Persistence. Determination. Grit. Fortitude. Tenacity. “Keep on keeping on”.
These words are bandied about by motivational speakers and good-hearted teachers. They are meant to inspire and encourage, to cajole and prod workers and students in their collective pursuit of that most ethereal of platitudes: fulfilling their vision, or dream, of which they hope their life will consist.
As much as it pains me to write the following expression (I am a fastidious adherer to the notion that modern life is no different or difficult – in the important matters – than any other era), I find no other words that would be as readily accepted by the reader as this:
Now More Than Ever.
Now more than ever, our modern generation needs a healthy dose of perseverance.
I have the distinct and genuine honor of instructing college students. To say that I love this opportunity is an understatement. I believe it to be one of the greatest vocations available to mankind, and I approach it with equal measures of humility, preparation and gratitude. READ MORE
“The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”
So shouts Chicken Little, aka Henny Penny, after being struck atop the head by what he thought was a piece of the sky. It turns out that it was nothing more than an acorn, but Chicken Little hadn’t been out much. He was inexperienced in the world of deciduous trees and the effects of gravity upon said trees.
Published in Boston as early as 1840, this centuries old fable accents its central character’s preposterous behavior by naming the secondary characters with nonsensical rhyming names.
Turkey Lurkey is my favorite, but the other barnyard creatures include Foxy Woxy and Loosey Goosey (both obviously named in an era before sexual promiscuity was glamorized and/or precocious adolescents greeted every possible lewd term with a nervous giggle).
All in all, it’s a grand bunch of simple-minded animals that almost get eaten by Foxy Woxy, as he takes advantage of Chicken Little’s manufactured hysteria and leads the group of barnyard fowls to his home for a succulent feast for one. READ MORE
The journey to launch Boy 39 actually began in 2006 on an airplane somewhere over Idaho. I wrote a scene where a teenager walking through a grocery store checkout aisle spends the entire two minutes checking out the cashier, a cute girl with a troubled home. When the boy fails to say anything to the girl, he encounters a smart-aleck kid on the mini-carousel outside the doors to the store. The kid reads the teenage boy’s mind, and asks him why he didn’t ask the girl out for a date. READ MORE
Leah and I were recently in Tokyo, which provided the inspiration for this blog entry. Actually, I thought the picture I took of Tokyo – posted above – was pretty impressive and I wanted to share it with the general public. Which amounts to the dozens of people flocking to my website.
I’m a writer but I’ve never blogged before last week. So, forgive me if I fail to follow the unofficial blogging guidelines. (Or official blogging guidelines – is there a blogging textbook? Blogging class at the community college?)
Tokyo is remarkable. It’s a staggeringly crowded yet impeccably clean place. At least the parts I saw. Everyone told me there is very little crime. I think this might be one reason that Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world. If nobody is afraid of being mugged, that reduces everyone’s stress level. And we all know stress is the real “silent killer”, along with my Aunt Cindy’s breath after second helpings of Uncle Bert’s chili. READ MORE