Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Silly Definitions

Lately, I have been doing a lot of silly definitions. It is a writer's game: Take a word and define it in a humorous and witty manner. I was first introduced to this game when I was a kid. One of my favorite books were filled with puns and silly definitions.

Antifreeze: What your aunt does when you steal her blankets.

I thought it was terribly witty when I was a kid, and I still get a smile on my face whenever I think back on it. As an adult, I stumbled across a collection of definitions made up by Ambrose Bierce for his newspaper columns; the collection is referred to by the name The Devil's Dictionary.

CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

And I LOVE his definition of the Freemasons.

FREEMASONS, n. An order with secret rites, grotesque ceremonies and fantastic costumes, which, originating in the reign of Charles II, among working artisans of London, has been joined sucessively by the dead of past centuries in unbroken retrogression until now it embraces all the generations of man in the hither side of Adam and is drumming up distinguished recruits among the pre-Creational inhabitants of Chaos and Formless Void. The order was founded at different times by Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Cyrus, Solomon, Zoroaster, Confucious, Thothmes, and Buddha. Its emblems and symbols have been found in the Catacombs of Paris and Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the Chinese Great Wall, among the temples of Karnak and Palmyra and in the Egyptian Pyramids---always by a Freemason.

I will admit that it was the inspiration for my own humorous definition of Golden Dawn.

The reason that I started to write my own definitions down lately was that I recently read The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes in literature class. One of the characters in that novel is Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared at the time that the book is taking place. It reminded me of this game.

Most of my definitions are political in nature, and are ending up in my political blog that I recently started. I am not above commenting on things that I see happening. But that is just the side-purpose of creating them.

The primary purpose is to have fun and loosen up, so that writer's block does not set in. Odds are that I will be writing a lot more before summer is over because this summer I can't afford to have writing block set in. Writing is my profession, the way that I make a living, and it is not like I am going to win the lottery anytime in the near future.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Three thousand reads on Associated Content

Yesterday, I crossed the line of having three thousand reads on Associated Content. As always, I am interested in what articles are getting read and what are not. Especially considering that I have only been submitting stuff there for a year, which sounds bad until you realize that I only submitted my eleventh AC article today (actually twelve, but my most recent gambling article is still awaiting review).

My first article there, A Brief History of Golden Dawn, has been read 250 times. As I have mentioned before between Helium and AC, it has been one of my best earning articles.

My second article, submitted five months later, about a speech Hillary Clinton gave at the Auraria Campus has been read 850 times. I figure that article is near the end of its economic life; it is only a matter of time before she drops out of the Presidential race.

The real surprise is that one article, on how the FICO 08 affects your credit score, accounts for over nine hundred of my page views there and is earning more on AC than it is on Helium. It is not surprising that people are reading it; what is surprising is that I am earning more from it on AC than Helium.

(Of course, my Helium earnings are currently in a slump. That is one of the dangers of "revenue sharing." When ad revenue is down for the website, so are the writers earnings.)

Normally, I make about the same from articles that I am double-dipping with, but not in this case. It is something that I need to explore further this summer as I start to expand my article base on both sites.

One of the things I have to do is replace my two political articles that are near the end of their economic life. The Hillary article I already mentioned; the other about the 2008 State of the Union address seems to have already hit the end of its lifecycle. Or at least, it hasnt been read by anyone this month.

But I got plenty of time to do this considering that the most important thing I have to do this summer is transfer to a different college; the rest of my summer is going to be spent on the yard and house repairs in between writing material for the internet and the lodge.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Selected Definitions from the Zealot’s Dictionary

Television: A device for the education of the common masses though the use of commercials occasionally interrupted by a piece of false news or flawed entertainment.

American Idol: A popularity contest proving that everyone is a dawg, is cute and lovable, and can not carry a tune in a bucket.

Insurance: A wager paid for by the lucky to be awarded to the unlucky provided that a third party does not declare the misfortune an act of god.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Changed my Lulu Storefront again

It is a couple of days after the end of the spring semester, and I am busy trying to get back into the flow to tackle my business. My summer project, besides digging up the yard and trying to revive Bast Temple, is to work on my writing business.

So today, I decided to change my Lulu storefront's appearance yet again. I also chose to remove one of my products (the microeconomics term paper) because I decided to do something else with it. So the only book I currently have up there for sale is Golden Dawn Rituals Volume One: Neophyte Ritual Three Officer Version.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Writing contests

Well, I haven't done a lot of writing lately. In fact, outside of some private forum stuff, I have only done one piece of non-college writing over the last month or so. And it is merely a piece on writing contests. It was one of those pieces that I thought was good until I saw the standard everyone else was writing on. *sigh* The top pieces all are reviews of sites that sponsor writing contests.

Personally, I have never done real well with writing contests. Therefore, I really do not pay much attention to them. I have kicked around why this is on occasion. My current conclusion is that I am probably just a hack writer. Or at least, it would be if it wasn't for Helium.

Helium periodically does writing contests, and I viewed the recent Reward-a-thon there as if it was a contest. I noticed that in most of the contests there that it is the people who write the most who end up winning.

Hence, my problem with writing contests. I really don't have all that much time to write. Blame it on college. So I really don't attempt writing contests there (Helium) or anywhere else.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Such a fun week

So it has been a terribly fun week. It started off last week with a call about my financial aid, a call that went very badly. For awhile there, I thought that I was going to drop out of college due to the lack of funds. So I spent the entire seven days between the initial phone call and follow-up stressed out of my mind.

For some reason, it is a little hard to write while one is stressed out of their mind. Not only did I get no writing done, outside of a partial online lecture (lodge related), I really did not feel like going to classes. But I did anyways, I figured if it was my last semester, by god I was going to attend every minute that I was entitled to.

So Tuesday morning, the follow-up call happened and a solution was found. But here is the joke, that afternoon I talked to Zoe Levitt, an advisor for the Community College of Denver, and she advised me to transfer to either Metro or CUD and do my fall semester 2008 at one of them, instead of CCD. It is a matter of not losing any more credits when I transfer, and the fact that I can back-transfer the one science class I have left to take (something that I didn't know that I could do).

So now I have more stress because I need to apply to both Metro and CUD as soon as possible. Plus the normal stress of finals. Such joy. I think the writing is going to suffer for another couple of weeks.