Archive for August, 2011

Why Writing a Non Fiction Book Proposal is Hard

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , on August 22, 2011 by Dustin

Meme That My Daughter Showed Me, Frustration!

Because I don’t wanna! Wah Wah Wah *stomps feet and rolls around on floor*. This part of the writing world is the serious part. The business side of selling your writing and telling others why it is better than what is out there and why they should pay you money for it. The non fiction proposal is so much more than just sending a short query letter and hoping someone likes your sample pages. It’s a report and I never liked reports when I was in school. I would usually wait until the weekend before and then half ass all of my reports. I remember getting an A plus on a book I never read. I did the report the night before and worked feverishly on it for about 3 hours. The teacher loved it and I got an A+. My proposal has no deadline only my own bullshit holding me back and so it drags on and on. There are always more excuses, more research before I can continue, more editing, more time wasting by writing blogs about it.

In all seriousness I am about half way through the thing and it doesn’t look too bad. I stopped working on this book about 3 or 4 years ago when I finished editing it. I found some other books out that were so similar to mine it scared me. I wasn’t as educated about the business side of writing then and it hurt too much to continue when I thought the other book had killed mine.  There are only three books I have found with similar subject matter and that isn’t much when you consider how many romance novels or horror or self help books there are. If I had written one of those I would have a mountain to compete against. Instead I have three books. The part I am stuck on is the comparison of mine to these three books. In a non fiction (report) proposal you have to compare your potential project with the competition and prove why your book is unique and why it can make money over the others or with the others. I feel confident my book is different and superior but looking at published works that someone paid to put out and my manuscript naked and bare in a word document gives me the shrinky dinks and I feel small and insignificant.

Maybe I should give myself a deadline and then wait until the night before to work on it. As the Procrastinators Handbook by Rita Emmett says, this is just another way we procrastinators do things. Thinking that we work better under pressure. Ugh, why?! I always tell on myself and never let myself slack off a little. Stupid conscience. I guess I’ll have to improve and stagger on continuing to push myself to get the things done. I fell like I am the parent to my own self doubt. Whenever I start to slack off I look in the room of my mind and say, “Are you done with that homework? No? Then get back to work and finish or you won’t be able to go outside and play.” ahhh man!

Every step forward, no matter how arduous, leads me towards completion. So I trudge along trying to keep my head down and not dwell on the results. I have a task and that is clear and in front of me. Write the next section of the proposal. Then when I finish I need to write the next. Eventually the thing will be done and I can start combing over it and sending it out to friends that won’t read it and editors that don’t like it and agent that could give a rats ass. “Are you still working that homework?” Yes Dad, sheesh don’t have to be an asshole “I heard that!”


Cooking With The Kid

Posted in Stuff With My Kid with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by Dustin

My Daughter and I entered a Pie Making contest yesterday. We were invited to a party that a friend of ours throws every year in their garden. Along with the potluck, party, and hanging in their beautiful garden, they invite people to make pies and enter for 3 bux into a contest. I came up with an idea for a Cherry pie with cheesecake on top. When I went to the store to buy the cherries I found the cost to be prohibitive for a friendly pie contest (it would have cost me 20 bux to buy the cherries, no way). So I chose the cheaper option of strawberry pie with cheesecake on top. I made the crust the night before and then my daughter and I made the pie all day. I say all day because we had to go back to the store about 4 times and we finished the pies about an hour and half before the party which was at 6pm.

I love cooking with my daughter and she seems to enjoy herself after she gets over the fact that I forced her off the computer/texting to help me. We usualy have lots of things to discuss while we hang together in the kitchen and make whatever it is we’re making. With the pie she helped me prep and clean the fruit, prep the cream cheese filling that coated the bottom of the pies, and get things out of the fridge or into the trash as we moved through the process.

I usually force my kid to hang with me. She will chose to stay online or in her room if I don’t make her go with me. She usualy bitches about it but after we get out into the world to shop or go run some errands, she has fun and we laugh about lots of things together. I even started posting quotes on my Twitter and Facebook called Zoe Quotes because she is so hilarious. I am grateful that I have such a close relationship with my daughter because as I have seen and heard from many women in the world and Dads aren’t holding up their end of the bargain in the majority of cases. I couldn’t imagine shopping weekly without her by my side cracking jokes and getting the groceries purchased. I couldn’t imagine not sharing her ups and downs and trying to give her advice that she ignores and or mocks.


Yummy Pie, now get it out of the house before i eat it.

