Tag Archives: blogging

Karma By Another Name

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(This just in – your words and actions do effect your future. In scientific terms it is the law of cause and effect or sometimes the law of unintended consequences.  Let’s not give it a mystical name as if it doesn’t exist. Karma does not, but the other ‘laws’ do. Anyway her is a story of how my blog was named. Hope you enjoy.)

How To Name Your Blog (short fiction)

There we were one day sitting on the back porch waiting for the morning to become day. The birds were making enough racket to call the police. The coffee was somewhere between perfect and faultless. On the other hand, to me there are only two classifications of coffee strong and weak. As far as caffeinated and non-caffeinated the later is non-existent.

Any way Matt and I were talking. I tell it to you in third person, because first person is prone to elaborate beyond what is needed and stretch things a might.

“I got a lot of stories rolling around in my head,” Kenton said. “It’s kind of funny, but I glance at somebody and I wonder what their story is. I wonder how they got to where they are. I sort of think the journey from being a kid in kindergarten to the White House is the same journey as from kindergarten to sleeping under a bridge. And the journey to sleeping under the bridge is much more honest and compelling.”

“You’ve sold some of your stories haven’t you?” Matt said.

“Yeah,” Kenton said. “But from concept to publishing is sometimes years. I ain’t got that kind of time. I want a people to read them right away. I want to here from them. Of the short stories I’ve published I’ve never heard one thing from one reader.”

“Is that why you’re going to start blogging?” Matt said.

“Exactly,” Kenton said.

“Can you make any money that way?” Matt said.

“99.9 % of actors don’t get paid; the same with artists and writers,” Kenton said. “It’s like the guy who grows a garden and gives all the crop to neighbors.”

“So have you come up with a name for your blog?”

“No,” Kenton said. “Maybe you can help me.”

“I wouldn’t know where to start,” Matt said. “By the way, good coffee. But I got to watch myself. It keeps me up.”

“An amazing elixir,” Kenton said holding the cup and examining it. “It perks you up, relaxes, inspires, is a complement for cookies, pies, cake, rolls, and the like. It is the perfect peace maker; ’How ’bout if I buy ya a coffee?’ ’Can I buy ya a coffee?’ ’How ’bout if we have coffee over this?’ You only have coffee with friends. It’s a remarkable drink and all because some Bedouin goat herder observed a goat eat useless berries and dance, jump, and become jittery.” As the cup reached Kenton’s lips he said, “To that jittery goat, to whom the world owes much.”

“That’s it!” Matt said.

“What?” Kenton said.

“Is it not coffee that keeps you going sometime to continue to write?” Matt said. “Don’t some of your stories come to you while sipping coffee?”

“Yes,” Kenton said.

“Than name you blog in memory of that jittery goat,” Matt said.

“I think the herder called him Abdullah,” Kenton joked.

“Call it the jittery goat,” Matt said. “I think it sounds like something a literary type would come up with.”

“Or a drunken soldier,” Kenton said.

“To drunken soldiers, Bedouin goat herders, and The Jittery Goat, ” Matt said and they sipped their coffee.

Well that’s it. Third person has tendency to edit and consolidate, but that’s about it.

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The Jittery Goat; Nothing Remarkable Happens Here, Just An Easy Place To Visit

Daily Prompt: As Seen on TV

Write a script for a late-night infomercial — where the product is your blog. How do you market yourself? What qualities do you embody that other “products” don’t? What are the benefits of reading your blog?

Some things just don’t ring with you. Infomercials is one of them.

If I was to do an infomercial likely it would be without a script. I’d start telling a story.

“Welcome to the Jittery Goat. I’m Kenton Lewis, the guy to blame.

Recently I was reading the obits in my hometown newspaper. Two people from my childhood died. One of them I’m blogging about in two weeks, but I’d like to just tell you about the other one right now.

His name was Denny. He was a tough guy in my old neighborhood. Nobody messed with him. He was four years older than me and he bullied me around every time he got a chance.

