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Email Troll: “Your wonderful blog”

As you may know, I sometimes get contacted by content marketers. You may also know just how I feel about people contacting me without actually reading the blog first. Hint: not good at all.

Well, it’s happened again. I received another “cut-n-paste” request for a guest post. This time, I decided to give them a taste of their own medicine. It wasn’t the longest correspondence, but for what it’s worth:

From: Bipasha Mukherjee

Hello Daniel,

Congratulations for your wonderful blog. We are happy to see such an amazing blog. We wish you continue the good work and keep motivating your readers and the online community.

To let you know a little bit about us, we run a professional blog on latest eyewear fashion at [company] each day to keep the community updated. We are writing to submit our guest post to your blog https://nest-expressed.com/.

The article will include:

Keywords
Headings
Article Outline

We’ve noticed articles on this topic are particularly popular with your readers. And we expect you to send us a positive reply on the same.

In return we are expecting a dofollow backlink linking to our website at [website].

Best Wishes
Bipasha Mukherjee

From: Me

Hi Bipasha,

Thank you for your incredible text. I was honored to receive such awesome words. I wish you keep stringing letters together and putting phrases into complete paragraphs!

To let you know a bit about me, I have a blog: http://nest-expressed.com

I also have a Twitter account which I rarely use: https://twitter.com/NestExpressed

My blog includes:

Posts
A sidebar
Menu

I’ve noticed that people who read my blog do better than those who don’t. So let’s be positive about it!

All the very best,
Daniel

From: Bipasha Mukherjee

Thank you Daniel.

We would love to post a guest article on your website! 🙂

Best Wishes
Bipasha Mukherjee

From: Me

Wonderful! Oh, yes, most wonderful indeed. Splendid, even.

How old are they and what breed?

Sadly, I never found out what breed they were, because for some reason Bipasha didn’t get back to me. I bet they were huskies, though.

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Australian Adventures Await

Ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow is Friday, December 21st 2012. This means two things will happen tomorrow:

1) Fire will rain from the skies as the Earth lives out its final hours before we’re all ultimately engulfed by flames and dragged into the merciless pits of Hell.

2) My girlfriend and I will depart on a 5-week long trip to Australia.

Let’s focus on the more noteworthy of those two events.

Australia! Yes! Finally! I’ve been looking forward to this since the start of the year.

I know you’re probably caught off guard by this announcement, since I gave little indication that this trip was in the works. Well, I’m sorry. It’s just, I guess it’s time we take a break. You know, see other people for a while.

Truth is we’ve been saving up vacation days like Doomsday nutjobs save up zombie-piercing bullets and meteor-proof umbrellas. The end result is the longest vacation I’ve had since high school years. Can’t wait.

Red Meteor

Tsk, goddamn meteors again. Better go grab my rain gear.

Australia is a magical land where everything is upside down, inside out and, quite possibly, in reverse. Here it’s winter, there it’s summer. We drive on the right side of the road, they drive on the left. We say “Hello, how are you?”, they say “You are? How hello!” Probably.

While I’m busy riding kangaroos, wrestling koalas and playing catch with wombats I will have very limited time for the blog. This means that you can expect to hear from me only sporadically, if at all, until late January. I will try to make an appearance on your blogs and send a cryptic message or two on Twitter, but I can’t promise anything. No, I can’t! Stop it, don’t be so needy!

I’d like to leave you with a lovely drawing by the equally lovely Kalieta. Some weeks ago she asked her blog visitors if she should draw something specific. Being the egoistic narcissist that I am I suggested drawing a nest for Nest-Expressed. The very next day Kalieta came up with this (visit her blog post for the full sized picture):

Nest Kalieta
Awesome, right? Right!

I’d like to extend Kalieta’s sentiment to the rest of you, wish you a fantastic holiday season with your families and loved ones, full of joy and with only a limited amount of end-of-world incidents. See you all in 2013!

A very Nest December to you!

I appreciate the appreciation!

It’s happened again. I’ve been awarded yet another blog award! More accurately – I’ve award awarded yet awarder award award. I have brain issues.

I’m not sure how to feel about these awards. On the one hand, they’re more plentiful than the number of concussions Todd Akin had in his lifetime. Multiple-concussions are the only explanation for why anyone would believe in an invisible army of tiny intelligent robots living inside of women to tell “legitimate rape” from the other type, whatever that is.

On the other hand – a new flowery award! Weeeeee!

It glitters and shit!

Rachael McGimpsey, a fellow blogger, internetterer and a frequent guest poster on this very blog has nominated me for the “Reader Appreciation Award“. How…how did she know I want my readers to appreciate me? That’s just uncanny!

