Saturday, October 28, 2017

God's Shower of Blessings

 God's Shower of Blessings

The latest addition to my list of published ebooks.

We all have periods, experiences, situations, or circumstances where we can get depressed or frustrated. We carry these feelings around  causing additional miseries and misfortune. 

This is my story. A story about faith and obedience, and a story of promises kept and a shower of blessings. Perhaps this will change our outlook and attitude toward challenges in life and bring you your own shower of blessings.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Content Writing Isn't What I Thought it Would Be

Content writing is a hugely popular way to earn money online and I wanted to see if I could have a go at it. I had been writing ebooks, short stories on Facebook and here in my blog, and writing speeches. I felt I might do reasonably well as a content writer. I signed up with a few sites but I'm not going to say who they are out of respect for them. I'm just going to share a few of my experiences.

On one site, there were three levels of writers. As a newbie, I started out in the lowest level. Everyday, sometimes several times a day, I'd go through their list of jobs and pick out an article. I quickly discovered a few things I didn't like.

There were only a few jobs and some of them were for articles in languages other than English. Some of the jobs that were in English were for topics I was unfamiliar with. Some were even for reviews of products. How to you make a product review if you haven't tried the product yet? "Just fake it," the client said. Other than the fact that it was a dishonest thing to do, I was afraid that readers would see right through the article and discern the truth.

A few clients rejected my work because I didn't follow their instructions, they said. I didn't know what they meant because that was all they said. How can you improve if you don't know where you erred? It was frustrating, to say the least.

The worst part was clients choosing the writers who can write their articles. All jobs for lower level writers were open meaning, any writer can take them. That was a company rule, according to the admin. Some clients, however, blatantly violate that rule by expressly saying that their articles were reserved for this-particular-writer.

I informed admin about this but they asked me to give the names of the clients who were violating the rule. I told them, it wasn't my job. They should screen the jobs that their clients were posting and catch them before the jobs are put on the writer's page. I also suspected that those clients who had rejected my work did so because I wasn't "their writer."

I had been with them for about three weeks and all I had was $4.47 (for two articles; 3 had been rejected). (".)

Another company I joined was better. I wrote five 400 word, one 2000 word, and three 500 word articles that had to be written in a specific format. I had a few problems complying (mostly because I forgot) but they were nice about informing me of the mistakes. I did have a few issues, however.

They called it content writing but I think the proper name for it is "keyword writing." You're supposed to use specific keywords and sprinkle them around the article. A few of those keywords were difficult to work with. One keyword (a long-tail keyword or a keyword phrase) was actually a question and I had to repeat it about two times. A question that is repeated twice in 500 words seemed unusual but I did it anyway.

The most difficult was the 2000 word job. I was supposed to rewrite a website that was just over 1000 words long. When I went over the website, there were several repetitions in each page, meaning the whole website was actually less than 1000 words. I got down to work but ran out of things to say at 1000. I needed help.

I contacted my supervisor, editor, and team lead to tell them. I asked if the client would accept the article as I had wrote it. They contacted him but he said I could add the information from the website's other pages. I said I already did but he wanted a 2000 word article, not 1000 words. So, I searched the internet and found a few, somewhat related information and I incorporated that into the article. I wasn't happy with it though. I felt that I had bloated the article with irrelevant content just to achieve the word count.

The company was paying me Php20 per 100 words, which translates to around $0.40 per 100 words. After nine articles, I earned Php1,100.00 (about $22.00)...
for a month's work. My wife, rightly so, told me that we couldn't possibly live on that much and urged me to find other work...of the normal kind...the kind where you get up in the morning, take a bath, eat breakfast, get dressed, and travel to a place where you interact with people face to face.

I still believe this writing-for-the-internet can still bring in enough money for my family to live comfortably but it's taking a little too long. We don't have time to wait for it to get better. Maybe later, when I have a steady income from a "normal" job, I can devote more time to it.

So, this experiment earned me around $30.00, more or less...or is that more of less or less of more? (",)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Legend of the Moon is on Promo!

Legend of the Moon can be purchased at your selected price until January 31, 2018. You can pay whatever price you want for the book. Click on the picture to go the Smashwords and download the book. While you're there, why not check out other books on Smashwords? You might find something you like.

