Confusion! Is This a Public Blog or My Personal Diary?

The best (and worst!) gift I ever received was on my twelve birthday when my mother gave me a rainbow unicorn sequined covered diary with a tiny padlock and key and told me it was to record all my private thoughts. Looking back, perhaps she never uttered the word “private?” That would make sense and would explain why on the inside first page I had scrawled, “If found, please return to Stephanie at the following address:______. Under no circumstances should this diary be opened because it contains all my best secrets!”

On the back inside cover I’d painstakingly written, “Like what you’ve read? Are you an editor, publisher or producer? If so, we should talk!” And then printed my phone number with instructions to call collect. Obviously I thought my future huge royalties would cover any long distance charges. Hey, I was nobody’s fool! I’d heard of Go Ask Alice whose druggie days detailed in her entries were made public after she overdosed, and of course The Diary of Anne Frank which was immortalized in libraries forever. I just planned on having fame happen to me without the death part.

During the next five years, I used my diary for composing awful poetry, true confessions, angry tirades, fantasy crushes, and to trick nosy people like my brother (who I was certain was reading it while I was out on dates) into believing that our mother was planning to take him to Disneyland if he treated me a lot nicer. (Yes I stole that idea from a Brady Bunch episode.)

My mother also confiscated my diary during some particularly angsty teenage turbulence and took it to a psychiatrist, using it as evidence to obtain a prescription for Prozac for me.

This little journal of mine was also the impetus which had me wondering what other diarists were writing behind their own locks and keys? And that was the start of my digging into the dresser drawers of my cousins during family gatherings, my friends’ closets when I was invited to their home after school — often turning up paragraphs that were about me, saying some not so nice things. One or two diary authors even had the nerve to write, “That Stephanie sure has become a prying busybody!” Hmmph, can you imagine?  So that’s what people really thought, but wouldn’t say so to my face!

My snooping addiction continued on for decades and I suppose I must now formally apologize to all the mothers/wives of the children I supervised and whose lingerie chests I rummaged through after I tucked their kids into bed and found their treasure trove of R-rated paraphernalia, amongst a few diaries, which contained absolutely nothing about me — and wouldn’t it have been awfully strange if they HAD written about their awkward babysitter? So please forgive me, ladies!

I soon graduated from ‘Diary Invading’ to ‘Eavesdropping’ and I accomplished that by quietly listening in on extensions of landline telephones, putting my ear to the walls of closed doors, and even playing messages left on other people’s answering machines by obtaining their 3-digit remote codes which were stamped underneath. But who could blame me? By that time I had learned that you never knew what anyone truly thought of you unless you investigated thoroughly. You can read about my spying sprees  HERE and  HERE.

Fast forward to present day and this blog. I sometimes find myself elaborately filtering my content (just as I strategically planned out what I’d put in my diary all those years ago) by calculating who exactly my readers will be. Many times I’ll edit and delete confidential truths that would make me feel extremely vulnerable and exposed if ex-husbands, old boyfriends, relatives, girlfriends, or my own children perused my posts. And they definitely do! Other times I get extremely brave and throw caution to the wind like THIS ONE.

In fact, the reactions of followers who know me in real life never ceases to amaze me no matter how careful I am. Some are furious when something they’ve said gets incorporated into an article, yet there’s nothing attributing the cleverness of the remark to them. (I’ve started accommodating them with footnotes and bibliographies.) Then there’s my 1st ex-husband who doesn’t waste his “valuable” time reading here, but will often send me cease and desist letters because a mutual friend has told him, “Uh oh. Stephanie’s at it again, saying negative things about your engineering personality being as much fun as getting a cavity filled after getting your appendix removed.” I’ll manage to convince him that the insult was really aimed toward dentists and surgeons, because how could anyone ever disparage his “sparkling” disposition?? He’ll agree wholeheartedly and we’ll hang up wishing each other well.

Here are other typical responses from people I’m connected to:

My Mom — I don’t do those controlling things you say I do in your blog. I hope your readers know what a wild imagination you have! By the way, a little Prozac would help you settle down.

My 2nd Ex-Husband — Remember…our divorce decree specifically states on page 7, paragraph 12 that from this date forward, I am to be hereby referenced solely as “1st-ex-husband, The Engineer” in all of your publications.

Boyfriend — You’re taking notes in your head about our date tonight, aren’t you? Here, let me open the car door for you. Let me get the check. I didn’t realize you were allergic to daffodils. Next time, roses for sure. My name is spelled with a G not a J for Yelp review purposes.

Daughter — Thanks a lot, Mom. I just failed my Department of Motor Vehicles exam because the test driver who took me out is a follower of your blog and read this POST!

Son — My seventh grade teacher reads your blog regularly but still marked me as an unexcused absence yesterday for Rosh Hashanah. Can you write one of your really long and boring,  um… humorous posts about Judaism and make sure it spells out that I was dutifully sitting next to you in synagogue yesterday? Thanks and Shalom, Mom!

God — Hello down there, Stephanie D. Lewis! What in God’s My Name do you think you’re doing? You’ve reduced me to a mere online presence just to get published  HERE in The Huffington Post? You don’t think I’m a subject matter worthy of at least something people hold tangibly in their hands and often find in hotels? Like People Magazine??!

Writers: Do you ever modify your blog posts based on who you think could be out there reading? Or do you just write whatever you want, no holds barred? Readers: Do you get annoyed when you show up in someone’s writing?

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What NOT to Say to Someone With Writer’s Block!

You may have noticed the frequency of posts around here has dropped slightly plummeted drastically. Without a doubt, this is the longest case of Writer’s Block I’ve ever had. Aside from neglecting this blog, I can’t write my local humor column assignments, I can’t write freelance work for clients, I can’t continue another novel I’ve been excited about, I can’t journal, I can’t write a creative email to someone I really adore, nor a birthday card, nor create an excuse note for my child to get out of P.E. class — I cannot even make out a grocery list.

Regarding the last one, I literally sat and asked myself, “What’s another way of saying “Buy milk?” And it took me a really long time to come up with “Obtain pasteurized, homogenized cow’s juice.” And then I got grossed out and crossed it off.

And through it all, well-meaning family and friends aggravate me beyond belief with the things they say to me. So I’ve compiled a few. Ready?

NEVER EVER OFFER THESE SOLUTIONS….

“Just write about _________.”  And then blurt out the first random inane word that pops into your head. Like . . .  “Winklepickers!” or “Agastopia!” or “Tittynope!”

“Anything you write will be brilliant.” (Thanks Grandma, but now you’ve just ratcheted up expectations, so you may as well just cue my nervous breakdown.)

“Who can think with so much hair on their head? What you need is a sweet little pixie cut like I gave you when you were five, so I can see those pretty eyes and your thoughts will be able to flow more freely.” (Nice try, Mom.)

“Good sex has been preventing Writer’s Block for decades.” (Even though this won’t work, you may not care if he’s really good.)

“Ran out of material, did ya? I’m free to go to coffee and you can interview me.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re overestimating the consequences of this issue. Who actually reads what you write anyhow?” (I immediately introduced this individual to my Grandma.)

“All the greats were rejected before they had bestsellers. Google Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind.” (Okay, what? You’re not even listening to me. You have to write something before it can be rejected.   I. Cannot. Write. A. Thing.)

“Take a hot bath.” (This same advice also came from this person after my marriage fell apart, after I cracked a rib, when I mentioned I wanted to eat a bunch of chocolate, when my dad passed away, when my house had a mold infestation, and when I’d get a HOT flash.)

“C’mon, whadya working on? How difficult can it be? I’ll write it for you lickety-split.”

“Your muse was abducted. She got into a car she thought was her Uber driver and was sold as a sex slave, but there’s a pregnant psychic in Rhode Island who was tracking her down using a secret code from her unborn baby’s kicks but yesterday the child entered this world and now you’ll just have to wait until she learns to talk.” (This person just called, thanking me for sharing that I had writer’s block, because they now have a three book contract.)

“Writer’s Block….pfffffft! There’s no such thing. It’s just something you made up in your head, dearie.” (I CANNOT make anything up in my head. That’s the problem.)

“So then start in the middle.” (This person used to tell me to start at the end and work backwards, but I slapped him.)

“Try my clever writing prompt …. Satan has instructed his incompetent younger brother, Stan, to open a milder version of Hell known as Heck. How does one end up there, and what punishments does Stan devise?” (Aw, just go to Heck!)

“Read books by Jane Austin. That always helped my Aunt Fran when she had any kind of feminine problem.”

“Just get rid of your inner critic.” (Yes, thank you. I’ll order her an Uber to Rhode Island)

“Write about having Writer’s Block.” (Seriously?? I’d sooner die.)

Of course! Just burn this candle….along with any putrid words you’ve managed to write.

6 Expert Blogging Tips You Should Promptly Ignore!

1. Blog Every Day — Do NOT do this! I’m actually waiting for the “experts” to diagnose our blogs (which don’t have well-formed, regular posts coming out like clockwork) with having “Blogstipation” and prescribing us something like Metamucil (I met a Muse ill one time as well!) which would contain FingerFiber to unblock our hands when they’re too bloated to type. All kidding aside, if you’re going to put writing out there this consistently, you’re depriving your readers of that intense and exciting emotion known as “yearning.” They cannot miss you if you’re constantly in their face. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder!” Didn’t you ever find that message in your fortune cookie? Or do you subscribe to the opposite (idiotic?) idiom which goes, “Outa sight, outa mind!” and only holds true for spouses justifying cheating when their significant other is on a business trip.  I myself intentionally go months without posting something and then wait for readers to demand I return to the blogosphere, which is usually illustrated by them throwing me a “Coming Home” surprise party. Basically when I log into WordPress, a cheery notification pops up that says, “Welcome Back!” and that’s how I know my numerous fans simply cannot bear my playing hard to get anymore. Bottom line is keep ’em wanting more — blog twice yearly.

2. Write Great Content: Say what? No! Don’t do this. Once you start out with excellent stuff, you’re denying your readers the chance to say, “I knew Mr./Ms Blogger when they were writing pure drivel.” Here’s what you do — write mediocre paragraphs sandwiched by a yummy headline and a delicious call-to-action conclusion. This framework supports your post in the manner to which it’s become accustomed, and people only read those parts anyhow. Think about it. Do you really scrutinize the turkey or roast beef in your lunch or are you marveling at the golden flaky sourdough bread perfectly cradling the savory mayo and mustard? So toast your titles to perfection and spread the condiment conclusion extra thick. I guarantee any way you slice it, people will continue to order your blog!

3. Comment On Other Blogs Frequently:  The theory being that if you sprinkle enough breadcrumbs online, readers will trace those scintillating trail of comments back to your own writing. But do you really want a bunch of followers named Hansel and Gretel? And besides doing this will get you a reputation as a “Rampant Remarker” and you’ll have to drink Constant Comment tea! Just remember — “Those that can …do. Those that can’t… teach!” You’re smart enough to somehow tweak this bumper sticker proverb so it’ll work wisely for this example, aren’t you?

4. Run a Competition and give prizes!: Hold on there, Ed McMahon! (Did you know he never even officially worked for the Publisher’s Clearing House contest? Check it out right HERE) Think about it — you hold a competition to grow your blog bigger, right? But if you NEED to grow your blog, that means there are currently very few people reading it to enter your exciting contest. Every time the Academy Awards show “The Oscars” rolled around, I’d run a similar promotion on Once Upon Your Prime cleverly calling it, “The Blogademy Awards” or “The Bloscars” and advertise awesome prizes for all 25 different types of blogs. That’s right, instead of generating my own new writing material (and subsequently making people laugh) every post consisted of me obsessed with begging convincing potential contestants to enter my competition because I was the judge and I always wanted to be able to say, “Due to an overwhelming number of submissions for Best Supporting Blog, picking a winner was extremely difficult so therefore we have a tie!” But nooooooo, because I was too embarrassed to cancel my contest and confess there wasn’t enough competition, I ended up sending out gift cards to the same blogger who entered every single category. That’s right — they now have a lifetime supply of Starbucks and the following year they asked if the prize could be a Target gift card. Of course they did. Just say “NO!” to holding contests!

5. Be Controversial!:  Professional bloggers will tell you they got popular by taking an opposing view and not being afraid to offend people. This is supposed to make your blog go viral and (if you write humor like me?) maybe you can be the Don Rickles of blogging. No!! With three exceptions, don’t do this! The first is writing a blog on men carrying handbags — because you’ll not only have controversy, you’ll have contropursey! Alternatively ask, “Should there be male assistants in doctor’s offices?” and then you’ll also have a big contronursey on your hands.  Or just play it safe and frustrate readers by typing in an irritating light-colored font like this. Of course we call that being Fontroversial!

6. Tell People to Ignore Expert Advice: It’s really transparent that you’re just trying to make others suck so your blog will stand out big time next to all the losers.

Readers: Leave any other tips you currently disregard in the comments

12 Bizarre Behaviors Belonging to the “Blogger Bunch!” (Yes, Us!)

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The Blogger Bunch!

Here’s a story of a bunch of writer-folks, who’re once a strange set of girls and boys,
Growing up they had their journals and diaries, pretty much ignored all other toys.
Till the one day when these wordsmiths met WordPress, they knew they’d be just as pleased as punch,
If this group could somehow form a Blogosphere, and that’s the way they became The Blogger Bunch!

 

Ready? Here we go!

