Friday, July 31, 2015

"Told you so!", says Mr Tongue

I'm still alive.
Or so I'm told.

Sorry I haven't been blogging much this week.
This cold is still slowly working its way through the house like a radioactive iceberg of death.

The last few nights I've been sleeping on the floor to make way for poor, sick DW and whatever kid is sick at the moment.  I'm not sure whether this quarantine system is actually helping or merely prolonging the agony.

To add injury to insult, this evening I was eating a salad for dinner and chipped my tooth on a pebble that somehow got into the foliage.  Don't get me wrong, it didn't cause any dentist-worthy damage.  (A fact for which I am genuinely grateful!)  Just enough to cause my tongue to discover and notify me that there is something strange... about every 3 seconds since it happened.  STOP IT TONGUE!  THAT'S ANNOYING!

But it doesn't stop.

Probably out of spite.

If I had listened to Mr Tongue and had a huge plate of bacon instead of salad, we wouldn't even be having this discussion now, would we?

Random topic change!

Since I didn't update you guys yet, Tuesday's meeting went splendidly!  Better than I had imagined in all ways!!

The kid's book now has a fresh, clean re-write and a regular line pattern.  There are even a few more scenes now, which presents an all new dilemma.

I had originally intended it as a topsy-turvey book.  You know, where you read the story from front to back, flip it, and then read another story back to front.  Well, now that I have more material, I'm wondering if it would be better to do a traditional storybook, and then any other story as its own?  If at all?  Or maybe an abridged release as a topsy-turvey?  I don't know.  Decisions, decisions.

(I even went ahead and got one of the new scenes drawn since I liked it so much.)

Well, that's it for today.  Mr Tongue and I bid you a fond...

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

If you hear screaming... it's just me.

Spent the day pretty much running in circles / putting out fires / name your cliche.

I guess it was all stuff that was important.  Still, I hate it when the best laid plans fall apart.

But the good news is that I've got an appointment with an advanced-level poet later tonight to go over the kids' book text (which still isn't working out for me).  I'm hoping that by swapping a few favors we can get this thing hammered out.

Because of that, I may have to cut out abruptly as I chaw down a chimichanga and get cooking.

Hoping further, I'm thinking that might be like lighting the fuse that starts the explosion as far as getting a release schedule roughed out.

I hate just talking about the books.  Time for action!  Time for sweat!  Time to get moving!

I mean, what?  Am I writing action books here?  Action stories hung up in limbo by a lack of action?  The irony itself is enough to make me want to scream.

Yep.  Gonna scream.
I really am.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Monday, July 27, 2015

My Characters!

Wow!  What a day!  It feels great to finally be back in business after a bout with some kind of killer germ.

I don't want to venture into TMI territory, but suffice it to say, the only time on Saturday I was out of bed was when I was in the bathroom.  Be glad I say no more.

For this blog post I really want to get started introducing characters and getting you guys excited as well.   But on the advice of DW, alas, I cannot.

The fear being that some random fiend on the interwebs may happen by and pilfer the character right out from under my nose.  What's the likelihood of that?  Meh.  Hard to say.

But then, what's the likelihood somebody's going to be walking though the neighborhood testing front door knobs and find yours unlocked?  Probably pretty slim, but the cost of prevention is so simple that any chance at all wouldn't be worth it.

The thing is, characters are so easy to create, there's really no sense in stealing them from somebody anyway.  And I don't just mean cookie-cutter Scooby Doo villains either.  Good ones.

So that's what I decided to talk about instead.  How to create a good character.

My process is pretty simple.  I just look around at people I know and have met.  Then take some key trait that makes them interesting (so in a way I guess I do kind of steal characters) and then I play with it and let it run amok.

I can say that nearly all of my characters in the book started out as one or more people I actually knew in real life.  Soon, as I emphasized some things, tweaked others, and so on, they eventually took on a personality of their own however.

For example, one young heroine, I'll call her M, started out as a quirky little individual from a contract job I had once.  Unlike the sources of the other characters, she wasn't a close friend, so I went ahead and invented my own ideas about why she might act the way she does.  Then I juxtaposed her with something completely opposite, and came up with her unexpected role on the team.

That's another great tip, by the way.  Especially in over-the-top stories like the ones I'm writing.  Take everything you'd expect a character to be, and flip it on its head.  For instance, a jock who acts like a dumb ox.  Lame.  Predictable.  Pointless.   How about instead a nerd with superhuman strength or a linebacker who dabbles in quantum string theory.  That's more interesting.  Maybe in your story it would be more subtle than that, but shake things up!

