Writing an Article

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Writing is a creative art that can sell articles to publishers of a variety of magazines and newspapers. If you are interested in pursuing a career in journalism, there are several key things you need to know.

1. You have to have a strong grasp of grammar, spelling, and technical no how. Editors of magazines and newspapers are very busy people, who get thousands of articles submitted to their place of businesses on a daily basis. Submissions that are riddled throughout with grammatical errors are most certainly discarded from the pile. They do not have the time or the patience to read articles such as these.

2. You do not have to be an expert in something in order to write a good quality article. However, you do need to have a working knowledge of any given subject that you are writing about.

3. Read. No the ins and outs of the newspaper or magazine that you are wanting to write an article for. Check out their submission guidelines, find out what sort of material they are looking for, scan through the articles that have already been published so that you are aware of their contents.

4. Pick your topic carefully. Do research on your topic, making notes of similar articles that have already been published. Make a scrapbook or keep the articles in a folder or file cabinet, so that you can refer back to them if need be.

5. Make an outline of your article. Your outline should include a beginning, middle, and ending. You should also include how many words your article is.

6. Give proper credit to outside sources who you have quoted within your article.

Wild Bill Hickok Was a Legend

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Wild Bill Hickok was a legend in his own right.
He was born James Butler Hickok on May 27, 1837 in Troy, Illinois to William Alonzo Hickok and Polly Butler Hickok. He had four brothers and two sisters. His parents were God-fearing Baptists, who were also Abolitionists who aided runaway slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. These early tenets of faith and morals was something that Hickok carried within him throughout the expansion of his life. As a man, he had worn the hats of several professions: marshall, scout, gunslinger, gambler, station master, and entertainer.

He was a skilled shootist, who was often forced to showcase his talents with guns, by killing those who dared to oppose him in a face off. Wild Bill did not willingly seek out these altercations, but he did not back down when he was called out by someone. To call him a coward was a mistake. He was a man of honor and courage who despite his loathed moniker, tried to live his life according to his own ethics.

Wild Bill’s first taste of violence came when he and his father were chased by law officials, who suspected that the Hickoks carried more than hay in their wagon. When he was 14 years old, his father was killed, because of his abolitionist views.

He met William F. Cody in Kansas when he was eighteen years old and driving a stagecoach on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. Wild Bill put his markmanship to good use during that time, as the stagecoach line came under attack time and again by renegade Indians and notorious outlaws.

In 1860, he became a station master for the Rock Creek, Nebraska, Pony Express waystation. It was there in 1861, that he faced one of his most deadly encounters with David McCanles and his gang of men. It was sometime later that Hickok moved on.

In Sedalia, Missouri, on October 30, 1861, he signed up to be a wagon master and scout for the Union Army. Wild Bill saw much action during his time with the army, and is said to have become great friends with George Armstrong Custer. Fate alone kept him from being a member of the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn.

On April 15, 1871, Hickok became the marshal of Abilene, Kansas. It was here that he met John Wesley Hardin and took the notorious murderer under his wing. They ate, drank, and visited brothels together. It was believed that Hickok kept Hardin close so that he could keep a watchful eye on the other man, and it seemed to have worked since Hardin was careful not to do anything to get on the business end of the marshal’s Colts.

Once his stint of marshal was up, Hickok signed up to be a performer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Scouts of the Prairies,” where he made a decent wage. A short time later, Hickok gave up the single life and married Agnes Lake Thatcher on March 5, 1876.

He soon grew tired of both acting and marriage, and set out to Deadwood, South Dakota where he met Calamity Jane, and a short time later, his death.

The fateful night was August 2, 1876. He sitting with his back facing the door of the Nuttall and Mann’s Saloon, when Jack McCall came in, drew his gun and shot Hickok in the back of the head, killing the famous gunslinger instantly.

Wicca Beliefs

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Wicca is a reconstruction of the nature worship of Tribal Europe. Often they personify this worship as Mother Earth and Father Sky. Other deities, usually prominent figures taken directly from Celtic, Gaelic, or Nordic mythology, play important roles in Wicca rituals and their belief system. As polytheists, they may use many other names for Deities. Usually Goddesses or Gods are chose because they are particularly inspiring, and help individual Wicca’s find focus in their personal devotions.

Not unlike many other religions, past and present, Wicca’s have faced ridicule, persecution, and even death, simply because what they choose to believe is different from that of mainstream religions, particularly Christianity.

