My blog today has no central theme. Instead, there are a few totally unrelated items on my mind. I will attempt to share, not scare…
Item #1, Audience Analysis: If you read some of my previous blogs you already know I have a few disconnects with this whole blogging process. I am still low on the learning curve. I find it interesting trying to learn what topics generate the most response. I count “likes” and track which blogs accumulated the most new followers.
Mind you, I worked in commercial radio most of my career. The radio business runs on audience ratings: how many people and exactly who listens to radio in your market, especially those who listen to the station you work for. So, I am accustomed to analyzing audience response, perhaps over-analyzing.
In addition to knowing the number of people who follow my blog, I can pretty much determine other information about them. By clicking on their blogs or other Internet reference points, I can usually see their picture, determine demographics and learn their individual lifestyle and other miscellaneous bits and pieces.
Makes me sound like a stalker, huh? Well, I’m not so relax. I don’t keep charts or paste your pictures and icons on the basement wall or anything like that. I just look around and attempt to target my blog to those who have generously given of themselves by clicking a “like” for something I wrote, or those who became a follower. You are all weird for doing this and this is why I probably like you so much. We are, however, a small group and we need to grow. Growth is good.
I seldom get comments and I have never had anyone rate a blog. I find this a little curious since I think some of my material is either controversial or at times I’ve asked for feedback. Comments are few and far between. I have not yet figured out why. I have the best cells in my brain working on this issue. Based on their past performance, I should have a possible answer within the next 14 years. I will share it with you when it arrives.
Item #2, The Book: For those of you who were following the Author Diaries series presented in this blog last month, I will simply follow up by announcing that last night I completed the first draft of my new manuscript, DEAD LETTER. It is nothing less than…well, nothing less than a manuscript at this point. It is a little short and needs to be bulked up a bit. That’s the first issue. The problem with this problem is that I don’t want to add more “stuff” just for the sake of lengthening the book. Whatever additional material is added has to make sense and serve some useful purpose. As I go back and begin the rewrite, I will pray to the manuscript gods that new and meaningful context will magically germinate in my brain and, eventually, onto the pages. This book has sort of a dual ending, at least they unfold in two stages. The first conclusion is a definite OMG! moment. Then, shortly after, there follows what I call the HOLY CRAP! moment. If I succeed, as readers get to the final paragraphs of the last chapter, their jaws will drop and their eyes will bulge. And, as they close the book they will find themselves whispering something like a simple but poignant “WOW!” or, better yet, a hearty “WTF!”
Item #3, The Turtle: In the middle of my emotional-racking period of trying to get the ending of my new book poured out onto the computer screen, Bill the dog begins his signature annoying yapping that notifies all present that there is a burglar or some other terrifying creature trespassing on the patio.” I know the bark. He will not stop until I stop whatever it is I am doing and come take a look…even if it halts me mid-sentence in birthing the concluding paragraphs in what is to be my finest moment of authorhood…truly a Pulitzer moment in time.
So I look out the window and there, down on the patio, is this humongous snapping turtle. It’s at least 15-20 inches long—no kidding! I believe it is a new mother looking for a place to lay her eggs. Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason for her to be on land about thirty feet from the canal out back of my house…unless, of course, she couldn’t wait to read the holy crap ending to my book. I ponder this thought for a brief moment and decide it’s the egg thingy, not my book that has her exploring. Knowing that I never know what is going to crawl out the canal and make its way up onto my patio, I have my camera always armed and at arm’s length. Hence, above ladies and gentlemen, I present said turtle. Soup anyone?
Item #4, Teen Hair: What is it about teenage girls that they have this compulsion to change the color of their hair every few weeks? My one granddaughter stays with us frequently. It is not unusual for her to show up with a different hair color for each visit. It drives me nuts. But, alas, this past week she arrives and there is hope. She is 14 and after going through various stages of streaking her hair with reds, purples, yellows and white streaks, she has finally decided that her natural color—a reddish brunette that most girls would die for—is just perfect. So, for her latest visit, her hair had transitioned back to its original, God-given, hue. It did not last long. She went to a friend’s house for an over-nighter. When I picked her up yesterday afternoon, yep, the hair had changed once again. That seems to happen when teenage girls get together for a sleep-over. I do not know why they call it a sleepover. It’s really a dye-over. This time it’s jet-black with a few purple streaks down one side. Since she is not my daughter I cannot legally tie her to the bathroom sink and beat her. I can, however, attempt to place her head inside the microwave for a few seconds. Perhaps that will rearrange the matter inside her brain and fast-forward her through and beyond her teenage years. I will let you know how it turns out…or not.
Marc Kuhn is the author of three books. Recently published is an adult historical novel, THE POPE’S STONE. The other two books are for children: NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE…And a bunch of other things you should never do!; and ABOUT A FARM, lessons for life regardless of where you live. All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.
Intimate details about Marc Kuhn and other exhilarating stuff at marckuhn.com