Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What I Listen To - Dave Ramsey

The very first podcast I've ever listened to, and still listen to regularly today, is Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey is a radio and TV talk-show host out of Nashville, and he teaches everything about life and money.  He teaches others how to manage money, living on a budget, in a straight-forward and practical manner.  He does this through his book The Total Money Makeover, where he teaches the Baby Steps:

1) Save $1,000 for a starter emergency fund.

2) List all of your debts, smallest to largest, and paying minimum payments on all except the smallest one.  Once that one is done, use those same payments and tackle the next one in line.  And so on.  He calls this the Debt Snowball.

3) Save for a fully-funded emergency fund.

4) Save 15% for retirement.

5) Save for your children's college.

6) Pay off the mortage.

7) Build wealth and give a bunch of it away.

Dave also teaches these principles in a 9-week course (it was 13 weeks when I went through it but he has recently revamped it) called Financial Peace University.  I highly recommend it.  Not only does he have classes going all across the country, he also has study-at-home DVD courses too.

What I download each day is his one-hour free podcast.  Here is a link to it here.  As it is virtually commercial-free (there is a one-minute advertisement around the 10-minute mark) but the rest of it is his show, which ends up being around 40 minutes--the perfect length for me.

What's interesting is that I've gotten a lot of my other podcast suggestions through listening to Dave.  Please include Dave in your RSS feed like I do, and you can enjoy this podcast Monday through Friday, each and every week.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lessons from a tortoise

We know the story well from childhood: The Tortoise and the Hare.

The elevator pitch of the story could be this: there is a race between a hare and a tortoise.  The hare, being faster, runs on ahead but takes a nap, confident that they'll win the race.  In the meantime, the tortoise chugs on ahead of the hare and in the end beats the hare to the finish line.

How can you turn this lesson towards you and your own life?

We've all heard the stories, the tale of someone who seems to blaze from out of nowhere, right into the clutches of fame.  Then, in a few short years, they wink out like a candleflame, and everyone wonders, "Whatever happened to __________________ ?"

Then there are others, those who slowly work their way out of the depths of obscurity, and out into the limelight.  These are the ones who make their craft look so easy.  We all know them and love them, be it authors or musicians or industry leaders or speakers or . . .

Both groups share something in common: it tooks years for them to hone their skills enough, driven by passion, in order for them to make a living doing what they love.  This is essentially the premise to Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers and his 10,000-hour rule for success.

What both groups differ is their thought-processes.  The first group is like the hare, wanting a shortcut to success.  The second group works day-in and day-out, working on their craft, until several years go by when they realize their level of success has risen.  Use the lesson of the tortoise in your own life.  Don't look for shortcuts.  Do the hard work, today, and you will find a greater level of success than what you have ever dreamed of.

Be the tortoise.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happenings In The Outhouse 27-July-2012 / Read a lot, write a lot

I've been diligently working on chapters 37-39 of Beholder's Eye.  The editing process is going well.  I should have them completed by next week for sure.  I'm shooting for early on in the week, so I can on to the next set of three--this may be shortened as I have an extremely lengthy chapter coming up which may require I work it alone.

But that's not all.  In the next few weeks, I'll be launching some new stuff, as a way of broadening my online platform.  I have some of the preliminary work done but it needs tweaking.  I won't disclose what it is at this point, but rest assured you'll see it before too long.  The only thing I can tell you is that is's something I've thought about for quite some time, and have finally put a stake down and said, "I'm doing it."  Funny how things happen when you create a goal with a timeline--I believe the late Earl Nightingale said something like that.

This week, I messed up on one of the blogs.  On Wednesdays I typically post my regular blog in the morning and then a Wednesday Writing Prompt later on in the morning.  When I went to share them both to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, I couldn't find the morning blog.  I discovered I hadn't completed it.  I'm not happy with the results, however, and I'll be expanding on what I touched on in the notion of reading a lot and writing a lot.

In fact, they each might deserve their own separate post.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are you remarkable?

You're driving along the countryside.  There are fields of white and brown cows.  Nothing special about that.  Then, you see one that's . . . purple!

It's remarkable to see a purple cow, something far different than all the rest.

This is at the heart of Seth Godin's teachings, in his book Purple Cow, he shows us that in order to make any real impact in your life, you need to be remarkable.  In the five-minute video below, Seth talks about how to not be ordinary but different.  Near the end of the video, he tells the story of a sock manufacturer who makes mis-matched socks.  On purpose.  That's remarkable.

It's not enough just to be different, but he need to tell why you are different.  Let's say you're a small-business contractor, and for every deck you build, you'll donate a certain dollar amount for Habitat for Humanity.  Or for every house you build, you'll donate $1,000 to the charity of your choice.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  If it's just to make money, you're not remarkable enough and no one will remember you.

What are you doing today to make yourself remarkable?

Here's a TED video of Seth, talking about not being ordinary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Episode #33

You are at a coffee shop or a small cafe.  You pull out your smartphone and go on Facebook.  Then, you notice that your spouse/significant other changed their relationship status to "It's Complicated."  What happens next?  Describe the feelings experienced with this news.

Happy writing!

Expanding on "Read lot, write a lot" advice for writers

Two days ago, I touched on what I feel is some of the best advice for writers: read a lot, write a lot.
Let's expand on it, shall we?  How much is a lot?

I don't really have an easy answer for that, except to say that you should be doing something in both realms every single day.  Even if it's only for ten minutes, do something.  In my opinion, you should be doing more writing than reading though.  It's a lot like my past experience in sales.  You can read all the books you want on sales and selling, but unless you start applying what you're learning, you're just going to spin your wheels and get nowhere.

Why do you need to read a lot?

Simple: you need to know what a story looks like, how it is structured.  I'm not talking the three-act structure here, but there is a way stories are put together.  We all know them.  It's to just put them into words--no pun intended.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I Listen To - Writing Excuses

This past September, when I started listening to podcasts on a regular basis, I searched around for fiction writing podcasts.  One of the first ones I jumped on was a weekly podcast called Writing Excuses.  The main reason for this was because of my love for fantasy novels, to see if there were any that I could listen to in order to give me a little insight into the publishing industry, and the first name to jump out at me was Brandon Sanderson, a best-selling fantasy novelist.

Writing Excuses is in their seventh season, and I can honestly say I've downloaded every single episode.  Their tagline is: "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart."  Which is a total lie, because the four podcasters--all accomplished authors--are geniuses.  And one of the biggest pluses to listening to this podcast, aside from the wealth of information they provide, is that their podcasts really are about 15 minutes long.  Which is perfect for me as I manage my time.  For the first four or five seasons, it was just three podcasters, Brandon, Dan, and Howard, and they added one more to offer a unique perspective.

The four authors on this podcast are:

Brandon Sanderson - fantasy novelist, who finished out the Wheel of Time series due to Robert Jordan's untimely passing, as well as several of his own, including The Way Of Kings.

Dan Wells - horror novelist in the "I Am Not A Serial Killer" series, and has also expanded recently into sci-fi and fantasy.

Howard Tayler - cartoonist in the long-running webcomic "Schlock Mercenary."  And I do mean, long-running, for he started in June of 2000 and has not missed one single day ever since.  That's the pure definition of persistence.

Mary Robinette Kowal - historical fiction novelist, with her first Tor book Shades of Milk and Honey, as well as a professional puppeteer and voice actor.  Mary is the newest member of the podcast, coming in around season 4 or 5, I think.

All four blend such a unique perspective on the various aspects of fiction writing.  On occasion, they record when they are away at conventions and they also have guests on to explore other writing issues.

Here is a video taken at a convention, where someone is describing the podcast in front of Howard.  The best piece of advice on this is when Howard tells the guy he is a writer instead of aspiring one.

Here are two YouTube videos from two of their podcast sessions.  These would be from season 5, and the only one missing was Brandon Sanderson, although they do have a guest speaker: David Farland.

And, as they say at the end of each podcast: "You're out of excuses, now go write."

I will.

And you should to.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The #1 best advice for writers

It's no secret that I listen to a lot of podcasts about writing.  During many of the Q and A sessions, I try to imagine myself being asked these questions and how would I answer them--okay, I'm not saying that I'm better than the podcasters (Lord no!) but I like to compare my answers with theirs.  Most of the time, my answer seems to be very simple.

Want to know what it is?

Here you go:

Read a lot
Write a lot

That's it.  So many times, I think if the people asking the questions would do these two simple things, many of those would be answered.  They want to complicate it and make it seem more mysterious than what it really is.

Many of our problems with writing can be solved this way: read a lot; write a lot.

The second line (write a lot) however must have one more element to drive you forward.  It's passion.  I know there is a lot of talk lately about being passionate about this or that, but it's true.  If you truly loved writing--and I mean so much so that you deeply yearn to sit down at your computer or tablet or whatever you use to write on--you'll find a way to make it happen.

What are you waiting for?  Do a little more of the latter than the former, but by God do both.  Many of the answers are right there.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happenings In The Outhouse 20-July-2012 / Kindle promotions for my ebook

Despite spending all day Monday and Tuesday down in Rochester, MN, for my wife's scheduled leukemia appointments, I still completed chapters 34-36.

Next up is chapters 37-39.

It's been a busy week, albeit a productive one.  I wrote both Saturday and Sunday, got blog posts written and scheduled, due to the impending time away from home, then while I was listening to a podcast (I believe it was Mur Lafferty's I Should Be Writing), I heard mention of another podcast: Adventures In Sci Fi Publishing.  I downloaded a few of their episodes and as I was listening to one, they talked about the pros and cons of doing promotions on Amazon's Kindle site.

I knew I could do promotions, but never really knew how.  Until late Sunday night.  Hence, a flurry of blog posts and promotions began for my ebook titled 99 ways to have a Memorable Wedding on a Shoestring Budget.  Today is the last day to get this ebook . . . for FREE!  While I was in Rochester, I posted a lot of stuff on Facebook and Twitter, promoting it like crazy, and it's sold (for free) quite well so far.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I don't like about summer

Normally I love summer.  The weather is warm, we spend quite a bit of time at the local swimming pool, and a few weekends a month we're able to go camping.  I can go walking at night without a jacket, and take the time to play catch with my son and daughters.

With the kids not being in school for June through August, they also get to sleep in.  I can also write longer in the morning, as I usually quit around eight o'clock.  However, with it staying light until well past nine at night, the kids don't start rolling into bed until around nine-thirty or ten.

And that cuts into my writing time, big time.

During the school year, the kids are usually in bed by nine and soon after I'm down in my office writing.  As I typically get up between five-thirty and six, I try to get to bed around eleven.  If the kids are just rolling into bed around ten, my writing time dips closer to midnight.

I normally love summer, but my writing time at night seems to be cut short a little.  Not complaining, really.  I'm actually writing this blog post on the weekend while the kids are outside playing.  Note to all of you parents out there, who aspire to be writers: discipline yourself to find the time to write; if you're passionate about writing, you will find the time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Episode #32

Start a story that opens with the following line: "All my life, I've always wanted to be a ______________________."

Happy writing!

Critique and feedback for writers' groups

Last week was our tri-weekly writers' group meeting at our local library.  I shared a chapter of Beholder's Eye, another shared a short piece she wrote when she was younger that would fit perfectly in the sci-fi realm once she writes the ending, and the third member shared a piece she wrote years ago near the genesis of our writers' group.

This last piece was very interesting, on several levels.  It delved into the life of a young lady in a post-World War II era in southern Minnesota.  She didn't have it completed, but to her credit she put it away so many years ago after a discouraging critique by a former member.  The critique was so negative at the time, she almost quit our little group--and what a loss that would be.  I wrote a piece of this on 11/11/11 titled Writers' Groups - the good, the bad, and the weird where I briefly mentioned the negative critique.

Take it for what it's worth, but I truly feel that writers' groups should be two-fold: a place of encouragement and learning.  No writer is perfect, and we try our best to offer up small solutions to some of the troubling spots, and if something truly isn't written very well, we certainly don't tell the person to throw it away and never write again--in the 9-plus years of attending our writers' group, we have never had a time where we said this to another member.  We offered positive feedback and encouragement to strive for better writing.

There is too much negativity out there to begin with, and knowing how fragile writers are at their lonely craft, any discouragement can cause a mental derailment and it may take the writer longer to get back to what they love to do.

What are some of your experiences with writers' groups?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I listen to - Mur Lafferty's I Should Be Writing

If you were to type in top ten fiction writing podcasts, you'll more than likely find a podcast titled I Should Be Writing ranked as one of the top ones.

And I wholeheartedly agree.

In the beginning of her podcasts, Mur Lafferty tells everyone it's geared towards "wanna-be fiction writers."  Especially those who write sci-fi, horror, or fantasy (and all of the other machinations in between), but even if you don't, her encouragement is enlightening.

Mur has been podcasting for over seven years, and it's very interesting to hear her weekly stories of what she's working on, what she's reading, industry trends, and feedback on listener questions.  Since she doesn't have a co-host, this podcast can get very personal as she sounds like she is speaking right to you, sharing her past experiences and struggles with writing and getting published--she's been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and encourages all to fight through it in their own writing.

Mur has also interviewed many of the greats in the sci-fi/fantasy publishing world, from John Scalzi to Lou Anders and Peter V. Brett to Scott Sigler.

I wish I had discovered I Should Be Writing years ago, but I only did late last year when I was searching around for fiction writing podcasts--yes, I Googled top fiction writing podcasts and Mur's was #1 on quite a number of lists.  But you better believe that I'm listening now.

Another plus in her favor is a personal one.  I love podcasts, but I loathe long podcasts.  I've listened to podcasts that run close to 2 hours--that's way too long for me.  Like I said, this is my personal preference, not everyone's.  Her podcasts typically run from 30-60 minutes, which is a perfect length for me--when I have a limited amount of time devoted to podcasts, hers is one I listen to on a consistent basis.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Let me speak to the artist's spouse

I know, I know, you're going to tell me that I can't speak for the other side of the coin because I'm a writer--I truly must have bias, right?  Well, yes, but I can put myself into my wife's shoes for a minute (however small they are) and speak from her perspective.

Artists are fragile.  Even Stephen King tells in On Writing that if there ever was a moment before he was published that if Tabitha told him to quit writing, he would've gotten discouraged and quit.  Done deal.  My wife is great.  In our over fifteen years of marriage, she has never once told me to quit and has also never called my writing a pipe dream.

Artists need constant encouragement.  Yes, they can take a little time and put the trash out on the curb or wash the dishes, but if the artist's spouse gives him or her a "to-do" list, please put WRITE as one of the things to do.

Artists need an outlet.  I'm not talking sex here--although I could, but that's for another blog, and possibly not one written by me.  I'm talking about sharing in the artist's progress.  A perfect example is from the Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm.

There is a scene when, as a gift to his wife, Chevy gives her a present: the first few chapters of his new book--artists, please don't do this in that fashion; just share as you see fit.  She was very discouraging to him, albeit he took the criticism way too hard.  Bottom line though on this is to prepare to share in the artist's progress and encourage them along the way.

So, as an artist's spouse, make sure you are giving your artist plenty of encouragement and provide an outlet to share in their work.  Their egos are fragile.  In the end, you will have a much more rewarding life because of it.

Are there any other tips, as an artist's spouse, that you can share with everyone?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happenings In The Outhouse 13-July-2012 / Even in the midst of living my dream, one can't ignore life

On Monday of this week, I completed chapters 31-33 of Beholder's Eye.  Now, I'm tackling chapters 34-36.  Chapters 34 and 36 are only three pages long and 35 is around six, so we'll see what they look like after my pen attacks them.

There is one thing I've learned--or re-learned, in other words--over the course of last week and this one: you can't ignore the mundane everyday tasks or even the tasks that are important that just shouldn't be put off.  These can be anything from balancing your checkbook to paying bills to even cleaning the house and exercising.  These last few weeks we've had a financial matter loom greatly along the horizon, which required me to devote my full attention to for an hour here and there before the train ran us over--I got it taken care of though, and therefore we're continuing to slowly chug along with our debt snowball.

So, the bottom line is this: for you writers (and other artists) out there, take a break and do the tasks that are required of you.  If you don't, they'll just sit and nag at the back of your mind, and you certainly can't be real productive in that state of mind.  I sure can't.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What would your obituary say?

Recently, a guy from my hometown passed away due to a very long bout with various forms of cancer.  I didn't know him, but in viewing his Caringbridge site, he was well loved and known by many.

In reading his obituary, I was taken aback at what he had accomplished in his short life--he was younger than I was, and I'm edging the over-the-hill mark.  He was a writer, blogger, musician, husband, father, youth ministry pastor.  He had an impact on so many peoples' lives through his words and songs.

What would your obituary say?  What accomplishments have you achieved to set you apart, to make you remarkable, in the eyes of others?

On a side note, when I asked myself this question, I felt like a complete failure when I compared my life to the young man from my hometown.  Then I took a step back and evaluated my life, as a husband, a father, a writer/blogger.  Conclusion: I have a lot of work to do, so it's time to get busy and do it.

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Episode #31

Start out with the line "It was a dark and stormy night" and add to it.

Happy writing!

What I refuse to blog about

There have been times when I've wanted so desperately to post something--a topic or an event that just "chaps my hide" in other words--but I don't.


From the beginning, I've geared this blog to be primarily about writing and the business of writing.  So, when an unfortunate event happened to my wife last year at the Hope Lodge in Rochester, MN, I had a blog post all ready to go, blasting them and the American Cancer Association right out of the water.  But I deleted it.  It wasn't worth it.  Then, when I read about what some celebrity did or said and I wanted to write a scathing retort, I didn't.  Because it wasn't worth getting all bent out of shape over it.

Over the years, I was an avid political debate watcher--especially the Presidental debates.  I'd study them, watching the entire thing because, quite frankly, the mainstream media doesn't get it right--go figure, huh?  All that has changed.  I'm not sharing what political affiliation I'm in because that's not what this blog is about.  I could . . . but I won't.  I also haven't watched a debate since the last Presidential election almost 4 years ago.  Does it have to do with the current administration?  Possibly.  But, once again, it's not worth it.  I have no control over what the government does.  The only control I have is over my own life.

In the end, when I write something, I ask myself if it furthers the purpose of this blog and the readers.  If it does, I post it.  If it doesn't, it goes in the trash.

And there's plenty of trash out there already without me adding to it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I listen to - a brief glimpse into history

I grew up in the age of the good ol' Sony Walkman.

Nowadays, it's more like this:

The first Walkmans played cassettes, which I shamefully admit I still have stacks and stacks of.  Even when the portable CD player came blazing onto the scene, I still clung to my Walkman.  I acquired a few CDs over the years since then but I loved my Walkman.

But all that has changed with the new (okay, not quite that new) music revolution.  I don't have an iPod but I do have an MP3 player--sorry, the iPods are too expensive for my taste at this point.  So, with that being said, I listen to various podcasts on my MP3 player.  Many, of which, I listen to regularily.  Over time, I'm going to share what those are in-depth.  However, for those impatient ones out there, if you head on over to my Recommended Reading link, you'll find a number of these podcasts already.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Electronic To-Do List

As you know from previous blogs, I'm a big fan of making lists.

On my new Droid X2, I found a feature, albeit a simple one, that I love to use on a daily basis: it is simply titled "Tasks."

Now, this is obviously not what my task list looks like.  Mine consists of upcoming reminders or goals for projects (like Beholder's Eye), as well as lists of future blog post ideas and ideas on how to enhance the writing platform I'm building.  I'm brainstorming how to do podcasts as well as video blogs (vlogs, in other words).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happenings In The Outhouse 06-July-2012 / Bruce Willis vs. Keanu Reeves

This week, with the Fourth of July being right in the middle, was still fairly productive.  I started on chapters 31-33 of Beholder's Eye, and the editing of these shouldn't take too long, for they're shorter.  Chapter 31 is 4 pages long, 32 is also 4, and 33 is right now standing at 2 pages.

Chapter 33 is going through a huge revision, because at the end of it, the main character Kolin Raynes finds out some dramatic news regarding a family member and loads up on all of the firearms he can.  When I wrote this, I didn't question why he did this--I just thought it was cool, something like a cross between Die Hard and The Matrix.  Looking at it now, I question the character's motive.  Sure, he wants revenge, but doesn't need 7-8 various firearms in order to do it.  I cut that entire scene and lengthening other passages.  In the end, it'll probably be close to 4 pages as well.

As of this writing, chapter 31-33 are nearing the end of their editing stage.  By the weekend, I should complete them.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Before And After Picture Of An Edited Page

Writers, like myself, tell others how their pages look after they're done editing it.  But, in the act of showing vs. telling, I thought I'd share a few pictures on what that looks like.  Keep in mind, my editing process goes like this: I'll read a page once, just to get a feeling of what it's trying to tell (or show) me; then, on the second and third read-through, I'll make all sorts of notations on what needs to be changed.  By the time I've read it through three times, I can't read any more on it there are so many notations.  Here they are:

This is page 167 of Beholder's Eye before any editing--this is not the first draft, mind you, but a clean copy that I intend to attack with my pen soon afterwards.

This is page 167 after a single reading, along with a healthy slashing from my pen.

Here are two other examples, pages 165 and 166, afterwards.  Note my notation along the bottom of one page where I remind myself to take a picture of the next page before I murder it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Episode #30

You sit down in a restaurant you've never been to, only to find the waitress/waiter is your high school sweetheart.  She/he doesn't recognize you but you're certain she/he is.  Her/his nametag, however, says they have a different name.  Write the scene - do you dig into who this person is?  Build up the tension instead of blurting out your question.

Happy writing!

Handling Criticism

Criticism is something, as a writer, you need to get used to.  It comes with the territory.  There is no way around it.  Even the absolute best writer in the world had critics.  The challenge is this: do you listen to them?

Better yet, who are these people who are criticizing you?

Are these people jealous that you did something (wrote a book and self-published it, even putting it on Amazon for free) that they couldn't?  Do their opinions really matter to you?

Chances are, many of these people will either be complete strangers or part of your family.  Complete strangers don't have any interest in your success, so why listen to them?  Family members who haven't achieved more than a huge pile of debt and no retirement savings to show for it are not ones to listen to either.

Then who do you listen to?

That's a good question.  I don't really have much of an answer.  You might want to listen to your agent or editor.  Or even members of your writers group.  Mostly, it could be your spouse--that's the one I lean more than anything.

Trust that inner voice and do what is right in your heart, not what others will think of you.  The world needs it, if your heart is true.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

Don't compare yourself to others.

This is simple advice, and on the surface may seem stupid.  Hell, just take a look at the New York Times Bestselling List.  How are you going to compete with them?

Simple.  Don't focus on them.  Concentrate all of your energy on one person: YOU.

If you're in a sales organization, don't look at who is number 1.  Look at yourself and make improvements on your own success, not anyone elses.  Look at your writing.  Have you improved?  Is the quality growing better and better over time?  Chances are, if you've worked hard and smart, it has.  Congratulations.  You're leaving your old self behind and transforming you into a new you.

As a writer, it's easy to compare yourself to the powerhouse writers of Stephen King, John Grisham, or J. K. Rowling.  Quit doing that.  You can use their success to fuel your own desires for success.  But don't compare your writing to theirs.  Make your own writing better by, quite frankly, crafting it better and making it unique.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Call Me Mr. Imagination

A week and a half ago, my youngest daughter Mykayla had tubes put in her ears.  No big deal.  The surgery took less than 30 minutes, and the chances of an impending ear infection has decreased dramatically.

When I was growing up, I almost had the same procedure done.  I clearly remember thinking that if I had this surgery, I'd have these long tubes sticking out of my ears for months and years.  What a hideous sight I would be!

Call this my overactive imagination at work.

And something that, nowadays, I'm using to my advantage in my writing.

The reason I bring this up now is because, just before the surgery, my daughter asked me what the tubes were like.  I think she thought they would've been like how I remembered from when I was a kid--then again, maybe I shouldn't have told her.  Oh, well.  Too late for that.

Do you have any similar experiences from your childhood that you wish to share?