Jokes aside…thank you Rachael! Every award means someone’s thinking about me and my blog, so I can only appreciate that. For more information on my “reverse-appreciation technique” please consult page 34 of Daniel’s Ultimate Book of Life Answers: volume 173.

It’s a refreshingly quick read

For those of you who don’t know Rachael…now you do! She runs a funny blog here, a serious blog here, and a Twitter here. She’s well worth your visit and appreciation, so head on over and do some serious appreciating of her blog(s)!

Like most awards, this one comes with a bunch of rules, including questions to answer and bloggers to nominate. Unlike most awards, I will actually play by the book this time. Rachael and I go waaaaay back…to spring of this year. So, you see, I kind of owe it to her.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll answer 10 questions Rachael asked. I’ll nominate 5 bloggers, because I simply am running out of bloggers to pass awards to. Then I’ll ask 10 questions of my own to those five bloggers, which they’ll be honour bound to answer.

Answers

1. Why did you start blogging?

Who’s asking?! Oh, you? Well, why did you start blogging? I’m being defensive? Maybe you’re being defensive. I’m glad we had this talk, let’s never fight again.

Incidentally, a serious answer to this question is found in my recent “Fictive Fiction” post.

2. If money was no concern what would you buy for yourself?

Every. Single. Gadget. Ever.

I’m a gadget freak, so if money was no concern I’d check them all out – robots, computer-driven houses, Batmobile. Hell yeah!

I’d get my family some housing and necessities too. Or maybe I’d get my robot-assistant to do it for me.

3. What is one of your current life goals?

To publish a book. What a cliche, right? Since I started blogging I truly realised how much I enjoy the writing process, so yeah – next stop is to publish something. A novel? A collection of short stories? A humorous guide to self-flagellation? Sky’s the limit!

4. If you could have one talent you do not posses, what would that be?

Did you say “talent”? Because I heard “superpower”. I’d pick teleportation. Visiting my family and world travel would be made so much easier. Also, breaking into banks. Mind you, I’d only be able to break into banks, not take anything from them…unless solid gold blocks are also capable of teleporation. So I’d just sit there, surrounded by gold, like a fucking idiot. Shitty plan, now that I think about it.

5. What would you change about the world if you could?

Convert 95% of insane/evil/criminally stupid people into regular folks. I’d leave the 5%, because I need blog material – making fun of sane, intelligent people sucks!

6.How would you spend your time if you had no restraints?

My prison guard mocks me with that very question on a daily basis. God, I hate that guy! But soon he’ll feel my wrath, once my machine gun made of toilet paper and toothpicks is completed!

Serious answer: I’d visit as may countries as I could. I love to travel and lack of time is always a concern. Unless I manage to develop that teleportation skill I was talking about.

7. Where did you grow up?

In eastern Ukrainia,

Born and raised,

In a school yard

Where I spent most of my days…

Short answer: the second largest city in Ukraine – Kharkov. I lived there until I was 15 at which point I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark to infiltrate the capitalist society and make arrangements for the inevitable communist take-over. I fear I’ve said too much. More of this type of nonsense can be read on my “About” page.

8. Who is your favorite music artist and why?

I like too many different music genres and artists to be able to narrow this one down. Rock, hip hop, jazz, alternative, some pop, none of techno, even less of heavy metal.

9. Who, if anyone, is your hero?

My mom. The strongest woman I know. That’s right, you should see her juggle semi-trucks – it’s absolutely insane.

10. Can you dance?

Yes, I can, in that I am physically capable of performing a series of jerky motions in response to music, which could be remotely qualified as “dancing”. Can I dance well? That’s a question you didn’t ask, isn’t it?

Nominations

Last time I nominated a whole bunch of guys from DudeWrite. This time I want to pass the award onto five blogging ladies I recently discovered:

  • Ellen at “Defenestrated Feet“. She’s got a quirky sense of humour. She illustrates her stories with pictures, so you won’t even have to read too much text. How awesome is that? Very! Check her out for some guaranteed smiles.
  • Kalieta (Colette Ngo Ndjom) at “Kalieta.net”. She writes. She draws. She’s got affiliations with Ukraine, which I assure you have not had any impact on my choice. Colette has lived all over the world, so has many curious experiences to share.
  • Kianwi at “Simply She Goes”. Kianwi has three cats, but she’s not a crazy cat lady. She’s a very funny lady with a great writing style. For rare pictures of her cats and not-so-rare funny posts, head on over to her blog.
  • Lynn Schneider at “Lynn Schneider Books“. Unlike me and my future plans, Lynn’s already a published author of several books. Read more about her books and her technology woes by visiting her blog.
  • Reanna at “Rock The Single Life“. A word of warning: Reanna’s blog is not safe for work, or safe for life. It’s not safe. It’s full of profanity, inappropriate sexual content and other gross things. She’ll shit in your mind and eat your cat. She’s also going to make you laugh your ass off. Then she’ll film it, put a video of your ass falling off on Youtube and make you famous. For your chance to become famous, visit her blog right now.

Questions

This one’s easy – pick your 10 favourite Nest Expressed posts and tell us why they’re your favourite. Go! No? OK fine…but I want answers to all questions!

  1. Batman or Superman?
  2. What musical artist do you absolutely hate?
  3. Who framed Roger Rabbit?
  4. You’re forever trapped on a deserted island . For some contrived reason you get to pick two people and an animal to live with you there. Who are they?
  5. You can visit and live for a while on any planet in our Solar System. Which one?
  6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  7. Why did chicken cross the road?
  8. You can pick any profession or job (including crime-fighting vigilante). What do you pick?
  9. Favourite word/phrase/insightful quote?
  10. You can watch only one TV show for the rest of your life. Which one?

Fictive Fiction

Do you know why I started blogging? Oh, you don’t? And you call yourself a fan?! Oh, you don’t? You’re tired of passive-aggressive rhetorical questions?! OK fine.

Before starting the blog, I’ve taken a couple of “creative writing” and “fiction writing” courses, because I want to create…fiction…through writing.

I’ve always looked at the blog as a way to get my words out into the web-o-sphere and get a steady following. Once I had people hooked I’d eventually unleash my horrible novel / collection of short stories / unicorn colouring book onto them. They’d have to be polite and buy it. Then they would read it, smile, back away slowly and block me from their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

But the last laugh would be on me, because in the process I’d have sold upwards of, like, twenty books and gotten around 100 dollars from the deal. Then I’d buy two bottles of fancy liquor and get wasted alone in my underground lair. Note to self: need to rent an underground lair.

Early sketch of lair. Suggestions for improvements welcome.

Then I started the blog and something happened: I realised I enjoyed blogging in its own right. It’s a bit surreal to think that some words I jot down can be read by a bunch of people all around the world just seconds after I click the “Publish” button. Sure, sometimes they’re forced to read juvenile humour and a collection of carefully arranged swear words, but what the fuck, shit, right?! Hearing that I’ve managed to make someone laugh is extremely rewarding. I really get a minor sense of achievement if I can remotely put a smile on someone’s face. The drawback, of course, was that I got so carried away with the humorous lists and funny observations that I never got around to doing much fiction.

Then I found out about DudeWrite‘s Flash Fiction contests and something happened: I remembered that wanting to write fiction is how I got into this blogathon business in the first place. Since then I’ve submitted flash fiction pieces to every DudeWrite’s monthly challenge. There were three in total. I’m both happy and humbled that each of my pieces managed to bring home a prize so far.

My first piece “Pulling The Plug” shared the victory by popular vote with a great piece by a  fellow blogger Chiz Chat – “The Bunker” – in the first DudeWrite Flash Mob for July 2012. August Flash Mob also had three external judges independently picking their favourite pieces. Two of them have picked “Pulling The Plug” and had some really encouraging things to say about it.

The second piece “High Stakes” won the popular vote in DudeWrite Flash Mob for August 2012. During the same flash mob the DudeWrite editorial team picked a winner of their own – a humorous story by the Chubby Chatterbox called “Stupid Men and the Sea“.

Finally, just today I found out that my third piece – “Code Wet” – is the winner of popular vote for September’s Flash Mob challenge.

I always try to keep an element of humour in my fiction piece in order to stick to the blog’s main theme. These regular contests at DudeWrite really give me a solid reason to practice fiction writing. I have every intention of submitting at least one fiction piece every month to these Flash Mob’s for as long as DudeWrite holds them. I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is – thank you DudeWrite for reminding me about my original priorities! I’m planning to start weaving more fiction pieces into my future blog posts and I hope that you’ll stick around for that transition.

Don’t worry, though, I won’t leave you without funny commentary on human stupidity and mockery of insane people. I have too much fun doing that.

How about you? Why do you blog? Is it practice? Fun? Do you have a political agenda? Are you a member of an ominous yet extremely ineffective secret organization that wants to take over the world through writing?

So long, and see you shortly!

It’s that time of the year. My favourite time of the year – vacation time!

So it’s time to put on those shorts and get a tan! Or, in my case, get burned, turn red and then peel for weeks.

Tomorrow my girlfriend and I will embark on an epic(ish) journey to visit our families together. First stop: Czech Republic. Then Ukraine. Then Czech Republic again, because repetition is someone’s mother (can’t remember whose).

This means I’ll be taking a two-week break from blogging. I may throw a couple of guest posts on the blog to keep things alive, but you won’t be hearing my beautiful voice (or, more accurately, reading my beautiful words) until mid-August. You’ll have to instead peruse the archives for some yet unread posts.

You could also head on out to some other blogs instead, you traitor! To help you execute your betrayal, here’s a list:

  • Carrie Rubin – always an entertaining read and plenty of chuckles!
  • DudeWrite – where you can read a bunch of great posts by dude bloggers every week!
  • Ella Medler – writing tips and amusing musings. Alas, Ella stole my idea and is also leaving on a two-week vacation. Still, there’s plenty to read on her blog!
  • Michelle Franco – on the verge of releasing her second book, but maybe she’ll find time for a few blog posts?
  • Marty Beaudet / Martin Bannon – insights from a writer who travelled the world and learned way too many languages!
  • Rachael McGimpsey – funny commentary on the world, occasionally in poetry form!
  • Ria Majumdar – sometimes fiction, sometimes observations on life, always a fun read!
  • I can also recommend one of my all-time favourite comedy websites – Cracked.com

That’s it for now – see you in August! Avoid accidents and embarrassments if you can, don’t end up like this cat:

Ranking the dudes…

This week’s posts have followed my DudeWrite saga as it unfolded. This is final part of the trilogy.

During this week I’ve begged for both your attention and your votes, proving once and for all that I am extremely versatile when it comes to begging. Some of you took pity on me and chipped in with votes. Some of you didn’t. I know you’re deeply ashamed of yourselves because of it, but I want you to know it’s OK. My grudges are usually fairly short lived and I have so far hacked the emails of only a few of you.

In any case, I can happily announce that I WON…the second prize, but who’s counting? What does that mean? It means that now you can admire the “Platinum Man Card” on my awards page, or right here below:

It’s…it’s just beautiful…I’m tearing up

Many awesome dudes participated and a number of winners have been declared. Here’s the final breakdown:

  • 1st place (Diamond Man Card): The Six Fingered Monkey with an epic tale of his hunt for a new pussy
  • 2nd place (Platinum Man Card): Yours truly with the scientific examination of creepy dolls
  • 3rd place (Gold Man Card): Shared between

A few other guys got picked by the few honourable chairmen of DudeWrite and many other bloggers (even non-dude ones!) got mentions and nods for all sorts of stuff. You should probably check out the original post on DudeWrite.

All in all it’s been fun and I’m sure the DudeWrite initiative is set to grow. I’m already looking forward to the next round. Speaking of which, your suggestions as to which of my recent posts to submit are more than welcome! Any ideas?

Writing with the dudes…

Alright, so I’ve just submitted my recent post about creepy dolls to a site called Dude Write. It’s a new initiative to bring men in the blogosphere together into a sort of “Gentlemen’s Club”.

Except for it’s more like throwing the blogging men into a glass cage where we battle each other to the death while the rest of you watch. Except it’s not really a battle to the death and there’s no cage of any sort. OK, I’m pretty shitty at explaining this!

Here’s what happens: each dude submits one post of his into the weekly line up. All men read each other’s entries and then vote to pick the weekly winner. The winner gets fame, women and inordinate amounts of money. Then he wakes up and realises that all he actually got were some bragging rights and a fancy-ish banner to put on his site.

“OK, nobody told me there was going to be a heart and ‘victor’ isn’t even spelt correctly. What a joke!”

Anyways, I thought this would be a pretty cool opportunity to meet some fellow male bloggers. The premise of the Dude Write site is that the blogosphere is dominated by women. Judging from the ratio of women to men following and commenting on my blog, I tend to agree with that evaluation.

Take it easy, nobody said it was a bad thing. I like all my followers, regardless of their gender. So there’s no need to yell “sexism” and throw stuff at me, especially since I can’t see or hear you and throwing stuff at your computer will mess up your screen.

What about you? Do you agree? Are women running the blogging show? Is taking over the blogosphere just the first step in their elaborate world domination scheme ? Are men’s days of freedom numbered? Will all of us get shipped off into the giant underground forced labour camps women are building worldwide as we speak? Have I finally snapped and gone completely insane?