Seeking Clarity, Maybe Even Peace

**** Hello All, I have been away. Lots of life to attend to. I am beginning to make my way back to doing what I really love --writing and corresponding with you. There's a partial explanation to my absence contained in this blog post. I have also been busy working on a novel (among other creative projects....) I've missed so much my interaction with you, though. I would just like to say thanks for caring, paying attention, reading, sending prayers and love for our … [Read more...]

Dude, Where’s My Graduation Pic?

Flying back from New Mexico last Sunday relishing my newfound recognition of slip faulting, the product of my recently completed Geology 111 class, which constituted the “Final Four” credits that had been standing between me and my Bachelor’s Degree for lo these many decades, I was one proud slamma-mamma-jamma (not so much a summa-cumma-Lawdy) college graduate. Yep, 42 years after an academically challenged 18-year-old first crossed the threshold of an English 101 class … [Read more...]

If He Could Talk to You Today

A year ago today, my little brother J.R. passed away. It was a long, sad, heart wrenching descent into the grips of alcoholism. I know, upbeat topic for today, right? But this week, this week alone, I have had two people who I love very much tell me about their family's heartaches because of addiction. One friend told me her son is in trouble with cocaine. He is a father, with three kids. Another friend was recounting the sadness and horror of losing her nephew to a … [Read more...]

My hair smells like salad dressing…and other downsides to multi-tasking.

Back to reality blew in with a biting, cold vengeance this week, didn’t it? On Monday morning, 10-degrees, I’m stuck in traffic, and can’t figure out why the dumb asses won’t “Close the gap! Close the gap! Move up, you numb nuts!” I’m yelling in my car. I hate it when people won’t move along. I hate it when I become a lunatic. Tuesday morning, at the crack of frigid, I drive to the airport. Nobody “hops” on a plane anymore. I eventually board, take my seat next to … [Read more...]

Boatload of Dreamers

Today is my eldest son, Nathan’s birthday and this year, we have a lot to celebrate. He just sold his first screenplay out in Los Angeles. Yep, Hollywood, the real deal -- writer, director, agents, lawyers, “my people will call your people,” that kind of screenplay. Sounds glamorous, right? Of course it does. And while it touched off a flurry of coast-to-coast woo-hoo texts among our little family that could, with every imaginable emoji following behind it, (my three … [Read more...]

Cue the Puppies

Behold the gatekeepers. The Slice Literary Writers’ Conference I attended in Brooklyn last weekend proved to be an eye opener. It was a privilege honestly, to see and hear first-hand from the real deal in this moving target we call publishing. I refer to them as gatekeepers, not to be churlish, but simply to acknowledge that the agents, editors, publishers and publicists, sitting on panels with their names on poster board table tents in front of them, constituted a … [Read more...]

Be a Badass

Sunrise, August 27, 2014, eastbound U.S. Highway 70, 83MPH en route to Indianapolis and I am a fucking race car driver. It was the music. I was jammin’ out to Crossroads, full blast. Full blast and feeling fine for no apparent reason.  Hell, I was on my way to a video shoot, with four hours on the road, coming and going. But with the sun coming up over church steeples and countless rows of corn flashing by at the speed of, well, 83MPH, and Clapton blaring from my … [Read more...]

What Are You Willing to Risk?

A friend of mine turned 64 this week, said he played the Beatles “Birthday” song in celebration. Cranked it. Probably danced with his baby girl on his hip. He’s a new daddy. Yep, 64 with a six-month-old daughter, his first child. Life is full and good, albeit not exactly what he’d planned, heading into retirement. Oh well. All of this abundance started with him taking a chance. He risked rejection, humiliation, even heartache, just to speak to the cute salesclerk at the … [Read more...]

Don’t Squander Your Greatness

What a week! My inbox has been bursting with so much good will vapor, it’s as fragrant as Bath and Body Works during their 75% off sale. Here’s a sampling of this week’s bouquet: Julie wrote to say she’d forwarded my story  “Same Little Legs Still Carry Me” to her sister, who, God bless her, is not only dealing with the loss of her 25-year-old-daughter, but breast cancer as well. Julie sent it to her sister to remind her of just how strong she really is. I was blown … [Read more...]

Tell ‘Em They Mattered

Pat Conroy tells an interesting story about modesty. He was on a book tour, somewhere in New England, I believe. He said he loved to visit the local indy book stores, to browse, buy some books and to check if his titles were on the shelf. He was quite famous already, The Great Santini, Prince of Tides, South of Broad. You know, that Pat Conroy. He steps up to the register and the store clerk exclaims, “Oh my God, you’re Pat Conroy!” and she immediately runs to the back … [Read more...]