Sunday, September 27, 2009

Murphblog: A Primer

I have new followers! Six of them, in fact. Please help me in welcoming Corey, Paradox, Amy, Ocean Girl, Ichardesty, and hegk. Let me also apologize right now for being a less than stellar blog reader and commenter lately. I really appreciate all those people who've been commenting here while I've been neglecting their blogs entirely. That's very unselfish of you. You should probably reward yourself.

Now, quite a few of the newer folks have expressed some hesitancy about dipping their toes in the Murphblog waters and I realize this is entirely my fault. I have, quite intentionally, cultivated a cozy, almost familial* atmosphere in which inside jokes are dropped, references to months old posts are made, and seemingly derogatory comments are not only appreciated, but strongly encouraged. I like our little family. But to newcomers, it must be a little like starting at a new school and walking into the caf and seeing everyone with their friends and wondering how you're ever going to fit in when you don't even know what chocolate milk and Joe Biden have to do with each other.

So this post is a primer on all things Murphblog. It'll help catch you up.**

First, the stuff you need to know about me is over there on the right. I've written two books, a middle grade and a YA. They're not pubbed. I'm not agented, although I thought for a while that I might be. You can get the cliff notes here. My YA is done, but not done; the ending is unsatisfactory. When it's something more than that, I'm sending it to some readers. If you'd like in on that action, let me know. I also write poems, some of which I've posted here. I've had four of them published, so that's cool. My mom framed one. No kidding.

Here are some things in progress:

I submitted a story to Writer's Digest for their Your Story contest and was selected as a finalist. People voted. (Thanks!) I'm waiting to hear if I won. If I did, I'll be published in their next issue.

I'm working on a list of Things I Like. I'll be posting it soon. You are encouraged to make a similar list and post it on your blog. When you do that, you should link to my list because it was my idea. It's the least you can do.

I love chocolate milk. There was at one time a raging debate over the merits of different kinds of chocolate milk and it ended in a tie. I called on Joe Biden to break the tie because that's pretty much his only Constitutional duty as Vice President. I've emailed him twice. He has not responded. This has turned me into a Republican.

Other Stuff:

I have the best readers and commenters on the Webosphere. In fact, I'm thinking about disabling the commenting feature because a lot of times the comments are funnier than the blog posts and that's just not acceptable. You should be funny, but it's not good form to upstage the blogger.

This blog has already won multiple awards. However, should you feel the need to award it, you should not hold its past successes against it.

I used to have contests every once in a while, but since I still haven't sent out the prize to the last contest winner of some six months ago, I kind of gave that up. Sorry, Kelly.

I rarely review books. This is not because I'm afraid of offending the writer or agent or publisher and I think it will hurt my own publishing chances.*** I just suck at writing reviews. I like discussing books, though. In fact, Tracy and I often email our opinions back and forth. You can too. My email is

Buy Sophomore Undercover, The Order of Odd-Fish, and anything by Jacqui. Also, a few of my followers have books coming out in the near future. I'll be promoting them when the time is right. I do not pretend objectivity when it comes to promoting books written by Murphblog followers. Objectivity has its place, but it's not a place I'd want to be.

And here's a post about what men should not wear.

*It would be a dysfunctional family, though. Most the dysfunction is Monica's fault.

**But there are archives going back all the way to the first post. You can't really complain about feeling left out if you're not willing to put in a few measly days worth of reading.

***I'll prove it: Despite it being universally loved by men my age, and despite the fact that Ben Esch himself loved it, and despite the fact that the author is repped by Steven Malk, who I think is awesome and who represents two of my favorite people, Ben and Chris, I thought King Dork kinda sucked. Yes, the voice was entertaining (for a thirtysomething year old dude, not a teenager) and the band names were clever, but after that...nada. Paper thin plot, lack of a resolution to what little plot there was, female characters whose only purpose was to sexually gratify the MC, references to 1970s pop culture that even I didn't get and I'm 15-20 years older than the target audience and the main character. Et cetera.


Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Agree. Though we've already emailed about it, I'll say it again. King Dork kinda sucked a big dorky one,especially for being marketed as a YA. MC was way off target. I don't know a high school kid who talks like that. Not one. And I know a lot of them, most of which make the SAT look like playing Chutes and Ladders.

Betty said...

I have totally been working on the "things I like" list. Unfortunately, thinking of one thing I like, usually reminds me of about 10 other things I enjoy as well. My list may be 10 pages long by the time I actually post anything. :-)

Also, "The Glass Castle" (noticed you are reading it, is great.

Heather Lane said...

Thanks for the shout out as a new follower-- and thanks for the "summing up"--what wonderful blog etiquette! I however am a seat-of-my-pants kinda girl, and would have gotten along just fine. That being said, I feel as if I was just invited to the cool kids' table. Thanks!

Big Plain V said...

I knew all this Murphblog stuff so I'm gonna go get a glass of chocolate milk right now. Before I do, though, can I suggest that a contest for you? A Murphblog Knowledge quiz.

Since you're such a kind and helpful fellow, you could even make it an "open-book" quiz by allowing folks to reference this post.

Anita said...

I can't believe you didn't mention your wife once here.

Also, when was the last time we got an update on your getting in shape project?

BIG PLAIN V: I love the quiz idea!

Monica said...

Here it goes again. I'm being blamed for dysfunction. I don't know why that is, but it happens a lot, and I should really try to figure that out. I frequently get blamed for 'Seinfeldiness' of conversations, and for things taking a turn toward the.. well..... hmm... how can i say this politely? well, directed toward the dirtier side of things. I honestly don't know how it happens.

Thanks for the Primer, PMM, you are such a considerate blogger. Much more considerate than myself.

I get what you mean about the comments sometimes being funnier than the actual blog, that happens to me, too.

Oh yeah, i've been forgetting to do the "things i like" list.

Heather Lane said...

I might have confused everybody with my (above) comment.
In the 'Following Box', I am the little grey silhouette that says hegk on it-- and for some reason I can't get my username and picture to show up there (ever)... *sigh*
I know nobody cares, except me. Just wanted to explain the mystery.

Be easy on me, tech-savvy people.

Tess said...

Noticed in the side bar that you are reading The Glass Castle. That's an amazing memoir. Amazing.

MG Higgins said...

This was a pretty long post, PMM. I only have so much time on my lunch breaks. Please take my needs into consideration next time. Thank you.

Kelly said...

I seriously am going to have some chocolate milk after this. And seriously don't worry about the prize. I'm so competitive that I play to win, not for any prizes ;)
I'm wondering if I need a what I like list. It seems my blog is like an open book of what I like. But then again, I like talking about what I like, so I will have to post it when you all start posting yours!
And I love the dysfunction that Monica brings!
Heather-Yo! Welcome to the table. But FYI we really aren't cool.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Speak for yourself, Kelly.

Jacqui said...

Paul Michael Murphy is a genius and you should all immediately follow any advice he has for you.

-- an unbiased observer

Ben Esch said...


I liked King Dork a lot, but I respect your non-liking it, especially since you both A) bought and B) read it. As long as people do the A and the B, I don't think any writer would get too pissed/weepy if someone didn't like their book. Well, except for me, but I have a natural predisposition for weepiness, so you have to factor that in the equation as well.

Have you ever seen of Frank's old videos with MTX? Damn that dude had some charisma. Pretty funny songs too.

Ben "the guy who wrote Sophomore Undercover and is a big fan of the Murph Blog despite our occasional disagreement about literature because we're all mature adults here" Esch.

chris said...

Sorry pmm but I have to disagree a. I loved king dork. One of my favorites. My phone kept trying to write king fork. I'm going to write a book called king fork because it sounds like it would be an award winning book. Probably a Pulitzer even.

Amy said...

Thanks for the "catch us up" post! I haven't read King Dork, but I like that title, for whatever that's worth. ;o)

Amber Lough said...

Jacqui's right. As always.