Tag Archives: writing

This Blog Is Engaging and Perfect

“The ideal reading length for a blog post is seven minutes. That translates to roughly 1,600 words.” – Content writing advice offered by marketing experts.

Seven minutes? That makes sense. I haven’t timed my eyeballs or my brain, but spending seven minutes on a blog seems right. If you want an engaging blog, it should take seven minutes to read. However, here we are at the mere 70-word mark and, whoa boy, I’m not sure I can make it to the full 1,600 with this little blog. Right now, it’s more a greeting card than a blog. And we all know how non-impactful (impactless?) and non-viral (healthy?) a greeting card is. I don’t want this to be a willowy and weak greeting card. This is a powerful and mighty blog! This needs to be something big, something substantial, something you can print out and nail to the wall with a railroad spike!
Continue reading This Blog Is Engaging and Perfect

Pitching “The Three Little Pigs”

At a pitch meeting in the early 1800s…

Author: And so we have these three pigs, and they’re brothers. The first two pigs are a little lazy and they build their homes out of straw and twigs. And the third pig is very diligent and works hard and builds a home of brick. Everything is fine until the Big Bad Wolf comes and he blows down the first two houses easily. But the pigs are safe in the third house, the one made of brick. And the wolf sneaks down the chimney but the pigs boil him in a cauldron. And the moral of the story is to work hard and plan ahead.

Executive 1: Love it! Love all of it. Love the pigs, the wolf. All of it! Great stuff.

Author: Thank you.

Executive 2: So what happens in the sequel?

Author: Sea? What’s a sea-quill? Continue reading Pitching “The Three Little Pigs”

Seven Rabbits

Seven Rabbits
By Dan Bergstein

There were seven identical rabbits, and because they were each named Monroe, the only way you could tell them apart was by the color of their capes. This was all fine and good most days, but on laundry day, when the rabbits washed the capes in the river and dried them on the tree branch, it made things very difficult.

One such day, Monroe attempted to organize a game of baseball while the capes dried, and so he said, “The teams will be Monroe, Monroe, Monroe, and Monroe against Monroe, Monroe, and Monroe.” The fighting and bickering lasted well past laundry day as each Monroe attempted to be on the very best team. And there were many shouts of, “Did you mean Monroe, or the other Monroe?” Everyone ended up with a headache. Continue reading Seven Rabbits

Veronica Is Not Afraid

Veronica is Not Afraid
By Dan Bergstein

Veronica is not afraid of the monsters under the bed because she knows they are very friendly and not scary at all.

Veronica is not afraid of the ghoul in the closet because the ghoul helps Veronica pick out fun clothes to wear.

Veronica is not afraid of the goblin in the attic, whose name is Minker, because Minker is very funny and tells great stories.

Veronica is not afraid of the troll in the basement, whose name is Hollow Jack, because Hollow Jack taught Veronica how to play chess.

Veronica is not afraid of the ghost in the garage because the ghost is very old and is an expert historian who knows so very much.

Veronica is not afraid of the monkey-bird in the shed because the monkey-bird sleeps most of the time.

Veronica is not afraid of the old woman in the mirror because the old woman in the mirror always compliments Veronica’s hair and gives such wonderful beauty tips.

Veronica is not afraid of the serpent behind the wall because she learned in school that snakes are not scary and if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.

Veronica is not afraid of the painting in the hallway that comes to life during a full moon, because the man in the painting is a very good listener.

Veronica is not afraid of the Mole-Man who lives under the house because the Mole-Man plays such beautiful music on his violin.

Veronica is not afraid of the skull under the kitchen sink because the skull has such a silly laugh.

And Veronica is not afraid of the phantom hiding inside the pipes because the phantom promised not to bite.

Nope, Veronica is not afraid of any of the monsters in your house. She’s only worried you’ll come home soon and find her.

My Daily Writing Routine

Creative people have different daily routines. Some writers wake up early to write; some can only work late into the night. We all have our quirks. Because I’m fascinated with the routines of other writers, I felt I should share my own daily routine. Maybe this will work for you. It works for me!

I wake up every day at 9 a.m. and quickly count my toes. I have not seen my toes in many hours and I need to reassure myself that the toes are A)still there and B)facing the right way. After that, I check the bed for any dream artifacts — items from a dream that can come through the dream world and end up in your bed (e.g. ukuleles, frying pan, ducks, a scrap of the serial killer’s shirt, etc.).

Then I come up with an idea for a novel.

Then I slowly get out of bed and check my phone for messages and spiders. Spiders can crawl into your phone and lay eggs. This is where the saying, “Ya got spider babies in that phone, son!” comes from.

If no spiders are present, I reward my phone with a sticker. If there are spiders, the phone is placed in the punishment shed.

I put on my socks and pants and shirt and tie and apron and goggles.

Then I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth to remove all the food ghosts haunting my mouth. This takes an hour or so. Continue reading My Daily Writing Routine

The Book That Changed My Life

You see a piece of art, hear a piece of music, see a movie or read a book that cracks the shell of your mind and lets the real you emerge. It’s more than being inspired; it’s finding out who you are. There is a time before that experience and a time after that experience, and it shapes the rest of your life. It happened to me while reading Steve Martin’s Cruel Shoes.

By my senior year in high school I was well-versed in the history of comedy. I had old Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner routines memorized. I knew every beat of George Carlin’s 7 Dirty Words bit. And I listened to The Buttoned-Down Mind of Bob Newhart more than I listened to Nirvana’s Nevermind — and this was in the mid-90s so you know how cool I was. Continue reading The Book That Changed My Life

There’s a Book Under My Bed

Ten years ago, I wrote a book. It’s under my bed.

It’s not a traditional novel and doesn’t fit well into any specific genre. It’s a little bit adventure story, parody, graphic novel, journal and random jokes all written long-hand (because it’s part graphic novel, remember) on sketch paper.

It’s about 100 to 150 pages, I think. And it’s not finished. In its current state, it’s more of a blueprint for a novel — a detailed outline of a something bigger and more robust.

I haven’t looked at it in about five years, maybe longer. Continue reading There’s a Book Under My Bed

My Lance is Free (But It’ll Cost Ya)

For the past eight months, I’ve been writing marketing content for a corporate client. It was interesting work and the people were very nice and professional. There was even a Starbucks in the building! I’m glad I took the gig. But it was a temporary project and it ends this week. Such is the life of a freelancer.

Now I’m free to do whatever the hell I want. And I don’t know what that is.

While I shove my resume around the internet and pitch stories to editors, I also want to reach out to see what other jobs and projects exist.

Do you know how many different jobs there are in the world? More than 100! And as much as I enjoy writing online content for media companies, I’m worried that I’ve been missing out on other types of work.

Hell, had I taken a slightly different career path, I could have been a professional puppet choreographer by now. But because I was never exposed to the world of puppet choreography, I never had the chance.

So I’m putting myself out there. I’m a professional writer and editor with fifteen years of experience. My fee is negotiable. My hours are flexible. And my mind is open.

I’d love to do something different and new. If you or someone you know is looking for creative talent, hit me up! Dan@PowerPencils.com

While I hunt for employment, I’ll still post daily stuff here on the website and you can always buy Power Pencils (until they sell out). Now…time to make some puppets dance.


Writer Wanted

Job Posting

A global media company is seeking an experienced writer to generate content for multiple channels. We value our creative talent and offer competitive benefits and salary.


The qualified applicant will write and publish daily content as well as take and edit all photographs for the entire company…and they better be good. In fact, don’t worry so much about making words. If you could just put together some amazing photos and logos…and videos! You’re good with video, too right? Most writers are. Isn’t there a Mark Twain award for video production? Should be. When not making videos and short films and shareable gifs, you will also be required to organize all of our data into measurable, easy-to-digest info nuggets. For instance, how many readers of your video actually engaged with the content? Just imagine how much better Moby Dick would have been had the author also published detailed analytical data regarding reader engagement and “likes”? Is a writer who doesn’t spend 94% of their workday navigating Google Analytics really a writer at all? And you will also do your own marketing during your personal time, so plan to spend nights and weekends bragging about your content and our company to friends and family. (We have a marketing department, but really, can’t you just do it?) As a writer, you’ll also need to do a substantial amount of baking. Get started at 3 a.m. so the bread is fresh and warm when we need it. And how are you with kites? Pretty good, we hope. The role of the writer also includes mild carpentry and you should be able to lift 60-lbs. over your head…and then onto a truck. Oh, and we don’t have a desk for you, so set yourself up in your car in the parking lot — but not too close to the building. The writer is also responsible for single-handedly saving this company from bankruptcy and failure to show provable results within two hours of hiring will result in public humiliation at company-wide meeting as the CEO will look at you and simply say, “Well?” in a very angry manner. And you have to generate the electricity which runs the building and you’ll be in charge of public relations and computer coding and if we get sick, you have to make us better.

8 years experience in fast-moving environment
Bachelor’s Degree in related field
Ringing endorsement from town big-wig
Master’s Degree in Business/Accounting or Engineering
Art Degree from Real School We’ve Heard Of
Photos published in National Geographic (maps don’t count!)
Certificate proving you ran the mile in elementary school
Knot-tying award
Thumbs up from our doctor
Ability to withstand cold
Eye for fashion and investment opportunities
Coal mining or related experience
Ducks come to you when you call them
Gold or Silver Olympic Medal

$4 an hour plus a T-shirt (if you sign up for softball), but if you save the entire company, we can revisit your salary.

Please send resume, two writing samples, and a letter of recommendation from our current boss to the address provided in a secret website only accessible to current employees.