Tag Archives: followers

Sunday update

I was pretty worthless today. I have some regular events, like calling my parents, that I do every week. I accomplished that much.

The fact is, I didn't even try. Some days you just need to take a day off. I work a full time job, then I hit things hard on the weekends. I limited myself to a little bit of blog work, like assembling the next Lisa Burton Radio, and that's it. I also scheduled my next Story Empire post about Flipboard.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm recording The Walking Dead. In the interest of preserving my marriage, we are watching the Grammys. Which marketing genius on either side made sure both shows competed with each other?

In other news, Larissa Takahasi followed me again today. Maybe she'll actually say hi one day.

Things have gotten busy at the paycheck job lately. I have some presentions to make in the next few weeks, and one of them could be to over a hundred people. I'm ready for them, but I have to write the material for another one due in May. I suppose, just because I'm not writing fiction, doesn't mean I'm not writing.

Looking forward to completing the drafts of The Yak Guy Project, and The Enhanced League. They're both very close, but I'm not going to force either of them.

So it's back to the paycheck job for me. My floating day off is Wednesday, and those are usually pretty productive. I still might not finish anything, but I'll bet I get closer.


Filed under Uncategorized

Random Friday babbling, before I start writing

I saw another bald eagle along the Boise River. These have always been good omens for me. They seem to indicate success in whatever I'm striving for at the time. Looking forward to accomplishing some small goal this week.

I talked to my employer, and we're going to see if the city will come haul the trash out of the stream behind the office. I wrote my vignette and have no more use for whatever old chicken coop it turns out to be. They like to remove anything that impedes the flow, because of flood potential. They may clean up some of the branches where the wood ducks hang out too, but the ducks can find new ones.

I seem to have timed my commute this week so I fall behind a lady from Canyon County. She likes to hold down the fast lane, and guarantees our safety by driving below the speed limit. Cars flow around her like a bolder in the stream, but on the right hand side. This is dangerous. I have no problem with her anchoring the fast lane, but she should at least drive the speed limit. Even then, she'll be the slowest person on the road, but at the speed limit, I really can't complain. (I still will, but it won't be justified.)

Larissa N. Takahassi followed me this week. (Again) She seems to follow me about every two weeks. Larissa has an online makeup store of some kind. I don't buy a lot of makeup, so I don't follow her back. Seems to me that, barring WordPress disasters, you only have to follow me once.

This is a game. She's out there following people at random, possibly to get those who automatically follow back. Then she unfollows. I suspect this is a game designed to eventually sell her online makeup store and use the number of online followers to indicate value.

I checked this morning, and she is not among my followers today. Maybe she didn't like this week's posts. Maybe I should exorcise her by writing her into a horror story.

Otto is snoring beside me in my recliner. He usually gets restless and jumps down after about twenty minutes of poodle time. That gave me a chance for this random babble. Then I need to saddle up my yak and head for the steppes.

Maybe a progress report later today, if the eagle omen works out.


Filed under Uncategorized

I sense a disturbance in The Force

I got into blogging as a necessary evil. I knew nobody would ever find my books if I didn't have some kind of online presence. It's as good a reason as any to start a blog. It quickly became my favorite way of interacting online.

Bloggers go into it for all kinds of reasons. For some it is a journal, others want to share travel experiences, etc. There seems to be something different about it recently.

You know me, I'm always trying to figure out what things mean. Maybe I was a Wallstreet guru in a previous life. I love my blog for its own reasons, but some knowledge could help me with the main reason I started it in the first place.

My number of followers is accelerating. I tend to get one here and there, but recently they've been coming in droves. I fell in with other authors, book bloggers, reviewers, and writing gurus. Seems pretty natural, and I would expect other bloggers would gather with like minded people.

Lately, I'm getting bloggers that have nothing to do with books, reading, writing, or anything else you might expect. I've always gotten a few of these, but recently it became a noticeable amount. Here are some of the concepts of recent followers:

  • Building a dream house.
  • Church youth groups.
  • War in Afghanistan.
  • A plumbing business.
  • Several makeup businesses.
  • Several fashion bloggers.
  • News story of the day.

