Stacks of Chicken and How Not to Try to Be Funny…

How’s it going? Something happened to me yesterday that reminded me of one of the most important copywriting maxims there is, and how violating or ignoring can lead to humorous or embarrassing results.

WARNING: My cousin doesn’t live nearby and we almost never talk or hang out…this information will be useful later.

Let’s get to it.

My cousin’s getting married in September (which I mentioned before). As such, he’ll be feeding his guests (including me).

On the invitation I got, it said for me to pick what I wanted to eat, but it didn’t list any food choices to speak of, which left me dazed and more than a little confused.

Since I’m generally interested in what I’m going to be eating (especially after this intriguing teaser), I decided to ask him what the deal was over text message (although this sentence was shorter than my message).

He wrote back that they were going to have a buffet with chicken and ham.

I wrote back asking whether we were going to be eating stacks of chicken, and thought he’d text back “ha, ha” and that’d be the end of it.

I was wrong…I was horribly wrong.

He buzzed me on the phone (talking to him was awesome), to ask what the heck I meant. I said if he wanted to serve me 4 pieces of chicken at once, he could feel fine doing so.

What I had actually meant to imply was that he’d only be serving us chicken and that would be the entire meal (I figured out text-only communication is a poor medium for humor, sometimes).

And this is what happens when you misjudge your audience…I looked like a total dunce. My delivery was off, and the medium in this case was totally off.

On the bright side, I did figure out he’ll get a cabin set aside for the weekend for the out-of-towners like me, and that since this meal will be a buffet, I can hop on up there and pick out anything I want…so, awesome.

So apparently, if I do want to eat a stack of chicken, it’ll be no-nevermind to him.

It’s also podcast day tomorrow…and the 4th of July. Special times, for sure.

Until next time,

Ty

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Yardwork and the Start of July 2018

How was your weekend? Mine was the standard–mowing while sweating, followed by a bit of trimming, while still sweating. Oh, and triple-digit heat…there was lots of that.

Which actually leads into the subject of this post, today.

Let’s get to it.

It’s July 2018 already (well, as of yesterday). Not sure how muse-y I’m going to get about it (as I usually do), because I may be trying to save a little for the podcast this Wednesday (which happens to be on July 4th).

It also means a lot here in the United States of course, and to me too, not just because I’m part of it, but because history is something I enjoy taking a look at, and almost always have.

Which leads me to the pointola…

Whenever I think of yardwork, I realize I don’t like it–not one bit. The being outside and getting sunshine and fresh air is the fun part, though. But I don’t like doing that kind of work–and I’m not at the point where I can pay somebody to do it for me.

All this reminds me of the Founding Fathers because I think they realized on some level that even though the independence thing was risky, dangerous, full of hard, sweaty work, and what-have-ya…

It had to be done–it just had to be…and that’s the only point where I’m comparing the two.

Make it a great month. After all, it’s the only July 2018 we’ll ever have.

Until next time,

Ty

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Triple F: They Melted, and Then…

How’s your week been? I’m waiting on contacts from a couple people I swapped services with, and one explainer script’s in the bag, which is cool.

Other than that, a pretty standard week…so, not standard at all. Sometimes, that’s good.

We’ve still got a bit of the week left (and the month, come to think of it), and you know what that means…

Triple F, of course.

Let’s get to it.

It’s supposed to be really hot today–about 90-ish. But the heat index/warning/what-have-ya will put us near 110–at least that’s the estimate…not until later in the day, but still.

That seemed like a great idea, at least for fiction. So for this week, your Fabulous Fiction Friday prompt is:

Your character goes outside in hot weather and melts into something they never were before.

All right–just a tiny plot point here–zero notion of setting, other plot pieces, gender, backstory or anything like that. That’s half the fun, and it’s up to you.

Maybe you could do something like…

Callie’s always been cold her whole life–she could never get warm, except on super-hot summer days. Everything seemed fine, until today. She started…melting…that’s what it had to be. A sense of slipping, here to there. The neighbors said they heard a hissing, not screaming. They went to check on her, only to find what Ned described as “some kind of creature, looking just like sunlight with a face, standing there, smiling.”

Or…

Rodney got plenty of water for the day. He knew things could have been dangerous, but he never suspected what happened. 10 minutes in the sun was all it took. He got the feeling of bursting into flames, and then sweating, like he’d never had before. Somehow he mustered the guts to crawl over to the window near the patio, to see what happened, only to discover he’d become…

Superman?¬†Ed McMahon? The announcer from Publisher’s Clearing House? Someone you make up?

(Maybe there was some awesome/scary science fictional accident in Rodney’s setting?)

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

Today is the second-to-last day of June 2018. If it’s hot where you are, or it’s going to be, stay safe out there.

And make it a great weekend, with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week, and month),

Ty

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I Felt a Sense of Relief…

How’s it going? For some reason, I thought I’d talk a little bit about yesterday, and what it meant for me (not to get all drone-y and selfish, I hope).

Let’s get to it.

I thought you’d be able to learn something from the, uh, “incident” I talked about on yesterday’s podcast episode.

Which if you’d like to catch and haven’t yet, it’s up here:

https://anchor.fm/fiction-and-copy-decoded/episodes/Ep–4-Know-Your-Limits—Or-How-My-Mechanical-Mishap-Can-Make-You-a-Better-Writer-e1nghb

Here’s the thing, though…

I did it mostly for selfish reasons.

I don’t treat this blog as a chamber for me to pour all my problems into and then vent them all over the place…that’s depressing.

That’s not for you, and I don’t think it’s necessarily good, either (here it comes)…

But in this case, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I felt relieved once the whole thing was out there.

If it’s copywriting, or fiction, or discovering your own style, or what-have-ya…

If you can discover what to do by watching or listening to me, that’s fine–heck, it’s even fine with me if you see what NOT to do.

Either way, I hope you got something out of it (if you got points out of both sides of do and don’t do, that’s super).

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,

Ty

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Podcast Episode 4, a Pitch Fest, and My Self-Doubt

How’s it going? An interesting pitch fest happened in a Facebook group I’m a member of, that I’d like to shed a little light on, just for fun.

Let’s get to it.

Today is the fourth podcast episode–this is a little embarrassing for me, but I think it’ll be good for you, if you hear it, especially if you’re anything like me when it comes to writing.

So here it is…

Episode 4

All right, on to the pitch fest. This was actually a swap–service for service. I almost didn’t take part in this because from reading the thread I found out…

— A lot of the people there are in niches I don’t currently work in

— All of their pitches seemed way cooler than mine

— I was heavily doubting whether I would get a response by the end of reading all these pitches

But in the end I did it anyway and pitched…me. I took a direct approach, piggy-backed off of a previous comment as an intro, and that was it.

At last count, 5 people want to talk to me about service swapping. Will this lead to paid work? I don’t know–but I’m hoping it will lead to profitable samples for me down the road, and introductions after.

And it would have never happened if I would have listened to my fear and doubt and given up.

Until next time,

Ty

P.S. Here’s the link to today’s episode, one more time…

https://anchor.fm/fiction-and-copy-decoded/episodes/Ep–4-Know-Your-Limits—Or-How-My-Mechanical-Mishap-Can-Make-You-a-Better-Writer-e1nghb

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Sand Shifts and Sometimes Writing Does Too…

How’s it going?

I stretch every day–to a workout on TV. The woman who’s the workout-ist always goes to some exotic locale or other (usually a beach or nature park type place in Mexico or Jamaica) to do these workouts.

Something she said a couple times stuck out to me.

It’s not a big thing, but I hope it can help you when you’ve got a writing project.

Let’s get to it.

Anyway, the lady said sand was a good workout for feet because it’s shifting all the time, and stimulates balance.

That’s the good part–the bad part was seeing her lose her balance here and there (hey, I lose balance on a hardwood floor, so she’s got the advantage there).

It reminds me of writing actually.

Losing your balance isn’t bad for exercise, but having a shifting surface or plan for writing can be horrible.

If I’m just freewheeling it, or get a loose plan together, there are times I’m not sure what I’m doing after a bit (it’s not always the case when I jump in, but sometimes it is).

And then I take a step back and realize it wasn’t as hammered down as I thought.

In fiction, this is more of an issue. For me, writing email copy or sales letters has some more boundaries, so to speak, and it’s easier not to get stuck on the border of a huge maze, wondering how to write myself out of a mess.

Sometimes it helps to cut off the offending parts for later and transplant them into other stories–on their own, if necessary.

Same thing for copy ideas or angles–sometimes you can save them for other emails or other sections.

How about you? Are there times a plan seems solid, only to have holes show up when you look closer? Drop me a line in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Ty

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Sometimes I Have to Push…

How was your weekend? Mine was mostly the standard type, although it wasn’t as hot as it’s been the previous few weekends, so that’s good.

Let’s get to it.

Today I realized something that I hope can help you, if you happen to be struggling, today or any other day.

