Pre-Father’s Day Funky Friday: Papa Don’t Take No Mess

Scattered across the Interwebs you’ll see a profusion of lame nostalgia from folks who maintain that their childhoods were the most idyllic and utterly perfect because of our borderline neglectful parents, helmetless Big Wheel obstacle courses, afternoons binging on ’60s TV sitcom reruns, hours of Atari and gallons of fully sugared Kool-Aid.

I decline to wax rhapsodic about days past because nostalgia gets us absolutely nowhere as human beings. Nothing was ever as good as you remember it, and the examples people so enthusiastically offer up as “better times” are just the highlights they remember fondly. Mixed in with those amazing examples of freedom and adventure were those days where we said, “I’m bored” one too many times and our moms just locked us out of the house. Continue reading

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May Your Monday Be Neato, Boss and Groovy

A little secret – I get all my best dance moves from Wednesday Addams, who apparently got all her dance moves from James Brown. Evidence here:

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Zoinks! A Big Announcement

 

I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but I’ve decided to forgo any additional work on my second novel and leave Codorus Press.

I appreciate that many of you enjoyed “Immaculate Deception” when it came out back in 2010, but the truth is that on the side sense then I’ve been earning an additional living as a closeted writer of erotic Scooby Doo fan fiction. Continue reading

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Holy Sh*t! OKGo Releases Video Shot in Zero-G

OKGo

It’s only been posted for a few hours, but take three minutes and eight seconds out of your day to view this new morsel of awesomeness from the power pop masterminds OKGo.

The new video is for the song “Upside Down & Inside Out” from their latest album, Hungry Ghosts. Continue reading

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David Bowie: A Cosmic Inspiration

Bowie

So we learned today that David Bowie left us for some transcendental plane. Whether you believe in heaven or not, it’s comforting for me to think that the creative consciousness of this remarkable spirit has burst out into the cosmos and is somehow lingering among us.

Along with all the other fine tributes from folks far more talented than I – Neil Gaiman and Peter Gabriel among them – I have to step in to offer my own small account of how this artist affected me. Continue reading

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5 New Year Resolutions for the Aspiring Freelancer

2016-New-Years-ResolutionWith the new year, lots of folks cast their minds to a life change. For many, that change involves leaving the 9-to-5 working world and becoming a freelancer.

A while back, I was supervising my son at a birthday party for one of his elementary school classmates. The birthday boy’s father and I got to chatting about work, as dads often do in social situations, and he revealed that he was an engineer. He asked what I did, and I told him I was a freelance writer. When he probed for details, I shared my relatively flexible, work-from-home lifestyle as his eyes widened in awe.

“Oh, man! You’re living the dream!”

I demurred, as I often do when confronted with others’ disbelief, because I know in my heart that as good as freelancing sounds to people who don’t do it, it can have some pretty big ups and downs for those of us who make a living without being tethered to a single employer.

Sometimes I’m asked what the “secret” to a freelance career is. Truth: There is no secret. But there are a few commonsense steps you can take to prepare yourself if you’re seriously considering breaking free of the corporate cubical farm and going out on your own. Here, then, are my five things to do before you become a freelancer. Continue reading

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NoNoNoNo: The Tyranny of #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

We’ve now officially passed the middle of what all writers (and exasperated spouses/family of writers) know as National Novel Writing Month. And I have come not to praise this obnoxious exercise in virtual participatory nonsense, but to kill it, burn it, gather the ashes in a bucket and bury them. In a deep, deep hole.

But what is NaNoWriMo, as it is so frequently described and hashtagged by those writers the rest of us just want to punch in the throat? It is a challenge, issued to writers annually by NaNoWriMo.org, to pound out 50,000 words of a novel during November. Continue reading

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Funky Friday: Clinton In the News

Clinton

Been hearing a lot about a certain Clinton testifying before Congress for something or other. Pretty sure it’s not this Clinton, though.

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Novel No. 2’s Soundtrack Takes Shape

tapecollection

Call me an overachiever.

It’s not enough for me to just imagine characters and settings and plot and all the tasty ingredients that typically go into a novel. No, I’ve got to go the extra mile and imagine what those characters are listening to, what music might be playing the background of a given scene and what songs would accompany the film version of the story that I spend years imagining in my head.

And yes, I do it all for you, my beloved readers.

OK, not really. The fact is, I can’t help it. I’m an annoying hipster’s worth of musical knowledge packed into the body of a middle-aged prepster. The combination of the words and the music is just there, and there’s really not much I can do about it. Continue reading

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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Soapbox

Spoiler Alert: This post relates to a political issue. If you would prefer not to hear what I have to say, please move along. Thanks!

Another mass shooting. Another “quiet loner” armed to the gills and packing a gripe about … something. Another 10 people dead for doing nothing more than existing in particular place and an especially unfortunate time.

After years (YEARS!) watching these tragedies take place, then grumbling to myself, hoping they would stop by the time I had kids (those kids are now 8 and 11), then trying to move on, today I finally did something. It was a small thing, yes, but it’s something you and everyone else around you can do, too. I wrote my U.S. senators. I wrote my U.S. congressman. I told them how I thought they were being pathetic little bitches by letting us know their “thoughts and prayers are with the victims,” then not actually doing anything about the root cause, which is that anyone who is so inclined can get a gun in this country, no matter who they are or what they intend to do with it. Continue reading

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