Selling stuff for kids


How times have changed. Back when I was in grade school and junior high I’d go door to door selling everything from Cub Scout raffle tickets to candy bars to holiday cards and, of course, magazine subscriptions. I’d never ask my dad to take the stuff to his job to sell for me.

Now, the schools tell kids not to go door to door. The sad thing is, that’s good advice and I wouldn’t let my kids do it no matter what the school advised. There are just too many damned freaks out there today. Yes, I blame the Left’s attack on the family and our justice system, but that’s an entry for another time. The point for today is that, for the second time in just a few months, I’ve brought Sara’s sales catalogues to work to try to push cookie dough and magazines on my co-workers. Sara has her heart set on some silly prize she could buy for herself if she’d just save up her allowance.

In writing news … there are 35 pages left to revise in the original draft of The Prometheus Syndrome. Then I get to start over, putting in edits provided by my writing group. For the most part, that’s small stuff, but they did make some points about the first few chapters that will require some rewriting and moving of information. Then there’s the title. I’ve done some checking and not only was there a MacGuyver (is that spelled right? who cares?) episode with that name, but there’s also a non-fiction book with that title. A friend and small press publisher who was interested in the book a couple of years ago suggested the title sounded too much like science fiction instead of horror. I dunno. Was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein horror or science fiction for its day? I like The Prometheus Syndrome (yes, the reference to Frankenstein‘s subtitle is intentional) and have lived with it for about 15 years now, but I suppose I may have to be open to change it.


0 responses to “Selling stuff for kids”

  1. My wife and I seem always to be in the discussion about how, quite frankly, irresponsible parents are who let their kids go door to door. I’m always just shocked when the doorbell rings and it’s some youngster selling something for school, even though where we live is a relatively safe environment, it still just scares the crap out of me.
    Maybe we’re overprotective, but our boys hardly play in the front yard without my wife or I playing KGB.
    Keep me in the fold for Prometheus. I’d love to do a cover for you for that.

    • A: My kids aren’t allowed out of the house. I’m just too protective.
      B: I lived with the title of my first novel for the four years it took to write it. When someone countered with “That sounds like…”, I immediately went on the search for something that ties in with the story, means something, and is catchy.
      I’m still trying to sell that, but I love the new title.

  2. Do you believe there are a lot more freaks (per capita), or do you think the 24/7 media machine gives you instant access to all the worlds horrors, right in your living room, as it happens. Do crime rate statistics correlate to ones sense of safety, or one’s fear?
    This was the thesis of Bowling for Columbine (which really had very little to do with gun control)… that we are a nation that fears… Irrationally. Crime goes down, but its reported more, so we feel that crime is a bigger problem.
    Fear sells. we’re scared, so we tune into the media which further feeds our fears. vicious cycle. Now we teach our irrational fears to our children. Vicious cycle
    I’m not criticizing you for being worried about your children, nor am I critizing you for your off-hand scapegoating of “The Left”. I am asking you to stop and think — why are you afraid? Are your fears artificially played upon by forces that profit from them?
    Have crime rates gone down? Have violent crime rates gone down? If our fears are irrationally based, and our perceptions of the causes misplaced, will nee-jerk reactions actually solve real and existing societal problems, or will they further enflame them, and make the world less safe for our children.
    Just wondering. People with different beliefs trying to rationally look at the world and make it a better place is the only chance we’ve got.
    best,
    Jeremy

    • Do you believe there are a lot more freaks (per capita), or do you think the 24/7 media machine gives you instant access to all the worlds horrors, right in your living room, as it happens.
      This is certainly true about the media bombarding us with more information than we used to have. But, in the two years we’ve living in our current house in a south suburb of Oklahoma City there have been at least three attempted abductions of children around the grade school that I can see from my front yard.
      I know a lot of the things we hear about today would only have made the regional news 20 or 30 years ago, so it seems there is a lot more crime. Is there really more crime? I don’t know, but those attempted abductions at my kids’ school is all the reason I need to fear for their safety.
      I grew up believing you have to respect adults. If I was walking down the street and an adult asked me a question, I stopped, looked him in the eye and politely answered. Today you practically have to tell the kids to stay away, not answer, because you don’t know who to trust.
      Am I having my fears exploited for profit? In some cases, yes, probably so. But I’ve had my car vandalized, had things stolen from my garage, etc. So I have insurance, have a home alarm system, etc. I live in just an average middle-class neighborhood and drive a Kia Sephia. It’s not like somebody decided to spray paint a Rolls Royce parked in front of my mansion.
      I’m rambling. Final answer … some of my fears probably are artificial, but I’ve had enough bad real-world experiences that I choose to be overprotective at what I feel is a moderate cost.

