Writer Chick Predicts – Welcome 2015

Writer Chick Predicts

As is my custom, every January 1st, I channel my inner Madame Zorba and make predictions for the coming year. This year being no different, I offer these little nuggets for your consideration and amusement.

1. As gasoline plummets toward the $2 a gallon mark, eggs will hit a level of $5 a dozen. Animal rights activists will take this as a huge win claiming that chickens have rights too. Save the chicken posters will saturate the walls of social media venues and politicians will start making speeches about chickens’ rights. If the craze catches on, killing a chicken will become a hate crime.
2. Indie authors will continue complaining about traditional publishers and traditional publishers will continue calling indie authors hacks. Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue writing and publishing our books in whatever way we can and encouraging people to read.
3. The government will continue to tell you what you can eat and you won’t like it.
4. The new Congress that is sworn in later this month, despite bravado and promises will still not pass a budget, just as they haven’t done for the last six years.
5. Cuba will open its first McDonald’s starring the el Maco Grande, along with the McChe’ Nuggets and Fidel Fries.
6. As baby boomers continue to age, 60 will become the new 40. Somebody will create youth apps that gullible mature women will download, believing that staring at their smart phones will give them that dewy complexion of their youth.
7. Friend spying will become the newest Internet sport as websites like these crop up, promising you the means by which you can find out stuff about people you know.
8. Smartphone attachment will officially become a new mental disorder for which a new drug and therapy will be invented.
9. Kanye West will finally leave the U.S. to live in Baliz because we’re all sick to death of him and his empty promises.
10. The TSA will ban travelers from wearing ball caps on flights just because.
11. As Google enters the live-streaming via Google Fiber other live-streaming outlets such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime will mysteriously stop showing up in search results.
12. Edward Snowdon will return to the U.S., get his own cable talk show and no one will care.

As usual, feel free to add to the list.

Peace out – WC

Copyright 2015

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Should a Writer Keep Stats?

Anyone who has blogged or has a website is familiar with the concept of stats.  We all want to see how many hits we got and what posts people liked, traffic sources, time spent on pages, conversion rates, and so on.  And as writers we can take a cue from our blogs and websites and consider keeping some stats of our own.

What kind of stats might a writer keep?  I can think of several off the top of my head:

  • # of words written (can be tracked daily, weekly, and/or monthly)
  • # of submissions
  • Income/royalties (weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  • # of promotional pieces sent out (could be emails, newsletters, info packets, prospect letters, etc.)
  • # of reaches/inquiries
  • # of assignments landed
  • # of pages edited
  • # of queries sent
  • # of completed projects

The above are just examples of stats you might want to track, depending on what kind of writing you do (freelance or fiction, or both) and naturally you would tailor your stats to your own production and specific activities.

Why keep stats?

There are several reasons you may want to keep stats aside from the obvious stat of income derived from your writing.  By breaking down the process and tracking and monitoring other stats you can see how much activity results in income or publication or your desired result.  For example, if you had a completed novel and your goal was to get published, you would track how many queries you sent to publishers and as you start to get a response you can see how many queries you have to send in order to get a response.  The same would be true for a copywriter looking for more clients, how many promotional letters do you have to send out to get someone reaching back for your services?  And then how many bids do you have to give in order to land a client?

The same would hold true for fiction writers who want to publish short stories.  How many submissions before you get interest in your story, or publication?

Even if you are just setting out to write a novel, targeting a completion date can help you to get that novel written.  Tracking daily and weekly word counts can help you ramp up your efforts if you are falling short or keep you on track if you are clipping along.

In fact, anyone who has their own business or even a large goal they want to accomplish can be helped by using statistics to track their progress.  Statistics can help to motivate you and keep your eye on the ball.

While writing is a creative endeavor it is, like any other activity, also a numbers game.  The more writing you do, the better you get, and the more consistent you are the better result you reap.  And while keeping stats won’t make you a better writer, it will make you a more productive writer and that, as Martha likes to say, is a good thing.

