5 Keys #1

Hello, Readers! My name is Brent Kelley, and you probably don’t know me.  There’s a very good reason for that, but I assure you it isn’t that I don’t exist. I totally exist. Don’t make me prove it, though. I’m a master of anonymity, you see. Maybe someday I’ll write an article about how to become completely anonymous. Trust me, if I ever write that article, there’s no way it’ll ever see the light of day. If such an article found its way to publication, it would lose all credibility, wouldn’t it?

But that’s all nonsense. This is a serious article. Just need a topic. Let’s think. OH! Here’s a great topic: Writing a Successful Article or Other Submission. We’re going to go through the 5 keys of creating an original, well-written article for submission to a magazine or short story anthology. Here goes:

 

Writing a Successful Article or Other Submission

1.      Have Something To Say

I know, it’s easier said than done. I, for one, generally have nothing to say. Makes it tricky. When you don’t have anything to say, you’d best be good at the BS. That’s another problem I run into: I’m not good at the BS. You’d think I could at least come up with some sort of pro-Green Bay Packers BS, maybe including some statistics that other people haven’t been talking about. But no! Nothing. I think I might have a short attention span, because every time I sit down to write, something distracts me. Like this squirrel running around outside my window right now. Oh, he’s on my List, too. These dang squirrels keep dumping out my bird feeder and breaking into my garage. Let it be known that I was not the one who broke the truce. It was the squirrels.

2.      How Did I Lose A Shoe?

Seriously, I had it a half hour ago when I went down to get the mail. I’d suspect the dog, but I don’t think he’s moved since this morning. He’s creepy. Yesterday I started to freak out because I thought he was dead. But then he wasn’t dead, and he licked my eyeball. That’s a weird sensation, but probably not for everyone. Like when those guys have a beard of bees? Not for everyone, and definitely not for me. I actually have some documentation proving a secret alliance between squirrels and bees, so I DOUBLE don’t trust them. I realize none of this is going to help me find my shoe. One time I found it in the freezer. After that I told my wife we might have ghosts, but she said I was an idiot and went back to her sewing or whatever.

3.      I Don’t Believe In Ghosts Anyway

Except when I’m all alone late at night. I know what you’re saying: “Brent, I looked you up on the internet, and you’re like 40 or something. You have the mind of a child.” Well, fine. I guess that’s your opinion, but you’re WAY off on the age. My beard and handlebar mustache make me seem older and more distinguished than I am. Except when I’m shoveling snow in my old sweatpants with the paint on them. I think the sweatpants cancel out the mustache. It’s weird how nobody ever drives by when I’m at the top of the driveway, but when I’m down by the road? Man, it’s like gridlock down there! Plus, with my old, dirty work coat I guess I look like a hired hobo. Folks always try to give me old blankets and soup.

4.      But I Was Talking About Ghosts

Back to ghosts, if only briefly. I know I said I don’t believe in them, except sometimes. And it’s true. We have this one ghost in our house (which I only believe in sometimes, like I mentioned before) who keeps rearranging our DVDs. I call him Norming, because his real name is Norman and I think it’s funny to mispronounce it on purpose. So Norming switches the DVD cases. You open up The Goonies, and there’s the disk for Scarface. So you open the case for Scarface, thinking The Goonies will be there, but you find Dodgeball. Norming is quite thorough in shuffling our DVDs. Pretty funny joke when you do it to someone else. Pretty annoying when it happens to you. I also recommend swapping the contents of someone’s kitchen drawers. They’ll think they’ve gone insane, but they won’t say anything about it. They’ll just quietly panic every time they go for a spoon and it’s not in the drawer they KNOW it’s supposed to be in.

5.      Conclusion

In conclusion, I can’t remember what this article was supposed to be about. Kind of like this guy I knew. See, I knew a guy, and this was years ago, who used to raise quails. I said, “Hey, Wade (because his name was Wade. I think it was, anyway. Whatever, it’s not important to the story. Might have been Wayne. I don’t know. Honestly, I wanna say it started with an ‘H’.), how come you’re always raising those quails?” Well, he looks me right in the eye, jabs a finger in my chest, and he says, “It’s QUAIL. You don’t add an ‘S’ to quail to make it plural.” I still take issue with that. Maybe he’s right. I don’t know. I’m not going to check. But the point is that he missed my point. I asked him a question, and he answered something else. I feel like I’ve achieved that here. Stay tuned for my next article: The Best and Worst Soups As Given To Me By Passersby While I’m Shoveling My Driveway Because They Think I Am A Hobo.