The Real Lance Brown

"Thank God you aren't important." – Jake Pentland
February 12, 2013

Freeze!

Author: Lance - Categories: Biographical, Creative endeavors, Humor, Mad Props, Site admin, Web Design and Blogging

Up against the wall! You’re suspected of being one of the few people who cares about what’s going on on this site! Lance Magazine logo

Actually, that’s not what I meant by “Freeze!” The freeze I’m talking about is the brief intentional hiatus I’m taking from posting. (As opposed to almost all the other, less on-purpose, hiati.) Which strictly speaking isn’t really a hiatus, because I’ll be posting behind the scenes over at Lance Magazine, the intensely narcissistic project I mentioned a few posts ago. I’m really pressing to wrap that up for launch, and posting over here is counter-productive to that process, logistics-wise. This is the old way, and as the elders foretold, we must eventually leave behind the old ways. Screw you, old ways! (No offense.)

Lance Magazine is going to be, as the slogan says, “So much Lance you’ll puke with joy.” A multimedia dazzle-scape of cornucopious proliferation of spectacularity and resounding communicational explorosions that will insenserate you to magnificent occasional chuckles and mild amusement and there will be photos and for some reason my old poems and some other shit.

Good times.

Note: In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t understand either why the elders would have foretold such a thing. It totally goes against their own interests, don’t you think? But now that I’m examining the logic, the fact that they would be so self-destructive as to foretell the leaving behind of their very own ways–pretty much setting in motion a classic self-fulfilling prophecy–then their ways are probably best left behind. But wait–doesn’t that make them immensely wise? In which case, we wouldn’t want to lose their ways. And then there’s the teenage rebellion factor–ohhh, yeah! The elders are playing the old reverse psychology game! They foretell the leaving behind, and the youth are like, “Screw you, we’re not gonna leave the old ways behind! Or take out the garbage! Go suck a lemon, Pops!”

A brilliant ploy, elders! And a nice try. But you’ve got to get up pret-ty early in the morning to get one past ol’ Lance With Ants In His Pants.

Because I never sleep. And I have hidden cameras surveilling your every move. A silent majority of your social circle is on my payroll as paid informants. So if you make one wrong move…if you so much as look at me the wrong way…

Man, that got dark, eh? Don’t worry, elders. We’re totally cool. We’ll do some old ways, some new ways…it’s all good. 

Just watch your step.

Coming soon – Lance Magazine, mofos! (and fofos!)

 

Comments Off on Freeze! Posted in Biographical, Creative endeavors, Humor, Mad Props, Site admin, Web Design and Blogging |
January 30, 2013

Lots of Hidden Developments

Author: Lance - Categories: Biographical, Creative endeavors, Site admin, Social Media

I have been posting here less than I’d like to be, and there are a number of reasons why. Some (most?) involve personal turmoil, family crises, and other time-and-attention-demanding stuff. (Much of which will probably come to light via future episodes of my podcast Estranged.)

But there’s also a practical reason why I haven’t been posting here much, and that is because I’m working on replacing this site entirely–with two other sites.

This blog/site has always been muddled, “brand”-wise. Never quite a professional site focused on website stuff and social media and the rest of the things I do for money, and pretty half-assed as a personal site where I share pics and videos and stories and projects and other tidbits that make up my life, and that make me me. I’ve taken stabs at trying to make it more of both of those things, but ultimately, this has just been a place where I post stuff sometimes.

For someone who preaches to my clients (and anyone else who will listen) about the power of the “social web”, and the need for anyone with a web presence to proactively engage in the global conversation about whatever it is they care about and know about, the casual (a.k.a. half-ass) approach I’ve taken here, in a word, sucks. This isn’t a great place to go for wisdom about maximizing your impact on the social web–even though I’ve got bucketloads of wisdom to share–and it’s not a particularly great resource to just learn about (and fall deeply in stranger-love with) the beautiful mystery that is Lance Marshall Brown, man of renown. (Or, if you prefer, Lance Who has Ants in his Pants.)

The solution? As my mom said to me for many years before pretty much giving up: “Focus.” And what better way to focus than to create two sites to work on instead of one? Hmm…that doesn’t sound like it adds up, but it does, I swear.

Focus: on Freelance Lance, WordPress Wizard and Internet Sherpa. Fountain of wisdom on many things Internet, social web evangelist, marketing quasi-savant, semi-professional editor…you get the idea. Dude who has lots of thoughts about web stuff. The future home of that focus is InternetSherpa.com, which you can’t see because I have a big curtain up over it until it’s ready.

Focus: on Lance Brown, man about town. Lance who dances in France with ants in his pants (if you ask my grade-and-middle school classmates). “Prance” (if you ask my old friend Greg Sears, before I made him call me “Ed” instead). “Crash” (if you ask my mom’s old co-workers, back when I was rocking 1-2 car crashes a year). Guy with hundreds of nature and animal pictures and videos. Dude with more past jobs and future projects than phalanges and teeth combined. Humble egotist. Brilliant idiot. And, most relevantly, next-level narcissist. The future home of that focus? Lance Magazine. (At LanceBrown.me, of course.) Tagline: “So much Lance, you’ll puke with joy.” ‘Nuff said? I should hope so. I’m starting to puke a little myself, right now.

That one’s also behind a curtain, but it wants out pretty bad. Like 7-year-old me, it wants to get naked and climb out on the roof of the front porch for all to see. But, more like 40-year-old me, it has no plans to go back inside when a passing driver finally decides to pull over and knock on the door to tell my mom I’m out there. “You don’t own me, random passing driver! Don’t look if you don’t like what you see!” (That’s 40-year-old me speaking.)

Still with me? Out on the roof of the front porch with me, naked? (Let’s face it, it’s a little awkward if you’re not naked too.)

Good. Together we’ll conquer the wild world of the social web, unpack the wisdom garnered from 15+ years of daily web work, plumb the deepest depths of my comically-tarnished soul, and traverse the farthest ranges of my oddball life. Plus, there will be peacock photos!

Just hang tight. Soon, all will be revealed.

So to speak.

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December 7, 2012

The Little Things – “Might as Well Jump”

Author: Lance - Categories: Creative endeavors, The Little Things - Tags: ,

Here is the latest edition of my comic strip The Little Things:

(You can click the image to have it pop up for easier reading.)

The Little Things - "Might As Well Jump"

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September 25, 2012

Help Wanted: Web Apprentice / Super-Assistant

Author: Lance - Categories: Creative endeavors, Local Business, Web Design and Blogging, Working at home

I’m a work-at-home consultant, writer, entrepreneur and creative type who is looking for an apprentice and assistant to help me grow my business and further my many other projects. The position is in Lake Los Angeles, CA, in my home office. It will start at 30 hours a week, hopefully expanding to full-time or more before very long.

The number one qualification for this job is a relentless desire to learn and be constantly challenged to do new things. Other important qualities are attention to detail, good communication skills (including spelling and grammar), fearlessness, good customer service skills, and a positive and expansive attitude. Honesty and openness are also key. Having your own laptop computer would be good too.

The work will start with supporting me in creating and maintaining websites for clients and myself, mostly using WordPress, but will very quickly expand to cover any number of other tasks relating to projects that I have been preparing for some time in anticipation of finding someone to help grow my enterprise. I’ll also need help with time and project management as we try to best divide the available resources to get the most done.

You should be prepared to develop a working knowledge of the following in a relatively short amount of time (i.e., the first 6 months or so): 

-web site development (WordPress, Joomla, HTML, CSS, PHP)
-social media (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
-marketing
-fundraising (non-profit and commercial)
-podcasting and web broadcasting
-film/media development (web series, shorts, features; screenwriting, all aspects of production)
-media relations (press releases, interviews, etc.)
-activism (online and on-the-ground)
-event planning
-writing/editing/proofreading
-grant-writing and the other aspects of creating a non-profit from scratch
-digital music production
-and more.

(You don’t need to know those things already, but you should be ready to learn–ideally, even spending time in your off-time growing your knowledge and strengthening your skills.)

The ideal candidate would become an apprentice in the truest sense–learning and eventually taking over my primary business of creating websites for clients and supporting them in their web-related endeavors. I’ve been doing this for several years and am ready to pass on my knowledge–and eventually my clients–to someone else, who would then take over as a partner in that business while I move into new (related) realms and pursue a number of passion projects that have been patiently waiting for my attention. Once we develop a groove together, we would work on bringing in someone else to help take over some of the new work, and on and on as things grow.

If you are not afraid to learn and work independently, and would like to benefit from my 15 years of experience working for myself on the web, my 20+ years of experience in activism, and approximately 10 years of preparing to launch a series of interesting projects into the stratosphere, then you should get in touch. If you are likely to wuss out after a month or two, or don’t have a good appreciation for the value and reward of doing challenging work, you should probably save us both the trouble and go get some “regular” job. This is not that. 

If you can survive a year with me, you will learn how to start and run your own business or non-profit, how to get in the newspaper or on national radio, how to create a movie (and a video production company) from scratch, how to make music, write a novel, launch a website, run a podcast, get a grant or venture capital or a sponsor, and more. You will learn at least 20 different skills that have value in the job marketplace, and will have a ready opportunity to apply those skills in a leadership capacity within my existing web freelance business or in one of the side enterprises that we will have developed together over that span of time.

Sound good? Great! Let’s get to it. Get in touch ASAP and show me what you’ve got.

Comments Off on Help Wanted: Web Apprentice / Super-Assistant Posted in Creative endeavors, Local Business, Web Design and Blogging, Working at home |
February 20, 2011

Cool Rave-y Casio Keyboard Settings

Author: Lance - Categories: Creative endeavors, Music, Recordings

This is a very short audio snippet that turned up in my recent voice recording mining session. It’s me discovering a cool set of settings on my new-at-the-time Casio keyboard (a WK-210 model, for what it’s worth). It might be interesting if you like cool sounds, or if you want an inside look at me talking to myself. And if you have a Casio with these settings available to you, then you at home can re-create the magic and build on what I stumbled into.

keyboard – cool settings – soft vibe and trance – F-E-D

I’m probably going to be leaking larger things from my recordings archives, but this is a good starter tidbit. Unlike most of my recordings, I managed to get out of this one before I could mess it up or make myself look bad somehow. And the sound I found is very cool IMO; it’s definitely in my queue of samples for if/when I decide to start a dance revolution, or DJ at Burning Man or something.

Comments Off on Cool Rave-y Casio Keyboard Settings Posted in Creative endeavors, Music, Recordings |
February 19, 2011

Deep in the Archives

Author: Lance - Categories: Biographical, Creative endeavors, Filmmaking, General, Simplifying, Working at home, Writing Tips & Websites

I’ve been digging around in my archive of voice recordings, which is one reason why I haven’t been posting quite as much as I should here. (A power outage and a major toothache are the other reasons.)

Even though it always feels odd and indulgent, I have to force myself to work my way through those files, and I took out a good swath of them in this recent session. (You can read more about my ongoing battle with my voice recordings here.) I got through the 300 most recent recordings in my “C” (for “Creative”) folder, which amounts to the most recent 8 months worth of recordings.

So now, when it comes to my “C” folder, I am caught up to early 2006 on the far end and mid-2010 on the near end–leaving about 4 and a half years worth left to go. (And about 4 and a half years worth completed so far.) The good news is that at least half of that has been done in the past few months…which means that when I really buckle down and get into it, I can get through this giant backlog over time.

(I store different sorts of things in other folders in my voice recorder – business and/or politics in “B”, to-do items in “A”, and various things in “D” and “E”. But “C/creative” is the most populated over the past 5 years, by far.)

Those 300 recordings that I just finished sorting consisted of a wide range of stuff, though very heavy on the first four here:

  • songs – spoken/lyrics only
  • songs on the keyboard recorded “live”
  • many “silly dog songs”*
  • jokes and ideas for stand-up comedy
  • new screenplay/movie ideas
  • sketch and short video ideas
  • drafts of my columns, some which have been finished/published, others still drafts
  • same thing, but for my The Little Things comics
  • several ideas for small situations or concepts for within movies
  • an essay about walking in the dark
  • an e-book about being a responsible pet owner
  • social media blog post ideas
  • various loose ideas for several of my existing screenplay projects

*We’ll get into why I am collecting “silly dog songs”, and why I record almost all my ideas, in another post.

Listening to all these things in rapid succession provides a dizzying rush, and a nice reminder of the reality behind what I’m trying to build in my life. There is certainly an aspect to my backlog of ideas/recordings that could be seen as unfortunate or even sad, but for me they are only problematic if they aren’t under control somehow.

Having thousands of unsorted (and effectively unknown, since most of my recordings sound like fresh ideas when I finally get back to them) ideas, songs, writings, and potential projects just sitting in masses, with generic names like “DM420511” and “C0000033.VOC” is the very picture of untapped potential. But once I go through and revisit them, naming and sorting them into my ever-growing folders titled “non-fiction”, “movies, shows, and screenplays”, “songs”, and so on…it changes their nature in a key way. (See the pic above for an idea of my main folder categories. [Note: “Animal noises” is actual recordings of animal noises, out in the woods…not me making various animal noises. Just for the record.])

It’s one thing to wave vaguely at 8,000+ recordings and say, “There are tons of song ideas in there that I’ve recorded over the years”–and not be able to effectively point at an actual example of such a thing, because all the song ideas are buried in piles 100-deep or deeper with all sorts of other ideas, all in the exact same brown paper packaging. It’s a very different thing  to point to a “songs’ folder that has dozens of ideas sorted into genres, albums, and type (i.e., lyrics vs full-on recordings, finished ideas vs. snippets).

Of course, it’s a different thing again to actually get all those ideas manifested into completed things that I put out into the world, but I don’t mind the slow-and-steady approach. I’m taking a long-game view of all this. Which is fine, as long as progress is being made.

The plan at this point is to continue sorting through the masses of backlogged “Creative” files, in a quest to ferret out all my notes on my main ongoing screenplay projects. (Because I have been using the excuse of not having all those notes together as a way to avoid finishing those projects for years now.) And while I slog my way through them–which is actually really fun to do, to the point of feeling indulgent, as I mentioned earlier–I am working on putting the machinery in place to actually get my ideas into production as the sorting gets finished up.

And listening to the ideas themselves, knowing all the things that I have waiting for me as I take my efforts to the next level, really fuels my energy for getting things in place to make sure I can start making more of my outrageous dreams come true.

I might share a small sample of what I’ve been mining from my voice recording archives; I’m not sure. Most of it is rough, by its nature. And I have a habit of thinking things are great that I later think are really dumb. Which actually is one nice thing about the fact that most of my ideas have sat dormant for years…I’ve had time to grow up some and now can see many of them as the crap they are. :-)

I know I’ve gone on a lot about this, but don’t worry, I’ll go on more about it later. My voice recorder has been such a huge and integral part of my creative process for so long, that I think it’s important to let people know about the potential of using one religiously. And I’ve been learning more lately about how the use of the tool, and my freeflow method of capturing things, has paid creative dividends over the years.

Until recently, it’s been hard to discuss the so-called benefits, because it really seemed like my recordings were getting the best of me. But I have knocked out a tremendous amount of them in the past year, and can now see a time where they might all be at least named and sorted, if not yet transcribed and fully realized.

Once they’re sorted and assessed, they can be dealt with in an intelligent and informed way. I’ll know just how many songs there are, and what type. I’ll have all the notes gathered for my screenplay ideas. I’ll have a list of all the stand-up jokes I have in draft form. And literally hundreds of other ideas will be corralled, and ready to be tamed completely.

It might sound like only a slightly-better mega-pile of unfinished stuff to you, but to me it sounds like heaven.

Comments Off on Deep in the Archives Posted in Biographical, Creative endeavors, Filmmaking, General, Simplifying, Working at home, Writing Tips & Websites |
February 11, 2011

OTB Caption Contest

Author: Lance - Categories: Across the Blogosphere, Creative endeavors, Humor

I entered the Outside the Beltway Thursday Caption Contest this week. I’m hoping the prize is like a million dollars or something, but regardless of any money or fame that may come from my entry, I achieved “first commenter” status for sure. And no one can ever take that away from me.

Once I win, all of America will of course know my winning caption, and it will be taught to schoolchildren around the world, but if you want to get ahead of the curve, you can find it at the top of the pile here.

There may still be time to enter (if you’ve got the guts); I’m not sure if it’s Thursday only or what. (Or if there is a prize, or anything else about the contest, for that matter.)

The winner is announced Monday. Then: glory, fame, and all my dreams come true. One would assume.

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February 3, 2011

Day off (but if you have a second…)

Author: Lance - Categories: Creative endeavors, Miscellaneous, Site admin - Tags: ,

Various things ranging from technical difficulties to the fact that yesterday’s blog post was inordinately huge are keeping me from getting a solid blog post done within this calendar day, but I will definitely (retroactive edit: almost definitely) have two for tomorrow. I have a new comic that’s been ready to get made for days now; I’ll (retroactive edit: probably) have that out tomorrow, plus at least one more post.

In the meantime, how about going over and “liking” the Facebook page for my One Minute of Nature project? Thanks!

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January 24, 2011

The Little Things – “Mashed Up”

Author: Lance - Categories: Creative endeavors, The Little Things - Tags: ,

Here is the latest edition of my comic strip The Little Things, titled “Mashed Up”.

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January 16, 2011

New job title: Reince Priebus joke curator (?!?)

Author: Lance - Categories: Creative endeavors, Humor, Politics and Government, Twitter projects, Twitter stuff, Web Design and Blogging - Tags: ,

In an extremely unexpected turn of events, I have launched a site dedicated to jokes about the new Republican National Committee chairman with the funny name, Reince Priebus. The site is called (surprise!) ReincePriebusJokes.com. It’s mostly based off of tweets that I have skimmed off of the Internet – some 250+ jokes have been re-tweeted at the Twitter account @jokesonreince, and 150+ of them have been copied over to ReincePriebusJokes.com. (Technical difficulties have made the others not get copied over, but you can see them all at the Twitter page. I will get them all on the site soon enough.)

I take at least a little pride in the fact that the new site was the #1 result at Google for “reince priebus jokes” within 24 hours of launching. Unless something weird happens, I expect it will hold that spot for a long time to come. That’s part of what made me decide to go ahead with launching the site (after it loosely crossed my mind, when I invented the idea of the site in a tweet about all the Reince Priebus jokes from the day). I may discuss the reasons behind the site’s genesis more soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out the jokes, join in the fun, follow the site on Twitter if you want, and certainly pass the word to anyone who you think might enjoy this strange combination of comedy, wordplay, politics, and social media.

I have no idea where this might go. My goal is to automate it as much as possible, or maybe to delegate to folks who want to keep building the library and the community around it. We will see. I do know that as long as Reince Priebus is a national political figure, there will be Reince Priebus jokes, and as long as there are Reince Priebus jokes, there will be ReincePriebusJokes.com. Unless I get bored with it or sell it for hush money. (Big hush money, any of you hush-money dreamers.)

Here are the tweets that led up to the site’s formation… Read more…

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