WordPress Wednesday

WordPress Wednesday

24 Days to Success

A practical no nonsense guide to starting an online business!

Many people if asked will say that they want to start a business. It remains a dream for any number of reasons. Popular reasons are I do not know what to do, I cannot sell etc. What if there was a system to show you what to do? The product gives you specific advice and sets a day-by-day schedule which tells you what to do on each day.

I’ll tell you my own story. I am disabled and want to augment my income. As I write this, I am between jobs. I do not have any salary coming in and my capital is eroded due to the market crash. The 24 days to success product has kept me on track. I have a system to follow to build my online business for selling digital products. I have created and launched 2 products but when I read the lesson on day 19, I realized that I had not launched my second eBook correctly. Great, I have a direction to follow.

The 24 days to success product comes in a series of lessons rendered in HTML. No videos therefore your broadband plan will not be strained. I know, you are still wondering, what do you get?

You start with the basics in terms of deciding a product that you want to sell. The focus of the course is on digital products like eBooks. You can also sell fiction but the 24 days to success is geared towards non-fiction especially when it comes to things like promotion techniques. You then need to create the product. This is where the product could do more handholding because getting an idea of what to sell was my first stumbling block. Once I was passed it, things became smoother. The product does have a unique approach when it comes to product creation. I was initially perplexed by it, but it helps when you begin writing because your product is already outlined.

You then launch, rinse and repeat.

This is not a get rich quick product nor does it promise no effort. The amount of work involved is huge.

One warning, do not rush through the days because they appear to be initially simple. Think deeply about what you want to do.

Could I have not learnt all of this for free? Yes, I could after listening to stacks of podcasts, attending webinars and reading articles. However, this is a system that simplifies the entire process. Think about having the right tool for the right job. Suppose you were transporting milk. You could do so in your car with the air conditioner running to keep it cool, but a better option would be to get a truck with a dedicated freezer. The same applies to ice cream trucks. You sell better and faster when you feature your home-made ice cream in a truck as opposed to say delivering boxes by hand.

In summary, use this lockdown period to start a business. It may not be your dream business; you may want to make the next self-driving car but 24 days to success will give you the best teacher of all, experience.

Originally published at



Practical Joke

By Trish Hubschman

April 2020

“911, what is the nature of your emergency?” the operator asked. 

Sharon was frantic.  “My house is on fire. Send somebody quick.”

“Is anybody inside the house?’ said the operator.

“Yes, me,” Sharon shouted. 

The operator didn’t miss a beat.  “Emergency services are on the way, ma’am. Now please separate yourself from the fire zone.”

Sharon rambled off her address to the operator, and then hit the disconnect button. Leisurely, she went outside to stand on the front stoop to await the fire trucks.

Three minutes later, a single truck pulled to the curb.  She was disappointed.  Two men jumped off the side of it, another got out of the cab. Sharon stood watching them, hands on hips. A fire investigator’s car pulled up. Now that was a little better! 

The fire chief made his way up the driveway. The firemen remained by the truck.

“Ma’am?” the chief asked, looking at her skeptically. She stood three steps higher than him. He looked past her at the house. “You did call in an emergency a short while ago to the 911 dispatcher?”  

Excitement rose in Sharon. She wanted to clap her hands.  This was getting good!  “Yes, I did,” she said with a straight face. It wasn’t easy. She was dying to burst into laughter. 

The fire chief inhaled deeply.  “If you’ll show me where the fire is, ma’am, I’m sure we can take care of it.”

Sharon shook her head. She shrugged.  “There isn’t any fire, not anymore.” She gnawed down on her lower lip.  “It must have gone out while I was waiting for you to get here.” The laughter was screaming inside her head. If only she could take a picture of the fire chief’s face! Color was rising in it.

He inhaled again. “You are aware, ma’am, that intentionally reporting a false alarm is fraud and can result in a fine?”

Sharon raised one shoulder. She smiled, but said nothing.  The red-faced fire chief turned and walked away.

. . .

Two weeks later,

David Came home from work and pulled the Lexus SUV into his driveway. He found a police car and fire truck parked at the curb in front of his house.  His first thought was, what had his wife done now? He’d been waiting the past two weeks for a policeman to show up at their door to take her into custody or a ticket to come in mail for her latest joke. Maybe that’s why the authorities were at his home now, but where was Sharon?

He swung his car door open and got out. “Can I help you?” he said to the younger officer.  “I’m David Tanner. I live here.”  He turned and glanced at the house.  “Is there a problem here?” 

