The Financial Strategy, Plan A: Invest in Real Estate

Once both of us secured our newly minted degrees, we put our nebulous idea to go sailing “someday” in our pockets and looked around for what to do next.  What is the next responsible and proper step?  One would think the next step would be something sailing related, but that would be wrong.

Source: The Financial Strategy, Plan A: Invest in Real Estate

The Rules

A Resident of the Butterfly Pavillion in Westminster, Colorado. They have a million of 'em!
A Resident of the Butterfly Pavillion in Westminster, Colorado. They have a million of ’em!*

A popular quote amongst writers goes something like this: “There are two rules to writing a novel. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.” It is always attributed to somebody who should know, but as I don’t have it exactly anyway, I’m leaving that blank. It could be apocryphal anyway, for all I know. My point being that statements like that are simply false.

As far as how you write, when and where, the tools you use, whether you’re sober or caffeinated or drunk or hungover, sure, no rules. Whatever works for you is fine. But, in the end, you need a product that will pay for your computer, paper, coffee, Jack Daniels, or whatever. And if you want to do that, yes, there are rules.

I have a whole darned PowerPoint about the rules, but I won’t burden you with all of that. The rules are quite simple, based upon rule number one: Only write stuff you like to read!

If you write stuff you like to read, you have some distinct advantages. You know your audience (people like you,) you know your subject matter, you know the conventions of the genre, and you know where you can break the rules and get away with it.

The rest of the rules you should have learned in High School English class. Seriously, you should have. And, you can never break those High School English rules in a query, cover letter, any marketing materials, or at any time other than when you are breaking them for the sake of art. Beyond that, read a lot, write a lot, get critiqued, learn how to promote your work, and don’t stop. Those are the rules for writing anything.

You must know the rules like a professional in order to break them like an artist. — Pablo Picasso



*Learn more about the Butterfly Pavilion by clicking here.


We had our doubts.  So much so, that we were lazing around on Monday morning drinking coffee and catching up with Andrew’s parents on FaceTime when suddenly we hear voices beneath Sonrisa’s hull and the sound of a loader firing up.  As the yard growled to life, it could only mean one thing:

Source: Splash!

Happy Wednesday! (Written anything, yet?)

Four Corners Monument. Stand in Four States at One Time! (almost)
Four Corners Monument. Stand in Four States at One Time! (almost)

It is now going on 11:00 on a Wednesday morning and I am writing. This isn’t the first thing I’ve written today, either. But I haven’t actually put any more words down on an existing project. How’s that? Well, sometimes, I have to write, but I never have to write anything in particular. If you get my drift.

I don’t get writer’s block. I have no idea what that is. What I am writing at the moment is just a sort of quasi-stream-of-consciousness travelogue through the town where I grew up, mostly while I’m growing up in it. I have no idea if anything will ever come out of it, but it is writing, and it keeps me in the groove. The book that’s awaiting my next brilliant plot move will wait, I’m sure.

And that is the point, simple as it is, of this week’s post. Just write something. Frankly, if your project is getting too tough for you to deal with at the moment, then for the sake of creativity and clarity, it’s probably time to back off from it for a while. Nobody will steal your idea and make a blockbuster movie out of it if you take some time away from it. I promise. I do have a discipline. I write every week day that I’m not on vacation. I prefer writing in the morning, but I’ll do it whenever I can, sometimes near bedtime when, frankly, I’m not sure the result is exactly coherent, but I by gosh write it anyway.

Writer’s block? What the heck is that?

Fly Me Home

We bounce along the loosely paved road from the airport.  “Man, Leslie, she has gotten fat!  I didn’t even recognize her!”  Fredie says to Andrew, pointing backward at me with his thumb.  Andrew squeezes out a nervous laugh.  “Andrew must really keep you well!”  “He sure does.  He keeps me w

Source: Fly Me Home