Category Archives: how tos

girl writing at the library

Where Can You Find the Best Story Ideas?

girl writing at the libraryMany people feel they have a book in them. They feel they have a story to tell, but getting the right idea for a book can be challenging not just for new writers but also for seasoned authors. Before you meet an online publisher who could offer to publish your book for free, you need to find a good plot for a new book you want to work on, there are many ways you could find inspiration.

Other Books

girl reading bookMany writers take inspiration from other books. JK Rowling admitted reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings before she wrote the Harry Potter books. Some think that Tolkien influenced Rowling, and she would not be the first one. Reading plenty of books can help you come up with a good story idea.

You can reinvent scenes you read from other books. Pick some seemingly non-important scenes from your favorite and use this as the opening scene of your novel. Make sure to change the characters and add unique elements to that scene.

Your Friends

If you have a bibliophile friend, ask about the kind of books and stories they like reading and try to come up with something for them. Write your story for a free online book publishing, with your friends as your target readers. They may not be the best critic once you have the first draft of your book, so make sure you also seek expert feedback.

News

The news is not fictional, but they can also give you good story ideas you can use in developing your books. There are many interesting headlines you can read in newspapers and on the internet. If you are interested in the environment and you read news about world heritage sites being threatened by climate change, you might be able to develop a narrative that can fill up an entire book.

Experience

Your real-life experiences can serve as the perfect inspiration for your story, and these experiences include those you are not happy about. Readers are drawn to stories about people who were able to overcome their challenges. While it may be difficult to write a story about your upsetting experiences, it’s possible that others had the same experience. They are interested in reading and knowing how others managed to go through unfortunate circumstances and even learned from the experience.

Writer’s Prompts

Let another person start the story for you. There are numerous sites, and sources on the internet where you can find a database of creative writing prompts that can help spark the inspiration you need.

A Person Who Impacted Your Life

Think about the person who left a lasting impression in your life and your career. It could be your school teacher who taught you to love books and writing, a family member who served as your inspiration to become the person you are now or an old friend from your childhood. Think of how they impacted your life and write about the lessons they taught you. Dedicate your next book to them to show how thankful you are. Using gratitude as the theme is a powerful book idea.

students looking at laptop

Learning a Trade: Is It Right for You?

students looking at laptopFour years of college isn’t for everyone. Forty percent of all college students never finish their course. College graduates do get better wages — if they find jobs that fit. However, even college graduates suffer from unemployment and underemployment. On the other hand, the demand for blue-collar workers is sharply rising, and companies are desperate for skilled staffing.

The Cost of College

College is expensive. The average cost of a college education is $127,000, which is significantly higher than the $33,000 price of going to a trade school. Most students will be forced to take loans and be saddled with debt even before they enter the workforce. College requires four years to finish, though the majority of college graduates take longer. Even if you get your bachelor’s degree, you will be facing stiff competition from other new graduates in your field. Jobs specifically for college graduates are limited. Almost half of the recent college graduates will find employment in positions that don’t even require a degree.

Blue-collar vs. White-collar: the $16,900 Myth

group of different professionalsThe National Center for Education Statistics is often cited for their report which concluded that a bachelor’s degree would give you an additional income of 16,900 per year. College graduates earn an average of $46,900 per year compared to non-college graduates who make $30,000 per year. However, this statistic takes non-college graduates as a collective and offers no actual statistic that focuses on trade school graduates.

The most common blue-collar careers in manufacturing, construction, and trucking all pay wages significantly higher than $30,000. A rookie trucker will often earn $45,000 per year. Hourly wages in both manufacturing and construction have broken the $30 per hour mark, doubling the earnings of the average non-college graduate.

With the current economy, blue-collar workers are very much in demand, while white-collar workers are scrambling for limited positions. If you factor in wage growth, the average wage of college graduates will rise from $46,900 to $55,000 within ten years. On the other hand, skilled workers with average salaries of $39,000 will see their wages go up to 54,000 within ten years. If you factor in the cost of education, college graduates will need close to 100 years to surpass the earnings of a trade school graduate.

Choosing a Trade School

If you’re more of a hand’s on learner and you want to start your career early, trade school is a perfect fit. It only takes two years to finish trade school, and by then, you would have learned all the necessary skills to apply for a licensing exam or enter an apprenticeship program. Blue-collar workers are highly sought after, especially in manufacturing, construction, and trucking. These industries are in dire need of new blood as the majority of workers in these fields are reaching retirement age.

College isn’t for everyone, and a blue-collar job won’t necessarily make you earn less. Keep your options open, and don’t waste time and money if your only reason for attending college is to get a high-paying job.

