How was your weekend? I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me, so I’ll have to do a bit of a kitchen-sinker on this (you know, throwing it everything but the sink…although I throw the sink in too, despite never having thrown an ACTUAL sink).
First off, our phone lines were dead until today. It started February 3rd. Wow. Which meant no dial-up internet (and me subsisting off of mobile data—I didn’t want to post here because I have a limited pool of that to draw from, and I’d been using it like crazy since then, up until today).
So, I’ll try to catch up on everything I’d wanted to say since then, that I hadn’t said, starting with Super Bowl Sunday.
I watched the game. I was going to do a breakdown of good commercials a post at a time, like I did last year. Here are those links:
BUT the web went out on Tuesday the 3rd, which was when I was going to start the posts on this year’s commercials. But the commercials were kinda sucky this year (I watch the Super Bowl for the football, and for the commercials, not necessarily in that order).
Since we’re a week and a half or so out from the Super Bowl now, I’ll just do a quick recap, along with some ideas for fiction writers and copywriters that I gleaned from said commercials.
Not yet though.
First off, the game itself. A pass instead of a handoff on the Seahawk side was intercepted in the final seconds. Patriots got out of the end zone on the next play, and then downed the ball.
Patriots win, 28-24.
This was a VERY exciting game actually, not like the blowout that the Seahawks put on the Broncos last year. Seattle looked good at the second half’s start—they’d tied up the game with a couple interceptions and good plays after being behind almost the whole way.
To blow it with one decision (pass or throw?) must have been heartbreaking. I was hoping to see Seattle win back-to-back Super Bowls.
There was also a brawl near the end of the game.
But that’s that. It’s amazing how much something simple can have a big impact. Just like Chris Matthews’ life was changed forever when he asked to get off work early at Foot Locker to go try out for the Seattle Seahawks team. His Super Bowl catches were the first two of his career. Very cool.
Little or big, opportunities are still there.
Okay, okay. The commercials. Some of these are still running now.
The Chevy commercial
A guy is shown standing in front of a truck and a car. A bunch of people are asked which guy is cooler. The women say the guy in front of the truck—even though it’s the same guy, same clothes, and he can’t say anything to anyone (so no indication of personality).
Perception is HUGE for fiction writers and copywriters. If someone thinks something has to be a certain way, you can use it to your advantage and/or since you know what you’re dealing with, you can work to change it (things like “math is hard,” “broccoli is gross/boring,” and what-have-ya).
And if you’re writing fiction, since you have the lead, you can make readers think something is the way it’s not, and then surprise them (mostly in mysteries, but it has to be done well to be believed—there’s a subject for another post).
The Snickers commercial with the Non-Bradys
This one was about the “you get a little ______ when you’re hungry” deal. Only it involves the action guy Danny Trejo putting an axe into a table after being hit in the nose with a football (we see the aftermath, not the actual throw).
He eats a Snickers bar and changes into a blond girl (yeah…um, sorta odd, wouldn’t you say?)
Contrast can be very powerful, too, not to mention humor (the fact that Mr. Brady never said “an eye for an eye” is what makes it funny—did anyone else think it’d be weird if he would’ve said, “Sure I did, honey. Go get her”?)
Not a lot to pick from after that, although some commercials for new shows looked really interesting (like Allegiance).
The Xfinity commercial with the highly efficient police dog cuffing a guy over a table was hilarious.
One commercial that was awful was the one about the preventable accidents. Only my opinion, but I’ve NEVER been scared by a commercial so much that wasn’t for a horror movie.
It was so sad and depressing, it had the opposite effect on me, I think. Instead of thinking about insurance, I wanted to put it outta my head, as fast as I could.
The Camry commercial about being a dad was really inspiring (“being bold when others are scared”), and about how most of life (including how to raise kids) is a choice.
And then there were to older Americans (90+, a lot of them) who talked about what they learned in their lives (like living in the moment, telling things like they are, and what-have-ya). Technology changes, but living in general and people in general, really don’t.
And that’s the Super Bowl commercial thing. I might toss in a couple things later, but for now that’s it.
Another thing that happened on Sunday for me personally (besides eating a bunch of awesome snacks including potato chips drenched in homemade cheese sauce), was a ghostwriting/co-author contract that went up the creek. Couldn’t agree with the other fella on execution of the work, and so we parted ways on that deal.
Sad, but looking back, it had to be done.
We also got about twelve inches of snow over Super Bowl weekend. Two neighbors on two separate occasions came and dug us out, and I’m grateful.
With the internet out, I had to tell my manager and a client what I was dealing with, and they understood (I even told them mobile data out where I am wasn’t the best, and they understood that too).
I was able to get some emails edited for the client and sent over with my phone (glad the connection went through on that), and I’ve been able to surf email when needed, slowly (and having to walk around the house to get both connection arrows to turn white).
Last Friday, I officially started a developmental edit for a new book, which is pretty cool. It’s nice to have the pipe full, but you don’t want to drink from a fire hose either, you know? I’m planning to take it one step at a time, here, as best I can, and to bring everything forward I learned from the previous editing work I’ve been up to.
Last Sunday, I had to get the Google Sheets app for my phone to edit a spreadsheet (and here I thought I could edit a spreadsheet inside Chrome). So I was able to get that done. I was also getting way too nervous about having to do literally everything with my phone (personally, there are things you CAN’T do well on a phone—like edit. It’s just not comfortable at all, and I was having difficulty thinking).
Yesterday was a lesson in timing. Why was that?
Well, I accidentally hung up on a prospect.
I’d put in an application to write a test email for them, and I gave them my cell phone number, since the main internet line was still out.
An unfamiliar number came up (which had happened twice before with some spammish calls), so I declined it. It couldn’t be that guy I’d contacted. I’d just put in the proposal. I figured he’d get around to contacting me tomorrow, or even later.
Turns out I’d gotten a response to a proposal in less than six hours.
We agreed on a rate, and boom, I was writing that afternoon. I did some editing and asked a few questions. So I’ll probably have to do fixes today, if there are any to do.
Well, I’m glad to have caught up on the past nine days or so with you, and do appreciate you sticking around.
Drop me a line in the comments about your latest tech snafu, if you want to. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,