The Florida Man Idea Generator

…today I came across a great idea generator not only for email topics, but fiction too.

Take an idea I came upon today….

‘Florida man kills himself with weather balloon.’

Seems, said man, committed suicide – and wanting a payout from his life insurance – tied his gun to a weather balloon in the hope that it would float away, looking like he was murdered instead.

Genius, right?

Unfortunately his browsing history gave away the game.

While the story is sad, it’s a great idea for a murder mystery book. – Imagine your ace detective stepping in (doing a Jessica Fletcher) and solving the crime when no one else can.

Or putting a modern spin on it, throw in a drone, and you’ve got a murderer killing his victims from miles away.

Or what about someone finding a downed weather balloon with a USB drive attached to it. – A nice thriller idea.

Or a child attaching a note to it, looking for someone to take care of their lonely and miserable father. – Romance

The story ideas are endless.

So how do you find these stories?

Simply Google ‘Florida man + month + date.’

The search above came from Googling my wife’s date of birth.

Now, while you might end up with a great idea, you may be wondering….’How can I write a book with this scene in it?’

Try this on for size.

PS – It’s also a great blog post idea generator, hence today’s post.  🙂

Here’s A Piece Of Advice From Rango

…the other day I was looking for a movie to watch with my son Finn, and happened to come across the movie ‘Rango.’

Having seen the movie before, and loving it, I knew he’d enjoy it too.

Now, if you don’t know the movie I won’t go into the whole story line, but it’s about a chameleon (Johnny Depp) that ends up lost and alone and makes his way to a frontier town Dirt.

Like most of those western movies, Rango enters the local saloon only to be met with sudden silence and a hundred heads turning in his direction.

Making his way cautiously to the bar, he calls for a drink and as most of those movies have, he’s grilled by one of the locals about who he is and where he’s come from.

Looking into the mirror behind the bar, he thinks to himself….’Who am I?….I could be anyone?’

Knowing that no one knows him, or knew what he was like in his previous life, he takes on a gunslinger persona and plays out that part for most of the movie.

For me, that moment has a huge lesson in it. Not only has Rango got a chance to play any role he wants to…..but we all do.

What character are you picking today?

The one you picked yesterday….that said you were dumb, stupid, never going to make it and why bother trying person?

Or someone better?

‘But Barry, I can’t do that,’ you say.

OK then, but what age were you when you picked the character you’re playing today?

12…after that teacher said you’d always be stupid?

18…when that guy laughed at you for asking him out?

35….when your lost your job and felt like a complete failure.

More important than your birthday, there’s a date when you defined yourself. From that date on you’ve played the role that fitted the part.

Like Rango, you could have been anyone.

Don’t like your role, pick a better one.

PS – And go watch the movie, it’s well worth it.

Ever Hear Of ‘Be Heard Day’? ….Funny, Me Neither

…while the most obvious day to write about today is World Book Day, I thought I’d give myself a bit of a challenge. – Hence, ‘Be Heard Day.’

The name is ironic, in that I’ve never heard of it. And for something that’s been going since 2004 you’d expect a little momentum by now.

Now, if you’re not up to speed with the day, it’s basically a chance for local businesses to show local people that they exist and why you should be doing trade with them.

I don’t know about you, but it’s no wonder local businesses in my area don’t do well.

– They look at purchases as a once off thing. (They never follow up, or try to keep in touch with their customers.)

– They advertise the same way everyone else in their niche is doing. (Hence, the Facebook badge on the back of a van for a page that no one visits, or feels any need to.)

– They never show people that they’re an expert at what they do. (A few videos on YouTube, a weekly article in the local paper, and people see you as an expert at what you do.)

– They think that the only way to make money is to be the first to be the cheapest in town. (One way to go bankrupt.)

See the same in your area?

Think maybe one day, with a hashtag, is going to make any difference to those businesses?

Me, neither.

Thing is, I could easily substitute ‘local business’ with blogger / writer / self publisher and you’d see the same results.

Want to let the world know that you and your work exists? Click here.

PS – Or you could hope that someone pays attention to you once a year.