Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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

Tag Archives: snow

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.

 

 President’s Day/Mid-Winter Break in Chelan

In the greater Puget Sound area, a fair number of the private and public schools have the President’s Day week off. No one knows for sure why we take a whole week off (considering we just had two weeks off around Christmas and New Year’s Day).   I use to hate having another week off so soon after Christmas, but I have grown to love it over the years.  The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, which makes this week a good break for vacation trips.  Airfare prices arent too bad and it seems only our local schools do the “Mid-Winter” Break.

The past few years, we have gone to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island), California.  This year, my daughter is doing club volleyball and my son is doing a college program during his senior year so a family trip wasn’t going to happen. My son still has classes this week, while my daughter doesn’t.  So no out of town, flyaway trips for us.

This year, we did manage to get away to Lake Chelan.  We traded overcast, rainy skies for snow and gray skies.  The drive over was decent; roads and highways were wet and snow free.


As you can see from the photos, the lake appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared.

Then on a drive up to look at a piece of property, the clouds rolled in and went from blue skies to thick clouds (or fog) conditions.

Uh, the road is somewhere out there.


During the winter, the towns of Chelan and Manson slow down. Some of the businesses are mostly the summer type, catering to the tourist families from the west side of the Cascade mountains and stay open during summer months only.  In the winter, the local wineries and their tasting rooms switch to the Friday-Saturday-Sunday limited hours schedule due to the slowdown in suburban mom traffic.  As an example, a few weeks back when my wife and I came to Chelan, we were the only ones at the Benson Vibeyard/Winery’s tasting room.  A nice quiet afternoon to enjoy the view and a bottle of red wine.

Overall, Chelan and Manson are both great getaway locations.  Lots of wineries, a bowling alley, a few pizza and burger joints await the hardy visitor.  Snowshoe or cross country ski in the morning, do a few wine tastings in the afternoon, head out to dinner, and cap it all off with a night of bowling.  What could be more fun?

Snow…but no snow…

Lately, we have been getting some good heavy snowfalls in the mountain regions of the Puget Sound area. Today we were excited to set off for Paradise (Elevation: 5400 feet), on Mt. Rainier, for a play day in the snow. Do some snowshoeing, perhaps even build a snow cave or even an igloo.

The drive to Paradise isn’t too bad if the road is clear. You enter the Mt. Rainier National Park though the Longmire gate entrance.  However, with the recent snowfall, and then having the temperatures rise back up a bit, plus you add some rain and you have a great situation for avalanches. The park service is pretty good at keeping the road closed if it should be closed (due to dangerous conditions).  The National Park Service (NPS) also requires you to have tire chains even if you have a vehicle with all wheel drive or four wheel drive.

We were just outside of Elbe, when we decided we had better check the National Park Service’s Twitter feed and discovered that the road to Paradise from Longmire was closed. Oh well.  Drive an hour or so to discover you can’t get into Rainier National Park.  But then again, that is the nature of winter weather.

We are hoping to return to Mt. Rainier National Park over the next few weeks if possible. 

 

End of the Year Snowshoe Hike

We have had some nice clear weather here the past few days. My friend Mark and I managed to squeeze in a short snowshoe hike up in the Hyak area of Snoqualmie Pass (Washington). We hiked the Kendall Peak trail today. Not a lot of people enjoying the great snow and sunshine we had today but that is ok with me.

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Beautiful views along the trail

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Fairly easy hike, well travelled trail.

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Oh Man, Where are the Followers and What Do They Read?

The other day I was reading a blog posting about how one of the bloggers I follow on WordPress just got his 11,000th follower on his blog.  In July 2013, he only had 6,000.  He wrote a brief “success” blog about how and what he did to reach 11,000 followers.

I am a bit jealous of his success. In his humble opinion, he isn’t the world’s best writer or blogger. His blog is so poorly written it is hard to read and gives me a headache.  I want to take my red ink pen out and correct it like a murderer/slasher on a 1990’s flick.  A lot of his problems are due to the run on sentences, bad sentence structure, and terrible grammar.

Yet, he has some great stories and 11,000 followers so I can pretty much suck it, right?  I have measly 400 or 500 followers so I really can’t say how to build up a huge following, can I?  Of course, my blog is built on Worthless Advice so maybe I’m killing myself and my blog?  He spins his tales like a drunken sailor (his description of himself) and people love it.  Imagine what he could do with a ghost writer living on Kauai?

What is the secret to his success?  He uses a bunch of tags that the magic internet search engine spiders love and brings in his type of readers (followers).  Even if his blog post has nothing to do with those tags, he still uses the same tags and categories over and over again.  Now, I’m not sure he is making money online but he has written a book and has self published it.

Oh, and a lot of his terms are about sex, crime, and drugs.  His life experiences are downright scary.  So we do know what the general public is looking for, don’t we?  And I don’t have anything against others blogging and writing exactly what they want to write.  I admire anyone willing to throw themselves out there and open themselves and their writing up for the world to see.

Your thoughts and comments?

Snow Day in Seattle! A day of Death, Destruction, and Mayhem!

 It is a Snow Day here in the Seattle area.  It snowed roughly 3-4 inches around our house.  Sadly, it is quickly disappearing due to the temperature rising to a blazing 36 degrees.  What is a person to do?  Enjoy it the best you can.

 We don’t get a lot of snow here at 500 feet elevation.  Sure, we have a few wonderful mountain ranges around here (mainly the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Mountain Range) that you can go and enjoy the snow.  However, we have had a terrible winter for snow and the skiing areas just recently opened up.  It is a pleasure to have snow today for us.  And by this evening it will be gone and the kids will be off to school (on time) tomorrow.

 In the meantime, I was able to make a snowman with my daughter, we then launched a successful snowball attack against the neighbor kids, and finished off with a nice lunch inside the house.  Nothing beats a nice warm house after getting all wet and cold outside on a snowy day.

 Later on, the whole family is headed to the “Twisted Cabaret Comedy Show” for the afternoon show.  I’ll give a full report when I return…or I manage to remember to blog about it.

 If you are bored or need a reason to express yourself, drop a few comments in the comments section and share your wisdom.

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