Sometimes I can pivot to another project or set of projects if I get stuck, but that strategy doesn’t always work.

Sometimes I have to push…

To write something so that I’m not staring at a blank page (virtually or otherwise).

Or to send a proposal to somebody, even if I think they won’t think I’m the awesomest thing ever (and I’m pretty sure almost nobody who’s mentally healthy thinks that way about anybody else).

Or even if I have something that’s bothering me, sucking up my energy…something I’m trying to fight off, and so I push so that I’m not wasting my focus on something that doesn’t need to be focused on.

Is every day like this? No.

But there are days here and there where it turns into a push day.

How about you? What do you do when these types of days hit? Drop me a line in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Ty

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Triple F: Unexpected Summer Sales…

How’s your week been? According to when I checked the weather yesterday, it was supposed to be raining for what seemed like all day–but we only got the sky water here and there.

What I said was based only on what I thought was going to happen, not what was happening at the time.

So there’s that. Other that nearly having a super-rainy first day of summer, this week was pretty standard, as weeks go.

And today’s Friday, and you know what that means (or you will soon).

Let’s get to it.

Of course it’s Fabulous Fiction Friday, and a prompt.

This week (well, yesterday), I took advantage of a summer sale–well, inside the gaming store Steam online, anyway. That was nice.

(For some reason that last sentence somehow reminded me that using “was,” is a bad habit).

Anyway, this sale seemed to be an expected surprise, at least to me.

So in the spirit of the summer sale, your prompt for this week’s Triple F is:

Your character walks into a store because of the sale sign outside, only to realize things aren’t what they expected.

All right, so we’ve got no backstory, gender, or what-have-ya–barely even a setting…because I’ll admit “a store with a sale” is vague.

You’ll also have to come up with the location of the store, and what they’re selling.

What if…

Leslie’s looking for some cool clothes for summer, the store has crummy signage, and she’s walked into a boating store and they’re having a sail sale? That’d be pretty hard nowadays, but what if this 6 trillion light years north of Jupiter’s east coast, and people are literally learning to surf the stars? How would that change things?

Or maybe Ronnie walks into a shoe store early in the morning, and everything is totally gone? Why? Is this a hot location to shop? But how could that be if he’s lived here for 10 years and just heard about the store a day ago? If the place didn’t get robbed and the salespeople deny any slowdowns in restocking, what could be the explanation for a store with literally nothing to sell?

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

We’ve got about one more week to June 2018. Make it a great one.

And make it a great weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),

Ty

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Guess What Day It Is?

How’s it going?

And no, this is not going to be about an animal with a hump who likes Wednesdays. It’ll be more about what season it’s now become (even though it showed up about a month and a half early).

Let’s get to it.

This is actually about summer–it’s the first day of that today (and it’s raining here–ha). But at least it’s cooler than it was the last couple weekends–no 90s and 100 for me, nope.

Here’s a terrible (or maybe not) secret about me:

A lot of the time, summer brings out my insecurity.

I’m not sure why this is–maybe it’s the sappy music I hear everywhere, or a throwback to my school days that I haven’t quite shaken off.

Or the nagging feeling that maybe I’m not doing all I can for others, myself, and life in general.

I do my best to pack everything I can into each day, but somehow feel I could be missing out on interesting stuff (which is the subject of another post–why people sometimes feel that everyone else is living more interesting lives than they are–maybe THAT’S the root of this thing).

How about you? Do you feel this way about summer (or any other season)? Drop me a line in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Summer’s also a great motivator for sales emails and what-have-ya, by the way.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,

Ty

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Podcast Episode 3, Ideas, and Bananas…

Today’s podcast is about how to get ideas (generic I know, but I’ll be as specific as I’m able)…

How to Get Ideas

Otherwise, we have the rest below…

How’s it going?

The idea above got sparked by something specific about the next post on the blog from way back when.

Let’s get to it.

I didn’t think I could make a full blog post about gratitude–it is important, no doubt about it, both for your inner well-being and getting ahead in life.

I couldn’t do it justice. And since the idea (ha!) popped in my head about how to get ideas. So I went with that.

That’s why, actually.

And I don’t know where the part about bananas came from, quite yet.

Have fun listening and get tons of ideas, okay?

Here’s the ugly link version:

https://anchor.fm/fiction-and-copy-decoded/episodes/Episode-3-How-to-Get-Ideas–and-Why-Opening-Up-Sometimes-Isnt-Enough-e1mc2c

Until next time,

Ty

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