Another Day Another Blog Post

 

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First I pondered

The fact is, there has been a long gap since the last time that I blogged.  I had a burst of blogging that lasted for a few weeks and then it petered out and for a while I didn’t feel that I had as much to say so I just stopped.

Over time, I watched the stats to see what happened and pondered this whole matter.

Why do I do it?

The reality is that my blogging is “holistic” which is another way of saying ‘hodge podge’ and off-base.  My blogging often fails to perform like the purely professional blog of an author.  It also fails to be purely personal.  In some respects this is healthier but for professional purposes it doesn’t seem to help.

Let’s face it, some days I just want people to buy my novels or short fiction stories instead of not.  I am so sick of people not spending to buy and read my fiction and non-fiction.  I don’t have a gigantic advertising budget and am not harsh enough to make you all buy.  My purse and bank accounts would appreciate it if I or personal henchmen of mine would make you all buy my published fiction and non-fiction that is for sale so I can get *&^% paid for working!

Other days, I blog because I just want to connect with other real people.  I’d rather do so in person, but either due to spending issues or laziness or loving being at home, I try blogging to do it.  This is also OK but is an entirely different motive.

There are also many times when I have blogged hoping that it would actually help others, with a secondary motive that someone might hear of me and some day it might lead to landing a job or selling copies of my novels, or making friends or all of the above.

 

 

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Blog History

I think it’s true that someone hired me to ghostwrite at their real estate blog as a pro. prior to my ever writing a blog of my own.  That was way back in the previous decade…and here are near the end of the next one.

Aside from that, I mainly remember that just as I started to get into structured blogging and advanced zhan Zhuang qi gong, I somehow suffered from a setback which made it so that I haven’t made any definite progress in those directions since.

I blogged for years; then began to get more professional and more structured about it; then had a setback; then did less, and then resumed some kind of undisciplined, wild blogging.

Today

Today, I suppose I picked ‘interactive’ motivation in that I didn’t know what to blog.  So, I read a couple of other peoples’ posts.  After that I just wrote this.

Value / Lesson

Maybe this will reach someone.  I guess the best result for any readers would be that whole “motive awareness” aspect of it….but I can’t guarantee that it won’t be the amazing photo of the solar eclipse.

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Hypergrid Business

Tech Magazines

One of the many types of magazines around nowadays are tech magazines.  Some of these are off line and on, some only on.  To my pleasant astonishment, a few years ago now, I discovered that a woman from my math class our Senior year of high school was managing editor of an online tech magazine called Hypergrid Business.  As I was seeking more professional writing work, I reached out to her.

She let me try a few articles.  As some of you know “writing” is a very general category.  This was tech article journalism rather than creating website content for small businesses, or ghostwriting parts of or entire drafts of nonfiction books, or novel writing, all of which I have tried my hand at.

Despite our limited success working together, I am posting links to some of these.  I learned more about Second Life and other online methods for having group meetings and exploring visual environments ….by writing for Hypergrid Business.

Startled Cat: Story Immersion

Virtual Avatars & Real Life

Was that you or the editor?

For those of you who are not professional writers, I want to disclose to you that although I am the real author of both of these articles, Maria Korolov was the editor of them both.  The changes that she made, did cause me to have a strong reaction.  My first emotion was “Wow, this is so changed I feel confused about whether or not I am even the author of this article.”  That emotion is commonplace amongst inexperienced professional journalists, novelists, and all kinds of writers.

Much ghostwriting creates emotions more like what editors sometimes experience: I wrote so much of this, and yet, my name is not likely to be mentioned in association with it.  Sometimes I would be hired by a business start up to write them website content.  They would give me the word #, the topic of the article, the theme and all of that.  Then I would do all of the writing of the piece.  In some cases, the business would then have an editor make whatever other changes…I have seen works I wrote that were barely changed by the editor and other pieces that left me feeling like….Well, if it were making a pie here’s the story:

I put together the crust and the filling and baked it and my friend checked it and gouged out most of the filling and re-baked the thing.  Somehow she managed to not burn my crust….In the end all that I felt was “my work” was the pie crust, but my friend told me not to worry and still gave me the full credit for the pie.