What do you think – would keeping stats help you as a writer?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Writer Chick

Copyright 2012

Dear Mr. Gubberment

Dear Mr. Gubberment

When I was a kid I watched lots of old movies – especially B movies. In those B movies there was often some backwoods, gun-toting, paranoid country fella who was on the look out for rev-a-nooers. Lately, I’m starting to understand his paranoia. In the case of the movie character it was generally linked to the fact that the fella had a still producing moonshine somewhere on the back property. In my case it has more to do with not needing nor wanting a babysitter or replacements for the parental units. More and more it seems our government feels duty bound to guide us in our every decision.

I don’t know about you, but I am fully capable of making my own decisions and living with the consequences happily. When it comes to my own life, I quite literally don’t recognize any authority higher than myself. And there are many things I think Mr. Gubberment should have nothing to do with. Such as:

Admonishing me for eating certain foods and not eating others. What I put in my body is my business. You say that abortion is okay because a woman has the right to determine what goes on with her body and yet in the same breath you can tell me I can’t eat a ho-ho, a big mac or chili dog?

Telling me I’m too fat. Well maybe I am but what business is it of yours? If I have to struggle into a size sixteen that’s punishment enough without listening to the big-bootied first lady preach about vegetables. She’s not the boss of me.

Using tax dollars to promote stupid things like, breast feeding, organic vegetables, school lunches and anything else.  Much less giving tax breaks for such things. It’s not that I have anything against any of these things but the government is supposed to be concerned with roads, security and other similar matters. Not how we feed our children or where we buy our food.

Punishing people for being successful. Hey, sure I’m envious of people who have a lot of money. I’d like to have a lot of money too. But I never think it belongs to me because I want it. That is theft. Why then do you get to decide who makes too much money and that you can take it and give it to other people who want it?

Forcing me to buy something I don’t want. Yep, that’s right, not all of us want health insurance. Is this a shock to you? Well, I don’t get sick, have accidents and have an illnesses. I don’t need health insurance. Besides, aren’t all those taxes levied on cigarettes, liquor, and junk food meant to pay for health care services? I also don’t’ want to be forced to buy a hybrid, any green technology, or panty liners. If I want something I will buy it. If I don’t’, I won’t. Pretty simple really.

It’s not that I have anything against you in particular, Mr. Gubberment – government can be a good thing in a civil society. But you have to get over yourself and realize we don’t need extra parents – for the most part, our parents did or are doing just fine. That we know more about our lives and our decisions therefore make more sense than any decision you might make for us (no matter how well intended). That if Americans wanted a king, the American Revolution would never have happened.

Copyright 2011

The future is not ours to see—2011 predictions

Once again, we are on the precipice of a new year and the predictions are coming in fast and furious. In just a quick perusal I found that people are predicting everything from an intentional Republican strategy of maintaining terrible conditions to a live suicide by a politico on TV. Never-the-less I will share my predictions for the coming year, if for no other reason than to entertain and amuse.

Writer Chick predicts that in 2011….

1. Obama, at a loss for winning phrases and a decent speech writer will turn over the State of the Union address to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. After Obama excuses himself to go to party, his stand-ins will tout the merits of higher estate taxes and zero population growth policies and detail the positive impact they will have on the still floundering economy.
2. Julian Assange will file a personal injury lawsuit against his ‘enemies’ for leaking personal and private information about him. Stating that when it comes to leaking information about him, such actions are immoral and unethical and he has been irreparably damaged by the leaks.
3. Despite record breaking rainfall in California the ‘water police’ will begin issuing tickets to Californians who water backyard gardens, house plants and tiny lawns. Although those growing medicinal marijuana will be exempted from such citations.
4. Six months into his new term as governor, Jerry Brown will surreptitiously start a recall campaign to have himself removed from office and replaced by a Republican. When the sh*t hits the fan Republicans will be blamed and the Democrats will appear to be the victims of the whole mess.
5. First Lady Michelle Obama will publish a new children’s book called,  A children’s guide to the new living, breathing constitution. Amendments Mrs. Obama will encourage children to lobby for include:
a. The right to be force-fed vegetables
b. The right not to be fed fast food
c. The right to sue and blame your parents for everything you do that is wrong and irresponsible.

