Get Ready for a Shock

27 Jun

My dad was into the DIY craze before it was a craze.  Most likely this was the end result from growing up during the Great Depression.  One learned, during that difficult time in our history, to take care of things on your own.  Carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, car repair, these were things my father knew nothing about, but he learned through dogged determination and need.

I remember, growing up, that we didn’t have the money for repairmen.  Dad worked hard . . . Mom worked hard . . . and all that hard work was for paying bills for necessities.  We rarely had extras . . . we rarely had disposable income . . . we weren’t poor but we certainly were not rolling in dough.

I remember one time in particular.  The upstairs bedroom lights wouldn’t turn on.  The switch worked fine, and there was no way my dad was going to call in an electrician to handle the job, so he tackled it on his own.  He took off the switch plate and started checking out wires to see if he could find the problem, and within thirty seconds he was knocked on his ass by an electrical shock.  I was there watching, and it was nothing less than frightening to see my 200 pound father knocked back from the wall, falling ass-over-teakettle.

He shook his head, rubbed his hands on his pants, stood up shakily and then resume working.  He eventually found the problem, spliced some wires, and we finally had lights again in that room.

I don’t mind telling you that incident scared the hell out of me, and to this day I won’t do electrical work, but a lesson was learned, and it is that lesson I pass on to you today.

Most of us writers do not have huge budgets for marketing.  Thank God for social media, or most of our work would never be heard of by the reading public.  The point being we have to just keep on keeping on.  We try marketing techniques, and if they don’t work we try other marketing techniques, and if those don’t work we keep trying.  We do not have the option to quit, and we do not have the resources to call in experts.

We keep on trying until we work it out!

What’s there to be afraid of?  The power is turned off on our particular job. There’s no chance we’ll get shocked!

Have a great week of writing, marketing, and living!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

33 Responses to “Get Ready for a Shock”

  1. Janine Huldie June 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    What a great analogy and seriously though I am with you on electrical work as I will not touch that with a ten foot pole. But as far as marketing goes, I will keep on fighting that good fight, too. Happy Tuesday once again, Bill!! 🙂

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      I know you will, Janine, and it shows on your blog. Keep it up, my friend, and thank you!

  2. susanzutautas June 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    My Dad would always make his own repairs too. My husband and I try to do everything ourselves. I’m thankful I’m married to a McGyver 🙂 Have a great day Bill!

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      Damn, Susan, I didn’t know that’s who you married. LOL Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend.

  3. Sageleaf June 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    When I was a senior in high school, I was taking physics and our teacher had one of those Van de Graaff generators – it produces a high voltage, low amp electric charge so you can “shock yourself safely.” We all lined up – all 12 of us – and one person touched the metal Van de Graaff – it sent a shock through all of us, going through our arms and chests and then into the next person – instantly. Even though the voltage was high, the amps were not, so it wasn’t lethal. But it was scary. Enough that I vividly remember what that felt like and how I never wanted to repeat that. So, I would have shakily NOT resumed work on that outlet your father worked on. Haha.
    And I don’t blame you for not being an electrician.
    I am really loving these stories. You could publish a book on them. 🙂 (Oh and thank you again for buying my coloring book. I appreciate the author support. 🙂
    Hugs and hope you have a great week, Big Bro!

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

      It’s been over fifty years, Lil Sis, and I still won’t go near electrical outlets. LOL Lesson learned and thankfully it wasn’t painful for me. Thanks a bunch, Lil Sis…hugs heading your way.

  4. Andrea Stephenson June 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    Great story about persistence Bill!

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Thank you very much, Andrea! I wish everyone could have had my father as a father. 🙂

  5. Sarah Potter Writes June 27, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

    I’m a great coward when it comes to electrics, even down to always using a circuit breaker on my hairdryer because I once saw a movie when someone was electrocuted while drying her hair, although it did save her life because in the few moments she was dead before her heart restarted, aliens had taken over all the living! For some reason, I’ve never forgotten that movie, although I have forgotten its title.

    Anyhow, Bill, I think your father was what heroes are made of, even if heroes sometimes scare the life out of the rest of their family in their determination to conquer difficulties!

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

      No fear in that man, Sarah. I always admired that.

      As for your alien movie, the plot does not sound familiar to me at all…let me know if you ever think of the title.

      • Sarah Potter Writes June 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

        I’ve just remembered that it was a New Zealand movie, so maybe the title will come back to me soon.

  6. Mike June 27, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    Damn right. Shut the power off. No, wait, that is not the message. Marketing is a stubborn beast. But it has to be done.

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

      LOL…a minor miscalculation on my dad’s part. LOL Thanks for mixing and matching message, Mike.

  7. ericdierker June 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

    Joo joo!! Electrical current is for Wizards and the like. My pappa built most of a big house with grandpa. But neither would do electricity or brick/rock laying. The barter deal took care of that. I remember bringing home four chickens once – the dude could not pay.
    I think during this summer vacation day we will fix up the fence and play adverb and adjective games.
    Thanks for a reminder to get out and get things done – It is the doing of the thing that gives that spice of life.

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      All good points, Eric, and I’m a big fan of bartering. I would have gladly taken those chickens in exchange. 🙂

  8. 1authorcygnetbrown June 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

    The story about your Dad reminds me of something my husband did. He was fixing the clothes dryer (yeah, 220!) and I mentioned to him that he should consider unplugging the machine. He said he would be alright. Next thing I knew he yelled. Yes, he touched the live wire at 220 volts! He was lucky because the exit wound was at his elbow. If it would have been allowed to go past his heart, it would have killed him!

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

      Just one more reason, Donna, why this man will never do electrical work. I’m glad your husband survived that common mistake.

  9. MartieCoetser June 27, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    I am very afraid of electricity, because I know what it feels like when an electric current runs through one’s body. I was 14 when I accidentally step on an open wire. The next moment I found myself sitting on a chair some 6 feet from the open wire, thinking I must have been bitten by a dog.

    I still rely on myself or a friend when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Or at least most of the times. Unfortunately there are things that can only be fixed by a professional.

    This is one of those posts that refresh a reader’s memory.

    • Billybuc June 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

      It’s interesting, Martie, how many of us have experiences with being shocked….hopefully never again for any of us. 🙂 Thanks for being here, Martie!

  10. rollyachabotbooks June 27, 2017 at 11:03 pm #

    Hi Bill… Great article and I can well imagine the trauma of watching your dad being hit hard by the unseen. I can laugh a little at the memories of much the same happening to me. Since then I have learned to shut it off at the source.
    You are so right about marketing and it is a tough world out there but it is persistence which will pay dividends if we persevere..

    Hugs and Blessings from Alberta

    • Billybuc June 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

      Thanks Rolly! I think I could write a book just about the mistakes I’ve made over time….good to hear from you again, as always.

      hugs from Oly

  11. Linda Lum June 28, 2017 at 12:11 am #

    Bill, you never cease to amaze me. I had no idea where this was going. What a great analogy.

    I was never aware of my Dad doing any electrical (or plumbing) repairs, but I’m sure that he must have, because we never had anyone in to work on the house (and it was built in 1898 so there must have been some issues, don’t you think?)

    This actually makes me think of my dear late father-inlaw, who trained his son (my husband) so very well. I swear that man could do anything! He was MacGyver before there was a MacGyver.

    So now, when something is fixed in one of those amazing, he-used-recycled-things-to-make-this-work sort of ways, we don’t call it MacGyvered (as other people do). We say that it was “Lum-ed”.

    • Billybuc June 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

      Linda, over time I’ve gotten to be like that. I love being able to fix things, in my dad’s footsteps. It really does give me great satisfaction to tackle a problem and see it to conclusion.

      Love the “Lum–ed” reference! Thank you!

  12. Christy B June 28, 2017 at 2:48 am #

    Your post is a refreshing change Bill from the typical author posts that slam social media as being yet another tool we have to use in our marketing plans. I personally find social media to be a huge help in getting out important posts on everything from health to feminism. Thank you for advocating social media too. While it has its downsides it’s free and as you say we often have small budgets (if any at all) for marketing. Hope you’re doing well!

    • Billybuc June 28, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

      Thank you Christy! I think the only time I get tired of social media as a marketing tool is when it is greatly overdone, and there are some who do that…daily reminders of a new book, or a musical venue they are playing at. But most definitely, as a marketing tool, it has great value.

      Hugs from Oly

  13. June 28, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    Sweeeettt!! Most charming and elegantly written in the way of wisdom.

    • Billybuc June 28, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

      Thank you Manatita! It’s rare someone says I’m sweet. LOL

  14. phoenix2327 June 28, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    Bill, your story reminded me of my father-in-law. It’s sound like they came from the same generation: the Great Depression and WWII made for a generation of DIYers.

    One day, my mother-in-law bought a new wardrobe, a flat-pack affair. My father-in-law set to work with his trusty hammer. Yes, he used a hammer to bang the screws in place. That wardrobe stood sturdy till the day he moved into a nursing home. We still don’t how.

    You can’t help but admire their resourcefulness.

    Rainy days expected this week. It’s about time. The grass in our yard was actually crunching beneath my feet. How goes by you?

    • Billybuc June 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

      Great story, Zulma! I love it! Bev actually has repaired our dryer and washer before. It’s almost a contest to see which of us will tackle the next problem. LOL We are well….typical northwest weather, mild, cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. Perfect for me, actually.

      • phoenix2327 June 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

        I don’t suppose Bev can do refrigerators? After 20 years of faithful service, Old Faithful decided to retire a couple of days ago. We’re expecting a new one tomorrow. At least she waited till we got back from holiday. There would have been quite a surprise waiting for us otherwise. 😦

  15. Billybuc June 29, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

    I’d say that was good timing, Zulma. Coming home to rotting food is not a pleasant experience…and no, Bev’s talents do not extend to cooling regulators. 🙂

  16. Shauna L Bowling September 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    :You take after your dad, Bill. You’re doggedly determined.

    I think you have to like marketing in order keep on keeping on. I, for one, don’t like marketing, which is why I failed as a freelance writer. In my first copywriting career decades ago, the writer wrote and the sales department sold. The selling came first, then the writer met with the client, got a feel for their needs and vibe, and took it from there. That was old school. I like old school. Marketing simply wasn’t a new trick this old dog was willing to learn. Thank God I have accounting skills to fall back on!

    • Billybuc September 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      For sure, Sha! As for liking Marketing, there is probably some truth in that. I consider it a game…and since I love competition, looking at it as a game is the only way I can keep doing it. I hate it just like you do, but I also like winning. LOL

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