Ghostwriting: using the same analogy.  I was hired by someone who told me what type of pie they wanted and when.  I agreed to take care of it by a deadline for a preset fee.  They left me alone and I made the pie and they checked it over.  They paid me.  The rest was out of my hands.

Author

I told me what to write and I did.  Then I went and edited the thing a lot, quite possibly more than once.  Then I went around trying to sell it.

To this day in 2019 I still get weirded out about how different it is to make a work, and go around trying to sell it compared to being hired to write something and told what to write…then doing that and not having all kinds of weirdness about being paid for my work.

Pleading forgiveness

I ask that you, random readers, forgive me if you need to, for how I have casually rambled on about the over arching picture for professional authors, writers, copywriting, journalism instead of just neatly posting the tech articles and not writing anything else.

Time Since Then

In truth, my main published items since back then have been review articles and entire novels of my own, which I am still trying to earn money for having written.

During the past few months as well as blogging, I have bid on some contracts to do freelance and applied for some staff writing jobs; some from home and others that would involve going to an office and including work colleagues.

Strange is the world of professional writers.

About Blogging

Today

Today’s inspiration is a Christian Mihai post.  He’s turned up in my stream of awareness in part due to his frequent blogging and having also authored some books as have I.

I just read one of his blog posts about blogging.  It gave a brief synopsis of his own history with this.

Blogging and I

Me and blogging

The first time I wrote a blog post was back in 2012 or even earlier.  Because of how old I am, that does not seem like that long ago, but really it was.

The first time I became aware of professional blogging might have been 2013.  It is so vague to me at the moment that I feel it could have been as long ago as 2004 …because I landed a gig doing real estate blog posts that once included researching Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia which later became the surname of the villain in my novel The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.

It wasn’t until years after I dealt with that, that I tried blogging my own blog.  The first time I tried this very location for blogging was in 2013 if not 2012.

There was a time, for some reason I recall it more clearly, in 2014 when I was just about to create more structure for the weekly cycle of posting at my blog when I somehow experienced some kind of setback….I don’t recall what exactly the actual cause was, but only that…rather than successfully moving forward with setting up and maintaining a more highly structured weekly posting schedule nothing happened for a long time and then eventually I resumed trying to just sort of post on whatever.

Awkward Truths

I think it had something to do with how I have had a good 30 to 40 fellow authors in my Fb friends list, and news feed but then, when I started to ask them about doing guest posts or being guests on my blog, everything fell apart and doubts developed about the quality of my relationships with fellow authors.

General Background Realities

2003 through 2011 I steadily earned more money each year writing professionally, but as a painfully low paid freelancer most of the time.

The first time I was paid for publication was in 1994 when I was still an undergraduate due to being on & off with respect to working full time and working only part time as a work-study or going without working for pay while studying.

In 1999 I moved from England back to the USA but for the first time to Indianapolis and my son was fortunately brought over to me with his father (who is a German I met in intimate association with attending graduate school at Middlesex University in London, England).  That was already 4 years after having started a correspondence ‘trade school’ type of professional creative writing course with the Writer’s Bureau which is also English rather than American.

My son turned 4 years old that year.

In 2010 we moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to a village South of the city of Bremen, in Northwestern Germany.  This had to do with what I studied in graduate school and why and to do with how that had enabled a German man my age to market himself to me (romantically speaking).

My son turned 18 years old in 2013.

If you check the archives for this blog, you can find posts going back at least that far.

Some years I have put more into the blog than other years.  I’m not sure how to describe the results aside from ‘other than as expected’.

 

Blog Blog Bling 2019

Connecting Online Again

Once again, I have experienced online connections that are entirely real, and mutual.  This has happened within the past 48 hours.

During that same time period I have also watched videos online that made me feel connected but really just cause me to participate in the freebie portion of a complicated advertisement.

Today, I have looked at my WordPress “Stats” and have found that most likely, the underlying causes for the downward change are the following: 1) a few days went by without my blogging new posts.  2) I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes reading other bloggers posts at WordPress.

