Friday, February 24, 2012

I write for you.  That sounds very generalized, but my thinking is very generalized. I literally (by the way, that's pronounced litter uh lee, not litra lee) imagine an average reader reading my words as I type them.  People that know me know that I want no fame which I doubt will be a problem, but I do want my writing/other work to please people.  I was really bored tonight and can't sleep through the back pain, and it took me an hour to figure out what to do, even though I now have 9 unfinished novels that I need to finish writing.  I sometimes find it hard to even believe I finished the first 3.  So, let's get to it.

Do you feel like you aren't accepted somewhere or by somebody?  Far be it for me to throw some blanket statement out that covers your "condition," because there are so many ways and sources of rejection that the definition and recovery plan for lack of acceptance changes every moment.  Are you a boy who thinks a girl doesn't accept you?  A nerd who thinks the jocks won't?  A jock who thinks the jocks won't?  A co-worker that isn't part of the "club?"  This can go on and on and as it changes, I would be suggesting different things for each situation if I wanted to be that detailed.  In my usual form, I'll take on two or three and hope to provide you with something of value to you.  I was a psych. and English major so maybe it'll pan out well.

Wife not accepted by husband

I wrote in The Lost Dialogues of Table 18 (no, not a plug, or link would be provided) that the problem with men is that they see women as accomplishments, and the problem with women is that they see men as projects. I truly believe that and when I came up with it a few years back, I pretty much knew then that I had struck on something as I replayed situations of relationship failures in my head.

Well, wife-women, if you feel like your husband is unreachable and places himself higher on the importance totem pole than you do, tell him.  Tell him what I just wrote and ask him why he feels higher.  When he denies it, give examples, including body language, words, behaviors, episodes with friends/family, etc.  Tell him you don't like it, and that you avow, from this day forward, to be exactly one half of a team that respects, appreciates, and loves one another.  Tell him to stop what's hurting you, and point out every single time he does it.  Don't miss any.  He'll stop.  Tell him what feels good, and remind him daily or whenever you need it; soon, it will be automatic for him.  Unless your requests are unreasonable, there is no reason he can't join you in uplifting each other like a truly loving couple should do.  In return for his cooperation in realizing that you are, in fact, an equal, let him have his man-cave time, let him do a reasonable amount of his normal hobbies and don't snap when you catch him looking at another lady; it's been wired into men since forever, and it isn't going anywhere soon (a key here, for him, might be subtlety so as not to embarrass you).

Husband not accepted by wife

Things change here from above.  That's no fair.  I know.  But if your wife sees herself as above you on the importance totem pole, approach her with details.  Men tend to try to communicate in short, over-simplified sentences using direct words; I call that part of a bigger philosophy (which I call the Lego Block View).  Do not offend her as you make this approach, especially if she has not offended you.

Maybe you are hurting because she brings in more money or she works and you don't or because guys are always looking at her; write it all down.  All of it... don't trust yourself to memorize anything, because what you'll do is get halfway into the conversation and decide, "That'll do for tonight."  No, that will not do for tonight, from one dude to another--please do this and trust me.  All of it must come out; make sure that you approach this not from an angle of blaming her, but from an angle of how you feel.  (In the event that you weren't aware, scientists have recently discovered that men do have feelings).

Tell her that you believe you can solve the issue(s) together, but you need to know how she feels about those things you have written down.  If she feels like she can't open up to you because you get angry too easily, that's a whole 'nother mountain you gotta climb, but I'm a fan of going for the Hail Mary sometimes.  Tell her you promise not to get angry or upset but that you need her to open up to you on this day/night and share with you thoughts about your feelings and thoughts about her needs.  It won't be long, if you're mature and loving about it, before you will feel like 50% of that couple again.

