EddieSnipes.com

Living just east of Crazy

Gonna learn you how to fish.

Written By: Eddie Snipes - Mar• 19•13

fishingMy grandfather, whom we called Pappy, always said, “When you come down, I’m gonna learn you how to fish.” He said this as soon as I could understand the language, and probably before that. One of the first birthday presents I remember getting was a fishing rod and reel from Pappy.

“You see that reel,” he said while pointing to the logo. “That’s a Zebco 33. It’s the best reel you can get.” He then told the story about a demonstration he attended where they tied a fishing line to a swimmer and then reeled him in. “That thar reel nearly drownded that man,” Pappy said at the end of his tale. Zebco was a great reel, but I wouldn’t call it the best on the market. But after watching the exhausted swimmer sputtering in the pool, Pappy was hooked. He never fished with anything else.

Pappy did teach me a lot about fishing. In fact, there was no such thing as catching a fish without a lesson. “Hold your rod up,” he would shout every time I hooked a fish. He’d rush through the trees to get to where I was and coach me on every fish. Minnow or river monster, it didn’t matter. Pappy was there to make sure I kept my rod up.

I fished with many family members, and each time I came back with fish, Pappy would say, “You see there. I learnt you right. Tell them who learned you how to fish.” During one visit for summer vacation, Bud and uncle Billy invited me to fish while Pappy was at work. I packed the fisherman’s gourmet meal (beanie weenies and crackers) and headed out. We sat in a boat for hours casting and reeling. I started catching on the right side and Bud started casting in my area. Then he’d say, “You keep crossing my line. You need to cast on the other side.”

I cast on the other side and a few minutes later I started catching again. My bait must have been tastier than Bud’s. A few minutes later, his bobber hit the water near mine. The next time I cast out, Bud said, “You’re casting too close to my line again. Cast on the other side.” And so went our day of fishing.

I took a break and pulled out my can of beans and crackers and started eating lunch. “Those look like a good meal,” Bud said.

“I like them,” I said and continued eating.

“Those things look good,” he said again a few minutes later.

“Yep,” I answered. He made a third compliment just before I finished off the can and crackers. I thought it odd, but I acknowledged that they were indeed good.

Once I stuffed the cracker wrapper into the empty can, Bud said, “I can’t believe you didn’t offer me a single bite.”

“You didn’t ask.”

“You can see I’m hungry and didn’t bring a lunch.” He began giving me a guilt trip again.

I didn’t consider the possibility that he didn’t have a lunch. I figured he wasn’t hungry yet. I cut off his tirade by saying, “If you wanted something, you should have asked for a bite.” Hey, I’m a guy. Also being of the male gender, Bud should have known that hints rarely work. Guys may wonder why someone is making odd comments, but unless we are expecting it, hints are just a vague note left on the table saying that someone left their socks on the floor. We nod and think, I’ve done that myself, as we walk merrily away.

Next time say, “Can I have some of that?” or, “Can you pick up your socks?” Otherwise it’s just another passing comment. Or many passing comments.

I’ll learn you how to stop fishing and be direct. But then that wouldn’t be as fun as letting the big one get away now would it?

By Eddie Snipes
2013

Take a moment to check out a few of my books listed on the right. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow them for free!

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How to NOT do a book promotional

Written By: Eddie Snipes - Mar• 13•13

For the past couple of weeks, a friend and fellow author has bombarded me with self-nospampromotion. There is nothing wrong with letting people know about your book. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, email, and other resources are good tools, but authors should use them in moderation. I’ll give a big tip for you – use email sparingly. Seeing something on the news feed (within reason) is acceptable, but emailing me more than once about your book is not.

I have a lot of author friends, so I get to see both good and bad of book marketing. I know how it feels to want to get the word out. The best marketing plan is patience and building an audience. Grabbing someone by the ankles as they drag you down the road is not the way to build an audience.

Twitter

One of the big downsides of using twitter is that your post has a lifespan of only a few minutes. So posting multiple times is necessary, but there is a clear difference between marketing and spamming.

Direct messaging people is almost always spam. The exception is if you already have a normal two-way communication through DM. Again, once might be okay, if a good relationship is already in place, but keep in mind that they also may be getting direct messages from many other authors. Yours might end up being looked at as another annoyance in a sea of digital noise.

Don’t flood someone’s timeline with thirty tweets about your book. This might be a shock, but getting your book noticed is not the most important thing in marketing. Some people get noticed by people saying, “I’ll never buy from this annoying person.”

I’ve unfollowed and even blocked some authors who push everything out of my feed except their book. If you saw two people having a conversation, would you walk up and shove one out of the way and say, “Look at my book. Want to buy it?” That wouldn’t be an effective sales tactic. It doesn’t work on twitter either. When someone does this, I’ll ignore it once. But if they keep clogging the communication line, I block them and unfollow.

Use hash tags to get noticed by people looking for something on your topic. Don’t hash tag something that is unrelated. Post several times, but spread it throughout the day or week. It’s better that someone miss your tweet than block your tweets.

Facebook

Do not, under any circumstance, tag someone’s name in a photo of your book. To have someone else’s book show up in my photos is a violation. If someone tacked up an ad on the front of your house, what would be your reaction? That is how people feel when you hijack their photos.

People create events and invite their contacts. I get thousands of these a year. I ignore all of them, so it isn’t an effective tool. But at least it doesn’t bother me like someone posting an ad on my timeline or tagging me to make their photo show up in my photos. Use Facebook promos or build a following with interesting posts. If people are coming back to read your interesting posts, they will also see your post about your book. If you only post items of self-promotion, people won’t be interested in reading your posts.

Google Plus

I’ve recently picked back up on Google Plus and it is a great tool for connecting with people. It does have a more limited audience, but there are a lot of great communities that are very active. It seems a little more personal than Facebook, but that’s probably because it has a smaller active membership. Those who are active are very interactive.

Here is a big no-no with Google Plus. When you make a post, Google Plus asks you if you want to email all the contacts in your circle. Say NO. Use this option *very* sparingly. When you select this, your contacts are emailed your post. If someone wanted to be emailed every post, they would enable that option in their profile. I just unfriended someone I would have liked to maintain a connection with, but they send 10 to 20 posts a day to my email box about their book. They are emailing their contacts for every post. If you have just two or three friends doing this, how my spam is that a day? And how do you think your contacts are going to respond if you are doing this? In a short time they are unfriending those who are flooding their email.

The right way

Try to connect with people. I know it isn’t possible to personally interact with thousands of people, but you can connect on other levels. Tweet interesting facts, inspirations, humor, or valuable information to your followers. Read and respond as you are able to others who tweet meaningful things. Post similar things on Facebook and Google Plus. Blogging is a great way to connect with those who hold similar interests.

Just ask yourself, would I want a dozen people sending these things to me? If the answer is “No,” don’t do it. Everyone is busy and when you value others, they are more likely to value what you are sharing.

Remember one thing: Spam is evil.

Market without spamming and you will have an effective strategy.

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Oh no, my children are talking!

Written By: Eddie Snipes - Mar• 12•13

my child is talking

Have you noticed that kids often say the strangest things? It wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the fact that my children carry my last name, thus making it undeniable that I bear some of the responsibility for what pops out of their mouths. Sometimes they repeat things we would rather that they had not heard, and sometimes they blurt out things that we swear they didn’t hear in our household.

When my eldest daughter, Emily, was four years old, she wanted Daddy to play with her Barbie and playhouse. With my keen imagination, I lay on my back and made my doll dance back and forth while her doll did all the talking. My only lines were to say, “Okay,” and “Oh!” That covered any possible situation.

Her doll approached mine and said, “Let’s do the dishes.”

After giving serious thought to the proposition, my Barbie did a little jig and said, “Okay.” My part was done.

Her Barbie pranced over to the kitchen, picked up a little Barbie dish, dropped it, and shouted, “Oh darn!” Only she didn’t say darn. It might take some brainpower, but you can probably figure out what the word was.

This gave me a small glimpse into my wife’s recent experiences in the kitchen. I stroked my chin and thought, I’ll bet mommy has recently broken a dish. And she probably wasn’t too happy about it.

Not every thing that blurts out of their little mouths is an imitation of actual home experiences. I have another daughter whose imagination blossomed when she hit that magic age of four. Her name is Sophia. I came home from work one day to find her crawling around the kitchen while apparently barking at the ceiling. After observing this strange behavior for a few minutes, I asked, “Sophia, what are you doing?”

She looked at me and said in a serious voice, “I’m a dog who got hit by a train, and now his head is turned around backwards.”

I stroked my chin and thought, I don’t think she learned that from her mother. At least I hope not. Sophia and her younger sister are constantly pretending to be various characters. Pretending isn’t enough. They must tell you what character’s role they are playing, and they’ll repeat this notification until an acknowledgment is received. They are programmed to broadcast their ID indefinitely until they receive the proper response. They also have built in error checking and rebroadcast their identity every five minutes to insure that information is not lost or forgotten.