12 Blogging Behaviors You Might Recognize!

 

  1. We excitedly register for a free online WordPress URL, spend hours (no days!) setting it up, picking a perfect theme, arranging widgets, plug-ins, clever headers, tag-lines, backgrounds, and fonts — only to realize when the blog is finished . . . we must now actually write! (Wow, some of us were those brides who registered for china patterns, ordered imprinted napkins, centerpieces, catering, picked out the perfect gown, only to realize when the wedding was finished . . . we must now actually marry!)
  2. When tax season rolls around, we secretly fantasize all our “Wonderful Writer’s Write-Offs.” Surely our accountant will find ways to justify those long lunches in restaurants (how else do we get ideas for posts if we don’t eavesdrop on other diners?) extravagant vacations (bloggers have to experience new places in order to write about them!) and the latest computers (Duh!). Upon hearing our CPA say, “Actually only office supplies will technically qualify!” we go out and . . .
  3. We purchase 180 boxes of paper-clips, saving all receipts.
  4. We come up with an amazingly witty title for a topic we know will win us thousands of new followers — and then Google it, only to discover . . .
  5. We get very depressed to see our great blogging idea has already been done. 43 times. We decide this shouldn’t really matter. Everybody!s heard that there are NO new thoughts in this wide world. We’ll simply Tweak things a bit and it will be completely original. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  6. Weeks later we are startled to find on the internet someone else’s post (that’s becoming a VIRAL SENSATION) which is essentially OUR tweak! We take to Twitter to announce our tweak is being savagely plagiarized. Tweet, Tweet, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  7. We contact an attorney to see about lawsuits, because something must be done about this grave injustice. The lawyer says, “Hmmm, this will be difficult to prove. All someone had to do was read your blog, make some tweaks of their own, and voilà! A new idea has been born. But can I phone you back tomorrow? I’m knee deep in a new case about a blogger using a photographer’s pictures from Shutterfly without getting copyright releases or giving attribution. Now THAT’S a slam dunk case!”
  8. We quickly delete every single one of the photographs from our posts in terror.
  9. We decide to take the focus off our own website and be a Good Blogger Samaritan — so we visit other people’s blogs to interact with their words, click “Like,” leave thought-provoking comments that will surely entice them (and all their many readers!) to follow our cute little remarks (Hansel & Gretel breadcrumbs anyone?) back to our own blogs where they will instantly become ensnared enthralled. (Gotcha!!!)
  10. When that doesn’t work, and still nobody is reading/following us, we think it cannot possibly be our writing. So we get to work changing our theme, header, tag-line, background, widgets, plug-ins, and fonts. Tweak! Tweak! And Tweet Tweet!
  11. “Ugh. Who wants to be married anyhow??”  We throw the bridal bouquet (made out of thousands of paper-clips) out to a sea of potential bloggers, raising high their eager, outstretched hands. Good luck to them! Good riddance blog.
  12. We turn on reruns of The Brady Bunch and call it a day.

Dear Bloggers:  Did I miss a common (bizarre?) behavior of yours?  Leave it in the comments section so we can all follow your clever words back to your own site and become enraptured! 😉

2.+Bizarre+Behavior+Characteristics+of+Psychological+Disorders

 

