Tag Archives: series of tubes

The Greatest Synopsis that Ever Lived

Dear Agent Sir or Madam,

This is a follow-up to my querying letter about a million-word fictional novel trilogy. You can read that letter anywhere on the planet by firing up AOL and clicking on this World Wide Web thingy here: The Mother of All Query Letters.

Maybe you haven’t gotten to reading it yet, seeing how you’re busy selling my trilogy to Warner Brothers for one million dollars (I figure a dollar a word is fair). My niece Daisy has a library card and her nose in all kinds of books, not just Twilight, and when I told her about my fictional novel, she said I need to send every agent and editor in Manhattan a synopsis.

Now, “synopsis” sounded Latin and possibly dirty to me, so I asked whether that word involved sins, and Daisy said, “That’s a good way to look at it. List all the sins you commit in that book of yours.”

So here’s my list of the sinful things happening in each book of the trilogy, with each novel coming in at 333,333 and 1/3rd words apiece.
Continue reading

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Fiction

The Mother of All Query Letters

Dear Agent Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you, or your agency, to acquire literary representation in Manhattan, Hollywood, London and wherever else such deals are made to publish books and turn them into movies.

Why? Because my 333,333 1/3rd-word fictional novel (Book One of a 1 million-word trilogy) is guaranteed to be bigger than Star Wars crossed with Fifty Shades of Gray with Oprah’s and Brad Pitt on top, like two cherries on a chocolate sundae instead of the single little cherry they give you at Dairy Queen over on 15th Avenue because those cherries, let me tell you, they taste like rubber mixed with corn syrup.

Now, I know the book world establishment is liable to pigeonhole books, and a person could say I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED, DARTH SAREK OF VULCAN is a mystery about an ordinary gravedigger who’s secretly a half-ninja, half-Vulcan, half Jedi and only finds this out on account of him falling into a freshly dug grave on a Saturday night and waking up in a strange world where he’s six inches taller, has pointed ears and a sweet green laser sword.

And I suppose you could say it’s a romantic comedy set in a sci-fi action universe, since this hero gets more action than James Bond himself judging one of them Miss Universe contests, but that would be selling this story short. Who doesn’t want to see ninja Jedi adventuring through space and time with laser swords and starship battles? Also, instead of green alien women, I’ve got purple and orange ones.

It’s got fighting, cussing, dark deeds, giant space battles with starships way out in outer space and new life forms with their own languages and strange ways of fighting, cussing and doing dark deeds.

As for reviews and such, all five of my cousins, my momma and even Grandma Wilma, who hasn’t read a book since she stopped reading Archie’s Digest back in 1963, well, they all say this story sounds like a sure-fire winner, the kind they’d pay full price to see at the drive-in, long as the weather held up.

The full fictional novel is attached as an encrypted WordStar document. It’s also available on 5.25″ floppy disks, and I’m running out of those, so act now. I’ll give the winning agent the password to read it. Also, I’m fixing to finish the screenplay for the first two books before Christmas, so the best agent should also sell a lot of of movies. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Fiction

Scientist puts book into thimble of DNA, has extra room for THE ENTIRE INTERNET

So, this author and scientist just made 3.98 bazillions of copies of his book … in DNA

Unlike hard drives and regular paper, this stuff will LAST FOREVER.

Also: the technique used by professor George Church means a tiny little device, something the size of your thumb, could hold all the data on the Series of Tubes.

All.

Of.

It.

Cheap, limitless storage that lasts forever.

Not too shabby, Mr. Scientist-Author-Professor, for you are a Muffin of Stud.

Click here with your mousity mouse for the actual story.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Filed under Muffin chokers

Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia … and Tacoma, and Seattle

Many moons ago, when the Series of Tubes was young, the Associated Press ran one of the best headlines IN THE HISTORY OF MAN.

Here it is:

Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia

Now, since this is where I work, and my buddy Larry of the Palouse lived in this neighborhood at that time, we lost our minds. Because it was funny and insane and somewhat scary, if you had little pookies, puppies or cats.

This gang of raccoons was truly bloodthirsty. I could picture a horror movie, PSYCHO KILLER RACCOONS, being far more scary and realistic than 90 percent of the teen slasher films Hollywood pumps out.

