Monday, August 8, 2011

I’ll give you a Pocket Coyote for ten minutes of your time. Really.

So I have a little problem, and if you can solve it for me, I’ll send you a handmade Pocket Coyote. Autographed, even, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I love love love love love writing Masks. It’s the funnest job ever, really. But technically, it’s not yet achieving its goal. I write the story because it’s fun; I post the story both to thank you for your support and because I want lots and lots of attention to help me sell the other books I’m writing. Basically, I’m giving you free story as the grown-up equivalent of a four-year-old throwing a tantrum in a grocery store. I want attention, I want it now, and if I have to kick and scream to get it, I will. It’s just that being nice to people and giving them things works better than kicking and screaming for my purposes, and is much less exhausting. (I’m an introvert. Kicking and screaming doesn’t come naturally to me.)

Now, I need a little help expanding my reach.

Part of my brilliant master plan for world domination involves getting people to subscribe to Masks. No, there’s no fee involved—I’ll be selling stuff later, but I don’t ever plan to charge a subscription fee. There are two major ways to subscribe to a blog. There’s RSS, which is basically a computer program that collects new entries from your favorite blogs and presents them to you whenever you log in. And there are assorted similar programs for smartphones like the iPhone and the various Android systems.

I happen to know my readership contains both kids as young as 11 years old and adults over 80. Some of you are tech-savvy and some are not. The tech-savvy folks can figure out RSS on their own, so what I really need is a set of instructions that a complete idiot can follow and still get a satisfactory result.

A good friend of mine has written me a lovely set of instructions for RSS. I’ll have them up … oh, sometime this week, I hope. But I don’t have any friends with the smartphone chops to write me a set of user-friendly instructions for subscribing to Masks on a smartphone.

So here’s the deal.

If you can write me a set of legible, easy-to-follow instructions for subscribing to Masks either a) on the iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc. or b) on an Android smartphone, I will give you a handmade Pocket Coyote. The first person to submit a set of instructions that I or my smartphone-owning friends can use to subscribe gets the plushie. There are two plushies available, so whether you’re an Apple geek or an Android user, you’ve got a shot at getting your own fleecy companion. Once I have the instructions and have verified that they work, I will start making your plushie and will send it to whatever address you supply in the U.S. or Canada.

To submit your instructions, please post them either in a comment on this blog entry or on a webpage I can access, like Scribd or a personal blog or Facebook page. Then, if you’ve posted elsewhere, send me a link by commenting on this blog entry, posting on the Masks Facebook page, or contacting me on Twitter, where my handle is PocketCoyote.

The first set of instructions that I can get to work wins. Bear in mind that I’ll be reading the instructions aloud to a smartphone user to test them, so assume I haven’t picked a smart one and write very, VERY clearly. With luck, I should have instructions for all three platforms up soon, so everyone can subscribe with ease.

And yes, I can autograph a Pocket Coyote. There are special pens involved.

Now get writing! Your fuzzy fiend awaits!


  1. Kicking and screaming doesn't come naturally to me, either. Though I am at the point of frustrated yelling. :)

    btw, are you going to Tweet this?

  2. Android instructions sent! :D

    I'll pick up my Pocket Coyote next I see you, which better be soon! :D