Finally, probably the biggest thing is to give your character a story.  Where are they from?  How were they raised?  That sort of thing.  Just like every Christian has a testimony, every character needs to have come from somewhere.

Once again, mine all have pretty uncanny pasts.  But the thing is, after starting with a duplicate of somebody I know, and then giving them a different background, they all of a sudden become something else entirely.

One character, W, was based loosely on a real friend named Ken who was part of a mens' accountability group I was in.  Anyway, he has this wild, happy-go-lucky attitude.  But as soon as I gave him a backstory as an orphan, not only does he get a natural tie into the Bible Study (you'll see why in later books), but all of a sudden, there's both this inner pain and also this mask he wears to interact with the world.  Very rich character!

In fact, now that I think about it, there are a lot of masks and inner turmoil going on in the group.  But then, that's what makes them human, right?  I mean, which one of us doesn't have baggage?

(Er... I hope it's not just me, here!)

 That is probably my final tip though.  I do put a little of me in every character.  Even the villains.  When W makes wisecracks, that's my facetious side talking.  When M has insecurities, there are my insecurities hiding behind her shy words.  When P goes off and hides in his secret lab, those are my antisocial tendencies showing up. 

The reason why is, I can write that.  I know what they would say or how they would react, because it's how I would react.

I'll never write an ambitious 50y/o Mary Kay saleswoman or a daredevil character bungee jumping off the Eiffel Tower for the thrill of it, because frankly, I don't get it.  Emotionally, I mean.  I just don't understand what drives them.

I write people I know, with backgrounds I know, and emotions I know.

That's the team you're going to be able to read about in a few short months!

I hope you're at least a little excited? :}

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Foodstuffs. Nuf said.

Pretty wild date night tonight!

Oh yeah!  That's right!
Closin' down the Costco!
Yeah baby!

Actually, several hours stocking up on foodstuffs is a little exhausting, even with cute company to share it with.

But on the plus side, we have a real date scheduled for Fri.  An old friend is celebrating his birthday at Texas Roadhouse, so that means we get a temporary reprieve from the iron-clad "no eating out", rule.

I've never been to that place.  Is it good? 
I hope so.

Another plus:  I did just find an opportunity to revive the archaic word, "foodstuffs".  Ain't it great?  I love that word!

So, long story short, I now find myself at six minutes to midnight, proud owner of a hundred tortillas, blogging, and shoving a bagel in my face... in bed.

Living the dream, baby!
Living the dream.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Falling Cats and Planning Day

I had a bit of a sore throat coming on, so I decided to take it somewhat easy today.
The day was spent mainly in building puppets for the kids' shop and in planning.

I've always seen planning as a big time-waster.  Especially all the meetings in the business world.  It was so bad I sometimes wondered who had an actual job at all, and who was nothing but a corporate hobo, drifting from one meeting to the next and never really settling down anywhere.

I know, I know, the old story about, "sharpening your axe", so you're more efficient chopping wood.  But so often it seems more like, "If you spend all your time sharpening your axe, it will be so efficient that the wood will chop itself."  A ridiculous extreme?  True, but where do you draw the line?  IMO many people/organizations don't even think about the line, and realistically should have drawn it a looong way back.

So I do.  I do chalk the day mostly up to a waste.  But I like to think that the mellower lifestyle will pay off in terms of not getting sick, or at least recovering more quickly.  Sometimes I almost convince myself of it too.

Speaking of sick, my cat is not doing so great.  He's getting on in years, and the poor old guy thinks he can still jump.  No fooling, he used to be able to jump like six feet!  It was unreal!  Now I have to leave a chair pulled out at the computer lab desk, or I'll just be working along and CRASH.  I look up and cat's laying there on the floor.

He makes me feel... young.

I have no idea where I was going with that.

Anyway, now I have a pretty clear idea what I'm going to do tomorrow and the rest of the week.  And that amounts to anything but taking it easy, so I'll probably undo any health benefits of taking today off.  But oh well.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Monday, July 20, 2015

Welcome to Bizarro World

Here I sit in a pile of crumpled papers, upset that the text won't come together right.

Well, metaphorical crumpled papers, that is.  Everything is digital now.  And unwanted bits don't really crumple quite as nice.

I guess I could print out the rejects, then crumple them up and toss them all over the floor.  But that seems a waste.

Also, it dawned on me today that in the last month and a half I've somehow lost my sense of fear.