The officer, who introduced himself as Leeds, looked uncomfortable.  He held his hat clasped tightly in front of him with both hands.  “I’m afraid there’s been a gas leak in your home, Mr. Tanner,” the young cop said.

No reaction came from David. He just stared blankly at the officer. Leeds lowered his eyes. David had to fight off an urge to smile. He was certain Sharon was behind this. This was one of her practical jokes. So where was she?  “Who called in the emergency, my wife?” David asked.

Leeds shook his head, then glanced to his left. David’s gaze followed. Their next-door neighbor Mrs. Dawson was talking with another police officer.   “Your neighbor phoned in a 911 that your wife collapsed on the front lawn.”  Leeds sounded annoyed. There was more to come. David knew that. His face continued to remain blank.  “Your wife lay on the lawn fifteen minutes or so after collapsing before your neighbor phoned it in. She claimed she wasn’t sure if your wife was playing one of her ‘tricks’ and would jump up any second.”  The officer’s tone was skeptical.

David felt a sick urge to chuckle. He took a deep breath to make sure his voice was steady. “Unfortunately, my wife does have a penchant for playing practical jokes on people, family, friends, neighbors.”

Leeds eyes widened.

At that moment, Eileen Dawson came running over, her hands outstretched. She was followed by another officer.  “Oh, David, I’m so sorry. If I had known Sharon was hurt, I would have called for help more quickly.”

He took both her hands but said nothing in response. He nodded, then directed his next question at the other policeman. He was Leeds partner, Officer Carson.  “Can I go in the house?’

Carson shook his head.  “We have to wait for clearance from the fire department. the gas has to dissipate.” 

David could see that the windows of his house were open.  “I have to find my children, then go see my wife.  What hospital is she in?” he asked Leeds. The officer told him.  David looked back at Carson.  “Am I needed here?”

Carson nodded to his younger partner.  “Officer Leeds will provide you transit to Mercy hospital. Can I have your cell number, Mr. Tanner, so we can keep you apprised on the situation here?”  Carson glanced at the house. David rattled the number off. As he climbed into the front passenger seat of the police cruiser, Eileen Dawson called out to him that she would keep an eye out for the children. David nodded to his neighbor and snapped his seat belt into place.

. . .

His first twenty minutes at Mercy Hospital were spent filling out Admissions papers and giving insurance information.   His children, Ted and Morgan,  were at friends’ houses. ““There’s a situation at the house,” he told each of them. “A gas leak. Under no circumstances are you or your sister to go into the house,” he told his fifteen-year-old son. “Collect Morgan at Diane’s and go to your grandparents.” 

Ted didn’t ask any questions. He was a good kid. He would do what he was told. Morgan asked about her goldfish.  “Do you think Ozzie and Harriet are okay, Dad?  Did the firemen rescue them?”

David didn’t have an answer. “Let’s keep a positive attitude, Morgan,” he told his twelve-year-old daughter. He disconnected the second call and speed-dialled his mother’s cell phone. Janet put him on speaker, so her husband, Albert, could be party to the conversation.

“This one of Sharon games?” his father snapped. 

David didn’t know how to answer that. His parents had their fill of Sharon so called jokes and were fed up. Who wasn’t?  Sharon didn’t mean any harm though.  He had told his parents that enough times. They were tired of hearing it.  

His mother jumped in, chiding her husband for being so brash. “Darling,” his mother began.  “How is Sharon?”

David rushed in with an answer to that.  “I don’t know, Mom.  I haven’t seen her, or a doctor.  I’ll take care of things here. Can you keep an eye out for the kids?”  He relayed his phone calls to the children.  “Just please make sure nobody goes near the house. I’ll be by your place as soon as I can.”  He had to see Sharon first, find out the story, make arrangements for her to see a good therapist. He disconnected the call. 

Officer Leeds appeared. He handed David a cup of coffee.  David took it.  “I have to speak to your wife.” The young policeman’s voice was apologetic. “I have to take her statement regarding this matter,” he added.

David nodded. His lips were pressed tightly together. “You’re not thinking this might have been a suicide attempt?” David asked, his expression grim.  “If Sharon had anything to do with this,” he began, “which I don’t think she did. It would have been meant as a prank, not to hurt or upset anyone, just for a laugh.” David tried to smile but his facial muscles seemed frozen. He changed the subject.  “Did you find out anything about my wife’s condition?”

Leeds took a sip of his coffee before answering.  “Doctor says her condition is stable, which is good, though it doesn’t tell us much,” Leeds said. David agreed.