In-system versus Domains

Wealthy Affiliate

Many of you know what is going on, but some may not have yet noticed.  What we get depends a lot on who we know, how much we can afford to spend and what kinds of things we spend on.  Thanks to this, millions of us have access to free or extremely low cost websites and blogging technologies, but there is a caveat: the freebie versions are normally limited to ‘in system’.

I most noticed this in-system versus domain name difference when I belonged to Wealthy Affiliate.  I joined there to get a free website and to market my own products (books and ghostwriting services).  There was an opportunity to learn about affiliate marketing.  I was not honestly interested in that, but as that was most likely the real motivation behind the organization, I went ahead and learned about it.  In truth, I tried it at my website.

All the business for my own interests that I found when using Wealthy Affiliate, was other members of Wealthy Affiliate hiring me to help them improve their websites by paying me to ghostwrite web content or to edit their website content or writing papers related to their business websites.

So far, I have tried Wealthy Affiliate twice.  The first time, I did earn significantly more than the membership cost me, but nothing like what a real, supportive full time job or good husband (yes, I have female bias due to being female) but the second time I lost money.  In one case, I earned about $0.70 from the “affiliate marketing”.  In the other case, I didn’t make money any better from that than I did from selling my own products and services via the same website.

The people who were members came across as very pleasantly friendly.  It was fairly easy to connect with them online and sharing information was smooth.

There was a large contingent of us who were dealing with websites that were low-cost but were only even functioning within the realm of the Wealthy Affiliate zone.

It was possible to free ourselves of that situation, but it required spending a lot more money.  Given that our need was to earn money, a lot of us got sort of locked in or ‘locked down’ at that stage of the process.

SBPRA

SBPRA is the publishing company of both of the novels that I have released so far.  They have provided author websites that can be accessed from the outside but both have their name on them still.  I have had to both spend more money and have had to learn in an effort to even get the website to function beyond ‘in system’.

I have mixed feelings about SBPRA.  I am very happy that they did or claimed to have accepted my manuscripts entirely because they are good enough and not because they are self-publishers who don’t care whether or not it is good as long as I will spend.  I am very grateful and happy that they have helped me to get respectable quality bound novels with good covers.  I am grateful that they provided me with a literary agent for one year for my first novel.

I am aware that really don’t have a good reputation, so much so, that they can be found on Writer Beware.  I realize that it is both true that innovation which threatens the status quo can get a ‘bad rap’ and it is also true that often a bad reputation develops as a direct consequence of bad practices.  SBPRA tried to charge me fees for services which a traditional publisher would provide me with at no fee.  Instead of paying me, the author, for the privilege of publishing my book, they did not.  However, they did grant me a nonexclusive publishing contract; they have produced respectable copies of the novels.  They have provided websites.  They have offered other services to support the work.  In my view this is much worse than the kind of publishing deal that I would like and vastly superior to what the situation would be like had I been limited to self-publishing.  It is that another publishing company did pick up one of my novels in another variation of deals that are horrible compared to excellent publishing deals and great compared to “shark tank victimization” deals.  The other publishing company offered to publish at both no fee and no pay out to me of an advance….in an exclusive contract but then didn’t release the book within the year and a half that they had the book.  They did get the cover together during that time.

The websites had an ‘in system’ look about them, but I have spent on a domain name so they hopefully won’t have this kind of problem.

WordPress

Here we are at WordPress, having our blogs.  We can spend enough to make it so that our blogs won’t be limited to having an ‘in system’ type of circulation.  It could be argued that WordPress has tacitly told us that as long as we promote WordPress using their logo on our blogs they will let us blog without spending a lot more money but society has also told us that we may be frowned upon as being insufficiently professional in approach and online appearance, unless we operate without these other organization’s labels.

You (plural) i.e. You all

I’d love to read responses or comments from any of you about this.  Is this a great topic or does it seem too elementary: intro to use of the Internet for business?

Have you (plural) had the same kinds of experiences?  How have you overcome these challenges?

Writer’s Life

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Anyone have anything to say?

The fact is that the written word is still using the language.

