A little Rx from the Good Dr. Hunter S.

7 Oct

 

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says, ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.” – Hunter S. Thompson

 

How the Dr. cures writer’s block! Write. Edit. Reload.

I don’t have anything amazing to share this Sunday. I am behind schedule on the novel. A lot of what I have written is going back and meshing with some “plan of attack” novel planning. I am considering NaNoWriMo? Any advice? Is it helpful or poison to a new novel. I think it was Hemingway who said, “Sometimes you just have to sit down and write the damned thing!” If he didn’t say it (and I have no reason but hero worship and an active imagination to attribute it to him) then maybe the good doctor did. In any case, I have nothing to update except that  I am taking it all back to step one. Hopefully, next Sunday will be a real true update about “The Novel”. Until then let’s chat about Thompson, tommy guns and NaNoWriMo as a laxative to the mental block.  Hit me in the comments. Tell me to make something more of these posts lately and to stop blaming my dreaded day job for not having time to be so “very novel”.

 

No, I have NOT been drinking…it is the wee hours of Sunday morning, my goodness…you crazy bloggers!

English: Hunter S. Thompson, Miami Book Fair I...

English: Hunter S. Thompson, Miami Book Fair International, 1988 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Am I the only one that misses the mad doctor?

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As always your comments are appreciated.

 

 

 

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

Phoetry: Son of Phoetry: The Return of Clippy

6 Oct
clippy by scampy

clippy by scampy (Photo credit: jimmy.kl)

Clippy, my old friend
where have you disappeared to
just as I needed you?

It appears you are trying to write a poem:

Would you like help with that?

A Clever Idea?

The Return of a Friend?

Freewriting Friday (10/5)

5 Oct

Do you remember way back to Freewriting Friday (9/7)? I don’t blame you if you don’t. I put “Freewriting Friday” on a sort of hiatus while  we finished out our challenge. I was a little spotty on some of my writing routines with the new “day job” as well.  I think it is time to come back to it now almost a full month later (not to mention breaking a sort of radio silence since the end of September). Where were we? Oh yeah…

 

“Something Completely Unexpected That Happened to Her”

 

It was late evening and her time for a long soaking in the tub. She had become of the habit of running the water just as hot as she could from the tap and just barely safe from scalding. What was it her writer friend, Alex called them; “Lobster Baths”? She was taking one of her “Lobster Baths”.

 

She dipped her head back slowly and her hair drifted out around her body. She felt a few air bubbles escape her ears as she lowered her head. She tipped her neck back and reminded herself of the flexibility of the first aid mannequins that she was using in her class. It wasn’t a glamorous comparison. She was certainly much more feminine than the stiff almost androgynous dolls. As if to reassure her she felt a slight chill on the tips of her nipples and her knees. If she could have one wish at this moment it would be a tub deep enough that she could be fully submerged knee caps and nipples. She pulled her bright red hair across her chest. She had her eyes closed and head almost completely beneath the water. Just enough of her nostrils out to get air.

 

Ever since she was a girl she had an affinity for the water. She took swim lessons at the local YMCA from the time she was able to walk and spent most of her summers at the community pool. She dreamed when she was young of swimming in the Olympics but her father barely made the money to keep her in swim suits and she took a job as a life guard to ensure that there wasn’t a sunny day that she wasn’t near the water.

 

Her dad had a small aquarium in the front room. It wasn’t anything extravagant. There were only tropical freshwater fish that you could buy at any pet store. She would lounge in her father’s recliner for hours and just stare. There were bright yellow and blue African cichilid fish that would dart around the rocks and driftwood that her father had piled in the aquarium to give the fish a place to hide. It was a perfect daydream to pretend that someday she could dart and dash beneath the water with no fear of drowning. She would sit there and wait for her dad to come home from work and it was always later than either of them liked. She would have dinner ready for him in the oven. He would know exactly where to find her when he got home. Sometimes drifting off to sleep just imagining herself beneath the waves.

