“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” -Yogi Berra Football season is almost upon us, and I am fondly watching my own Oakland Raiders getting into training camp and getting ready for their first official game in September. This, I hope, will be the year that Oakland returns to the playoffs … More Bringing Back the Swagger
I was just out mowing my lawn in the early morning hours, trying to beat the Texas heat, when I heard Billy Joel sing his song, “Piano Man.” If you listen to the words, most of it is about people who wish they were doing something other than what they were doing. Henry David Thoreau … More If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?
I started getting published in the 80s and 90s when I realized it was a simple as one thing: give the editor what they want. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that there were more important things than cashing a paycheck from a publisher. I tell my students there are two good reasons … More First, Find the Fun
“Well, I’m a steamroller, baby, I’m gonna roll all over you…” –James Taylor I tell people that I got the nickname “steamroller” when I was in my graduate studies, but the truth is that I gave myself the title after listening to Mr. Taylor sing his song time and again. The title fit though. I was … More Sometimes You Have To Be a Steamroller
I just got done reading an article about Seth Roberts, the second-year receiver for the Oakland Raiders, my NFL team of choice. Seth Roberts went to a small, no-name college and even though he played well in college ball, he didn’t get drafted by the NFL. He became one of the many undrafted players that … More My Three Keys to Writing Success
Fear is the mind killer. —Dune, Frank Herbert We’re two weeks from wrapping up the fall semester, and my Writing for Publication class is sweating out the likelihood of getting published and getting a passing grade for my class. In the process, we’ve talked a lot about the life of being a writer. “How do … More The Writer’s Secret Weapon
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou has hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also … More Did God Curse Adam, or Bless Him?
They’re words that writers–and their audience–don’t like to hear. It’s when you can’t find the words to put on paper. Dry spell. And I’m facing that’s where I am. Last night I listened to NPR talking about the Giant Sequioas in California, many of them thousands of years old, that are in danger now because … More Dry Spell
OK, I’ll admit that I’ve been stalling. I’ve been hoping that I could make this big splash and announce that I was officially done with my months-long construction bathroom project that started with me clearing out the clog in the pipes of a bathroom sink, led to me tearing out the walls and ended up … More Almost, But Not Quite There
I spent the weekend at my son’s place in Galveston, where among other things, we viewed and discussed his continuing battle to put the final touches on The Price of a Free Lunch, the 11-minute film we did based on one of my short stories this year. Like all of our projects, it was heavily … More Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.