The Post Best Saved For Another Day

I just got finished writing a genuine, personal blog post. One that some might admire. Unfortunately the events told aren’t for public consumption. Not yet. But it was a post I wanted to write. One I was compelled to write.

I will post it, and I think it will have the same effect, but not today.

I don’t want the news of the event to spread to ears that don’t need to hear these words. Not yet.

Another day.

Soon.

The One Where I Lie To You

I’m starting off this post with a lie. If you check the date, it says I posted this on May 26, 2011 at 11:45 am. That is assuredly a lie. I didn’t get a chance write my Thursday post. So that makes me a double liar, but if I look back I’m pretty habitual about lying. My pants are definitely on fire.

I told you on Sunday I was going to post daily. I lied. Or at least I didn’t have the foresight to see this week would go to bollocks. Whatever, bollocks is. My boss is off this week, so that makes me the boss. It shifts his responsibilities to me and thereby all the busy work that he gets stuck with is my work. Ain’t that grand? I should be paid an extra grand for doing it. But I’m a salary schmuck so 0 hours or 80 hours, I get paid the same. I guess it should make me appreciate my boss more, which I already do. He’s a good boss.

On top of that, I was given a project, outside of work, that I found out needs to be done by Monday. Joy. Money for my vacation, so good. Maybe a new water heater. I love being a homeowner.

Despite that, these extra duties, these things  really had no bearing on why I didn’t post yesterday. Just an excuse. Most times making an excuse is just that. An excuse that really covers up the lie.

I’m habitual.

And habitual is the key. To the point I’m about to make. Really, you’ll see.

There are very few people who can achieve any goal by flying by the seat of their pants. By living their life so existentially that they make no plans. Yes, wonderful things can come from unexpected events. Like finding out I was going to be a father at 24, even though we had a 5 year plan. Random is part of our lives, but not part of our plans.

Routine is a necessary achievement tool. You hear this advice a lot for writers, especially those of us who have a day job, pick a time of day, everyday, and write. It doesn’t matter if it’s 5 words or 500. By creating a routine, developing a pattern, you will accumulate those words until they fulfill your goal, which is the story.

Writing a daily blog is the same. I haven’t figured out my routine yet, to be honest, for either the blog or my writing.

Until I do, I can either lie about what I’m producing or start owning up to the fact I need a routine. I need to make it a habit.

There won’t be any post for Today, because I just posted this Thursday 11:45 am post on Friday 8:00 am.

Ain’t no Social Media Experts here

When Twitter hit in 2006 and became popular in 2007, I didn’t get it. And I swore I didn’t want it.

People posting notes about what they’re doing, where they are, who they’re doing … okay, while I know some probably do post that last one, thankfully I don’t have twitter pals who are that open. Not like Gabe who tweets his poop.

But there I was in 2008, two years late to the party signing up as @netizenron (later to changed to @RonEarl). I had succumbed. At first I still didn’t get it. But everyone wanted me to be their friends and half of everyone was a “Social Media Expert.”

I want to just take a moment from my well meaning post about Social Media to publicly call out the “Social Media Experts” — bullshit! There isn’t such a beast. If there is, they are overrun with bullshit artists. So if someone tries to sell you on that service, just back off and say no thanks.

So I quickly learned that a majority of the people who were following me, weren’t interested in me, just my number. To add to their social clout. I was just a number. So I pruned the “Experts” and the Twitter Pr0n (though Twitter does that automatically every now and again).

What did that leave me with? Friends, colleagues and hopefully people who were interested in me.

I typically follow writers and artists, as well as comics and websites that interest me. I know social media is a numbers game.

I see it for example when sci-fi thriller author, Scott Sigler, releases BLOOD IS RED, a short story collection, on the Kindle and without haste marches up to the #1 position in the books related category. Sigler has a massive following and a single tweet is a short term gold rush. Of course it help that he is a fantastic writer.

Also Scott Kurtz of the insanely popular PVP comic, along with Kris Straub, posted about drumming up funding for a web show. The funding was promoted through Kickstarter and because of their social media clout they hit their $50,000 goal in 4 days.

In both cases, Kurtz and Sigler have a legion of fans who are interested in their product. They haven’t acquired these followers simply by follow-back but because they have been consistently good at what they produce.

It’s not simply the followers that make social media work. I could if I wanted to play the numbers game, go out and follow insane amount of strangers hoping that they cross my demographic needs. That they will be interested in listening when I have something to shill.

I guess I prefer quality over quantity. I’d love to have the clout of Kurtz and Sigler, but I know that is equal to my quality and the goods I produce.

I can be a pimp or a producer, not necessarily exclusive, but I’d rather be a producer.

Oh, and yes, I know that Twitter is just one of many social outlets. This post is a form of Social Media. You googled, twittered or facebooked to find it. And I bet you took at least one of the links included in this post.

Book’d: Witness to Death by Dave White

Do you dream?

That’s rhetorical, we all do. Not many remember their dreams or their nocturnal journeys to the center of their Id. I do and it’s been a wonderful source for my writing. And not uncommon my dreams are sculpted, made malleable by the events of the day. Influenced. Hijacked.

This is generally because the mind is unwilling to let go.

I read before I sleep. So if ever you read something of mine that is familiar, I apologize. It was subconscious.

The other night I dreamed of New Jersey. Of fleeing for my life on unfamiliar trains, slow boating ferries and in unfamiliar territory. I was on the run. Wanted for murder. I didn’t do it. I was the fall guy. How would I survive, clear myself? How?

I’ve never been to Jersey. Or on a subway train. And I was only wanted for murder that one time — you know how that is. Before going to bed, I had started reading Dave White’s WITNESS TO DEATH.

Not to give Dave a swelled head. Have you seen his mugshot? He doesn’t need it. But I don’t always have this reaction to reading a book. But there I was in my dream state living the life of John Brighton, White’s protagonist, and on the run. And generally, this means what I’ve read had an impact and I was only a few bytes into the book.

Yes, I said bytes. WITNESS TO DEATH is an ebook, available on the Kindle and the Nook for a mere 99 cents. And that folks is a steal. It would be a steal at $2.99, and probably $4.99. You could say it’s worth every byte.

Since that first dream invading night, I’ve nickle and dimed my way through WITNESS TO DEATH. Oh, I would have loved to read it all in a sitting, but time is tight right now, and by the time I got to the end, I was glad to take it slow.

This is Dave White’s 3rd novel, first stand alone. His first two books WHEN ONE MAN DIES and THE EVIL THAT MEN DO featuring Jackson Donne are likewise available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’m remiss to admit I haven’t read them yet, but after finishing WITNESS TO DEATH, I think it’s about time.

Addicted to Flash

Tap, tap, tap.

Clears throat.

Hello, I like flash fiction.

Kind of sounds like a testimony. That I’m standing behind the podium of a Friends of Bill meeting. Confessing to clear my soul. To open up and ask for forgiveness. Find salvation. Can I get an ‘Amen’ up in here?

It’s OK, flash fiction isn’t an addiction. If you don’t know what it is — well simply, flash fiction is any fiction that generally falls below 1000 words. Some may push that depending on the source and the need. At the end of the day, flash fiction is short short fiction.

It is fast. It is succinct. It is direct and to the point. Short and sweet.

Some think, because it’s short, it is a lesser format. That somehow akin to an abridged story. That it’s not quite a story. That the reader is being cheated somehow.

If written well, by someone who cares about the craft of story telling and an understanding how to economize words, well, honestly it can be just as powerful.

Personally, I’ve invested a lot of time in flash fiction during the last 12 months since discovering the format. Before May of last year, I didn’t know of such a beast. That there are hundreds, if not thousands, of writers putting out, creating these short short stories. Especially in my favorite genre, Crime.

But I did discover flash fiction. Sites like A Twist of Noir and Thrillers, Killers ‘n Chillers or Flash Fiction Offensive and Shotgun Honey.

Shotgun Honey, of course is one of my investments of time, signing on with Kent Gowran as an editor.

Another large investment, to promote the format is the weekly story prompt site, Flash Fiction Friday. An homage to Friday Flash Fiction and Cormac Brown.

And of course I’ve contributed a few of my own stories, most of which are available on this site.

I am not alone.

Far from it. Taking any of the links included in this post you can hopscotch for hours reading story after delectable story. Nice edible bites that you can string on for weeks.

If by chance you twitter, you tweet. Every Friday you can find dozens of writers pimping their fiction under the hashtag #fridayflash.

Yes, I like flash, and I bet you — if you try — you will too.

Daniel B. O’Shea – Tornado Relief Challenge – Treading Water

This week over at Dan O’Shea’s GOING BALLISTIC blog, he challenged his friends and readers to write a bit of flash fiction. To motivate the writers and help out the Red Cross, and the many devastated by the violent weather, heavy rains and tornadoes that have swathed through the South, Dan being the big man he is will donate $5 for each entry.

How could I not contribute. The restrictions on the story were that it relate to rain and that it be 1k or less in word count. I got the rain, but oops, I went over the word count a little. Sue me.

Hope you enjoy the story. Be sure to read the stories by the others who want to see Dan separated from his hard earned money (for a good cause).

Link – http://ronearl.com/fiction/treading-water/