Tag Archives: HB2

Happy Halloween Weekend!

I have a #Halloween guest post today over at: http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/2016/10/halloween-week-killer-clowns.html

I’m honored to be able to contribute to the newly released :

We Are Not This: Carolina Writers for Equality anthology

Now available on Amazon from Falstaff Books: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M5FVA7A

Featuring stories from  A.J Hartley, John Hartness, Jay Requard, David Childers, Edmund Schubert, Stuart Jaffe, Tamsin SilverNicole Kurtz, Joanne Spataro, Natania Barron, Faith Naff, Theresa Glover, Calandra Usher, Edmund Schubert, Teresa Frohock, Jake Bible, Tamsin Silver, Caryn Studham Sutorus, Trevor Curtis, and many more!

Proceeds from this anthology go to support Time Out Youth, Queen City Theatre Company, and Equality NC.

The #HoldOnToTheLight campaign is ongoing.

I’ve been honored to contribute  with over a hundred other authors writing about #MentalHealth, #PTSD, and #Depression. Please check out the web page.

And finally,

Check out more of our authors in this year’s October Frights Blog Tour! Now that book 3 is out, and Spirits of the Season and Gnomebody’s business are in paperback, some lucky person on my mailing list will will a full autographed set. Sign up today!

To celebrate, my Halloween story, “Spirits of the Season” will be free the entire month of October here! Use code Oct2016.

A Longbow Initiative Story
A Longbow Initiative Story

Even more, use code Scare2016 and get a 25% discount on everything!

 

And check out more of my fellow authors in this year’s tour!

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Call me to swap blog posts

Yeah, there’s a point to this one. You just have to get past the rant.

For anyone that knows me, has met me, or simply asked directions, I’m willing to talk about pretty much anything and everything. I’ve been told upon occasion, I can even be entertaining, or at least a warning to young children about what happens if they grow up to be like me.

(Do your homework kids.)

At one point, I was in the media, and I have occasionally still contributed to a variety of publications, mostly on technology, project management, or professional development. Other times, I’ll do a little something about writing and fiction.

If you want my opinion on Cthulhu for President, I’ll probably have one. And be more than willing to share it. (For the moment, I’m waiting to see what an elder god’s opinion is on concealed carry and NC HB2.)

In short, if someone wants a blog post, article or interview, I’m pretty good about doing them as long as I see your e-mail. And you can put up with a smart ass.

Names from here on out have been changed to protect the guilty, but I’ve had a couple of people hit me up recently for contributions, but with a twist. They want me to pay them for the privilege of being interviewed.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue charging for services, and if everyone agrees, it’s like anything else. I’ve spent most of my career consulting. I understand charging by the hour, and both charging any paying for services.

The first person tried to explain how they charged to help defray their website costs. That makes sense, except they also ran a lot of advertising and affiliate programs. Again, I don’t have a problem with that, but I politely declined based on the numbers. If they have the volume they proclaim, then the “nominal fee” shouldn’t be a factor in running the site. If, based on what I saw, they need my nominal fee for operating costs, they don’t have enough volume to be of any benefit.

And oh yeah, don’t ask me to write a professional piece based on my own developed materials for you to run on your site, and then give me a contract taking ownership of my IP.

And the second case, I had someone talk to me, they enjoyed some work I’d done, etc., and came to me for a blog post. Nothing big. Happy to do it.

The response was “Great, when can you deliver it.” And attached to the questionnaire was an invoice for $100 for marketing services, and a rate sheet for other services.

Uh huh.

Needless to say, I again almost politely declined. Polite mostly because it was in writing.

Again, I have no problems charging for services. I do it myself. If I am working with someone, depending on what it is, if you want a significant amount of my time and expertise, yeah, I’m going to charge you. It may be a beer, or real hourly rates, depending on how much I like you. But I’m up front about it.

Back door sales stuff pisses me off. Almost as much as the guy that sat in the driveway last week honking his horn for me to come out for him to do a sales pitch. Yeah, it was too much work to get out of his truck until I put the conference call I was in the middle of on hold to find out what jackass was setting off the dogs.

He didn’t get the business either.

Among the creative community, we have all been asked to do something for the “exposure.” I’ve even swapped it off. And yeah, I’ve done free work as a contribution. And I’ll do it in the future.

Out of choice.

So why am I writing this little rant?

Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a musician, a magician doing kids parties, YOUR TIME AND SKILLS ARE VALUABLE. Spend them wisely. Time is not an infinite resource. Make educated decisions. Treat your endeavors like a business.

Even if you’re only engaged in your creative work part time and aren’t making a living at it, YOUR TIME AND SKILLS ARE VALUABLE. And so are the time and skills of everyone else.

I have a lot of fun doing posts, and contributing to other people’s sites. I’m always happy to boost the message for people who are getting work out the door. My door is always open for someone who wants or needs help, even if it’s just an encouraging word or feedback.

And I’m willing to pay for valuable services when I need to, because I know time and skills are valuable. But if you’re asking a creative type for time or money in a way that benefits you, ask yourself how it benefits them too. That couple of hours it may take someone two write some copy for you, the Photoshop and graphics work for your event, whatever it is you need and are asking for. Remember, that’s time the other person isn’t spending working on their own stuff, or binging on Netflix. Be thankful and respectful of what others do, and remember.

Exposure isn’t remuneration. I’m not saying don’t do free work. Just think about it like loaning $20 to a friend. Don’t plan on getting it back, but if it pays off, it’s a bonus. Do it because you want to. Not because of guilt, or some nebulous perceived payoff.

And yeah, I’d love to swap blog posts.

#HB2 #WeAreNotThis

HB2, Laws of unintended consequences, and rearranging the deck chairs on the NC Titanic

Last night, half paying attention, I was surfing ye olde book of faces and an article popped up North Carolina Governor Sets Up Hotline To Report Anyone Not Using Correct Bathroom. I live in Charlotte, and I have friends on both sides of the argument, and being the jackass I am, I reposted it with a generic comment.

Within a few minutes, I had a friend respond “Fake News Site,” to which to me, was mostly irrelevant. And that point was proven over the next couple of hours after I agreed, and even commented on a couple of times in the thread. It was the overall ire and rant the post triggered. What was most interesting to me was how believable it is that we have devolved to this point in our society.

For anyone not paying attention to NC and US politics, HB2 was a bill passed, that in my view, is a poster child for the marriage of ‘The Law of Unintended Consequences’ and ‘Knee Jerk Reaction,’ being babysat by ‘Small Minded Well-Sheltered Ostriches.’ And they all have their heads up their ass.

First, let me state, I believe the law was ridiculous in principle, much less in execution. Its stated purpose was trying to fix a non-existent problem that was already covered by existing laws, even if it were an issue. In my opinion, this is a giant publicity stunt gone wrong in an election season, and has the potential to become the biggest States Rights case in decades. Why you ask?

It totally blew past long standing Federal Laws, and we are already seeing blowback on the people who are the most likely demographic to have thought it was a good idea. For example, the age discrimination suits that now have to go to Federal Court: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/man-files-federal-lawsuit-over-age-discrimination/209361628 and http://wncn.com/2016/04/01/nc-woman-suing-for-age-discrimination-gets-caught-up-in-hb2-bill-fallout/ for example.

Before we go any further, let me state I am a firm believer in States Rights, and in many ways the Federal Government has overreached its authority. This being said, my view is the power of the states exists to protect and guarantee our freedoms as people, not exert more oppression. And have no doubt, this bill is oppression of all people in this state, and will be for the others who are considering or who have passed similar legislation.

My personal beliefs go to the point where I don’t necessarily have to like or agree with your personal views, but as long as you are not forcing them on others, or harming others through your actions, I will defend your right to believe them to the end. I don’t want to live in a homogeneous society of drones, ala a Stepford community or even worse, Demolition Man.

No way am I doing Taco Bell every day.

At times in my career, I’ve been in traditional media, alt media, politics, small business, and the largest corporations on the planet. With the exception of small business, and sometimes even this, they all rely on the same motivator. Fear.

If you’re afraid of everything and everyone around you, you are easier to control. Almost all of the news is bad. Fear porn.

Politics used to be about motivating you to vote for someone or something. Look at the current election cycle. All of the discussion is about finding the least of the evils, and getting you to vote to stop someone else from getting into office.

Businesses rely on fear to sell you goods and services. Fear your neighbor will have something you don’t. Fear you might miss out on the next big thing. Fear that if you don’t have their service, you’ll be a victim. Don’t go in the bathroom without a baseball bat and a genitalia cop.

Guess what. This law doesn’t mean any more to a predator than ANY OTHER LAW. It’s a piece of legislation to make self-righteous people feel better about themselves and a little more false sense of security, it gives the media a firestorm to latch onto, and it lets us do it on the backs of people who are having more than enough challenges in their lives (just like the rest of us) without trying to figure out where to take a whizz without it becoming a potential life and death situation.

No, we don’t live in a perfect world. The more we fear, the further we’re driven into out caves, starring from the darkness hoping we get passed by when the angel of layoffs comes to town, or someone wants to sell us the latest upgrade of smartphone or else we might miss out on something. Guess what, in the process, you’re missing out on a lot.

I have a very simple answer to it all. Be true to yourself. Respect others, especially the ones you don’t agree with. There’s a very famous, and simple rule… Do unto others… as you wish to have done to you.

If we all lived by this one, life would be a hell of a lot nicer. Stop throwing stones in your glass houses, and throw them at the people causing the real problems.