Monday, July 18, 2011

Do I write product descriptions?

The other day, a friend of mine asked me if I was writing the product descriptions for my wife's items on Etsy (Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery). The short answer is No.

Why? Quite simply my wife tends to be a little obsessive-compulsive. And bossy. She tends to know what she wants the description to say; often the ideas for the description comes while she is making the piece.

So while I have done product descriptions in the past, and will do more in the future, odds are that I will not actually do any of hers.

Now, that is not to say I will not be looking at her descriptions and making suggestions. After all, I do SEO and keyword work---but ultimately, suggestions is the outer limit of my involvement on that front.

Can you tell I am married?

I love the detail on this picture.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Churning the annoyed

Writing several different blogs, and keeping one eye on my future career, I read a certain amount of blogs from the problogging community (you know those people that are making a living by being bloggers). And one of the things occasionally kicked around those circles is that you are probably not doing a good job as a blogger if you are not making people upset.

Now, I like annoying people. I am good at it. Not as good as Scott Adams (Dilbert). But I am working on it.

Unfortunately, one of the communities I blog in is the Golden Dawn community. Due to the mud-slinging that surrounded a certain trademark lawsuit and the constant "my group is better than your group" bear-baiting, the community (or at least, some members of it) believe that we should not upset anyone. No flaming, no bear-baiting, and no telling people that they are headed in the wrong direction.

Last night, I was reminded of this as I wrote a series of short rants about some of the things I recently read on the corner of the internet Golden Dawn has rooted in. It was a post that promises to annoy everyone, except for the couple of people who tend to keep a low profile or generally don't give a shit (it is hard to target and annoy people like that).

When I got done writing the post, I thought about not publishing it. Then I said, "What the heck. This stuff needs to be said, and anyone who does not like it does not have to read my blog in the first place."

I had at least one person is hard to tell how many people left (there is a difference between visible and invisible subscribers) never really knows how many actual subscribers one has. Nevertheless, for me, it is a sign that I am still pushing the limits. The day when everyone agrees with me, well, I will probably be at a own.

(Just to clarify, the Golden Dawn community is really small---one visible unsubscriber {they commented that they were unsubscribing} is a lot for that market. Of course, it will annoy someone that I call Golden Dawn a market...and a small market at that---see I can't help myself: my nature is to annoy.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Did you met me before you married me? (Adult topic)

Warning: If you are offended by adult subjects, do not read any further.

Occasionally, I have to look at my wife and ask her, "Did you met me before you married me?"

There are just times the question comes bubbling out of my mouth. You know those moments when your loved ones are surprised that you are doing something, and you really do not understand why they are surprised.

The latest time was yesterday while I was scanning this picture.

I am an artist and a man, so what?!
A picture that I drew. She thought I was looking at porn. No, I was not looking at porn; I was creating porn---there is a difference.

Of course, this led to the breakfast table discussion about how she would react if the only way I could make a living involved creating porn. I was being serious---I don't think that she believes that.

I have thought about this---a lot. What if the only way I can make a good enourgh living (aka big enourgh check to pay my half of the bills and student loans payments) was to be involved in the creation of porn? Not in front of the camera---no one wants to see me in my naked glory. But on the writing and art end of things---would I have a problem with this type of job?

Outside of the fact that various Golden Dawn members would want me to turn in my union card, I have no personal problem with this at all. Sure, there would be some who would say that I have became a bigger menace than Robert Zink (EOGD), but hey there are worse things I could do than being guilty of writing porn, and making porn cartoons and art.

And there is this thin line between porn and erotica---and reading some of the romance and urban fantasy novels which are on the market, I am not sure that I can tell the difference.

I have thought about this question for years. It first occurred to me in 1984. I brought one of those letter magazines that are supposely "written by amateurs and lovers of sex"---and looking though it, I realized that there was no way that these magazines were written by amateurs. Quite simply, the writing was too good to be written by average people. No, someone was being paid for writing these "letters" and they had to be professional writers.

It was the first time, I realized that someone had to be making a living as a writer. The thought never occurred to me before that there were people getting paid to write. It changed my world.

And yes, I am SO willing to write porn and do porn art if there is a check in it for me. I have cats to feed---my precious babies need lots of expensive cat food---hire me!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lots of work for very little money

Today, I was on myLot for a few minutes...goofing off mainly. As most of you know, myLot is a site where you are paid to participate (aka discuss things). The earnings are really low; but as a writer, I do find it handy for coming up with things to write about.