Sophia’s character is often related to the latest show our family is watching. We watched Sherlock Holmes, and, lo and behold, a younger version of the bugger appeared in our midst. He looked strangely like Sophia, but the child insisted on being addressed by her… I mean his, proper name. For several weeks, we heard, “I’m Sherlock Holmes.” He demanded to be recognized so often that I was beginning to think the crime sleuth was insecure with his identity. This was during the holiday season and my wife was giving a lesson on Christmas. She told the nativity story as she said, “…Mary brought forth her firstborn Son and laid Him in a manger.”

When my wife paused to take a breath, Sophia seized the moment she had been waiting for by blurting out, “Yeah, and I’m Sherlock Holmes.”

Somehow, the Christmas story didn’t have the same appeal when Sherlock was mixed into the dialog.

When my youngest, Abigail, was two, she took up the make believe world as well. The real Abigail was absent for some time as she pretended to be various characters. Sometimes she forgot the name of her character, so she would ask, “Who are me?”

I then had to call out names until I identified the correct character, and then she repeated it back until one or both parents gave an acknowledgment of her identity.

My middle daughter had her moments as well. When she was five, we had recently moved and were looking for a church. We visited a nearby church, and as the service wrapped up, a long-winded man was asked to pray. He prayed, and prayed, and prayed. Most of his prayer was about himself, and apparently he felt the need to keep asking God to bless him. It was ten minutes into his petition for blessings that Natalie reached her tolerance level. She looked toward me and shouted, “Is he ever going to shut up?”

Her words echoed through the church and people began to stir. Several people were shaking with laughter, and the man took her blunt comment as a sign from God to end his prayer.

Lucy, who is now seventeen, holds the record for the worst comment ever blurted by my five children. She was four. (Do you see a pattern here?) Church ended and we chatted as we worked our way out the door. As I held Lucy, a woman walked up and leaned close to her and said, “Aren’t you just the prettiest thing?”

Lucy made the most repulsive expression as she pressed her nose down with her hand. She slowly, and dramatically turned to me and said, “Her breath smells like poopy diapers!”

We stood in an awkward silence and I wondered, What can I say? Good luck with that? Want a baby wipe? I thought about the tic-tacs in my pocket, then dismissed the thought. It probably wouldn’t have been received as a friendly gesture.

The good news is that three of my daughters are old enough to speak in public without me wishing I had a broadcast kill switch. The bad news is, I have a five-year-old who loves to blurt things out. What thoughtful words will erupt from her little mouth before I can hand her off to her mother and pretend to be a passive observer? Not even Sherlock Holmes can guess what words will escape from the mouths of my children. When they speak their minds, perhaps I’ll have my tic-tacs ready and stick to the only words that come to mind, “Good luck with that.”

Eddie Snipes 2013

Take a moment to check out a few of my books listed on the right. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow them for free!

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Funny Song Titles from Actual Bands

Written By: Eddie Snipes - Mar• 05•13

Here is a list of funny song titles from bands and singers. There were a lot more funny ones, but I couldn’t find where they were actual songs. These all have bands associated with the titles. Feel free to share your own J

 

·         Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk – The Cramps

·         My Brain Is Like A Sieve – Thomas Dolby

·         Barnyards In Orbit, Perry Kingsley

·         Multi-Family Garage Sale, Land Of The Loops

·         Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, Frank Zappa

·         Spinal Meningitis Got Me Down (Ween)

·         My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama – Frank Zappa

·         The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun – Julie Brown

·         Careful With That Axe – Eugene

·         She Never Told Me She Was A Mime – Weird Al

·         One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces (Ben Folds Five)

·         Billy Broke My Heart At Walgreens And I Cried All The Way To Sears – Ruby Wright

·         She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy – Kenney Chesney

·         The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be – Magnetic Fields

·         Nice Weather For Ducks – Lemon Jelly

·         Teeth In The Grass – Iron And Wine

·         A Song For The Deaf – Queens Of The Stone Age

·         Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod? (The Mountaingoats)

·         My Girl Bill (Jim Stafford)

·         Dance On A Volcano (Genesis)

·         I Not Crazy Am You Are – Ling Tosite Sigure

·         Curly Teeth- Micachu

·         Hairspray Suppository – The Locust

·         If My Nose Was Runnin’ Money, I’d Blow It All On You – Mike Snider

·         Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork? By Chiodos

·         Not Drowning, Waving – Violent Moodswings

·         Break Like The Wind By Spinal Tap

·         How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away By Dan Hicks

·         Many Pieces Of Large Fuzzy Mammals Gathered Together At A Rave And Grooving On A Brick By Astro-Man

·         How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been A Liar All My Life From The Movie Royal Wedding

·         My Best Friend Run Off With My Wife And I Miss Him By Gene Scruggs

·         Catfish Boogie By Tennessee Ernie Ford

·         I Fought Piranhas By White Stripes

·         The Anaheim, Azuza And Cucamunga Sewing Circle, Book Review And Timing Association By Jan & Dean

·         Plexiglass Toilet – Styx

·         If I Didn’t Have A Goiter – Johnny Socko

·         You Can’t Roller Skate Through A Buffalo Herd – Roger Miller

·         May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose – Little Jimmy Dickens

·         You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly – Lorretta Lynn & Conway Twitty

·         Hot As A Docker’s Armpit – Budgie

·         Did I Shave My Legs For This? – Deana Carter

·         Can Blue Men Sing The Whites? – Bonzo Dog Band

·         I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Almost Like Having You Here – Stephen Bishop

Eddie Snipes 2013
Connect with me on twitter @eddiesnipes

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The Green Pea Man

Written By: Eddie Snipes - Feb• 26•13

I didn’t always think things through when I was a child. You might find that hard to believe, considering all the wise choices I’ve told you about on my blog. Third grade was a special time of my life. I blossomed into a model student. When the school bell rang, that special place in my brain was closed and put away until the next day. Under no circumstances should that school box in my mind be reopened until the next day. The only exception to the rule was report card day.

 

Never in my life did I skip home to eagerly show my parents a report card. Somehow my mom got wind of the report cards before I showed it to them. I had to show it because it had to be signed. “Did you get a report card today?” Mom asked when my feet crossed the threshold.

 

I stopped and thought long and hard. Oh yeah, I do seem to remember getting something with letters on it.

 

One year a classmate came up with an ingenious idea. When we came back with our signed report cards, he had changed all his grades from C’s and D’s to A’s and B’s. The card was heavily smudged, but somehow he managed to fool his parents. Either that or he signed for his parents – but then, what would be the value of changing the grades?

 

The teacher, however, wasn’t so easily swayed. She noticed immediately and held the card out for him to observe. “Why did you change your grades?” she demanded.

 

“It was like that when I got it,” he said with the confidence of a third-grader caught in the act.

 

“Do you think I’m stupid?” The teacher let him have it. He feebly tried to defend his honor, but he was no match for a teacher well-trained in the art of student humiliation. As I watched the consequences unfold before my eyes, I realized that his brilliant plan was more flawed than we had expected. Then I was glad I hadn’t thought of such a tactic. Plus, I seriously doubt my parents would have overlooked the smudged eraser marks. Instead, I would have to resign myself to handing over the evidence of my lack of academic effort every three months. I saw no way around this quarterly fate.

 

One day I had an ingenious plan of my own. It was a plan to make my classmate Terry Ballew laugh. Terry was a nut. And he always asked me for my pat of butter. When he asked for my butter this time, I’d be ready. I took a pea, put it up my nose, and when he asked, I turned to him.

 

“Ms. Severts!” he yelled. Then he pointed at me and said, “Eddie put a pea up his nose.”

 

That wasn’t the reaction I had desired. I quickly disposed of the pea in a napkin and acted like I didn’t know what he was talking about. But it didn’t work. All panic broke out. The next thing I knew, a lunch lady was attacking my face with a dishrag and saying, “Where is it? It didn’t go up in there did it?” I assured her it wasn’t up there. Then my teacher sent me back to the class.

 

I sat their wondering what could be worse than going back to class hungry. But I found out. Outside the classroom my teacher said, “Since Eddie wants attention, let me tell you what he did in the lunch room.” Every gossip-hungry ear perked up.

 

I don’t know exactly what she told them, but suddenly everyone was calling me the green pea man. Rumor had it, I put a green pea up my nose and then ate it. Oh the humanity! I didn’t eat it. And it wasn’t even green. It was a black-eyed pea. For the next five years I lived under the black cloud of being the boy who ate the green pea. In the eighth grade, my parents sent me to a private school for a year. I thought I’d heard the last of the green pea. But in the ninth grade I returned. Terry was the first to greet me in high school.

 

“Hey, it’s the green pea man.” He turned to some people and said, “Let me tell you about the time Eddie put a green pea in his nose and ate it.”

 

Good grief! The past haunts me!

 

I did learn a valuable lesson from Terry. I got several nicknames I didn’t appreciate, but one day I decided I didn’t want these names. Complaining only encouraged the teasing, so I devised a new plan. We were playing football and someone said, “Hey, Green pea.” I casually walked by. “Hey, Green pea,” he said with a hint of frustration. I kept walking. He called out again, but I didn’t hear. Finally, he said, “Eddie!”

 

I turned and said, “What?” Thus began my strategy to wean people off any nickname I didn’t like. A short time later, no one remembered the green pea man. That is until now.

Eddie Snipes 2013

Connect with me on twitter @eddiesnipes

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