The Gettysburg Approach to Writing and Speaking Like a Professional Part One


The Gettysburg Approach to Writing and Speaking Like a Professional

Comments by Fran Lewis

Author: Philip Yaffe

This book engaged my interest from the first page. Although it might not be a novel with characters, plot, scenes and dialogue it will help you learn how to create those scenes, write your news or magazine article and come straight to the point. Most important, it will teach you how to get readers and listeners when giving a speech to want to read or listen to what you have written or saying.

In Part one of the Book the Fundamentals of Writing the author defines both creative and expository writing. Creative writing entertains or amuses the reader. Expository writing instructs or informs. Both have their own mindsets, similarities and differences.

When you think about writing a short story or a novel, which are considered forms of creative writing you writing attitude is on that everyone will want to read what you are writing. The opposite is true in expository writing. The attitude is no one wants to read what I am writing. Your goal is to organize that information you are writing to generate the reader’s interest. How do you do this in both forms of writing? First, I learned that you text must have clarity. It has to be understood, simple and clear. Sounds easy but it takes skill, understanding and reading more of his amazing tips and techniques understand what this means.

How can a writer achieve clarity?

  1. Emphasize what is of key importance
  2. Deemphasize what is of secondary importance
  3. Eliminate what is of no importance.

This is one of the most difficult things I find when writing my reviews. I understand why I need be more concise and come straight to the point without any extraneous information to cloud the review and bore the reader. Make your piece as long a necessary and as short as possible. The point made is that everyone should be in there in the text that you want to have read. Conciseness means saying what needs to be said in the minimum number of words. I definitely agree with this statement and will try hard not to be too verbose in when making my comments.

One word that I have never heard used in writing is density. Density means presenting precise information and logically linking it so that what you are writing is organized for the reader to understand. Precise information allows you to direct the reader’s mind where you want it to go. You want the reader to understand what you think. Precise writing helps to ensure that the discussion will be about the information and conclusions that can be drawn.

Logical linking is something that I am just learning to do when writing my non-fiction books.  The data your article, book or story needs to be organized to create information for the reader to comprehend. The information has to have relevance, if it does not leave it out. It must avoid misconceptions and make sure that the logical link is clear.

The author explains how to build your text one sentence at a time. But, the most valuable tip that I learned was the inverted pyramid which I found quite helpful and caused me to go back and reread my second Alzheimer’s book to make sure that I followed the author’s tips for how to delineate the sections. Using this pyramid you start by creating your lead. Using the five W’s will help you to create your lead, your body and the information needed to construct the body of your work.

When you write your lead use the 5W’s as guideline and after writing your short lead answer all of the questions that are applicable. You are writing for people that might not have time to read an entire text. Make your message clear, sharp giving a vivid picture of what you are writing about.

Constructing the body: this is the hardest part I find when writing. You want to get the point across and using this pyramid you do that in descending order. The information after the lead becomes less and less important. Using the 5 W’s as a guide you can be more precise and clear. In other words the body of your work has detailed information in declining order of importance.

The fog factor, the sentence length and the tips on pages 61-72 helped me to reorganize what I had written. Learning the correct way to use bullet points and numbered lists and using the correct tense in my writing helped me to realize that I cannot write in every tense when creating my children’s or non-fiction books. The final part of Fundamentals in writing, which honed in on writing tips and techniques in English is really to all writers.

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Charles Toftoy’s review of Memories are Precious by Fran Lewis


Why is it that people shy away from those that are ill? Do you really think that you can catch this illness? What you did catch is not the illness it is fear! The fear of getting older and this happening to you.The fear of having to deal with this disease and you are too afraid that when you look at me you might be seeng yourself in the future. MY NAME IS RUTH SWERDLOFF:AND I AM HERE!”

This is one of many comments made by Ruth throughout the book, Memories are Precious, written by her faithful daughter, Fran Lewis. This is an important book that everyone should read. It is down-to-earth with intimate insights which provide the reader with help and care. Also, it makes us aware that there is a need for a cure for Altzheimer’s. Lewis writes, “MOM! We will never stop fighting for you and never give up on a cure!”

It is interesting to read the words straight from Ruth which covers how her life changed beginning in July, 2003. The 162 page book includes pictures of family members and friends. Many of them have written about the good times they had with Ruth before Altzheimer’s set in.For example, her great-granddaughter, Carly Tappan, wrote: “…I love you Grandma Ruth. You are the best grandmother in the whole world…”

There are several poems about Altzheimer’s. Fran Lewis engages us with two wonderful poems that she wrote,”Because I Am Right: Because Her Words Are Few”, and “Before It Is Too Late.” A letter written by Fran Lewis to her mom covers the topic of “Why Me?”

