When you run into old classmates after high school…

A lot of people think, “I can’t wait to never see these people again!”  But you will.  They’ll be either at your school (especially at Mizzou), or around town, or maybe a few years down the road at a bar, or whatever.  I don’t mean the people you hate, but maybe the others in your class that you never really talked to.  You may or may not have had things in common but had you reached out to chat with them in high school, it would’ve looked weird because they weren’t in your group.  Or maybe they were the opposite gender and you didn’t want them to think you were romantically interested.

So what happens when you see these people?

It’s actually really cool.  You’ll talk.  You can both openly badmouth whoever you want!  You can dish and laugh and have that in common–the Marquette experience (which sounds more flowery than I want it to).  But you’ll think, “Why didn’t I know this person in high school?  Why weren’t we friends?”

It’s okay, it happens.  You were unbaked cookie dough not yet comfortable with socializing.  Or else, you didn’t need another buddy at that time.  But now, hey, there’s not an audience in college to judge your every move.  You’re a little less shy. You’re not as insecure.

This happened to me.  I barely talked to my friend Cari in school.  Other than elementary (we were the smart kids), we didn’t have much in common.  But at Ohio State, our dorms were next to each other and I was a lost little boy who needed friends.  We hung out with some other people all year.  The following year we were roommates!  No, nothing romantic ever happened (neither of us wanted that), but we’re lifelong friends now.

So if you see that old MHS alum next year who you never really connected with during your years here, give’em a chance and see what happens.  You’ll be surprised.

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Weird Book Signing…

I’ll be out for golf districts tomorrow.  It’s a day off, but it’s not a real day off.  I feel bad missing these days, and I’ll be out Friday and most likely next Monday as well (more golf because they’re going to win tomorrow).

I doubt you’re torn up about it, but I just hate to waste days.  It’s a fun time of year.

The book signing at Barnes and Noble was…weird.  There were 5 of us authors all smashed together on two tables as if tables were an endangered species.  Then, as we set up our books, I pulled out my stack of yellow Funnybone tickets and my poster for my shows.  She made me put my poster away and put my tickets behind all of my books.  I don’t know what she has against me giving teachers a free show…right?  Like I said, it was weird.

So I end up selling 7 books which was more than all the others combined I think.  They were all people I knew, but hey, hardly anyone was in the store the entire hour we were there.  She also insisted that any book we signed had to be purchased up front. Mine don’t have a price on them, so I just went with $10. They were confused because mine aren’t in their system (even though they have an ISBN number and are available on Amazon), so I was waiting for my money when it was time to leave. So where was the lady who was supposed to pay me? At lunch. She knew the event ended at noon and they said she was out to lunch.  Meanwhile, my poor wife has been waiting patiently, I’m starving, and it’s now 12:37 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

“Oh, she’s in the back still trying to figure out how to pay you.”

“Tell ya what. I’ll swing by Tuesday after school and get my money then.”

Sheesh! Leave it to B&N to take something as innocent as selling your books and transform it into a bureaucratic nightmares of corporate regulations.

Next signing is on May 19. Shout out to MHS alum Bailey for buying a book and reading the whole thing in a day!

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Book Signing at Barnes & Noble

Hey, I’ll be at Barnes and Noble in Chesterfield from 11 until noon signing my books (all of them).  Stop by and say hi (No obligation to buy…in fact wait until school next week because B&N gets half the royalties tomorrow.) My wife is going to be there too. I’m giving away Funnybone tickets for my shows too. : )

Also WE WON ANOTHER GOLF TOURNAMENT TODAY!

And then on Thursday we wore our pink sweatbands in honor my my best friend’s late wife…

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Golf is over…it’s kinda like how it’ll be for you guys when AP tests are over (unless you have none, and then it’s just like first semester being over).  It’s all downhill from here.

See you Tuesday, I’ll be at the varsity golf tournament!

