Welcome to the official author's blog for Pico Triano. From this site you can find links to most of my online writing. The menu below will bring you to some of my more popular work and allow you to navigate the site. In the sidebar you will find feeds listing the latest articles on all my websites. Relax take you time and enjoy your visit.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Mini Twitter Campaign Starts Today

Courtesy Pixabay

I had envisioned a grand assault on the Twitterverse but I just haven't had the time or energy to put it all together that way. So I made a compromise with myself. I made five tweets for my novel and five tweets for my wife's artist's website to tweet on a rotating basis for the entire month of March. I started today.

Part of this is an experiment. I want to see if it increases the number of people following me. I also want to see if it increases the number of views on my wife's website. I will be adding similar pre-written tweets for my blogs and some of my web pages. I will be doing that as I have time. Unfortunately I'm still human and there is only so much I can get done in a day.

For my friends and anyone else who cares. If you're on Twitter, my account there is under @PicoTriano. Please follow me and if and when the urge strikes you, likes and shares are always appreciated. That activity just might make a huge impact on this campaign.

Final note. My efforts have not been in vain to this point. The work I did for my wife's artist's website is paying off. For the month of February we have had three small sales. Three sales in four weeks after her work generated no sales in three years is definitely a step forward. We are hoping to increase the rate to at least one sale per week in short order.

Big sigh and then back to work.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Looks Like a Winner

Courtesy Pixabay

Well I entered a grand total of one writing contest so far this year and unless something changes before midnight tomorrow I'm going to win it. Not really the way I want though. At this point I'm the only entry. That fact really flabbers me gast. I thought a contest like this one would have gotten a lot of entries. The monthly contest is call “Try Something New” and the prompt for it was just Valentines Day. I would have ignored the contest because I don't observe the day in any way, but the intro also mentioned writing things like, bad dates, old flames and on and on. It really was wide open. There must be dozens of romance writers on the site who would have been able to write something. How could a contest like that not end up with at least two dozen entries?

I'm trying to give this a positive spin in my little brain. I entered the contest way early. As soon as it popped up in my notifications, I went ahead and cooked up a story for it. This story must be so good that everyone thinking about entering read it, got intimidated and decided to wait for the prompt for next month.

A general announcement has been made that unless there were other entries, I would be awarded the winners prize. I will likely return the points to the contest pool. In my mind it isn't really a win. I will post a link to the story in March if this actually plays out tomorrow or not. I've legitimately won this particular contest before. We'll see what the next prompt will be in March.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Only Need One

Courtesy Pixabay

I only need to write one post to finish the month and this is it. Not a garbage post though. More of a month end wrap up.

My goal of writing a blog post, article or story is completely intact. Started more than two months ago now and have been keeping pace with that no problem. The goal at this point is to keep this up for the entire year.

My intention to start and maintain a Twitter campaign has been falling flat though. I have composed tweets but they haven't been properly set up yet. I think I'm trying to hit too hard to start. I'm spending too much time preparing and not enough time doing. There is a lot I want to accomplish with it. With that thought I will approach this differently in March. I'm going to take a section of what I was hoping to do and start with that.

I did get my freelancing site set up this month. Getting it started is only the first hurdle. Next thing is to figure out how to find and keep paying clients. I can do the work. I will be focusing on preparing more professional looking work to showcase what I can do. I already have some potential subjects in mind. I feel I have to push this aspect of my writing because our income needs a little boost to make me feel stable. I'm just reluctant to try to get work through some of the freelancing communities. Working for fifty cents an hour or less isn't going to cut it. I get that I have to make a name for myself but there are limits to the sacrifices I can make.

I had plans to get the ball rolling tomorrow on my readjusted focus but I've been called in to work. Bill is sick and I'm the main back up for maintenance. I should still have time in the afternoon to work at it. No complaint here by the way. This call in solves a number of problems for the week. Number one I have an appointment on Wednesday with the dentist in Moncton. This business allowed me to negotiate a schedule adjustment to accommodate that. It also boosts my hours for the week back up to where they need to be. Happy about that. Tomorrow should be tame. It's Wednesday that is going to be a wild one.

Hope to get more done this evening while I have a chance. Look out March. Here I come.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Cleared My Plate For Tomorrow

Courtesy Pixabay

I had a scheduled day off on Sunday and had planned to get a couple of writing projects completed. Ended up being called in to work and given some much needed work hours. As a result virtually none of that writing even got looked at. Tomorrow I get another shot at it all.

Before getting to that though there were a couple bits of work that had to be done first. We have a storm on its way and our firewood pile was getting depleted. This storm is supposed to bring a mix of rain and snow, a terrible combination for bringing in firewood. Went crazy on it this afternoon though. I cut down three very dry dead trees and with the help of the boys hauled it all under cover. This will keep us warm well into March. That means tomorrow, I don't even have to think about it.

Tomorrow I'm going to punch my writing clock in the morning and get after that freelance writing bio. I need to get that done. After the bio, I have to put together a basic price list for my services and make the site public. I am hoping to begin making a small side income through that type of work.