When walking to the park I took the long way just to avoid walking by his house.

One day I was having a fun day at the park. It was in the summer and the city recreation department sponsored summer programs supervised by college students. It kept us juvenile delinquents from being delinquent and gave college kids a summer job and college money.

There was a small building in the park where all the athletic equipment was kept. I went inside to get something, it was likely bases for a baseball game. I was alone. Denny came inside right after me. He had a cousin with him who was about four years younger than me. And following them was Denny’s gang of fearful admirers.

Denny backed me into a corner and told his little cousin to punch me. I knew what Denny’s ploy was; if I struck his little cousin in defense of myself that would justify him beating me.

The little cousin hit me in the stomach.

I smiled. “You hit about as hard as Denny.”

Everyone laughed. Denny shoved me against the wall, sneered, and left me alone.

The worst thing you can do to a bully is humiliate him in front of his friends.

Over the years I saw Denny a few times. He pretended to never quite remember me. But from that day in the park he belonged to me. He was afraid that somehow I might remember that event and perhaps recall it, especially if others were around.

He led a life of community service; a life long volunteer fireman, chief of the department, and served a term or so as mayor of his town.

From that day in the park I was never afraid of him. I always saw a loneliness in his eyes. I’m sad he died. I hope he didn’t die alone.

If you like my stories, buy one of my books featured on the sidebar. Click on them and it will take you to Amazon. The books have some good stuff in them.

The Jittery Goat is a place to spend a few minutes, hear a story, buy a book for yourself or friend, move on, and come back.”

That’s an example of how I’d do an infomercial. Not exactly ripping stuff, but the kind of stuff that makes people think about others and their stories too.

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To All Bloggers And Writers: When It Comes To Writing, Regret (Yes) Fret (No)

You can't plug every hole in the dike.

You can’t plug every hole in the dike.

Daily Prompt: Release Me

Tell us about the blog post you were most nervous to publish — and what it was like to set it free.

There is a funny thing about writing as opposed to speaking. When speaking there is a tendency to guard one’s words carefully for fear what is said may come out wrong or the wrong thing might be said. When writing one has the opportunity to measure words and say what one may not speak, but do so in a fashion that will be more palatable and less offending if that is, indeed, one’s intent.

The problem is most can read between the lines quite easily or they have the ability to ponder and twist what was written.

Often a writer spends more time explaining what was written than what was he originally conveyed. (A word spoken, 100 words explaining.)

When speaking the speaker is able to note how their words are taken and quickly make a change, rephrase, or add some explanation. The writer makes every effort to convey their thoughts in as few words as possible while covering every possible loophole and still manages to be misunderstood, mislead, confound, and confuse.

I find it amazing that even stuff supposed to be caught by editors and proof readers make it to the eyes of the public to read like a batch of contaminated food.

Personally I’m an emotional writer. I write what I feel at the moment. That said, there are, of course, things that must be explored in the long term, but some issues are placed on the hard-drive, given a quick edit (sometimes), proofed (not very well), and posted. And then I wait.

People will reply. Most generally it is positive. Now and then one replies on something written that is less than flattering. When that happens I take it serious. I ask is the reply emotional, rational, honest, true, and correct?

Legitimate replies deserve legitimate explanations. That is when writing becomes an art. How one replies to adversity or criticism tells the world how good of a writer one is. Although at one time I received such a scathing criticism on something I merely replied, “Poopy face.” My advice, though, is to take the highroad, yet expose a poopy face when you see one.

I never defend myself when I’m wrong. I simply say I’m wrong. What ever angst the one replying wanted to put me through (if that was their intent) is over. I don’t have to be right.

One who writes may live in fear that what is written will come back to haunt them. As if some dark nefarious Moriarty is lurking and spying in the shadows of cyberspace waiting to pounce on every thought, post, paragraph, sentence, word, or letter posted. As though a file were being kept to check for inconsistencies, hypocrisy, distortions, lies, misquotes, and the like to be used on judgment day. Frankly, my harshest judgment will come from what I didn’t write rather than what I did write.

