Relocated Walks

A lesson I learned during my web design days is that, if frequent visitors to your website see the same basic layout and the same basic information too often, chances are they’ll cease being frequent visitors.

It’s not necessarily because they stopped liking you, or what you have to say / show / sell.

It’s that they have come to see your site as being too complacent.

And they may not realize they feel that way about your site.

But, the fact remains: seeing the same thing over and over again, no matter how pleasing to the eye or soothing to the soul it might be, does in fact get monotonous… boring …something you tend to pass by without much notice…something you eventually ignore.

I found I was experiencing a similar problem with my walks through the woods.

It still comes across as strange just typing out that claim. I had beautiful scenery during the spring daylight. Energizing chilliness during the winter. Clarity of sky and thoughts at night. And, every once in a while, I got to enjoy sharing the woods with the wildlife.

But, I was reaching the point where I wasn’t coming up with any new or original ideas.

And, as much as I didn’t want to pin this slump on walking the same route every day for over two years, that’s exactly what it was.

So, I changed paths.

Actually, I created several new paths for myself.

One of my new walking routes

The photo above is the only one I thought to take so far during my relocated walks.

Yeah, I was that overtaken by all the thoughts that the new scenery sparked.

An oncoming train in a back alley-looking part of town may not look very scenic to some people, but, as I already said, these new paths gave me something different to see, which sparked my imagination…which is exactly what I was looking to do.

Oh…and I’ve always been a train fanatic.

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Here are some thoughts on a few of my current projects.

I just happened to notice they are all ‘untitled’ at the moment.

Untitled Mainstream / Mystery / Crime novel:
I’ve been wanting to work on this story for years, and now that I’ve finally moved it up into my starting lineup, I’ve been having a great time with it. I’ll confess, though…I got carried away with creating the story’s ‘criminal element’ before I defined the characters that are participating in those particular arcs.

Untitled science fiction short story number one:
I realized early on that this story wasn’t going to fit in the originally slated ‘flash’ category, so I’ve decided to let it grow as large as it wants to. This gave me the go-ahead to add a second scene. That new second scene took my overall story vision in a completely unexpected direction. All these unexpected turns might have something to do with why I’m still working on it.

Untitled science fiction short story number two:
I discontinued my first attempt at this story when I became dissatisfied with the story’s overall vision. But, not too long ago, while taking one of my writer walks, I came up with a few new ideas; now, I cannot jot down the ideas fast enough. I like that condition.

Untitled science fiction series:
Regrettably, I’m putting this series on the back burner for a while. I’m torn about this move; I was psyched to get this particular project started. But, my reasoning is sound: I still don’t feel I have a firm enough grasp on certain scientific and theoretical concepts that the stories require, so I will spend the renounced time on further research.

As always, my WORKLOAD page is updated every 3- 7 days. For the most part.

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Someone Might Not Want You To Read This

So, apparently, there are still adults and school organizations out there who honestly believe that telling young readers what they can and cannot read is actually going to stop them from reading what they want.

I have been both a young reader and a parent, so I can tell you that, the second you tell a child or a young adult they can’t do something or can’t have something, they will find a way to do it or have it just because you forbid it. Just a strategic thought for those self-anointed school orgs to ponder: you might achieve better success at keeping students from reading the books you’ve ‘deemed’ unworthy if you simply don’t mention them, and hope that the students never hear about them by any other means. But, of course, we’re smack in the middle of the Information Age, so let me know how that turns out.

Dear School Boards of America…
(Think somebody might try to ban this article?)

I’ve offered up this request more than once to any school board or organization that honestly believe they have been given the right to decide what others should and should not read: PLEASE put ALL of my published works on your list! Thanx in advance for all the extra attention and sales.

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Wordsmithing and Tunes

No updates or essays today. Just a reminder that combining wordsmithing and tunes can often create mind-bending experiences…

…and an excuse to play more games with one of my cameras.

I’ll actually have a real writing update within the next day or so or three or four.

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Here is a selection of links about books: who writes them, where you can find them, and where you can put them after you buy them.

The Incredible Eccentricities of 20 Great Writers
We writers are not weird. We just have a different way of seeing things—and doing things—than everyone else.

Unique Libraries
Interesting. Two of the libraries on this list are in Austin Texas, one of the cities on my short list of places to relocate to.

Bookshops in Australia
I have no desire to move to Australia, but visiting to check out some of these places in person sounds like a good idea.

Log Homes
And, of course, if you’re going to add all these cool new books to your collection, you should have a cool place to host them. This week’s construction material is what also brings us the same material that brings us the books.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have this weird urge to go book shopping.

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UPDATE: New Story…Or So I Imagine

I decided it was time to begin working on a new story, so I picked one of my ideas-in-waiting, and dove in.

The original idea for this story is about four years old. I’d already written a few keystrokes over two thousand aimless words before I decided my premise, along with my Vision for the story, were not nearly as clear as I wanted them to be, so I put it aside.

And, sort of forgot about it.

Then, just recently, during one of my walks, I made a few stray and seemingly unrelated ramblings about a similar topic, then realized I just uncorked the perfect Vision for this story I was looking for.

And the clearer and more interesting premise came along for the ride.

I’ve been developing the story’s concept ever since.

I’m currently working on the character sketches. Main characters one and two are already on paper. Main characters three and four are still in my mind, and will soon be transferred to the minds of characters one and two.

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Customer Service Fail Episode Number…I’ve Lost Track

I came up with some questions about a particular organization that I didn’t know how to answer on my own, so I passed them on directly to that organization via their website’s Contact Us page. Simple enough game plan, and I’ve gotten plenty of great responses in the past from using this exact some tactic.

That streak came to a screeching halt.

”Here at (organization’s name) we only answer questions about (joining) the (organization’s name).”

That was the end of the response.

OK…so, the person answering emails on behalf of this organization is a disciple of rigidity.

My humble suggestion: this person (and, perhaps, even his/her organization) might consider becoming a student of customer service. From there (and this is only optimistic thinking on my part), he/she might eventually become eligible to take advanced training in the art of recognizing opportunities to win people over and have them sing his/her organization’s praises. In this instance, all it would have taken to make me happy is something along the lines of ”Sorry, this department isn’t equipped to handle such requests, but allow me to redirect you to—“ I used to make this very same move during my retail / customer service days, and the customers always appreciated the effort I made to make sure they had what they were looking for.

But, again…somebody higher ranked told this particular person to be strong on rigidity.

At this point, I’m not sure it would surprise anyone to learn that this was a government organization I was dealing with.

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