I understand how a person might call that a good thing.  Like how the Bible is big on, "Fear not.", "Fear not.", all over the place.  But I'm a little concerned because it also says, "The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on." (Proverbs 16:26)

On the one hand I'm all chill, like Arthur Fonzerelli.  "Ayyyy."
And the other hand is slapping me across the face like, "Hey!  You're running out of money, fool!"

I think I could actually use a little more fear.
(Which is a big turnaround for me!  Welcome to Bizarro World, I guess.)

Finally, I got a new book about writing that I'm going to plow into as soon as I click "publish".

It's called "Writing the Breakout Novel", by Donald Maass.  Basic premise is the opposite of some of my blog posts where I said, "marketing is more important than writing".  Maass' premise is that it doesn't matter because books are purchased based mostly on word of mouth.  What you basically need is something amazing enough for people to talk about.

It makes sense, though I'm not willing to abandon my theory either.  We'll see where he goes with it and what goods I can pilfer from his book.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What's in a Name?

Time to mention something that I haven't yet done.  Time to talk about the pen name "Edmund Lloyd Fletcher" and what it means.

Well, it began as you might expect.  In a hole in the ground.

Oh no.  Wait.  That was The Hobbit.
(Which the kids are next to me watching right now.)

I have to admit that it started out as one of those games.  You know, take the third letter of your last name, add 3... etc.  Boom!  There's your pen name.

That got me started, but I tweaked the game a little here, a little there, came up with my own thing.

So, why land on this?

Let's start out with "Fletcher".  In case you're not familiar with your old-world trades, a fletcher is the person who makes arrows.  That all implies danger and adventure, which is direct a tie back to the genre I've chosen.  Also, having a lot of kids (for this culture), I like the slight connotation of Psalm 127 in there.

Now, "Edmund".   That goes back to one of the most well-known Christian fiction stories, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  We hate Edmund.   Edmund is selfish one.  The betrayer.  ... The one Aslan died in the place of.

Get it? 

It's coming to that place where you still hate Edmund.  But you identify with him.

Finally, "Lloyd".  Lloyd is a very important addition.  Completely indispensable.  It means... something... deep and important... like...

Okay, I got nothing.

I wanted another name to distinguish myself from other Ed, Eddy, and Edmund Fletchers out there.  Not an unheard of name, after all.  And I liked the ring of Lloyd in there.

Plus the initials are E.L.F. now, which is fun.

So there you have it, folks.  My name.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Nature of Sin

So what did you think about that last sketch guys?  Possibilities?  I like to think so.

Made a lot of great progress today too I think.

Since I need to provide a little more blog than that, here's something that's been on my mind.

Things being what they are, I've been thinking about the nature of sin a lot lately.  Doing a little reconstructing the concept and all that.

Foundationally, there are really only two ways we know anything.
1} Either learn from somebody else who knows or
2} learn from our own personal experience.

When it comes to sin, we can discover the truth about it either from the revealed instruction of the Lord of all the Universe.  Or we can try it and see what happens.
Choose what you want.  It's your prerogative, I guess.
But a personal observation:  Choice 2 involves pain.  Lots of pain.

In fact, that's probably one big reason why He even mentioned it.

Here's how it plays:
GOD:  Thou shalt not put a fork in thy light socket.
US:     You're not the boss of me!  I have a RIGHT to do whatever I feel like!
GOD: *sigh*

Consequences sandwich, comin' atcha!

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Free Sample

Got a lot done today, but mainly along the lines of cleanup of things that have been lingering for a long time.   Still need to revise that story text.  Somebody keep me on that, would you?

Today was the day of the market again.  This time took all eight along.
The analogy of herding cats comes to mind.

It's late and I'm weary of chasing rugrats, so I'll cut it short, but I do have a bit of a treat for you guys.  I got some stand-in poses uploaded for the princess in the story, and started drawing one.

Unfortunately it looks like the angle (though pretty cool) probably won't work out for the rest of the composition,  but guess what?  I can show it to you to as a bit of a free sample of things to come.  How does that sound?

You said, "good", right?
Cuz there's really no way I could know.

I'm assuming "good".

Here you go.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Self-Flagellation and Cat in the Hat

Missed a couple of days blogging there.  That's not good.  That's really, really, really not good.

Why so bad?  Well, I've tried to keep a journal several times before.  Inevitably I found that each entry began starting with, "I haven't written in awhile, but..."
I don't want to see that happen again.  Not here.  You guys deserve more.

But enough self-flagellation.

