Good on One Hand, and Bad on the Other…

How’s it going? I’d like to focus a tiny bit on one part in my subscription form today. A minor part, really, and one I haven’t had a lot of fodder for of late.

Let’s get to it.

My brother actually told me yesterday that I was giving him blog ideas.

And it wasn’t because of us brainstorming together…oh no.

It’s because of my bad business behavior with a client.

I want to do a post on that in the near future, or a series of them, so I won’t go into things here.

And I realize that part of this blog is for me to tell you what I (legally) can about dealings with clients–something I’d kinda lost sight of.

But for today, though, I want to highlight that it’s one thing to serve as some kind of writing inspiration for someone (that’s what I intended Triple F to be for you, on Friday).

I guess it’s different when somebody actually tells you, though. It’s like you have verifiable proof of something–although in this case, I’m not so sure I want to.

The whole thing feels good on one hand that someone’s getting value from something I’m doing, and bad on the other hand because I’ve all but made myself look like a total idiot.

I don’t know if you’ve felt quite that way before. Maybe you have–if you want to mention it, you can drop me a line in the comments.

Until next time,

Ty

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I Was Reminded of This TV Character Yesterday

How’s it going? Last post, I mentioned that I’d talk about one of my favorite TV characters (not my all-time favorite), and I figured that should be today, before my writer’s brain gets control of my fingers again and changes things.

Let’s get to it.

When I was growing up (maybe “younger” is a better word here), one of my favorite characters to watch on TV was…

Steve Urkel.

(The actor who played him, Jaleel White, turned 41 yesterday, which is why I was reminded of this whole thing.)

He played his nerdy character on Family Matters really well, I have to say. And he had to use his brain to get out of tricky situations because he didn’t use muscle (despite the fact that he was reasonably good at arm wrestling).

I remember seeing a short clip years ago. A reporter asked Jaleel about his character. He said one of the most important/endearing/what-have-ya qualities about Steve was “he means well.”

Despite all the breaking stuff, fumbling around, and odd antics, I’m assuming.

There are a bunch of different things I could say about this. We could go for:

Making connections to understandable characters

Doing your best and being yourself in every situation

Persistence

Knowing your characters and prospects well, so you know how they’ll react to a given situation, or what they want/need to make their lives better based on what they’re struggling with right now

Realizing characters live in a world that’s normal for them, and do normal things, and using that to your advantage

Building deep characters and worlds that reveal more and more as readers keep coming back

And loads more…

This are goals for some of us, to be sure. And that’s about all I have for today.

But I will also say that Steve also gave me a well-needed glimpse into how other people dealt with things like being made fun of.

Even though, in the end, Steve was entirely made up.

Until next time,

Ty

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Never Here, Here for a While, Then Forever Gone?

How was your weekend? Mine was really great. There was Thanksgiving (which was still during the week itself, but oh well), and Black Friday (which I totally forgot about amid all my turkey thoughts), and then the official weekend. It was really enjoyable this year, for sure. And there’s something interesting that occurred to me about the whole thing that I’d like to mention.

Let’s get to it.

For some reason (and I don’t know why this is), I get the feeling that certain times in my life (usually good ones that I’m anticipating for some reason) are really far away, even if they’re not. Then the time itself kinda races by.

After the fun is over and life returns to normal, the awesome time itself seems so far away, even though it was really only a bunch of hours or a few days in the past.

Does that ever happen to you?

Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you think about it.

Other than that, this post is more personal than writerly, I’d guess–even though writers create experiences for their readers or prospects that they like spending time on (ideally).

Haven’t quite decided what to do tomorrow–I was going to talk about one of my favorite TV nerds today, but my brain somehow pushed that to the side after I sat down to write. We’ll see if he pops up later–this is the last week of November, after all, and we’ve still got some time left.

Until next time,

Ty

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Triple F: Turkey + Table = ?

How’s your week been? After Thanksgiving this week, I may have trouble pushing away thoughts of turkey meat, turkey sandwiches, and what-have-ya.

Anyway, it’s Friday, Fabulous Fiction Friday, and Triple F here.

Your prompt for this week is:

Put a turkey on a table and go from there.

You can see where my thoughts are on that one. Not much to go on–no character, gender, backstory, setting, or what-have-ya (except for a table setting maybe).

You could have your story over Thanksgiving dinner, and Uncle Lou telling his rain boots and bear story–only this time, he’s in a space station while he’s telling it.

Or fussy Aunt Martha getting into a tangle because some cousins are bored and get underfoot, and a platter of turkey goes airborne.

