Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beware of the Can'ts, They're Contagious

Can'ts are like flu viruses.  They're highly contagious.  If you're not careful, you may end up sick.  Use caution when you encounter someone suffering from "can'ts" disease.  They're usually stuck living in the past and have trouble moving forward.  Here are some familiar symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Slumped shoulders
  • Tardiness
  • Poor work performance
  • Negative attitude
You can spot these victims by listening to their words which are highly toxic and can spread rapidly throughout organizations if they're not quarantined.   If you listen to what these victims say, you will hear the word can't spew from their mouth.  It sounds like this:

"I can't do that because I'm blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."  The blahs are the excuses they spit out about their can'ts disease.  They say they're too young, too old, too poor, too busy, too tired or too weak to handle the task at hand.

Immunize yourself.  Stay away from the can'ts sufferers.  If you must be around them, show them by your own example how easy it is to be cured.  It's simple – remove the 't from can't.  Can't becomes can.  The symptoms disappear.  Victims are suddenly able to become unstuck.  Companies thrive.  Maybe we should offer tee shirts for those who overcome can'ts disease.  How about something like, "I'm a can'ts survivor."  What a way to spread the cure to others.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Are You Smarter than a Debt Collector?

One of the most important lessons I've learned about dealing with third party debt collectors is the rules of engagement.  Most people in the business rely on your lack of understanding.  They harass you by calling at inappropriate times or too frequently.  They say inappropriate things to scare you into submission.  Hiding from them is not the best solution.  You must become smarter than a debt collector.

Bad things happen to good people.  So do good things.  A zombie debt buyer recently hired a zombie third party debt collector to shake me down.  I sent a certified letter to the zombie and let him know I know the rules.  It's like opening a window and letting the light shine on a vampire.  They flee back into the darkness as long as you know how to respond.  The best place to start is by reading the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  I quoted the FDCPA in my letter.  The zombie responded within twenty-four hours that the account is closed.  I'll share more in my next book.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Break the Bad Habits

Got bad habits?  Me, too.  The best way I know to break the bad habits is to make better ones.  Focus on the new better habits and old bad habits will eventually go away.  It's impossible to be moving and be still at the same time.  It's impossible to be in the dark when you turn the light on.  It's impossible to be overweight when you make healthy food choices and exercise regularly.  Put all your energy into your new habits and you will create a new you.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Who Do You Trust?

If you have trust issues, I can relate.  I work hard to avoid the trap of being fooled twice.  It comes from the quote, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  Most of my trust issues come from banks.  They can say the same thing about me.  It's been an interesting relationship.  In the beginning, they trusted me.  When others began defaulting, they got scared.  They withdrew open lines of credit I set up as a security net.  That made the fall painful when I hit the concrete.  There was no one to catch me.

On closer examination, I find the root of my trust issues are related to one specific area of my life in my relationship with God – money.  It was the last thing I surrendered.  I held on because I wanted to control my finances.  This part of my life didn't improve until I let go.  It's scary.  But God is always there to catch me.  I trust God 100%.  Who do you trust?  Have a great day.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Prepare to Win

Most people aren't willing to do what it takes to win.  It's all about the preparation.  It's about will power.  If you can plan every detail in your head before the battle starts, you have a fighting chance.  Don't take anything for granted.  Study.  Learn everything about your opponent.  The victor is the one who enters the arena with a plan to succeed against all odds.  There are no short cuts.  Be prepared.  Have a geat day.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Inspiration Through Fermentation

I shot this picture yesterday while on assignment at my day job.  Mike Vincent, the owner of Wooden Wheel Vineyards, gave me and my buddy a tour of his winery, one of one hundred in the state of Iowa.  Mike and his wife, Connie, are fifth generation land owners in Keota, Iowa.  It all started when Mike's great-great grandmother, Isabella Clark Wright, received the farm as a land great from the US Government because her father was a veteran of the War of 1812.  She learned about the Iowa land opportunity from her brother and rushed to get the paperwork completed shortly before her 18th birthday when her eligibility was about to expire.

