The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

How to Put Spells in Your Books So People Send You Bags of Money

  1. bagsofmoneyBegin with a blank page or screen.
  2. Place spells into a large measuring cup, stir in a tsp of wolfbane and set aside.
  3. Write a story with a happy ending, preferably one that includes lust, murder and fast cars.
  4. When you are happy with the story, print it out and sprinkle the pages with the spell mixture.
  5. Send to an agent.
  6. Wait for money to arrive.
  7. Spend freely.

One thing for certain: if you sign up on Facebook as a writer and include a fair number of writers on your friends list, you will see an unending and untidy deluge of posts, links, ads, graphics, jokes, videos and status updates that purport to tell you how to earn bags of money in the writing biz.

I find this both amusing and insulting because–quite possibly–some of us working as writers already know how to write and no longer need to read white papers with titles like “How To Use Transitive Verbs to Create Bestselling Novels People Will Kill For.”

Other than the fact my English teacher told me not to use a word like “for” at the end of a sentence, killing is wrong in most states except lunacy. If every single (or married) person who bought (or otherwise obtained) an author’s books killed somebody, wouldn’t people notice? And wouldn’t they feel bad about it?

One cannot use a book cover blurb that says, “Author reaches bestseller list as thousands die for various unexplained reasons not counting lunacy.”

But, I digress.

If I had the time (which I don’t), I would sign up on Facebook under several fake names. One person would be a butcher, another would be a baker, another would be a candlestick maker. Then I would add millions of people to their friends’ lists with similar jobs.

How long would it take for my news feed to become deluged with posts, ads and other annoying facts about becoming a better whatever? “How to create candlesticks that don’t fall over and blow up the fireworks store.”

Certainly there must be other professions out there in which everyone and their grandmother has a suggestion for getting richer, becoming famous, or creating stuff that saves the world. You’ve heard the old story, I think, that the people selling shovels to folks heading out on a gold rush made the most money.

Thousands of people on Facebook are selling writing shovels. I don’t know what we’d all do without them.


SOFaudioMalcolm R.  Campbell is the author of “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” a comedy satire in which nonsense happens that’s now available in an audio edition. No shovels were broken while creating the book.


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