Finding the good in rejection (especially as a writer)

Keep your tank full; you don't want to run out of gas here.

Keep your tank full; you don’t want to run out of gas here.

When I fell for Sarah Getlost in the fourth grade, I was taking no chances. My father explained to me that women couldn’t resist a man in uniform. He told me this while wearing a white T-shirt, Bermuda shorts and drinking a beer, so I had to take his word for it. My plan was to wait for our little league candy sale and go to her house dressed in my new baseball uniform.

In theory, it was a good plan.

In reality, Sarah Getlost answered the door wearing her new cheerleader outfit, effectively neutralizing me. So, to impress her, I gave her my candy, a new baseball and all of my money. Although I wasn’t immediately rejected, it came swiftly once my mother found out and forced me to return to Sarah’s house to ask for all my stuff back. I don’t remember exactly what I said, only that it was awkward and involved a lot of gulping to keep the bitter taste of rejection from coming back up.

Although I think all that chalk I swallowed in the second grade helped a little.

Rejection is a part of life, particularly for writers. We set ourselves up for potential rejection every time we send out a query, have an article published online or in print, or post something to our blog or social media page. Thanks to the digital age, we have more ways than ever to receive rejection!  Continue reading

When you celebrate your 50th birthday at work

image I’m not sure what my parents were thinking when they had sex 50 years and 9 months ago.

Actually I guess I do, and well… Ewwww.

Anyway, if they had stopped just long enough to glance at a calander for 2016, they would’ve CLEARLY seen that my 50th birthday would probably fall on a work day. And a deadline day no less! Not that they could’ve know that. But why even take the chance?

With a little planning, and some restraint for God’s sake, they could’ve avoided putting me in this situation.

Even our local doughnut shop got in on the act by making this…  Continue reading

Who wore it better? (Don’t bother answering that)

imageAs I warned mentioned on Friday, I was going to be dressing up as Marilyn Monroe on Saturday. Believe it or not, that’s not usually a part of my weekend “to-do” list:

Mow lawn.

Change oil in car.

Give dogs a bath.

Wear high heels and a dress.

However, somehow I got talked into participating in the “Mr. Relay” fundraiser event at our local Relay for Life cancer walk. Given that it was called “Mr. Relay,” I assumed there would be some manliness involved. Maybe some feats of strength. Or a swimsuit competition. Fortunately for me, neither of those were involved because, hey — how embarrassing would THAT be! Haha!

Instead, we were asked to dress as our favorite female movie star or character.  Continue reading

More writing wisdom you won’t actually find in my book

imageWith my new book coming out in little more than a month, it seemed like a good time for another sneak peak at a passage of writing wisdom that isn’t actually in it.

That’s right! If you like what you read here, there’s more where that came from!

Just not in my book.

You may be asking, “Why is he even doing this?”

I know my publisher is.

My hope is that you’ll read what I didn’t include in my book and think to yourself, “Man! If this is the kind of stuff he left out, imagine how much he must be kicking himself for the @#%& he left in!”

Or something like that.

Anyway, as I wait for the final edit to arrive, here’s an excerpt I didn’t include for one reason (beer) or another (vodka)  — but which I wanted to share with you because, as writers, we all need a little encouragement sometimes…  Continue reading

Need advice on having a vasectomy? Don’t ask a man

Hammer and eggs There’s a scene in the movie “Jaws” where the Mayor of Amity Island explains how yelling the word “BARRACUDA” won’t get much reaction on a crowded beach. “But if you yell ‘SHARK’ you’ll have a panic on your hands…”

Keeping that in mind, you’ll have some idea of the reaction you get from most men if you change “shark” to “vasectomy.”

This was the first word out of my radio this morning, and yes, it caught my attention immediately. I had mine 10 years ago after weeks of campaigning from my ex-wife, who had a degree in social work. Because of this, she was trained on how to approach sensitive subject matter. That’s why I was allowed to discover, with no pressure from her whatsoever, that my new place mat at the dinner table was actually a medical brochure titled:

So, You Want To Have a Vasectomy?  
Continue reading

Naturally, I’m dressing as Marilyn Monroe to help fight cancer

imageI don’t have good-looking legs.

Not even in heels, which I have worn during the Men’s March Against Domestic Violence, and also the night I turned 21.

Fortunately, in both cases (Well, one for sure) I had pants on, so other than looking like a standard poodle walking on its hind legs for a dog biscuit, everyone was spared from seeing my hairy stork legs.

To be honest, even a stork would probably wear pants if it had my legs.

However, come Aug. 13, I will jeopardize the vision of hundreds of people at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in my home town by dressing as Marilyn Monroe for the “Mr. Relay” fundraiser.

Naturally, I will be wearing heels. And yes, at some point my skirt will be blown upward, revealing a sight that even Miley Cyrus said “Crosses the line of decency.”  Continue reading

Because she gives me “crazy love”

As I mentioned earlier this week, today I am celebrating the gift of sharing the past eight years with the amazing woman I get to call my wife. We’re keeping a low profile for our anniversary, spending the day in quiet appreciation of each other. However, I wanted to surprise her with this expression of my love, and share with you the many reasons why I treasure her…

Eight years ago tomorrow, I was exactly where I was meant to be

imageEight years ago tomorrow, I stood at the altar, watching as my wife crossed the courtyard toward the church. I remember smiling so much my cheeks hurt; I remember the pride and appreciation I felt knowing I was about to be her husband; and I remember a momentary breeze lifting a strand of hair away from her face, like God’s finger gently brushing it aside as she entered the chapel.

As with any rare occasion when we don’t enter a room together, our eyes found each other immediately. So much was said to each other during that long walk to the altar, not in words, but spoken between our two hearts — in a language we had been fluent in from the moment we met.

Oct. 28, 2006:
My search for a red rose after making the hour-long drive to Salem for our first date had put me behind. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been on a real date in nearly 20 years, had lost 23 pounds since my divorce several months earlier, and was driving a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, I technically had four strikes against me already. Plus, after several weeks of chatting together on Match.com and long evening phone calls, she had finally posted her profile picture. When I saw it, I realized I wasn’t only in danger of striking out before our date even started:

Heck, I was batting out of my league. Continue reading

So, I made a (mostly) serious video for peace

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the privilege of opening “Media Day” for #OURWEEKOFPEACE at The Public Blogger with this video about the responsibility that comes with Freedom of the Press. Here’s the 4-minute video in its entirety…

#OURWEEKOFPEACE continues today with “Education,” and wraps up Saturday, Aug. 6, with “Our Day of Peace,” with live exchanges from around the world at The Public Blogger Facebook page and ThePublicBlogger.com. Join the conversation by throwing your own Peace Sign in the air by leaving a comment, poem, photo or image in support of peace around the world and within our nation.

We need some of that right now…

 

 

I hope you’ll join me for some peace today

imageSeveral weeks ago, Kendall F. Person invited me to be a part of his #OURWEEKOFPEACE at The Public Blogger. The idea was to bring artists, musicians, writers, statesmen, poets and others together to discuss and express their thoughts on the meaning of peace in our world.

Each day has a different theme, culminating this Saturday in a public “Shout Out to Peace,” which is an opportunity for everyone around the world to contribute their voice in their own way, be it through their written word, videos, photography, music or simply by sharing in the day.

Today’s theme is “Media,” and I have the privilege of opening it with a video about the importance of journalism in our democracy — a notion underscored by the fact that our forefathers included Freedom of the Press as part of the First Amendment in our Constitution.  Continue reading