Thank you, Gatsby!


By Evan Hundhausen

(This piece was first published at “Kissing Authors & Astronauts” a blog at AmyRivers.com.  Amy is the author of Wallflower Blooming  and Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters.)

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience as me.  I went to grad school to get my MFA, wrote shorts stories, got critiqued, and then looked for journals I should send them to only to get rejected.

After grad school I landed smack dab in the real world.  I worked at a grocery store where I would see my former MFA professors shopping for organic milk in the dairy section.

Basically, I stopped writing all the time and wrote only a “little” throughout the ensuing years like that was okay!

But it wasn’t.

I was uninspired and it took me a long time to realize I needed to go find some more writing classes (say what?!) even though I had my MFA degree already.

It was one of best decisions I ever made and today I’m a proud member of two writers groups, which is where I get the inspiration I need for free!

I write blog posts, I self-publish my books on Amazon and I’m currently learning how to pitch screenplays to Hollywood.

I’m not spending thousands of dollars like I did during Grad School.  I spend much less and I learn a lot more in writing classes I’ve discovered around town and in the community I live.

I’ll mention that one of the most important things I ever learned on writing happened a long time ago at a reading in New York put on by one of my favorite authors.

Tangent starts now….

Now, you should know I’m not one of those bloggers who thinks it’s okay to name drop without backing it up (It’s not okay. You could get sued, so don’t do it!), so I won’t tell you who this author was.

I waited in a long line to get this author’s autograph and when I finally had my chance to stand in front of him, all nervous like, I said, “Your writing has inspired me so much!”

He replied with a shrug, “Don’t thank me.  Thank The Great Gatsby!”

I walked away embarrassed.  What a weird thing to say to an adoring fan?  Only after lots of time had passed did I realize the bomb he dropped on me.

Often I will find myself in a used book shop and will buy an old, yellowing copy of “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I’ll put it on my bookshelf or on my computer desk where I write, so I can be reminded how to write a great book.

It’s reference.  I’ll thumb through it.  Maybe read a paragraph or two to see what I’m up against when I finally go to work on my own fiction.

This author ultimately taught me you have to study the “classics” or risk looking like an amateur when it comes to your own writing.

It sounds harsh, I know, but stick with me on this idea for a minute, will ya?

Have you ever read “Moby Dick?”  You probably don’t remember this, but it was written in first person.  It’s like the narrator or main character Ishmael is talking just to you while you both sit at a bar together.

Moby Dick” has been made into umpteen movie versions.  A common formula you will find every time you visit a Barnes and Noble; best sellers are advertised there on a table and on each book cover you see, Now a Major Motion Picture.

If you read through one of these B&N books you’ll most likely notice it’s written in first person just like “The Great Gatsby” and “Moby Dick.”

Is this a coincidence?  No way, dude!

This is what people want to read today just like they wanted to read years and years ago, so technically nothing has changed when it comes to classic literature.

I don’t really want to argue with you about it, so keep writing in whatever style you want to, but honestly I can’t see how rereading a book like the “The Great Gatsby” could hurt.

We all took English classes in high school and college, so we already know what the classic titles are.  Now, it’s time for all us “aspiring writers” to go back and reread them.

Get them at the library.  Read them for free online.  Get them at the used bookstore for cheap.

The “classics” are the tools you want to put in your “tool belt” to make you look like a seasoned professional.  For example, you wouldn’t want a plumber without a tool belt on to fix your toilet would you?  Not likely.

Reread and imitate classic books.

It’s the best way to end up writing a good book yourself, but most importantly, in the end, thank “The Great Gatsby” and not me!

BIO:
Evan Hundhausen received his MFA in Creative Writing at Naropa University.  He writes blog posts at DirtyFilthyDiscoTrash.com and his self-published short story collection, “Accelerated LearningTechniques for a Budding Sociopath: A Bunch of Short Stories,” can be found for sale on Amazon.  Currently Evan spends his time writing for magazines, writing novels and even screenplays.  See him DJ at djcola.net.

 

 

 

 

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For Bands Only!  7 Tips on How to Run Your Band Successfully from Author Tim Wenger.

