Quantcast
 

thA trending Twitter hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter really got my attention today. You can imagine why.

Some well-known writers (Jodi Picoult, Harlan Coben, S.E. Hinton, John Scalzi, et al.) dove in along with the rest of us lesser-known and unknown scribes. Collectively we whirled and howled about stuff like:

  • Low pay and no pay
  • Folks who question why we have to use so many cuss words
  • The assumption that we’ll never get published, i.e., be “real” writers
  • People who treat what we do as a hobby
  • Those who swear they could do this too, if only they had the time

Were we being thin-skinned? Check out a few of the tweets and let me know:

“It’s pretty impressive that you spend so much time on something that has so little chance of success.”

“I downloaded your book for free online. Could you please sign this printout of it?”

 


read more

thSometimes I regret my habit of reading while I eat. When dining or even snacking alone I tend to reach for a book, a newspaper, a magazine or even the back of a cereal box.

Dietitians would probably say that mindless eating often leads to overeating. Slow-food movement enthusiasts would likely tell me that paying half-attention to a plate means I’m missing the full experience.

And anyone who’s ever tried a recipe from the back of a food product would almost certainly warn against baking Tic Tac Toe Cookies, a peanut-butter cookie recipe found on the Heinz ketchup bottle.


read more

IMG_20150503_130130A couple of weeks back I gave away a 2016 calendar created by “Tundra” artist Chad Carpenter. Or would have, if the winner hadn’t been from Canada.

Not that I have anything against our brethren to the north (or, in my case, to the east). It’s just that mailing the calendar would have been ridiculously expensive.

That’s why I note that winners from outside the United States will receive a gift card instead of mailable items. In this case, I sent the reader a $15 Amazon.ca card.

Which means, of course, that the calendar is still up for grabs. So is a $50 gift card of your choice from the Swagbucks shop. But first things first.


read more

thRecently I flew from Anchorage to Las Vegas to give a talk at the New Media Expo. Going from a chilly climate to a potentially blast-furnace-hot one meant I’d need nothing but sandals, so why bother wearing shoes on the plane?

But this was an overnight flight and I can’t sleep when my feet are cold. Sighing, I made a sartorially awkward choice: gray wool socks with my Teva sandals.

And yes, I know how fugly that looks, but I’m built for comfort, not for speed. Besides, it wasn’t wearing the socks with sandals that left me feeling embarrassed. It was the removal.

The terminal in Los Angeles made my feet feel overdressed, instantly. Yet I felt it absolutely necessary to remove the socks in the ladies’ room. Doing so in the waiting area – even an empty one – seemed indecent somehow.


read more

IMG_20150503_130130I saw “Moose: The Movie” again on Saturday, on the drive back from Fairbanks. The first time was at the world premiere of this goofy horror-film spoof, the brainchild of cartoonist Chad Carpenter, creator of the “Tundra” comic strip.

In the past I’ve given away “Tundra” books, playing cards and a calendar. Reader interest has always been high because Carpenter’s work is syndicated in some 600 newspapers worldwide. Not bad for a homegrown cartoonist.

Carpenter was on hand at the Saturday screening and was giving away “Tundra” 2016 calendars. In addition to signing the calendars he added a little moose drawing. Look to the left and you’ll see the result.

Enter to win and you may wind up owning the result.


read more