Co-worker not accepted into inner circles

I was working at Gateway in Tech. Support at the time in Hampton, VA (had to specify because I also worked IT there, and transferred to their Colorado Springs facility) taking essentially PC trouble calls.  The way our desks were laid out was basically a big diamond with everybody facing outward, maybe 25 desks or so, and in the center of the diamond were a manager's desk and a few "senior technician" desks.  Now, the senior techs. were supposed to be the ones to answer the questions you, the phone technician, had when things got really difficult.  So they were seen as semi-elite; semi-popular.  Did I try to get close to them?  Negative, sons.  I already knew my PC stuff when I went into tech. support, and the day it was made clearest is when one of our team members named Tim walked straight past the seniors desk to MY desk, and waited a few minutes for me to finish my call before answering his question.  Very few people did that, but who wants conflict?  Or to embarrass co-workers?  Or confrontation?  I'm sure the other techs didn't want to arouse angst in the senior technicians or manager for not following "procedure."  (Tim was an exception; he found out very quickly who knew what and he learned from them, and within two years, had flat bypassed being a senior tech and became a manager, and an excellent one at that and I can say for certain that he was generally more intelligent than I).

Moral of that derailment was that if you can't get into an inner circle (and my personality asks, "why do you want to?" but my logic and experience tells me it's for acceptance... maybe even leading to a heightened sense of job security, prompt raises, and favored assignments) then make yourself valuable.  You can do it instantly by offering to help other co-workers more, staying late or coming in early, by educating yourself on (boring) rules, regs, policies and procedures so that you quickly become a "go-to" guy or gal in whatever area you choose to shine in.  For my last job as a copier technician, for example, I was always the guy you could call to go to work on weekends.  I made certain my boss knew this, and he knew he could count on me for those very important (but rare) weekend copier breakdowns on large accounts.  I anchored myself into that spot.  If I would have wanted to change out of that spot, I would have found something else to specialize in first.

The key things to avoid doing are: appearing to be a know-it-all, talking constantly about your last job/employer, doing obvious butt-kissing (something I never once engaged in), giving the impression that you're "better" than the job or that this is just a job, and trying to get too much "talk time" early in your job... be a listener.  People can't stand it when new people come in and want to immediately change a bunch of stuff.  They despise it!


Life is inconclusive to me in every way, so I have none.  I just hope I have given you a couple of paragraphs that might help you get some monkeys off of your back, gently.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Excerpt: Addy's Boom and the Blast Frontier

Book Excerpt: Addy's Boom and the Blast Frontier
Expected publish date: June 6th, 2012

Chapter 6: Lauren’s Discovery

With rain approaching, Lauren began looking around the wrecked diner store to try to find a better place to make her bed; the food rack with the plywood bed and bubble wrap lie directly under a hole in the ceiling, a two-foot long rip that would allow water in.  She lifted the food rack out of the mess on the floor; the cans of Spam, wet wipes, jars of pickles, bags of marshmallows, instant coffee, peanut butter, and as she was just noticing, one dead mouse.

She drug the rack nearer to the edges of the store.  Day five of her new life was coming to a close and she was not willing to spend her night trying to sleep in cold, dripping water.  She removed the debris from the rear-right corner of the store and wrestled the rack over piles of boxes of cereal and two-liter sodas and bags of flour that had turned to some kind of compound.  She reconstructed the bed in the corner, putting the piece of cracked plywood up on the tipped-over rack, followed by layers of bubble wrap and, this time, a blanket to cover with that she found on the curb, adjacent to the store.  She had hung it on the clothesline and it took a day and a half to dry and was still damp, but would be acceptably dry by bedtime.

She climbed up on it to rest, bringing a bottle of water and a pack of instant tea with her, along with a individually wrapped cupcakes and pecan rolls.  She looked, as she had done for most of her recent days, out the front doors, out at the crane and the car.  The water was almost gone.  The land looked like a desert with occasional indentations of where foundations had been.  She looked and she thought and she hoped somebody would come.  Anybody.  She reviewed in her mind the wave, what must have happened to her family, and what she would do if she could get out of this place.  It wouldn’t be long before she struck out in search of, what?  She didn’t care.  She knew she had to go find other people or life would be unbearable. 

This wasn’t life.  This was a prison designed by Mother Nature, used to punish the unsuspecting.  It was a prison for the body and the mind where free motion was severely reprimanded and the gullibility needed to believe everything would be okay was heckled and spat upon.  

Her heart ached with heaviness.  For the first time since the wave hit, she was starting to realize what she had lost, and besides her prior life, she had lost everything and everyone that mattered to her.  She sobbed.  She sobbed for two hours, crying so hard that her face ached and her throat burned and her eyes ran dry as her torso bobbed up and down like she was laughing.  It was mercilessly draining and painful, yet she felt better afterward.  She had to put what was gone behind her if she was going to make anything good happen with her spared life, and that evening she set out on a journey in her mind; a journey toward acceptance, toward purpose, and toward something more than survival, if she could just get out of this place.  As she fought to throw off her blanket of grief, she found sleep under her dried blanket of cotton and rayon as the rain pattered on the roof like pebbles on a rear fender and the drops of the ceiling leak ticked like a clock on the floor in the middle of the diner store.

In the morning, when she woke, it wasn’t to the normal nightmares or odd sounds.  It was to the sound of something alive.  It was to a quiet ,”heh, heh, heh…”

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to get more fans and better statistics on Facebook

How Dare You Look in the Proper Places and Take Initiative for your own Success!!!!  What in the WORLD?

As some of you know, I'm a small-time author.  And I don't have 10,000 page likes, yet, but what I do have is a steep and steady incline in "likes" and in discussions about the page.  I'd like to share a few of these tips with you now to try to give you a jump start.

First, don't be afraid to do like-for-like trading.  I personally would find it dishonorable UNLESS you start a conversation with that person (content on page, anything) and after you have established that contact, you should feel entirely free to like their page and ask them to like yours...

Next, join discussions.  I've found "Linked-In" to be a great place to get people to like your page in return for liking theirs.  There are many other options Google will be happy to list along these lines. 

And this is also where I see one of the biggest mistakes writers' make.

Although I have 100% faith that there is room for writers in our industry for every single one of us, there are still some percentage of writers that want other writers to fail.  They really do.  They want you to fail to simply fall away so that their line to the top can be a more direct one.  They truly do see you as competition.

And we wonder why reading is down.

Because of this, you must be hyper-vigilante about who you trust regarding tips toward success.  There are plenty of authors, agents, and publishers out there we who will keep you down and hold you down in any way that they can.  You've been trying to get an agent for ten years and nothing has worked out, so you decide to self-publish or use a vanity publisher, and writers or others start telling you that you're making a mistake and that you'll ruin yourself; it's crap.  If your writing is ready, and you are ready, go publish.  Find a vanity publisher or just self-publish 50 or 100 books and hit the streets (libraries, book stores, malls, door to door, friends and family, universities).  Stay tuned to this blog for more, especially on what to watch out for as I do tend to blend subjects quite often and jump around (remember, my blog is about writing, life, and the other thing) so I won't go too deeply into it tonight because I'm working on some other short-deadline projects.

But let me say this; that mistake I mentioned four paragraphs ago?  That mistake is this; a new writer will constantly be seeking out writers boards, writer's groups, teach me teach me, writer and editorial groups instead of realizing that the neglected group--the group that is thirsting for your content is READERS!!!!  Find readers groups, especially if you have a free book go give away.  Spend some time there.  Find out what readers are talking about and looking for.  Don't shove anything down their throat; wait until somebody mentions that they like/want something from the genre you wrote, and then post a link and synopsis of your book.  Always offer free autographs if they'll cover shipping and if you're going to sell a paperback or hard-cover, readers LOVE getting free stuff.  I've sent out pens, calendars, and their favorite of all, customized bookmarks (see my FB page/pics for examples  ).  Readers are who you want, not writers!!!!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!