9/21/2017

On a Thursday night in September, at Old Fire House Books in Fort Collins, Tim Wenger lectured about how to run a band successfully.

There the small audience in the bookstore received invaluable insight taken from Tim’s own experiences touring with his own band.  He also talked about all he learned from his experience as a music editor at a major publication and his job as venue manager working nightly at a club in Denver.

Read on to find out what Tim had to say about how to succeed as a band in today’s musical landscape.

  1. Press Releases

“Pitching media is a big part of being in an independent band and pitching them correctly is an important thing,” said Tim.  “Let them know that you’re building a buzz around town and they will cover you.  It’s their job.”

Tim explained that the media does not want to “miss out” on something hot or cool like your band playing on a Friday night.  Tim also stressed the importance of acting professionally in your email.

“I’ve seen so many emails come into me written in all caps or completely lacking punctuation or using like hip-hop vernacular or any other form of complete un-professionalism.”

Editors delete emails immediately if it’s not done professionally Tim said,  so be sure to include a press release, a high resolution photo, a link to your music, a link to your social media account and give the editor a good reason why they should cover your event like your latest record release or a new music video.  Tim stressed you should “hype” it up.

“If you don’t get a response in a few days there’s absolutely no harm in sending a follow up email.”

Visit Tim’s website HelpMyBand.net.  It provides a sample press release you can use as a reference.

  1. Image is everything!

When it comes to social media bands should post regularly, use a pic and portray an image of them moving forward in the local scene.

Tim talked about how tempting it is to be negative on social media.  For example, it would be easy to bash the club you played at last night because things didn’t go so well, but don’t do it!

According to Tim you need to stay away from negative social media all together.

“The entire foundation of a band is built on attracting people to your band and to do that you need to create an image of positive progression.  You need to create an image of a community around your band… You want to be out there mingling, you want people to see you, you want people to see that you’re part of the community and you’re building a movement around your band.”

  1. Pre-sell tickets for shows.

“What I see a lot of bands around Denver that are very successful doing… actually driving them to people,” said Tim. “Set up like one night a week leading up to the show where one or two of your guys are going to drive around town and deliver these tickets. Take them to people’s work.  Take them to people’s houses.  Do anything you can to get the tickets in people’s hands.”

The more tickets your band sells the better the times slots, dates and shows you will get down the line because promoters and managers at the venues will see you’re results.

  1. The night of the show.

“You want people to leave the club with the image of you as being a professional,” explained Tim. “You always want to have merchandise.  You always want to have T-shirts, music.  Give them away something for free.  Everybody should be leaving with something that has your name on it every single time.  There’s really no excuse for that not to be happening.  Digital download cards are a great way for that to happen.”

Tim’s favorite website for musicians is BandCamp.com.  For merchandise he likes BigCartel.com when it comes to selling your band’s wares.

  1. Touring Hacks

 Befriending another band in another town is a “tried and true technique” according Wenger when it comes to finding a way to go on tour with your band.

“Contact a band in that town, in your genre, and just talk to them,” said Tim. “Ask them if they’ll host you, you know, do a show swap.  They bring you to their town.  You bring them to your town.”

Tim emphasized the most valuable thing a traveling musician could have is other bands that are friends in other towns.

“It’s basically worthless to play somewhere once and never go back again,” Tim added.

He mentioned the term “routing,” which is how you expand your fan base in other areas.

You should go back every six months to a year and the people who saw you last time will come back and bring their friends to your next show.

There is also another term Tim brought up called “circling,” which is how bands expand their circle.

“Maybe it’s Denver, Grand Junction, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and then the next time you go you add two more dots to that circle, you know, you add Pueblo or Santa Fe or whatever it might be and you slowly expand your circle… It works.”

  1. Road Etiquette

There’s no sleep on the road and too much junk food is bad for you, so Tim suggests putting ice in a cooler and storing good food to eat while in the van.

Also “me time” doesn’t happen so much on the road and before your live show that night you should take some time to go on a walk, go do your laundry or sit in a cafe to get away from your band mates and to recharge your batteries.