There are more, but you get the idea. It's pretty easy to guess the makeup and fashion folks wandered here because of Lisa Burton. I may even find her next look by visiting their sites on occasion. On the other hand, if Cover Girl or someone wants to offer her an endorsement deal, hit me up.


Many of these blogs don't have their sites completely set up. There is no “about” page, and in some cases there isn't even a first post. So why are brand new bloggers finding me? Did I use some magical word as a tag on one of my posts? (You know, because I'd like to do it again.)


I'd like to think I'm so popular that my books are drawing fans to follow my site, but I don't think that's what's going on.


I get the feeling that we've reached some kind of saturation point on social media. I've read at least one of you unfollowing people on Facebook because of all the political propaganda. (I agree and support you, by the way.) I always use the term “firehose” to describe Twitter, because my feed is like trying to drink from a firehose.


Social media of all kinds has influenced the network news. There is less reporting of facts, more opinion pieces, and much more celebrity stalking. I mention this, simply to note the power of social media. Bear with me, I'm freewriting this one.


Are people drifting to WordPress because they are tired of pictures of someone's new nose-ring? Are reporters starting blogs to get a voice in what must be a competitive market? Think of the “news story of the day” blogger. Maybe the networks don't want him, because they have to make time for a celebrity who showed up at a protest. Now that celeb is no more valuable than the other protestors, but since he was on Hollywood squares 25 years ago he gets 10 minutes.


I understand the businesses. WordPress is a simple format to use, and it's easy to make changes. Small business folk can use the mechanism to make wonderful websites. They can do things themselves that they used to pay people to do. But why are they following me? I'm unlikely to hire a plumber from seven states away.


Are people coming to WordPress to get out of the firehose of data on other sites? From my new followers, I see more seriousness than I would find on Twitter. Are they getting lost in those streams, and looking for a more positive experience?


I welcome everyone, and try to follow back those who might be remotely interesting, but I can't follow them all. Regular bloggers will understand this.


I'd like to think that we're all ready for a governor in our exhaust systems. Maybe everyone won't understand that one, so I'll say maybe we're ready for a filter. We've had years of “look at my doughnut” posts, and the world is ready to move past it.


I told you I sense a disturbance in The Force, I never promised to explain it. What do you think is happening? Are we evolving as far as social media is concerned? Could this foretell the next big thing we should jump on? What is the next big thing?


Let me hear it in the comments, now I have to go look at my physical mailbox. Maybe there is a check from Maybelline or someone waiting for me.


Filed under Blogging

Holy Cow!

I never imagined my post about my squishy parts would be so interesting. It quickly became my most popular post, and reblogged dozens of times. It even out scored my about me page. Thank you all.

“Public Service Announcement” currently has 146 likes, and 136 comments. This is miles ahead of my other posts.

My post generated 164 views the day of posting, and 207 overall views. The next day it was 288 for the post, and 294 for the blog. These numbers may not blow bigger bloggers away, but for a guy that regularly gets about 50 views per day it's phenomenal.

There were dozens of new followers too, which is awesome. The best part was someone who used my post to convince her husband to get his own checkup. It makes the whole thing worthwhile.

I had a fleeting thought about an email saying I got Fresh Pressed. I'm not disappointed, because that isn't what my blog is about. Still, it would have been cool.

Welcome to all my new friends. I hope you'll stick around, but I don't usually post about my parts. This is a writing blog, but I think it's a fun one.


Filed under Blogging

Time for an assessment

I’m actually cheating on this a bit. I made the mistake of baking these garlic Parmesan rolls for my family about 25 Thanksgivings ago. They are everyone’s favorite, and an expected part of our Thanksgiving dinner. Rather than type this out through garlic and dough fingers, I’m typing it up Tuesday night. I’ll set it up to post sometime Wednesday. I’ll be baking tomorrow night.

It dawned on me that I haven’t posted an assessment about Macabre Macaroni. I like to try new things, and these were my Halloween themed micro fiction tales.

