Show and tell is still cool, or a progress report on my novel writing process

Audio recording of the post, “Show and tell is still cool, or a progress report on my novel writing process”

Thank you for joining me today, I wanted to show you something I am really proud of.

My Novel

This is my novel propped up on my desk.

This is a picture of my novel propped on my desk in its current state

After I finished penning edits into its pages I tore its covers off.

Each chapter gets torn from the spine so it is easier to work with. I bind the book with an elastic that I got from a Christmas present from 2020.

This is a picture of the novel’s chapters fanned out as they are torn from the spine

My edit process

I use Vim to implement the pen edits into the text file.

Vim text editor showing a section Chapter 37 of Without Power

This is a git message showing that a commit has been made to the repo where the book lives.

Git commit message for Chapter 40

The sticky on the front, I use it to tally the chapter edits that have gone into the repo. I have committed 40 chapters into the repo. I have 10 more chapter edits left to implement into the repo.

Tally mark tracker of chapter edits implemented into the repo

My bookmark and letter of encouragement

This is a letter I wrote to myself. I use as a bookmark, it reminds me that as long as I keep moving forward I’ll have someone there to support me. It shows my Po Box address, you are welcome to write me anytime.

PO BOX 3721
SLC, UT 84110

This is a picture of me showing the envelope that holds my letter with my po box address

This is what the letter looks like:

Cursive letter from Alix, to Alixander

The letter reads,


Thank you, first of all, for taking the time to read my letter. I know you took great pains to make time for it.

The reason for my writing is to let you know that I greatly admire you for having the first printed proof on your desk. I feel great pride in knowing that you put in the time to get your words onto the printed page. Truly proud.

Now I know that creativity is difficult, there are so many easier things you could do with your time. But I am here to tell you, for absolute certian [sic], that it is the best use of your time. Now, don’t mistake me for saying that writing is the best use of your time. I said being creative. Creativity comes in many forms, and I hope you wouldn’t limit yourself to thinking only one art is the best for you. All creative expression is important to the… gods, as it were.

Again, I am grateful for you putting in the time and making use of your desire and interest to write Without Power. Really, super cool!

Please know I am here when ever you need an encouraging and compassionate friend.

Yours, truly, your biggest fan,



Wrap up

Well that’s what I wanted to share with you today. I am really proud of where I am at so far and I can hardly believe that I am almost done with getting the edits into the text.

Once I am done with the edits, I will be recording me reading the chapters for the audio book.

And then after that, I will be putting my book up for sale.

So yeah, thank you letting me share and for stopping by. I hope to have you stop by again soon.

Novel Book Report: The Chrysalids

If you have been wondering what to read lately, and you haven’t like many of the book suggestions that I have offered on this site, I have got a fun book for you.

You see, I would like to consider my self a philologist of sorts. I like to read the classics and apply them liberally to contemporary culture. That’s one thing that philologists do. The other thing that we do, as long as I am calling my self one, is that we like to take texts that aren’t normally conveyed into the public’s eye and bring them to light.

John Wyndham did a fantastic job with this gripping science fiction novel from 1955.

The book I’d like to bring to your attention is a splendid novel regarding the potential future of the world in light of the never ending threat of nuclear war. But before I get into the world building too much, let me introduce: The Chrysalids.

This book has been a wonderful book to recommend to others as of late, no one has read it and the topic of the science fiction is incredibly palpable. Normally when I open a science fiction tale I am immediately turned off by weird sounding names of characters or absolutely drab universe building narratives. The Chrysalids introduces the farm of Waknak so elegantly and the land of Labrador so well, that you hat will be absolutely floored to learn that this book is highly overlooked.

Okay, I can hear you asking me now, what’s it all about. Well, I am not going to give anything away. I can’t. Really, I can’t. Alright, there are some small details that I can tell you. Like that the story is about a boy named David, and that he lives in a very observant religious community that abhors mutants, “Deviations” as they are sometimes called. But with out getting too much into the nitty-gritty of the book, I wanted to ask you something, if that is cool with you.

Have you ever considered your self different? have you ever met others that didn’t fit in with the norms of the community? Have you ever heard someone being treated differently just because they were not like “everybody”? Have you met anyone who you thought was truly one of a kind? Have you met anyone who was exceptional, or have you ever seen an animal that you had no idea existed?

Again, just thoughts to get your mind turning about this book. But I can promise you that the was the book develops and the gut wrenching emotions that are often evoked are absolutely heart rending. There is this one part that darn near took me to tears all because they said “…I – oh, why do they do that to us? why didn’t they kill me? It would have been kinder than this…” I am telling you, I darn near cried every manly tear in me when I read that passage.

…I – oh, why do they do that to us? why didn’t they kill me? It would have been kinder than this…

The Chrysalids

but it is difficult to explain what it is like to be in the know about this book. It is a lot like bing a part of a really cool work team where you have a strong communication network and great tools that reflect it. Or a social network where the group is incredibly supportive and understanding. Once you have read this book, you can see an idea was growing out of the middle of the last century that would take root in so many important facets of family, friend, and work life.

Oh, the book is like 200 pages. Just go get it already. It is super worth every single guilty minute that you put into it. And for those of you who have read it, speak up in the comments and let us know what you thought of Chrysalids.

What does Seth Godin mean This is Marketing?

I used to wonder what was meant when someone said they were a marketer. I used to get this image in my head of a guy or gal tucked away in some cubicle making presentations for their bosses to either heckle to death or herrald as the next big thing.

When I got into my career as a Realtor, I thought of marketing as copy and paste. Copy the corporate message, paste it all over the internet. And if you’re lucky (which means putting in a lot of hours pasting the content everywhere you can), then someday someone just might buy it.

As you might imagine, I didn’t experience much success marketing this way. And so I became frustrated, and upset. I was doing everything the company wanted me to, why wasn’t I seeing success?

So I turned to the coaches of the company, to see what advice they’d give me. They’d say  I needed to put in more hours, do more cold calls, imitate what he successful people are doing in the company.

And wouldn’t you believe it, I spent hours doing cold calls, I spent days posting corporate messages over the internet, and I changed everything about myself so as to look just like the top producers. From the social media channels I worked years on to make look just like me, to the very words I was saying to the people I know, love and trust… I was living in cognitive dissonance.

As you might imagine, I experienced very little success. Performing at about the same level as any average agent and completely deluding myself into thinking I was a top producer, I absolutely hated where my life was going. What’s more, I had almost nothing to show for it.

In spite of my best efforts to change who I was, there was something I could not change about myself: my desire and passion for writing and the written word.

It didn’t matter how much I replicated the corporate message over the internet, my hand written journal was a sacred space. It didn’t matter that I intoned scripts day after day, I still had genuine conversations with myself as I walked to work. And in spite of all of my hard work to fashion myself into something I wasn’t, I still felt the truth of each day as I read the works of other authors .

Now, for those of you who are new to the site, I read a lot of books. And for those who aren’t new around here, you know that I report on the books that I’ve read. It’s a passion of mine. I’ll probably do it for the rest of my life.

So when I encountered the title of Seth Godin’s book, I felt a strange allure. Aside from its look-at-me orange cover, and it’s bold but simple statement for a title, I felt that there might be an answer to my woes as a marketer: This is Marketing.

Seth Godin Talks the Importance of Seeking the Smallest Viable Market
This is Seth. He is pretty freaking profound when it comes to stuff.

Come to find out, lots of folks have woes with marketing. They feel that marketing is synonymous with advertising, which Godin artfully discusses as being plainly untrue. Advertising is one way to get your story heard, he offers several strategies and principles that may just work better than advertising only.

Now seeing as I’d rather you read the book then have me report on every little detail of it, I mean Godin does a wonderful job educating his readers of a more enlightened path to storytelling than what can be confined to my book report, I do want to share with you a checklist of items that you might want to consider the next time decide to tell a story.

You see marketing is essentially artful storytelling. You have to consider who you’re talking to, and what you’re saying. Who you’re talking to will determine how you say it, and what you’re talking about will determine whether it is of any value to them at all. Advertising generally, doesn’t care who it is for. Advertising is built on the idea of interrupting you early and often, and hoping you’ll buy. When you’re talking between friends, it’s okay to interrupt when you are excited, but between strangers it’s an insult.

The next time you find yourself wanting to tell a story walk through the list below, it might be the difference between having no one here your story or going viral.

Seth Godin’s Simple Marketing Checklist

  • Who’s it for?
  • What’s it for?
  • What is the worldview of the audience you’re seeking to reach?
  • What are they afraid of?
  • What story will you tell?
  • Is it true?
  • What change are you seeking to make?
  • How will it change their status?
  • How will you reach the early adopters and neophiliacs?
  • Why will they tell their friends?
  • What will they tell their friends?
  • Where’s the network effect that will propel this forward?
  • What asset are you building?
  • Are you proud of it?

Now I know that was a lot. And it doesn’t necessarily make sense to go through the checklist every time you want to talk to your friend about some cool restaurant you went to, or a neat business idea that you have. The purpose of the checklist is to review internally what you’re trying to accomplish, who you’re trying to change. As Godin might put it, if you’re going to show up at least try to make things better. That checklist serves as guide rails for when you decide to show up.

Are you ready to start making things better? Which of the items in the checklist will help you make things better?