We didn’t win the pie contest (even though ours was the most eaten) but we did win yet another awesome experience together which will live with her for the rest of her life. I hope I can always be there to give her the positive  experiences she remembers and not the negative ones she tries to forget.

If you want to see the pictures of our pie making adventures click this link

If you want to follow my daughter and I on Facebook click here

If you want our almost award winning pie recipe click this link

Zoe Quotes: My Teenager Thinks This Book Is Stupid

Posted in Stuff With My Kid, Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by Dustin

I have been collecting quotes from my young daughter (she is sixteen now so maybe not so young). I have quite a few and almost enough for a fun little book of quotes. Everyone who reads them on my Twitter or Facebook account loves them and they keep telling me she needs a show on TV, a book of these quotes, or her own Twitter page. I post them on my Twitter page which links back to Facebook so if you want to keep up on her current quotes you can follow either. So I have all these quotes and I would like to put together a little book. I call them Zoe quotes because that is her name, but I was thinking that on a worldwide selling standpoint I would need to come up with something more generic. I have been tossing around these names for the book instead of Zoe Quotes:


Little Zoe All Grown Up

  • Kid Quotes (to generic, and it’s one kid and this makes it sounds plural like I polled a bunch of kids)
  • Teenager Quotes (Same as the one above)
  • My Goofy Kid and the Stuff She Says (Too long but it does capture the essence of what the book is)
  • Quotes From a Teenager (Blah, I’m not liking where this is going)
I don’t know what to call it. Maybe the four or five people who actually read this blog will have an answer. Your thoughts in the comments below would be appreciated.
I also have been pondering what kind of format to use. Yeah I have a bunch of quotes, not enough to make a 365 day calendar but a bunch. I don’t want to just throw them into book as is and leave it at that. I would like to type something up about each one. Maybe a little history about the quote. That would mean I would have to remember stuff. I am not so good at remembering stuff. Or maybe another funny anecdote to go along with it. I used to do stand up comedy and the bulk of my routine was quotes or things Zoe did turned into comedy bits. I am leaning towards writing little comedy bits on each quote so people could read the quote then laugh at the bit that proceeds it. I am way open to any suggestions. I will for sure be self publishing this. Anyone who helps with ideas will get a free advanced copy if this ever come to fruition.
I asked Zoe what she though about the book idea and she said “I don’t know, sounds stupid.” Maybe I should call it that. My Teenager Thinks This Book Is Stupid.

Want Some Pot Or More?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 5, 2011 by Dustin

So in my ever increasing quest to find things to do besides write I was surfing the new  Pottermore website to find out what it was about. I watched the video from JK and read the secret clue that would take you over to a new site to sign up for an account if you find the Magic Quill. The clue was pretty easy “How many chapters in the Half Blood Prince Book then times that number by 14 and add to the end of the web address above.” The funny thing here is that the number ends up being 420. For anyone not in the know this is the latest Marijuana reference that gets tossed about frequently. Maybe over in the UK they aren’t aware or maybe the web team thought it would be funny to add 420 to the clue of the day. I can just see the web developer smoking some dubeage and out the haze his idea to create a clue appears in the smoke. Either way I thought it was funny and moved on to sign up for my account. Not sure what the site is really about but I love Harry Potter and any way to extend the story is great for me!

Sign Up For Some 420 With A Magic Quill

I Always Knew I was Magical, Now I Have Confirmation!

I have validated my email and I am waiting for the Beta site to let me in. Since it’s free I would suggest anyone who is a fan join and check it out. It will be the only place to get the books for your e-readers I believe. Either way I am excited for more distractions, bring it on!

Welcome aboard, now wait some more...

You’re in, now wait some more….

2 Blog or Not 2 Blog

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , on August 3, 2011 by Dustin

I started the page a while ago and was hoping to get some attention with that but their format is too limited for just random ramblings and the nonsense going on in my head. So I thought I may need to blog a little bit and have a decent outlet for the stuff that isn’t right for Hubpages. So here we are.
I am doing a ton of writing right now and working on my writing career/business stuff too. I will post some updates as they come in as well as links to some fun projects I am doing with my daughter. We have a lot of fun together goofing around in our office and then posting the results. Hopefully I can find time to be consistent with this blog and that you folks I call friends and fans will want to read it. Either way I think I need it as a catharsis to get some randomness out of my head and out into the creative collective we call the internet. Thanks for reading,
Check us out on youtube and spreaker

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