Home Maintenance Tips for Busy People

Plumber fixing sink

While many people dream of owning a home, many underestimate the work that goes into actually owning one. Apart from mortgage payments and piles of paperwork, there are maintenance costs that people overlook. That said, the feeling of owning a home equals no other. To help you with your homeownership journey, here’s a list of things that you should consider for the long-term maintenance of your home:

Keep the Plumbing in Good Shape

Plumbing issues have been the source of headaches for many homeowners, and it’s usually because homeowners only tend to the pipes when they’re already busted. It’s essential, as a homeowner, that you get your home’s plumbing and sewage system checked regularly. Whether it’s a septic tank replacement or a full retubing of your home’s water line, it’s best to address these big-ticket items while you’re ahead. Don’t wait until you’re caught up in a situation that can pose a health hazard before getting professionals involved. Whether you built or bought your home, it’s essential to be familiar with the state of its plumbing, so your best bet is asking the contractor who built your house.

Check Your HVAC

Technician cleaning airconditioning

There are few things worse than getting caught in the dead of winter with a broken heating system or in the blazing heat of summer with busted airconditioning. Homes’ HVAC systems are complex and expensive to replace. It’s imperative for homeowners to mind the maintenance of their HVAC system before anything goes beyond repair. A good tip is to ask your HVAC contractor to check your unit in the off-season. A month or so before winter, have your heating system checked. You are more likely to get a quick appointment with a contractor this way, and maybe even get off-season discounts as you’re not part of the winter crowd panicking over broken heaters.

Mind the Energy Savings

Many homeowners are unaware of how to conserve energy at home. It’s not only an environmental issue; it also saves you money and can even get you rebates! Saving energy doesn’t mean that you have to buy more duvets to keep you warm in the winter and never turn the heater up. All it takes is an energy audit of your house. Things as small as sealing off small spaces and cracks on the edges of your windows and doors can you save you a lot of money in the long run. Switching to solar energy, even partially, can also bring in long-term savings if it makes sense for your situation.

Keep Your Home Clean

Keeping your home clean is a must, but many people get by with just occasional sweeping and just wiping things as they go along. You can easily underestimate the amount of dust and dirt that gathers in your home even when someone’s not “dirtying” it up. Scheduling general cleaning every few months will help you keep on top of your home’s general cleanliness and will help you arrest issues like grime and mould before they become severe and costly problems.

Follow these tips and have a sizeable savings account to go with your clean home. Remember that a lack of maintenance can be costly. It’s better to get ahead of any issue instead of being caught by surprise!

Four Tips for Handling Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste TreatmentThe proper storage of hazardous waste ensures that the company is compliant with the law and contributes to a safe working environment. When toxic waste is not handled appropriately, it might contaminate the environment and compromise the health of those living in the area. Here are some ways to manage hazardous waste:

Invest in Appropriate Storage Materials

For hazardous waste disposal in Utah, you should invest in the recommended toxic waste containers. Make sure that they are sealable to avoid the release of chemical substances into the environment. The storage materials must be compatible with the waste in question.

Use Labels

Labeling is an effective precaution in toxic waste management. Handling waste without using appropriate labeling increases the possibility of mix-up. It also risks the health and safety of those handling the hazardous materials. Label all the containers clearly by identifying the contents and including hazard warnings.

Designate Storage Areas

Only authorized personnel should keep hazardous waste in an assigned storage area that is accessible. Put appropriate measures to prevent secondary contamination. Make sure that the room is inspected regularly to see if it complies with the government’s requirements. Chemicals must never be stored in places where they can be knocked over easily.

Maintain a Chemical Inventory

Keeping an excellent chemical catalog helps your company remain compliant. Most regulatory agencies require companies to have a stock that is updated regularly. The record should include the names of the chemicals in storage, the shelf or room, and the related hazards. If you can, store them in alphabetical order.

Follow these four tips to keep your employees and facilities in check. If you need help, find a waste disposal service to help you create the necessary protocols. Preparation is essential, so spare some time to create an ideal process.

Retail Stores: How to Get the Design That’ll Set You Up for Success

Retail Store SignWhen people go to the mall, what is that calls them to check out your store? Is it how the items are arranged inside, how big the store sign is, or how the sales ladies look like? These are all part of your store’s design that’s crucial to its success, and there are many factors to consider when you’re designing a retail store. You have to make sure your wall shelving systems are safely mounted. You need to have the right lighting or colour scheme that match your brand personality.&;

Here are some guidelines on how you can get the store design that will set you up for success.

1. Give Your Customers an Entrance

As your customer’s transition from the outside world to your brand’s realm, you want to make sure they feel welcome. This isn’t the place to make a sale or a promotional offer. This is where you should help them acclimate to your store’s atmosphere by keeping open and styled enough to introduce your brand.

2. Put Your Priorities on the Right

Most people who walk into a store would immediately turn right. So, make sure to design it the best way possible. This is where you can set up your in-demand products or your new arrivals.

3. Create a Path

Leading your customers around your store will help them see everything that you have to offer. You just have to make sure that the path is clear and your products are strategically positioned on display with enough visibility.

4. Consider Comfort

Can you offer comfortable seats for customer companions who want to rest? If you cater to a younger market, you can have free candies in a bowl by the check out counter. Putting your customers first is the name of the game.

5. Let Them Leave with a Lasting Impression

Your check out area should showcase your gratitude for having them as customers. If your entrance was welcoming, your check out should be twice more. Match that with a friendly smile, and they’ll surely come back for more.

Shoppers today want the convenience of making things easily accessible from product information to payment options. You have to make sure that you can create an interactive buyer’s journey right within the walls of your retail store. Give them the best face-to-face customer experience, and you’ll be building the right relationships that will build your loyal market.&;

4 Most Common Warehousing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

A Big WarehouseThere are certainly many ways to manage a warehouse, depending on the nature of the supply chain. But all warehouses need to apply a certain set of principles to become successful. In the same manner, there are ways a warehouse manager can get things wrong.

Here are four of them.

Poor shelving system

One of the most important components when it comes to a warehouse is its shelving system. Your shelves need to be able to handle your inventory efficiently. If they cannot, then you will always have damaged stock, which can dent your profits badly.

Try long span shelving that is heavy-duty if your current one does not seem to be working.

Keeping excess inventory

Warehouses around the world still make the mistake of holding too much stock, despite all the information on the benefits of inventory reduction. While it is understandable to want to take advantage of bulk quantity discounts, having more inventory than you can handle messes up your operations.

So resist the temptation making mammoth purchases even if the deal seems too good to turn down.

Holding on to paper-based workflows

Many warehouses doggedly cling to outdated paper processes instead of making the transition to technology that is more efficient. If you are that person, then this is the time to change. No, your logistics and warehouse operations are not too small to be kept on simple paperwork.

What you are actually doing by sticking to paperwork is bogging your operations down.

Failure to tackle health risks

You may think that your warehouse is safe just because it is tidy, but this is not necessarily so. You need to take care of both obvious and hidden health hazards in the warehouse. One accident could prove disastrous to the entire company.

A huge responsibility to you as a warehouse manager is to always look for ways to improve your processes in the warehouse. That calls for vigilance, so you rectify any mistakes the moment you notice them.

Encourage Your Children to Excel in School in 3 Ways

children studying in schoolLike all parents, you want your child to excel in school. While not all children who excelled academically succeeded later in life, it’s safe to say that this is a good training ground. However, you need to acknowledge that as a parent, your role in helping them be the best they can be at school is significant. Here are ways on how you can help them do well at school:

Challenge your kid but don’t push too hard

You need to set high expectations for your children, and let them know that you believe in their potential. A little pressure isn’t so bad. However, pressure without explanation is just useless, so make sure that you talk kindly. For example, if they get a low score on an exam, explain to them that you’re challenging them to do better because you know that they’re capable. If you enroll them in a summer school classes online, explain to them that you’re only challenging them and not punishing them and that it is, in fact, beneficial for them.

Foster a healthy environment

As cited by Reader’s Digest, neuroscientist and author Mark Fenske emphasizes the importance of having a healthy body for a healthy and powerful brain. Therefore, the environment where your child grows, as well as the lifestyle that you nurture, are critical. Serve healthy food and encourage them to get a good night’s sleep every night. Incorporate exercise and other activities, too.

Encourage them to pursue their interests

Not all children are fast learners and will excel academically no matter how hard you push them. Recognize the fact that your child may be better at other areas like sports or arts. If you don’t allow them to enhance their skills in other areas and insist they only focus on academics, the more they would resist. Bargain with them and tell them that you will not only encourage what they want to pursue, but also express how important it is that they try to improve their performance in school too.

Your kid’s attitude towards learning and performance in school will be greatly affected by how you approach them. Make sure that you challenge them enough so they can give their best but also know when enough is enough.

Choosing a door for your house

Making Your Home a Safer Place

A house door with added security featuresStudies have shown that over two million burglaries are committed each year in America. A staggering 66% of those occurred in residential homes, at the average rate of one every thirteen seconds.

Those statistics are a good reason to check your home security in Auckland and make some improvements. Here are some suggestions to keep your home, family and belongings safe:

Being Humble

Try to avoid showing anything valuable as much as you can. Keep your more expensive and precious items tucked away and hidden from view. Seeing these things can tempt potential thieves to break into your home. They will see it as an opportunity. If you can, use vaults or more locks to keep things secure.

Staying Quiet

If you are planning to go on a vacation, try to avoid telling people about it. Burglars think that your vacation is the best time to visit your house and get what they want. In case you are going on a vacation and many people know about it, there are still some things you can do. Adding a few security alarms and cameras around the house can give peace of mind.

Scouting

There is a big chance that the burglar casually goes and looks around your home, especially at the times when no one is there. They could also be hiding and observing your schedules, as well as looking for the weak points of your house. That way, the intruders can get inside your property easily knowing that no one is around.

To avoid this, do something similar. Walk around your premises and look for any entry points. If the entry point is easy to open, you can secure it with a lock or replace the existing one.

Home security is one of the most important things you can invest your money and time in. Not only does it keep your house from being robbed; it also keeps you and your loved ones safe.

Factors That Will Affect the Pressure of Your Compressed Air System

Factors That Will Affect the Pressure of Your Compressed Air System