Finally forked over the 50 bux for a license for the art program I've been using.  Sure, that's not a lot of dough in the scheme of things, but right now...!  Nevertheless, it does lay down a challenge -- that I've got to complete this thing or it means I'm just buying, not investing.  And that's flat-out stupid right now.

Jump cut.  I printed out the first eight pages (not consecutive) yesterday and overlayed the pages of an actual book with them to see how they'd look.  There were a pile of issues that came to light, of course, but overall, I can see it working out. (Ossum!)

Jump cut.  For some reason the on-demand publisher's customer relations department won't get back with me on paper choices though.  What's up with that?  I mean, am I here to buy things, or what??

So, yeah, that's more or less the catch-up.

Tomorrow I'll look at revamping the verse of the thing.  (The rhyme scheme is a trainwreck!)  And that way I know how big the block of text for each page will be.  I never realized what a chicken-and-egg thing that is with picture books.  You need the text so you know how much space it will take in the picture, but you need the pictures so you can get the timing right for the text.

I'm thinking text first is probably the best plan though.  That, with the caveat of keeping in mind what the illustrations might be and where they'll go in the general flow of it.

That, while baking a cake, balancing a fish bowl on your nose, etc, and so on.
Like the Cat in the Hat.
But as the metaphor swallows its own tail, let me also observe that Mr Theodore Seuss Geisel is a force of nature!

Well, it's now after 10:00 and I'm up at 3 so, probably cut it off right there.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Adventure vs Boredom / Trouble vs Security

As promised previously, time for more waxing philosophical on the, "Live YOUR adventure", motto.

Last time I hit on it a little bit, but the strange irony is this:  People naturally yearn for adventure, but try to distance themselves from all risk.  (Me too!)

We hate boredom, but strive for security and to prevent anything unexpected from ever happening.  Mortgage ourselves up a nice white picket fence in suburbia... and then wonder why life is so dull.

I know this by experience.  I have literally owned a house in suburbia with a literal white picket fence.  My worst worry in the world in those days was keeping the lawn manicured to the exacting specification of the self-appointed neighborhood SS.

(I could go on how living under such artificial monotony tends to make people take objectively trivial things far too seriously,  thus turning them into turn into raving draconian sociopaths over nothing.  But that's another rant.)

(Plus I wouldn't want to start sounding passive-aggressive or anything. ;) )

Anyway, point is, before I was worrying about mowing twice a week and eliminating any patch of yellow, and now I'm wondering how many days of food I have left before some cash starts coming in.

But it's good, is the point.
Scary, yes, but alive, man!

Reminds me of my kids' pediatrician.  His motto is, "I'd sooner patch up the odd broken bone now and then, rather than see the kid inside watching TV all day."
But what about adults?  Would I really risk failure to have a chance at success?  Or just play it safe, stay home, and eat some plain, safe, malt-o-meal?

There are several well-known and inspirational quotes about this, but why bother?  We've all heard them a thousand times already.  Agreeing with the concept is one thing, acting on it, far more.

But is it scary out on the edge?  You guys are hoping I'll say, "No.  Cinch, baby!  Success is guaranteed!"
But I'm a bad motivational coach.  Sure it's scary.
And exhilarating!

Adventure, fear, trouble, risk, excitement... all come in the same package.
Security, safety, "normal", boring, pointlessness.... that's the other choice.
You can't have it both ways in a matter.

So which to choose then?

In a universe of random chance, it only makes sense that a person would choose #2.  Do nothing that could get you eaten.  That's the game plan.
In a Christian universe, however;  A universe under the control a sovereign, powerful, and loving God?  Get out there, for crying out loud!
What?  Do you honestly think that you were created for some meaningless rat race, simply killing time?  Or were you made to be a champion; as God's own emissary designed to score a point or two for the good guys in this overwhelmingly evil and hurting world?

Big questions for me to leave on your doorstep and drive off, I know.
If I could offer one last suggestion though...

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher


Friday, July 10, 2015

Ninja-related injuries and cheap books.

Blog time, blog time,
Hooray for blog time!

Today I went to Bible Study (no international secret missions involved), and then I had to take things a little easy the rest of the day since my shoulder was wrenched out *sigh* again.

Of course it happened just like it always happens, you know, going around, karate chopping a bunch of ninjas...

Okay that's a total lie.  It usually just happens in my sleep.  I don't know why.  I just wake up sometimes and WHAMO!

On the other hand, maybe ninjas.  You know, like if I was sleep-walking... and stumbled into a bad neighborhood... where these ninjas jumped out and...  Hey!  What's that look for?  It happens!

It happens.

But on another note, tomorrow is a big library book sale!
I always love those things.

If you're not a "book lover", let help you out.  Imagine a half-crazed alcoholic... attending Oktoberfest.

Or you could also call it a little like Christmas Morning.  If your Christmas involves seeing a mob of nerds claw eachother's eyes out over the last copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends.  (Which, ideally, it should.)

Any way you slice it, a good time had by all!

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On sick leave.

Two days out of commission.

That stomach flu that the baby started us all out on... not fun.  Then the mouth thing on top of it.  Yuck.

I got a little bit done, but not much.  Spent most of the day yesterday and a fair slice of today in bed.  Kept the kids in bed with the help of movies.  A special thanks to the Despicable Me and their invention of "Minions"!  Also, the old Dudley Moore standby, Milo and Otis was a big hit.

But now I've got a second illustration done, so... only 28 more. :/

I did also wire up the blog feed to twitter, facebook, and linkedin, so if you're looking through one of those lenses, hopefully this comes through ok.

Just one bite at a time, I guess.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Monday, July 6, 2015

Kissing monkeys, televangelist impersonations, and a coupon for free cat food!

Ever have one of those days where everything you touch works out perfectly?
Now imagine the opposite.
That's me.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not being negative or anything. And I did keep on driving after the wheels came off, which is totally unlike me.

Still, everybody's been at eachothers' throats for some reason.  I've got some nasty, painful mouth thing going on.  (Possibly a cross-between eBola and Mono.  Knew I shouldn't have kissed that vervet monkey!)  And then there's the little detail about an emergency complete ceiling rebuild in the mud room.

But I'm stayin' positive!  That's me!

You want to know why?  Cuz that dude with big hair on TV says, "Ya got t' name it and claim it!"
Also, "Yea-ya!"
(Just not the same without that last part.)

Not that I'm being  facetious!  Never.  Nope.  No way.
Well, maybe once I was  facetious.  In third grade.  It's that same one still ongoing as of today, completely unbroken.

There you go.  Kissing monkeys, televangelist impersonations, and a coupon for cat food all in one post!  Where else can you get that?  Keep coming back!

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

P.S.  Turns out the cat food coupon was expired so I had to take it down.  Please apologize to Mr Whiskers for me.  Thanks.

P.P.S.  My son is reading this over my shoulder.  His exact words are, "Your blog is going nuts!"
Hmmm... Interesting feedback, but I don't see it.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Finally got some good free time to get things done!
I spent the day writing and illustrating on a project I had tabled some time ago.

Otherwise, I fear I'll get book 2 ready for editorial review before responses for book 1 are even in.  I'm going to have one book rear-end another book and cause a big pile-up on the interstate.  Film at 11. ;)

Even so, sitting around like a lump is no good option.  Particularly with certain people in this house and their stubborn insistence on having food to eat.  Wimps.

This alternative will help, I think.  Set two different plates a-spinning all at once!

This other book is a childrens' story.  But it is an adventure, so I think it does still fit with the whole "E.L. Fletcher" brand identity.

The big whammy with the plan is... I'm definitely going to have to get faster at illustrations.  Taking all afternoon for one is going to get old mighty fast.  (Though ~30 pages worth of drawings... that's only one a day for a month, I suppose.  If I wanted to kill myself.)

But once I get a better feel for the digital painting software, I think it'll get significantly better.

Now, you may be thinking, reading this, "Mr Fletcher, did you just say 'illustrate'?  You mean to tell me, you write, you draw, you code... are you just awesome at everything, or what?"

Yes.  Yes I am.

KIDDING!  There are plenty of things that I just can't get the hang of.  Calculus.  People skills.  Sports.  Music.

Seriously, I've taken guitar lessons TWICE.  Both times, same result.  And I practiced!  I really did!  But every time my brain says, "Time to play a G.  Okay, I know what that looks like.  And... NEYRNK", my fingers turn into a Pretzelmaker reject instead.  I mean, come on guys!  A little teamwork here!  Please?

So there you go.  If you play guitar, you're awesommer than me.  I make no excuses.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

P.S.  Yes I did just say "awesommer".  Flagrantly!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fourth of July re-enactment.

Yesterday the plan layed out for today was to spend the day writing.
This did not work out.

Instead, we realized that today was the colonial re-enactment fair, (only) 90 miles away.

Starting out with a long drive and a van full of youngsters, that idea could easily have turned out to be a fiasco.