6.  During an enhanced pat down, a TSA agent will cut her finger on a bobbie pin in a female passenger’s hair. The cut will require an extra large band aid and the TSA will subsequently declare that all hair pins & accessories to be potential weapons and prohibit passengers from bringing them on board. Individuals donning toupees, wigs and hair extensions will be forced to remove the hair pieces for special scanning before being allowed to wear them on board an airplane.
7. A new spate of Wikileaks documents will reveal:
a. Homeland Security Chief Napolitano is really a man
b. That Nancy Pelosi hasn’t had a heartbeat for years
c. That George Soros and Warren Buffet are twins separated at birth
8. Israel will finally get fed up with all the grief it gets and wipe Iran off the map.
9. American companies will make a mass exodus from China due to new global warming taxes extended only to American business concerns and will return their manufacturing to America, where at least people speak English.
10. In a total twist of irony, Oprah Winfrey will challenge Obama for the Democrat nomination for 2012.
11. The 112th Congress will evict the UN for years of non-payment of rent and sell the building to Donald Trump who will have his “Apprentice” contestants compete to re-purpose the building.
12. Science will discover that in fact there is life on other planets and living right here on Earth.  The extraterrestrials who are like us will be found to be working for Congress.
13. Facebook will obtain eBay, Skype, Twitter and all other major social media platforms. Shortly after the acquisitions the government will sue Facebook for monopolizing social media and force a break up of the conglomerate – after levying extensive fines.
14. Google will enter the political arena with a new and progressive political pay per click advertising platform, among the unique features offered with this program will be a gps locating system that can isolate heretofore unknown voting blocs.

How about you, what are your 2011 predictions?

WC
Copyright 2010

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

No matter who you are or where you are, I wish you a Merry Christmas. I wish you have good food, good friends and good memories this Christmas day.

I wish the best for everyone in the coming new year. But most of all, I wish you laughter and lightness of heart. We all take life so seriously and I think maybe it’s not as serious as we think. Keep your eyes and your heart open, wonderful things happen everyday when you pay attention.

God bless our troops, their families and loved ones—and keep them safe as they work everyday to keep us safe.

I pray for everyone this day. I pray for understanding and peace. I pray for love and kindness. I pray new ways to bring us all together and death to the differences that tear us apart.

Merry Christmas, everybody and I thank you for reading.

WC

Can You Really Turn Garbage into Oil?

Taking a break from the Christmas posts to post this amazing video

Anyone interested in further data should read this short article.  I have to say I love this and am seriously wondering why the U.S. government isn’t throwing bagillions of dollars at developing this – since they love to talk about how we need to stop being addicted to foreign oil.  Oh right, that’s just politics.  See, the private sector really is where the solutions are.

WC

Scarcity, Control and Fear

A basic premise in marketing is to create a demand for your product. One of the tricks of creating a demand is scarcity. The scarcer something is, the more valuable it will seem and presumedly the more people will be willing to pay for it. Think oil, gold and diamonds, for example. Scarcity also creates in some people a desire to have that scarce commodity whether because of wanting to feel different or better by having such a scarce substance or the desire to be seen as special and therefore possess more power than others.

Scarcity has also been used throughout history as a means of control. Consider this, if Germany had not been in such dire straights, such dismal economic conditions, if jobs and food had not been so scarce – would Hitler have risen to power? Or perhaps a more general question – if millions of people hadn’t been convinced that we were running out oil, clean air and polar ice caps, would so many of us be so scared we were going to kill the planet? Or feel we had to come up with alternate solutions (even bad, expensive, unworkable solutions) to deal with that fear of scarcity?

For example, the United States has lots of oil. However, we’re not allowed to drill for it. Our government has essentially ensured that we cannot tap our own resources. How? By creating other scarcities, from animal and plant species to clean air to clean water and other reasons why we dare not tap resources that might create other scarcities.

