Friday, May 5, 2017


Do you want to write articles that will earn you millions of readership while you also earn from it? What if I told you that I can teach you how to write compelling pieces that can be posted on the best blogs available today and shared by thousands on social media? Someone once said that everyone wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you follow my lead on these four important tips for writing a great article, it is my prayer that you will religiously follow these steps way after you are done reading this article. So help you, God!

Research your Foundation

Most aspiring, even seasoned writers face 'writer’s block'. Writer’s block can be defined as a creative meltdown process where a writer can no longer have a lucid, free-flow of ideas to pen down. Nevertheless, you won’t spend the rest of your life having a pity party and fall apart like a two-dollar suitcase.
Great article writing demands that you spend a reasonable amount of time expanding your pot of ideas. You may not be a fun of cricket, but at the same time, you can’t write the compelling piece about the game if you don’t understand its’ rules.
Brainstorm on your topic, do a proper research and get your facts right. Come up with sub- headings that serve to link the readers to the key topic. Visit libraries, speak to people knowledgeable in that field and use online resources to dig out collaborative sources of information to make your article authentic. Essentially all work is done here at the preparation stage; proper research will lead to the great article.
Go for topics that you are passionate about but also worthwhile to your target audience. An enthusiastic approach to your article will engage the audience and prolong its shelf life way after the writer has moved on.

The title tells it all

The title of your article has the potential to either make you or break you. It doesn’t matter if you write your title first before you do the story or vice versa. You must have a catchy title that draws in your reader, in business terms, this is called the USP- Unique Selling Position.
Of what value is it to the reader if he takes his time to read through their article? An effective headline is a teaser that tells us what the article is all about without giving away much but promises a particular value to the reader.

Presenting your idea


The article should begin with a hook, this is crucial to get your readers glued to what you are talking about. There are various methods to introduce your article and this includes but not limited to the use of shocking statistics or facts, posting a thought- provoking the question, debunking conventional myths or sharing some personal information.


Novelty to your article is the definition of your artistic ability to tell the story. Any great article must be written in a creative, coherent and sequential manner that is easy for the reader to read, comprehend, learn and also be entertained. This is where you prioritize events/ actions, choice of words and their timing on when and where they appear will have an overall effect on your article.
A little bit of humor can go a long way in making your article interesting although this should be used sparingly. Too much of humor can water down its intended effect to the reader. The same applies to the use of vocabularies and terminologies. Not unless you are writing a scientific article and you are compelled to write terminologies not known to the average reader, stick to words commonly used in our day to day conversation. Whatever it is you are writing about, etch a mental picture into the mind of the reader as they read along.


The essence of writing an article is to want people to respond in a particular predetermined manner. This is the call to action and it comes to the conclusion to your story. What lessons do you want people to take away from your article?


If you really must use a picture as part of your story, employ emotional intelligence while selecting it. Photos or pictures should minister to the subconscious and amplify those aspects that you could not put in black and white. It should largely contribute to the overall tone of your article drawn from its artistic perspective which could be humor, or a sense of urgency, curiosity or creativity.

Write! Write! Write! Repetition is the mother of learning. Being a great article writer is not an overnight success. You must practice time and again by writing more articles until you perfect the art. Don’t be discouraged by naysayers, keep researching, keep reading, keep asking, and keep writing. I repeat, repetition is the mother of learning.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Finding D.O.G.

First Sight

First Sight

Seven years ago, I took a road trip to Monument Valley, near the Arizona – Utah border, and came home with a puppy. Keeping a skinny, filthy, half-wild mutt I found wandering in the desert could have been a complete disaster, but it was meant to be, and we both knew it at first sight.

On January 14th, 2009, after a long drive from New Mexico, I pulled off the highway onto a random dirt road, parked, and set off across the open desert with my dog Bowie to hike around a distant, unnamed butte.

No place for a puppy.

No place for a puppy.

Rounding the far side, I saw movement under a sage. Crouched in a sliver of shade was a dog, wagging his tail. Something about him made my heart skip a beat. I held onto Bowie, in case the stray was hurt or sick, and talked sweetly to the dog, who cautiously emerged. Then I saw: He was in terrible shape, but filth and ribs aside, he was the spitting image of Bowie.

Kaymoor Steps Dogs, WV

Kaymoor Steps Dogs, West Virginia

He was young, six months at the most. I could see the bony points of his hips and the line of his backbone through the matts tangled in his all-black coat. No collar. Clods of dirt were matted between his toes. I coaxed him, but he wouldn't come closer so I poured some water in a dish and stepped back. He shot forward, desperate for a drink.

You've come a long way, baby. Lake Tahoe Dogs!

You've come a long way, baby. Lake Tahoe Dogs! Nevada

Monument Valley was an improbable place to find a dog. We were surrounded by nothing but desert. The only manmade things in sight were a barbed wire fence and my car glinting in the distance, parked on the side of a rarely traveled dirt road. No water, no shade, no people, no houses. Nothing.

Return to Monument Valley, two years later. Dio didn't show any inclination to return to his wild ways.

Return to Monument Valley, two years later. Dio didn't show any inclination to return to his wild ways.

I didn't have any dog food with me. There was nothing else I could do out there for him, but walk and hope he followed. He looked like hell, but I was relieved to see he still had enough energy to be rambunctious. Over the next hour, the three of us circled that nameless, stunning butte, with Bowie and the puppy playing together like long-lost brothers. It was the youngest Bowie, then six, had acted in years.

Dio keeping Bowie young! West Virginia

The puppy was curious about me, but wary, and he was downright afraid of my camera. Every time I pointed it at him, he shied away and so I put it in my backpack and showed him my empty hands. Eventually, the puppy would follow Bowie within a few feet of me, but he always remained just beyond my outstretched hand, his tail wagging and eyes bright, wanting to be friends, but unsure.

Bowie & Dio on the Appalachian Trail, Vermont

Between he and Bowie, it was true love. I've never seen two dogs so happy to have made a friend. The two of them romped the whole way back to the car. When we got to the road, I put Bowie in the car and gave the stray more water and a small handful of dog food, not wanting to upset his neglected stomach.

I watched him eat, surprisingly daintily, for a starving dog. Where had he come from? How long had he been out here? Most importantly: What should I do with him? When he finished eating I opened the car door again, and he made the decision for me, jumping in next to Bowie, who outright grinned: Can we keep him?!

Summiting Quartz Peak- 13,300 feet!

Summiting Quartz Peak- 13,300 feet! Colorado

Living on the road, housesitting different places every few months, having a second dog – a wild one no less – was totally impractical. But this bedraggled, sweet-eyed creature had crossed my path and chosen to follow me. I wanted to trust him the way he was willing to trust me. I sat in the car for 15 minutes, coming to terms with what I already knew: this dog was mine, then I abandoned my plans to camp out that night, pulled a U-turn and drove straight back to New Mexico with that stinky, wild dog curled up in the backseat.

He slept the entire trip, only occasionally sitting up to look out the window, a road trip natural. I was afraid to let him out of the car. If he ran off it would break my heart and I didn't want to scare him with a leash. Somewhere along the way, I named him D.O.G.

New Orleans D.O.G.

New Orleans D.O.G., Louisiana

We got back to the Earthship well after dark and I opened the car door and let him loose. The other two dogs at my place pounced on him, but he sorted himself out like a good-natured dog and soon everybody was running around the driveway together. I took all four on a get-acquainted hike down my long dirt road. The moon was new and the stars were epic; I couldn't see all-black Dio in the dark, but I was no longer worried about him running away. He had found friends and I knew he'd follow us forever.

Mount Rundle D.O.G.

Mount Rundle D.O.G., British Columbia

It took another day for Dio to let me touch him and a month before he'd roll over for a belly rub. He was especially afraid of men and it was a year until he would willingly go up to strangers. Gradually, he got over his fears of brooms and sticks, running water, bridges and quick movements, though he's still wary of children and terrified of gun fire.

Desert Dog Meets the Pacific

Desert Dog Meets the Pacific, California

Seven years later, you'd never know Dio had a rough start. He's sleek and handsome, obedient, unflinchingly friendly and more worldly than most people. By last count, Dio has been hiking with me in 47 states. (He's missing Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Bowie has been to 49; he's only missing Hawaii.) Not bad for a wild dog! He and Bowie are inseparable and people regularly ask me if they're related. Now 12 years old, Bowie has only a little grey and a touch of arthritis and will still follow me anywhere, though I have to limit his miles to easy ones. Dio has kept both of us young!

Dogs running in dog-deep snow, Maine

When people hear Dio's story, they usually say he's a lucky dog, but luck implies chance and I know I was meant to find Dio. Across all the Southwest's open, rugged space, I pulled my car over at that nondescript spot, went for a trail-less hike to a nameless butte in the middle of nowhere and found a perfect dog. That's not luck, that's love.

Dio on Day 2

Happy dog Dio on day two of the rest of his life…

Check out Travels with Bowie & D.O.G. under Archives A to Z for lots of photos from our travels all over North America. These dogs have seen more of the world than most people.

Chaco Canyon D.O.G.

Chaco Canyon D.O.G., New Mexico

Pemaquid Point D.O.G., Maine

Pemaquid Point D.O.G., Maine

Las Vegas D.O.G.

Las Vegas D.O.G., Nevada

Athabasca Glacier D.O.G. British Columbia

Athabasca Glacier D.O.G. British Columbia

Emerald Lake D.O.G.

Emerald Lake D.O.G., Colorado