Now, not far from Olympia, we have this story from THIS MONTH, where woman was savagely attacked by more psycho killer raccoons.

They had her on the ground and gave her something like 100-bazillion puncture wounds before people chased them off. She was raccoon food, people.

Here’s that story:

And now we have a column by Peter the Callaghan about the raccoon PR problem, a column that deserves its own column, because it’s just that good.

Read it here by clicking with your mousity mouse.

I am in Psycho Killer Raccoon heaven, maybe because I’m a giant Swede and my dog, the Hound of the Baskervilles, would eat a pack of raccoons as a snack.

If you’re a smaller person or have a smaller dog, like one of those Paris Hilton purse dogs, I suggest packing heat and buying pepper spray at Costco, by the case.

Bonus: apparently, chicken-slaying raccoons like donuts for dessert.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

13 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Old Media versus The Series of Tubes

Internet Fanboys claim that the invincible air attack of the Series of Tubes will shred the ground game of Boring Old Media  — that there’s no way newspapers, TV and radio stations compete with the lightning speed and low-cost goodness of the interwebs,

It’s like a power-running football team from the ’60s trying to win a shoot-out with Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers, who chuck the ball all the time and score touchdowns like crazy.

Four yards and a cloud of dust has no chance. This game will be over at halftime when the score is 44-7.

So, it’s halftime and we’re bored. Let’s talk about a blog so powerful and amazing that it posted not seven times a week, but hundreds of times every day — a blog with a professional staff of writers, designers and minions, cranking out news scoops and funny posts.

A blog so strong that it doesn’t burn through venture capital like cocaine at a ’70s disco, but MAKES monies year after year, with millions of page hits and paid subscribers.

Oh, that kind of blog must be making Boring Old Media quake in their boots. See? The Internet Fanboys are right. I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Except that blog is called “every newspaper on the planet in a city large enough to support at least one Home Depot.”

Continue reading

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

The Series of Tubes is not a strategy

It pains me to see folks place all their faith in the Series of Tubes, whether they’re trying to sell books about Men in Kilts, punk rock songs with three chords or bust into Hollywood.

And it’s no skin off my nose if they stubbornly keep on doing it. As somebody who believes in science, and numbers, and doing whatever works, I’ll just say this: the Series of Tubes is useful for making friends and other things — but it is not a strategy and it is not a plan, not even for Internet Tough Guys.

internet tough guy as a child

This is your standard Internet Tough Guy as a child, deep into his training.

You’d think that a blog getting 40,000 hits a month would be good, right? That’s almost half a million a year.

Try a blog with 400,000 hits a month, written by pro journalists, and about a local topic that local advertisers can latch onto just fine. That’s a smidge below 5 million hits per year.

If internet fanboys are right, then 400,000 hits per month should make you golden.

If internet fanboys are wrong, then 400,000 hits per month plus $3.50 will buy you a soy latte with a shot of vanilla.

This isn’t a hypothetical case. That blog in Seattle couldn’t make it despite all those hits, so they’re combining with another outfit.

Related posts:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

9 Comments

Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

You need a TEAM and a PLAN

Call me crazy, but I believe that people should have some sort of plan — based on numbers and science and creativity — rather than copying everybody while praying to the Norse god of Thunder (also known as Chris Hemsworth) for a different result.

Chris Hemsworth will not listen. He is busy, and cares little for the affairs of men, though he doesn’t mind Natalie Portman.

Also, it is wrong to (a) try to do it all yourself, (b) put all your eggs in the basket known as the Series of Tubes and (c) try doing it all yourself, part time, on the Series of Tubes.

This is sacrilege to a lot of people who swear by the interwebs. To those people I say, respectfully, “To bad, so sad, tell your dad.”

Doctor, heal thyself

Even if you’re some kind of world-class expert on publicity / sales / marketing, it’s a mistake to be your own client. You’re too close to the work and you don’t have the specific contacts and knowledge for the field.

A pro athelete doesn’t need a good publicity and marketing person, but somebody who’s done PR in sports, hopefully pro baseball or football or whatever it may be.

A rock musician trying to break in shouldn’t try to be his own part-time hype man. If you want to do it right, you get somebody who’s done PR and marketing not just for rock bands, but for that exact type of band. Because the magazines, journalists and outlets for Swedish death metal is entirely different than for rap, techno or hip hop.

A team and a plan

So: if you are truly serious about whatever it is you love — punk rock, directing zombie movies, writing books where sparkly vampires get killed by elves with lightsabers riding dinosaurs — you need a TEAM and a PLAN.

Think about the best in the world at anything. Concert pianists train their entire lives to get to the top. Did they sit in the mom’s basement, plinking away on weekends until they became world-class? No. They had all kinds of teachers, tutors and mentors showing them how, and pushing their limits. They gave recitals out the wazoo and treated piano not like a full-time job, but an obsession.

NASCAR drivers focus on the driving — they don’t try to tune the engine, change the tires and fill the gas tank all by themselves.

If you’re working part-time, by yourself, going against a team of specialists who do this for a living, YOU WILL LOSE.

This is true on the football field, a MMA cage match, a piano duel, the music business, books, Hollywood, all over. A team of pros — doing very specific things very well — will kick your butt.

Now, 99.9999129312-whatever percent of people will ignore these facts. They’ll keep on plinking away and hope lightning will strike. That’s like chucking footballs in the backyard to a neighbor kid, praying one of those will be the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVII.

They’ll say “I don’t have the time or the money for a team. And I don’t have the expertise to write some magical plan.”

Time: The average American watches 35 hours of TV a week. Five hours a day. Next?

Money: People find a way to pay for what’s important. Football camp, film school, piano lessons, journalism school, punk rock hairdos — if you’re truly dedicated, you find a way, and maybe forgo the daily $4 mocha or the Beanie Baby collection.

Plan: This is where people will need the most help. Because the dirty little secret is that even people who do publicity and marketing for a living are not quite sure, if you put a gun to their head, why some people break out while other, more talented people get nowhere. Yes, it’s more art than science, but that’s no excuse to throw up your hands and ignore science and numbers altogether.

People who truly love something will put in the time, and they’ll put some money into their education and development. The plan, though, is what trips people up.

Related posts that will educate you and all that:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

8 Comments

Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

30 achy breaky Twitter mistakeys

Hear me now and believe me later in the week: first impressions matter more than ever.

In the old days, you got to know people because they LIVED NEXT TO YOU, or because you saw them at the feed store when you saddled up Bessie and rode there on Saturdays.

These days, you can use the Twitter or the Book of Face to meet people around the world, except for North Korea and some other places where the Series of Tubes is illegal or whatever.

People make a first impression about your entire life in less than two nanoseconds, based on three tiny little things:

  • your profile photo
  • your handle
  • your bio

Sidenote:  If you don’t understand the headline  reference to Achy Breaky Big Mistakey, here’s the original Billy Ray Cyrus video and a link to Mullet Junky, which is guaranteed to make you feel better about your hair. Enjoy.

So, instead of giving you five big Twitter boo-boos, or seven, I’m giving you 30 dumb moves to avoid on the Twitter — ten no-no’s apiece when it comes to your profile photo, your handle and your bio.

I believe, deep in my soul, that ten times three equals thirty, or possibly 30, depending on whether you use the metric system and what edition of the AP Stylebook you sleep with. Continue reading

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Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books

Twitter isn’t built to sell books. Or anything else.

Yet if you belong to the Twitter, you see all sorts of authors pimping their books.

Some do it subtly, or randomly. Others do it faithfully, if not relentlessly.

And even if they mount a full Social Networking Offensive — a combined-forced attack with tweets on the ground, blog battleships at sea and Facebook fighter planes swooping down from above — even if they do all that, they will fail.

Attack of the Internet Fanboys

Oh, this is sacrilege. I know it.

Internet Fanboys believe that the Twitter, the Book of Face, blogs, the entire series of tubes — hey, that’s the future. Old Media is so wrinkled and, I don’t know, old. They say, “Social media once was the student, and now it is the master. If you only KNEW the power of the Dark Side…”

Except they’re wrong. No matter how much you want it to work, how hard you squeeze your eyes and reach for that Internet lightsaber, it doesn’t fly through the air and into your hand. Even when you pick it up and push the button, nothing happens.

Faith isn’t enough.

Continue reading

148 Comments

Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes, Viral media math