It’s up to you.

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling.

November 2017 is about out of here–next Friday will be December 1st.

Until next time (and week),

Ty

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WordPress Says This Happened 4 Years Ago Today…

How’s it going? Thanksgiving’s coming up tomorrow, and I’ve practically boarded the train to Turkey Town. I figured I’d pop in for a short post today before things get fowl (which also means you won’t hear from me tomorrow.)

Let’s get to it.

WordPress is telling me it’s my anniversary today, which is cool. Facebook told me that today in 2013, I said the Monday after that I’d be starting a blog.

It’s been four years since I decided to start a blog the same week as a major U.S. holiday.

Not the smartest idea I’ve ever had, more than likely. But it happened, and I’m still here.

And if you’re reading this, you are too. I appreciate you sticking around–whether you’ve been here five days, five months, or five…well, we haven’t got to the years just yet, but you get the idea.

Thank you.

It means a lot to me, and I’m very thankful that you’ve stopped by my tiny micron of the internet to read this.

This is the type of experience we strive to create for fiction readers or business prospects, isn’t it–something they enjoy coming back to?

I’d say yes. Don’t know if I’m 100% there, but that’s where I’m headed.

Triple F will be extremely short this week–I’ll probably be recovering from turkey.

Until next time,

Ty

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On Its Own…Or Smooshed Together?

How’s it going? It’s Thanksgiving week in the U.S., and Thursday is the big day. I took the opportunity to do a bit of shopping with Mom–nothing big, but she did reveal something interesting to me.

Let’s get to it.

We were going past downtown, when I remembered the store on the corner of the main street area had moved to another spot, totally away from everything else. Mom said she thought that this particular store being by itself made it easier to notice than a bunch of stores in a mini mall.

She glosses over mini malls because the stores are stuck together, with nothing to really set them apart, she said.

Which got me thinking…

This is something writers struggle with a lot. I know this deserves a post of its own, probably several–but I’m going to trot out what I’ve got here, now.

It’s a differentiation/standing out issue–how to figure out what you do that other people who are technically the same thing as you don’t or can’t do.

For some people it’s easier–like doctors writing about medical technology or lawyers writing legal help articles.

For others, it’s not easy at all–in fact it could feel almost impossible.

I’ve done a fair bit of editing in the past, which involved thinking about various angles and asking a lot of specific questions about a piece and/or the author to find things out. I don’t use that in my marketing as pointedly as I should have.

Books have been written on this, and I don’t intend to add another one to the pile. It’s super helpful to think about what skills you have that can apply to more than one thing (listening, understanding, talking, asking questions, putting information together, and what-have-ya).

Or things that you’ve discovered about yourself that you can leverage (being able to research for hours without crashing, writing fast, being organized, and a whole lot more).

Maybe one of your things is coming up with a lot of ideas because you’ve trained yourself to look for them everywhere you are.

All that’s left after that is assembling the pieces that all add up to how you can help your readers and/or prospects achieve their goals.

A bit over-simplified, but then again, I have a tendency to complicate stuff.

Until next time,

Ty

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Do You Have a Sick Line?

How was your weekend? Mine was really wild. And I mean really. It’s also why I haven’t been around for about the past week or so.

Let’s get to it.

Two Sundays ago (which includes yesterday), things were great. Went to a concert, had a ton of fun, and went out to eat afterward.

Everything was fine…

Until Monday at 6:30.

That’s when I started having vomiting and diarrhea. Don’t really know the culprit–people who ate with me didn’t get sick, so far as I know. I don’t know if it was something I ate from weeks before, or just some germ.

What I do know is that Monday I didn’t feel like moving, couldn’t get comfortable, and wanted to hole up and do nothing.

Tuesday the vomiting quit, and then Wednesday my bowel settled down. I spent the rest of the week trying not to rush into everything I’d been doing. Heck, I even had to lie down after short bursts of writing work.

And if I couldn’t do that, and had trouble staying upright without becoming tired, I was pretty sure I couldn’t do this either.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, so you would know what I haven’t been up to, and why. I don’t think I have some huge following who would panic about me after not hearing for a week. You’re more level-headed than that–I know you are. Maybe you were wondering about how I was doing since I make it a point to post regularly.

This post is actually for you.

Sometimes we don’t push ourselves or respond to life the way we know we should. I was caught between not feeling up to it, not wanting to push myself, and fearing that if I did push myself, I could make things worse.