Writers are:

  1. Just people who have the gift of gab and the time or the patience to do it in writing.
  2.  People who tend to have something to say.  In some cases these are just egocentric people who love attention.  Other times, these are insightful thinkers who have great input.
  3.  Lonely people who want to talk to someone.
  4.  Happy people who prefer to hang out alone more than very extroverted, social people but not nearly as much as most hermits.

Images,

but not in pictures….Novelists: male: Dr. Watson, the narrator and character of the Sherlock Holmes stories.  Neil Gaiman.  Novelists female:  the lady from the TV show ‘Murder she wrote’ and JK Rowling.

Journalists: Walter Kronkite and Barbara Walters.  Next generations: Diane Sawyer and John Stewart.  These are very well dressed, fast-talkers able to do rapid research and behind the scenes are adept at accepting criticism and making editorial changes, on a daily basis, at the office.

Still, we also have the image of the war-correspondent: some nutter who went overseas and dangerous to get 5 minutes on TV.  Some of us still recall that 10 years ago or so, a freelance journalist broke into the mainstream with some of his work over in Iraq and ended up getting offered a “real job at NBC”.   That’s a clue as to how tough it is for freelancers and how many rightly assume that freelancers are people hoping to get a steady job as staff writers.

Freelancers

People doing it for love.  People desperately trying to break into the field.  Hobbyists, who just want to write for fun now and then and are happy to get the occasional ‘prize money’ of being paid for a published item.

Millenials and younger

Women and college students, trying their hand to earn a few bucks doing something cool that can be done while kids are playing around in the house.

These are sometimes poor people who have been trying to earn a living writing for varying amounts of time.  They may be depressed, or drunkards, or totally fascinating people.

YA and Children’s

Either people with decent day jobs or ‘miracle mom’ types who are able to earn a steady living from sales of their books.

People who seem to have won the ‘incredibly successful book lottery’.  When asked, the swear they are overwhelmed and thrilled at the success of their book.  They are now swimming in more money than they know what to do with.  Often it is something like a fuzzy caterpillar book, or a dragon illustrated by previously unknown illustrator and everyone with children the right age for it are reading it and everyone just loves the book.

Staff Writers

People earning a living.  Often the younger ones are financially poor but still have hope.  The older ones are sometimes still poor but many are lower middle class and have a weird vibe because if asked they just have a day job and would never write for anyone who wouldn’t pay them.  These blend in seamlessly with other workers during lunch breaks in big cities when people are out of the office and bustling about.

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Blogospheric Interactions 2

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Rejoice, Review

This morning, to my great joy, I was able to perform a formatting act which I failed at doing the previous time I tried to the exact same thing.

Some of you may have noticed that I at times write posts based on someone else’s post that I read.  This allows me to go on way longer than I might in a reasonable comment, and to show you all how much I like to interact and that I have read and felt inspired by someone else’s post.

For the sake of sharing information, here are the blogs that normally show up first and foremost at my Reader Side if I don’t do anything to change anything.  MakeItUltra, Christian Mihai, Isha Garga (?correct spelling?), and SciFi Buddha are the ones I tend to see first.  I have seen Dellani Oates who is also a Facebook friend.

Well Known Nonsequiter

One of the two pet cats is showing some interest in my presence and the wires of the headphones dangling from the laptop.  Despite having had no innate interest whatsoever, the fact that I am interacting with the device and being here is enough for her to request some attention.

Much like with children or wives, or perhaps elderly parents, I do not believe there is anything wrong with the cat wanting some attention.  I think that is a legitimate need.  However, as nearly every one of you knows, it is somehow both annoying and endearing when pets get in the way or distract from some kind of purposive activity in their effort to get some needed attention.

Perhaps more relevant to you

At this point, I would like to encourage you to do the same.  Obviously, I will take it as a compliment if you blog about my blog post, but I think that writing responsive blogs to those of someone else, whenever you feel you have more than 200 words to say on what you’ve read, is a good idea.  It will show us all the more, how interactive this format can be.

In truth, all the news is interactive on some levels, but this is more evident on some occasions but not on others.

Today’s Intention

This blog post should be viewed by the readers as an experiment in connection with you all.  It makes a big difference whether or not any of you see this, read it and provide feedback that I will be able to notice at my end within the upcoming week.

If so, I hope you feel that I’ve reached out, so to speak, without embarrassing myself in any way.

 

Who’s Tutweiler Buckhead?

Who?

Who is this man?  In truth, that’s the big question that the protagonists want to know.  The cops know a little bit about him, but unlike you, they don’t even know his name.  That’s a slight tease: all you do know is his name…and that’s the one piece of information the cops would most like to have.

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead  may be one of the first if not only, mystery novels named after the villain.  Perhaps you should chime in on whether or not you feel this makes the novel more attractive, or if you find it misleading, as far as titles are concerned.

The novel is an action adventure story set in the city of Indianapolis, which is where I lived when I wrote the first couple of drafts.

The story is not told from Tutweiler’s perspective.  In fact, if he could respond to this post it would only be to hope that no one notices it or else that no one takes it seriously, because of how much he is evading the Police with some of his activities, but not all of them.

Tutweiler is also honestly not based on any single real-life person but I suppose anyone like Tutweiler might worry that this was about him.  In reality, in my fictions stories, especially novels, each character is a composite of at least 4 different people.  To share a sad joke, the other day I saw a video in which Tai Lopez essentially said this ideal girlfriend is also a composite of at least 3 different women.  While that may be painfully true, I immediately thought of the way that I personally write fiction and how I do that intentionally in the invention of characters for novels…but would not find it so helpful for making myself content within a marriage.

The name is very intentionally exotic.  I think I found his first name doing Internet research about dog breeds while scouting the terrain for potential freelance writing contracts over a decade ago.  Strangely enough, I do recall specifically how I came up with the character’s surname.  I was being paid to write a real estate blog for a little while and through the related research learned that Buckhead is one of the fancier neighborhoods in greater Atlanta, Georgia.  Well, something about it struck me as fitting.

White Collar Criminals

I am willing to divulge, and I hope it’s not a spoiler, that Tutweiler is a white collar type of criminal, but even telling you that I begin to digress into that character’s personal issues that are explained in chapters of the novel.

Everyone who has known or hated white collar criminals will appreciate this.

What’s the plot line?

It’s really about finding out who Tutweiler actually is, and saddling him with the burden of the responsibility for some of his actions.  Mind you, he’s enough of a real person type of villain that there is a lot more to him than just his crimes.

The City of Indianapolis resorts to using a special squad of 4 who are a compromise between the law enforcement agencies and vigilantes.   The 4 are not all alike, which will appeal more to some readers than others.   Three types of people will feel most at home with our protagonists: 1) people who like those crime TV shows like NCIS where there is obviously a team solving a criminal case, 2) fantasy role play gamers who are used to thinking in terms of “adventuring parties”, 3) people who love comic book heroes and heroines.  (old use of the actual feminine form instead of only the masculine grammatical form).  If you or someone you know is any of those types, then you might really like this novel.

Magical Realism

Fans of fantasy might be terribly disappointed by level of magic in The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.  In fact, here’s a link to a  negative book review – fantasy disappointment.   There is some magic and occultism in the novel, but it does not conform to either sword and sorcery nor to ‘Satanic crimes’ genre expectations.  It may live up to the standards of magical realism.

There is also God related magic in the novel, and in this case, it is done by Christians rather than say Buddhists or Hindus ala Dr. Strange.

Other details

The writing style developed from someone who finds it normal if you take advanced classes in high school or go to college in stark contrast to someone who thought all that would go right over your head.  This is not a book written “at an 8th grade reading level” so that foreigners and kids can feel as if they understand the English language.   Be prepared for relatively long sentences and descriptive sub-clauses.

Interested?

If this sounds like your type of thing, then just scroll on up and click on the link.   The review is also real by the way and not a ‘brain wash positive’ work of paid promotional advertising.

If you go for it, I hope you love it.

I would be thrilled if anyone who reads it would bother to post a comment or a semi-public or public review of the reader’s own free will.