These were very popular posts. The least popular was about a robber who gets tricked into breaking into a vampire’s house. It was still 10% more popular than all other October posts. This is a great result.

The most popular Macaroni was six times more popular than that one.

I wound up with 300 more views during October than any other month. Numbers always grow a bit from month to month, but this is beyond expectations.

You guys surprised me. My two favorites fell somewhere in the middle of the Macaronis. For some reason, Mrs. Pumpkin and her son were the number one story. I liked it too, but expected the order to come out differently. The collaborative piece with Mari Wells was the second most popular.

The response to these absolutely blew me away. You guys are awesome, and I appreciate all the action.

I’m not a poet, and don’t usually get whatever they post about. Many writers post a bit of original poetry for their followers, but it just isn’t me. I wanted to post something different, and micro fiction turned out to be a good idea.

I’m not one to post excerpts, or to serialize a story. Readers miss some of the concept on an excerpt, and might miss a post on a serialized story. It looks like I need to post more short fiction every once in a while.

To tell you the truth, I’m thinking about saving up a bunch and making a short, cheap, Amazon book. It’s definitely getting some thought as I form my 2015 business plan.

For the rest of you authors, micro fiction worked well for me. If I had been smart, I would have included characters from my novels in these stories. That way it’s more than just a story, it has a bit of promotional value too. It could still happen. Ethan and Coop, from Panama, would fit right into a Halloween theme.

I’ll have to throw some more micro fiction on the blog. The challenge will be getting away from the Halloween idea. I don’t know if I can write Valentines Day fiction.

If anyone new is reading this, they have a special category called short stories and vignettes. You can find them filed away there.

Mrs. pumpkin, Jack, and I thank you all for the positive reception. It may take me a month or so to come up with more, but there will be more micro fiction on this blog.

For my American followers, Happy Thanksgiving. For my international followers, I’ll save a turkey leg for you.


Filed under Blogging, Writing

Thursday means Macabre Macaroni

I feel like I’m mathematically still in the wild card race. It would take some doing, but I could still reach 666 followers by Halloween. I’ve made great strides, but it’s looking like a long shot. If you enjoy this story, please feel free to re-blog it. It might help me reach my goal.


I explained to the third visitor today that Gillydoc wasn’t real. He was a silly story made up by a shopkeeper outside the park to make sure all the tourists stopped by his store. They decided their kids needed a photo with the statue outside the store anyway. Most of them do.

I clocked off and headed down the canyon toward my assigned cabin. The radio call got my attention, but it broke up. All I managed to hear was “missing tourist.”

It was easier to take the main highway around than the narrow winding road directly through the park. I made my way to a high point and checked in. Janice said a young woman was missing, and she would check the cliffs to see whether any climbers were stranded. James was at the campground interviewing the other campers.

“Got it, Jan. I’ll go around to the west entrance and check Beech Creek. Those gravel sifters have been back. Maybe she’s one of them.”

I merged into the line of heavy Saturday traffic and headed past Crowsey’s store. It was your typical rubber tomahawk shop if there ever was one. Old Crowsey had a Gillydoc story for all occasions. Families waited in line for a chance to get a picture with his wooden statue.

It’s ridiculous how intelligent people buy into some kind of monster story. Now Beech Creek, that was real. Millions of dollars in star gems, almost like sapphires, came from those gravels. The ground was littered with them, but only a rare few were good enough to make into a gem. The rest crumbled under the grinding required. It’s a good thing too, or the park would have become a pit mine before it was ever established. Some tourist was always washing through the gravel, hoping to pay for his vacation. I made six arrests last month.

The Beech Creek Campground was packed. I slowed down, but didn’t notice anything unusual. Just before the bridge I spotted tire tracks in the mud of a closed road. I turned off and headed down the ridge.

A small red coupe was parked near an old trailhead to the hot springs. No one was around, and I called the plates in. This would take some time, we aren’t exactly metropolitan out here.

A college girl probably met someone in the park and decided to go skinny dipping. I grabbed my flashlight and headed up the trail.

There was only one set of tracks, and they were small. If she wasn’t our missing camper, she was in a closed area and at least I could get a ticket out of the deal.