 

When she was very little she had made her dad buy her posters of mermaids to cover her walls. Even as a teen she was attached to the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and had drawn something in high school art class and framed it. It was a mermaid lying across a rock with her eyes scanning the waves. She had been inspired by the fairy tale but for her the tale was in reverse. She was the little girl who longed to live her life beneath the sea with the fish and crustaceans.

 

All of this reverie and she had forgotten where she was and her head fell beneath the water. She didn’t panic but opened her eyes. She had lots of time in the water and knew that while drowning could happen in an instant that fear was worst than the water to a person who finds themselves beneath the water.

 

It had been twelve hours give or take ten minutes since she heard about her father. She wondered what it must have felt like to him. Was he afraid? Or did he just accept it? It was nothing she would have imagined for him. He was never much of a swimmer but in her mind he was still something of a great big sea lion. He was large but his movements were always fluid and natural. He knew how to tread water and to do a water crawl that always got him to safety. He rarely had much free time but what he had he always spent with her taking her to lessons and sitting there watching her intently with a smile.

 

He wasn’t a perfect man.In many people’s eyes she was the daughter of an absolute failure. He drank daily since her mother died. He pushed a mop many more hours than he spent writing. He spent his time cleaning up after the messes of others. To her though, he was something elemental and amazing. It was impossible to imagine a world without him in it.

 

The bath had gone cold. She let all of the air escape her lungs.

 

She didn’t drown.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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750 Words says that I am sitting just around 795 with that one. I just wrote for the time that I had this morning. I wrote not even sure what the conclusion was going to be as I was writing it or even where I was going from the start of it. Freewriting can be prompted by anything. It can be something you have done (as routine a daily task as bathing) or a memory or anything. I use different prompts every day. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be 750 words (or a little more). Give yourself grace with spelling or grammar. There is nothing that needs to be corrected. This is just a sort of way to break past our blocks. Now freewrite and share with me here in the comments,please.

 

Your prompt for next week:

 

How He Spent His Saturday

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

 

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

 

As always your comments are appreciated.

 

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 30)

30 Sep

My Name Is Not Bob Platform Building Challenge Day 30 

Yippee…this calls for some graduation clip art!!!

We’re done. Stick a fork in it. Who wants pie? I am going to miss the challenge. Except of course, it isn’t over. This was just the first 30 days of a commitment to a long term platform to network, connect, engage and promote. Go over and thank Mr. Robert “Not Bob” Brewer for designing such an excellent challenge and I hope that you enjoyed my commentary and few deviations from the set course. I know I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. I hope you did too.

It is also the 50th post published in Very Novel! That makes us like legit!!!

I am leaving you with this final challenge and call to action. Please, please, please….

If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 29)

29 Sep
"WE'RE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE TOMORROW. ...

“WE’RE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE TOMORROW. LETS DO THE JOB TOGETHER” – NARA – 516115 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MNINB Day 29 Challenge

Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge. It is sort of bittersweet. I am simultaneously eager for the challenge to be over and certain that I am going to kind of miss it. For this feeling, there is only one antidote.  We must continue to challenge ourselves. Sit down and make a list for next month (October) and give yourself a challenge or task for each day. There’s no more guide to tell you what to do. Now you must make these decisions on your own. If adding new social media sites doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. If joining some pages or groups just for writers does feel right then do that. Somewhere near the end of next month write make a list for the next month. Then that month, you must make a list for the next month. You got it. The challenge never ends in that way. We continue challenging ourselves and growing for our entire careers and lives.

For those who like things in bold print:

Make a list of challenges for next month.

It is important that we continue challenging ourselves. It is only by challenging ourselves as writers and as people that we grow. Thanks for playing along. Thanks Robert “Not Bob” Brewer for designing the challenge. I’ll see you tomorrow in cap and gown for the last day of our challenge. We are almost graduates.

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 28)

28 Sep

Do you smell that? It smells like…

…victory. We are on our final lap. Well…we are in our last three days. By next week,you will have graduated from this 30 Day Challenge! I guess that calls for a fairly easy challenge today.

Read a new blog and add a comment.