The tactics used are many and varied – however the most effective among them is fear. Fear that the planet will be killed or destroyed. Fear that we’ll all be wearing gas masks. Fear that we will die because we have no clean water to drink. Fear that if we don’t get our unemployment checks we will starve. Fear that if taxes aren’t raised the national debt will just continue to rise and never be paid off and our children will become slaves. Fear that if we don’t allow the government to grope us at airports we will be blown up by domestic extremists. Fear that if ordinary citizens are permitted to own guns that crime will rise. And the list goes on.

When people are scared they are ever so easy to control. Don’t believe me, think about this – ever been in a situation that scared you? Your adrenaline is pumping, you are confused, you don’t know what to do. And then suddenly some cool-headed person steps in and takes charge, directs other people’s actions, makes things happen and gets the situation under control. Think car accident. Think house fire. Or even family emergency. We’ve all been there, something devastating and terrible happens and we lose it. We can’t think, in some cases maybe we can’t even move. And thank God somebody came along who had a cool head and could think in a crisis. Had they not, God only knows what might have happened – how much worse things might have turned out. And so maybe the next time something terrible happens we look to that person, rather than ourselves to get things under control. We give power over to that person, rather than address the situation ourselves. Soon, whenever that type of situation rears its ugly head, we wait for that special talented person to take care of it for us, perhaps even giving up our own control or ownership of a situation. And before we know it, we think what we are told to think, do as we are told and simply have no choice but to go along.

If you think about it the concept of scarcity is actually pretty ridiculous. Just do a cursory study of planet Earth and all her natural resources – not the least of which is the human race. Without the human race we would not have any kind of machinery, power, agriculture, technology, art, music, literature, etc. Though human beings have gotten a horrible rap of late for their greedieness and consumption, few have acknowledged what human beings have brought to the planet. In fact, if not for human beings you would not be reading this post. There would be no Internet, no computers, no cell phones, facebook, twitter, text messaging nor commerce – heck there wouldn’t even be green technology. I submit that mankind has more than contributed to life on this planet and will continue to do so, as long as it exists. And it is man’s ability to think, consider, and create that has enabled us to evolve and live better, more interesting and productive lives. There is no scarcity of ideas or solutions – yet we seem to be convinced that there are.

Today we are told there is a scarcity of jobs. Well, I suppose that is true in a way – however not quite. If you haven’t been living in a cave you may have read articles discussing the fact that businesses throughout the United States have lots of funds that they are sitting on and not using. They are not hiring and they are not expanding their businesses. The resources are there, but they are not using them. Why? Because the business world is expecting scarcity. They are expecting that their profits will dwindle because of new taxes and government regulations. They are expecting they will not be able to compete and do business without further and additional restrictions, that they will have less control over their businesses, the decisions they can make and fewer options. So, the scarcity vicious cycle is creating even more scarcity than has been created. And this scarcity perpetuates more scarcity – because people believe there are no jobs, that no one has any money and even if there is money that no one will spend it and so they look to the government to make up that scarcity rather than put on their thinking caps and resolve their own situations.

I believe that as long as anyone believes in scarcity, they will continue to be controlled and manipulated. I also believe there is no scarcity of anything, anywhere on this planet. If an animal or plant species dies out, other and new species come along and take their place. When sources of oil or other resources dry out, others are found or resources that can replace their function are discovered and created. If we all just believed in abundance for all of us, perhaps we’d discover that indeed abundance exists everywhere we look.

copyright 2010

Also-rans Need Not Apply

2008 was a momentous year – in that the chosen one was chosen. Much to the dismay of conservatives and perhaps now to the dismay of many others – since we see the hope and change that was on the agenda. There have been countless articles and discussions as to who voted him in and why. There are also countless commentaries on the price we have come to pay for electing an inexperienced and naïve (at best) individual to the office of president. Now two years in and a brutal mid-term election season behind us, we reflect on who might be asking for the job two years hence…

I’m pretty sure that despite all the hoopla that the Dems will run Obama again – unless he decides he’s had enough. Though I believe that to be unlikely for a man with an ego the size of Europe. So the question is, who will run against Obama?