It is good to be cautious, but one must bear in mind that you can’t please everyone. I have what I term the ‘law of thirds;’ a third like what you’ve posted, a third don’t like what you’ve posted, and a third don’t care.

Have there been things I have been nervous about posting? Yes but, I got over that a long time ago.

Life is full of mistakes and posts we wish we would not have posted.

When in high school I had a Geography text book that had a picture of the famous Old Faithful geyser. I penciled-in fingers on each side of it and wrote, “What a zit!” Everybody got a chance to look at it and I was Mr. Funny-Guy for a moment. At the end of the year our books had to be checked by the teacher before being turned in. The “zit” thing was still there. I was fined a quarter and told to erase it. I paid the quarter and pretended to erase it.

Before hand, I recall watching the teacher chuckle to himself when he saw what I did to the book. It was wrong, but funny. Sometimes things like that happen; wrong things are said and done, but that’s life. I regret defacing a book for a cheap laugh, but it is a fond memory.

I bet the next year he got even a bigger chuckle from it.

You can’t plug every hole in a dike, please everyone, nor un-ring a bell. That hole in the dike may quench somebody’s thirst or water a flower. After considering everything you must please yourself. The rung bell may have turned out to awaken somebody or warn of danger.

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Do “Likes” And “Follows” Define Success?

facebook_like_button_big1[1]488[1]Daily Prompt: Secret of Success

What would it take for you to consider yourself a “successful blogger”? Is that something you strive for?

Personally that question cannot be answered until I put the period on my last sentence.

A friend was working his last day before retirement. In the factory I worked in the last day was spent walking around and saying goodbyes.

The day before I grabbed the last part he machined and had it etched with the date and the words, “Last part.”

I handed it to him and said,” This is the part you’ve been looking for since the first day you walked in here.”

He said, “Thanks and I hope it’s to specs. I wouldn‘t want my last part to be a bad one.”

Blogging is one thing, writing something quite different.

My goal was to write some stories that others would read and muse over. At first nobody read them and if they did seldom did I receive a comment. As time went by there have been more “follows” and more “likes.”

“Follows” and “likes” are not the barometers which I gauge my success. Any one can hit the “follow” button and hope that person will follow you. It is the same with the “like” button; anyone can quickly click on to your page a rush to the bottom of the post and click the “like” button.

That is not how I measure success in blogging although that is some indication; someone is at least taking the time to hit the “like“ or “follow“ button. Comments are helpful also. The total number of visits are helpful. Yet, those in themselves are not what measures success.

Back to the part I handed my friend upon retirement; That part will never be used for its original intended purpose, to find its way onto a driveshaft of a truck. It serves as a reminder of good workmanship, dedication, and loyal service. That one part will remind my friend of good times and good friends.

Success is most often measured by perseverance. My friend persevered for 30 years. He was a success.

The last part he machined was certainly better than the first one. In the quest to blog and improve in writing, the last post should be better than the first.

Success comes down to perseverance and improvement. And only I am the one that can hit the final “follow” and “like” button on that one.

Success is measured by time and improvement.

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Blogging Is Sharing Flowers

Child-Picking-Flowers[1]Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?

When the process of naming this blog rolled around in my mind one thing was certain, it was not going to sound like many others or as if my own personal thinking was something to be featured. Words like “musing,” “ramblings,“ or “thoughts” were quickly dismissed.

I write under the direct influence of strong black coffee. I never get the jitters, but it was from the visual of the first coffeeholic inspiration was lifted. Legend has it that a Bedouin goat herder observed one of his goats nibbling on a strange little berry and began to dance about. I could hardly call my blog the “Dancing Goat.” That goat was the first one to be recorded as having the coffee or caffeine shakes or jitters, thus Jittery Goat. In addition, it nearly sounded like “Literary Goat.” Perhaps I’ve stumble over a new name, “Jittery Literary Goat.”

I display an old typewriter as background for my masthead. My first typewriter was similar. When I write that’s where I mentally go. The typewriter is in a small weather-beaten house on the rugged coast of Maine. My writing room overlooks pounding waves that wash up words and stories to be caught by the shores of my mind.

A simple design has been chosen. At first all I wanted was a space for my stories. I thought it would be best to add a few things to the side bars so it looks like I got other things going on. It’s no more than keeping up with all you other creative web geniuses who make it tough on the rest of us.

I’m happy with what I see. The content has evolved. I’ve written some stupid stuff and some good stuff. I’ve read some interesting people who are really talented. I continue to learn more about writing and thinking.

WordPress has given a lot of us a place to settle, a place to unburden our souls and explore our dreams and talents. It has given a voice to many whoever thought about writing or any creative endeavor; at least a place to test the waters. It’s a noble thing to share something you hold dear. In some ways we’re not so different from the child we once were who found a flower and brought it in for our mother, thinking it was the most beautiful thing in the world – and it was. We are all still just sharing flowers.

I like stories and just look for a place to put them down.

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I Don’t Blog For Money, So Why Do I Blog?

My blog is like a river.

My blog is like a river.

Daily Prompt: Origin Story

Why did you start you blog? Is that will why you blog, or has your site gone in a different direction than you’d planned?

When I started writing a blog it was satire and parody. Because of their nature it appeared as though my blog was taking a political stand.

For a while I wrote stories about my Mom and Dad. I suppose the long and short of it is that it was cathartic for me. Yet with my mother’s advancing age (100 in February) I wanted to give her a tribute of sorts.

I’ve written short stories, sports, observations, personal experiences, and what ever pops into my head that can take up a couple of paragraphs. I always envisioned my blog as someplace a person could sneak to for five minutes with their coffee between checking emails and seeing what’s new in the world.

I try to cover something that takes no more than five minutes.

Mainly I just enjoy the process of writing and arranging words and ideas. Writing is taking random thoughts and arranging them in some sort of order to inform, amuse, and entertain. Those words and ideas come out in the form of essays, satires, short stories, and Daily Prompts.

Some may write in an effort to set the world right. Yet I suspect the real reason most writers write is to set themselves right and find acceptance.

It’s sort of strange when I think about it; I want as many people as possible to read my blog, but not the extent they want to live it. In other words, I don’t want anyone to steal a hand full of candy because Kenton Lewis said it was exhilarating, yet I wouldn’t mind if someone said I didn’t steal the hand full of candy because of the bad conscience Kenton Lewis had later.

I truly contemplate the direction of my blog. I think of it as a stream or river. It goes where the contour of the land takes it. Sometime it moves with such force it is able to carve out its own way, it meanders and changes, but it moves forward. I’m always surprised at what lies around the next bend in the river.

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Frank, The Sensational Blogger (short fiction)

Rules of effective blogging: 1. Have something interesting to say. 2. Have a catchy name. 3. Let people know you are blogging.

Rules of effective blogging:
1. Have something interesting to say.
2. Have a catchy name.
3. Let people know you are blogging.

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?

“Ya know I’m writing a blog now?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“It’s really good.”

“I’m sure it is.”

“Have you seen it?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“I wonder why? A lot of people read my blog.”

“Really.”

“People from as far away as India.”

“Interesting.”

“You should read it.”

“I don’t read Hindi.”

“It’s in English.”

“Oh.”

“Than you will read it?”

“Sure, jot it down on a piece of paper.”

“It’s easy to remember. I won‘t have to jot it down.”

“Just jot it down.”

“You won’t forget it if I tell you.”

“I’ll be sure to remember if you jot it down.”

“You might lose the note.”

“What is it?”

“What’s The Name of Joe’s Blog dot com. It’s all one word. Isn’t that clever? How could you forget that?”

“Joe is you name?”

“It‘s Frank. Joe was taken.”

“Nice to meet you, Frank.”

“And your name is?”

“Joe.”

“Wow! I got your name. Would you like to buy my domain?”

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