5 Keys #2

Hello again, Readers. Thanks for coming back. In the last issue of CadreZine, I wrote an article titled Writing a Successful Article or Other Submission. In it, I discussed the five keys to creating an article or short story to submit to a magazine or anthology. I hope it helped, but I want to remind you that those were merely the keys I’ve discovered. There are many paths to the mountaintop.

I believe there’s a writer in everyone, and I feel a certain duty to help others as I’m able. And so I want to continue along those lines with this column, which I’ve cleverly titled:

The Five Keys to Having Organization and Computering Good

1) Understand Your Personal Organizational Habits

Understanding how YOU organize things is essential. Remember, there’s no wrong way to organize your stuff as long as it works. If you’re always losing things, it isn’t working. It isn’t working because you haven’t taken the time to examine your… Okay, I know the title of the article is clunky and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I don’t mean to get sidetracked. I just want you to know that I’m aware of it. It probably looks like I speak English as a second language. Well I don’t. Unless you count ice cream as a language, am I right? No, I’m kidding. But seriously, if ice cream is a language, I speak it. I once tried to set up a PacMan course in my living room with some pillows and cushions. The little dots were tiny bowls of ice cream. The big dots at the corners? You guessed it, BIG bowls of ice cream. The problem was that it ended up melting a lot faster than I could get everything set up. Then the dogs wouldn’t stay in their ghost costumes. Ended up making a big ol’ mess. I had to drink a bunch of melted ice cream. Too much, according to the doctor who treated me for ice cream poisoning. Whatever. You can drown in an inch of water, so, you know, nothing’s totally safe. And yes, I do know how to say that phrase in the language of ice cream. Unfortunately, ice cream is not a written language. Sorry.

2) Get the Most Out of Your Computer

Computers are vital to any writer in this day and age. The tools they come with are terrific, sure. But the tools you can buy are almost horrifying in their power. Basically, you’re all set when you buy a new computer. And it’s important to remember that you can use your computer to reward your own positive behavior. If you get a bunch of work done, fire up the game engine! I do this one game – it’s sword and sorcery, see. Well, I play as this blue woman with long ears and platinum hair. I never equip any armor. She just runs around in her underclothes with this massive sword strapped to her back. Except sometimes, and I apologize for how lame this is, you have to equip armor! I know, right? Well, the big troll thing is gonna hit you sooner or later, and you best have some protection from ice damage. Plus his little harpy friends are blasting you with a ranged poison attack doing 25 damage every hit. Yeah, you’ll go through a lot of potions if you don’t have any armor. Then, when you’re out of potions, you start trying to remember when was the last time you saved. Well, guess what. While you were trying to remember, about fifteen flaming skeleton guys popped out of the ground to say “Howdyadoo.” That’s when you die and get to find out where the last place was that you saved. Here’s a hint: it’s all the way back by that stupid talking tree that you hate, and you can’t skip the cut scene. But what are you gonna do? Make your own game?

3) Stop Wasting Time

This reminds me of a joke I always tell at funerals to lighten the mood. A cowboy jumps onto his horse off the roof of a saloon. The horse says, “Ow! Why would you do that? You could have seriously injured me, you maniac!” The cowboys spits tobaccer juice into the dirt and says, “I don’t even know why I married you.”

4) Embrace Technology

I don’t know what that means. I know what you’re saying: “Brent, you aren’t staying on track. This article has gone off the rails.” And you may be right. Who am I to say? Wanna hear some more jokes? Sure you do. Let’s see, let’s see. Can’t find any. I had some Heisenberg jokes around here somewhere. I can’t find them, but I have a good idea how fast they’re going. If you got that, good for you. If you didn’t, I’ll expect a ten page report about Heisenberg on my desk by Tuesday. And I better not see anything about Breaking Bad.

5) That Last One Was A Stretch

I realize that last section was kind of a stretch. Just like I realize that in my last article I said my next article would be about soup. If you missed it, I’ll explain. When I’m shoveling my driveway, people driving by tend to bring me soup and blankets because they seem to think I’m a hobo. Well, I’m not presently a hobo. I just like those sweatpants, and that’s my workin’ coat. But I’ll take the soup. Sometimes. See, I’ve learned who makes good soup and who makes bad. Old Lady In White Truck makes good soup. I don’t know what to make of her “IMPEACH NADER” bumper sticker, though. Middle Age Man In Yellow Van makes average soup. I like the way he never wears sleeves no matter what time of year it is. And finally, Old Couple In Purple Sedan have bad soup. I don’t know where they’re going with a back seat literally overflowing with vintage dolls, but those things scare the soup out of me. I swear, their little dead eyes follow me wherever I go. Once I frowned at the taste of the soup, and their eyes got all crazy and mad. Sometimes I can hear them clawing at my window in the night. I’ll go into greater detail in my next article: Delight and Despair: A Comparison of Soups Given To Me Because People Still Think I’m A Hobo When I’m Shoveling My Driveway.