  1. Can I make a living with my band?

In all of Tim’s experiences in bands he never pocketed any money.  All the money made went right back into expenses and merchandise.

“It’s a very taboo subject and it’s something that’s really sensitive for a lot of people,” Tim said. “It’s the ‘dream’ and it drives a lot of bands apart and it’s very stressful over time when you’re not making any money and maybe you have a kid or a wife or whatever it is. You have obligations.  You have rent.  It’s tough.  That’s why I emphasize so much the making it be a part of your life, but not the entire thing.  I think that’s the biggest thing that leads to burnout… There’s a reason why I don’t have a chapter in my book called How to Sell a Million Records because I haven’t sold a million records.”

So, I have a band!

Tim says the biggest problem with bands is breaking up and he wrote his book to help keep bands together instead of apart.

“The entire impetus for this book is to help bands manage themselves better, present themselves better, so they can last for more than six months, two years.”

Get all the advice you need on running your band today by buying, “So, You Have a Band: The definitive guide to presenting your band as serious business” by Tim Wenger in Kindle e-book form or print on demand over at Amazon.

Visit :

www.timwenger.net

www.helpmyband.net

 

 

 

 

Do you workout? Try these Gripad Workout Grips.

I tried these Gripads in the gym.

It gives you a good grip if you use heavy weights, do pull ups, etc.

When I do bench press it works pretty good, but if you are used to “throwing” weights around and loosening your grip when you are lifting weights, you can’t because the grip is solid and nothing slips. 

You have to completely let go of the weight to release your grip.

There is no support for the wrist, which you are probably used to with regular work out gloves, but these guys free up your hands to concentrate on lifting properly and heavy with their nice padding.

Buy a pair for yourself today to see what they are like.

$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25.

Without Joseph Campbell there’d be no “Star Wars”

“It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into the human cultural manifestation.”

From the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

You know, George Lucas really makes me green with envy.

Why didn’t I have friends like Francis Ford Coppolla and Brian De Palma after graduating from film school?

Actually . . . I never went to film school I just have an MFA in creative writing.

I’ve never lived in California either, so of course I don’t have a roster of influential friends who could introduce me to studio heads, but so what? I get the privileged honor of writing blog posts!

But enough about me. This post is supposed to be about a genius named George Lucas!

Did you know Joseph Campbell said George Lucas was the best student he ever had?

“Who?” you’re wondering. “And why does that matter when I could just go stream a Star Wars movie instead of reading this blog post, Evan?”

Well, let me explain . . .

Ol’ Joe Campbell wrote books about the influence of myth on human beans.

This guy Campbell researched ancient and modern religions, tribes, stories from long ago to discover what was so important and special about them to us.

Bill Moyers did a whole series on PBS, years ago, about the subject of “myth” and interviewed Joseph Campbell in it. The show is simply called The Power of Myth.

Basically, my point being, his books are trez importante to anyone who considers themselves a writer.

There are many elements in mythical stories that writers should gleam from.

There’s the hero’s journey, there’s usually a damsel in distress, there’s also some wise old sage man, person or “it” who helps the hero get the insight he needs to defeat evil and his enemies — and these are just a few of the things a writer should think about when writing their own stories.

“I had an idea of doing a modern fairy tale . . . (I) stumbled across The Hero with a Thousand Faces . . . I began to understand how I could do this. It was a great gift.”

George Lucas honoring Joseph Campbell

I don’t know about you, but the fact that George Lucas became a household name because he studied Campbell’s books makes me want to go out and buy everything written by this guy.

Here’s a list of books and stuff you should check out to continue your own personal odyssey of becoming the next George Lucas.

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor

Everyone’s reading this one to get the nitty gritty on how George Lucas did it.

Star Wars Trilogy Bonus Disc (2004)

A surprisingly cool video about George Lucas and the cast of Star Wars.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) by Joseph Campbell

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers

What do you think about George Lucas and Joseph Campbell? Leave a comment below.