There are three hundred vineyards in the state of Iowa.  Fertile soil and abundant rainfall are fine ingredients for entrepreneurs like Mike and Connie to grow their business.  I can't wait to return to Keota with my wife to sample the Vincent's inspiration through fermentation.  Click here to learn more about Wooden Wheel Vineyards.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Have Fun Downsizing Your Debt

Happiness doesn't come from the size of your bank account.  It's a state of mind.  The same is true when your finances are upside down and out of control.  Your attitude determines just how much abundance you really have.  I choose to make debt reduction a fun activity rather than a chore.  It works.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Cut the cable and replace TV time with game time.  Solve puzzles together.  Play Scrabble.  When I called to cancel several months ago I told the rep I was downsizing.  Instead of losing me, they offered to reduce my channels and lower my bill to $13/mo.  When the free movie previews are playing, we record all the best shows and save them for a rainy day. 
  2. Make do-it-yourself desserts.  They're cheaper, tastier and wallet friendly.
  3. Skip the cell phone upgrade.  Those two year plans include a fee for your new phone.  Your cell phone provider won't reduce your bill automatically if you stick with your old phone at the end of the contract.  Call them when your contract expires and tell them you want a better deal.  I'm saving $25 per month by holding on to my old phone.
  4. Add photos from your next vacation spot to your calendar and put a coffee can next to the pictures.  Put your loose change in the coffee can.  It adds up to a fantastic vacation.
  5. Check out your local library for movie night.  We pay $1 for our movies and $2 when we feel like splurging on a new release.
Please share your tips for making debt reduction fun in your family.  I'm looking forward to reading your comments.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's Time to Kick the Football, Charlie Brown

Can you relate to Charlie Brown?  The poor guy's been harassed long enough.  Lucy looks so innocent with her big smile but she can't help herself.  She's been taunting Charlie with her shenanigans since the 1950's.  This nightmare scenario reminds me of my own personal struggle to kick the habit.  For me, credit card spending is like nicotine.  I'm Charlie Brown.  My football is financial independence.  And Lucy represents all the bullies standing in the way.  I couldn't resist her tantalizing credit card offers with no annual fees and 0% interest.  She seduced me with increased credit limits.  When I decided it was finally time to stop the chicanery, she stole the football before I could kick it.  She laughed at me while I was flat on my back.  It seemed impossible to win.  Lucy had a team of lawyers and third party debt collectors standing behind her to keep the odds in her favor.  I went off the grid and did something while Lucy wasn't looking.  I changed the rules of engagement.  You can read all about it when I publish "Break the Chains of Debt Bondage."

For all the Charlie Browns in the world who are sick and tired of losing, I have something to say.  "It's time to kick the football.  It's time to kick the habit.  It's time to break the chains of debt bondage.  RIP, Lucy.  You're at the end of your comic strip.  Good grief!"

The book will be released when I end my addiction to credit cards, no thanks to Lucy and her thugs.  The pain of withdrawals is almost over.  May it inspire others to move on without anyone to intimidate them.  If you know someone who is struggling with debt, please share this story.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Remember the Why Questions

Do you ever wonder why you do the things you do?  The why questions help you get to the heart of the matter.  They help you define your purpose.  If you dig deep enough you may find the answer to another question:  who are you?  Do you know the answers?  Without these answers you may not be willing to keep doing "your thing."  You may give up to soon.  You may be influenced by criticism.  Fear of failure will creep in.  You won't take chances.  You will become risk averse.  Your life will be mediocre at best.  Challenge yourself to ask the why questions.  Sorry.  I don't have the answers.   This is your journey.  All I can offer you today is some advice.  Remember the why questions.  Keep asking.  Find your purpose.  And when you do, don't ever stop doing your thing.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Father's Day Fishing Story

Happy Father's Day to all the dads.  What a blessing it is to be celebrating the first day of summer, the longest day of the year and Father's Day today.  I'm remembering the first day I took our kids fishing at Kinze's pond in Iowa with my father-in-law.  It didn't matter that the biggest fish caught was merely four inches long.  We created memories that will last a lifetime.

