Look at My Feet, I Need Ideas

 

Beached for a bit

All writers face it. Some deny it, some dwell on it. I choose to embrace it, and enjoy the view. I am sitting in my fishing boat, beached on a sand bar. Sand bar squatting has taken me places I otherwise would not have gone. If I were cranking out post after post after post without a moment’s hesitation or, as I say, a brief layover on the sandbar, I would have missed some side-splitting tales.

Evidently others before me have stalled out. They have looked to others for help and ideas. Sometimes, help comes in the form of ‘writing prompts.’ This is exactly what it sounds like: a word or phrase to get your creative juices flowing. I read through ten prompt lists searching for golden nuggets of inspiration for savor the ride.

I give you my seven favorite prompts.

  1. Take a picture of yourself, right this minute without primping, and explain to us why it is you have not washed your hair today.
  2. What would you say to a mouse who could talk?
  3. List ten things you could do in three minutes.
  4. Describe, in your words, what a geriatric peeping Tom is.
  5. Write a funny story involving socks.
  6. Your pet wants to Guest Post on your Blog. Write what he would say.
  7. Write about an interesting time when you happened to be barefoot. Begin and end your writing with a description of your feet.

Let’s take a look. I have not come across a blog featuring any of these posts. Yes, I do admit I have been known to participate in some heavy-duty skimming; however, I have faith in myself that I would take note if a German Shepherd had penned out a post.

As for the sock story, I immediately thought of the sock bandit. The sock bandit hangs out in my house, usually in my closet. I put a pair of socks in the hamper. Only one sock makes it back. I do not see anything funny about this.

I really do not want to sit around thinking about my feet, nor do I want you to sit around reading about them. My hair is clean, so that pretty much wipes out number one from the get-go.

As for the mouse chat– hey, I’ll let the mouse choose the topic, and begin the conversation. I have a feeling things may get a little heated, as I have professional pest control. He needs to talk fast.

C’mon, a geriatric Peeping Tom: what’s the big deal here- old geezer with a walker scooting around the house looking in all the windows. Biggest problem is he keeps forgetting to bring his glasses on these missions.

I cry UNCLE on the ten things in three minutes. I spent ten minutes trying to think of three things I could do in ten minutes with no luck.

One take-away message I learned from all the prompt lists.

Don’t stop writing,

even if you have to write about your feet.

photo by dreamstine

Charles Schultz: Bloggers & Readers

I spend time every day reading other blogs. Primarily, I search for blogs centered or focused on baby boomers, light on the topic or subject side, heavy on the fun side. Believe or not, not too many exist, or I should say, not too many last.

I come across an intriguing title on a blog roll, or catch a link in a story. I get excited as I click on the link, envisioning a connection with a fellow humor blogger, sharing laughs and readers. What I find many times is a deserted blog, with the last post dated a year ago.

I always wonder what happened. Did life get in the way? Did he win the lottery? Is he now a syndicated columnist? For some reason, I leave the site with a feeling of sadness; he probably stopped writing because it gets a little lonely waiting to connect with a large number of readers.

Mistakenly, humor bloggers oftentimes believe their copy has stopped being funny, or worse, that it never was funny. If people in their sphere of influence find them funny, then chances are the rest of the country would too.

Let’s look at one of our country’s most beloved cartoonist, Charles Schultz.

  • Schultz’s drawings’ were rejected by his high school yearbook’s staff
  • Comic strip was first published in St. Paul Pioneer Press 1947-1950; Schultz quit when they refused to give him a raise
  • Later that year United Feature Syndicate published the strip under the name “Peanuts”
  • First appearance October 2, 1950. It was an instant success. Two years later it was published in 40 newspapers nationwide
  • At its peak, Peanuts appeared in 2600 newspapers in 75 countries

Clearly a pivotal point in his career came when he quit the local paper. Schultz sought publication for his comic strip. United Feature Syndicate syndicated the comic strip, running under the name ‘Peanuts.’

The argument could realistically be made that he could have remained at the St. Paul Pioneer Press for his entire career, and Peanuts might never have achieved the success it experienced.

What I see when I read this is a man who knew he had talent, and believed he could attain higher goals financially. When those opportunities failed to materialize, he reached out for help. I do not know for a fact, but I would bet money a fan of his arranged the meeting with United Feature. In doing so, the gap closed- the connection was made.

This is truly how overnight success is attained: connecting readers to writers. For this to work, the writer must keep writing, writing every post with the fervor and spontaneity of the one before.

I am writing this for myself as well as for the many writers who read savor the ride. I received a rejection today for an essay I had submitted to a publication. My initial reaction was to throw up, naw, just kidding- but it hurt like hell. Then, I stopped, I thought, I did a little research, and sure enough, my instincts carried me to Charles Schultz.

Just knowing he got rejected helped me. Sifting through and looking at his progression showed me what I already knew. I have the talent. Writing a humorous post requires many hours of devotion. The devotion is the easy part. What sustains the blog is holding on even when you’re not sure anyone is listening. The connection is right around the corner.
photo courtesy of giant bomb

comment, humor, anyone?

In  the last twenty one posts under savor the ride, i have received  one  comment.

The rest of you sat back and let me type mindlessly away. Were you spilling coffee on your keyboard, or even cracking a smile ? I longed to hear of saturated keyboards and other calamaties directly attributed to my craft.

Not to worry, however, a lesson exists . My dear first comment writer will receive a check for $1,000,000.00.

I bet that got your attention. Even cranky, 50 yr. old reblonded, blog writers like to be acknowledged (and I could win the lottery.)

I believe the ‘in’ word right now is’ sweeeeeet.‘  You could even write’ sweat’ in the comment section and I’d smile. I’d cringe a little with  ‘awesome’ but I promise I would be grateful.

The number of comments under a post is a status symbol in the blog world- no lie. If thirty people comment under a post in the morning, you can bet money the  number will double by the end of the  day. People always want to go where things are happenin’.

Pretty soon I will have a sign up for some special offers for my die-hard blog readers. Space will be limited so just giving you heads up now. In the mean time, sign up for an e-mail update whenever I post a new post.  The complete post is sent to your e-mail address.

Here’s to a smoother technical, better copy day tomorrow (i could sure use  it) . ;-)

your Captain-

note to readers: this is the sixth time I ‘ve been on this post trying to fix it. So if you read an earlier version, you are not crazy- it was different- will be very happy when I get the next post up-