      • vandalism and theft, vs. violent crime. Two different things. One is almost completely tied to economic prosperity of a given area. Times get tough, theft, burglary, and vandalism (lashing out at the haves, by the have-nots) goes up. BOTH of these types of crime, of course, lead to fear, and a sense of not being safe.
        Anyway, I do appreciate you taking the time to answer.
        best,
        Jeremy

  3. Do you believe there are a lot more freaks (per capita), or do you think the 24/7 media machine gives you instant access to all the worlds horrors, right in your living room, as it happens. Do crime rate statistics correlate to ones sense of safety, or one’s fear?
    This was the thesis of Bowling for Columbine (which really had very little to do with gun control)… that we are a nation that fears… Irrationally. Crime goes down, but its reported more, so we feel that crime is a bigger problem.
    Fear sells. we’re scared, so we tune into the media which further feeds our fears. vicious cycle. Now we teach our irrational fears to our children. Vicious cycle
    I’m not criticizing you for being worried about your children, nor am I critizing you for your off-hand scapegoating of “The Left”. I am asking you to stop and think — why are you afraid? Are your fears artificially played upon by forces that profit from them?
    Have crime rates gone down? Have violent crime rates gone down? If our fears are irrationally based, and our perceptions of the causes misplaced, will nee-jerk reactions actually solve real and existing societal problems, or will they further enflame them, and make the world less safe for our children.
    Just wondering. People with different beliefs trying to rationally look at the world and make it a better place is the only chance we’ve got.
    best,
    Jeremy

    • Do you believe there are a lot more freaks (per capita), or do you think the 24/7 media machine gives you instant access to all the worlds horrors, right in your living room, as it happens.
      This is certainly true about the media bombarding us with more information than we used to have. But, in the two years we’ve living in our current house in a south suburb of Oklahoma City there have been at least three attempted abductions of children around the grade school that I can see from my front yard.
      I know a lot of the things we hear about today would only have made the regional news 20 or 30 years ago, so it seems there is a lot more crime. Is there really more crime? I don’t know, but those attempted abductions at my kids’ school is all the reason I need to fear for their safety.
      I grew up believing you have to respect adults. If I was walking down the street and an adult asked me a question, I stopped, looked him in the eye and politely answered. Today you practically have to tell the kids to stay away, not answer, because you don’t know who to trust.
      Am I having my fears exploited for profit? In some cases, yes, probably so. But I’ve had my car vandalized, had things stolen from my garage, etc. So I have insurance, have a home alarm system, etc. I live in just an average middle-class neighborhood and drive a Kia Sephia. It’s not like somebody decided to spray paint a Rolls Royce parked in front of my mansion.
      I’m rambling. Final answer … some of my fears probably are artificial, but I’ve had enough bad real-world experiences that I choose to be overprotective at what I feel is a moderate cost.

      • vandalism and theft, vs. violent crime. Two different things. One is almost completely tied to economic prosperity of a given area. Times get tough, theft, burglary, and vandalism (lashing out at the haves, by the have-nots) goes up. BOTH of these types of crime, of course, lead to fear, and a sense of not being safe.
        Anyway, I do appreciate you taking the time to answer.
        best,
        Jeremy

    • Well, it’s not that I don’t let them play outside. My oldest daughter, especially, is out with neighbor kids a lot. But I always know where she is; she’s not going knocking on the doors of people I don’t know. I don’t give my kids as much freedom as I had, but I try not to smother them, either. Their personality has something to do with it, too. I know my oldest son will fully analyze a situation before acting, where the daughter will do whatever her friends are doing. That’s what really scares the hell out of me.

    • Well, it’s not that I don’t let them play outside. My oldest daughter, especially, is out with neighbor kids a lot. But I always know where she is; she’s not going knocking on the doors of people I don’t know. I don’t give my kids as much freedom as I had, but I try not to smother them, either. Their personality has something to do with it, too. I know my oldest son will fully analyze a situation before acting, where the daughter will do whatever her friends are doing. That’s what really scares the hell out of me.

  4. By the way, if I were to throw my two cents in, which I will. I wouldn’t change the name. I personally really like The Prometheus Syndrome and think you should stick to your guns.

    • I like it, too, and won’t change it unless a publisher insists.
      This book is so … I don’t know, campy, I suppose, that it’ll probably end up with a small press publisher. We’ve got a mad scientist capturing human emotion in jars of bear fat, then injecting the fat into the brains of corpses so the zombies will act according to the emotion. Naturally the professor is out for revenge on the establishment that has forced him to live in an old coal mine with a bunch of hillbilly servants. We end up with a giant hillbilly zombie, his ghost and a rock and roll guitarist who supplied the anger powering the zombie looking for a way to re-kill the hillbilly. Now, you followed all of that, right?

  5. By the way, if I were to throw my two cents in, which I will. I wouldn’t change the name. I personally really like The Prometheus Syndrome and think you should stick to your guns.

    • I like it, too, and won’t change it unless a publisher insists.
      This book is so … I don’t know, campy, I suppose, that it’ll probably end up with a small press publisher. We’ve got a mad scientist capturing human emotion in jars of bear fat, then injecting the fat into the brains of corpses so the zombies will act according to the emotion. Naturally the professor is out for revenge on the establishment that has forced him to live in an old coal mine with a bunch of hillbilly servants. We end up with a giant hillbilly zombie, his ghost and a rock and roll guitarist who supplied the anger powering the zombie looking for a way to re-kill the hillbilly. Now, you followed all of that, right?

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