Stalking Michael Hauge and Other Non-Psychotic Matters

1. I’m taking a road trip this weekend, me Zesties. I’m driving with Frank to another Albertan city where he will play with his cousins, and I’ll attend a full-day writing conference with Michael Hauge. In fact, this makes my FOURTH class with MH, because in last summer’s RWA, I followed him from session to session to, um…session. In my defense, he’s a gifted teacher on story structure and provided me with a number of huge “aha” moments.

But this weekend should be fantastic, because that restraining order expired. Also, this time I’m organized.

I have a dozen freshly laundered, monogrammed hankies to give to him, in case he has to recurrently mop his brow. (It’s odd how some of my favorite teachers share this mannerism. They must all overdress. Maybe I should draft up a quick manifesto on how to dress appropriately for hotel banquet room presentations. This could make a good and endearing ice-breaker for post-conference cocktail parties. I think it could cement me, in the lecturer’s mind, as a prepared and businesslike writer. What do you think?)

I’m taking a guest with me: a non-writing writer named “Ted.” This guy is talented and full of ideas, but he needs a gentle nudge. I’m thinking Michael Hauge will be closer to a fourteen-story fall, so that could work out nicely.

2. I’m looking for a pithy title for a series of visual puns I anticipate running on Sunday mornings. (Like this one.) As I said on Facebook, my brain loves to create these kind of things, and I’ve always been a nut for puzzles. I’d love to hear feedback on two things:

  • Ideas for a name, which incorporates something about citrus or Tartitude + puzzles. “Tartogram” is a website, alas, so that wouldn’t work out.
    Tartogram? Tartotoon? I’m running on empty, guys.
  • Whether you’d enjoy this kind of thing. At the best of times this blog could be called somewhat unfocused. Is this a welcome feature to you folks, or yet another inbox distraction?

3. I’m told WordPress changed its comment system recently. It’s now more difficult to comment and people receive follow-up comments through email by default. They must opt out.

Are you having difficulties or experiencing frustration? Please let me know.

For some time I’ve contemplated moving this blog to a self-hosted site. This might make me commit.

4. Lastly, a fun video I spotted on Elizabeth S. Craig’s blog post on conflict. Wouldn’t you LOVE to stage an event like this?

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15 thoughts on “Stalking Michael Hauge and Other Non-Psychotic Matters

  1. Have a great weekend, full of ah-ha moments. Good idea on the hankies, however you might want to point out the monigrams right up front, in case he thinks to wipe and return, ala Elvis (yuck).

    No trouble commenting yet, but am receiving the emails for every comment on all wordpress blogs (lots of emails – ugh). Can’t wait for the puzzles!

    1. Good point on the hankies! Thank you.

      Also, if that’s happening — if every comment is being turned into spam for my readers — I’m going to turn off that option in one minute. It might not take for this post from here on out, but Vaughn, if you continue to get blitzed, would you please let me know? I do NOT want to spam people.

      1. FYIs: 1. Got an email for this comment. 2. I never mind getting them for replies to my own comments. 3. It’s not just Tartitude. I now get emails for every comment from every WordPress blog I follow (about five of them).

        I thought it was something I had inadvertently triggered, since I’m a newbie on my own dashboard. If there’s a way to stop it, on the receiving end or the posting end, I want to shut it down as well.

        1. Nina Badzin was the one who alerted me to this problem.

          To stop being the blogger who spams, go to your dashboard.

          Settings > Discussion > unclick comment reply via email and unclick “show a follow comments option.”

          That’s the theory, anyway. I’d appreciate knowing if that works on future posts and I’ll do the same for you.

  2. Always love the Tartitude Smartitude. You could start a blog called Smart Tarts for the puzzles.

    Wouldn’t it be great if movies came with a Drama Button? Bored? No problem.

    I haven’t had any problems at all with WP or comments. Don’t know why–or why not.

    About the hankies, maybe not a good idea to monogram them, with having the same last initial as your writer friend. He may wonder if you’re suggesting a relationship that doesn’t exist. Celebs do have to watch out for stalkers and other dangerous people. Better not to alarm them in the first place.

    1. Ooh, some great ideas there, Phyllis. Thank you! I think I know where I’m headed with this now.

      Yes, a Drama Button would be great, or in the case of a certain writer whose books are turned into cinematic “weepers”, a No-Drama Button might be even nicer. 😉

      Glad to hear the comments haven’t been an issue. Please let me know if that changes.

  3. I know Michael was impressed with your efforts– I certainly am. Have know problem commenting on your blog, Jan. As a fellow wordpresser I have the biggest problems with BLOGGERS. I think there’s a love/hate thing going on

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