 Legend of the Moon

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jack's Adventure

Another excerpt from Funny Stories from My Travels:
In 1987, the company I worked for had a project in a factory in Cabuyao, Laguna. It’s a two-hour bus ride to get to the factory plus a ten to fifteen minute ride in a jeepney. I'm not going to say what we did there but we had an experience that I'd like to share.
On our first day at the factory, we had an afternoon snack break at their canteen. One in our group, whom I shall hide under the name, Jack, discovered a table with jars of coffee, creamer, sugar, powdered milk and powdered chocolate. You can make coffee, milk or chocolate, all for free.
While my companions and I opted for softdrinks, Jack proceeded to mix coffee, sugar, milk and chocolate in a glass until the powders reached to about half the glass' height. Then he put in hot water and stirred. His drink had the consistency of condensed milk, thick and gooey. He drank a mouthful from the brew and gave a satisfied "aaah" as he lowered the glass. It's amazing what effect the word "free" has on some people.
After knock off time, we took the two-hour bus ride back to the office. We had not gone very far when Jack started to complain. "I'm not feeling so good." Jack had paled considerably and looked quite sick. The concoction he’d created had upset his stomach. The bus had already entered the South Super Highway and was making good time. Jack, however, was having great difficulty.
"I need to get off now! I can't hold it!"
We protested. There were no stops along the highway in those days and it would be dangerous to sit by the roadside with all sorts of vehicles speeding past. Besides, even if the driver let us off, we'd have a hard time getting a ride on another bus since the entire length of the highway was a no-stop zone. There was no choice. Jack would have to hold it until we reached the office.
Poor Jack twisted and turned in his seat. He transferred to the back of the bus while everyone else moved off toward the front. If the unthinkable happened, the wind would keep the gases in the back and blow them out the windows. At least that's how we hoped it would be.
For the next two hours, Jack fought his silent battle. Occasionally, his face would grimace as he struggled to keep his purity. Once we reached the outskirts of Manila, however, the traffic slowed our progress considerably. Things were looking really bad for Jack.

 20,000mAH Powerbank from Lazada
20,000mAH Powerbank from Lazada
Jack’s tenacity, however, proved to be his saving grace. The bus stopped at the corner near our office and Jack bounded the length of the bus and out the door. He was gone by the time we got off. The office was two blocks from the bus stop and on the sixth floor. Sometimes, the elevator didn't work.
When we arrived at the office, Mike, our gofer (go fer this, go fer that), asked us what happened to Jack. He had jumped through the door, grabbed the ladle, and bolted out without saying a word. The story came out and we were having a hearty laugh when Jack came in, wide grin on his face, walking as if nothing had happened.
"What an adventure!"

Grab a copy of my book.Just click on the picture

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Alone with My Thoughts

I'm alone in the house. The wife went off to fetch our youngest from school because she's not comfortable with the little one going home after 5pm.

Things have not been good lately. Projects for my consultancy have dried up and money is in short supply (as in very short). We have to find a new source of income that can tide us over for the meantime.

I've got four sources of income at the moment: 1.) consultancy, 2.) writing books, 3.) conducting training seminars on public speaking, and 4.) working on a networking business. At this time none of those four are making any money.

The consultancy only runs when there are projects. Last year, I was occupied for almost the whole year. It was great. I was doing what I loved to do, the money wasn't bad, and I had something to occupy myself. Unfortunately, my partner used the money that was supposed to paid to me for the second project. He said, it was inadvertent because his daughter, who is the operations manager (sort of) of his company thought that the money that came into the bank was theirs, not mine. So, she used it. My partner apologized and said he was going to pay it in installments.

That's what he did but he only paid when I asked. Then, I learned that the last two projects that I did had not been billed. It takes the client three months to release the payment, which means I get nothing for the next month or two.

I still have a few things to be thankful for though.

We transferred our youngest daughter back to her old school and the president was so please with her entrance exam scores that he gave us a 25% discount. We saved around P10,000 in tuition.

The next blessing came from my son's school, which was a semi-government university. The government had decreed that tuition at all government schools would be free. So, instead of the P15,000 we usually pay for a semester, we only pay P800 a month, which comes out to around P4,000 per semester.

God is still looking after us.

I've been applying for online writing jobs, hoping someone would take me. I used to do this for a short time but had to stop because it was taking too much of my time. That was back when I was still working. Today, I'm not doing anything (work-wise that is) so I have lots of time in my hands. I'm not sure how I'll fare since I'm not very familiar with the jobs I applied for but I'll learn.

I've also been trying to sell ebooks as an affiliate for Smashwords.

I'm praying that God will turn things around for us. I believe He will. 😊

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Formatting Services for Smashwords and Amazon

Do you have a book you're writing or planning to write? Do you want to publish it online as an ebook?

I have successfully uploaded six books to and gotten distributed to several online bookstores like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, and more. I've also successfully uploaded three of my books to Amazon.

It's easy to upload a book to Smashwords and Amazon but it's not easy to format the book so it will be acceptable to them. This is where I come in.

I am offering formatting services for writers who want to get into Smashwords and/or Amazon. Prices start from $10 for a 10,000 word book to $50 for a 150,000 word book. The price will differ if you want me to proofread your book.

Send me a PM on my facebook page at

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Smashwords, the largest distributor of indie, or self-published, books is having their annual summer/winter sale this July 2017. Many books are on sale at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% off!