13 Halloween Gadgets You Can Order Online This Year To Make Your House Haunted!

13 Halloween Gadgets You Can Order Online This Year To Make Your House Haunted!

When I was a kid I went to Niagara Falls a couple times with my family for vacations.

Once there we would go to seafood restaurants and play mini-golf after, but also, at some point, we’d visit the haunted house, the wax museum, the torture museum and even the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” museum.

If I remember correctly I think there was even a Houdini museum.

Yeah, we saw the falls, too, and went on that boat wearing hooded orange ponchos like everybody else, but all those weird, haunted, elaborate attractions definitely left an impression on me.

Nowadays, if I wanted to, I could take a page from Niagara Falls’ book and make my own house into a haunted one and you can, too, because some of the same gimmicks I saw at the Falls as a child are now for sale on Amazon!

Here are 13 examples you can go check out for yourself to decorate your home this Hallow’s Eve.

The Haunted Mirror

Check out this Motion Activated Haunted Mirror on Amazon.

1. Motion Activated Haunted Mirror with Creepy Sound/Luminous Portrait Halloween Prop Decoration

Nothing could freak you out more than staring into a haunted mirror waiting for an animated image to scare you pants off! Stuff like this frightened me as a kid and made me question what’s real and what isn’t!?

$18.99 on Amazon!

Bringer of Death

The Grim Reaper is the bringer of death.

2. Prextex 5 Ft. Animated Hanging Grim Reaper Skull with Shackles Chains Best Halloween Decoration Prop

The porch to your house will just be barren without a Grim Reaper there. It has a skull with blinking red eyes to freak out trick or treaters. It’s 5 foot tall, makes, scary sounds and the hands shake.


$25.99 on Amazon!

Lights

You are going to need lots of lit up attractions in order to make your house look really cool.

3. 2017 Night Creatures Halloween Red Blinking Eyes Scary Decorations Outside Lights Props Animatronics

Buy these blinking eyes to light up your walls, the front porch or your garage. They look like a bunch of creepy creatures in the woods just waiting to pounce!

$24.99 on Amazon!

4. 7 Pack – 9ft Neon Glow Light El / Electroluminescent Wire Variety Color (Blue/Red/Green/White/Yellow/Orange/Purple) – 3 Mode Battery Controller – Party Decoration Wedding Halloween Music Festival

Everyone needs some glowing light strings. Click here to see examples of how people outline their Halloween masks with this stuff for a cool effect!

$28.99 on Amazon!

Projections

Digital effects and projections are all the rage and here are a few you should check out to scare or “annoy” your neighbors. Take your pick!

5. AtmosFearFx Witching Hour Halloween DVD Projector Kit with 1900 Lumen LED Video Projector, Reaper Brothers High Resolution Window Rear Projection Screen and AtmosFearFX Witching Hour DVD

If you don’t own a projector or screen you can order this full package deal to really go over the top this Halloween!

$249.99 on Amazon!

6. AtmosFEARfx Phantasms Digital Decoration

You can play these scary DVDs on your flat screen TV continuously if you don’t have a projector.

$39.99 on Amazon!

7. AtmosFEARfx Ghostly Apparitions Digital Decorations

You could have the projection screen hanging from two trees in your yard or just hang it right in front of a window, like in your attic, pointing out onto the street to make it look like it’s haunted up there with a real live ghost!

$39.99 on Amazon!

3D, baby! Yeah!

Get creepy in 3D this year and really wow the kiddies who come to check out your haunted house for tricks or treats.

8. AtmosFX 3DFX Form

You aim the projector onto a “human-shaped inflatable vinyl form,” standing over 5 ft tall, to make this attraction creepy as hell!

There’s also sound so you can really present something unique that everyone in your neighborhood will be talking about for days.

$59.99 on Amazon!

A Window Wonderland for Hallow’s Eve, Thanksgiving and X-mas!

If you want to be ready for Christmas after your Halloween fun is over, then check out these projection devices.

9. New 2017 Star Shower Window Wonderland by BulbHead Includes 12 Original Movies for Christmas (6) and Halloween (6) (1 Pack)

You just plaster the screen against the window of your choice, aim the projector at it and now you got movies for people to see from the street for both Halloween and Christmas!

