I Have Too Many Damn Words Inside Me


TooMany1

I’ve accepted it. I have too many damn words inside me.

Maybe the worst thing about having too many damn words: I’ll never be able to get them all out.

Maybe the best thing about having too many damn words: I get to curate which ones I set free.

(You know the worst thing about that best thing? It scares the hell out of me.)

I alone have the power to decide which words I let out. Like, nothing I say in real-life conversations or online or on paper gets through without me giving it permission. Every word in any form I ever communicate is my personal responsibility.

(I’m scaring myself again.)

But I should be scared. Because every word matters.

I want to remember that. Not occasionally, but at the exact moment I’m curating each of the too many damn words I’m going to set free.

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My One-of-a-Kind Feather Tree


Christmas is my favorite holiday for a lot of reasons. One of those is that it is also my birthday. As a kid, then later as an adult, the thing I loved most about the season was quiet, peaceful nights lying on the couch, staring at the pretty lights.

My beau collects antique “feather trees”. They’re old-school decorations that remind me of scraggly Charlie Brown Christmas trees. I can appreciate them, but my biggest hangup is that they have tiny, clip-on candles instead of my precious, season-defining lights.

One of our antique "feather trees"

One of our antique “feather trees”

It’s cute (or whatever) but THE CHRISTMAS-BIRTHDAY-BOY NEEDS LIGHTS. Sure, I could just buy a tree and hook it up, but that seems too easy or normal. So I started brainstorming how to work my love of holiday lights into our home. A wreath or something? Random lights around doorways & such? Ahhh, but I wanted a lit tree of some sort… What kind of awesome, nontraditional tree could I come up with?

Micah has his feather trees… wait… feathers… feathers… FEATHERS! I can make my own version, a play on words, of a feather tree, using actual feathers. WITH LIGHTS.

So I chose my color story. Dramatic and beautiful. Black, teal, a little green, some silver. Did you know you can buy feathers in bulk, dyed almost any color imaginable? I went online and ordered 423 feathers:

100 black ostrich
100 black rooster tail
100 sea-blue rooster tail
50 peacock “swords”
25 sea-blue pheasant
25 silver-grey rooster tail
23 peacock eyes

The feathers arrived within a few days. Now, I was winging this whole thing. The entire idea and process were experimental. I’d never seen a tree like this & wasn’t exactly sure how to make it work, or if it even would. For the hell of it, I decided to live-post the process on Instagram, while kicking a few teaser links over to Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr.

I started with this southern-twang video: http://instagram.com/p/v4jJRbrMO2/?modal=true  and then posted pics along the way.

[Click on the first image for a gallery with captions.]

 

I absolutely love my feather tree. It’s unique, fabulous, and has those lights that make me happy & feel like “Christmas”. It could have been a spectacular fail—and with folks watching the disaster real time. Meh. I’m a risk taker, and beautiful things never come to pass unless we see our visions to the end. <<< That’s like a moral or something.

If you need me on a snowy winter evening between now and my birthday, I’ll probably be over here blissfully gazing at the lights of my own version of a fabulous feather tree. And if you run in to that Charlie Brown kid, maybe refer him to this post for some inspiration?

(And now, having posted these photos here, I can go delete most of them from my Instagram feed. It’s looking pretty messy, and that just will not do! If you’re on Instagram, I’d love to connect. User: TheLucasHargis)

Fool-Proof Anti-Distraction Plan


distractions

Not that anyone ever gets distracted by electronics, social media, obsessive phone checking, tumbling down research rabbit holes, etc…

But—just in case—Miranda July has a creative suggestion for how to overcome these distractions & be productive.

http://www.nowness.com/day/2011/7/26/1533/miranda-july-the-future

Saturday Selfie for the Hell of It


Me, on a random Saturday, which is to say: a few minutes ago

Me, on a random Saturday, which is to say: a few minutes ago

Twitter’s such a jerk to me when it comes to uploading pics taken on my camera. I mean, I reduce the image size, scale it down, and everything. TO NO AVAIL.

I probably should look into some Twitpiccy thingamahooey or something. But who has time??? There are chapters to write! Novels to complete! COFFEE TO BUY AND THAT’S THE ONLY REASON I’M EVEN DRESSED RIGHT NOW

And why a selfie? IDK…because I rarely take them? Because I have a dumbphone not a smartphone? Because, have I mentioned, TWITTER HATES MY CAMERA?

So, for whatever spur-of-the-moment reason, a Saturday selfie. Which could be a weekly thing, but what would be the point? Well, keeping track of my everchanging coiffure perhaps. Or touring the loft/studio/storefront maybe.

Well, let’s point out some things with this here pic, at least. Hair: hastily bound topknot to wrangle the mess. Broken arm pose to show off the Phreak Show tats. Oh, and that’s my Astrobracelet on my wrist. (Which, were I savvy, I would have twisted so the pair of stars smiled at the camera.) Setting: ‘Living Room’ area of the loft. I’m chilling on this amazing highback Victorian sofa we recovered in cowhide with nailhead trim.

So there you have it! A — for whatever it’s worth — selfie. (Which also conveniently took care of my need for a blog post. Thanks, jerky Twitter!)

And now: To brave the always curiously gawking, midwest townsfolk in order to BUY SOME FLIPPIN COFFEE WHILE CLOTHED ON A SATURDAY.

Confession: I’m self-conscious of this post. Not b/c of the pic. I’m more than cool with that. But b/c there’s a cussword in the title. Being a “YA Author” with industry eyes on me, I worry about things like that. I actually just edited to  change “DAMN” to “FLIPPIN” in that last line. But the title stays. Is that a weird thing to be weirded out over?

Pitch Slam – Team Stray Tats – BAND POSTER


TST Band members

GOOD LUCK, STRAY TATS

KEEP ROCKIN’ & WRITIN’, EVERYBODY

It’s been a BLAST! Fun, tiring, nerve-wracking, hard-awesome, exciting, ALL THAT. This chasing your dream thing? Your Managers & Talent Scouts know what that feels like. We’re in it with you. We’ve been in the trenches. (Some of us still are.) Keep at it.

We appreciate how AWESOME you’ve all been: following guidelines, participating on Twitter (which made it as fun for us as it was for you). An easy, concrete way to thank the Managers & Scouts: follow us on ALL the social media outets you’re plugged into. (So simple, right?) I’ve got handy-dandy, clicky icons at the top right of this page. I want to hear your success stories. All of you.
Love & tattoos ~Lucas

How To Create A Tweet That Won’t Die


The Tweet That Won't Die

The Tweet That Won’t Die

Sometimes [okay, often] random things happen.

Like, a streetlight blinks out right as you pass under it. Or a portal opens in the overcast sky so a single, slanted ray of sunlight sneaks through in glorious perfection. These are things we cringe or smile over.

A random occurrence on Twitter had me both cringing & smiling this week. Also, head-scratching.

See that Tweet up ^there^? I posted it on Monday 3/10/14 at 10:38 pm EST. It received a few RTs that night, which ballooned the next day. And the next. It got up into the hundreds—I’m thinking around 300 or so RTs. And that was a complete aberration for me. My highest number of RTs before that was around 75 for a coffee-related Tweet shared in the morning. [Because coffee!] My How I Got My Agent link also received a massive amount of play. [Because writers!]

Everything quieted down with the Undying Tweet. I [mostly] forgot about the aberration and moved on. As one does. But it sparked some lingering questions in my mind:
– What made that one so popular?
– How can I repeat that?
– Is there a formula here, or at least attributes I can glean, to help craft RT-able Tweets in the future?

I’d already been reading quite a few articles on social media marketing. Stuff like the best days & times of the day to Tweet/blog/FB/Tumbl, the types of information that get the most interaction, etc. There’s an abundance of data and research findings. Here’s one such example: Best Time to Tweet

Before the Undying Tweet was born, I’d been intentionally playing with timing and content, tossing out test subjects—funny, serious, links, images—at different times of the day. I wasn’t super-scientific about it, but just intentionally varied the types of content and posting times. During this process, I stayed decidedly me, Lucas, but chose to tailor my content a bit for the test subject Tweets.

My non-scientific findings:
– Folks seem to like short, funny things in the morning.
– Image Tweets in the morning do especially well, but are golden anytime.
– Helpful links get good play in the daytime.
– In the evenings…beats me! I revert back to sharing whatever randomness pops in my mind or I stumble across. #QUASI-SCIENCE!

Back to the Undying Tweet.

I found that image on Tumblr. I switched venues and added my own insight. The author of that book, Jack Douglas, obviously titled it like a boss back in 1972. That made the image intriguing. Maybe my commentary had nothing to do with the success of the Tweet, but I’m going to pretend like maybe it did.

And, apparently, magickal streams of energy aligned and {{poof}} it grew wings, flapped around for a while, and eventually nested. Then, 3 weeks later, for some unknowable reason, someone, somewhere resurrected it. It bounced over to some guy with 50k followers who ended up RTing. Then others with 5-digits of followers. And it hit 500 Favs, so Favstar RTed it. The chain reaction just kept spiraling outward and it went quasi-viral.

The Undying Tweet hit 1ooo RTs yesterday afternoon, then nested again. I woke up to an influx of 100 more RTs this morning as folks on the other side of world picked it up and continued the signal boost. Again.

You better believe I’ve deciphered the hell out of the wording, the structure, the timing…

Based on some Twitter comments and questions, I get the feeling many of you have been doing the same. Because we all know that an occasional viral Tweet, when it could really help promote a book, for instance, would not be a bad thing at all.

In my ridiculously limited wisdom, here’s How To Create A Tweet That Won’t Die:
– Be intentional about varying your content & timing.
– Share stuff that interests you. Chances are, it will interest others.
– Keep the topics broad at times: food, books, movies, kitties (blergggh) for the most RTability.
– Add your own flare. What good is a signal boost if your brand isn’t lightly stamped on it?
– Use images.
– Believe in luck, magick, serendipity.
– Don’t stress over it, but like any other goal, continually experiment & hone that skill.

This has become an experiment at this point. The Undying tweet is currently at 1128 1133 1136 RTs and 811 813 816 Favs.

If you’d like to add to the magick, RT or Fav the infamous Undying Tweet by clicking here.

And I’m curious…
What patterns have you noticed?
What are the characteristics of your most Retweeted or Faved Tweet?
Do you believe Tweeting is a craft worthy of honing?

I’d love for you to share in the comments so we can keep deciphering the magick [as much as magick wants to reveal of itself anyway] together.