This sale is only until July 31, 2017 and only comes once a year. Scan through their catalog for your choice.

 Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Latest Book - Understandable and Memorable Presentations

My most recent book is out.
 Understandable and Memorable Presentations

Ever since I started working for my last company (before retirement), I had been exposed to presentations. For the most part, I watched others make presentations but as time went on, I found myself making more and more of them. Being part of the audience and being in front of the audience taught me a lot about how effective (and ineffective) presentations are made.

I've attended a few seminars on making presentations but many of the lessons are outdated today. Furthermore, many of the tips are not necessarily best practices but common practices, and do not really do anything to improve understandability and memory retention.

One of the worst practice that I've seen (and still being done today) is creating slides with too much information in them. The most common is the bullet point slide.

If you think the example above is bad, I've seen worst, slides with as much as 20 bullet points on them. When you put that slide up on the screen, this is what happens:
  1. The audience will start reading the list and not listen to your talking about the first bullet point. They're already reading the fifth bullet point or maybe even further down the list while you're still on the first.
  2. They will begin discussing the other bullet points, usually the one you're not discussing yet.
  3. They will continue to discuss the bullet point you already finished discussing while you're already on another one.
The point (pun not intended) is that when you give the audience more than one idea, message, or piece of information, they will choose which one they will give their attention to.

The solution is to give them only one idea/message/piece of information at a time. That way, they won't be distracted and will listen to you talk about the idea/message/piece of information you put up on the screen.

This is just one of the tips I included in the book, and there are more of them. From slide design, to delivery, to tips on how to improve yourself as a presenter. Try it out. Download it at:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

What's Up With Me?

It's funny. I'm retired and have more time in my hands but my blog is still neglected. 'Gotta change that.

What have I been busy with?

For the most part of last year, I've been working as a consultant. Most people are surprised to know that I still work. When they hear my reason, they usually nod their heads in agreement.

A person needs to have something to occupy his mind after retirement. Many retirees I know who just stopped working and staying at home doing nothing are now dead. Living a sedate lifestyle, doing nothing but watch TV or talk with the neighbors will not improve your health and when you're getting along in years, you need to stay healthy to live longer. Also, keeping your mind active keeps your brain healthy. I'm a believer in the adage: "If you don't use it, you'll lose it."

Is working as a consultant the same as working as an employee?

A consultant will know the answer but an employee might not.

As a consultant, I have my own time. I don't have a boss though I have a client. When you have a client, you're more or less at the same level. They can't change what you're doing because the contract says you only work on what you agreed with them. Most of the time, this means I work on only one thing at a time. It's easier to plan and work the plan.

Do I have any new books in the works?

Yes, I'm working on something about public speaking. I'm also working on something about making presentations while creating a seminar about presentations. I hope to start offering the seminar by next month.

Anything else?

Well, my eldest daughter graduated in January last year and is now working. She had planned to work at my old place of work but for some reason, they ignored her application. It's okay because she seems to be happy where she is right now. She's far from home but she's happy, and that's okay.

My mom came over for a vacation here with me last December 22 until January 15, which means she spent Christmas and New Years here with me and my family. This is the first time she's done that and also the first time in a long time that we've spent Christmas and New Year with her.

I also had an opportunity to go to Cabuyao to work on a factory's evaporator. They had a problem and couldn't run so me and three former co-workers went over to help them. I was there from December 27 to 31 and then again from January 3 to 7. I caught a cold and a flu while I was there the second time. On the flight back to CDO, my ears blocked and wouldn't adjust to the pressure during the descent. Nothing I tried worked and it was very painful. I had to suffer from partial deafness for a full day. I went to the doctor and she diagnosed my condition as bronchitis and prescribed antibiotics. It took two weeks to fully recover.

Last January 16, we had a low pressure area (LPA) around Norther Mindanao that brought heavy rains for about six hours or so and caused flooding in many areas around the city. The house is situated on a hill so we were not affected by flooding though water did seep into the house. It was raining so hard that the ground couldn't absorb the water fast enough. The water crept up through the foundations and came out of the convenience outlets. I had to turn off the electricity to prevent electrocution. We had to mop up the floor every few minutes but we managed.

Around four in the afternoon, my youngest daughter called and said their school had released them early due to the flooding in the city. The school wasn't affected but the kids might have difficulty getting home through the flooded streets. My wife and I fetched her and had to wade through the raging currents to get her. On the return leg, we had to take a long detour because the bridge that goes to our subdivision was covered with fast flowing water. When we had passed it earlier, it was not covered yet but in the hour or so that transpired, the water had risen to the level of the top of the bridge. I was still sick at the time and it probably prolonged my recovery.

That's it. I'll have to try harder next time to keep this blog alive.