A few minutes later, David was directed to his wife’s room, Leeds remained in the waiting area. 

David thought she was asleep. He stood beside the bed. There was an oxygen tube up her nose. “The police want to talk to you,” he said. He was frowning down at her.   

Her eyes fluttered open, but she didn’t turn to look at him.  “Mrs. Dawson tried to kill me,” she said.

David released an exasperated sigh.  Is that what you’re going to tell the police?” he asked.

Her head shot to him. Her eyes were pleading.  “You don’t believe me?  Why would I lie about something like that?”

David felt a quick stab of guilt.  “I love you, Shar, but I’m tired of the practical jokes, everyone is.”  He scratched his ear.  “Heck, I can’t even say I understand why they call them practical.”  It was his attempt at a joke and he tried to smile, but neither worked.

Sharon’s eyes burned! “You think I had something to do with this?” she sneered.

He didn’t know what to think. He hoped she had nothing to do with it.  She shook her head, and then chuckled, which both surprised and infuriated him.  “What?” he said

. “You don’t trust me?” she asked, staring directly into his eyes.           “

The policeman who drove me here is outside waiting to speak with you. I’ve got to get to my parents’ house to check on the kids. I’ll try to be back to see you later.” He wanted to add, don’t burn the hospital down in my absence but it died halfway between his brain and his mouth. He turned and left the room, as Officer Leeds was coming in. 

. . .

“What are you going to do about your wife?” Albert fired at his son.   The four of them were sitting at the senior Tanners’ dining table.  Morgan was in the family room watching TV.  David wished Ted was with his sister. 

David sighed.  “Dad! Sharon had nothing to do with what happened today at the house,” he said, shrugging.  “I don’t know how we got a gas leak. The authorities are looking into it.  A few days from now, the matter will be resolved and we can go home.”

“Then what?’ Albert shot.  “Sharon comes home from the hospital and everything goes back as it was, with us having to keep constant watch over our shoulders and be wary of her latest trick.”   Albert’s tone was harsh. David cringed.  Janet patted her husband’s arm.

“I don’t think it’s that bad, Dad,” David defended.

Albert released a huff.  “Either you’re not doing much thinking, David, or you don’t know some of the tricks she’s played on us.”

“Dear?” Janet shot at her husband. “Sharon a sweet woman.”

“I never said she wasn’t sweet or that I don’t have a sense of humor,” Albert protested.  “But some of her pranks go a bit too far and I think David should know about them,” he looked at his wife, and then turned to his son, “if he doesn’t already know.”

Sighing, David sat back in his chair.  “Okay, Dad, I’ll meet your dare.  Enlighten me.” 

Albert smiled.  He took a deep breath and looked at his wife.  “Remember when Sharon called here pretending she was the car dealership where I bought my new wagon? Said they were repossessing it since I’d missed a payment?”

Janet nodded.  “I thought you were going to have a heart attack,” she said.  “You yelled for me to check your payment stubs in the desk drawer, which I did.”  She glanced at her son.  “All was fine with the payments. We still hadn’t realized that Sharon was the caller.”

Albert nodded vigorously.  “I told the alleged customer service person that I was up-to-date with my payments and they should check their own records. You know what your wife did then? She burst into laughter and said something like, of course you are, Dad, you’re not getting forgetful.”

David flipped his hand to his father.  “No harm done, Dad.  Sharon was just keeping check on things.”  Excuse Number one.

“Dad?” Ted piped up.  “How about the time Mom put spicy mustard under my nose when I was sleeping? I woke up gasping. I couldn’t breathe?”

David nodded.  “And we took you to the doctor because of that. Found out you had asthma.” Excuse number two.

“Since everyone else has a story to tell, how about me?” Morgan said from the doorway. 

David’s head shot in that direction. “I’m listening, Morgan,” he replied, though he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear anymore.

“One time, Mom let the air out of Ted’s bike tires. I wasn’t supposed to ride it, but I wanted to go to a friend’s house and I left my bike there a few days before that, so I jumped on Ted’s. His bike is really tall, a ten speeder,” she said to her grandmother.  “When I tried to pedal the bike, it tipped over and I fell onto the cement, hurt my elbow. It was bleeding badly.”  She held up her right elbow. 

David licked his lips. He couldn’t come up with Excuse number three.  Okay, he’d heard enough.  His hands came up in surrender. “I still don’t think Sharon meant any harm, especially to you kids but, since her little pranks bother all of you, I’ll have a word with her about it.”

