The Eclipse, Facebook, and Not-So-Random Goings-On…

How’s it going? Last night we had a lunar eclipse of some type–some of my friends posted on Facebook about it. I saw things when the moon still had light at the top.

That’s not what I’d like to talk a bit about now, though…

Let’s get to it.

Life is weird sometimes (see above, especially after “How’s it going?”).

Case in point:

I’m friends on Facebook with a lot of people I’ve never met in person…some of whom I’ll probably never meet, but I have a lot of life left to live (I hope).

Anyway, I can’t quite remember how I got to be Facebook friends with this one guy. I see him post about books, covers, entrepreneurship, and what-have-ya a lot.

So a couple weeks ago, he posted that he was looking to hire two ghostwriters and mentioned an email to send resumes to.

So I did that. After about a week, I saw another post on Facebook by this same guy that said he’d received 50 inquiries about this gig he posted.

More recently, I followed up to ask if there was anything more he needed from me, and he said he wanted to have a resume and a link to a recent writing sample.

Two sends of a resume and one link to a blog post later, and here we are.

In about 2 and a half hours from the time you read this (if the scheduling holds) I’ll be chatting with him about his ghostwriting process.

I’m excited at the prospect of where this might lead me (and this is one of the things I try to keep you up to date about as things develop).

Who knows? This could be not much more than a quick chat.

But the possibility that it could be more is the interesting part…like starting a new story (reading or writing, of course).

Tomorrow is podcast day.

Until next time,

Ty

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Snow + Wind = Instructive Chaos?

How was your weekend?

We got hit with snow again in my region over the weekend, and it provided another bit of wisdom (in addition to some cold wind that’s a pretty good wake-up mechanism sometimes). And even though it sounds silly, this is something I may come back to in the future. But for now…

Let’s get to it.

So I’m out shoveling and the stuff is fluffy, but the wind is brutal, whipping the snow around like I imagine sand would be in a desert.

This is the kind of wind that when I tried to throw snow at the wrong angle, it would turn the shovel (and maybe put snow right in my face).

Almost like being in a wind tunnel or putting your head outside a window when you’re in a car on a windy day.

It had to be blowing at least 30 miles an hour–but I didn’t have an anemometer(?)…or what-have-ya that you measure wind speed with.

Anyway, I ended up not trying to dig a path so much because about 10-20 minutes after, the wind had filled it nearly all the way in.

So I realized I would be stuck in a loop because every 30 minutes I would back where I started. It was at night too, so I did what I could when I could.

I came back the next day after the wind died down quite a bit, and got everything cleared out way easier (it’d frozen/compacted by then too, so I chopped it in big blocks and threw it…for some reason I find it easier that way).

The pointola?

People, stories, and a lot more can get stuck in a cycle. Effective cycles, patterns, and routines are great. Many times it’s good to take a step back (and a good night’s rest) and look at things fresh sometime later to determine if something you’ve been doing a long time is still effective.

Oh, and snow can be instructive…despite the fact that it’s still a four-letter word I view as a ginormous pain in the backside.

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll have an interesting appointment tomorrow–I’ll probably have to mention that briefly tomorrow and talk about it sometime later.

Until next time,

Ty

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Triple F: You’re Not Supposed to Eat That…

How’s your week been? We’ve got a little bit left, so you know what that means (or you soon will).

Let’s get to it.

This week I got in touch with the dude who wants help with chatbot/Messenger marketing. It’s the second week of the new writerly coach gig, which is pretty cool.

For some reason, I’ve gotten caught up watching various Youtube critiques of movies and TV shows, which has proved interesting (and more fodder for the memory bank for fiction, emails, comments, oh, and here too).

Your prompt for this week’s Fabulous Fiction Friday is:

Your character gains knowledge by eating the surface the information is on.

(There’s my imagination again.)

And now we fiction.

You’ll have to add elements like the setting, plot, gender, backstory, and what-have-ya. All we’ve got here is a character trait…more like a quirk actually.

One of the hardest parts for me with a character like this would be having to write out scenes where the character is observed doing their thing. You’d have to think of the upside of this, as well as the downside, when you make this prompt your own.

Does the character never forget the knowledge they consume? And it would be really weird in some situations. That’s only if other people in your character’s world aren’t the same as them, though.

Maybe something like:

Troy got called to the principal’s office–again. And then his parents were called–something about “this trait isn’t supposed to manifest itself until later” and “we’re having trouble keeping up with all the chalkboards he’s chewing on.”

What does being an eight-year-old with a passion for knowledge have to be so difficult?

Or…

Kylie thinks the new kid is so weird–always chewing on the worksheets the teacher hands out. Ryan would be kinda cute if it weren’t for that. You’d think at 16 his parents would have taught him that paper isn’t for eating–or walls, or much else.

