So you can read my books

Monday, July 18, 2011


{"Even if you're on the right track,

you'll still get run over if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers.}

So there I was perched atop a bucking aurora borealis,

trying to loop my lariet over a shooting star, when the ghost of Samuel Clemens ambled by.

"Need a favor, Will."

"I'm kinda in the middle of something, Sam."

"It's about Roland."

"Why didn't you say so in the first place? He needs help?"

"More than we can give. But his friends could use some, Will."

"How so?"

"They seem all fired up about getting droves of followers."

"Well, Sam, they could rob a bank. It worked for Dillinger."

"Yeah, that worked out real well for him, didn't it? No, you dumb Okie. Followers on that bog thing-a-ma-gadget."

I slipped off the bucking aurora borealis and nudged back my Stetson.

"Blog, Sam. On the internet. I read the papers. Wrote 4,000 daily columns in my time."

"That's what I'm talking about, Will! You know how to write.
You know how to perform. Why Zigfield trusted you with his fillies on stage."

"Old Zig didn't trust himself, much less anyone else.
But I get your drift, Sam. I'll write a column on how to snag followers."
And so here I am. Don't let anyone fool you. There are no rules for success. But that won't stop me from giving them to you :

1.) An onion can make people cry but there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.

Folks just naturally have more grief in their lives than they let on. They need an outlet.

You be that outlet. Make 'em laugh. You do that, and you'll have 'em coming back for more.

Or do you want to be a vegetable?

2.) Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.

How do you do that, you say. Easy. Blow theirs.

You find a gal or a fella who writes what you like, quote 'em on your blog. Add them to your blog list.

Be neighborly. You're leaving a comment on someone else's blog and spot a comment from them, say "Hi" to them in yours.

Agree with them (especially if you do) in your comment. Make a party line of it. Friendliness is catching.

3.) Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

You have to experiment to get anything outstanding done. Look at me and Wiley Post. We flew over darn near the whole world.

My daily news columns put momentum in the science of aircraft design and public support. And yes, we died in a crash.

But both of us died with a friend. Not a bad way to go.

4.) Know your audience and give 'em what they want by speaking to their hurts.

I went and read some of the blogs of Roland's friends. You folks are dreamers. We need dreamers today. Too many folks nay-say on the dreams of others.

You support those dreams in your blogs. Talk about what fears you have and how you fight them. It'll make the other gal in the cyber-trenches not feel quite so alone.

How can you know your audience?

You know you, don't you? You know what you'd like to know about publishing. Research it. And then post what you found out -- with the links you went to.

Synposis. Sounds like one of those ancient Greek philosophers. And most of you would rather kiss an ancient Greek than write a synopsis.

Well, research that subject. You find anything that makes the thing less painful, you publish it. And I guarantee you that folks will flock to your blog.

Remember fellas, there are more women bloggers out there than men. Be polite when talking about ladies in general.

Speaking of which, I'm taking my Stetson off to Laila Knight. Forgive those hairy-legged gents, Ernest and Sam. They're just men. They don't know no better.

5.) Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back in.

They call it the World Wide Web for a reason, folks. Think before you write. No "how many ______ does it take to change a tire?" Thing is, there are a lot of ______ out there no matter what _______ you're talking about.

An agent rejected you? Smarted some didn't it? I'd hold back on venting rage and spite on your blog. You jab in a knife, and you may pull it out, but the wound remains.

And remember a little thing called Google Alert. You rail about an agent, an editor, a fellow blogger --- that little gizmo will alert them. And there're a lot more of them than you.

So let's be honest with ourselves and not take ourselves too serious, and never condemn the other fellow for doing what we are doing every day, only in a different way.

*** So that's a little of what I know. I'm only a wandering cowpoke ghost. I mean, I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do.

And I've tried to be diplomatic. But I'm an Okie : to me being diplomatic is saying "Nice Doggie" until I can find a big enough rock.

One last thing : have, what is that phrase they use nowadays? Oh, yes, it comes to me now.

Have the back of each gal and fella you meet in your blog travels. Who knows? They may do the same for you.


  1. Wonderful post, Roland. I have to say that I like Will the best of all. I can almost hear his southern drawl. :) Did he really write 4000 daily columns of did you make that up?

    About the onion...let's say you're crying so hard that it makes you feel foolish...and you can't you laugh because it's all so silly. Just the optimist in me...I get your drift. Blowing horns?...How do you feel about the whole blog award thingies that go around? Taking into consideration how busy you are I purposely didn't pass one on to you....but you're still one of my favorites. :) Dying with a friend? Yeah, that's good. I'd rather die with a lover though...but I'm a romantic.

    We certainly are dreamers...and dreamers are visionaries, beacons that lead the way into the future. I find that the best way to know my audience is to chat with them, usually in the form of commenting on their comments or visiting their blogs. If you haven't noticed, I do like my share of chatting.

    Kissing an ancient Greek. I pick Socrates, at least he had a brain. Synopses suck but not as bad as queries.

    Thank you for stressing that men be polite to women. You are ever the gentleman. I like hairy-legged harm done. ;) Tell Will he is wise beyond words. ...^-^...

    Aurora Borealis is one of the most beautiful phenomenons. I've always wanted to see it in person. Love the picture.

  2. Excellent advice and your delivery of it made me smile the whole way through!

  3. Great post, Roland and excellent advice from Will & Sam. The best we can do as writer/bloggers is to share what we know and support others in the struggle. It is a slog, make no mistake. Laughter is always welcome. Dwelling on "failures" and pointing fingers (particularly at overworked literary agents) benefits no one.

  4. Such a good, no-nonsense post, we all need to step back sometimes to reflect before we act. But I always thought legumes were pretty funny!

  5. (= ...let me count the ways. (= You are delightful.

    Great advice...and old Will is a complete stud.

    Aristotle is begging for it. (=

  6. Laila :
    Yes, he did indeed write 4000 daily posts. He was quite an intelligent man, hiding behind his humor and Southern charm.

    Dying with a lover? Ah, you sneaked a peek at this upcoming Friday's Romantic Challenge! LOL!

    Both synopsis and query are unpleasant items for me to write. With my luck, the ancient Greek I would get stuck with kissing is Medusa!

    Will and I chew the fat off and on some nights as I ride the lonely rural roads, delivering rare blood. His jokes keep me awake!

    And I always thought how much fun a ghost might have riding a bucking Aurora Borealis.

    Thanks, Heather :
    I've always found advice is best remembered when it is couched in laughter. Or least that is the way it is with me.

    VR :
    Good to see you here! Yes, we must be good hosts and remember literary agents are struggling like mad in a publishing industry, changing and pulling the rug right out under their feet!

    Julie :
    You have a point : legumes can be funny. And yes, reflection is best. Whenever I fired from the hip, I always managed to shoot myself in the foot!

    Jo :
    Thanks for visiting this post and last. I am still exiled from my apartment and its internet access, so I have to grab a fast internet break during my 5 minute break.

    Aristotle would take one look at you and start to hyperventilate with anticipation over that kiss! LOL.

    And Will is still blushing over your compliment, Roland

  7. All great thoughts. Veggies don't make me laugh. But siamese fruit does. Seriously, though. Good advice. :)

  8. Hey Roland, I'm back again! Finally have DSL at home. Phew. It's been sooo loooong since I've been around here. It's good to hear Will weigh in.

    I've miss you! that rebel, Olivia

  9. I wish I had an award to give you for relaying information to us. Not only do your insights help all of you, BUT you do it with such flare.

    Using characters from your novels to educate us makes the teachings so much more pleasant.

    Thanks Roland. You really are a gem.