Albert shook his head.  “You’ll have a ‘word’ with her?” he practically shouted.  His wife was patting his arm.  “What good do you think that would do?’ he snapped.  “She needs professional help. This is serious.”

Janet nodded her agreement to her husband. 

David looked back and forth between his parents. He licked his lips. He was one hundred percent certain that Sharon would never go for that.  “Let me rephrase that,” David said sternly.  “I’ll have a very strong talk with my wife and settle this issue. Mark my words here, all will be fine.” 

. . .

He was back at the hospital two hours later. The lights in the hall had dimmed and it was quieter. David made his way to his wife’s room. Outside the door, there was a commotion going on. The doctor spotted David and made haste to him. “I’m sorry, Mr. Tanner, your wife was acting up, probably side effects to the gas she ingested earlier,” Dr Mack began.  “She was out of control, laughing and trying to pull at the wires to the monitors she was hooked up too.”

What was David to say to that? He doubted Sharon’s behavior had anything to do with the gas leak.  “Did she do any damage to herself?” David asked.

’The doctor shook his head.  “She’s not on life support.  The monitors are simply to facilitate our staff in keeping track of her vital signs. Unfortunately, all the wires are tangled and will be difficult and probably uncomfortable to your wife when we put them back into place,” Dr. Mack explained.    “She also managed to rip the IV line out of her hand causing a deep Laceration and some bleeding,” the doctor added.  David cringed.  “It’s been taken care of, the cut cleaned and your wife restrained.”  The doctor’s spoke in a rush.  “We had to tape her wrists to the metal bedrails.”

David licked his lower lip.  “I see,” was all he could think to say.  “Would it be all right if I speak with my wife?” he asked. 

The doctor nodded.  “Of course, but if she gives you any trouble, just push the button hanging on the bedpost.  That will alert the staff.”

The armed guards and security too, David thought with a chuckle. He pushed the door open.  He had to figure out what to do now. Having a strong talk with her about her actions didn’t seem plausible anymore.

“It was just a joke,” she said.  “I was trying to have some fun.  Nobody has a sense of humor around here.”

What could he say to that?  “I’m sure you’re right,” he replied, pulling a chair up close to the bed.  “I think we need to have a real talk, make some major decisions about the future.”

 Sharon turned her head to stare at him, her eyes wide.  “I had nothing to do with the gas leak, I swear, David,” she protested.

He nodded.  “I’m sure you didn’t but there are some other outstanding issues we have to attend to.”

She knew what that meant! Sharon slumped down on the bed.  “I’m in trouble, aren’t I?’

David smiled.  “That’s one way to look at it. The whole family’s in on it. I can’t get you out of it this time.  Your jokes aren’t funny, Shar. They’re dangerous and hurting the people you love.”

She shook her head vigorously. “No, that’s not it at all. You have to listen to me.”

“But he wasn’t. “For all our sakes, you have to go into therapy,” He said. Sharon didn’t reply. The silence between the two continued. Finally, David slapped his hands down on his knees, slid back his chair and rose. “I’m out of here. When you decide what to do let me know. I’ve got names of some good doctors that can help with your problem.”

Sharon still didn’t say anything. David turned and walked out of the room.


by Trish Hubschman (C 2019)

In print ($9.50) and e-book ($2.99) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.

The e-book is text-to-speech enabled.

Cover image, free text preview, buying links, and more:


Trish Hubschman has three previous Tracy Gayle mysteries in print: The Fire, Unlucky Break, and Stiff Competition (Miss America).

Synopsis of Ratings Game:

The Danny Tide story continues.

Somebody’s trying to kill the rock star’s second wife, talk–show hostess Blair Nelson. Danny and Tracy, now a couple expecting a baby, get pulled into it because Danny finally agrees to do an interview with his ex–wife. She’s been bugging him for a while.

That evening, after a draining day at Blair’s studio, when Danny and Tracy are home in bed, Danny’s phone goes off. It’s his and Blair’s daughter, Liz, announcing that she found her mother unconscious on her bathroom floor. Blair ingested a drug overdose.

Who would want to eliminate the talk show queen, and why? Could the perpetrator be Blair’s housekeeper? Her personal assistant? The owner of the television station? The show’s producer? Even Danny and Liz are on the suspect list.

Everyone had opportunity, but no one has a motive. They’re all devoted to Blair. They need Blair to wake up and give them some answers.

Editing, cover design, print layout, and e-book conversion are by DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, www.dldbooks.com. Cover photo is by Joshua Hanson on Unsplash.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *