Friday’s Odds and Ends

Thought I would start us off with a chuckle today. I saw this on Facebook and thought it was a hoot. Don’t we all feel like this some days?

And I’m especially feeling it this morning after hearing about another mass shooting. Is it ever going to end?

funny meme

For some time I have been saying that we should stop giving airtime or press time to people that are celebrities just because they’re celebrities. Or people in the news, like Trump, who so many people consider a joke. In an interesting article in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday September 27th Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate Magazine, wrote that tuning out the other side hurts our ability to debate important things.

I had never considered that before, thinking that we were just perpetuating the ridiculous at the cost of news of more substance. I always thought that if we just ignored them, they wouldn’t dominate the news so much. Lithwick’s point is that they aren’t going away, and maybe the media shouldn’t ignore them. She wrote:

Look: the media is absurd. It’s driven by extreme personalities and momentary outrage. The impulse to starve those personalities of their media oxygen is not wrong-headed. But those personalities and outrages are very real to half of this nation, and we need to engage and debate, even when they say hateful things, and not shame one another for feeding the trolls. So I am going to go ahead and write about people who might not seem real or serious or important. Because they speak to other people who are real and serious and important and ignoring our way to a better discourse does not seem to be a recipe for meaningful political engagement.

In other news this past week that was not so positive,Texas taxpayers paid 2.2 million dollars on a chair that was supposed to help veterans with PTSD. The spinning chair was created to help people with brain injuries and some football players have used it and said that it made them feel better. However, many experts say there is no reason to think that spinning traumatized combat veterans upside down could help them. In fact most of them agree that it would not.

Despite those expert opinions the Carrick Brain Center clinic  won a no bid contract with the Texas State Government to provide this for veterans at the cost of 2.2 million.

An editorial in the Dallas Morning News asked why we paid so much for a gyrating  chair and called the whole think a travesty.

As billionaire Donald Trump wrote in his book, Trump: the Art of the Deal, when company underperformance might deter investors, try a little deception and razzle dazzle instead. Create the illusion of success and investors will convince themselves that you know what you’re doing.

Apparently the Carrick Brain Center in Irving Texas and former Texas Governor Rick Perry did just that.

If we are One Nation – and may I add, One People – why do we have to be labeled as minorities and majorities? Could we all just be Americans and be done with it?

Fridays Funnies – I love these posts from Suddenly Senior

You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway.

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!

I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.

I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age and call it “Pumping Rust”.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

Some people try to turn back their “odometers”. Not me — I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.

Writing Wisdom – Jon Bard wrote a terrific piece on Writer Unboxed about marketing, and it almost convinced me I don’t really hate marketing. He really encouraged writers to change their mindset when it comes to that aspect of the writing world. He also stressed that marketing is not about the book, or the writer, it is about the benefit to the consumer. “What’s in it for me?”

Based on that basic fact, Bard advises:

Stop and have a good hard think about what your book will really give a reader. Excitement? Knowledge? Laughter? A good cry?

Build a marketing plan not around your book but rather around how your book will enhance your reader’s life. Choose your blurbs, jacket copy, and social media language to accentuate the impact your work will have on an individual reader, and work to frame readers’ experiences with your work in that light.

For example, rather than simply tweeting “Download a free chapter of my book,” say something like “Tuesdays are tough and you need a laugh, right? Take 10 minutes to get happy right now by going to (link to free chapter)”. It’s all about the benefit to your reader!

That’s it for me, folks. Have a great weekend. Do you have plans? I am going to be in my very first parade today. I’m so excited. Then a showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” tonight at the Winnsboro Center For the Arts, and “Hocus Pocus” tomorrow. Getting in the Halloween spirit early.

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