Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Category Archives: writing

Writing Your Novel Tips! Worthless Advice that won’t help you in the least!

Well, I have no helpful writing tips for you and your upcoming bestselling novel.  This is my worthless advice blog, remember?  If you want some helpful tips, you might as well just click over to someone who is helpful like: Jenna Morcci.  She’s an author/writer/blogger I stumbled upon, while I was watching YouTube.  Before you judge me, my YouTube viewing is called “research.” While I was “researching” something…. (Truth be told, you know I was wasting time with Mr. Whiskers by my side, trying to figure out something on YouTube when Jenna Morcci’s writing videos came into my feed).

Let’s get to the point….She is hilarious!  Well crafted videos that are a bit sarcastic, but helpful on writing.  She’s informative, delightful, and has some great writing points.  Hmm, she could be more helpful than my worthless advice blog and that could be dangerous.  Perhaps, she could be my arch enemy?  Nah, that would involve me thinking too much of plot lines, character development, and how to write more than two sentences together and thus make something worthwhile.  One of my favorite videos is at the end of this post.

To combat her cleverness, I probably should throw together a witty list of “How to Write a Novel” tips.  Here goes my worthless advice tips list that won’t help you at all:

  1. Write in a Safe Space.  Yes, go to your safe space.  This could be an extra room in your house, under the stairs, the local coffee shop, or the pub down the street (see item #2).
  2. Consume large quantities of alcohol.  All the great, successful writer were drunks.  Why should you be any different?  Drink up!  You could even have a signature drink!
  3. Play music appropriate to your writing style.  Feeling romantic? Play some love songs.  Your story takes place at an all night rave?  Throw on some EMD trance music.
  4. Read.  Heck, you can’t write if you don’t read.  Read your genre or just read the classics.  Just don’t sit around and do nothing.whirlpool-1580294_1920.jpg  Pick up that Kindle and read!
  5. Soak in a Hot Tub – this is a wonderful way to relax, brainstorm, and not write.  You are in a hot tub, how could you write anything down?
  6. Surf the internet.  Remember I said not to sit around and do nothing?  Well, start surfing that internet and enjoy learning about how to snowboard in New Zealand.  It won’t help you write but you might end up with a great storyline, a blog post, or a new place to visit.
  7. Watch YouTube videos.  This is an awesome way to learn a new skill…how to change out a wheel bearing, how to paint your house, how to waste time watching You Tube videos about how to be successful.  It’s always just a big circle; watch a video and never write that next great American novel.
  8. Play with your cat!  What can you distract you more than your cat?  So cute, so cuddling.  It makes you want to watch cute cat videos on YouTube!  Am I right?  You know I am.
  9. Chat with your Imaginary Stalker Cyndi -You know you haven’t been paying enough attention to Cyndi and she doesn’t like that.  She will get you back….and she is your #1 fan!

Luckily, I know none of these tips will help you to become a better writer.  I know they won’t help you doing anything that moves you along to becoming successful, or happy, or the pride of your family.

Here’s a link to Jenna’s videos.  If you like a snarky attitude, you like to write, and you think I might actually have some good advice for you, just click on her video!  I don’t get paid to say how much I enjoy her videos, but she is pretty funny.  She should at least take me out to dinner for all of the web traffic my blog will be sending her…. No, I’m not in love with her…. (my wife will roll her eyes when she reads this part…).  Until Jenna comments on my blog….I bid you a fond farewell.

 

Sorry if I offend You!

It has been brought to my attention that my blog of worthless advice may have offended some of you.  Now, with my blog having a readership of two readers, it is hard to know where to take this blog.  There is a lot of pressure to keep the blog interesting for my two readers. 

Growing your blog readership isn’t easy for a blog that has the words “worthless advice” in the title. I think I’ve narrowed my target audience to a fairly small niche: people who like worthless advice.  Is there a huge market out there for worthless advice? Well, obliviously not since I have only two readers.

My advice isn’t good. I get a lot of my blog ideas from movies I watch, the news I read, and articles I discover online.  I usually try to build upon those ideas into a nice blog post about worthless advice.  Take for example, my yard sales tips post.  It’s a very well written piece that clearly shows worthless advice for your next yard sale. Terribly worthless advice that no one should take. But I do hope that you find it humorous because it is so worthless.

So, my dear readers, I’m sorry if I offended you with my worthless advice.  I’ll try to make it up to sometime soon.  You can help me by suggesting some blog post ideas below in my comment section. Thanks for reading!

I may have to give up the News, Facebook, and all incoming messages of Doom and Gloom.

I enjoy comedy shows and how they point out the craziness of today’s current events.  I enjoy reading Facebook posts of my friends as well.   However, I have noticed a trend of people giving up Facebook.  I can understand that.  I may have to give up on Facebook, the news, and my favorite comedy shows.  Perhaps, I will think of only rainbows and unicorns.  Keep myself upbeat.  You know what I’m talking about, right?

The news channels are telling me what is going on out there in the world.  Facebook is full of ranting and raving, hurt feelings, and cat videos.  And folks, it’s not pretty watching and reading all of that.
I should just relax with my family and not watch the news. Sit back and appreciate what I have. It’s a good plan isn’t it?

I’ll even stick to my plan of not talking about my family in my blog posts.  However, I’ll keep you informed of how my cat Mr. Whiskers is doing and how Cyndi (my imaginary stalker) is staying in the stalking business.  Maybe I’ll slip in a good story of how much I appreciate my two blog readers, my wife, and my kids.

I will continue to offer worthless advice. With the name of my blog containing “worthless advice”, it is hopefully oblivious to my two readers that this blog is meant to be funny. I know I fail at being funny, but I try.

Leave your comments below…give me some feedback on what I should be writing about.  It will only take a minute.

Pet Peeve: What Kind Of Quality do You Want?

One of my pet peeves is when people say they want a “quality” product. What does that mean? Quality is a noun, not an adjective. (Don’t worry; that’s it for the English lesson). When anyone says “I want a quality product at a good price”, I’m the guy that has to comment and say “What kind of quality do you want? High quality? Low Quality? Medium Quality?  Because quality doesn’t mean anything until you throw an adjective in front of it.”

If you want low quality, then say that. Admit to yourself that you want some crappy dollar menu item and that price is a concern and taste is secondary.  It’s ok. Sometimes I like a heart attack patty hidden between two buns as much as the next guy.

If you want high quality, then be willing to pay the price for it. Say you want it, accept into your heart and pay the price.  You get what you pay for.

Don’t be afraid to throw in that adjective “high” in front of the word “quality.”  I promise you; it is OK to do it.

IMG_2043[1]

Watergate

Windows are for Winners! (and that’s why I’m sitting here by the window!)

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines (whom should be sponsoring my blog)

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines (whom should be sponsoring my blog)

On my recent trip to the Big Island, I left a few days before my wife and travelled by myself. Like many others, I love to take vacations and fly in airplanes. I enjoy sitting, looking out the window at the clouds, think about my cat Mr. Whiskers, enjoying the landscape below, with the knowledge that in a few hours, a new adventure awaits for me. When my wife and kids travel with me, I give up the window seat to one of them. I’ll get stuck on the aisle seat or the middle seat (I’m usually stuck in Coach because this blog isn’t a national success as of yet and I can’t afford First Class).

So, the highlight of the flight was when the little kid next to me wanted to look out the window. He asked his mom if she would ask me if I could change seats to the aisle seat.

What? First of all; man up kid, you are five years old…talk to me yourself. Stop being a whiner. Second, I don’t want to sit by the aisle because I know this kid and his mother will have to go to the bathroom 15 times during the flight, Third, the flight attendant will bump my elbow EVERYTIME she goes by with the drink cart, Finally, you know some lady will need to get something out of the overhead bin (right above my head), it will be too heavy, and she’ll drop it on my head (thus awaking me up and annoying me). Just leave me alone.

I turned to the kid, raise my left hand, slowly pulled the shade down, and said to the kid.

“Windows are for winners and you aren’t a winner.”  Then, with a smile on my face, push the “Play” button on the podcast I was listening to (“How to be a Sarcastic Jerk Podcast Episode 167), closed my eyes and started my vacation.

(if you haven’t figure this out by now…this didn’t happen…work of sarcastic fiction…well, the flight and vacation to the Big Island did happen).

Again, why hasn't the Royal Kona Resort asked me to blog for them?

Again, why hasn’t the Royal Kona Resort asked me to blog for them?

Oh, I’m sorry, did you say something about how I talk?

I’ve been having problems with certain “words” in my life.  I’m making the effort to eliminate the following words and phrases:

Basically

Actually

Technically

….And something

… And stuff

I think…

I’ll try….

Let’s get into the meat of the situation, we all have phrases that we say that begin to drive us crazy. My least favorite is my habit of saying “and something”. 

For example:

“The battery is very large and something.”  Of course the battery is “and something”.  I feel like a dork every time I say it.  Please, help me stop the use of the “and something”.

And like Yoda says I shouldn’t “try”, I should “do” it.

Instead of me saying “I’ll try to mow the lawn.”

No, instead “I will now the lawn.” (Unless it is raining….who wants to mow the lawn in the rain?).

In an effort to be specific, I’m switching to:

I will….

Don’t forget about “basically”.  I recently started to listen to the radio show “Loveline” again (via podcast) and every time someone says “basically”, they ring a bell. Now, everything time I hear the word “basically”, I hear that bell go off in my head.  I have been conditioned just like Pavlov’s dog; I hear the word “basically” and the bell goes off.  Now where is my treat?

“And stuff”

I use “and stuff” when I’m talking and it is annoying. I wouldn’t write it but I find myself saying “Here comes Clark with the report and stuff.” Really?  That just came out of my mouth?

Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to come off as a snobby speaker of the English language. I’m a terrible speaker and mispronounce words all the time (I blame my parents….but who doesn’t blame their parents for all their problems?). I’m focusing on my own poor speech patterns and phrases. For pete’s sake, this blog isn’t about you, ok? These items are things I want to fix about myself. And who says I can’t change (besides my wife and kids?).

One more that I don’t use but I hate:

Honestly and To be honest with you….

“Honestly, I don’t know what you mean that I crashed the car.”

“To be honest with you, I’d never eat the last cookie.”

You weren’t honest before?  I don’t use those word phrases but they drive me crazy when I hear them.

So basically (ding), I’m trying to tell you that I need to work on myself and stuff, so that I think I can become a better person and something.

Actually, that was painful to write and then read.

Have a wonderful day! 

 

Could you be better?

I’m pretty good at my job. Sure, I know I have room to improve, make myself and my company better, make more money, etc.  And if I worked for someone (other than myself),  I’d say I’m a solid B+/A- worker. I get the job done and I do a great job at it.

But that made me wonder: What if I was better at another job (or career) and I just don’t know it?  Hell, I know I could be a great ticket taker at the movie theater. I wouldn’t be pulling down an awesome salary but I would be awesome at it.

So with an easy job; yeah, I would be awesome. But what if there is a job out there that I would be even better at…there was “more” for me to excel at at? I would reach a higher level of success at that job instead of my current job?  How do I figure out what that is?

How many of us are really good at our jobs but in another career field, we would be awesome?

Clearly, I’m awesome at a lot of things. And I’m modest too. I just don’t know what I would be better at. What talents and knowledge haven’t I tapped into?

What makes you great? Do you know?

  

Should You Care About What You Post?

I am by far, not a prefect writer.  My sentence structure is poor and my grammar can be criminal at times.  I make mistakes.  However, I try to minimize my mistakes by proofreading.  I do eliminate as many typos as possible and actually capitalize the beginning of each sentence.  Why do I bring this?  Mainly because I’ve been reading a few new blogs and the bloggers don’t seem to think that it is important to capitalize anything.  To me, it is very confusing and annoying.  I also see it as a sign of laziness.

Should it bother me so much?  Am I being too picky?  No, I’m not.  I would rather read a blog post, a book, or a short story where the author actually cared enough to pay attention to the details.  I want my mind to gobble up the story and not have to slow down to interpret what the author meant when they should have capitalized “I”.  Did they mean to leave it lower case?Was the sentence supposed to start there?  Or maybe a comma should have gone there?

I just want the author to care.  I want them to care enough to take pride in their work and make me want to read it.  Trust me; I read a lot.  Some people are better writers than me and some are much worse.  But if they care about what they are writing, it shows in their work.  If they care enough, then they might hook me into finishing their writing, get me to care and be involved.

If you are going to write, at least have pride in your work.  Take pride in knowing I appreciate your hard work and effort to entertain me.  Thanks for reading my post; now get back to your writing

!DSCI0644

It’s OK to Be Selfish

Do you sometimes put yourself on the back burner? Does your family come first at the sacrifice of your own well being?

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are making the commitment to lose weight and improve their health. I’m in the same boat. I’m working on dropping weight and trimming down. I want to be selfish and feel better about myself. But is it really being selfish?

You don’t get into shape only for yourself. You get back into shape for your loved ones. You do it for your spouse, your kids, your family. You want to be healthy so you can be with them for years to come, to drive them nuts and crazy with your oddness, your creativity, your love.

So be a little selfish. Do something for yourself that will benefit you and your family. It can anything: working out, reading a self help book, painting a photo, whatever. Just do a little selfish act that makes you happy and helps you improve your well being. Because when you are happy, your family will be happy.

Thanks for reading!

Shopping Malls & Christmas Newsletters

Happy Holidays!

Christmas is around the corner and I really hope you got all of your holiday shopping done. I drove by one of our shopping malls this past Sunday and that looked crazy. Insanely crazy. I hate shopping malls all the time but to have to venture into one during the holidays is worse. I looked at that shopping mall parking lot and thought what fresh hell that must be. Thank goodness I do all of my shopping online.

To be honest, my wife does all of the holiday shopping. I just pay for it and sign the card. She is awesome for that stuff and I really appreciate her.

We are also attempting to send out Christmas cards this year. We haven’t done it for the past few years because I’m lazy. I use to write a snarky Christmas newsletter as well. I use to be really good at it. The key phrase here is “use to be”. Let’s face it; my blog doesn’t get enough attention from me so a Christmas Newsletter isn’t high on my list of things to do.

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate Christmas Newsletters. Actually, I love them. I love to get Christmas Newsletters because it allows me to read about all the fun stuff going on (without having to read all of the Facebook posts). The newsletter is nice tidy summary of the good events that have happened over the past year. No one writes about the bad stuff like how you got rear ended by the guy checking his text messages. And they avoid all of the photos of food and drinks people post. So please, send me your holiday newsletter…I love them.

making peace with the wrong side of 40

My midlife crisis made me want to live simply. Unfortunately, there isn't much simple about it most days.

New England Nomad

All Things New England

Evil Squirrel's Nest

Where all the cool squirrels hang out!

Abbey Co.

Seattle mom Turned Lifestyle Blogger - Lover of Food, Wine, Fresh Air and Family Time

THE COFFEE LIFE

Writing | Books | Caffeine | Life

The Phil Factor

Where Sarcasm Gets Drunk and Let's Its Hair Down

The Brasharian

style and culture blog

Appetite for Sexual Destruction

Welcome to the Jungle that is online dating in your 30s...

Everything Southern

lifestyle blog

joeyackles2

Hopeless & Waiting

kristina gallo - Broken rules

psychology, society, relations, business

UpChucking Words

Puking up Poetry, One Verse at a Time

Rebel Housewife

Wife. Mother. Employee. Blessed, stressed, living the real {good} life.

minmylife

Minimizing in your life to achieve your dreams!

Letters From The Sky

a personal journal

Alex Lehman

Her work. Her thoughts. Her life

%d bloggers like this: