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Ghostwriting for a Dog: Thankful Dogs

file9561275423505 - SquirrelAlex Terrgi here. This Thursday my human and I are going to a party on Thursday. The party is called Thanksgiving and humans do it every year so they can be thankful for stuff.

I wonder if humans realize that dogs celebrate Thanksgiving too. Because we do. The difference between us dogs and humans is that we are thankful every day, not just on one special day. I’m thankful I have good food to eat every evening. I’m thankful my water dish is nearly always full of fresh water, and even if it gets low I am thankful that my human will fill it up soon. I am thankful I get to sleep in a warm place next to a warm body every night. I am thankful my people pet my fur the right way. I am thankful my human sees that I go walking every day so I can make sure there are no aliens in my yard or on my street or in my dog park. I am thankful for all the wonderful smells in the world. I’m thankful I get to go to parties like the Thanksgiving party we’re going to this week, so I can spread my happiness and love around and suck up all the love I get back.

And oh yeah, I am grateful for squirrels.

Haiku Friday: Joke

zen gardenHere’s my haiku for today, on the topic of “Joke”:

make a haiku joke
mix laughter and poetry
play the fool for Art

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Compost: Ghostly Sales Pitch

SALE on speech bubblesHere’s another question I was asked during a consultation on ghostwriting from one of the participants in my course Learn to Ghost.

Q: Do you go into the first call with a prospective client with the goal to embed a sales pitch in the consultation, even though the ghostwriting sales cycle can be very long?

My answer: I operate under the assumption that before we set a phone call consultation, we’ve exchanged some information via email and I’ve directed them to my website so they can get some idea of who I am and how I work, and that now they’re interested enough to spend time on the phone with me. I especially direct them to my “rates” page so they don’t waste their time and mine if they expect to hire a ghostwriter for a full-length book that takes at least 6 months to write, and pay what amounts to a pittance. I also ask via email for a general idea of what the book will be about. So I do not push for the sale at all. Working with a ghostwriter is a very intimate collaboration, and the client and I have to feel some kind of connection before it can work well.

There are many things to know about ghostwriting. If you’re a writer who is curious about ghostwriting, check out my course Learn to Ghost.

Haiku Friday: Puzzles

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Puzzles:

this is who we are:
puzzles with pieces missing
never to be found

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Rain Rules

file000693141413-1Alex Terrgi here. I live in what humans call the Pacific Northwest, close to a city they call Seattle. It’s a good place for dogs. There are plenty of birds and squirrels to chase, and raccoon and porcupine poop to smell, as well as many other great smells.

The only thing I would change about where I live is the rainy season lasts a little too long. Maybe a lot too long. I don’t like doing my “bizness” in the rain. (Be honest, would you like it?) I don’t understand why I can’t do my bizness on the back porch underneath the overhang. And I don’t like it when my human wipes off my paws when I come in the house from outside, and I don’t like having to do my rain shake on the porch instead of inside, and I don’t like my human not letting me roll on the carpet to get all the wet off, and I don’t like my human making me sit far away from her until I dry off, because she says I smell like “wet dog.” (What did she expect?)

I guess it’s not really the rain I mind, it’s all the human rain rules that I object to. My human is lucky that I love her, or I might decide to run off to Arizona every November.

Haiku Friday: Shadows

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of “Shadows”:

walk into the past
reach out to touch the shadows
lurking in the mist

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

 

Compost: LTG Q&A

Question Marks And Man Showing Uncertain Or UnsureA feature of my online course “Learn to Ghost” is that after students complete the course, I’m available for consultations in which we can discuss subjects like any questions they may still have on the “business side” of ghostwriting. Or we can discuss ghostwriting assignments they may be quoting on, or those they have already obtained. I may offer suggestions for interview techniques or questions they might try, or suggestions on structure and organization that may fit their topic. Or I can just offer some extra encouragement.

Here’s a question I recently received: For a phone consultation with a prospective client, what goals do you set for the call?

Here’s my answer:

My personal goals are to find out: 1) what is the primary message they wish to convey; 2) why s/he thinks this message should be “out there”; and 3) who do they want to read the book?

I tend to identify most strongly with visionary/big dreamers/utopian thinkers who are passionate about something and want to share that passion, or people who want to “heal the world” or “save the whales” or “teach people how to survive a disaster” or some other big project, grandiose as it may sound. It’s been my experience that even hard-headed business types often have a passionate dream or goal that fuels them, and I want to know what that dream is. These are the kinds of people who can hook me – I want to help them get their story told and out to people who want/need to hear it. Most people’s passions/dreams are to do good.

I also have more practical goals, such as 1) can I provide the client with what he wants/needs – can I meet his desired lead time, and can I meet his budget goals; and 2) I want to inform him/her on how the process of ghostwriting works, so s/he knows what to expect, and what not to expect; and 3) I want to find out what materials s/he already has for me to work with – anything already written, or talks they may have given, or marketing materials they have, or their blog or website, or videos, etc etc. It makes a big difference both in quoting a price and in the time the ghost will spend in researching and ghostwriting if you have materials to study or if you have to pull all the information from your client via interviews alone.

If you’re a writer who thinks you might like the world of ghosts, check out Learn to Ghost.

Haiku Friday: Giving

haiku pic 2Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of “Giving”:

do not count the cost

go ahead and pay the price

give until you die

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Serial: Reasons to Be a Ghostwriter: Reason #5

ghostHere’s another excerpt from my ebook “Ten Good Reasons to be a Ghost”:

Reason #5: You can give a written voice to those who can’t write, or who think they can’t. It’s true that in our literate American culture, just about everyone can write. Even a first-grader can write a simple story. But not everyone can write well. In fact, most people can’t write well. Writing well takes talent, art, skill, and most importantly time and practice. Not everyone has these attributes or time. But just because they can’t write well doesn’t mean they don’t have good stories (see Reason #4). Non-writers’ stories, ideas, tips and tricks deserve to be told just as much as anyone else’s. You can make that happen.

Shameless Promotion: If you’re interested in becoming a ghost, check out my online course Learn to Ghost (LINK – www.LearnToGhost.com).

Ghostwriting for a Dog: The Flea

big fleaAlex Terrgi here. One of the chapters in my human’s new book The Masks on Grandmother’s Wall (soon to be published, she says) is called “The Flea.” It’s about a flea who talks, in human words, to a human who is so dumb she talks back to the flea.

I don’t know where my human gets her facts, but I need to break it to her that fleas do not talk to humans. They don’t talk to dogs either. They have better uses for their mouths: they bite. And they suck down blood. And they spit their nasty itching juice into your skin. Then they bite and suck and spit some more. That’s about it.

Not only does my human’s Flea talk, it makes jokes. Not funny jokes, sarcastic jokes. Again, this is not true to life—I know some fleas personally, and they don’t make jokes, sarcastic or otherwise. Maybe they are laughing on the inside, but in my opinion fleas do not have a sense of humor.

I repeat: fleas bite and suck and spit. That’s all they do. This is why humans should not make them famous by writing books about them. They don’t deserve fame.