Outsiders often mistakenly refer to them as Satanists, and most Wicca’s find this comparison, among others, highly insulting. Wicca’s do not believe in nor worship ‘Satan’, or ‘the Devil’. They do not revile the Bible, but simply believe that is another book, among many of the world’s mythic systems, and less applicable to their individual belief systems or core values.

The core ethical statement of Wicca is the “Wicca Rede”. “An ye harm none, do what ye Wicca is a reconstruction of the nature worship of Tribal Europe. Often they personify this worship as Mother Earth and Father Sky. Other deities, usually prominent figures taken directly from Celtic, Gaelic, or Nordic mythology, play important roles in Wicca rituals and their belief system. As polytheists, they may use many other names for Deities. Usually Goddesses or Gods are chose because they are particularly inspiring, and help individual Wicca’s find focus in their personal devotions.

They seek first to find the balance within themselves first. To acknowledge both the feminine and masculine that is inside everyone. Through this often-difficult process to find personal balance, a Wicca will use different rituals to help them on their path to find enlightenment and peace.

Most Wicca’s practice magic, by which the use of “psychic energy”, the natural or invisible force, which surrounds all living things, can help them to find balance in their lives. Wicca’s employ such means as dance, chant, creative visualization and hypnosis to focus and direct psychic energy for the purpose of healing, protecting and aiding members in various endeavors. Many, but not all, Wicca’s believe in reincarnation. Some take this as a literal description of what happens to people when they die. For others, it is a symbolic model that helps them deal with the cycles and changes within this life.

While some of Wicca’s practices are different from mainstream religions, its core belief in the betterment of oneself is shared by all belief systems.

Trick or Treat Tips

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Ghosts and Goblins, Oh my! Vampires, Lions, and Werewolves, Oh no! Halloween is a big deal for kids. From the time they are small children, little kids everywhere dream about the exciting fun they will have on Halloween. They enjoy getting to pick out and dressing up in costumes which represent their favorite action heroes, celebrities or cartoon characters.

They love to carve up pumpkins, help decorate their houses with cobwebs, scary lights; cardboard cutouts of witches and black cats, and helping their moms bake wacky treats for their family to enjoy. They also enjoy running through corn mazes, visiting haunted houses, and most of all, going trick or treating.

All children, regardless of their ages, like to dress up, go trick or treating, and collect piles of candy. It is important that as a mother or father, aunt or uncle, grandma or grandpa, that you are aware of the potential dangers that can occur, and set up some safety rules to follow for your children, especially if you have toddlers.

Buy costumes that fit your children correctly so that they don’t trip or fall down. Make sure that the material that your child’s costume is made out of is safe for them to wear. That includes not having too small pieces attached to them that a toddler might easily pull off and potentially choke on.

Always make sure that either you or another adult in your trick or treating group always holds on to your toddler or toddlers’ hand. Place a reflective/ light up device somewhere on your child. A florescent bracelet or necklace is a good choice to use. Never allow your child to go up to a stranger’s house by themselves.

Never allow them to enter a stranger’s house alone or at all. Be careful crossing streets. Make sure your child looks in both directions, before stepping off the curb into a road. Choose streets that are well lit up on either side of the road so that your child does not get separated from you or lost in the dark.

Do not let your child run around with hard candy or a sucker in their mouths as toddlers might choke on it if they fall down. Before letting your child eat any of the candy they accumulate while trick or treating, always check over it to make sure it is safe for them to eat.

Keeping all of these safety tips in mind will insure that you and your children will have a safe and fun Halloween experience.

The Meaning of a Pentacle

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The Pentagram or Pentacle is perhaps the most important symbol used by Wicca’s in their rituals and spells. The word pentagram comes from the Greek word pentagrammos, which roughly translates to ‘five-lines’. It is an age-old symbol, also known as the pentacle, and is highly regarded by Wicca’s and Pagans. The pentagram tells us that we have the ability to bring Spirit to Earth; this applies to every area of practical day-to-day living, as well as spiritual thought. The ability of bringing Spirit to Earth is what makes us whole.
The origins of the pentagram go as far back as pre-Babylonian Sumer. In ancient Greece, Pythagoras (586 – 506 BCE) established a school which pursued knowledge in mathematics, music, religion, and other specialties. Driven underground, his followers used the pentagram as a secret sign to identify themselves to each other. The Masonic Order has traditionally traced its origins back 2,500 years to the Pythagoreans.
To the followers of Pythagoras, the Pentagram was called “The Pentalpha” being composed of five interlaced A’s or Alphas. The Alpha being the first word of the alphabet, we can perhaps view it as showing forth unity in the midst of multiplicity.

In Wicca rituals, the pentacle is a round disk crafted in metals such as copper, silver, bronze, or gold, and inscribed with a pentagram and placed upon on the altar. It is often inscribed with astrological symbols, runes, or other words to suit an individual Wicca’s personality or their level of awareness upon their path.

Traditionally, each of the five angles represent the five metaphysical elements of the ancients

EARTH: (lower left hand corner) represents stability and physical endurance.

FIRE: (lower right hand corner) represents courage and daring.

WATER: (upper right hand corner) represents emotions and intuition.

AIR: (upper left hand corner) represents intelligence and the arts.

SPIRIT: (at the topmost point) represents the All and the Divine.

The Circle around the star represents the God-Goddess; it refracts and reflects all light, bringing to the wearer total intelligence, universal wisdom and protection.

During magical operations, the pentagram is often used to draw in the air with an athame. When drawn this way, it can either invoke or banish energies. Used upon an altar, it becomes a focal point to draw in and send out the intentions of a spell or ritual.

Often times a Wicca wears a specially crafted pentagram, embedded with jewels to invite positive energy and for personal protection.

The Union Navy in the Civil War

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The American Civil War was the bloodiest war in the history of the United States. Most of the brutal fighting took place on land, but several of the battles were also fought on water.
There was more massed violence, because of the diversity of the ships and the weaponry, than in any other sustained naval action prior to this period. Ferry boats, ocean liners, and wooden steamships were all converted to necessary warships, as the Union Navy fought for victory against the Confederate Navy.
With few exceptions, most of these battles between the two navies were fought within sight of the coasts, in bays, and along the rivers, especially the mighty Mississippi. Although captains or generals were installed on each ship, they did not follow a unified strategy when they faced off with their opponents. Crews were under the direct orders of their individual captains, and success or failure was determined by the cunningness and daring of said leader. Deception and stealth were applied along with more conventional methods of confrontation.
Too often, the scope and casualties of the land battles that occurred during the Civil War have overshadowed the naval role, but the fighting was just as ferocious upon the waterways, and was equal in their effectiveness. The North and South each exerted immense efforts to control the paths of trade and communication.
On April 15, 1861, President Lincoln at sea, heralded the fierce fighting taking place, when he declared that a blockade of the ports from South Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico was erected. The blockade soon extended northward to include all of Virginia. “For this purpose,” Lincoln stated, “a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels” under pain of capture. Further, any attempt to interfere would be “held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.” In so doing, the president was invoking one of history’s oldest stratagems of warfare: starving the enemy into submission.
Secessionists were outraged by the action, and vowed to see that the North pay for this latest act of treachery against them. They valiantly battled to take over the waterways, providing as many obstacles as they could for the Union Navy, so that blockade runners could slip through and provide their faltering fighting men and citizens alike with the necessary provisions they were in desperate need of.
It was soon apparent that the South was fighting a losing battle. The Union Navy was able to amass a larger number of craft against them, had better access to armaments, food, and other supplies. Just like Union soldiers on land, the Union Navy was victorious over their Confederate counterparts at sea.

The Civil War Did Officially End Slavery

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The Civil War did officially end slavery. However, many have the preconceived notion that the war itself was started because of slavery. It was not. Slavery was only one of many reasons why the Southern states were opposed to having their way of life drastically changed.
It was started on April 12, 1861, when Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter, a U.S. military post in Charleston, South Carolina. It was commonly known as the War Between the States and also the War of Secession.
Reason #1: States Rights
Southerners wanted to make their own laws and guidelines to govern their individual states, instead of allowing the federal government to dictate to them what laws they had to abide by. They believed strongly in state sovereignty. That true political authority rested in the separate states. There was a sense of loyalty and pride in the lifestyle those generations of Southerners had worked hard to achieve, and they did not want to lose it.
Reason #2: Slavery
There were many erroneous myths and rumors circulated by abolitionists, who were in object disapproval of slave labor which Southerners used on their plantations. While a larger percentage of the population in many areas of the South did own slaves, not everyone owned them. Nor did all of the slave owners mistreat their slaves as depicted in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ By Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Reason #3: Violations of the Constitution
The Southern states believed that the federal government had become untrustworthy due to its frequent violations of the Constitution, and therefore it was within their rights to secede from the Union and forge their own government.
These are only a few of the many reasons why the South seceded from the Union. Secession of the Southern states launched a domino chain of events that led to the most brutal war the United States has known in the history of its creation.

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