But he never gets one test question wrong. Ever. Like, in all his time at school. People said he was an alien from a galaxy a billion light years away where information itself was their only means of survival and professors were treating like gods and heroes.

Maybe Ryan could tutor?

(A bit of a departure from talking from the main character’s point of view, but that’s what popped into my head.)

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling down the hill, I’m thinking.

January 2019 is about 2/3 of the way gone.

Make it a great weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),

Ty

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Remembering That (and Where) You Fit In

How’s it going? Last night was the weekly Dungeons and Dragons session, and I (kind of accidentally) relearned a little something about content strategy.

Let’s get to it.

After finally making it out of the underground cave area, after this and that, we met up with a delegation to travel east to another city, where we found a shop to offload all that loot that the fighter’s been carrying around.

He sold a lot of the stuff we picked up, and some of us bought a few things, but I was dithering about a piece of armor–it cost about 1,000 gold, which was about 1/4 (maybe less) of the profits we’d just earned from selling stuff.

It seemed like a big expense, and my brother, who’s the game leader/DM, reminded me that I am in a group, and that I should discuss the merits of buying this armor (or not) with the group.

This armor (along with an alchemy pot I bought that I could wear as a helmet) would give me a total of four points to my armor class (which is a number in D&D that determines whether you get hit or not when something decides to attack you).

Before I got this armor, that number for me was 11. I was almost always getting hit by arrows, sword strikes, and pretty much everything else in previous sessions.

After I got this armor and improvised helmet, my armor class number is 15.

So my character went from basically a 50% chance to get hit by any attack, to a 25% chance.

Now, I can stay in fights longer without worrying about using my abilities on myself so much, and use them to serve the group (which is what I do now, but I can do more of it).

The pointola?

Every piece of content you write, whether that’s emails, a sales letter, or what-have-ya, and every scene you write in a fiction story, has a purpose. That could be progressing the sales process for your (or your client’s) prospects, moving your readers closer to the conclusion of your story, deepening the reader’s understanding of your character, and a lot more.

This is usually part of a larger strategy…kinda like figuring out where your character fits inside a party of fictional adventurers.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,

Ty

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Episode 30: This Is What I Said…Near the End of 2013

How’s it going? Today’s podcast day, so…

Let’s get to it.

Today’s episode with be a flashback to a post that’s a little over 5 years old now, but still has relevance today (at least I hope it does).

Here you go:

https://anchor.fm/fiction-and-copy-decoded/episodes/Heres-What-I-Said-at-the-End-of-2013-e2uus6

Until next time,

Ty

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I Should Have Glued It, but Didn’t, and Then This Happened…

How’s it going? Some things in life can be silly…but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn something from it.

And I hope you can too, especially about writing and business, even if you haven’t walked a mile (or even 5 feet) in my shoes.

Let’s get to it.

I wear shoes almost every day, for multiple hours a day. Yesterday I discovered that the sole (which is in several sections) had come loose in one spot.

It’d been glued there by the manufacturer, and now it was swinging loose. So I was stepping on it every now and then as I walked. I tried all kinds of ridiculous things (other than glue) to get things back where they should. That meant me trying to put things back into place by hand and then trying to walk so the rubber wouldn’t come loose.

This is a silly thing because I put more than 2 seconds of thought into thinking about why this was irritating. There are better things in life. I know that, and yet sometimes…I don’t know. I can’t really explain why I do things I know better than to do.

Maybe it’s just the human condition (or me being me).

And then it broke.

I probably stepped on it one too many times while climbing up and down the stairs, because that’s where I found the rubber piece of the sole.

After a few hours of bumbling around about this, it’s fixed and I don’t have to worry about it.

Sometimes a small adjustment is all that’s needed to get things up and running again.

Kinda like stepping on a loose piece of shoe rubber.

Other times your characters can feel like they’re having a problem with their shoe, and then it gets bigger and more annoying…but that’s the subject of another post.

Tomorrow is podcast day.

Until next time,

Ty

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Snow and a Surprise Learning Experience…

How was your weekend? I had an encounter with snow over the weekend, and I’m not a big fan of shoveling (which is why I say snow is a four-letter word).

I could have ignored it, but there’s no sense in being stuck when I’m aware of the issue and in a position to do something about it.

Anyway, let’s get to it.

I’ve been told that today is the day the internship starts for the chatbot training. The guy who’s picking someone to do it asked me last week if I was still interested (because the process itself seemed to be dragging along).

And I said I was, of course…this was one of the bigger opportunities I’d gotten wind of since late last year, and I’d like to be their writer on a regular basis if they’ll have me.

So he gave me the training materials to watch last week and I did.

The pointola?

Which reminded me of not being afraid to ask someone about something…because I hadn’t gotten a response since 2019 officially kicked in, I decided to follow up and ask if the dude needed anything else from me, to see if that would prompt some kind of response.

I didn’t want what I said to be too complicated, but I didn’t want to sound desperate or pushy either–so I asked him if he needed anything else from me, and the rest followed.

Sometimes something simple does the job just as well as something complicated.

Until next time,

Ty

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Triple F: Is It Them Going Fast, Or The Rest of Us Going Slow?

How’s your week been? If you’re new here, welcome. You’re about to learn what Friday is. If you’re not new, you already know.

Let’s get to it.

Every Friday (or near-abouts as I can make it) means it’s Triple F around here, and a fiction prompt for you, plus a little bit about how I would actually do the prompt if it were given to me.

Things have been a tad bit ruffled this week with the new gig, getting used to somebody else’s processes and what-have-ya.

Your prompt for this week’s Fabulous Fiction Friday is:

The faster your character works, the slower their surroundings become.

And now we fiction.

There’s a teeny detail here, and that’s all we have to go on. We’ve got no gender or backstory, so you’ll have to put those in. We’re also not sure (based on the way I realized it’s worded) if this strange stuff is based on something in the environment itself (like maybe an emitter of some force/external) or something internal to the character (they enjoy their work, get a burst of enthusiasm, or something else you can put in there).

And more importantly, what’s the dark side of this ability/effect? Fatigue? Physically burning up? Having to eat mass amounts of carbs to keep up energy and cope with the decreasing speed of the environment?

That’ll be up to you, of course.

Maybe something like:

Serena didn’t realize it at first, but the faster she types, the slower everyone else becomes in the office–she could have sworn coffee froze in mid-air as it was being poured. Is it the gravitation pull of Andromeda, or something more? And…wait. Is that popcorn? Why could she smell popcorn in space?

Or maybe an old dude visits Warren one night, and asks him what he wants out of life. And without thinking, he says “To enjoy my work.” So the next day at the garage, he’s actually whistling while doing oil changes…something he hasn’t done in years. Problem is, he just can’t stop thinking about working, and he comes home way more tired from work than he did before…

That’ll be enough to get the mental snowball rolling down the hill, I’m thinking.

January 2019 (and 2019 itself, of course) has barely started…we’re a little over a week and a half in.

And today’s date has three 1’s in it–an odd fact I thought I’d mention.

Make it a great weekend, with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),

Ty

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After Three Weeks or So, This Finally Happened

How’s it going? I was going to talk a little bit about how I mentioned Dungeons and Dragons in an application to ghostwrite some fiction (but that could be the subject of another post.

(And then I realized Thursday seems to have defaulted to Dungeons and Dragons day.)

Let’s get to it.

In our Dungeons and Dragons session last night (ha), there was a lot of searching around–and my character is looking for things to ease the hard life of everyone in his village, so that’s totally cool.

We searched the floor where we were, then took the guy we had found last week with us and went outside the little area (which was still underground).

Then we went to a teeny building in the middle of the whole place (still underground–you’ll get why I keep saying this in a bit).

In this little abandoned chapel (that I ended up taking some old books from to read later) we found a skeleton wrapped around a Bag of Holding (the D&D equivalent of a backpack or jacket with tons of storage space), which we took.

Outside the chapel we found a skinny demon-y fella walking around, who said he’d journeyed underground for hundreds of miles, and we took him with us–he didn’t like turn on us or anything…at least not yet, so that was fine.

We decided not to explore the underground castle anymore, and took our trek south, back to the first dungeon we’d come to after first going underground.

So for the first time in 3 or 4 weeks, we reached the surface…outside. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, though, and it was nice to get out of there. Because of an evil being and his forces we’d like to overthrow, we might have to go back.

By then though, we’ll totally be ready for it–even though I wasn’t sure that we weren’t abandoning more loot by leaving the underground castle area.

The pointola?

There are some times in life things aren’t as bad (or as detailed) as you might think…and this part of this adventure brought that out for me.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,

Ty

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Episode 29: That Time When Spending Money Scared Me

How’s it going? The poll over here is up for one more day, so if you’d like to have your voice heard on that about what I do next, have at it.

Otherwise, today’s podcast day, so…

Let’s get to it.

Today is a flashback to a time when spending money scared me a little, and it was much more than buyer’s remorse or what-have-ya.

Here you go:

https://anchor.fm/fiction-and-copy-decoded/episodes/That-Time-Spending-Money-Scared-Me-a-Little-e2tem9

Until next time,

Ty

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