20 Tips on How NOT To Create a Successful Blog!

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  1. Decide that you need a new hobby, but because you’re a raging alcoholic and also because you have terrible knee injuries, home beer-brewing or bodybuilding would be risky and painful. By default, blogging seems a sobering and safe pastime.
  2. Announce to everyone and their uncle that your exciting mystery blog (more colorful and explosive than fireworks!) will burst into the World Wide Web on July 4th, 2017.
  3. Starting July 1st, send countdown emails to everyone you know. “4 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” then “3 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” etc. until finally it’s just “1 More Day Until Mystery Blog!”
  4. Become nervous with all the pressure and expectations you’ve built up and on the day of your blog’s birth, scramble for a good domain name and any interesting content.
  5. Call your new baby simply, “My Mystery Blog!” and make your first post a list of good places to view fireworks across the country. There! That oughta hold ’em until July 5th.
  6. Realize you need someone to host your blog, but nobody has the good manners to offer. Don’t be a rude guest and blatantly ask someone to host it for you. Briefly consider hiring Hostess, but then you’d have to write about Twinkies and Cupcakes. Conclude you’ve read enough Martha Stewart magazines to be able to Self-Host.
  7. Install WordPress even though you’ve never even installed carpet, tile, or a kitchen sink before. But don’t worry about installing any of those “plugins” — after all, it’s not like you need an outlet for a toaster. And certainly skip over anything that has the word “Yoast” in it. If they can’t be bothered to correct their typo in the word “Toast,” why should you be bothered to prepare bread with jam? Just have a bagel and cream-cheese instead.
  8. Choose whatever theme you prefer. Just avoid flying toasters as that’s passé.
  9. Contemplate whether you want to allow comments or not. Go ahead and permit comments, but make sure the people who leave them must first prove they are human by solving for X if Y = Yoast. To the 10th power.
  10. Find your blogging niche, which is just another way of saying “write what you’re passion about.” It can be anything except for Passion itself. Being passionate about passion is like being curious about curiosity. You’re not Alice in Wonderland.
  11. Define your ideal reader and then promptly forget about your blogging niche. From now on, you’ll want to solely cater your writing specifically for your new Followers. Example: Your very first subscriber goes by the name of, “Eat to the Beat!” They’re probably into food, so blog about recipes. However they might also be into music so write about Billboard’s Top 40. Your next follower’s name is “MamaBelly” so be sure and make your post about getting pregnant. However “MamaBelly” could mean they want to lose weight, so cover your bases and review the 5 Best Low Carb Diets. Your third and fourth subscriber’s names are “Raindrops on Roses” and “Where the Sun Don’t Shine” so play it safe and just blog about the weather. Keep incorporating a wide variety of topics in each post until every single reader feels you’re speaking directly to them. Never write just for yourself — you’re the last person who will be reading your blog.
  12. When people begin to remark it’s impossible to predict your subject matter, remind them that’s why you are “A Mystery Blog.” Tag your stuff with words like, “Guess What Now?” and “Mishmash” and “Hodgepodge.”
  13. Figure out the best time of day to post a new blog, taking into consideration all the different time zones of your 8 followers. Evening hours work best if you want your blog to be considered a cure for insomnia.
  14. Decide you’ve lived your life a bit too safely, never running a red light or telling a single white lie. Google lots of awesome photo images for your blog posts and then cut n’ paste without paying for them or giving proper attribution. Stay up late at night flirting with disaster and tempting fate each time your blog is viewed.
  15. Hire a lawyer to plea bargain on your behalf for Copyright Infringement.
  16. Admit that this whole thing is far more work than you thought and invite a friend to co-author your blog with you. But always place your initials in parenthesis after an especially witty sentence so that readers will continue to know it’s really still YOU they’re laughing at. (LMM)
  17. Never visit other blogs. Once you begin reading their stuff, you will be distracted from writing your own. Or worse, accused of trespassing. It’s “a blog eat blog world out there” so mind your own business! If you do peruse other blogs, take care to leave zero evidence behind. Even a short “this was great!” comment can enable the blog owner to retrace the breadcrumbs back to your blog and then the jig is up. Didn’t your mother ever read Hansel and Gretel to you?
  18. Invite businesses onto your site so you can make money by keeping a percentage of what they sell. Hookers will fight over who gets to stand in front of your blog advertising “their wares.” But that happens on popular street corners as well. A good pimp will settle disputes.
  19. Don’t write articles with titles on, “How NOT to Do Something.” This will be confusing, deceiving, and contradictory. Should people do as you say but NOT as you do? No! Should they NOT do as you say and NOT do as you do? Yes!
  20. And lastly, check your statistics obsessively because they will tell the entire story of your success. If you see a lot of search terms having to do with raging alcoholics and terrible knee injuries, congratulate yourself on choosing the best hobby for you . . . BLOGGING!

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/loop/

How NOT to Get a Literary Agent (In 20 Simple Steps)

 

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If you’re a mediocre writer and want an agent to sign you….marry one. But if you’re a talented writer, all it takes is getting your book into the hands of the right literary agent and BINGO….instant representation! Just don’t do as I say and definitely don’t do as I do below….

  1. Binge watch all I Love Lucy episodes and realize your intense desire to have an agent discover your writing talent is just as fierce (if not more) than that of the famous, hairbrained redhead wanting to break into show business at Ricky’s nightclub.
  2. Decide you need your own equivalent of “The Tropicana” and register for a Writers Conference, where there are sure to be a ton of hot agents scouring to sign new, fledgling authors like yourself.
  3. Go on the internet to check out the hotel layout and notice they have lots of elevators. Forget taking the stairs for health reasons! Craft a captivating elevator pitch! Practice a witty escalator pitch too, just in case the elevators are out of order.
  4. While waiting in the airport for your plane, research “what to say in person to grab an agent’s interest.” Discover they love it when you liken the plot of your book to a mixture of two well-known exciting movies.
  5. Unexpectedly cross paths with a real live literary agent seated across the aisle on your flight. Blurt out, “King Kong Versus Godzilla!”
  6. Recall how Lucy Ricardo received lots of attention implementing creative publicity stunts. Eye the tall roof of the hotel with visions of “landing as a woman from Mars.” Consider the conference swimming pool as a place for a staged drowning so an agent can rescue you as you sputter out the opening line of your new novel, along with spitting chlorinated water.
  7. Wander upon some colorful tables set up in the lobby with established authors sitting behind large colorful stacks of their newly released books, cheerfully autographing covers for (what looks like) hungry agents.
  8. Open your backpack and impulsively place ten of your own self-published books (that’s all you’ve brought to the conference) on a nearby janitor’s supply cart so that (much like a bowl of unattended Halloween candy left on the porch for trick-or-treaters) every last copy will be gobbled up by influential individuals in the book industry.
  9. On the way up to the 12th floor to change clothes for the evening’s festivities, “accidentally” lean against the emergency button, (lurching things to a stop between floors 8 and 9) so that this group of agents are now a captive audience for your book pitch, and bonus – you won’t have to keep it under 30 seconds.
  10. Apologize when you find out they’re just other wanna-be-authors much like yourself, only angrier because you just made them late to the banquet dinner.
  11. Arrive in your room to see the red light lit up on the desk, indicating people have been trying to reach you. Wonder how many agents read the novels you left in the lower lobby, salivated, and have now beaten a path to your hotel room phone leaving messages like, “Let’s meet before dinner so you can sign my exclusivity representation agreement!”
  12. Call the front desk and retrieve a single message, “Nine of your books have been turned into the hotel Lost & Found. Please see the concierge to claim.”
  13. Daydream that the missing 10th book is under the pillow inside a prominent agent’s hotel room and he’ll be kept awake all night, turning pages.
  14. At the banquet, decide on a new tact that doesn’t involve displaying your books prominently in front of the cream-puffs on the dessert buffet. Resolve instead to place into the palm of any agent (reaching with an outstretched arm to shake your hand during introductions) a copy of your novel. What? ?  Like they’re gonna rudely just let it drop on the floor?
  15. Pick your book up off the carpet. Shout, “So nice meeting you!” to the agent’s backside as he hurries toward the stairway, because it’s recently been announced to “ride elevators at your own risk” at this particular writer’s conference.
  16. Walk into a workshop called, “Speed Pitching To An Agent” where the idea is to play musical chairs, quickly discussing your book with 15 different agents. Talk very fast! You’ve got this movie comparison thing down pat now. Tell them it’s a cross between “When Harry Met Sally” and “Planet of the Apes.” Claim you heard Nicolas Cage is dying for the lead role when your bestseller becomes an actual movie. What?? Do you think they have Nicky’s number and will call to confirm??
  17. Tell all the male agents “You wouldn’t understand my book, it’s geared toward female readers who want to become multi-orgasmic.”
  18. Sing your pitch or recite it in Pig-Latin.
  19. Contemplate launching into the VitaMeataVegaMin routine or lighting the tip of your fake nose on fire with a lit cigarette.
  20. Check-out of the hotel on Monday morning thoroughly encouraged because the janitor chased you out to the valet stand to thank you for leaving him your book with his cleaning supplies. He wants to know if you’ll mop all the lobby floors so he can find out how the book ends. Say, “Yes!”

It’s Feb! Hosting a Super Bowl or Oscars Awards party? Maybe combining the two?? Check out my new funny planning tips right HERE on the website Jewlarious! I’d love to hear from you over there.

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Do You Have Blog Blur? Take This Quiz!

fullsizerender-37BLOG BLUR – noun. The insidious and dangerous blurring of the boundaries between your Blogging life and the real world. “My husband cited “Blog Blur” as his reason for divorcing me. The judge gave him the house”

*Choose the answer that best describes how you feel about the question.

1. When You talk about individuals named,  “LivelyTwist” and “Morning Grouch” and “Surviving Butterfly” and “GlueStickMum” and “Writey McWriteface” and “Bitter Ben” or “Shallow Reflections,”  your family and friends assume you are referring to:

a)  New Muppet Characters that are making a debut on Sesame Street  this week  to teach kids about Feelings

b)  Some very troubled individuals in the new Twelve Step Anonymous program you recently attended

c)  Very real (and talented) Bloggers that you often have communications with

2.  A member of your household lost their job. A good friend recently started a steamy love affair. Your child got a C- on a History exam. A second cousin (who’s a painter) named her newborn baby, “Hunter Green.”  All of these people have this in common:

a) They call you for support, encouragement, understanding or applause.

b) They communicate their latest happenings with you in clever holiday newsletters

c) They advise you that this recent information is copyrighted, trademarked, or patented and under no circumstances are you to blog about it!

3.  When you complain about having trouble with your dashboard, your significant other:

a) Makes an appointment with the Toyota dealer to have the warning lights and the speedometer looked at.

b)  Looks puzzled regarding this new sport of yours and tells you to stick with a snowboard, surfboard, or even a hoverboard.

c) Immediately logs into WordPress.com and says triumphantly, “Well, here’s your problem right here.  You’re blogging too damn much!”

4. A Daily Prompt is:

a) An intriguing word or scenario that motivates you to write a creative new blog post

b) My body’s signal that I need chocolate

c) A note I leave on the dishwasher for other household members that says, “Empty Me Now!”

5.  If someone inquires about Stats:

a) You smile, bat your lashes, and tell them yours are, “36-23-36, of course.

b) You rattle off the number of TD’s, Interceptions, Fumbles and Passes Complete for the Seattle Seahawks and loudly assert they should have won the Super Bowl in 2015.

c) Whip out a computerized print-out, a yellow highlighter, and show the person how many hits your blog is currently receiving from Egypt.

6. Someone asks you to please stop following them. Do you? . . .

a) Apply the brakes and remember that in driver’s training you learned it should be one car length per every 10 mph.

b) Remind them that it’s a free country and if you want to wear skinny jeans with a paisley plaid flannel shirt and a backwards baseball cap, you will.  They don’t have a monopoly on fashion!

c)  Immediately click the “Unfollow” button on your blog.  You’ll show them!  They were lucky you gave them the time of day in the first place.

7.  When someone asks if you are happy with the new Post, you:

a)  Nod and offer to give them the name of the contractor that built the entire side fence around your house.

b)  Tell them, “Absolutely not, the price of stamps these days is outrageous.”

c) Launch into a diatribe about how many drafts it took you and how nobody left a single Like or a Comment.

8.  When you remind your kids to Share, you actually mean:

a)  You’ve given them extra cookies in their lunchbox and they should pass them out to friends.

b)  They should raise their hand and give an opinion when a teacher asks, “Class, what do you think?”

c) “For god’s sake, post a link to my latest blog on your Instagram and Facebook accounts or you’re losing your cellphone for a week!”

9. After you Tag, you:

a) Shout, “You’re it!” or “Gotcha last!”

b) Wipe your fingerprints off the can of spray paint so nobody traces the upcoming election graffiti back to you.

c) Hope and pray that every search engine in the world brings up your blog first

10.  Someone has asked you what kind of Views you have?  You:

a)  Say there are some decent ones from your backyard but your home would be worth much more if you could see the ocean from your bedroom window.

b)  Politely state that neither candidate is fit to run this country.

c)  Spout off an embarrassingly low number but tell them you’re working on publicizing your blog more (even offering prizes!) so you’re sure it will grow to be thousands.

* SCORING: Mostly A’s – Congratulations! You’re able to compartmentalize and keep both aspects of your life in order.  Mostly B’s – Your Worlds Are Colliding just like George Costanza in Seinfeld.  Mostly C’s – You have Blog Blur so bad, even Extra Strength Mindex won’t wipe away your confusion.  GET SOME HEALTHY SEPARATION RIGHT NOW!  (Right after you leave me a comment below!)

Hate me here? But you can still “Like” me on Facebook, can’t you??  Just click HERE!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dilemma/

How Lice Can Make You Rich !

price is rightThis is a parable. You can substitute anything at all for Lice in this (nit)witty allegory tale — Fleas, tics, bedbugs. Okay, seriously? This is a quick but true story of how parasites can become paradise!

Once upon a time (Note: there are far more original ways to begin a narrative than this so think up another one.) I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about how a mother of six deals with lice. The lice finally disappeared (or we may have given them away to some classmates, but that’s not really relevant here) and any reader laughs from the article also faded into Arianna’s (that’s Ms. Huffington’s first name) archives. All was forgotten.

Until….fast forward a year (Note: editors state that writing “fast forward” is an overdone, awkward device to depict the passage of time in your writing, so don’t use it!) when I get an email from the Chief Marketing Officer at Lice Clinics of America saying they need someone to dispel the public stigma of lice. Basically they needed someone who can write about nits and nymphs (a teenage louse) and other itch-worthy causations in a humorous way.

Well anyone who has read more than one of my blog posts knows the immediate reaction is to scratch your head and ponder, “Why does this woman think she’s even remotely funny?” And thus my humor was deemed louse-y enough to fit the bill. (Note: Self-deprecation is borderline acceptable as humor but fairly transparent as to its intentions, so don’t rely on this too much.)

But there was a major problem. My Little Miss Menopause persona simply would not do. It sounded old. And hot-flashy and crotchety. What could my new Pen Name be when writing about these fascinating creepy crawlies?  I thought of The Licey Lassy, aLice in Wonderland, Minnie Louse, and even Linda LoveLice came (no pun intended) to mind. An idea I thought was brilliant, “Glinda the Good Itch of the North” was blatantly rejected. Hmmmm. How will you Dear Reader, ever find out which alias I eventually came to use to become so well-known in the lice world? (Note: Cliffhangers can work but should be inserted at the end of your post.)

Here’s the real point for conveying the information in this post. If you write blogs ABOUT ANYTHING, there could be an unlikely paid opportunity just awaiting you as well. But the person has to know that you’re open to such possibilities and have a concrete way to contact you. After she read me on The Huffington Post, the Lice Chief Marketing Officer (lice have chiefs and they get marketed?) tracked me down to offer me this glamorous job from a category on top of my blog menu called “Hire Me To Humor You.”  You need to have something similar! Make one right this minute. (Note: Research shows that readers love to be told what to do by an author. It has something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.)

