That’s a pretty big number. If your goal is 50,000, you’re plenty close. Why does it seem so far away?Continue reading “45,300”
It’s been a while, but I previously posted a bit on how the voices in your head sometimes take over your story. Oh, wait, I just said what this entire post is about. Rats.Continue reading “Character Hijackery Part II”
I’m working on my third million dollars. Yes, I gave up on the previous two…Continue reading “Finishing Things”
You’re a writer. You know how it goes. You work your keester off writing something that you just think is the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, the Maharajah’s… uh, well, you get the idea.
But life happens and stuff happens and somehow it just doesn’t seem to be the big hit you expected. And then, one day…Continue reading “Twinklings of the Past”
I’m flashing my curtains at you – did you see it?
If you’ve read my novel Droppington Place, you’d know that flashing the curtains is how Penrose, the sawdust copy of an obscure 16th Century playwright, lures Byron into the world of Droppington Place. It’s a paper world, hidden from time, from which Byron and his middle school friends Hailey Shen and Kyle Rodriquez must escape before they, too, become paper.
If I may be blunt: it’s a pretty good book.Continue reading “The Droppington Franchise”
Damn their eyes, these characters!
They say things you didn’t expect, do things you didn’t think of, steal your gosh darn story right out from under you.Continue reading “Character Thievery”
I grew up in the pre-digital age, spending many an early adolescent hour at the worktable, building plastic model kits. Airplanes and ships – those were my specialties…
Wait, wait, wait… don’t go skipping away thinking this is some nostalgic, back-when-I-was-a-kid kind of thing. Just hang tight for just another couple of paragraphs or so and you’ll see that this applies to you – yes you.Continue reading “The Curse of the Black Falcon”
So, here we are at Year Five, the Year of Independence. This is the goal, the island to which we’ve charted our five year course, the one thing we’ve focused on and worked on and planned on.
So, like, what is year five?Continue reading “Five Years to Independence: Year Five – the Year of Independence”
What’s the difference between a gorilla and a pound of oranges?
Once, in a galaxy far, far, etc., I had my first novel roll across an editor’s desk at Random House. The editor liked the book, but suggested a small gaggle of changes before they would sign it.Continue reading “Forget the Setup, Eddie”
I have proof! It’s true! They are way smarter than I am!
See, I’d seen an ad during the Super Bowl, like, four times, for the McDonald’s Cheesy Bacon Fries, and each time I thought to myself “dang, that’s cool!”
Now, my darling, wonderful wife is out of town, and I find myself with a day off (please don’t tell my wife I did this – she’ll have the I-told-you-so of a lifetime, and I’ve already given her so, so many. It’s safe to post this, because she never reads my stuff. If you don’t tell her, we’re cool).
So, It’s a lovely day at the harbor here in Ventura, and there’s a McDonald’s just a few blocks away. I don’t feel all that hot from an abusive weekend in Las Vegas (being volleyball parents isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be), and, hey, I mean, it’s McDonald’s, right?
The first challenge is that the Cheesy Bacon Fries come in a box with a knife and spork. Uh oh, the gullet says. This could be danger. Then I crack open the box.
So, when we were in Montreal, we discovered a Canadian dish called poutine – fries, cheese curds, brown gravy, and meat, all piled onto a plate. It is heaven on a cold day.
Ronald’s version doesn’t have the brown gravy, but it’s the same thing.
The first taste is really great – man, warm salt and fat. Kind of bacony, a little bit potatoey, and a strong dose of cheesy. Even as I chew it, I’m thinking this is not a very good idea. Kinda of like eating the cake that’s been out on the counter for a couple of days. It might be okay. Might.
So, about the crow. He flies up and takes station on the lamppost, right above my car. He looks at me with that look that crows have – inscrutable, but intriguing. He wants a fry. He’s scared away all the pigeons, and the seagulls haven’t spotted the McD bag yet.
I make sure he sees me waggle a bacon-encrusted cheesy fry out the window, and give it a toss onto the grass. He dives on it the second it’s down.
Now, seagulls are smart. Once, my daughter and I played fetch with one. We had found a golf ball on the beach, and tossed it into the sand down next to the waves. A gull swept down, scooped it up, and dropped in right in front of us. I threw the ball again, and the bird brought it right back. We played like this for maybe 15 throws, until he dropped the ball way out in the water and flew away. Huh. Game over.
But seagulls will eat just about anything. You can make them explode with Alka Seltzer tablets – but please, please don’t. I can’t think of a more awful way to die.
This crow however, perhaps ponders a more awful demise in eating the cheesy bacon fry. He holds it in his beak and stares at me with disdain, his black eye asking “how could you?” He hops onto the back of a bench, the fry firmly held in his beak, and looks thoughtfully out to sea.
The arrival of a flock of seagulls startles him, and he bolts out over the harbor in a stunning show of aerial mastery. He swings over me, the cheesy bacon fry wagging in his mouth, and then out over the water.
With every sign of intention and purpose, he drops the cheesy bacon fry into the bubbling waves, and off he goes.
What does this story have to do with writing books? Everything, my friend, everything and more.
If you , like me, publish your own work (my books are at Smashwords) there’s a huuuuuuuuge lesson here:
I bought the McDonald’s Cheesy Bacon Fries, knowing full well that it was just a box of salt, fat, and a strange orange semi-liquid cheese. No, I couldn’t eat them, because, well, ick. But I gave McD’s my money for the experience. It was all sizzle, and surely no steak.
It’s the sizzle. It has to be the sizzle – sizzle so alluring that it makes you buy a product you really know you shouldn’t have, just because, well, because there’s so much sizzle!
On the health side, I’ll fly with the crows.
But on the marketing side, I’ll take a page from McDonald’s!
Please don’t tell my wife.
Hashtags of sizzle:
#McDonald’s #authorsoninstagram #droppington place #marigolds end