Month: December 2011

Saint Nicholas on the Roof – BestBuys down the chimney

A short post holiday blog.

There was an annoying commercial that ran for about two weeks before Christmas, and then it vanished when the company ended up making a terrible mistake.

Here’s are my thoughts on it.

First off, one of the earliest legends of Saint Nicholas comes from three young women needing dowry moneys before they could be wed. In one version of the tale hearing of their need Nicholas left a bag of gold just inside the door of two of the girls, and the third girl the door was locked and so he climbed to the roof and dropped the bag down through the chimney.

Another version of the story has him tossing the money in through a window and it lands mysteriously in a stocking hanging to dry over the mantel.

Whether the story is true or exactly how it happened, Nicholas did it out of caring for people who had nothing. He heard of a need and provided for it.

So Santa Clause visits and comes down the chimney with gifts… (side thought: Nicholas didn’t have a naught or nice list… just a list of those in need.)

Anyway, the point at hand…

BestBuys produced a series of commercials this holiday season. At least two that I saw, but only one matters.

After ordering online, a mother has come into the store to pick up her purchases, and is amazed by this…

“Looks like Santa’s got some competition this year?” The sales clerk says, and the mother agrees.

Cut to Christmas Eve and the mother is standing on the roof (or in the other commercial standing by the tree) when Santa Claus arrives. She’s holding her own gifts and laughs at the jolly ol’elf, as if saying ‘I beat you’. She even frightens Santa when she kicks a light up likeness off him off the roof.

What is the point of this commercial? What did she win?

Does she think she’s in a competition with Santa for her children’s love? That’s extremely sad.

Nicholas helped children or gave them what they needed, because it was the right thing to do. Parents give gifts because they love their children, not because of some sick competition.

I had already thought up this blog before other news broke just before Christmas…

Bestbuys was having to cancel orders that had been made online going all the way back to Thanksgiving because they didn’t have enough of the merchandise.

The above ad suddenly vanished when this news was announced.  (The ad no longer appears on YouTube.)

May we all remember Nicholas’ caring service to others, and live it through this New Year.

Blessed Christmas to you all.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity.

A Bad Review can be Good.

The other evening I received a review of my novel.

It was my second review, and it was the worst so far. It gave the novel a two star rating. As you would expect, I was hurt and disappointed by such a review. Yet, over the next hour I was able to read through and digest everything the reviewer said, and quickly came to the conclusion that it really wasn’t a bad thing.

Yes, I know it’s hard to take when someone tells you they don’t like your work and then goes on tell you everything that you did wrong. It hurts. Yet, it’s a pain like growing pains.

It’s like getting a big red F (okay, D) on a test in school after staying up all night studying for it. It hurts, but its not that they want to give you a bad grade. What the teacher and the reviewer want is to get you to do a good job. They want you to succeed.

The reviewer is looking for a really good read and hopes your book is the one.

Remember that the reviewer took his or her precious time to read the book. The reviewer took more time to write a review and explain what they think is wrong with it, what you can do better. They did it because they really want to like the book.

The next day I wrote the reviewer a thank you letter. Yes, you heard me right, I wrote to thank them for giving me a 2 star review. I told them that it was greatly appreciated, and that I would take what they wrote to heart. I would learn from it and use their review to improve the writing of my next novel.

They wrote back, wishing me success on my next novel.

If that wasn’t enough, only hours after receiving the review, I was informed that another website liked my novel enough to post it on their page to help in the promotion. Then a day later another review was posted, and this one gave me 4 stars.

That is another lesson; everyone has their own likes and dislikes, their own opinions of your work. Don’t take the poor ones too harshly, and don’t get too thrilled about the good ones.

Do your absolute best. Those that like what you do will find you and those that don’t it will help you get better.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

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