All posts by Mike

Mike Ripley is a writer. Watch for the upcoming DreamRail and check out his Dreamrail.com website.

Submissions

I have put together a collection of many of my short stories, and started the process of submitting the manuscript for publication. I have found Black Lawrence Press and after reviewing their work, found it to be a great place to submit my work. They are also involved with Chapbooks, which is a new form for me. I have put a portion of my favorite story to date into chapter form and submitted it to their chapbook contest. I am really interested in pursuing this type of writing, which requires concise wording and strong structure. It was fun to enter into this new form. I plan to keep working on shorter works, while also trying to finish another novel. I think there is a new outlet opening for shorter works, up to the novella level. Some prominent authors are starting to work in these areas. More to come.

Pleasant Thought for the Day

I just read an article talking about the move to stop selling us chicken with antibiotics that are used on people. Some manufacturers and resellers are talking about stopping this by 2017, others by 2019. They will only use antibiotics that are meant for chickens. I think there is some concern that antibiotic resistant germs might actually be antibiotic immunity in people from using them too many times. I might have thought they were just coming from my doctor. How many sources do I have to worry about? Just thinking.

It’s what the American People Want

I’ve decided that it would be a good idea to accompany every statement with the words, ‘It’s what the American people want.’

I know that isn’t very original.  It’s what most politicians are doing already.  It’s not enough that they have an opinion.  In fact, you can’t really stick that opinion on them.  It’s what the American people want.  They have spoken.  My biggest problem with the statement is that it works.  A politician can give his point of view, and then say it’s what the people want, and the people believe him.  Maybe a poll was done, and polls are always right.  Maybe there wasn’t even a poll.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s what the people want.

Well, it’s obvious that the American people across the country were ready again for a change of leadership.  That much we can see.  That tide is like the increase of speed in the technology world.  We want change every four years, maybe every two years.  Before long, we’ll want change every year, or maybe flip it all over with the seasons.

Speaking of seasons, they seem to be flipping faster too.  Boy, it got cold already.  Rick should keep his group in the South.  I wouldn’t be heading north right now.  If you got that, good on you.

Like Rick, we should deal with the trouble spots.  Don’t run from them.  You don’t have to be great all the time, but when it’s important to be great, you’ll find an opportunity to advance.  Don’t stand in your own way, or at least let somebody else be great.

That’s what the people really want.

 

The Easiest Way is Often the Toughest Way to a Happy Ending

OK, the company you work for offers to match up to four percent of every penny you put into your voluntary retirement plan.  You’re leaving money on the floor to be kicked away if you don’t take advantage of their offer.  It’s free money.  I know there are a million reasons why you can’t do it.  There aren’t many ways to double your money, so think it over again.

We sign up to do things.  Our calendar stays pretty full, even if Wednesday just says, ‘go to the dentist.’  Ok, I hate that one, but find a ball game in your area, go to a play, or a concert.  Find a reason to buy a ticket.  Tickets commit you to getting out of the house and going somewhere.

We just saw Seinfeld with our son and daughter-in-law this week.  It was a great time.  They even bought the tickets.  How can you beat that?

Manrule #2:  Everybody exaggerates.  Just ask the guy or gal who gave 110%.  Measure that 300 yard drive next time.

A company found themselves in a business where the way to be awarded jobs relied on a bidding system.  Soon, thousands of jobs were put out to bid on the board and they flew off the list quicker than, well you know what.  The owner noticed that some of the jobs stayed out there, and doing some research found them to be the toughest of the lot.  While everybody else was lowering their prices to the point of not making money trying to get all those jobs that easily fit into their category, he found that he could bid high on those outstanding jobs and win them.  Sure, they required more work and higher degrees of precision, but they paid well.  Those jobs formed the basis of his company and today he produces precision products that others can’t match.  He no longer has to use that bidding system.  Customers come to him, and stay.

Happy Endings

Follow The Money

The recent election presents as good a time as any to start things off. I’m not surprised that things went favorably for the Republican party, but it’s still a little startling just how well they did. I’m not going to get too political, but let’s just say I don’t think the next two years are going to be very friendly. Both sides must talk about meeting in the middle and then try their hardest to make it look like the other side isn’t willing. Whoever shouts that message the loudest will get people to believe it and they will come out ahead in 2016. That’s about all we need to know.  That, and the money thing.  I’ll get back to that.

Retirement has been great. The Summer has gone fast and we spent a lot of time outside. Now, as winter sets in, I’m looking forward to some time inside, writing, and watching people try to move snow early so they can get to work. I’ll go out after they’re gone.

The writing group I’m in has been working on a second anthology of short stories. The first one is available through Amazon.com, and it’s called “Midnight Oil.” Please look it up and buy a copy. I think we’ll stay with the late night theme for the next title. You’d think we all stay up all night long writing stories. Actually, there were times when I did that. Now, I should be able to figure out how to write during the day. Especially while my neighbors are out there shoveling snow.

There are rules that I firmly believe in, and I want to tell you about in this blog.  These aren’t really rules that I live my life by or anything. They’re just rules that exist for everybody. They’re for the entire world as we know it. They are the type you can’t blame on Mother Nature. You can’t pick a god and claim that ‘it is just the way he meant it to be.’ These rules were created by man, for man, and about man. I call them manrules; keeping it simple. This isn’t a male thing. Typically, anybody referring to ‘man rules’ is talking about rules for men to live by – rules for the man cave. These rules are about all people, the humankind sort of thing.

You’ve probably heard people say that you can find the source if you just follow the money. That’s a common theme, but it’s along the lines of what I’m talking about. It works every time. Of course, people like to claim there are exceptions, but they are delusional. In politics, say you have an honest candidate, who won’t take a bribe. He won’t even accept a political donation from somebody who might try to influence him. He is going to win this thing straight up, and on his own. No he won’t. The donor he turned down will give ten times as much as he offered; only he’ll give it to the other guy. Our guy will lose the election. He did lose the election. Why?

Follow the money.

Time To Write

I have retired.  I’m not sure yet exactly what that means, but I don’t feel any less busy than when I worked.  I don’t feel any less productive either.  I’m going to write about a lot of things.  I mostly write fiction, but here I’m going to try to tell the truth about getting here, and what to do when the timeclock goes away.