I really like this quote:  Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime.  It summarizes the essence of fatherhood.  My dad and my father-in-law are both in Heaven now.  They passed the fishing pole to me and I've handed it off to our children.  Their fishing expeditions are taking them to watering holes far away from Kinze's pond and they are well-equipped to eat for a lifetime because they learned to fish for dreams.  That's why I'm smiling today.  I'm savoring fond memories like the one pictured above.  There is no greater reward than being a dad.  Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Success is Like a Balance Beam

All the world is watching you.  They see your every move.  Your life is carefully choreographed.  You know what a perfect score looks like because you've visualized your routine thousands of times in your head.  Then it happens.  You fall.  You ask yourself, "why did this have to happen?"  You already know how the the judges will respond.  What you do next will determine how far you will go in life.  This is my area of expertise.  I've fallen more times than Rocky in all his movies put together.  And I know something about the balance beam.  It's easy to blame your mistakes on the balance beam because it's not wide enough.  Or the judges because they come from a country that hates Americans.  Or your nerves because you weren't feeling 100% today.  What's not easy is taking personal responsibility.  It's not easy to get back up and try again.

Success is like a balance beam.  The difference between the winners and the losers is what happens after the fall from grace.  Ask yourself, "is it possible to do a little better today than yesterday?"  And remember only one judge matters.  His name is Jesus.  You were created in his image.  He sacrificed everything so you could have a shot at eternal life.  What are you going to tell Jesus on judgement day?  He's not focused on your falls.  He's been there, done that.  He knows how it feels when the world is against you.  Ask Jesus to help you get back on your feet.  You can do it.  Have a great day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Creativity Needs Intrepidness

Fear of failure is a creativity killer.  It's a show stopper.  You will remain stuck until you find a way to let go of fear.  Fear is a prison cell with no windows of opportunity to see a better world.  Free yourself today.  Try something new.  Take risks.  Your creativity cannot be matched or replaced.  How sad it would be if the world never heard your music, read your book or danced on the dance floor with you because your fear of failure kept you on the sidelines.  Kiss your fears goodbye today and walk away.  Don't look back.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Please Pass the Frugal

Most households don't serve frugal at the supper table.  No, it's not salt and pepper.  it's not a fruit or a vegetable – it's a standard of living.  Dave Ramsey says "it's a choice to live like no one else so you can live like no one else."  I believe more people would opt for frugal if they realized just how good it tastes.  I have a few ideas to spice up your life.

  • Close your eyes while chewing.  Imagine your life without any credit card bills or auto loans.  See yourself taking more vacations.  This is all possible when you change your spending patterns.  Visualizing this will motivate you to skip out on wasteful spending.
  • Sprinkle some frugal on your daily activities.  Make it fun.  I'm recycling cardboard boxes for autographed books.  Not only does this save me money on shipping costs, I hand-craft the cardboard so that when readers open up the package the first thing they see is a a pair of caveman eyes staring at them.  This gives new meaning to frugal.  The feeling is like giving home-made cookies to your neighbors.   
  • Can your coins.  We have a coffee can for our loose change.  Every day we add to our vacation fund.  It adds up.  Just make sure you don't raid the can until vacation time.
Make frugal your mantra.  The next time you're breaking bread with your family, ask them to please pass the frugal.  Share about how more frugal in your family diet will improve your well being.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's Not Over Yet

A new revelation hit me this week like a spark of electricity.  That's what writers need to get their work done.  It started out as a thought slow cooking in a crock pot.  The light bulb moment happened while I was thinking about my target audience for my next book.  So many people find themselves stuck in the mud and they feel hopeless.  I'm referring to debt struggles.  For those who falsely believe there's no escape, I have something to say.  Your conflict doesn't have to end in tragedy.  There's still time to have a happy ending.

Baby elephants in captivity are taught hopelessness.  A leash is tied around their neck and staked to the ground.  They realize they are trapped and give up when they can't break free.  Then they grow up and become strong.  It would be so easy to break free if they tried.  Don't let this happen to you.  You have the power to say, "this is NOT how my story will end.  It's not over yet."  Please don't ever give up.  You are stronger than you think you are.  You can snap the leash around your neck.  You can rip that stake out of the ground.  You can trample the debt monster holding you hostage.  And yes, you can live happily ever after.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Playing Hide and Seek with Serenity

I found her.  Serenity.  She's a worthy competitor.  How ironic she was always so close yet so far away.  It's like trying to find your car keys because you have an important meeting and you tear your home apart only to discover the keys were in your pocket the whole time.  I was playing the game wrong.  My mistake was in my strategy.  My priorities were out of alignment.  I found the missing clue in Matthew 6:33, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Once I followed this advice, it happened.  Serenity appeared out of thin air.

So, what's next?  I'm doing some re-arranging with my next book.  It's going to be out later than I planned but it's going to be better because Serenity is by my side and she's helping me with the fine print.  It turns out Serenity is a fabulous editor.  She keeps whispering in my ear, "God first."  You will see her influence in chapter one and throughout the remaining pages.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It Takes Two to Tango in the Debt Free Dance

Most couples never learn the steps to the debt free dance.  It takes patience, effort and teamwork.  Both partners need to be all in or someone will get his or her toes stepped on.  It's never too late to master the debt free tango.

I'm going to share more on this later.  My dance floor moves need more attention.  The good news is that my dance partner of nearly twenty-six years refuses to give up on me even though I feel like I'm the one in the relationship with the two left feet.  Have a great day.  Remember to dance. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

How I Became a Rabble Rouser Against the Dark Side

Silence is the dark side's favorite weapon.  I'm not wired that way.  You can ask any of my cousins.  If my fifth grade teacher is still alive, she will confirm my status as a rabble rouser.  Her last instruction at the end of the school year was for me and my cohort to take a long summer vacation and get all the talking out of our systems.  I'm still talking.  And I'm still telling stories.  No, the Devil didn't make me do it.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Blame everything on the Holy Spirit.  He's inspiring me to stand up to the Evil One.  The price I'm paying for my activities is high.  That's okay.  Rabble rousing behind enemy lines has fringe benefits.  I like to call these fringe benefits deferred gratification.

Today's story comes with consequences.  I don't care.  I'm not backing down.  So, if you're asking, "how does rabble rousing work?"  Here's my answer, "It's classified."  If I shared everything about my activities, I'd be locked up for good.  This always happens to those who answer the call.  Remember John, the author of the Book of Revelations?  He was one of God's first storytellers.  He got locked up.  Peter, too.  The chains and the prison bars couldn't stop him from talking.  He pulled a Houdini act right in front of the guards and escaped. 

Something bad happened at the mall across the street from my day job a couple of days ago.  An innocent victim was shot and killed in front of a large crowd of shoppers.  The world is sick.  Christians are being slaughtered by the thousands because they refuse to stop talking about Jesus.  The Evil One invaded my blog and disabled my comments button to discourage a two-way conversation.  Maybe He's hoping I'll take a long summer vacation and get all the story-telling out of my system.  That's not gonna happen.  I won't be silenced.  I know how the story ends.  As bad as everything appears in the world today, there's hope.  It's summarized best in two words the Dark Side doesn't want you to believe...  God Wins!  Tell a friend.   Spread the Good News.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Be Bold

It's the only way I know how to live my life.  It works.  There are huge dividends.  But how do you become bold?  The first step is to dream big.  The second step is to focus on the dream.  Block everything else out.  Become deaf to those voices in your head trying to convince you that you have nothing to offer the world.  Become blind to your fears.  Nurture your dream.  Feed it.  Water it.  Give it plenty of sunshine.  And when that dream becomes a giant beanstalk, climb it.  Don't look down.  Look up.  Keep climbing.  And when you reach your dreams, live them.  They are a part of you.  Be bold.  Be yourself.  Have a great day.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Best Day of Your Life

A little gratitude goes a long way.  Four people are getting complimentary copies of my novel this week.  It's my way of saying thanks for their inspiration and their contributions to my own personal journey.  Yes, it's true I'm responsible for the quality of my life.  I know it's up to me to dig deep and keep moving forward on days when my world seems to be falling apart.  I do my best to skip the apologies or excuses.  I avoid blaming others for my mistakes.  If something shows up in your mailbox from the caveman,  please know how thankful I am for your presence in my life.  And if you happen to peer into your mailbox and don't see anything from me this week, be patient.  That's what road trips are for – to deliver your autographed copy in person and give you a hug.

Make this day the day your life really begins.  Your life is your own.  It really is an amazing journey.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why Amazon Reader Reviews are Important

My wife got a little choked up last night when she read Diane's review of my novel on Amazon.  It's what every writer dreams of – to connect with readers through story telling.  Books are like swimming pools.  The guests stand around the pool wondering if they should dive in.  They wait for someone else to tell them the water is refreshing before they enter.  The owner crosses his fingers that everyone will have a positive experience but he can't force anyone to take a swim.

Thank you, Diane.  And thank you, Donna.  Your Amazon reviews are much appreciated.  The pool is open and summer is here.  For those of you who already dipped your toes in the water, please visit Amazon.com and share your review for future readers.  Click here for the link.  Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. 

For those of you who are having difficulty leaving comments on this blog, I apologize.  It looks like the disqus comment system I was using is no longer supported on blogger.  The second problem was with the comment system I set up through Google – it made the comment button disappear.  I removed both yesterday.  The only way I can keep the spammers out is to ask you to please follow the prompts when you want to join the conversation.  Just click on the comment button below.  Note:  If you are the first reader to comment, the button will say "No Comments."  Just click it and navigate through the steps to prove you are not a computer.  Meanwhile, I will keep searching for a better way to open up this blog for comments.  At least Amazon makes it easy for readers to post feedback.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Your Comments are Appreciated

 Editor's Note:  The comments button is experiencing technical difficulties.  I'm working on the problem and hope to have it working soon.

It's been an interesting challenge.  My blog was under attack from the spammers.  They invaded and used the comments section to promote material contrary to what I believe is acceptable for family themes.  The necessary actions I used to thwart their negative behavior made it too difficult for readers to contribute to the conversation.  I think I found a solution.  Yesterday morning I added Google comments below each post.  Please give it a try.  Here's my thought for the day:

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. ~ Matthew 18:20

Would you be the second person to join me in His name today?  If the answer is yes, please add to the conversation.  If you prefer anonymity, that's fine, simply click the like button so I know you are with me in spirit.  There is also a like button on the right margin linked to my FB author page.  Please click it to show your support.  If you leave any questions for me, I will do my best to answer  within twenty-four hours.  Have a great day.  And thank you for contributing to the conversation.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Got Peace?

I'll never forget the wildfire my family and I experienced in California.  Fireballs shot through the air like tiny meteorites with tails that looked like comets.  I sneaked back in to our neighborhood the following morning with my brother-in-law.  The place was like a war zone.  Dense smoke blocked the mountain top where my home stood.  I was sure it was gone.  Twisted steel was all that remained of my next-door neighbor's dwelling.  It was surreal.  The only thing intact was my sense of inner peace.  I headed to church to give prayers of thanksgiving.  I had everything I needed:  my wife, our children, our pets,  and a crate filled with 5,000 love letters my wife and I penned to each other.

Our church was nearly empty.  Most of the people had been evacuated from our community.  When the service was over, I walked outside and checked my voice mail.  A neighbor phoned to tell me her husband, a harbor patrol officer, managed to get past the barricades.  He connected our hoses together and put out spot fires still burning in our yard.  Miraculously, our home was unscathed.   The message didn't change my sense of peace.  It was already present.  Everything else always seems to fall into place when you find your peace, even in the worst of circumstances.

My prayer for you today is that you find peace.  Don't worry about what's going wrong around you.   God is with you in all your trials.  Have a great day.  Peace be with you.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Another Brick in the Wall

It's just another brick in the wall.  An obstacle.  There's a way around it, over it, under it or through it.  You have everything you need to figure out how to overcome it.  You can become a champion on the obstacle course of life.  Or not.  It depends how badly you want what's on the other side.  You decide.  Just don't stare at the bricks too long.  The longer you stare, the bigger those bricks look.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What's on Your Calendar?

The hand-made calendar on my wall covers the next three years.  Each box contains goals and time targets.  The headline on the calendar is from Jeremiah 29:11-13...

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

The subtitle is from 1 Corinthians 13:7...

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

I posted a hand-written statement in the center of the vision board to remind me about my commitment to debt-free living...

Live within your means.

My buddy from California who sold my dad his last automobile taught me this phrase and it's also on my calendar...

"Every day, every time, without fail, no exceptions!!!"

My calendar is meant to be a template for living my life.  There's a heart on it with the words 2 Vacations next to it.  This is one of my favorite items.  The challenge is to tie all these ideas together and make them work in harmony.  There are times when adjustments are necessary to keep my sanity.  So far, so good.  Now it's your turn.  What's on your calendar?  You don't have to share if you don't want to.  The question is for your benefit.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Good Things Happen When You Come Out of Your Shell

I would like to welcome all the new readers who are checking in for the first time.  My writing life is something I kept quiet about, especially during my first three years in Iowa while I was working on my first novel.  Thank you for joining me here on this blog.  I'm getting the hang of shipping for those of you who requested autographed copies from me.  If your packaging looks odd, that's because I'm recycling the cardboard for my books to keep expenses down.  Please let me know if your package arrives safely.

My wife and I just finished a Skype call with our army son and we are happy to report he is enjoying his life overseas.  Have a great day and remember good things happen when you come out of your shell.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Happiness is an Inside Job

There are many things or situations in life you have no control over.  Happiness is not one of them.  Some people I know have a happiness thermostat.  When the temperature gets too hot or too cold, the complaining starts and the happiness fades.  The same is true with the weather.  My happiness thermostat has been tested beyond normal comfort levels.  It's been tested in firestorms.   I'm thankful for one lesson I've learned – happiness is an inside job.

Post this quote on your refrigerator.  Pass it along to a friend.  Be happy.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Are You Ready for the Next Chapter of Your Life?

Warning.  The next chapter of your life may be filled with surprises.  Something happens.  It's different from yesterday.  You've been there, done that.  Why not turn the page?  I believe there are two reasons why you should move on to the next chapter.  The first is hope for gain.  By moving forward, you will meet new people, find new opportunities and improve your life.  The second has to do with fear of loss.   If you choose to keeping re-reading old chapters, you will miss your date with your destiny.  You will die with a sack full of regrets.  Your book of life will be incomplete.

Start your next chapter today.  Don't wait for the perfect time.  There is no perfect time.  Be bold.  Seek adventure.  Change may be painful but it's worth it.  Have a great day.  Happy reading.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fight or Flight?

Kenny Rogers sings, "You have to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."  And those in the animal kingdom instinctively see through the poker face.  Our pets have something to teach us.  We humans probably spend too much time over thinking our options.  There are only two – fight or flight.

Whichever you choose today, make sure you are well-equipped.  Prepare yourself to outrun the fastest lion chasing you down.  And if you find yourself in a situation where aggressive tactics are necessary for survival and you choose to fight, pursue your prey with everything you've got and don't let anything stop you.

My own personal battle is complicated.  It won't be over until I breathe my last breath.  My enemy is invisible to most.  All I can say is I have a secret weapon.  If you find yourself fighting an enemy you cannot see, try this prayer...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Share This Quote with the Love of Your Life

Yes, I do dance to a different rhythm.  My wife is responsible for this.  I hope the song lasts forever.   I've been hearing her music in my head ever since the day I met her.  The quote by Kirk Diedrich summarizes it best.  Share it with the love of your life.  And dance.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 1, 2015

What's Inside the Last Layer of Your Onion?

Sharing doesn't come naturally for me.  I remember pulling over to the side of the road a few times while pondering chapters for my memoir.  The suppressed memories were so overwhelming I felt sick to my stomach.  The same thing happened while penning my first novel.  It didn't matter my characters were fictional.  I felt their pain.  One of my first readers told me he had to close the book and walk away when he began reading my memoir about dad's return home after a long absence.  "Your book brought back memories I didn't want to deal with.  Sorry.  I don't think I can make it to the end," he said. 

Relationships are like layers of an onion.  We are attracted by outward appearances and we want to know more about what's inside.  Fiction is another layer.  It's a form of hiding behind imaginary characters.  Readers are asking, "are these people in your novel real?"  My answers are vague.  All my characters, real or imagined, are in a witness protection program.  That's my onion story.  What matters most to me is that my stories inspire you to share more of yourself with others without being afraid.  Have a great day.