Once I'm done with all that I have a project my wife and I have been working on for her website. On her America Fine Arts account it is possible to get her work on I-phone cases. For some reason the prices ended up all over the place. We've fixed most of them. Tomorrow we get to do the rest and then promote them. Some of her artwork looks exceptionally good on those products.

It is going to be a big day at the keyboard. Hopefully my writing endeavors with continue to develop and move forward.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Writing a Freelancer Bio

Courtesy Pixabay

This project is testing me severely. It isn't that I can't write a decent bio in a big hurry. The challenge is to create something that will potentially lead to paying clients. I went online to check out articles on the subject, which made things clear as mud. Then I looked at other freelancer sites for examples and that didn't seem to help much either. This has been bugging me intensely for days and not so intensely for a couple months. My subconscious hasn't failed me yet though and I have cobbled together what I think is a workable framework to hang everything on.

First thing a prospective client wants to know about me is what I am as a writer. That will be the first section of the bio. After that they likely want to know more about my background and education and finally my miscellaneous experiences outside of writing. Every section is important but needs to be in a resume order rather than what I would usually write for a bio. It also means headings and sub-headings, things that I don't normally associate with short biographies.

This is a good experience for me. Pushes me outside of my writing comfort zone. I don't doubt my abilities. I think I'll end up with something excellent when I'm finished. I expect to be putting it out there for my friends to critique within a week or so, depending on time and inspiration. I want to get this right.

Once that's done and I've put together a basic price list for my services, I will be going live with the site. Another step forward.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

First Miss of the Year

Yesterday, I wrote nothing. First day I've missed so far this year. I still have more blog post, articles and other published pieces than I have days of the year. Incidentally I'm planning to catch this miss up before the day is out today. This is not a disaster. The problem isn't a problem until it happens all the time.

This is a miss I could have avoided by writing something when I had the time earlier in the day. Because I didn't, then plans changed on the fly and then finally I had a worry thrown on my plate. No one to blame. Everything was voluntary. Even the worry part. It isn't my problem. Just my heart hasn't turned completely to stone quite yet. That's my excuses at any rate.

Today's schedule got flipped around as well but I can make it work to my favour. Shake machine at work broke yesterday and has to be fixed this morning. The guy who fixes and cleans that machine wasn't supposed to be on early so we were asked to trade shifts. Works better for me. Especially since I can write this now and a background type post for my wife's artist's site when I get home. Spreads everything out.

So a couple cliché lessons for the day. If you suffer a set back, get right back up. If life serves you lemons, make lemonade. Works for me.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Hoped For Step Forward

We have started February with a very encouraging success. My wife Francine opened her Fine Arts America account and site in 2012 and had not sold a single copy of any of her paintings and drawings during the ensuing years. Someone did buy a copy of a photograph once but that was it. I felt the issue had a lot more to do with our marketing than the quality of her work.

Several weeks ago we thought it would be a good idea to put together an artist's blog for her highlighting her work. The project is on going. We divided her work up into logical galleries and made links back to her original site for the purposes of sales. Fine Arts America does that part very well. Biweekly I'm am adding a background story blog entry for her existing paintings. I ghost write for her while she continues her artwork.

After the first week, Francine has sold two greeting card images. That is exactly the type of success we were hoping for. We aren't hoping to get rich from the site, in fact at this point if she earned enough to pay for all her art supplies we'll be delighted. Long term we are hoping she can gain a modest income from her work.

This isn't just a big success for Francine but also a win for me. In the background I've been slowly working at launching myself as a freelance writer on the world. I already have demonstrated that I am a pro at writing forum content and related work. This site is ample evidence that I can ghost write blog content as well. I am working at a dedicated site for this work. Once I've established appropriate pricing for my skills and the basics are ready there, I will be launching that as well. The process has been a slow one, but good progress is being made. I think it is only a matter of time before I'm making a side income writing, independent of content mills and other extremely low paying options.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

My Brain is Misfiring

Courtesy Pixabay

Due to a scheduling quirk, I'm at work way early and have time to write before my shift begins. Only problem is the writing idea portion of my brain has shut down. It's a little frustrating because yesterday while I was working the grill, I had several really good ones bouncing around between my ears. Once I'm there again, I'm certain all those wonderful ideas will come flooding back. Problem is that I have the time now.

Now before someone drops the wonderful idea that I need to write down my ideas before they vanish, it's hard to do while I'm working. I've tried keeping a pen and paper on my person even at work but you would not believe how many pens I've lost doing that. I can't afford to keep buying them.

Nearest pen and paper is in my backpack on top of the employee lockers. If I can hang onto an idea until break or the end of my shift, I will capture it.  Sometimes I get distracted though and yesterday I got big time distracted. I finished my shift quite concerned about the incident. After work, my wife, one of my sons and myself followed up, did what we could but are still concerned. Won't write about that either because it's better left confidential. Life happens, everytthing will be just fine.

The ideas will come back and the beauty of writing practice is you can always write something even if your brain isn't quite all there.

Funny thing is that this'll wind up on my author's blog not my writing practice because this is all about writing. Going to be a great day. Maybe I'll write something else before the day is out. For daily writing I'm a plus two on the year and making it plus three would be nice.