Faery Reviews article

This is from the interview posted June 13, from The Book Faery Reviews. There is a link at the end for the complete interview.

First, I have to brag. Just a little. The Book Faery Reviews was UBER-EXCITED to be put onto the printed back cover of First to Die by Norman Applegate. BIG accomplishment in our eyes here in book review land. BIG.(well at least for us!) Ironically, there aren’t many book reviews for the horror genre here (and we do love some horror) yet this one was selected. We were ECSTATIC when the email message with proposed cover (see above), the Facebook message, and of course the printed signed copy came in the mail. ECSTATIC. Everyone who knew about us outside of the internet were just excited. Because you know we just HAD to share the awesome news.
Norman signed a publishing deal with the Turkish company, ARVO Basim Yayin (tip: your web browser should be able to translate the site for you into English). Three of his books have been translated and go on sale this month (June) throughout Turkey. He, John Everson and Jack Ketchum have been signed with the company and he felt honored to be in such good company with those writers.
First to Die was released this past March…
Now on to my interview with our friend Norm…
The Book Faery Reviews: This is your fourth book. Can you tell us about it? (To read the article select the link).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

6 Foreign Expressions You Should Know

Found another article that clears up some common foreign expressions. We see and read these all the time, curious if everyone knows their meaning. Looking at the list my favorite is De Facto, sounds intriguing, will have to use that in a story.
1. De Facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means “actual” (if used as an adjective) or “in practice” (if used as an adverb). In legal terms, de facto is commonly used in contrast to de jure, which means “by law.” Something, therefore, can emerge either de facto (by practice) or de jure (by law).
And what of the plastic red bench, which has served as his de facto home for the last 15 years and must by now be a collector’s item? (NY Times)
2. Vis-à-Vis
The literal meaning of this French expression is “face to face” (used as an adverb). It is used more widely as a preposition though, meaning “compared with” or “in relation to.”
It’s going to be a huge catalyst in moving the whole process forward and it really strengthens the U.S. position vis-a-vis our trading partners (Yahoo! News)
3. Status quo
This famous Latin expression means “the current or existing state of affairs.” If something changes the status quo, it is changing the way things presently are.
Bush believes that the status quo — the presence in a sovereign country of a militant group with missiles capable of hitting a U.S. ally — is unacceptable. (Washington Post)
4. Cul-de-sac
This expression was originated in England by French-speaking aristocrats. Literally it means “bottom of a sack,” but generally it refers to a dead-end street. Cul-de-sac can also be used metaphorically to express an action that leads to nowhere or an impasse.
But the code of omerta was in effect for two carloads of fans circling the cul-de-sac to have a look at the house. (
A cul-de-sac of poverty (The Economist)
5. Per se
Per se is a Latin expression that means “by itself” or “intrinsically.”
The mistake it made with the Xbox is that there is no game console market per se; there are PlayStation, GameCube, and Xbox markets. (
6. Ad hoc
Ad hoc, borrowed from the Latin, can be used both as an adjective, where it means “formed or created with a specific purpose,” and as an adverb, where it means “for the specific purpose or situation.”
The World Bank’s board on Friday ordered an ad hoc group to discuss the fate of President Paul Wolfowitz (CNN)

Source: Dailywritingtips 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Writing Tips for a Winning Web Site

Thought this was good. It covers the basics of a web site and as all of us that are writers know, marketing whether you like it or not is a requirement if you want recognition for your work. 

1. Keyword Top Labels

Use keywords for window titles and taglines, and keep them sharp and succinct. These labels are for helping Internet users get to your site because they typed them into a search engine and your site came up in the results, not for wowing visitors when they get there (assuming they get there, because you’re not using keywords to help searchers).

2. Keyword Display Copy

Employ keywords, not clever words, to begin headings, headlines, and link names, and keep the display copy brief. Most Web site visitors scan just the first one or two words of display copy. In “Where to Go on Vacation This Summer,” the first keyword appears as the fifth word of seven. (Go isn’t a keyword, because you don’t yet know what kind of going is involved.)
“Summer-Vacation Destinations,” by contrast, gives you three keywords out of three, with the two most important ones in first and second place. This approach is especially advantageous for a commerce site, but your personal blog shouldn’t be any different (assuming you want to attract new site visitors, not just impress current ones).

3. Avoid All Capital Letters

Don’t use all capital letters, even in display copy. All-cap text is harder to scan and to read. Do, however, use initial caps for headings and headlines.

4. Avoid Exclamation Points

Unless your site is all about bringing the funny — or attempting to do so — don’t use exclamation points. (Another exception: if all the i’s are dotted with circles or hearts.)

5. Omit Extraneous Spaces or Punctuation

All-cap initials and acronyms, of course, but don’t separate letters with word spaces — or with periods. Omit apostrophes when attaching a plural s to such abbreviations.

6. Avoid Superfluous Headings

Eschew headings and headlines like “Features” and “Links” for self-evident sections.

7. Make Navigation and Display Easy on the Eyes

Make it easy to find other pages and archived content, and avoid making the home page and other pages busy in general.

8. Keyword Navigation

Never use “Click here” or “More” (by itself) or “Next page” for a link name. Use keywords: “Archive,” “More Top 10 Lists,” “Ski Trip, Day 2.”

9. Limit Font and Background Styles

Avoid multiple fonts, font sizes, font colors, and background colors. Use one font for display copy and another for running text. Limit italics to emphasis of words and short phrases. Employ boldface generously in display copy but sparingly in running text.

10. Write for First-Time Visitors

If you want to attract a general readership, write for a general readership. Don’t dumb down, but do explain obscure terminology and do spell acronyms out. (You could provide a glossary, but briefly explaining, or spelling out, an unfamiliar term needn’t be distracting to either lay readers or experts.)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jumpers, a short story

“Jumpers,” my new short story. This has kind of a Twilight Zone feel to it about a gypsy and a couple of guys who don't know what they have gotten into when they pay for a wish at a county fair. I've just release it as an ebook on Amazon and Smashwords for $0.99.

Product Description:

Gypsy Lore. Fortune Telling. Black Magic

Twelve million Gypsy’s in the world.
They have the gift. Good fortune or destroy with a curse.
Two men visit one. The wrong one. Money is exchanged. She looks into their eyes. A wish is granted!


You’ll never drive over a bridge again without looking left, right…Jumpers!

Jumpers is a 5000 word short story by thriller writer Norm Applegate, Into the Basement and First to Die.

The cover is a shot of Florida’s Sunshine Skyway spanning St. Petersburg and Manatee County. James Rone designed and created the cover. He used Adobe Suite and layered a terrific huge moon and eerie sky over the bridge with some dangerous looking water beneath it.

If you would like to reach out to James for a book cover, I’ve added his contact info, send him an email.
Cover art and design by James Rone.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hypnosis, Occult, Ghosts and Murder

Just released the paperback version of Into the Spell with the new cover.

Hypnotist, deranged…
Ghost, Madame Blavatsky…
Serial killer, female…
Bent woman, Kim Bennett…

Into the Spell is Norm Applegate’s second book. It’s a paranormal thriller about a serial killer controlled by a hypnotist, who speaks to the dead.

The Mayor's daughter is murdered. Kim Bennett and FBI agent A.L. Hague are catapulted into the dark side of hypnosis, paranormal behaviors, ghosts and the occult. The situation gets worse. A .44 caliber bulldog is found. The same pistol used by the Son of Sam. It sets the clock ticking in an adventure of sex and control.

Available at

ebook available at Amazon, B&N, ibooks (ipad), Kobo and Smashwords 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unspoken Dialog in a Novel

If you follow my blog you know I like re-posting writing tips when I feel a lot of writers could benefit from them. So here's another one. This is from "Daily Writing" 

What type of markers or emphasis should a writer give to signal that a character’s thoughts are unspoken? Though some people disagree, the consensus is that they should be enclosed in quotation marks as if they were said aloud:
1. “She surveyed the shambles of her room and thought, ‘Where do I start?’”
This mode of what is known as unspoken discourse assumes that internally vocalized thoughts are a form of direct speech. “Unspoken discourse” is not to be confused with “indirect discourse,” which describes indirect speech, or paraphrase:
2. “She surveyed the shambles of her room and wondered, where should she start?”
In this case, the person would not think, “Where should she start?” in those words, so the final phrase of the sentence is a paraphrase, not a quote, and should not be enclosed in quotation marks.
Indirect discourse has another, similar form:
3. “She surveyed the shambles of her room and wondered where she should start.”
Notice that in this example, a different type of paraphrase, a comma does not precede the thought, and no question mark punctuates this sentence, because it’s not a question.
As I mentioned above, some writers prefer to omit quotation marks in unspoken discourse:
4. “She surveyed the shambles of her room and thought, Where do I start?”
This style is also correct, but it requires greater attention from the reader, and it seems more trouble than it’s worth to distinguish between spoken thoughts and unspoken ones, especially in fiction.
Employing italics is an alternative strategy for unspoken discourse, but this method is best used in internal dialogue, when a person is conversing with their alter ego, or with a disembodied entity such as a spirit, or perhaps a guiding force from within:
“The voice seemed to resonate inside her: Go forth, and fear not.”