A List Becomes 301 Links in Story — Chapter 1


Finding Ideas Outside of the Box logo 2

That darn imp on my shoulder, the one who got me labeled uncool all through high school is still whispering, talking, shouting really. Now he’s nagging. Go on do it. It’s your blog. You know you want to. It will be more fun than another list. Give folks the value added. Follow your own advice. Put the YOU in what you write.

So here is a story for a Friday written to entertain, amaze, and prove to you that ideas truly are everywhere. [For those of you just tuning in, this is based on the 301 Lists that Darren Rowse’s List Group Writing Project brought together.]

Lizzie Leaves Home

Once upon a time, a little girl looked back upon her life and saw that it was filled with memories of Ducky Moments in time. Asking herself, “Where is my Ovary?” practicing How to be Charming, making a List of Hello Kitty Vehicles, and the Four most Influential British Prime Ministers, she found that these things did not fulfill her. Not even making a shrine to the Top 10 Lindsay Lohan Oops Moments could bring her up. She left like she was Falling from the Stairway to Heaven.

Her name was Listless Lizzie. She worked with Darren, the Great Writing Project Guy..

Armed only with 14 Amazing Chuck Norris Facts, she felt she had more than Seven signs that you should move to France – or stay at home.

If only Listless Lizzie had also known Seven Things Not to Do on a Plane.

But no, she knew of lists and nothing more.So she packed her lists:.

Just Visiting: Ten Tips for Being an Unforgettable Houseguest We already knew she was unforgettable.

Amusement Park Rules Rules? She thought those were for other people and listless folks don’t feel amused.

Supid Things You Can Do She brought this because she gets bored easily.

Five Ways to Make Yourself Miserable She heard misery loved company. Perhaps she’d find a friend who’d read this.

Some of the Worst Filler Songs of All Time If push came to shove she might choose death by music.

Why Starting Over is a A Good Thing Because under all, she was an optimist.

So call her Dorothy and send her to OZ , , , she’s got links to go before she gets to go home.

These and a taxi got her to the airport.

Listless Lizzie and Her Lists in Transit

She managed to make through security without many questions though she got some looks the lists she chose to carryon. In fact, young Lizzie was asked to hand over Three Reasons Why I don’t Give Good Comment, the Top Ten Janeane Garofalo Mistakes, Strategies for online reputation monitoring, and the 5 Most Trivial “How to” Searches in Search Engine. Those were considered to be international security risks. So they were kept in the airport from which she was leaving.

As she settled into her seat, the little girl, took out lists she hoped would help her when she landed before she started life as a money mogul. First she read Make People Always Remember You and How I am Going to Get What I Want. Then as the journey wore on she got distracted by what she thought of as The Top Ten Traumas of My Childhood, which morphed into 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self and that turned in 9 Weird Words that Amuse Me.

Just then a flight attendent walking by, stopped to ask whether she had seen the new list 5 Ways to get back in your skinny Jeans.

To which our leading lady replied, “Sugar, I never outgrew them.” Then she flashed him a big blue-eyed girlfriend grin, while handing him The Top 10 of Top 10’s, 6 Steps to becoming a techie bride, Top 5 Look-a-Likes, and How to be a Movie Star and/or Cult Leader. All of those years in pubishing had made her a quick judge of what was perfect for any reader. He was like a little boy on his birthday morning.

And she went back to reading her lists for France.

France vc Allemagne: les 6 points forts de chaque pays/the 6 key points for each country She skimmed this one.

10 Ways to Improve Your Golf Game She read this one for a friend.

Top 10 Wine Myths She wanted to know if she’d heard any of them.

Getting Better with Age She had thought this was also about the wine.

Then she settled back to read “10 Rules to Live By.” She knew she would be looking for new neighbors maybe that list would help.

Now, if only she could find a list or two about making money. . .

