Monday, May 21, 2012

Current Reading: Political News or the Likes of John Grisham?

Grisham Speaks to Keenum Leadership Forum
John Grisham at Keenum Leadership Forum (Photo credit: msulibrary1)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27:  Hand-made signs ...
Protest signs seen during Occupy DC and Occupy K Street near the White House 10/27/2011 (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Around Washington, DC, where I live, the subjects of politics and power are common denominators all the time, with heightened intensity near election time, about two too-early years in advance.

Gimmicks and techniques for delivering political news vary, like the difference between throwing words rather than delivering well-thought-out observations and well-researched facts.

Did you see the footage of rare but frustrating expedited deliveries in the news recently? A couple of rogue employees of a private package delivery company had been throwing customers' packages over fences and into the weeds, so to speak...not exactly at the front door. It's like that with certain elements of election coverage, political reporting, and commentating today, as words and thoughts are thrown and bogged down in political weeds. Some hit hard surfaces but can't break, being as light as cotton candy: lots of empty air inside the packaging.
Don't doubt me now. I do read some of that stuff, sometimes seeing through it and sometimes not until clarifications come to light later. That may be why I turn to good fiction stories, rather than bad news fiction. Really, the weaker the quality of news reporting, the stronger the pull of reading page-turner suspense fiction.      

Last night I came to the end of The Litigator by John Grisham. What number is this newest by Grisham? Maybe his 20th or so legal thriller? With this one, Mr. Grisham brought a turbulent story with humor and serious fact and repercussions in a way that gives lots of smiles. Positive is the final effect, not boredom. And I say, "Grisham did it again!" He's made up a whopper of a tale based on believable events of flawed but compelling characters, Harvard and not, with current events, product industry troubles, stock market changes, courts, and lawyers. The info, humor, and suspense would make a good movie if adapted, cast, and directed by filmmakers that know their stuff. Could that ever happen with the increasingly boring political campaign attacks? Not gonna happen, methinks. I LOL'd more than a few times on this Grisham joy ride with Chicago litigation and litigants, tort rapaciousness running amok, and K Street (DC) lobbyists' costly shenanigans. Mr. Grisham seems to know today's K Street with its new construction for shiny new high-rises for lobbyists in that part of town.   

John Grisham is one of many talented story tellers. I check out library books by the dozen and realize all the time how many more little-known, super smart, and talented writers there are. Some are writing detective/mystery fiction, including historical fiction as well as contemporary themes.

They don't throw words around carelessly or with obscuring cleverness. They don't reek of useless negativism or mean exaggerations except to show the true colors of both, using them to bring together suspense and enjoyment altogether. The author nails the conclusion at perfect speed with just the right tension up to the end. It's all positive for the best thriller effects.  

If you read the newspapers, you have time to read, so why not balance it with some really good fiction that admits it's fiction? Yeah!

Copyright (c)2012 Opinari Writers
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Friday, May 04, 2012

Blog Ideas: Big Basics for Happy Non-Marketing Blogs

mappa_blog (Photo credit: francescopozzi)
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My blogging equation (B=tmv2)* is easy to grasp, put to use, and refine for your blog.

Use some of my big questions, formed over a few years as my blog stats have multiplied. I have asked myself and have answered questions like these:   

How often should I post on my blog? 
It's your blog and you'll write when you want to.

How do I make sure to keep posts focused? 
Remember your promise to your readers; stay consistent with the blog's creative title and headline description. 

 You may think your readers want to read what is on your mind
or going on in your life at the time, regardless of topic, be sure that
you remember it
will work only if that is what you promise them and they like your style.
In that vein, Blend of the Day succeeds and gives pleasure and thoughtful ideas.

Otherwise, News and reporting blogs? Jillions to choose from.
Other approaches? Keep using search engines.
What visitors do you want to attract and keep coming back to your blog? 
(What is your focused answer? Don't let yourself respond: "everyone in the world.")

Why do your visitors revisit?
I opine that they like what they find, accidentally or on purpose. 

Liking does not necessarily mean agreement all the time.  

What helps you the most, technically, in knowing that some visitors revisit? And why do you say "visiting" rather than "reading"?
I say "visiting" because I know some people land on my blogs because a search engine grabbed a keyword they entered. It went on from there. I hope they'll stay to read and come back.

My blogs have a stat check feature for me, the blogger. 
It's a gauge to show vital info and guards visitor 
URLs and other privacy matters. 

"Who am I to put my experience, knowledge, and ideas out there?"

Ah, that's a question. First, you enjoy writing so much.

Beyond that, and to be honest, if you have **a fancy resume and your blog 
is not limited to technical or professional range, you might not mention 
your fancy credentials at first. Think through the pros and cons of
 it; you might want to avoid any appearance of boasting; almost 
everyone else is doing that, so
bragging has been worn out.  

Therefore, tell friendly basics about yourself for 
an interesting, "Ya'll come back, hear?" (bookmark this blog) 
approachability. Sincerely, isn't it all about communication 
and connecting with parts of life?

  • Blog visitors look for what is interesting or entertaining...with enough to help  shove away any gloom of the day... in only a few minutes of their time!
  • **You are not ever required to have an impressive resume or any resume. Blog readers are looking for interesting, useful, entertaining, and short...reading, much more than for credentials (unless you're advising about GE washing machines, Johns Hopkins breakthrough neuro-surgical procedures, or how to sew a dress for yourself that will look exactly like a Tory Burch design, and so forth). 
  • Moms staying at home to raise children, enter the empty nest, welcome sons- or daughters-in-law, and then enjoy grandchildren...they blog very well, thank you. 
  • Ditto: stay-at-home dads can be excellent bloggers. Of course! Special niche!
  • Humorists, business people, astronomers, nuclear physicists (I read a beautiful children's story once, written by a NASA guy), sales people, county employees, and others... blog! They, too, may be or have been or will become stay-at-home.... 
  • Anyone, therefore, that loves to write, has a lot to offer about favorite whatever(s), and likes connecting with other readers can blog about ideas--and stuff. 
  • * B=tmv2--Blogging = (time)(mission)(visitor-awareness[squared])

Copyright (c)2012 Opinari Writers - Reprint allowed with attribution.
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