Boxes and boxes

Actually just boxes.  2, but they’re in. And if you think I’m above putting DK on the spot tomorrow when he visits Marquette (that’s happening), you’d be wrong.  I’m going after him to promote my shows, books, and anything else his thousands of followers might be up for. I’ve heard he wants to help anyway, so that’s a plus.  He’s a good guy.

One of my comedy heroes clicked like on a Facebook promo I made.  We’re friends, but he’s still a hero in a sense.

We won our golf match today. The boys are shooting well even though they think they’re not playing as well as they should.  That’s good.  We have our final (and only) tough match tomorrow against the Lancers at the Landings.  It’s the first time I’ve really been (nervous?) about the result of a match. I’d like to go undefeated two years in a row. So would they. Team meal at Subway afterwards!

Tomorrow’s a pretty big deal in the world of Rob Durham. Let’s hope he can cut this 3rd person BS out and go to bed!

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Satire Ideas

Sorry for the brief lesson, but I’ll explain more tomorrow.  Here’s a little more about satire you can relate to. For example, the Marquette parking lot after school.  It’s awful. So we take its faults and we exaggerate those to the nth degree (nth = ridiculous). Instead of just the nice cars and SUVs, we replace them with a scene of tanks, choppers, etc.  Instead of kids texting on phones, have a driver writing their research paper on a laptop while juggling a drink in the other hand. Maybe some bumper cars make their way into the scene.  Fault + magnifying it = funny satire.

Reversal–Remind me to show you the poster a student made about white people tomorrow.

Incongruity–it’s usually replacing humans with something else. Personification if you will.  Animals, triangles, etc.  There isn’t a direct target necessarily, but it’s funny anyway.

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Parody is probably the easiest.  Mockery where you again exaggerate the details about someone or something.  Overdo it.  That’s where the funny comes in.

If anyone wants to try a darker topic for satire, that’s okay too.  Just keep it appropriate (ask if you’re unsure).

*And please refrain from satirizing me.  I’m insecure enough. : )

Post any questions you might have in the comments.

Early Book Failure

That’s right, you had to hear about the lead-up to my book, now hear about the early failure.  I’ve sold 11 copies in the first week.  Eleven.  I got 300+ Facebook friends to follow my author page which is less than 20% of my total friends, and then from those, 4 ordered the signed copies.  So the little boost I was hoping for didn’t come.  I’m not panicking, this thing will take time, but I at least thought my friends, like the close ones, would want to read it.  This happened with the previous novels, but I guess they eventually made their money.  And I’m not going to “get rich” from my friends.  This book will have to breakthrough in other ways.  Maybe someone will review it on a popular blog.

I’m experimenting with Facebook ads.  $25 in and I can’t tell if they’re helping…well I haven’t made $25 back, so I guess no.  I’ll be doing some giveaways as well.  I want to try a reading maybe at The Wolf, or some local bookstores.  I’m not going to give up of course.  It’s just part of the territory for self-publishing.

I’ll be peddling books from my room come Wednesday. You’re almost out of here though, right?  Finish up those essays for me, and submit/print.  Thanks!

In other news, I lost 4 games to 3 in pickleball today.  I killed him in games 3, 4, and 5.  Then we sat down for a bit and I locked up. I don’t know how a 67 year old keeps up with me.  It’s sad. I missed too many easy shots.

 

Petty Adult Stuff on Social Media

So in order to “market” my book on Facebook, I had to create a new author page…author, comedian, whatever…Anyway, I get invites from other comics every day asking me to “like or follow” their page.  I ignore most of them. It’s annoying to get these pseudo invites about their stupid career/business/band, whatever their dumb as mine dream is…

So my plan was to go through my entire friends list and only click the people who I thought would consider hitting “like” instead of “select all.”  I got through about 700 of them (I had 2nd hour block all to myself today and this became an obsessive priority for some reason), but still had well over a thousand left to get to.  So I bit the bullet and hit select all.  It can’t be that big of a nuisance right?  It takes them a few seconds to accept or decline, and I’m sure I’ll end up with more this way anyway (their starting to come in).  And then eventually I can pay for Facebook ads for my book, shows, previous books, etc.

You may find this hard to believe, but with adults/peers I’m not as comfortable self-promoting as I am in the familiar confines of room 361.

Buckle up though, because it’ll continue.  : )

Author Blog and prom

I have another blog.  This makes, like, a half dozen or so?  They’re not all active, but this one is more of a way to have something to post on Facebook, show my writing, act like a real author, etc.  I’m going to wait until I’ve made 4 or 5 entries before putting it out there.

I still haven’t decided about the audio book.  I emailed Brian Katcher (look him up), and asked what he thought about audio book sales.

I’ve seen a few posts about prom. Anything neat happen?  I went both years. My junior year is was the last time I went out with the girl I dated since that fall. I should’ve never taken her because she was basically seeing someone else. My senior year I took a friend who hinted that she wanted to go with me, but then her best friend liked me instead, but it was all messed up.  I guess it was better that second year because a few more of my friends went, but overall, yeah, not that fun. Maybe Austin will get me talking about it later this week.  I think it’s fun for a small window of relationships.  For example, if you’re in that puppy love phase, it’s probably a good time.  Or maybe if one person is out of the other person’s league (superficial, I know), but they somehow win their heart and outkick their coverage, etc.

I don’t think my brother nor sister went to their proms.  Hmm.  They’re okay with that.  Honestly, think of it this way–it’s the last school dance you’ll ever go to.  (Unless you’re that guy/girl who dates a high school kid after you graduate.)

Blog Pleas

(See what I did there with the title?)

When I handed out the syllabus, I explained that one of my main goals of this class is to make writing a habit in the same way taking pictures, texting, etc. becomes a habit.  That means I want you to blog a few times a week.  When you wait until the last day/minute to do your blogs, that shows that you have failed to make it a habit.  I really don’t ask a lot in this class, so I’m not going to bend on this.  On January 23 I showed this rubric to the class:

  100% credit 99-0% credit
Blog *Two, 250-word blogs per week by deadline

*Commenting on other blogs

 

*Blogs not paced evenly throughout graded window

*Bulk of words done in less than 6 blogs

*Completely ignoring grammar and other blog requirements

Freewriting *Always prepared to freewrite as music begins and continued writing duration of time

 

*Not prepared to write at beginning of class

*Talking during freewriting

*Doing other homework

*Pen/pencil isn’t moving

*Often coming in late, needing bathroom, or other avoidance techniques

So if I have to remind you to get your notebook out every day (for some reason), or if I see that you’re coming to class 10-15 minutes late, excused or not (seriously, no one has a doctor appointment before school), you’re missing freewriting.  If you do all of your blogs last minute, you didn’t make writing a habit.

A lot of you have yet to like one post on here.  I comment on yours, I don’t get comments back, or even a like.  I take the time to read as many as I can, comment or click the like button, but when they all come on the same day, I’m not going to spend my afternoon cramming them all in at once (they way you did with writing them).  That’s not what this tool is fore.  So even if you’ve written the required amount in the 11th hour, you’re going to lose points based on the things in the rubric I showed you.

Eventually, there will be tougher consequences for procrastination on things in life.  Put off the “check engine” light and see what happens.  Save that college class’s research paper until the last day and see what happens. Wait until the last minute to show a loved one how important they are and see what happens.

I wish I had a class in high school where the teacher got me to make writing a habit.  You’re talented writers. Don’t ignore it.

Lecture over.

Want an autographed copy?

I ordered 75 last night, so they should be in in just over a week. Click the button and the $15 includes shipping, tax, etc.  Once you get to the screen, it should ask who you want me to sign it to, so enter that info there.  Otherwise, I’ll just autograph it…And if this post doesn’t make me feel pompous, nothing will.  : )

(Also, let me know if link doesn’t work.)  And it’s on Amazon if you’d rather give them your money and keep your patronage private.  : )

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