Did I Mention My Invention Convention?

next great ideaIf you can’t be a famous Blogger, you might as well become a well-known Inventor, right? I come from a long line of innovative Idea People. In fact my great, great grandmother was the first person to cook her stuffing INSIDE the turkey at Thanksgiving.  You can thank her for having one less pot to wash each year.

But every time I come up with something mega clever, I Google it and sure enough, someone has already beaten me to it.  And with wild success, I might add.  Are there no more original ideas left?

Complaining to my attorney friend (who always has a runny nose and never any tissues)  that I can’t afford to patent or register/trademark my ingenuity, he told me all I need do is write down my idea, mail it to myself through the U.S. postal service and save the unopened envelope.  He then sneezed and wiped it on his sleeve.  Eww.  I wrote down, “Man’s necktie made out of handkerchief material,” sent it off and when it arrived, I stuck it unopened in my sock drawer.  Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeasy! (I invented that phrase, by the way.)

Before I get to my sock drawer day in court, here are some of the other inventions I’ve had and the people who’ve ruined them.

1.  Prego Poetry: The first time I was “with child,” I decided it would be nifty to market a book of poetry, specifically designed for reciting to a woman’s pregnant abdomen. The book came with a special microphone that brought the words straight to the ears of the developing baby as it was held up like a reverse stethoscope to the mother’s tummy. There were calming and self-esteem enhancing rhymes like, “Dear baby fetus, we can’t wait till you meet us!” or “We hope you’ll be kind, smart and cuter than us, when you decide to emerge from the uterus.” This invention backfired when my ex-husband reported that all his sports-nut buddies used the uterine mic to shout football scores into their wive’s stomaches, startling all the unborn babies, and thus defeating the purpose.

2.  The Tush Cush: When my twins began to toddle around on our hardwood floors, I noticed their little bottoms became bruised from falling down so much. Of course this led to a cute animal-shaped pillow that velcroed onto the rear of baby’s little rompers.  It was my fantasy to sell the Tush Cush to a company called Osh Kosh to softly pad every child’s rear end across America. I could just see my face plastered in every Sear’s catalogue.  Then my 2nd ex husband pointed out that a competitor came up with something brilliant that would pull the rug right out from under me. It was called, “Carpet.”

3. Embracelets: After scratching my daughter on the face with my crystal bangle during a snuggling session, the idea of soft velvet jewelry shields was born. To protect children during hugs. I called these covers, “Embracelets” and though they were kinda ugly, they slipped easily over your wrist to guard against sharp bling. My mother smiled smugly and said simply, “Of course you could just invent removable jewelry.” Darn her!

4. The Zoom Room Broom! A ride-on toy that vacuums as the child scoots it across the floor. Phenomenal!  “Aren’t baby’s afraid of vacuum noise?” my nosy girlfriend Tiffany asked, luckily before I spent hundreds on prototypes. I then switched to the “Crawl-a-Mop” but as you can see below….

Someone always gets there first!

Someone always gets there first!


5. It’s High Time You Climb! This was a portable staircase that could hook up to a changing table or a crib so if you had a bad back, you needn’t lift a heavy baby. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but by the time a child can climb stairs, wouldn’t he be using a toilet and sleeping in a regular bed?” asked some know-it-all teacher at my kid’s preschool.

6. The Teddy Placenta – – A cute bear to cuddle with.  Nobody wanted to part with their baby’s precious placenta — they were all saving it for some silly cord blood banking gimmick.

7. The No Crawl In the Stall, Hang From The Wall Shawl – – What holds your baby when you need to pee in a public restroom? (Certainly you don’t want them crawling on that dirty floor!)  A shawl with a large pouch that hangs on the bathroom stall’s purse hook, that’s what!  Okay, so there were a few liability issues.

8. The Why You Cry?An electronic gadget that analyzed baby’s screams and could tell you if he was hungry, tired or sick. Instead it kept reporting, “Nothing is wrong. It’s just your genetics!”

Then came my crowning glory.  I knew this one would make millions!

9. The Activi-Tee – – a blouse for new mothers which had toys, rattles, buttons, and colorful spinning wheels sewn on the front. New mothers wear it to keep their infants busy when they have to sit on their laps for long periods of time, like at a doctor’s office or the DMV (because us moms always have to go to the DMV, don’t we?) or anytime you need to keep them occupied.

I made a sample shirt, gave it to my friend Tiffany (she’s obnoxious but gorgeous!) to wear one morning when she lost her childcare and had to bring her baby to the office. She told me the shirt worked okay, but might need a little work. Next thing I know, there’s a big advertisement in a parenting magazine for MY shirt. It’s MINE. They changed the name to “Busy Bee Tee,” but we all know what’s going down here, don’t we??

I file a lawsuit and rush down to small claim’s court with my sock drawer full of envelopes, triumphantly waving them in front of the judge’s nose (which is runny, btw) as he puts on his glasses and begins to peruse my claim to fame.

Oh yeah. And I bring Tiffany as my eyewitness.

Judge Herb ItAllBefore asks the plagiarizer/thief,  defendant, where she was when she first conceived of this tee-shirt idea. She states, “The DMV.” I snort loudly. Right, like how many moms frequent the DMV?

“It seems the plaintiff is a little mixed up in these matters,” says Judge Herb, wrinkling his brow while holding up my envelopes. “The idea is not to open your self-addressed stamped envelope, read the contents and then write yourself a flattering letter back, complementing your clever idea.”

“I was lonely that day,” I defended. “Haven’t you ever laughed at your own jokes?”

“That’s different. I’m funny.” He frowns. “In this letter here, you even remind yourself to buy more postage stamps and orange juice. And in this letter here, you’ve mailed yourself the Serenity Prayer.” He sneezes – – it comes out sounding like “Fruitcake.”

I wisely decide not to offer him my necktie made out of a handkerchief.

Will HER Endeavor Ever Be As Clever? Never!!

He then asks to see my prototype, which Tiffany had the good sense to wear. She models it, flaunting her well-proportioned body in front of the cute bailiff.

“I’m sorry,” Judge Herb says, “But I think the defendant has built a better mousetrap.” I shudder because I hate rodents.

“But your Honor,” I interrupt. “All she did was reinvent the wheel.”

“Well, at least she didn’t sew two colorful, spinning wheels right over her friend’s nipples!” he points and everyone stares. I look at Tiffany, still parading around the courtroom and she mouths, “Told you it needed some work.”

“I’ve made my decision,” he says firmly, raising his gavel. “You’re a nut who has conversations with yourself via the U.S. Postal Service. You’re menopausal and probably having a mid-life crisis. And you went through all of this just to get some good blogging material, didn’t you??”

“Guilty as charged,” I say as I log onto WordPress and begin to furiously type.  Who wants to be an inventor??  I’m gonna be a famous blogger….

dog toilet






So that’s my story. What ideas have YOU had that might get you on Shark Tank??

Taking Your Blog to Hollywood!

photo 1-5Want to have huge crowds eating popcorn and Whoppers as they’re enthralled by YOUR original words? Want a chance at an Oscar?  People talking about you at the water cooler?  Well, forget making your blog into a book.  Think BIG.  The film industry is running out of ideas (that’s why we’re seeing the Bible recycled as “Exodus: Gods & Kings”)  Just follow these easy tips to turn your blog into a movie. Or if you’re slightly more of a homebody, into a television series!

Making Your Blog into the Next Big BLOGBUSTER!

1.  ACTORS:  The most important thing is deciding who should play YOU.  Go hobnobbing (what does that word even mean?  And can you go hobbing without the nobbing part?)  in exclusive circles to generate buzz about your casting.  Say this:  “Cameron Diaz is begging to be ME, but I don’t know….it’s such a meaty role.  I think I’m more the Kathy Bates type.”

2.  LOCATION:  If you own a house or real estate, you know that Location is everything.  Well same idea with turning your blog into a feature length film.  Shooting on location will get you a big tax write-off so you may as well combine it with your next vacation.  Go rewrite your latest post taking place in the Bahamas.  I’ll wait.