MORE ON THAT IN CHAPTER 2————————————coming soon

–ME “Liz” Strauss

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301 Links in Story — Chapter 2 Lizzie Meets Fred

The Problem with Writing . . . 25 Things to Know BEFORE You Write for a Living
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  1. says

    Hi Liz,

    It’s also intriguing to see that a life can be chronicled through a series of links. Now I see where your varied knowledge comes from! 😀

  2. says

    It’s fun to tell stories. The challenge here is to tell a story that fits this weird conglomeration of links. I had to do some real planning to get this one going. Building the links alone takes forever!

  3. says

    3 Reasons Why Lists Backfire:

    (1) too long a list (583 ways to improve your sidebar)

    (two) not enlightening, poorly conceived, bad writing

    (III) list topic not relevant, original, or credible (7 Reasons Why Air is Unnecessary, 4 Painful Aspects of Full Head Transplants, 12 New Users for Soiled Potholders, 7 Most Effective Starve Yourself to Death with Water and Dirt Diet Systems)

  4. says

    It happened to come at a time when I’d finishe my work and I had the time. I couldn’t help myself. Your smile in the morning is making it worth it.

  5. says

    I love your III list of why lists are irrelevant. I think you should make a list of them and turn that into a post. I’m still laughing at all of them :)

  6. says

    Hey Liz,

    How do you do it?

    I did an actual “list” of relevant work at home links (54) for my follow up post and just getting them together took a good amount of time.

    Then came all the compiling, etc before I thought about publishing, that took HOURS.

    Then you go write a story, above an beyond what I did?

  7. says

    What a fun way to share links! Thanks for mentioning mine.

    Had to chuckle, though, when I learned my post was an international risk. This is how threatening I am in real life: I went thru airport security once with a friend. When he made the machine beep they jerked him to the side and scanned every inch of him. When I walked thru it beeped, too, but they took one look at me, waved me on and said, “Must be a hair barrette or something.”

  8. says

    Hi Musing!
    Welcome! Thanks for joining in the fun by sharing your story of international espionage. I’m working on Chapter 2 at this very minute. The responsse to Chapter 1 has been very inspiring.

    Hair barette . . .sure. :)


  9. says

    I did a test of using a 101 list and haven’t seen the benefits that some bloggers speak about:

    I suppose that one of the benefits of lists is that you are giving someone instruction on concise bullets with an expectation of how many steps it takes to complete. For our busy world, sometimes that’s just what we need.

    I’ve got a couple lists (outside the 101) that are simple check-off lists for bloggers or WordPress users. I think folks have liked them because they are easy to remember, easy to follow, and simple.

    I would love for you to follow up with some information on what the impact of this post was with respect to organic search results.

    Very creative. Thanks!

  10. says

    Hi Doug,
    I have quite a few checklists that are of the nature you describe and I use them myself. I think that people find them useful and they’re very popular on the blog. They also get good Google traffic.

    I’ve never taken seriously the 101 thing, because I could never come up with a serious situation in which as a customer or a marketer that I would actually search in that fashion, nor could I ever find a person who said they would either.

    I wonder if you have misunderstood the purpose of this post. It is solely here to do three things:
    1. to entertain my readers
    2. to give links to all who participated in Darren’s writing project.
    3. to challenge myself to see whether I could make even reasonably coherent fiction from such a wildly random list of lists, i.e. just for fun.

    I had no real belief that anyone would ever search for this.

    If folks do, I’m happy to tell you what they search for that gets them here. :)


  11. says

    Hi John,
    Thank you for your support. I really need it at this point. :)

    Lizzie is a hard one to keep in one place for very long and these lists are quite the challenge to get into a story form.

    Who would’ve guessed this would be how I’d be spending my weekend?

    PS. I’m looking forward to finding out how I’ll fit your list and all of the others into the story too! :)

  12. says

    Wow Liz, what a job you did here. Congrats.
    I was even lucky enough to get a website up in the 301 listing.

    Now, would it be etiquitted :)… for me to post these 301 links on my site? It’s a fairly new site,


  13. says

    Thank you. The story is not even half over. So there’s not nearly 301 links there — yet. :)

    I’m not sure what you’re asking in your question. Email me at lizsun 2 at gmail dot com.

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