The tracks veered off toward Beech Creek before they got near the hot springs. It was getting dark so I turned on my light. A sandy spot in the trees Showed where she’d kicked around in some crumbled stones. Yeah, one good one would put you through college. Is that what’s up tonight? Hell a good one would get me my masters and a post at Yellowstone or Denali.

Tracking got tougher in the mossy parts of the forest. I lost the trail completely for a while. It was because her strides lengthened. She must have been in a hurry to get to the creek, or so I thought. She turned upstream before she ever got to the water.

I lost the trail at a big rock outcrop, and circled looking for tracks. There was more gem gravel, but she hadn’t dug here. I nearly sprained my ankle in an ancient pit. These were from the old days where miners tried to find the source of the gems in the creek.

I sat on a rock to rub out my ankle, and spied a few broken branches from my lower vantage point. Blood painted one of the twigs. I moved the branches around and found a bit more blood. I admit feeling for my pistol before moving forward. There were bears in the park, but it had been years since anyone had a problem.

That’s when I saw it. An actual gemstone secure in the outcrop. People looked all around these rocks for a hundred years and managed to miss it.
It wasn’t just any stone either. This one was as big as a grapefruit. Even the Smithsonian didn’t have one this big. I stared at it for a long time. The center of the star drew my eye, and golden rays spread to the edges along a field of midnight blue. Tiny golden flecks sparkled at the outer edges.
Hell, I wouldn’t need a masters with a stone like this. I could pick up a mansion in Miami and live well for the rest of my life.

It was just as illegal for me to steal it as the missing tourist. Still, I knew where it was. I could come back after getting the tourist off the ridge.
I raised my flashlight for one last look. It was the most gorgeous arrangement of blue and gold I’d ever seen.

Then, it blinked.


Filed under Short Stories & Vignettes

Where did the time go?

I just received notice that today is my one year blogiversary. I started this project to promote my fiction, but it’s evolved into so much more.

I really look forward to reading your blogs and communicating with you guys. I haven’t accomplished a whole lot, not when you compare my successes to others. I’ve read the blogs that say, “I just hit 3500 followers after only three months. OMG!!! 😃😃😃”

Well, I haven’t done quite that well. I currently have 536 blog followers. I’m sure I could have done better if I’d played the awards game, but I really don’t regret that. I had things I wanted to say, and I’m glad I put my efforts there. I don’t think I’m going to get my 666 followers by Halloween.

This post will be number 306. I fell into a posting schedule that excludes Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m kind of sporadic though, and sometimes post then too. All during October I’ll be posting Halloween stories on Thursdays. Therefore; not quite every day posting.

We’ve covered a lot of ground. We baked sourdough bread, cooked chicken under a rock, and visited an island of discarded story elements. We spent a lot of time at the writing cabin, gathered wild morel mushrooms, and made a few guest posts too. I have no idea where I’m taking this in the future, but there is bound to be some writing related stuff.

The most popular post so far was my micro fiction, “Jack ‘O Lantern.” There are more of these coming, every Thursday in October. It’s so new I won’t post a link for it.

My favorite post was a personal one about my English Setter. This was back when I only had about ten followers, but every word of it is true. You can read it here, if you’re so inclined. I can’t promise more like it, for obvious reasons.

The oddest thing was a post about my Muse, Lorelei. I called it Purple Nurple. It wasn’t that it was a great post or anything, it’s that someone Googles it every week and reads it. This cracks me up, but I have a theory it isn’t what they were searching for.

I’ve made some great friends here, and look forward to those relationships growing even bigger in the next year. I also look forward to all the new friends to come.

Thank you all for welcoming me and my imaginary friends into your world. WordPress friends are awesome.


Filed under Blogging

I really should post tonight

I always post something on Mondays. In fact, the only days I usually skip are Tuesday and Thursday. It seems like I always have something to say, but never on Tuesday or Thursday.

I checked my Idea Mill folder, but it’s empty right now. I threw in an amalgamation of stuff on yesterday’s post and should have milked it for several posts. I could have gotten a whole post out of my business card idea. Then I could have asked if anyone knows a decent place to get the cards made.

