Surprise

Half Century Surprise

I really like surprises. Unfortunately, being both a curious and hyper-observant person, I tend to see most things coming, and from quite a distance.

For my readers who are unaware, I turn fifty next month. At approximately 9:40pm central time on December 12th, I will complete my fiftieth trip around the sun. I can appreciate the idea about birthdays being a fairly arbitrary thing to celebrate, but society will do what society wants to do.

From my inherently intuitive perspective, milestone birthdays are absolutely the worst time to try and plan a surprise for anyone. Even those folks who are considered “easy-to-surprise,” will be on high alert when such an event is coming up.

When I was sixteen, I thought someone in my world might try and pull off a surprise, but 12-12-85 came and went without any flipping on of lights followed by familiar screams. […]

Podcast

And Now For Something Completely Different

If you’ve ever watched Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then you know where from the title comes. For more than four years, the pages of this blog have been filled with mostly writing, and a smattering of video. Today I bring you something else entirely, a serial story podcast.

Earlier this year I began doing some performance work with a new creative group called Cartage Theatre which produces live radio plays complete with hands-on sound effects.

This experience led to me being asked to perform on a this serial podcast about a gumshoe detective named Samwell Sift in a zombie apocalypse. We rehearsed and recorded this summer, and now it is available to listen on several platforms (see links below). […]

Tools

Tools Of The Trade

This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series of guest posts. I often see great stories out in the world, and I am going to make an effort to bring as many of them to you as possible.

I met Scott Coene at Harris Hill Elementary School more than four decades ago. He and I were never great friends, but we’ve never had a beef with each other either. It is one of those casual friendships that has literally stood the test of time.

Scott runs a baseball bat company called Powerhouse Bats, out of his garage in Irondequoit, NY. After long days at his “real job,” Scott makes personalized custom wood bats, one at a time, mostly for little league and high school players all over the country. […]

Campfire

The Last Campfire

Writing is funny. Sometimes when I set out to tell a story, it comes out exactly as I expect. Other times, writing is a bit like a dowser with a divining rod. You know something is out there, but you’re not exactly sure where or what. Last week I was asked by an online magazine[…]

Texas

Texas Toast

In June of 2013 I was scheduled to run a trade show booth at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio, Texas. At the time I was working for a small educational software developer, and we were right on the cusp of some pretty dramatic success. This show was to be an important step in that process.

When you work for a small company trade show budgets are very small, forcing you to make do with nothing but a few bucks and your wits. You stay in hotels with free breakfast, you eat inexpensive fast food, you don’t expense adult beverages, and when given the choice of a cab or an invigorating walk… you walk. I flew Southwest, so the entire “booth” was stuffed into my two “free” checked bags. […]