And now without further ado, I implore you to follow my brand new blog aptly called “Sugar & Spice & Everything Lice” because even though Lice are no laughing matter, I’m going to find a way to make them at the very least, a chuckling matter. And also because they’ve given me permission to write about other subjects as well, just so long as I loosely relate them back to lice. Therefore you can expect the topic of sex to surface at my new Lice blog quite often! (Note: Sex Still Sells!)

PS.  If any readers think I’m selling out, you should know that I have firm self-respecting boundaries.  I draw the line at writing about termites. Crickets however will be okay because duh…Jiminy and Pinocchio. (Note: Very bad idea if you’re trying to get followers to a new blog about lice to suddenly end with a Walt Disney movie reference. Give the original link once again so the last thing on their minds is to click and follow it RIGHT HERE.)

If You’re a Blogger, You Might Need These Tips (And If You Need These Tips, You Might Be a Blogger) Maybe!

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There’s a famous saying that every blog has its day! So without further ado . . .  on with The Ten Tips — And you can just take what you want (in a little doggy err bloggy bag) and leave the rest for other readers to digest.

  1. Your Job Title – When you’re at a cocktail party and you’re asked about your profession, do NOT just give a simplistic, two syllable, seven letter career name like “Blogger” or “Writer” or “Author.” How is that going to command any kind of respect? We’re Wordsmiths but we can’t even generate an impressive description for what we do all day?  Try these instead. a) A Controller in the Language Industry b) A Disseminator of Thought Processes c) An Ideation Ideologist.  See if that doesn’t cause a few people to avert their eyes, murmur, “Wow” and bow in deference. The host might even raise his glass in a toasting gesture.
  2. Suggestions — Learn to cut people off who offer you “terrific ideas” for your blog. WTF?  Why does everyone who finds out you’re a blogger think you’ve run dry and it’s their civic duty to tell you their life story so you’ll be chalk full of entertaining posts again?  And they always end by saying, “You can use that story for free!” Gee, thanks.  I don’t go up to my physician with a toy stethoscope from my son’s Doctor’s Kit and say, “Here!  Take this!  I won’t even charge you!”
  3. Conclusions — Always end your articles or blogs with some sort of “Call To Action” for the reader. Sometimes readers just need a nudge or a little direction. You can ask the reader to leave a comment, like it on Facebook, or request that he Tweet it on Twitter. I usually make my Calls To Action very personal. For example — “Please show up at the author’s home with dust rags and Windex this Saturday at 10 am.”
  4. Write-offs– For income tax purposes (you must do ample exploration of your location so it’s realistic, yes??) always set your blog post somewhere beautiful and exotic. Seriously, would you rather research events that take place in Costa Rica or Tahiti — or your bathtub?
  5. Lifelike — You want fictional people to be believable in your writing, so be sure and flesh out all your characters. You may even want to completely flush out a character, if one of them is due for a colonoscopy.
  6. There are NO NEW IDEAS.  — Got that?  If you have an idea that you think has never been done before, Google it and trust me, it’s already out there in some form. All plots loosely fall under these three categories — 1. Man Against Man. 2. Man Against Himself. 3. Man Against His Dishwasher.
  7. Plagiarism — Don’t do it. Take this vow:  “I pledge-arize not to plagiarize.” However, there are a lot of poems, famous sayings, and quotes out there that list “Author Unknown” at the bottom of them.  So even though “There Are No New Ideas” (see #6)  that doesn’t mean you cannot take credit for some old, anonymous ones. Does it?
  8. Reviews — Most bloggers are shy about asking people to review them on Linkedin or Amazon (if they’ve written a book) but you can do this in an innocent, charming way that harkens back to grade school. Simply pass your reader a folded note with a bashful smile, and they can check off the appropriate box. yes-or-no
  9. Funny! — Become a Humor Blogger so that when people don’t like what you’ve put out there you can always say, “That was just a joke.  Here’s the REAL blog.”
  10. To Be Continued — Always leave a cliffhanger (especially effective if your name is Clifford!) to ANYTHING you write.  Notice that there were only 9 real tips in this post?  But now you’ll keep checking back to see if I add a 10th item, won’t you?

Reader CALL TO ACTION!  Please leave a comment or take out my kitchen trash.  Your choice. But should you let sleeping dogs err blogs lie? Maybe!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/maybe/

Don’t Let Your Blog Sleep Like a Log!

photo-67Don’t let sleeping blogs lie, either.  It’s time to blow, err blog everyone’s mind with your fantastic writing. But that means getting your blog out there beyond just WordPress. I’ve learned that blog promotion isn’t just optional, it’s obligatory  oblogatory!  But you know me, I’m not going to just repeat all the traditional, conventional ways you’ve heard before to make your blog’s presence known.  Click HERE to read my ten UNIQUE tips which are featured on a very wonderful site called Mostly Blogging. If you don’t — well it just might always be a “blog eat blog world” out there for you, my friend.