Be sure to include a link back to your blog. If you remember we did this at the mid-point of our first week and here we are in our last week and we are repeating the challenge. There must be a lesson in that. It must be important to continue to read new blogs and break out of our insular little habits. Hey, I didn’t say it first. Remember I am just following along with you on Mr Brewer’s Day 28 challenge.

I love the smell of blog in the morning…

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 27)

27 Sep

Social media is old hat to you now. You navigate the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn like a pro. What you need is a new challenge! Today’s challenge…

Join a social media site.

Why not add Pinterest, Goodreads, or RedRoom? Or add a difficulty level to this challenge and join all three. If you are already a member of all three sites then social media really is old hat to you now and maybe you should be hosting a challenge on your blog. If you just can’t get into adding one more social media site then don’t blame me; blame “Not-Bob” and take a look at his Day 27 challenge. “Not-Bob” relates an anecdote about how he almost didn’t get on board with Facebook for the comfort of Myspace. Take a look.

I don’t have a related anecdote to share.  I do have an amusing social media related cartoon however.

 

Internet bullying is a serious problem.

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 26)

26 Sep

Déjà vu all over again! Remember Day 19 of this challenge? 

Guess who’s back,back again. Sean is back, tell a friend. We are repeating the challenge from a week ago.  Write a blog post including a call to action and remember SEO. Then share it. While many of you post more than once a week, at least once a week is a habit to form. Giving your readers a consistent day (and even time) will help you build an audience. People will know how often to look for you and it will become a habit for them to check your blog as well.

It’s all about building an audience and rewarding them with regular content…

and a kitten.

A kitten opens its eyes for the first time

A kitten opens its eyes for the first time  Awww….(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 25)

25 Sep

In lieu of actual content, please accept this cute cartoon.

 

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. After a short away and a look into Klout with Day 24, we are back on the MNINB Platform Building Challenge as Mr. Brewer designed it. His Day 25 task will also be ours and it is…

Interview an Expert.

There are a lot of good reasons to include interviews with experts in your blog. It allows you to make connections with experts in your field. It shows that you are aware enough of your field to spot the experts and ask them interesting questions. It can lead you into new areas of thinking for your blog as the experts may point out facts or relate stories about things that were previously unknown to you that you can follow up on. It might be the perfect set-up to a guest post in the future.

My nine year old daughter frequently asks me, “If you are following along with this other guy’s challenge then why don’t you just tell them to read his blog?” Today, that sounds like an excellent idea. Mr. Brewer lays out very well the steps of conducting an email interview from asking for the interview (easier than it sounds) to crafting a few short questions (more challenging than it sounds). Please do click on the link above that says “Day 25”. Read along with Mr. Brewer’s advice and then report back to me if you accept the challenge. Oh, and how cute is Robert’s son in that picture? Sincerely, very cute kid.

I am going to call this one “done” for myself as I regularly interview experts for my freelancing. However, I will be working interviews with various writers into this blog as soon as next month. We are keeping it short as we are in the home stretch. Truth? “Day Job” is very hard on my soft writer’s behind and I think I am coming down with a case of the Mondays.

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 24)

24 Sep

I haven’t really diverged too many times from the MNINB Platform Building Challenge. This is one of those times that I feel like discussing something  completely different (for the record,  MNINB Day 24 was a #hashtag party so you really aren’t missing anything radical by playing my game instead).

Let’s talk Klout . It is a site that claims to be “The Standard for Influence” and is a measure of a person’s worth in the social media arena. It calculates a score for each user in a range from 0-100 and can vary according to your activity and engagement in social media. As of this writing (9/23/12) my Klout Score is a 60. In comparison Barrack Obama has a 99 and Justin Beiber a 92 (previously the only user to have a perfect 100).

Does Klout matter?

Does Klout Matter?

My answer is “Maybe”.

I’ll be honest that I have no idea if your Klout score has any value beyond its use in online marketing. Is there any real-world relation from your Klout score to your influence beyond the bounds of the internet (or really Twitter where it seems most prevalent).

If the events in this Wired post “What Your Klout Score Really Means” are accurate then it would really seem to mean something in some arenas such as within some public relations companies (and maybe that goes for publishing companies). Las Vegas casinos and customer service agents for major companies are using your Klout score to determine the perks you are eligible for and upgrades to service that you qualify for.