Anyway, I was looking at the discussions posted in the "making money" section when I came across this wonderful idea being trotted out for making very little money when wasting a whole lot of time. Try not to laugh too hard as I mock the posting (spelling and grammar corrected).

"Wonderful earning opportunity for those who have both Facebook and Paypal accounts. Announcing a new site paying members to 'Like' the content of its members. Get paid $.01 per like. Sign up today and recieve 5-12 new articles to like per day."

Minimum payout is ten dollars.  And the site is charging people a dollar for fifty likes.

And for me, this site is just typical of online earning opportunities designed for those people who are incapable of doing basic math. Let's do some math, shall we?

With a payout threshold of ten dollars, and assuming the minimum number of expected new "like" requests per day, it would take someone two hundred days to reach the threshold. Furthermore, if it takes you two minutes a day to do the work, then you would earn ten dollars for six or seven hours of work dribbled out over the course of a year.

Sounds like a lot of bloody work for very little money. I think that I will stick to my writing instead.

But it is typical of most of the online income opportunities that you see. And the only people to really make money from them are the people who set them up. Look at this one---half of the money is earmarked for payment to the "likers." Yet, we all know that most of the people who sign up to do this work are not going to make payout; they will give up long before they reach threshold. This is a win for the organizers of the scam (I call them as I see them).

The customer who is paying for "likes" is also losing. In the short term, they are getting Facebook likes. But in the long term, these likes are going to be worthless, or less than worthless. People and search engines get wise to this type of tactic. And search engines punish companies and individuals who use them.

So the only winners, the only people who really benefit from the system, are the scam organizers (again, I am calling it like I see it).

I find that basic math like this reveals that most online income opportunities pay less than flipping burgers. Writing, photography and art---all pay better if you have some talent. Heck, they pay better even if you don't have talent (the announcement for this new income opportunity was just horrible).

As for the name of the opportunity, it is Rylcolike (that is how they spelled it---I have yet to be able to actually locate them on the internet---just curiosity really, I would never actually sign up for this type of work---after all, I can do basic math).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kicking around layout changes

Over the next few days, the regular readers of this blog may notice that I am experimenting changing the layout and description of the blog to bring it more in line with what I am currently doing. Perhaps using a picture or photo in the header.

For instance, the old description of this blog was:

The musings and gripes of Morgan Drake Eckstein as he goes about the business of being a freelance writer, full time college student, and Golden Dawn lodge officer.

And the new description is:

I am a scholar, writer, artist and photographer. That makes me a triple threat, right?---Morgan Drake Eckstein

This is not the first time, I changed something like this---the original name of this blog was Musings from the Pen, which I later changed to the current title, Musings from the Inkwell.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Experimenting with Book Covers

Celtic Soul Pottery at a craftshow
This morning I was experimenting with turning photos into covers---or at least, experimenting with the ways I am thinking about doing them. This photo is not a book cover; it is actually a photo from some craft show or another that my wife did. But I still like it anyways.

Of course, I would love just to pay someone to do my book covers for me---it is the old busted wallet that gets in the way there. Then again, I am not above doing book covers for others---hey, I am a poor college student; most college students are willing to sell their professors to trolls for lunch money, given half the chance.

I am still considering doing a test project for Smashwords (actually three, but who is counting); and if one hopes to make their way into the Premimum Catalog, a cover they must have.

Friday, July 1, 2011

There are some migraines

There are mornings that I start off with a can of coke, a trio of chocolate-covered coffee beans and a couple of ibuprofen. And no, it is not because I was busy gulping down rum and coke the night before either.

(My "in-person" friends know that I am not a big drinker---ar at least, not after the juke-box incident a decade-plus ago. I tend to order straight coke or cranberry juice when I do go to bars and restaurants.)

No, I do not suffer from hangovers. (Except for the kind that you get when you are doing a novel/book writing binge...also available in the handy ten-page research paper due tomorrow size.) Instead of playing for pleasure and good times, I get to pay for simply living---I suffer from migraines.

There are mornings when the sun slices though my brain like a chain saw through a pot roast. Things like weather changes can set my brain on fire. Moving vehicles are so much fun also.

And my best bets for dulling the pain is ibuprofen and cafferine. I have tried samples of several migraine medicines and they just make it worse. One of the side-effects of standard migraine medicine seem to be exorcism vomitting.

Someday, some scientist is going to find a cure for my migraines. And I am going to give them a big wet kiss with lots of tongue...even if they are a hairy man.