$59.99 on Amazon!

10. New 2017 Slide Show by BulbHead – Includes 12 Full Color Slides for Christmas (6), Halloween (2), Other Holiday/Celebrations (4)

$39.99 on Amazon!

Props and Decorations

If you need something simple and not complicated try these wall, window and yard decorations.

11. Amscan Halloween Trick or Treat Asylum Party Scene Setters Mega Value Wall Decorating Kit (Pack of 32), Multicolor, 65″ x 32 1/2″

People can see them from your windows or inside on your walls. They won’t be like CGI. More like how they used to do it in the olden days for those 50 and 60s movies. Think a big painted backdrop for the background. You know what I mean, scary bean!

$9.45 on Amazon!

12. Smartcoco Broken Finger Hand Foot Scary Bloody Broken Body Parts Halloween Prank Props Decorations

Nothing is creepier than having body parts lying around your living room or “panic” room this season.

$3.49 on Amazon!

13. Prextex Pack of 4 Halloween Décor 22” RIP Graveyard Lightweight Foam Tombstone Halloween Decorations RIP

Rest in peace this year with your very own graveyard in your yard! It’s a simple, cheap, yet effective way to decorate.

$24.99 on Amazon!

Celebrate Halloween in style!

Whatever you do this Halloween makes sure it freaks you out, but be safe. Halloween is fun for the whole family and with some of these gadgets and props your “homemade” haunted house will look amazing!

 

Are you a Writer? Then the Sony ICD-PX440 Stereo IC Digital Voice Recorder with Direct USB is a great new Gadget to add to your tool belt!

I once read a book called Million Dollar Productivity by Kevin J. Anderson.  He writes lots of fiction books every single year and one of the reasons why he is so productive is because he goes hiking in the woods with a recording device that he talks his fiction chapters into.

It’s an interesting concept and was really a foreign one to me until I actually tried it out for myself.

I had to get used to talking into the recorder, but now that I have I can see just how valuable it is to have this device on me when ideas for my fiction are running through my head and I need to get them down immediately before I forget them!

I’ve used the Sony recorder to interview people for articles I’ve written for magazines, but more importantly I like it for capturing ideas for stories when I’m out and about and in the car.

Also, when you have the window down and the wind is blowing it doesn’t affect it and captures your voice clearly!

There is a USB drive so you can stick the recorder easily into your laptop to transcribe, upload, or email the audio to somebody.

It has an easy stop/start/pause record button where you don’t have to think about it much, which I think is important for something like this.

PLUS! I’ve dropped it multiple times and it never breaks and just keeps on recording!

It works in loud places, too, which I would say is the best thing because I’ve found myself in many different spaces that might not be conducive for interviews. If I didn’t have a device like the Sony ICD recorder in those spots I’d be screwed!

You might have to spend some time getting used to talking into it, but once you do it works great for capturing new story ideas or even long pieces you speak into it.

It’s totally worth the investment and a great addition to your arsenal for creating new works of writing.

It uses AAA batteries, but has like 40+ hours of life, which is more than enough to record stuff.

On Amazon it’s around $67 bucks.

A really cool gadget, honestly, and a great addition to your arsenal of tools for enhancing your writing career!

I will probably buy a second one in the future just so I’ll have a backup.

You can buy one at the affiliate link below.

You won’t regret it!

George R.R. Martin wrote TV Shows before HBO’s Games of Thrones. Who Knew?

Game of Thrones season finale, The Dragon and the Wolf, is on tonight!
George R.R. Martin is famous for writing the books that are HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and the season finale, The Dragon and the Wolf, is on tonight, but did you know that he also wrote for several TV shows way back in the 80s?

He did and I unknowingly grew up watching them with my family all during my childhood.

Beauty and the Beast

One series was called Beauty and the Beast with Linda Hamilton from The Terminator and Ron Perlman from Hellboy. Ron played “the beast” of course.

It went for three seasons and the setting took place in New York City. I know my family and I watched the first season faithfully from our apartment in Brooklyn when I was a kid. You just can’t beat a New York story!

The Twilight Zone, etc.

George also wrote five episodes of The Twilight Zone back in 1986. I imagine I saw them all growing up because I watched that show loyally along with Doctor Who.

Then his novellas and short stories were adapted into movies for the screen and TV. These were called Nightflyers (1987), Doorways (1993), and Deadly Nightmares (1984).

And one of his novellas, Sandkings, was turned into an Outer Limits episode. Who else can say they wrote for both The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits? It’d be interesting to find out.

Did you know Game of Thrones is also a video game?

I am going to have to get those in the future I think. I remember how much I enjoyed playing Lord of the Rings games on the PlayStation 2. George has tipped his hat before to John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, best known for the high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. I guess, when it comes to writing, that means you should imitate the best to be the best!

Long live King George!

Now you know more about the famous George R.R. Martin, who has put a spell on our imagination with his wonderful series on HBO.

Take the time to click the links in this blog post so you can discover more of his creative works on Amazon.

You could also order a TV Fire Stick from Amazon and then order HBO Now to watch every episode of Game of Thrones at your own leisure!

There’s Legal Weed in Colorado. Aren’t you Jealous?

If you don’t live in Colorado like I do you’re probably wondering what this “legal weed thing” is all about. Maybe you’re even jealous of me because I can go buy a gram of weed for $15 bucks in the time it takes somebody to fill up their car with gasoline — Oh wait! Have you heard of Native Roots in Colorado Springs? You can get your gas and grass at the same time there!

Basically I can just walk into a Rec (recreational) dispensary and just buy weed and then go on with my day. You have to be 21+ though and you don’t need a medical card, but if you have one there is a separate entrance for you usually and there you get a bigger and badder selection than a Rec customer gets. For example, would you like cannabis in your peanut butter? That’s available.

I will describe the experience of walking into a Rec dispensary to you :

Dispensaries buzz you in. The likelihood you are on camera is 100%. The taxes are high. If you buy a gram for $13 then there is at least $2–4 worth of taxes added on.

When you walk into a dispensary they check your ID and then tell you to sit down and wait. Then they let you into another room like it’s a doctor’s office. Inside there is usually a glass case and a friendly, knowledgeable budtender to serve you.

They will let you smell different weed strains they have on site. They will open the jar lid and let you sniff it. They could be “out” of your favorite weed strain. Sometimes the weed they order from farms in Colorado changes on a weekly basis.

It’s okay to ask the budtenders (like bartenders) their opinions on the products. They freely give them to help you choose. Most budtenders are a pleasure to talk to. Most of them have to talk to a lot of weirdos all day long, so be nice and tip your budtender!

Grams and eighths of “flower” come in plastic bottles that look similar to prescription pill bottles with childproof caps. They can be the color black, blue, or green. They have a warning label on them similar to a surgeon general warning on cigarettes. The labels also list the percentage of THC and CBD. Once you buy your weed you’re not supposed to open the lid inside the dispensary. I saw an uptight budtender freak out on my friend once when she did that.

You can also buy extracts and concentrates like hash, oil, butter, wax just to name a few.

There are lots of strains to choose from as you can imagine. Indica to Sativa. Indica for that mellow mood and Sativa for motivation and “cleaning your house” so to speak. And then their are “hybrids.”

Edibles

They also have edibles for sale like cookies, sodas, even lotions for body pain or massage oils (for sexy time!). Basically it just gets more and more detailed as you research this legal weed rabbit hole.

If you decided to buy an edible try 10 mg, the lowest dose, to see how that makes you feel and go from there. You don’t want to end up at the emergency room, which is where lots of pot tourists end up because they don’t know their limits and they will buy a 100 mg edible. Bad idea if you’ve never done that before.

The rules

There are lots of rules and regulations that dispensaries and weed businesses have to follow and I’ve heard it said before that Colorado is at the forefront of government weed regulation giving other states cues on how to proceed.

The amount of weed a tourist can have on them versus the amount an in-stater can have are totally different. Your budtender can inform you on this kind of stuff.

How much weed are we talking about here?

Colorado grows lots of lots of weed in the southern part of the state. I interviewed someone once and he said he drives two and 1/2 hours into Denver to deliver 500 pounds of weed to dispensaries in his van!

A cool ‘mill’

If you walked down Broadway in Denver you could literally see three or more weed dispensaries on one block. There’s lots of options for weed shopping here.

Colorado just recently put a cap on how many dispensaries are allowed to open and that means lots of dispensaries are being sold for millions of dollars. I even heard an estimate that a dispensary makes $30,000 a day.

What’s that smell?

I’ve literally walked down the main city streets of Denver and have smelled cannabis in the air. It’s not from people smoking, either (you could get a $100 fine for smoking in public). It’s from the grow rooms and dispensaries and it’s kind of a skunky smell, not always so pleasant like you would think.

Weed on sale

Newspapers and print magazines are still in business in Colorado because the advertising is all weed ads. Could you imagine getting your paper in the morning and the first thing you see is a weed ad?

Paying the price

Weed is one reason why people are moving here in droves. The estimate is 14,000 people a month move to Colorado. I’ve seen the property value go up 100–150 percent and maybe more in some instances. It’s sad when you hear so many people complain that they can’t afford their rent here anymore!

Driving

When you drive with your weed on you you have to buy a special childproof bag at a dispensary to put it in and keep it out of arms reach, like in your trunk, to be legal. Some of the special bags come with a key for you unlock it. You could also lock it away in a toolbox, too. Again there are laws on how much weed you can have on you so you have to be aware of that.

Stashlogix ProStash Locking Stash Bag with Odor Control (Black)

Weed or pot, man?

Also you should know the term “pot” isn’t hip anymore. It’s now referred to as “weed” all across the board it seems. Dig?

http://www.marnieruckmanphotography.com

CBD vs. THC

If you don’t want to get high you can avoid the THC all together and get CBD smokeables and edibles. In the news you may have seen CBD has helped professional football players with their pain. It’s been said many times by prominent people that the human body has receptors for CBD and THC. The THC receptor is in the brain and the CBD receptor is in the body.

If this idea is true then how did our ancestors get these receptors? Maybe we were apes and ate the plant by accident?

There’s not a lot of facts to back up THC and CBD research because it has been demonized for so long. If there were actually legit clinical trials your doctor would start to recognize the benefits of CBD and THC to prescribe it to you, but instead there is just a bunch of data floating around and there’s nothing to back any claims.

 
http://www.marnieruckmanphotography.com

Enjoy the view

Things could change though and maybe Colorado could be the place to pave those roads.

But until then we’ll just enjoy the mountain view, thanks!

Now that you’ve read my blog post would you like to buy my e-book for 99 cents? Click here to read my short story collection on Amazon!

Listen to DJ Mixes.

Buy a T-Shirt.

Face your Facebook and Tweek Your Tweets or When You Don’t Want to Spend Money on Social Media Advertising

I’ve spent a lot of time studying internet marketing and most of it is a way to flush money down the toilet.

I bought a viral ad for $1500 dollars once and it did absolutely nothing for me.

I bought some Google Ads ten years ago and then watched Google stock rise.

How come? Because people like me were funneling money into their newfangled “pay per click” advertising campaigns on our credit cards.

At the time of this writing Facebook Ads are hot. Way hot.

I would suggest putting that money into Facebook stock instead, long term, because in all likelihood that’s a better return on your investment than buying a Facbook ad no matter how cheap they are.

If you have to do Facebook ads then here’s my only suggestion

A year ago I was following a Facebook Business Page about Facebook ads for self-published authors.

One man on the comment section wrote how he sold some books by putting a pair of “eyes” in his Facebook Ad as a picture or image.

The pair of eyes were a painting in the clouds and it was well done.

For some reason, this “pair of eyes” got the attention of people online. The Facebook Ad worked and they went and bought the book.

The man even asked if there was anything else he could do to get more sales on the comments section of this Facebook page.

The answer was obvious to me. The ad worked. Repeat it!

So if you have to buy Facebook ads put a pair of eyes on it.

Free advertising on Facebook

The best way to advertise for free on Facebook is to schedule your posts in advance.

You can schedule posts in advance if you have a “business” Facebook page, but not on your personal one, which I think is a shame.

But now you can work maybe one hour a week instead of logging into Facebook everyday to post. That’s such a great thing.

The Facebook posts will post in your sleep.

Again you will have to sign up for a business Facebook page that is free in order to take advantage of this wonderful tool.

#hashtags

If you don’t know where to start just “Google” hashtags that are specifically for your niche or business.

For example, you could put “hashtags for pizza parlors” in a Google search and see what comes up. You should definitely find some good hashtags relating to your subject by doing this.

Just be sure to save them in a file on your computer so you can reference them whenever you go tweet.

Now you can use these #hashtags every time you post on Facebook and Twitter.

Share other people’s tweets

It’s kind of a no-brainer.

You can also like or “heart,” reply and re-tweet.

It’s actionable and it pays in dividends when other “twits” out there return the favor for ya.

www.marnieruckmanphotography.com

Make your bio pop with emojis

Put emojis in your biography section. You can literally “copy and paste” an emoji into your bio or even your tweet.

Also in the bio be sure to put something like “Check out my YouTube video” or “Visit my website” and put your URL right after this sentence. Make sure to test your link to see if it works;)

The cool thing about putting your URL in the bio is that when you “follow” someone on Twitter your bio shows up in the instant email they get in their inbox telling them how you just followed them on Twitter.

Think about it… An email letting some stranger know about you? It’s a perfect opportunity to promote yourself by “following” and having a knock out bio to read.

Your biography section is nothing short of free advertising for whatever you want to promote, so use it wisely, but most importantly just use it!

Repeat and tweet

You will find some people tweet all day long.

They’re just always sharing things they “browse” upon. This works, but if you are like me you don’t want to tweet all the time because it’ll just make you cra-cra!

Honestly, ten tweets a day would be ideal for my own Twitter pages. Maybe one day I will be able act like a corporation and hire a personal assistant to help me with this.

Oh wait… I could do just that!

If you don’t object to paying someone in exchange for Tweeting for you then check out Elance, Fiver or another site like it.

And then their are virtual online companies that will post in every social media account you have for a monthly or yearly fee. These are easy to find when you search for them on Google.

www.marnieruckmanphotography.com

Finally

Try some of these ideas, but don’t be in a hurry.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but over time it was built so well that the “foundations” (a better word than ruins) are still there for you to go see right now. Compare this analogy to your own online business and you will succeed in the end.

For real!

By the way… another great way to advertise is to form an email list on MailChimp.

Would you like to join my email list? I’ll give you a free e-book.

Now that you’ve read my blog post would you like to buy my e-book for 99 cents? Click here to read my short story collection on Amazon!

Listen to DJ Mixes.

Buy a T-Shirt.

F*** Blog Posts

That’s f***ing crazy!

Why the f*** would you do that?

This kind of shock value never works down at the local open mike poetry reading, so why the f*** would you think it would work in a headline on a blog post?

What possible f***ing point is everyone trying to make by using the word f*** in their headlines anyway?

I want lots of people to read my f***ing blog posts too, but I don’t want the kind of f***ing attention using the word f*** in my writing draws.

It makes you looked f***ed up!

It makes you look f***ing stupid!

It’s worse than reading motivational blog posts written by some of the most un-motivating f*** all bloggers.

In the end I guess no one f***ing cares.

Well . . . at least I f***ing said something about how f***ed up this kind of f***ing s*** is.

No one should use the word f*** in their headline unless the blog post is about f***ing.

They say writing about f***ing is something lots of f***ing people want to f***ing read about.

It f***ing sells for f***s sake!

I for one will never put the word f*** in my headline just to get some f***ing attention.

No f***ing way.

I’m not f***ing around.

This is f***ed up s***.

Leave the f*** alone!

Now that you’ve read my blog post would you like to buy my e-book for 99 cents? Click here to read my short story collection on Amazon!

Listen to DJ Mixes.

Buy a  Wallet!