Tag Archives: debate

Is a tragedy acceptable today?

I stayed up until midnight playing video games with my son. I knew I'd pay for it today, but did it anyway.

Frankie, the alarm dog, got me up at 4:30. I should be overjoyed that she gave me twenty minutes longer than my alarm clock usually does. It's a flex day, so maybe I'll grab a nap this after noon.

I hacked out another micro-fiction while the dogs managed to go back to sleep. Then I grabbed a fresh coffee and sat beside the footboard of my bed.

A slurping noise moved from the darkness to just the other side of the footboard. A black tentacle slid a Nylabone out on the floor beside me.

“Black is a new look for you, isn't it?”

“Oh, you know me. Always trying something new. I think it makes me scarier in the dark.”

“You could be onto something. Things you can't quite see are more frightening. What's with the dog toy?”

“Oh, Frankie and Otto were tugging at it yesterday and it flew under the bed. I thought she might need it back.”

“Not for much longer. I think her puppy teeth are almost all gone now.”

“Good thing too. Those babies are sharp. I had to steal a Bandaid while you guys were sleeping.”

“No problem, that's why they're there.”

“So what brings you to talk to the old under-the-bed monster today?”

“Tragedy.”

“You're going to have to be more specific.”

“Okay, tragedy is a time honored kind of story. When done well, it produces a powerful emotional experience for the reader–“

“Right a PEE, I read your blog. Too funny.”

“As I was going to say, it seems to be out of favor today.”

“Times change and all that.”

“Maybe they do, but maybe they shouldn't. Not everyone gets a happily-ever-after in real life. Fiction should reflect real life.”

“Riiiight. You write stories about spacemen, witches, and dwarves.”

“Okay, but I try to get real human emotions into them.”

“You still haven't told me what specifically brings you here today.”

“I nearly wrote a Greek tragedy a few years ago with The Cock of the South. I chickened out, and didn't completely go that route. Well, I've gone and done it again.”

“And you're worried it will make people mad. You're looking at it from the wrong side of the mirror. For every one of those happy endings, a monster dies somewhere. Do you know how many of my friends are hanging around the Union Hall just waiting for another story?”

“How many?”

“All of em, and they aren't going to get another story because the author killed them off.”

“Don't you guys always manage to stick a hand out of the grave right at the end, or open your eyes suddenly?”

“Only in horror. Not every monster story is technically a horror story.”

“That's all great, and I appreciate that monsters would understand, but they don't buy many books these days.”

“So it's a commercial thing?”

“Not exactly, it's a story for my blog.”

“Now you're just being stupid. Those things have the lifespan of a gnat. Eight hours later the readership forgets all about them.”

“Maybe they do, and maybe they don't. They don't swarm back and re-read the posts, but the story might stick with them.”

“Yeah, that's a good point. Is this for your macaroni thing?”

“It's called Macabre Macaroni, and yeah.”

“Maybe you can bracket it with something happy on either side. End with one that isn't a tragedy. They always remember the last one.”

“So bury it in the middle somewhere?”

“That's my opinion.”

“Thanks Under-The-Bed Monster, I owe you one.”

“You owe me several, but who's counting.”

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Weekend review

I return to my paycheck job tomorrow. All told, it was a busy and productive weekend. I posted a promo for my appearance on blog talk radio Friday to drive folks to listen in and participate. I followed this up with a semi aggressive Twitter campaign Saturday morning.

My instructions were to call a telephone number fifteen minutes before the show started. My host, Beem Weeks answered and we chatted on the lead up to showtime. He asked if I was nervous. I told him that I’ve been on radio before, and do a bit of public speaking. I suppose I could have simply answered “no.”

I wasn’t a bit nervous. Then this lady with a British accent interrupted and told us it was ten minutes until showtime. It’s a pretty good way to make sure everything comes together perfectly. Except the countdown lady picks up her pace as the time gets nearer, and she sounds just like this:

Okay, I’m nervous now! It went off without a hitch. All the questions were sent in by members of the Rave Reviews Book Club. I checked the hashtag after the show, but didn’t recognize anyone outside the club. Maybe they had to pay people to show up?

I think it went well, and we had a good time. One fellow said he bought Experimental Notebook while we were on the air. By the end of the day he left me an amazing five star review. It’s a short quick read, and finishing it all at once is entirely possible.

It’s been archived now, and you can listen in any old time you like. You just can’t participate. Here is the link.

We picked up our winterized camper and put it away for the year. We also had them do some little warranty things while they had it. We followed up with date night at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

I managed to post the final installment of assessing the promotional stuff. These three posts were pretty well received, but it’s pretty obvious that Amazon advertising got the most interest.

I’ve been playing around with my new apps to make pictures specifically for Twitter. It seems nobody reads the tweets without a picture. This one, for The Cock of the South, performed pretty well.

There is a little bar graph icon on Twitter that will tell you if anyone saw it, retweeted it, or opened your purchase link.

So far, people are opening the link on every post. They aren’t leading to sales, and maybe that’s my blurb not doing its job.

This post for The Experimental Notebook didn’t perform quite as well, but it did perform.

I have several more ideas in mind that might draw some attention. I took a photo of my soup ladle today, and can mention The Soup Ladle of Destiny on my next campaign.

Today, I made oxtail soup. (Why the ladle was out.) I did all this while lurking on an author chat room where we talked about a couple of books.

Charles Yallowitz and I posted our Point – Counterpoint, and I think it was a rousing success. It got a ton of comments, and several people asked us to do it again some time. It’s still gaining comments right now. You can check it out over at Charles’ blog. I’ll tour back through a few more times today and tomorrow and respond to everyone.

That’s about it, other than stealing some time to read a good book. I wish my Apple Pencil would hurry up and get here. I could use it to create images for Twitter. Lisa would look good standing before the flames to promote her short story, Bombshell Squad.

I still need to play around more with PhotoFunia. That’s my other new app, but this image performed pretty well. I used a filter on it, and it stopped a lot of people for a few seconds on Twitter.

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A friendly debate

Charles Yallowitz and I are trying something new today. We're doing a Point – Counterpoint post together over at his blog.

This is a proper discussion, and there will be no throwing of chairs ala Jerry Springer or the Republican debates.

We're hoping for some comments and discussion. I'm going to follow the comments over there and participate where it's appropriate. Please make any comments on Charles' site.

Here is the link to our debate.

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