I got sort of comfortable not blogging regularly last week as I dealt with some loss. I’m sure some of you (alright, most of you) got comfortable with not having to read my nonsense multiple times in a week. You may have noticed that for the first week in literally years, I did not publish a Mite Be Funny cartoon.
It was to be Mite Be Funny #300, and although I had an idea for a cartoon, it was not a great one. I guess I could say that about most of my Mite Be Funny cartoons. It has kind of run its course. But as I have explained before, I’m an OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) guy, so there was some comfort in the routine of cranking out a Mite Be Funny cartoon each week with regularity, quality be damned.
But I’ve also really become obsessed with this very zen saying attributed to Confucious.
I have noticed a recent uptick in views and likes of this blog. What’s wrong with you readers? I’d prefer to watch TV. Come to think of it, clipping my toenails may interest me more than this blog. Anyway, I received this notification from blog host WordPress.
Boom? A spike in my stats? It’s really not too hard to boom or spike when you’re starting at 0. But thanks for noticing.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, that’s likely the million dollar question you want answered. And if you are an irregular reader, try adding more bran fiber to your diet. There are some posts I create that are just plain and simple unpopular. For example, this one about an obscure Abra Moore song. It was met with a collective yawn, despite being about a peppy pop tune. Ah, but something did come of it.
When I do stumble across an old song that I hear and enjoy again, I tend to listen to it numerous times before moving on. That particular song was not on my music streaming platform, so I had to cue it up on YouTube to listen to it and also see the music video. Well, Ms. Moore is cute as can be in that video from twenty-five years ago. I got to wondering if someone (not me, honey, if you’re reading this) might crush on a person as they were in the past. And so, a short story about unrequited love coalesced and congealed in my mind. It will go in my collection of short stories about friendship as a follow-up to my award-winning book of short stories about the afterlife.
My point is that if you want to be a writer, then write something, anything. My middle daughter and I just had a conversation about creating. She’s a dancer who just resigned from her dance company in Chicago, but she still has some dance projects she would like to create. We discussed how the hardest part of the creative process is just finding that moment in time to begin. So, my advice is … start writing. Even if it is just an inconsequential blog post. You never know where it may lead.
If you use blogging to practice writing like I do, then this may interest you. I stumbled across this writing contest and entered on a whim. Correction, I entered on my laptop. It costs nothing. Just to be crystal clear, here is the link below.
Your story must be submitted by the 22nd of May, so I know time is short, but what else do you have to do? You already missed the deadline for filing your taxes, so what’s another couple weeks?
I have decided to enter a story that I penned for my next collection of short stories to go along with my collection of award-winning stories you can purchase on Amazon. My story is called Mount Driveway and has a real neighborhood feel to it, so I think it meets the theme of community. Oh, and it’s hilarious. Maybe you have some half-written story that also fits the community theme. Just finish it. Hey, how about that story you were writing about a small town mayor who is actually an alien and smites her political opponents during debates using lasers that shoot from her eyes? Yeah, that story. You know the one I’m talking about.
Just to be clear, you have nothing to lose, except I guess this contest. Good luck and write on!
I continue writing this slog of a blog to hone my writing skills. No, seriously, stop laughing. It’s true! Okay, maybe that’s not the case with the weekly, award-shunning Mite Be Funny cartoon every Sunday. But this forum keeps my writing skills sharp as an eraser.
For an added test of my writing skills, I entered a contest for a 100 word micro fiction short story at www.nycmidnight.com. I learned of that website from the person who plagiarized my Elvis story for one of their other writing challenges. I thought the 100 word limit with a 24 hour time limit and writing to prompts would be interesting.
The prompts I received were that it had to be of the horror genre (Yes!), include the word “tell,” and involve riding a skateboard. Easy peasy. I got not one, but two stories written. My wife and I rejected the first story, because I had misread the directions and thought I needed to include the phrase “riding a skateboard” in the story. I had incorporated that phrase, but in sort of a stilted, clunky way. Why do I have to read and follow instructions anyway? Isn’t this the US of A, land of the free? Don’t take my freedom away to write whatever the hell I want to write. Must be a writing contest run by Socialist Democrats.
Anyhoo, I liked the second story better as it seemed more horrific to me and the ending was more clever (cleverer?). So, what do I do with the first story after I tightened it up a bit? Give it to you, I guess. I mean, if you read the normal drivel in this blog, you’ll read anything, and this will be a definite upgrade. So, click the “Continue reading” link to get to the unused story.
I was shocked when I saw this email message from WordPress I received.
Well, that was unexpected. It turns out that I will be able to purchase half a candy bar at the Dollar Store after all. Could it be that the WordsAd advertising I have enabled on this blog is actually paying off? Let’s take a peek.
Why can’t I speak Truth? Because they won’t let me into Truth Social, the latest Trump social media experiment. I missed Trump’s last social media experiment, a short-lived blog that lasted all of one month. My blog has (amazingly) lasted about 8000% longer. I think I did the math correct, but it’s not like you’re going to check. Anyway, there was no way I wanted to miss this new Trump social media foray. I signed up for the app, and received this message.
Ugh! That was a few days ago, and I am still locked out. Estimates are the end of March for the app to be fully functional. It reminds me of this famous Michael Keaton movie scene.
To be fair, the only reason I wanted to join is to leave a terrible review and then delete the app. Oh, and maybe leave as my Truth Social legacy a few virulent anti-Trump posts about him being a career criminal, and that would be speaking the truth.
I have been quite satisfied with the addition of ads to this blog. I think it adds a certain cachet to this literary trainwreck. The thought that anyone would want their name, product, or service associated with this blog blows my mind. I always imagined advertisers bidding to NOT be associated with this blog.
I understand that the ads chosen for reader are tailored to their browsing tendencies and preferences. A friend and reader of this blog texted me this ad screenshot that popped up while he was reading.
That concerned me a bit. I know I have some shitty posts from time to time, but do the ads have to be shitty, too? So, I went online to check and see what ads came up for me as a browser of this blog. This was the ad that consistently appeared.
Well, I warned you that I was considering adding ads to this trainwreck of a blog, and I finally did it yesterday. I was excited to see what advertisers would be bidding big money to get an ad on my blog. Here was the first I saw.
Oh, sure, how interesting. You know, I was considering getting myself a new CDP, whatever the hell that is. So, I had to click the ad to find out. Here’s what I found.
As I clicked the link to start making money, I guessed that I would be instructed to offer to shut the blog down in exchange for donations. But, no. This popped up next.
I can’t imagine any scenario where the internet’s top ad suppliers bid for ad space on this blog. Bidding to stay off this blog? That I can believe. Anyway, adding ads sounded pretty good and easy to me, but this is the first ad that was suggested.
This post is not about the popular Netflix streaming television show. I guess the featured image is a bit misleading. No, it is about the strange things happening with this blog. Views are up. Likes are up, although the bar was set low. I’m adding followers faster than people resigning from the Trump administration. I now count over 500 followers of the blog here, over 100 more who view this crap on Twitter, and I’m even adding followers on Tumblr, which I had forgotten I even had. What’s strange is that content hasn’t changed. It is still mediocre drivel. I don’t trust how this is going. I’m going to keep an eye on all of you. No funny stuff, okay? Leave that to me. You’ve been warned. And BTW, thanks for reading and following.
You’ve all enjoyed suckling at the teat of this blog for free for 5 years now. But let’s be honest … most of this is crap. Free was the right price. Almost 200 weekly Mite Be Funny cartoons? Cartoons about mulch? What’s going to happen to this blog when I won’t have Trump to complain about anymore? You’ll be presented with seemingly endless angry screeds about pointless minutiae in my life like too much lint in my pants pocket. Oh, that galls me. I hate it when it makes little lint balls. See? See where this blog may be headed? And don’t even get me started about socks that don’t stay up and slide down and bunch up in your shoes. That’s the worst.
Or, we could make it interesting. It’s time to put your money where my mouth is and make a tasty deposit. I’m having new business cards made: Jim Flanigan – Word Whore. That’s right, I plan to sell myself. Well, not myself as in my body. That ship has sailed. But I will sell my writings. Check out the Published Works page on this blog. There you can buy my published short story without buying the book, my political potboiler novella from earlier this year, and my new book of short stories about the afterlife (Coming Soon!).
So, take a look at the Published Works page and pony up some of your loose change from between your couch seat cushions to make me a successful Word Whore, Paragraph Prostitute, Story Strumpet, Chronicle Courtesan, or whatever you want to call me. But please do check me out. My words are now available for a cheap roll in the literary hay.
It was an odd Thanksgiving Day yesterday with 3 of our 5 kids staying remote due to COVID concerns. We did a Zoom meeting with the remote kids, which seemed more normal than I expected. But before that, I took a walk with Lola the dog to the neighborhood creek.
She loved it. I liked it. I would have loved it had she not pooped 3 times on the walk. How is that even possible? It’s not like she was eating along the way. Well, we had a mostly enjoyable walk, minus the ubiquitous pooping, and I was bemused seeing these trees along the way to the creek …
There are some changes coming to this website, including ways to spend your money. So, we will use this specific post to test this blog’s new ecommerce ability while offering you a useful product that I myself heartily endorse and just so happen to sell.
With talk of a COVID-19 vaccine coming soon, the USA has thrown all caution out the window and COVID cases continue to reach all-time highs almost daily. We’re #1? My family and I are still taking precautions. One of those precautions includes disinfecting our daily mail and groceries. I know, the odds are unlikely of catching COVID from a postcard or a banana. But I like keeping the odds low, so we continue to wipe down our groceries. But we can’t wipe down our mail or each individual grape. So, we use this thingamajig called the Purify O3 that is actually a CPAP sanitizer.
It generates ozone. Ozone is a marvelous disinfectant. I call it an ozonerator, which is not a word. I explain that is disinfects through ozonification, also not a word. The important thing to remember is that ozone is very effective in killing coronaviruses. So, this is what I do with the mail …
If you missed yesterday’s post, I finished writing a book this weekend. No, not a sequel to my Parasitic Twin novella, but a collection of short stories. As I warned I might do, the title has already been changed to “Beyond: Tales of the Afterlife.” But there were other milestones reached this past weekend.
I send my stories to my cousin who also happens to be a professional editor. She seems to take great delight in finding and editing my mistakes, and then typically provides some words of encouragement like “this one should definitely be in your book.” She is my mentor. I am her … mentee? manatee? mental?
I’m down to my next-to-last story, and this one didn’t go as I had hoped. I received no edit. I received no encouragement. I did not pass GO or collect $200. Instead, over the course of several emails, my cousin/editor described the story as:
Opposite of uplifting (would that be downlowering?)
Gee, I hope she wasn’t holding back so as not to hurt my feelings. Her guidance and edits have made me a better writer. I absolutely value her opinion. But so far, two other test-readers have liked the story. Hopefully, I will get more feedback from other test-readers this weekend.
Maybe my cousin/editor was too busy with editing projects. Maybe she didn’t even read the 4,000 word story. Maybe she just glanced at this blog to get a general idea about where my writing is today. If that’s the case, I heartily agree with her assessment.
Yesterday, I announced that a short story of mine had been accepted for publication. As a bonus, I found out that I get to supply a short bio and answer some questions. Of course, I plan to submit a totally ficticious biography describing me as a left-handed, free-thinking Methodist with a proclivity for public outbursts in pig Latin. Okay, so that last part is true. Oway ymay!
Here are the questions I have been asked to answer …
We are coming up on 3 years since I first posted to this blog and started wasting my time and yours. You’re welcome! One of the very first posts featured frogs in my pond. That post was quite unsuccessful (zero likes – be the first while there is still time!), portending many more unsuccessful posts to come. As I fed the pond fish this morning, I decided to honor this momentous anniversary with another dumb post featuring an unwitting frog accomplice in my backyard pond.