Tag Archives: self-help

Just Get Over It!

Pulltight Hill

Pulltight Hill…on a CLEAR day!

Since I’ve been cycling a lot more than writing, I thought I’d take time to share my recent ride and how it’s comparable to writing.

But first, let me give you some back story. This coming Saturday, I’ll be riding with a bunch of other crazy folks who think that grinding gears for 100 miles is “fun.” Well, it is if you adhere to the adage “misery loves company.” And the main reason I’m doing this is so I’ll be in top shape for the 100 mile fundraiser I’m doing September 21st. If you’re curious about the event and would even like to contribute, then please go to JDRF.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s refocus on last Saturday’s ride. The goal was 75, which I’ve already done, so this was simply to maintain endurance. However, at our refueling stop at mile-marker 40, my riding partner, James, announces to some local farmers that we’re doing 80. I cringe. I know 5 extra miles doesn’t sound like a big deal, but that wee bit can usher in disaster and misfortune. Fortunately the weather was overcast and cool by Tennessee’s standards, but we still had 2 big hills to climb, one of which–Pulltight Hill–we’d never ridden before.

Not being one to back down from a challenge, even one from a zealous friend, I set off with James in the mist. We joke how we have to do 80 or else those farmers will hunt us down with their 4×4’s or Tweet snide comments.

At around the 55 mile mark, we reach Pulltight and start our ascent. James, who is a much stronger rider than I am, makes some upbeat comment about taking it easy while scooting up the incline with the ease of a mountain goat. I’m more like an old mule plodding, groaning and making funny noises as I breathe.

When I reach the top, James is snapping pics and blabbing stuff like, “THAT wasn’t so bad!” I was too busy coughing up lung and sucking my water bottle to reply.

We roll on and the mist turns to rain, which makes drafting a nightmare. When we hit the 65 mile mark, we’ve ridden out of the rain and discuss route options in order to reach our goal of 80.

At this point, I’m not feeling so good. At the time, I just thought I was having an off day. But as this is Tuesday and I still have a sour tummy, I think I had a stomach bug. All of which is important to what happens next.

As we head up the last big climb of the day, I get light-headed, lose focus and wreck. James races back and is horrified at the sight. I’m sprawled in a rocky ditch near a metal drainage pipe. He told me later that he expected to see blood spurting everywhere and having to dial 911. As for me, I was just relieved he didn’t have to do mouth-to-mouth!

Thankfully, no, actually miraculously, my helmet and left hip took the blunt of the fall, and aside from some cuts, strawberries and my woozy head, I was okay. Even my bike survived; only the front wheel needing to be trued.

I steel myself, climb back on, and we finish the ride. No, we didn’t reach 80 (I ended up with 76) but it would indeed be the ride, or wreck, to talk about for some time.

All of that to say that writing books is an endurance event. It takes a ton of hard work, a boat-load of dedication, some days suck, and you will wreck. But you don’t quit and you hunger to be better, and the only way to improve IS to write (bike) with those stronger and better than you.

So you climb back into the saddle, grind over the next hill, and hope the downhill leads to a better tomorrow. And despite the misery and frustration, the setbacks and rainy days, there’s one truth that keeps you spinning along.

You really do love it.


Three Rules To Writing

If life is a river, then I’m body surfing white rapids!

Work is SO busy that I hardly have time for anything else, but has that ever slowed me down? Of course not. I simply pick up the pace, sleep less and wonder why everyone is so irritable (after all, it ain’t me!)

Crammed into the work week is my training for a 100 mile bike ride to raise $$ for juvenile diabetes (JDRF) I log 150 miles a week which takes a ton-o-time and energy. And yeah, that was a plug to see if you’d consider donating or at least cheer me on.

That would be enough, right? BUT NO! I’m also working on Book III of my War of Whispers series. When? Well, that’s a silly question! Naturally this is done before sunrise. DUH!

So it’s little wonder that blog and Twitter posts have fallen by the wayside.

Nevertheless, I’m squeezing one out this morn and wanted to share a quest post I did for Jill Edmondson’s Blog.

I shared my experience with characterization and referenced Tears of Min Brock. Yeah, it’s a shameless plug for my book, but ‘ya gotta do whatcha gotta do! I hope you check it out and let me know what you think. Kinda bummed she posted the old cover for Tears and not the new one, but those things happen.

That’s it for now. After all, it’s 4AM and I’ve gotta pack my lunch before I bike @ 6 so I can run to work and get to Saturday in order to bike which leads to Monday when it starts all over again and…and…and…


To Be “That Guy”

I wanted to share one of my favorite short stories, The Window by G.W. Target.

This was the only online version I could find that wasn’t rewritten and that also captured the heart of Target’s story.  I’m still amazed at how much he packs into this short tale, the ole “less is more” adage, as well as how many applications it has, too.

Every time I read it, I come to the same conclusion: I want to be as selfless as the first man by the window. Unfortunately, I’m too much like the other fellow. Of course, we all have to start somewhere in regards to personal change and revelation which, hopefully, leads to life revolution. Besides, if I trumpet something to the effect that “I’m very much like that first guy,” well, it’s sorta like confiding that you’re a humble person, isn’t it??

Anyway, I hope you enjoy The Window and that it gets inside your psyche and makes you squirm…in a good way. 🙂


“Let’s Get Visible”-My Thoughts

Let's Get VisibleI’ve been following David Gaughran’s blog for some time, primarily because he is experienced, straightforward and insightful.

So when his marketing book came out, Let’s Get Visible, I grabbed it.

David’s writing style is crisp and conversational, making this book easy to read and comprehend.

As far as content, the book is packed with useful information and isn’t just re-prints of past blog posts. You’ll also get a good understanding of Amazon’s algorithms along with links to helpful sites/resources. My only gripe is that if you’re not planning on going with Amazon’s KDP, which I’m not, then there are sections that won’t be applicable.

Nevertheless, Let’s Get Visible is a great resource to have as an indie author. In fact, I’m excited to give some of his suggestions a whirl.

What have you tried to promote your books?


Missing You…

BWD Kitchen

One of Tom’s remodeled kitchens

I’m taking a break from posting about writing books in order to jot about something of more importance.

Friendship.

I didn’t know Tom that well (not his real name,) but we immediately connected. Perhaps it was because we were both retired dinosaurs from the music biz; he, the drummer, and I, the bassist. Maybe it was how we were wired: artistic, perfectionist men prone to depression.

Funny thing is, I didn’t realize Tom struggled with depression until I was at his funeral. As friends and family paid homage, the topic was discussed, and I quickly realized that those closest to Tom were unaware of how dark his last days were. Suddenly, depression wasn’t a laughing matter.

To this day, I’m still shocked Tom took his life. As a designer, he was stellar. Take a look at the picture above. Pure artistry! The man was winning awards left and right. In regards to business, he was professional, expected the best, and delivered beyond a client’s expectations.

And yet, he was troubled.

His wife called me the other day to get tax information. Pain still tinged her voice. Christmas must have been hell. I did my best to console her without reopening wounds. I offered her any business help I could and told her I would continue to pray for her, their son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. Not much of an answer to one with so many unanswered questions. But I had to say something. I had to connect.

Like most survivors of suicides, I wondered if there was something I could have done differently to save Tom’s life. Did I miss the sadness behind a joke? Was his serious demeanor due to business woes or something worse?

To be honest, I know there was nothing I could have done. Our relationship was only business and we’d only known each other for a few months. Judging by the comments after the funeral, no one saw this coming. And yet, I still wonder, and wonder, and wonder…

So what’s my point?  If you’re like me, my life is way too fast. I spend too much time maintaining shallow relationships on social media only to discover I’m loosing touch with my humanity, as well as my real friends.

So this morn, let me prescribe the following…

To those of us who struggle with depression, step away from social media and go have coffee with a friend. Listen to what they’re saying, to what they’re not saying, and then share your heart.

Laugh. Cry. Smile. CONNECT.

For those of you who don’t battle the “black dog,” get out of social media and go have coffee with a friend. Listen to what they’re saying, and to what they’re not saying…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a phone call to make.

I need to have lunch with a friend.


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