I know I could have gotten a whole post about my dog. Readers love dog posts. This is a happy post too, and it would have been popular.

My editing fights with Doubt could have tonight’s post. The dog and the business cards could have taken me to Friday. I’m just not looking at my process the right way. I have to learn to pace myself.

They say blogging regularly is the best way to increase my number of followers. That’s why I really should post something tonight. I really want to increase my number of followers. I see blogs all the time boasting thousands of followers. That would be cool.

Maybe I should challenge everyone to increase my number of followers. If I did it right I could get 666 followers by Halloween. That would be so cool. I really should post something.

I could tell everyone about the awesome review I got for Wild Concept today. I’m not into all that “Look at me” stuff. Still, sometimes you just have to cowboy up and do a bit of promotion. I’ll just include a subtitle link to Wild Concept and those who like my posts about Lisa can check it out. There are other books available, but I’d better save those for a different day. People might think I’m being pushy.

I could talk about how happy I am for pumpkin beer season. It’s starting to show up in stores right now. Then again, I post about beer all the time. I don’t want readers to think I’m a lush.

If I ever figure out what to write about, I swear I’ll start pacing myself.  One topic per post, even if it makes a really short post.

Look at that; I posted tonight.


Filed under Blogging

Change of Plans

The plan was to work up something wacky about the writing cabin tonight. I had company almost all weekend, but I didn’t accomplish anything earth shattering. Still, I could talk about outlining a new story.

The problem is that I should be more worried about self publishing before I get down to serious outlining. Since last weekend was such a bust, I decided to change the rules.

I took time off around the weekend so I could move my next project ahead. I may be able to get Arson up on Amazon if I work at it.

Therefore, my plan is to work on Arson as much as I can from Thursday through Monday. That leaves a few week nights for reading after I get home.

If I pull this off, you might be able to read Arson next week. My fingers are crossed, and I hope some readers are also excited. This means I’ll have to add a promo page to my other stories too.

Remember the cool artwork I’ve been talking about for weeks? Here it is again.


Ooo Exciting! You want to read this.You want to tell your friends.

I’m also going to celebrate one small milestone tonight. Entertaining Stories acquired its 400th follower today. I know many blogs have thousands of followers, but it’s a big deal to me.


Filed under Writing

I owe some Thanks to my Friends

Entertaining Stories gained new followers at an accelerated rate recently. It couldn’t have happened without the help of a few special blog friends. These people went out of their way to help me and today I’m saying thank you.

If you’re one if the new followers, thank you. Here’s a post I put up recently to help you keep up with my shtick. The Entertaining Stories Primer.

S. K. Nicholls has been a great help. She did a wonderful little push for my book Panama. She also took The raven of Doubt off my hands for a few days, at a time when I really needed to operate doubt free. I gained several followers from this push and would appreciate the rest of you visiting her blog and checking it out. She writes wonderful stories about nudist colonies and such, base upon real experience. You know you want to read that.

D. S. Nelson invited me to participate in her Friday tasseomancy project. My tea leaf reading was a popular project with my readers, and I gained followers here too. She has a new reading up today, and you should check it out. She’s also expecting, and I wish her all the best.

Rachel Carrera did an author interview with me. Of course I broke all the rules and answered her questions in narrative style without including the questions. She must have forgiven me, because she also did a push for Panama. She wrote about the haunted places she has lived in recently. The bit about the crunchy worms on the floor was fascinating.

Karen invited me to participate in her ten statements project. This is a sequence for writers to explain some things about themselves to a larger audience. I reached a larger audience, and my little blog grew. She also invited me on the writing process blog tour and my corner of cyberspace grew some more. Please visit her at My Train of Thoughts On and In a Small Compass.

Blog friends are wonderful friends. These people have been very kind to me. I hope my readers will help express my gratitude by visiting these awesome bloggers and writers. They didn’t have to do any of this, and they have their own novels to promote. If you came here because of one of these bloggers, the others might be interesting to you.


Filed under Blogging