I was drawn into this book as though I was a family member—living the journey with Ruth and her close supporters.

The book is an excellent source of information for care-givers and about the disease itself. Lewis provides key information on: power of attorney, papers and documents needed, possible expenses, meeting financial responsibilities, determining whether your loved one should continue driving, special tips for care-givers, types of care, stages of Altzheimer’s, qustions to ask your doctor, and ten signs of Altzheimer’s disease.

It was a privilege to review Memories Are Precious. It is different from many other books on the Altzheimer disease. It’s different because Fran Lewis opens up her heart to us and explains the Altzheimer journey of her mom in a realistic, earthy way.

Reviewed by Charles Toftoy author of It’s in the Eyes are great must read thriller.

The Eye of An Eagle


The Eye of An Eagle

Author: Stan Allotey

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

How would you define success? Is it how much money you have and are able to spend? Is it the number and make of the most expensive cars that you could possibly own? Do you define success in knowing that you could buy designer clothing and spend money as if there was no tomorrow and debt is a word that you never considered? The road to true success is hard. In order to appreciate it you might have to bear many disappointments, overcome huge hurdles and deal with many setbacks before achieving your primary goal.

Stan Allotey in The Eye of An Eagle, a very inspiriting and thought provoking novel, brings to light many issues that people faced in the past and are still facing today.

Nii Ankara, an African student barely escapes with this life as he is caught in the middle of a Ghanaian Coup that erupts when the military decided to overthrow the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in 1966 leaving Ghana in total chaos without the proper leadership and more. Before leaving he made a promise to the man who risked it all for him, his friend Osei that he would come back and help the bring freedom to the people of Ghana.

Winding up in California and meeting some amazing young men, Nii learns t not only the value of hard work and getting an education but the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. But, he learns many other lessons as well. Throughout this novel the author reminds the reader of the rich heritage and contributions of many Black People, the civil rights movement, the deaths and assassinations of many of our leaders and much more. Through the eyes of Nii, the reader learns about the many court decisions, movements in history and hardships that African Americans had to endure in the past and what they still need to have their voices made more powerful and heard in the future.

Nii’s way of life and culture is much different than ours. Becoming assimilated in the ways of the people in his new community, he learns the true meaning of hardship, defeat and prejudice. Stan Allotey reminds the reader of the many invaluable contributions to science, technology, medicine and education made by Black Americans. Nii embraces his newfound knowledge and learns about Rosa Parks who stood up for the right to sit where she wanted in a public bus. The deaths of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy made a strong impact on him. Our author reminds everyone of how far we have come and reminds us that we are not there yet. With countries around the world that have insurgents going against the rights of the people in their country, when civil unrest is still a thing of the present in many places, we need to be reminded of how lucky were are here in America and how we still need to help those who have do not have the same freedoms were have been afforded.

As Nii becomes more immersed in our culture and life, through his eyes the author takes us and Nii back in time to learn about the heritage of his people in order to help him understand where he came from and hopefully provide him with the tools and knowledge to understand where he needs to go to fulfill his promise to his friend.

Nii, is a bright young man with a great future ahead of him.  Wanting to fit in and wanting companionship, he falls prey to the wiles of a young woman named Barbara Jackson. His marriage to her would be the beginning of his downfall and the end of his career and his life, as he knew which lands him on Skid Row the lowest a place a man of his intelligence and stature should never have wound up. But, on Skid Row he learns valuable lessons and the means to survive in a world in which he feels alienated and alone.

What does causes him to rise up and develop a new perspective on life? What causes him to return to school, handle the courses, deal with the costs and become independent, you will have to read for yourself in order to understand the determination of this young man.

Throughout the novel the author explains the major differences of the two groups of people within the Ghanaian community. But, these two groups are not any different than those in most communities where one group feels their net worth or their social status is based on their material things or material wealth. The other group called the Progressives, never wastes their money on high-end items and expensive material things. Theyiput their energies into their businesses and their education. You decide which one would define your goals and your status. You decide which type of life would bring you success and then read what does happen to many of Nii’s friends and to Nii as a result of the greed of others and the lack of understanding as to what is really important in life.

When Nii does return to Compton College and receives his degree, he finally attains a position of status. From that point on the road would not be easy but he would never take that same downward spiral again.  Focusing on his tasks, remembering what he learned from each of his failures and the reasons that cost him many of his jobs, he developed a keen sense and strong instincts that would help him survive in a world where it is not so much what you know, but who!

The many changes in his community, in his college and in his life will help you to understand why this young man would not give up until he would fulfill the dream of Dr.Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana and help the people of Ghana get their independence and create the United States of African. This was Dr. Nkrumah’s goal. This goal has yet to be realized.

Well-written, informative, drawn from many parts of the author’s life, Stan Allotey takes the reader on a journey that has many more chapters and many unsolved answers. But, one question does stand out and remains unanswered until today: When will people learn that everyone in the world should be afforded the same rights, liberties, education and privileges, jobs in every arena in life and more? Putting a lot of himself into this book Olympic Gold Medalist Stan Allotey gets the another Gold Medal for writing this inspiring true to life novel.

Keeping a promise to a friend is more precious and sacred than all of the money, power and wealth in the world. Nii vowed to help bring change to his people and go back to Ghana to set them free. How would he do this? What major changes in his life does he make? Where does he get help and whose help does he enlist? Is he successful or does he have more hurdles to overcome? Read this novel and see if Nii is true to his word.

One man’s journey, one man’s vision, one man who truly has the Eye of An Eagle to see things clearly. This novel will renew your faith in loyalty, friendship, hope, determination and more. Never give up on yourself: Nii Didn’t. Let the voices of these people be heard and hopefully the dream for freedom and independence will be a reality for all countries throughout the world.

I am honored to have been asked to review this novel and I hope the author will grant me the privilege of reviewing more of his work.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books

Able Danger: Move Over James Bond: 006 is the New Man In Town


Able Danger

Author: Kensington Roth

The author has set the stage for many interesting situations each having its own outcome, which would destroy one country and benefit the agenda of another. James Bond move over and make room for Harrison Court-006, a black ops spy who has a dangerous mission in store and makes you pale in comparison. Court’s goal is to find out what the Chinese are up to and why they need to add a B-2 stealth bomber to their fleet.

Able Danger is a brand of thriller that is unique and different. It’s main character Harrison Court is smart, thinks on his feet, and does not falter. Court is every woman’s hero and every foes nightmare. He is charismatic, charming and faithful and knows how to handle untenable situations. But, is he the right man for the job? When the events unfold you’ll have to decide.

Kensington Roth has created a plot so devious, so frightening it allows the reader to learn to what depths the government will go to not only create mass deception and deceit but have the same thing done to them and mirrored exactly by another power.

An ending so bones chilling that not even Patterson or Berry’s novels could compare to that of author Kensington Roth. He has penned the ending leaving the reader ready for the sequel and what happens next? Read the effects of Gravvox and picture the end results as the author describes it. Would you survive? Who is the winner? Read this outstanding thriller and you decide?

This was a great book. I can’t wait to see the movie and read the sequel “Danger for 2.” I want to see what Court does next.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious

Chompy By Ralph Piccolo


Chompy By Ralph Piccolo

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Miracles are things that everyone prays for but rarely experience. When seven-year-old Anna becomes ill there is only one thing that will save her. Mike, her very own knight in shining armor.

Mike and Anna are best friends and soul mates and love doing fun things together. Their favorite pastime is going into a magical forest where colors come alive and animals might even speak to you. Exploring the unknown and playing princess in distress with Mike, they would enter the Pentacle Forest where they could hide from civilization and enjoy the wonders that this forest held for them.

One morning Anna, who was always lively and full of energy remained listless and tired in her bed throughout the day. Deciding to take her to the doctor for some routine tests, Anna’s mother and grandmother learn that what is wrong with her is anything but routine. Leukemia is a series disease and in Anna’s case the doctor said it was too widespread and felt there was no cure.

The power of faith and the will to believe in what others might call false hope or make believe, lied beyond the deepest part of the Pentacle Forest in the form of a little creature named Chompy. The author created a world so vivid and so magical that the reader can visualize the entire forest as Mike goes on a long journey to find this creature and bring it home to save his best friend.

Chompy, a little round fuzz ball with soft multicolored fine hair shaded brown, black and white with a pinch of blue was the only thing that could save Anna and hopefully Mike could find him before it is too late. Choosing the path that he hoped was the right one when entering the forest, the author describes in vivid detail the many passages, animals and hurdles that Mike faced before finding Chompy.

When Mike does find Chompy and brings him to Anna’s room you will not believe what happens. The amazing description and the love of a friend, family and a little creature named Chompy will forever endear you to him. What does happen and will Anna be saved?  This is a story of love, caring , friendship and one boys quest to save his friend’s life. Do you believe in miracle? Read this story and decide for yourself. I do.

I give this book enough Chompy’s to cure everyone with Cancer and every non-curable disease. Thank you for asking me to review this book. I hope to read more books with this cute little creature.

Fran Lewis :Reviewer

The Power of Faith: A Mother’s Prayers for her Dying Son


The Power of Faith: A Mother’s Prayers for her Dying Son

By Connie Drummond

This is a story of a mother’s love for her son and undying faith in God and his love for him that would bring him back to life when a hospital and others had given up. Henry Jackson was diagnosed many times with a bleeding ulcer. But hospitals and doctors are not always right…if they had looked further, what happened to this amazing and wonderful man might have been averted and the agony that befell him and his family might not have occurred.

Connie Drummond takes the reader on a journey for survival- a mother’s faith, a vision that gave her hope and made her stronger. A feeling in her heart and soul that her son would survive and not die kept her going all those weeks before a mother’s prayer was heard:The Survival of her son’s life and the courage she and her daughter–in-law showed to never give up when hopeless and too late was what one staff at one hospital predicted for Henry Jackson is an amazing story that is not just unique to Connie and her family but to others too. One phone call would forever change the course of Connie’s life and would bring to light a very serious situation that is so prevalent today and not just in 1997 when this tragedy took place- hospital neglect, doctor ambivalence and lack of caring from a medical staff. How true are her words and how often have I used them in relation to the care my mom, who has Alzheimer’s received at some of the area hospitals that she spent time in.Henry Jackson suffered massive internal hemorrhaging that drained 90 percent of his blood and caused his hemoglobin level to drop to a life-threatening 1.7. The staff and doctors of Elizabeth General Hospital declared that Henry had 24 hours to live and that they could do nothing for him. His wife, Claudette, had heard about a hospital that did bloodless medicine; she, with Connie’s emphatic support, wanted Henry transferred there. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood contacted the attending doctor at Elizabeth General Hospital about a drug that would help Henry, which could induce his body to produce red blood cells rapidly. The staff of Elizabeth General Hospital did everything to block the transfer from happening including refusing to allow them use of their ambulance to transport him. Instead, they disconnected his life support. To learn just what does happen and how far this amazing woman and her family went to bring her son back to them, you need to read this story for yourself. This is a story that everyone needs to read and remember because it really happened. This is real life and was featured in an article in Time Magazine in August of 1998. Dr. Edwin Deitch the medical director of this bloodless program in an interview explained how Jehovah’s Witnesses went to any lengths to find doctors who would operate with blood. To learn more about what this program and how it helped Henry I have attached the link to that article.http://www.time.com/time/reports/heroes/bloodless.htmlhttp://www.watchtower.org/e/19980822/article_01.htmThis is a story that needs to be told and told over and over again. This is one woman’s fight for her son’s life and the support of an incredible wife and amazing family. Thank you for giving me the honor of reviewing this heartfelt, well-told and well-written story. Henry Jackson, you are truly courageous and your story needs to be told and your mother’s voice has now been heard.

Able Danger


Able Danger

Author: Kensington Roth

The author has set the stage for many interesting situations each having its own outcome, which would destroy one country and benefit the agenda of another. James Bond move over and make room for Harrison Court-006, a black ops spy who has a dangerous mission in store and makes you pale in comparison. Court’s goal is to find out what the Chinese are up to and why they need to add a B-2 stealth bomber to their fleet.

Able Danger is a brand of thriller that is unique and different. It’s main character Harrison Court is smart, thinks on his feet, and does not falter. Court is every woman’s hero and every foes nightmare. He is charismatic, charming and faithful and knows how to handle untenable situations. But, is he the right man for the job? When the events unfold you’ll have to decide.

Kensington Roth has created a plot so devious, so frightening it allows the reader to learn to what depths the government will go to not only create mass deception and deceit but have the same thing done to them and mirrored exactly by another power.

An ending so bones chilling that not even Patterson or Berry’s novels could compare to that of author Kensington Roth. He has penned the ending leaving the reader ready for the sequel and what happens next? Read the effects of Gravvox and picture the end results as the author describes it. Would you survive? Who is the winner? Read this outstanding thriller and you decide?

This was a great book. I can’t wait to see the movie and read the sequel “Danger for 2.” I want to see what Court does next.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious