So you can read my books

Friday, July 13, 2012


{"All men who read

escape from something else into

what lies behind the printed page;

the quality of the dream may be argued,

but its release has become a functional necessity."

- Raymond Chandler.}

The effort to keep from thinking of the things only the dead know sometimes reduces me to the mental age of seven.

It suddenly seems the things by which we live are the distant flashes of lightning in a dark sunset.

I think Clemens is hoping to distract my sorrow by asking me to help the visitors to Roland's blog out.

It seems some of you are unclear on how to make your blog popular.

Join the club. If writers really knew the key to drawing droves of followers, they'd have swollen bank accounts ... and keep it to themselves.

Human nature is like that. But I'm a ghost so I'll share what I know on how to write well ... on your blog ... in your novel.

First though : A good title is one of the keys to a successful blog. A beautifully jarring picture in your header draws the reader in. Now, to the meat of my thoughts :

1.) A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.

In other words, you must write, then re-write. Sit back, mull it over, re-read your post, then polish the rough spots.

A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong.

It's not about ability either. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

Which leads me to ask :

2.) Why do you blog?

A) For approval?

You're going to get precious little of that from editors.

You'd better try developing a thick skin now. And what if you get it? Will it teach you as much as one sharp but accurate criticism? You know the answer to that one.

B) To use as a form of Writers Anonymous?

If you talk so much about writing, about queries, about summaries, about agents that you don't write, don't blog.

If you visit so many blogs that you have scant time to do any real writing, don't blog.

Writers write.

Do I sound harsh? Maybe it's because when I was alive I stayed up all night, writing letters to friends,

when I could have been actually writing a novel worthy of being dedicated to my beloved wife.

Don't be me. Learn from me. Like Clemens says :

Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you want.

But you can only spend it once. Spend it wisely.

3.)" From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away."

Which is my wry way of saying : Let there be more than mere style to your blog -- let there be substance as well.

Cotton candy may be good for a lark. But if you want people to come back to your blog time after time, serve steak.

The challenge of blogging is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.

Write to have people feel at home, and they'll return to relax when the world presses in on them.

And make no mistake : The streets out there in America are dark with something more than night.

Be a flame of friendship and of what wisdom your bruises have bought you.

4.) There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.

Have your blog serve you. Once you find yourself serving it, being a slave to its deadlines. Revolt.

Leonardo da Vinci frittered precious years away,

designing intricate, short-lived party favors for princes.

Imagine if he had used that time painting masterpieces that would have lasted centuries?

5.) One last thing -- Forget your blog for a moment :

it is all about the story :

"In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption.

It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man.

But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.

The story is the man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure.

He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in.

If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion in your story. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder."

Finally, write your blog on subjects you'd like to read if you were stumbling upon it like a stranger.

Be there for your fellow writers. Sometimes it's a dark world out there for people whom you think haven't a care in the world.

Be a light for those people. Be a hero.


  1. Smart ghost. Good reminders--the blog is the servant, not the master. Thanks, Raymond and Roland.

  2. Raymond offers good advice. The more we can do to lift each other up, the better.

    Forget RFW this week dear friend. We are missing you. D.

  3. Since starting my blog, it has grown into more than I could ever imagine. I use it to serve, inform, and entertain, which brings great joy to me. And I've discovered over the last month that I can still visit my blogging buddies while writing. So I shall continue to the best of my abilities.

  4. Colleen:
    Smart alec is more like it. Ouch! He just thumped me on top of the head. Thank you for visiting and staying to chat awhile over my cyber-fence!

    I strayed to do the Buccaneer Blogfest since now you have so many members and promptly got stood up! That will teach me! I have become a privateer now. Emphasis on "private." No more Buccaneer blogfest for me. I will be back next time.

    Now, I am off on a full solo day at the blood center and driving hundreds of miles on blood runs on rural roads.

    Wish me luck on my new short story, WEDNESDAY'S CHILD. It is a tale of a cast-off child, a mysterious Greek physician, and a Hollywood party to die for!

  5. Alex:
    I envy you your job which allows you so much time to visit your blogging friends. It is darn hard to surf the internet while driving rain-marred roads!!

    It is so hard for me to concentrate and clear my mind from fatigue at the end of the day to write well, so I have to get up early to write a page or two and visit a friend or three. Thanks for being my friend, Roland

  6. Nice trailer. Nice Christian Bale. Good advice.

    I blog to share information, and to find like-minded writers or readers. I had to trim some of the those things that were starting to divert my time from writing novels and stories.

    Social connections are important, however, which is why I prefer to visit blogs such as yours, Roland, and to support my blogger friends by checking out their posts.

    I can be a strict mistress when it comes to my writing time. Drive carefully when doing your rounds, Roland.

  7. Being still relatively new to the whole blogging thing, I'm happy just writing my poems or poetry that I like...but getting people to pay me a visit back is a problem.
    I visit blogs, leave a comment and a link back to mine, but I'm not having much luck.
    I don't have the confidence yet to just go ahead and write, plus I've nothing much interesting to write about.
    So, I'm sort of stuck in a hole. :(

  8. The Flowers of War looks like a good movie. I hope all the best parts are not shown in the trailer.

    My blog emphasis has changed over the last about 2 years. I didn't really know why I was blogging until I started getting some followers and writing posts for others to read instead of just my own thoughts. Now I'm more supportive, and hopefully entertaining :)

    The more I put into it though, the harder it is for me to keep up.

    This was a good post Roland. You have some excellent points to keep in mind for bloggers.

    Have a good weekend Roland.


  9. I'm so glad you commented on my blog or I may never have found yours. Interesting stuff indeed and so well put.

  10. "Sometimes it's a dark world out there for people whom you think haven't a care in the world." So true, Raymond and Roland. You never know what kind of burdens people carry. How'd you get so wise?

  11. D.G.:
    Just dragged back in, having driven 300 miles and mentally composed a page or two of WEDNESDAY'S CHILD in my head. Yes, we have to be strict with our free time in order to do quality writing on our novels and short stories.

    I really want to see FLOWERS OF WAR, but I will have to wait until my next paycheck to pick up the DVD. It does seem to be a great film though, doesn't it?

    Write. If only a sentence a day, a paragraph a day. Write. Blogfests are usually good to gain followers ... except for the Buccaneer One which actually cost me followers and commentors!! I followed you back by the way!

    It is proving to be a grueling weekend already! Whew! 300 miles and Saturday is not yet done.

    We learn as we do I believe. Yours is a lovely blog. May success always be yours in writing!

    And, like you, I am hoping the trailer did not show ALL the good parts of FLOWERS OF WAR!!!

    I found you from your comment on Megan's. I liked your comment and your avatar and so followed my curiosity. I proved luckier than that cat!! LOL.

    Raymond bled a lot emotionally in his non-ghost life ... as do we all. The first rule of 8 that I live by is: treat everybody kinder than you might want, for everybody is having a harder time than they appear! :-)