With that stated, when I mention Klout score in my real world interactions all but the most social media savvy give me dumb looks and even once I explain they seem skeptical. That does leave the possibility that those in the know about Klout are ahead of the curve. As a measurement of your platform’s overall health there doesn’t seem to be an alternative yet. It is absolutely possible that Klout will be seen as the real standard measure of a writer’s internet platform at some time in the near future. Today’s challenge…

Calculate your Klout score.

Once you have your Klout score then share it here in comments. Where did you fall? Is it what you expected? Higher or lower? What do you think you could do to improve the score? Are you utilizing all of the social media measures that Klout uses to determine your score?  How do you feel about your score and the possibility that in the near future job recruiters, interviewers, and all kinds of companies may use this score to measure your power of influence (and as a writer possibly your “marketability”)?

The possibility that something as nebulous as “influence” is beginning to be measured and scored is something that leaves some firmly skeptical and others scrambling to improve their value in the online community.

Where do I fall on Klout?

I am firmly in the middle. I am very aware that from a marketing stand-point being able to grade an individual’s influence would seem very beneficial. Breaking your trendsetters out from the followers and knowing who to focus your marketing dollars on would be something that lots of companies (yes, even publishers) would see as immediately valuable.

However, can an algorithm of any sort capture that elusive quality of influence ? I am not 100% convinced. There are still those who hold incredible influence in the world without an online presence. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha has a measly 48 as his Klout score. So maybe  clout (of which Mr. Buffett has much) is not what is being measured by Klout.

We wouldn’t have dedicated a month to building an online platform if we saw no value in the idea that our online interaction has some effect on our ability to influence an audience to respect us as an authority and to seek more of our thoughts and opinions. So if you are in the skeptical camp then know that you are not alone but also know that there are literal buttloads ( a precise scientific measurement) of money being spent to determine how to measure online influence and how that measurement equals an ROI in real world money.

It is not too hard to imagine a world in which our Klout score could have as much value as a credit score in the real world. They are just numbers but our world is measured in all sorts of numbers, grades and scores. Playing the devil’s advocate, I say that it wouldn’t hurt to pay at least some attention to this score.

Klout Hater?

I feel this stick figures pain. I would also like to opt out of a lot of other unfair measurements of my worth as an individual. Until credit scores and all of those mysterious algorithms that insurance agents use to determine your premiums allow you to merely opt out then it might not hurt to have some idea what your Klout score is. You can disregard you high school GPA, or your FICO score, or your Klout score, but important decision-makers in your life might not be ignoring it.

Klout Scores of the Rich and Famous

Barrack Obama  (POTUS) 99

Mitt Romney (Republican Nominee) 91

Neil Gaiman ( Neverwhere Author) 89

Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher on Star Trek) 89

Anne Rice ( Interview with The Vampire Author) 83

Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips) 82

Writer’s Digest (Writer’s Digest) 69

Robert Lee Brewer (My Name Is Not Bob blogger) 52

Play with the search bar on Klout and determine the score of your favorite celebrities (or even fellow bloggers, Le Clown).

I am not sure how much weight this score carries yet (but if only for the novelty of it), I prescribe that you keep some idea of what Klout score is attached to your platform.  It might not turn up in a real world situation but then again…it isn’t an impossibility that it might someday. It might never be anything but a way to stroke our own ego but then again the number is beginning to matter to advertisers, marketers, and maybe one day it will to publishers as well. I’m skeptical but judicious enough that I decided that keeping my score reasonable couldn’t hurt either.

So What’s Yours?

Please leave your score in the comments. It would have been interesting to know where you started and where you are now. If you know that information share it in the comments. I have a hunch that your score steadily increased if not radically jumped. Mine went from a 39 to a 60 where it seems comfortable at the moment (with a slow gradual growth) and I admit to fiddling with things in an attempt to effect my score and see how the algorithm is weighted. The most I could determine is the more engaged you are with others and they are with you the higher your score.  So with that said..

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

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