Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ripples of positive action

These reflections have borne what to my knowledge is the first poem inspired by "Montag ... etc." The eloquent PintofStout left this comment with "Rinse. Repeat.":
I'm not sure if you allow pingbacks or anything, but I thought you'd like to know this post (and the many before it) sprouted a subconscious seed in my brain that has burst forth to life. A poem hath bloomed: Shipwreck (link goes to the intro blog post). Thanks.
Follow the links and you'll find an intriguing little creation about, well, let him explain. I'm tickled to have jarred something loose in PoS's brain — thanks for letting me know!

When a person starts taking positive action, it has a ripple effect. The series of posts that jogged PoS's poetic prowess was a ripple of its own. Not long ago my longtime long-distance pal Wally Conger tossed out a mysterious Facebook entry in which he wrote something to the effect of "That's it! I'm going to get started on some longtime Web business ideas." I recall thinking, "Hmm, I wonder what that's about," and kept my eye out for the results.

A few weeks later Wally sent me a bulk e-mail — from a new e-mail address — announcing his new eBook, Fire-Up Your Cash Flow Over A Donut and Coffee in 10 Minutes — Or Less! It's a quick read packed with thought-starters and ideas and led me to Wally's new Web site. In his site's introduction, "Let's Smash Wage Slavery," he describes the place as "a storehouse for ideas, comments, discussion, and even products targeted to free you from the ugliness of tyrannical work structures."

Positive action yields positive action: I resolved to write. And not just write, but to jump in the way Ray Bradbury put it in his wonderfully inspirational book Zen in the Art of Writing:
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me.

After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.

Now, it's your turn. Jump!
So, every morning since July 20, I've been stepping on a landmine every morning. And I've been reading, too. Wally's eBook led me to other eBooks and free stuff out there in the ether. The concept of the free eBook especially caught my attention: It looks fun and and easy to produce, and I've learned a lot from a handful of the eBooks I've found. Some are original like Wally's, and some are repackages of interesting public-domain stuff.

Sunday, I noticed how those first two weeks of writing kind of flowed together thematically. Just for fun I tossed them together into an eBook — you may have already noticed the link to Preserve the Embers; Stoke the Fire sitting up there in the upper righthand corner of this page.

And it was fun, too — so much fun that by the end of the week you should start seeing more eBooks in that corner. One is a convenient edition of Tom Paine's Letters to the Citizens of the United States, which I've written about these three times of late. I figure you might want to see what got me so excited.

And another is a scaled-down eBook version of Refuse to be Afraid, the book-book I announced with some fanfare before getting sunk by the dread quotidian. Think of it, for now, as my Smiley Smile, the bits of a big project that got bogged down, a glimpse at what may eventually emerge later.

The eBooks are free; you can print them out (as I do, old-fashioned tree-killer that I am) or read them on screen. And I'm also converting them into print-on-demand mini-books. It feels counter-intuitive that people would spend money for a physical version of something they can have for free, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. And it gives me a chance to remind folks of the other Richardson & Bluhm products that are out there.

Reactions like PintofStout's (and Sunni's shout-out a few days earlier) are evidence of the ripple effect and momentum that positive action produces. Now, I wonder what it was that inspired Wally to get off the dime and launch his venture? What splash caused the ripple that is Fire Up Your Cash Flow?

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