3.  PRODUCERS & DIRECTORS:  Who will produce and direct your blog?  Aha…Look no further!  Did you make your children?  Did you make dinner last night?  Or at least a peanut butter sandwich?  Ever grow a tomato or a radish in a garden?  That’s produce!  Starting now, YOU are your own Production Company.  Do not let Steven Spielberg tell you otherwise. And as far as a Director? Well, who instructs people how to make beds, wear socks that match, brush teeth and who tells your husband which way to turn when you’re lost and late for a party because he won’t stop and ask someone?  That’s Giving Directions, baby!  You ARE both the Director and the Producer.  Now start acting important today. Hobnob with a limo driver.

4.  WRITER:  Yes!  You are already a superb writer.  You wouldn’t have a Blog if you weren’t.  However, writing your blog for the big screen is slightly different… but never fear — this paragraph will get you there!  Always open your posts with “Fade in:” And remember to end with “Fade to black.”  (Note: There’s lots of fading and dissolving going on in the movies so you might want to wash the clothes you’ll wear while filming in color-fast laundry detergent.) And always write a big conflict into your blog. Films thrive on friction and conflict.  If things are always cheeful and light and fluffy, what fun is that?  You may as well just name your blog script, “Happily Ever After.”  Think there will ever be a movie with that title?  Think again!  Fighting, Arguing, Yelling, Bad Occurrences, An Evil Omen, Dark Clouds, Nobody Ever Agreeing, Objects Shattering, People Suffering Nervous Breakdowns.  This is the stuff that Academy Award winners are made from.  Write it all in!  And that’s why you should film on location in a place called “Stephanie’s Home.”  You won’t need any special effects.  It’s all right here in San Diego.

5.  STUDIO:  You might think having a nice Blog Theme Appearance will qualify as a good studio set.  Maybe you picked your colors and laid out the entire website yourself, so naturally you think you’ll excel at Scenic Design as well.  But your actors will quickly become bored reading their lines, standing under your Header and your Tagline over long days of filming. And the WordPress logo and your stats page as a realistic backdrop?  Yawn. Nope. Trust me – – here is where you should never economize.  Spend about six weeks of your grocery budget on a good Set Designer.  You may be hungry but it will pay off – and with the profit margin, you can order in Chinese when the filming wraps.  (Clever tip. Don’t wrap the film in holiday paper because then it won’t open until next X-mas.)

6.  PROPS:  Get lotsa stuff.  Now’s your justification for shopping garage sales.  Do a quick scan of all your posts. Are they mostly about you and your family?  Then give the audience a glimpse of your home life looking thru a window. The actors can hold lots of spray bottles of Windex and rolls of paper towels. Do you write more about your profession?  Get props that are symbolic. i.e. Are you a waitress? Put a wineglass on a tray. But is it half full or half empty? (dramatic pause here!) Are you a fashion blogger? An untwisted clothes hanger will easily be your best prop. (Cue suspense music!) Did someone lock themselves out of their car?  Or are they simply using it to roast marshmallows?  See how props work?!  Do you blog about food? Well, sorry. They’ve already made “Chef” this past year.  And “Fried Green Tomatoes,” as well as “Eat, Pray, Love” have all been done before. So you’re kinda outa luck.  Eat food.  Don’t write about it.

7.  PROMOTION:  You’ll need to report your highest grossing weekend numbers. (Note:  You cannot count how many times you’re forced to shower in a day due to hot flashes, no matter how gross that really is)   But first go to a postal supply store and get lots of large cardboard marked, “This End Up” or “Fragile. Handle With Care.”  Get strong packing tape and assemble it into what you see below left. Set a bunch of these in front of professional places of work. Where attorneys, accountants, doctors, dentists, architects, and of course chiropractors hang out.  You’ve just created a Box Office!   Don’t try placing them in your own house even if you have a spare room you occasionally work from home in.  HBO (Home Box Office) will sue your ass.photo 2-3

photo 1 (2)photo 2-2

That’s it!  The next time you are in a theater and think to yourself, “I can make a better movie than this one, using my own blog.”  You’ll be right!  See you in Hollywood….