Thankfully, the fair was great!  There were plenty of great tradesmen explaining and showing their traditional craft.  That alone would have made the trip worth it!
Also, there were the required soldiers, muskets, booming cannons, all that.  Finally, there were re-enactments / slash / plays retelling important historical events surrounding the Revolution.

One event that the kids loved was the arrest and bringing of Isiah Thomas before the Grand Jury on charges of printing sedition against the Crown.  The actor portraying the British Magistrate did a stellar job.  He even came up with believable improv responses to the audience's obviously pro-American jeers.

What was especially interesting was that after the show was over, he laid his costume aside.  Though the events in question were about establishing the freedom of the press, and those in favor of it were accused of inciting riot, in comparison modern news is becoming more and more politically beholden AND has strongly contributed to several riots of late.

An interesting premise.

I guess the takehome is that those old guys in strange triangular headgear really knew their stuff when they tried to keep the government from asserting control over the media.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Is it worthwhile for a kid to run a business?

Today was the fist day of the kids' store.  Can't say the parent's weren't involved though.
I mean, it's not like we spent most of the week busting our rears or anything like that, right?


That's okay though.  I negotiated for tomorrow being an all-writing marathon day.  That should be good.

But the big question is, "Is this all worth it?"

I mean, Steve Maxwell describes kids' extracurricular activities as, "time robbers".  Is that what we're talking about?  Becoming the artificially-busy soccer mom, running frantic all over town being the kid taxi between one activity to the next?

I don't think so.  Though there was a certain amount of franticality involved, there is a method to the madness.  (As opposed to, you know, my regular madness.)

I've decided that Reading, Writing, Arithmetic are all spiffy, but the single most important subject for success in life is Entrepreneurship.  This is, of course, not taught in schools whose goal is to train laborers, not leaders. (But that's another rant for another day.)

To understand the difference, let's have a look at both plans.  The driving philosophy behind the timeclock system is, "I need to make enough money so that I can one day afford to retire and do what I want".  In comparison, the question behind Entrepreneurship is, "What do I want to do?  And how can I turn that into a profitable business?" 
Choose whichever one you want, but personally, I prefer the second way.

Caveat:  I wasn't raised for the second way.  I'm not skilled in the second way.  But I prefer the second way.

That's why the kids are out late, talking to strangers tonight.**  They're out there learning sales skills, negotiation, counting change, dealing with difficult people, etc.

It doesn't really matter what enterprise they choose -- from keep on making quilts to start their own charter helicopter service -- anything!  Whatever it is though, these critical non-classroom skills are exactly what will enable them to make a living at it.

Put it another way:  I wouldn't neglect geography, but if you forget the capitol of Alabama... look it up!  I won't neglect spelling, but download OpenOffice and it'll correct that for you.  Conversely, there's no spell-checker for street smarts.  There's no way of googling whether people will like your product or not.

Real-life experience.  On-the-job training.  Experience out in trenches.  Name your cliche, but I believe that this is a strong second for the most important part of their entire education!

And so, I'll continue to help sand little thingamajigs, glue hats on little gnomes, and construct little booths.  I'm paying it forward in dividends that should last their little lifetime.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

** That sounded creepy.  With parental supervision, of course!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

MOKF is over. So... now what?

Kind of a follow-on to yesterday, but it has been exactly one month since I walked away from it all to start a new life.  I haven't found it yet, of course, and I'm doing more burning money than making it.

I'm still hopeful that there's a way to scratch out a living without abandoning home and family to the wolves.  "How", remains to be seen.

The Month of Kung Fu goal was singular:  To keep the schedule.
But now what?

I guess the next goal is to come up with a plan, then isn't it?

How 'bout this one?
1) Release the book.
2) You guys buy the book.
3) Buy tamales for one more day.

I guess it could be a worse plan.
Like last night the DW and I watched, Rodgers and Hammerstein's, "The King and I" for the first time.  Possibly the most tacked-on ending ever in the history of anything.  Yeah, he just randomly up and dies.  The end.


Not to mention you've got the whole subplot with the Burmese harem slave -- which was actually interesting, until it turns completely moot.  "Oh no!  Can she escape to be with her true love?".  Meh.  Why bother?  Wait 45 seconds and your master croaks anyway.

Come on R&H!  You've got a Burmese harem slave going on and this is the best you can do with it?
Now, for example, give me a Burmese harem slave to work with, and...

(Wait.  Is this one of those things I should be asking my wife about first?  I never know.)

Okay, enough horsing around.  I need to get to bed.  Getting a weeeee bit rummy now.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher