So you can read my books

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


{"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.

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. Hey! You basically summarized my blogging philosophy. Needless to say, I completely agree.

  2. Wonderful post, Roland! I worry when I see people blast others. I've even emailed them if I "know" them well enough...It doesn't go away once you put it out there...Always watch what you "say"...You never know who is listening now and who might "listen back" years from now...

  3. Well done! Do you write westerns? The cowboy conversation was great. Good advices too ;)

  4. More great advice, as always, Roland. Loved the bit about Dillinger. :)

  5. Very sage advice. I 'talked' with a fellow blogger once and he said sometimes people were unkind. I cannot imagine blasting or getting blasted on their blog or mine!!! But a lot of people are rude these days...

    I mean, I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do.

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

    These cracked me up and I lauged out loud!!! Why don't you DreamSing a 'pathway' so we can come check out some of your friends. I'd like to start with Mr. Clemens! He's a hoot!

    Happy Hump Day!

  6. Hey! It didn't give me a red squiggly line for the misspelled 'laughed'....grrrrr

  7. My thoughts are to be polite. Being rude doesn't jive too well with readers/other bloggers.

  8. You're from Oklahoma? My family moved there when I was thirteen. A small town called Heavener on the Arkansas line. Anyhow, I enjoyed your post, very sage advice.

  9. Good, down to earth, pratical advice, Will. I would expect nothing less from you.

    Also great vid:)

  10. Great advice, and what a fun way of posting it! I like your sense of humor...

  11. Roland, I saw your comment at Debbie's blog (thanks!) and wanted to pass on I used to live in Cajun Country. Just moved away this summer. Have you ever attended the Jambalaya Writers' Conference in Houma? It's the first Saturday of April every year. Very inexpensive and very enjoyable. It's hosted by Nicholls University.

  12. I like the unique way you present here. Good advice on the road to follow it up. Expect more from you. How about this if I make a contest on blog and giveaway something - something like cuccko for coupon deals-

  13. Beautiful. This isn't just great blogging advice, this is great advice to live by. Who doesn't enjoy a laugh? And everyone deserves respect, including each and every overworked, underpaid literary agent. Love Will's voice here. Incredible job, Roland!

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  15. What an amazing picture of the aurora borealis. She is on my bucket list. And omigoodness, to get to ride her? Heaven.

    Great shot of you, too, Will. Thanks so much for the advice. Come visit Roland anytime! :)

    ~that rebel, Olivia

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

    Not true. What about turnips? Turnips can make people laugh. Especially if you sit on one, or so says Baldrick from Blackadder (I think I remembered the right root vegetable).

    Then there's amusingly shaped carrots. The odd potato sprouting in the cupboard to try to walk away... I'd say there's lots of funny vegetables in the world, you vegist. :D

  17. Fabulous post and advice! Bravo, Roland! You've really nailed it down good, sha! And thanks for your kind words over at my blog. They really did "save the best for last"! :)

  18. Roland...What a clever blog!! I always visit the blogs of folks who comment on glad you did!
    Such great advice for everyone!! And..the humor is always needed!
    Thanks for sharing!