And I for one, would like to ask all those who ran in 2008 to please refrain from running again. (Or threatening to – I’m talking to you Newt.) Romney, Guliano, Palin, McCain, Huckabee, Ron Paul, and company please don’t take this personally but I just think your time has passed. America is not what she was in 2008 – she is more tired, more distraught and more suspicious of the political process. She is in no mood for the usual rhetoric, the time-worn phrases and unfulfilled promises of the past. It just won’t do to say what people want to hear anymore. Action is the keyword and frankly, given the last presidential election cycle, your actions aren’t going to fly. Because America now knows (perhaps more than she has in decades) that talk is cheap. That the GOP has to walk the walk if it’s going to talk the talk.

While I personally liked Romney last time out, his association with the failed health care system in Massachusetts is a heavy albatross around his neck and the atmosphere on invasive and far-reaching health care is not friendly or welcoming. And no, really Mitt, it’s not about you being a Mormon. Huckabee, you essentially forced the nomination of John McCain, who aside from being 10 years older than dirt is one of the poorest excuses for a Republican that I have ever seen in my lifetime. Rudy I love you and God bless you for all you did for the country on 9/11 but contrary to popular belief, New York is not a microcosm of the country, in fact, some believe New York is its own country and frankly $10 hot dogs in every pot is not what most Americans are hoping for. Sarah, God love you for all you’ve done with the Tea Party and the re-awakening of the party but aside from the fact that you are the female version of New Gingrich as a firebrand, for all intents and purposes you are our version of Hillary Clinton. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, I do believe that is the truth. McCain…can you prove you are actually still alive? Face it, you like Bob Dole, got the nomination because there were favors called in and it was your turn. I know you believed that you rather than GW Bush were meant to get the nomination in 2000 and you managed to convince people of that eight years later but the truth is, you weren’t. Truth is hard, I know, but accept the fact gracefully, please. Ron Paul, do what you do best and remain the bull-dogish watch dog on constitutional issues within Congress – siphoning off a percentage of votes from other candidates does America no good and ends up producing candidates like McCain.

So…who should run or will run? I don’t know. There is buzz about Chris Christie, the no-nonsense NJ governor clearly is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and to do what he feels is best for his state. But he’s awfully new to the scene and given his support of RINO Mike Castle we might want to know more about him first. Although if he passes the sniff test, I’d certainly be willing to hop on the Christie band wagon to see what the man is about. Tim Pawlenty – sorry dude, all I know is that your name is bandied about a lot but nothing about you, which isn’t good since if you’re serious about a run you should be out making yourself and your positions on the issues, known. Jim DeMint looks promising if only because he is so willing to buck the GOP establishment. But if you want to know who really puts stars in my eyes right now, I’d have to say Allen West and Marco Rubio top the list. Both men seem honest, straightforward, humble, conservative and real American success stories. If you have not seen their acceptance speeches following their recent wins, check out youtube for them. These two are truly inspiring individuals in my book.

So GOP, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you decide that running an also-ran is a good idea. Don’t be surprised when the public rejects them. Don’t be surprised when you give Obama a second term – because you will. If you haven’t gotten the hint already you will soon enough. It’s time to pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, review, reflect and change your ways from your national committee to your state committees. We don’t want the Whitmans or the Fiorinas, we don’t want the Mike Castles or the Bob Bennets – we want real conservatives who understand and practice real conservative principles. Remember, you were the guys who fought against Ronald Reagan (thank God the electorate had other ideas) – and true to form you now tout him as an icon of conservative principles. Yet you couldn’t recognize that at the time. Face it guys, you’re on probation too. Get your house in order because if you don’t and you don’t support candidates who are real conservatives you will never win again and the electorate will be forced to find a party that will honor its wishes.

How about you, who is your dream conservative ticket for 2012?

copyright 2010

Teachers have sure changed since I was a kid…

This vid is a real eye opener. Teachers have really changed since I went to school. The thing I found disturbing is that our tax dollars just bailed these jokers out. Have to say, I’m happy I don’t have kids – placing my children with people like this in any position of authority would give me nightmares.
WC