I don’t know if there was a more correct choice for me and my body here–there probably was. I usually do my best to get super-past being sick before I launch into my normal routine.

And throwing up is my divider–anything less than that (sore throat, sore muscles, being a little bit tired, what-have-ya), I usually work past that stuff.

But not throwing up and the fatigue that usually comes with it. That’s a line I won’t cross.

Drop me a line in the comments–where’s your “sick line”?

Until next time,

Ty

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Triple F: It Broke…Now What?

How’s your week been? We’ve got a little bit left, and except for the return of the siding guys, the start of a new back stoop overhang they’re building, and computer problems that may still be lingering, waiting to lunge at me from a dark corner, this week’s been pretty normal.

Oh, and there was the cold (nothing compared to Alaska, of course).

Anyway, let’s get to it.

Today is Friday, and that’s Fabulous Fiction Friday around here. I could drone on and on about using ammo from my own life, but I think you know I do that already.

Your prompt for this week’s Triple F is:

Your character pulls the cord on a set of blinds, and it breaks, creating a chain reaction that ruins the whole thing. What happens now?

(And by the way, I don’t recall breaking blinds this way, myself. I’ve broken plenty of stuff, but this is just me imagining what could happen.)

And now we fiction. (It’s interesting to use nouns as verbs sometimes, isn’t it?)

Anyhow, gender, backstory, and what-have-ya will be up to you on this one. You’ll also have to determine if/when/why the character replaces the blinds.

What if:

Leslie breaks the blinds, and finds out her allergies aren’t acting up as much in her apartment? Is it a function of the weather, or were those things collecting dust she was breathing in constantly?

How about Aaron breaks the blinds, and then replaces them, only to figure out he was just in time to be protected from a solar storm he didn’t know was coming? (It’ll be up to you to supply where Aaron is that makes it so he even has to worry about that, or why he’s ignorant of something so dangerous).

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling.

November 2017 is about 1/3 gone, as of today.

Make it a great rest of the month, and a great weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),

Ty

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I Think I Plugged in the Wrong Wire…

How’s it going? I don’t know about you, but embarrassing things happen to me from time to time, because I get confused or feel rushed or some other reason I’m not too sure of.

Let’s get to it.

I’ve been having random internet trouble–the Wi-Fi inside my laptop switching itself off, having the connection drop, and what-have-ya. This has been going on for about a week and a half before I finally did something that I should have done before–run a speed test on the connection.

Verdict? Speed’s in the toilet, at about 20% of normal strength. So I call my internet people. Thing is, I think I did something backward.

After resetting the equipment did zilch, the tech told me to connect the wire for the internet directly into my computer to bypass the router.

But what happened was, I took the wire from the VOIP internet box and plugged that into my computer, so my laptop was linked directly to the router itself, and not the box.

(You can’t see me right now, but I’m slapping my forehead.)

That’s what I think led to the guy not being able to access the equipment on his end, but I’m not sure (that’s why I’ll be calling again today to double check things).

It won’t fix the speed thing, but the guy may be able to figure out what’s wrong.

How does this relate to writing? Well, sometimes things have a formula. Or different choices you can make. Can you break those formulas? Sure you can, but you have to figure out why they work first, and how you can get around what readers and prospects will be expecting, while still making sense.

Otherwise you’ll end up with the wrong wire plugged into your laptop, so to speak.

Tomorrow is Triple F (and I’m hoping the internet cooperates). If it does, I’ll be here, and you can be sure to swing by.

Until next time,

Ty

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Normally I Wouldn’t, but It’s on the Schedule…

How’s it going?

Anyway, let’s get to it.

The radio told me it was 29 degrees where they were broadcasting out of. But I should have known it was cold because of the frost on the shingles on the porch area outside my window.

And today I’m going shopping. On a super cold day–a day I normally wouldn’t want to go outside.

But now that it’s been established, I can’t push this trip to another day. I’ve already scheduled things around it (including the post you’re reading now).

This is a little bit akin to me liking routine, which I do, and having to get things done. But that still doesn’t mean I don’t cave in to human nature now and then (like sleeping with no alarm, and still managing to get up at 6:30).

But it’s also about fighting to keep some semblance of a schedule (and on the other side, some semblance of a life), when I have client work, negotiations, my own projects, and what-have-ya I’m trying to work through.

Drop me a line in the comments. Do you like to go out on cold days, or would you rather not?

And who knows? By 11 in the morning, it could be 40 or 50 degrees. We’ll see.

Until next time,

Ty

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