I wanted to write today

I found myself wanting to write today. This is something that hasn’t happened in a while. The catalyst was I happened to be washing dishes and my mind started wandering. This is something I picked up from my father. He would wash, I would dry back when we lived together. I may or may not have stuck myself a bit with a knife, which reminded me of a story for another day about washing dishes with my dad. But I digress.

The past two days I had 9 freshmen move in and the 9 returners will be arriving soon. They come from all over the country and world. They come to WV to be part of the legacy we are building with our squad.

I got an email from a recruit last night that had been weighing on my mind. I get ones like this all the time, but the player asked me if I would be interested in recruiting them but understood if not because some coach/person/friend/family member at some point told them they couldn’t play at the next level because of their (insert nonprototypical trait here).

When I am asked about coaching influences, I usually don’t list my dad, but he is as deserving if not more deserving than any coach in my life.

Before we moved from small town Bloomsburg to the regular sized town of Mechanicsburg PA, my dad coached me in soccer. A sport that he really knew nothing about. When we moved, it was too late for him to be a rec league coach so in 3rd grade I found myself playing for the first coach not to be my dad. It was a bad enough experience that I almost gave up the sport permanently.

Going into 4th grade, my dad took up his coaching ways again. Later in life I would go with him to what I will refer to as ‘the draft’. It was where all the rec league coaches came together. Each coach was allowed a number of keepers from their previous roster and then all remaining players were given a skill level out of 10. The coaches then drafted their teams for the upcoming year. My father hated this process, and wanted me to see it so I could understand. Kids reduced to a number. Something I now see all the time in recruiting.

But stepping back to that 4th grade soccer season. My dad drafted a team that was almost exclusively the neighborhood I lived in so we could have the experience of playing with our friends. If he would have had a draft card score on that, it would probably have been an F-.

Some of us would later become solid athletes, but at that time none of us were anything above average. If memory serves only two of those players went on to even play at the high school level, and none at the college level.

We went undefeated that year. Which isn’t the part I care about 20ish years later. I can still look back and see my dad yelling out Greek Machine when my defender made a good stop. Or Elmer as our other goalie brought down a shot. Placing a season clinching penalty kick into the feet of one of the few nonneighborhood kids on the team. My father showed me the power of positive motivation as a coach. By truly investing and believing in each athlete on the field he was able to make us into something no one would have believed we could have been: A championship team.

So today’s lesson from my father is What can you do today to help someone else become their best?

Some days you just have to remember

It’s been a long…I’m not sure what time frame works. The car accident was back in March, for those of you following I’m recovering well.

But of late I’ve been working on some projects(back to my roots with some screenplays, still need more brain capacity before returning to the primal age). Tonight it was about 9pm when I sat down to write. With the full time jobs and part time jobs I like to be in bed at a decent hour these days. And I really really really didn’t want to sit down and write.

There’s projects needing done and deadlines looming, but I wasn’t feeling it.

So I did something I hadn’t done in 7 years. I listened to my old prewriting playlist. As that went through I found my way back to that writer version of me.

I can’t promise my words were anything of legacy or legend tonight, but by taking a few minutes to remember who I am I was able to hit my page count.

So, if you’re out there tonight, feeling stressed or tired, thinking more about your mortgage than your goals, take a moment and remember who you are.

The Primal Age

I was thinking a bit tonight while doing some writing. Back to the catalyst of The Primal Age Chronicles.

I was thinking of that week that I had to make the decision of if I was going to pursue fiction or screenwriting for the remainder of my masters. My heart was set on screenwriting(still plan to find my way back before I die) but my head told me to follow fiction. Issue was I hadn’t written any fiction in years. Thank you to two of my Mobies, Dana and Trilby for keeping me off the ledge that Rez.

I had originally mapped Foamers out as a tv show so I adopted those outlines and figured I’d be able to swing it. I am presently sitting here at 31.

I started the first novel nine years ago. I started the tv show eleven years ago. But when I made the tv show I drew characters from all my past projects to create the ensemble that exists today.

I was 21 when Kade and Dame were born, 20 for X, Ashton, and Mick, 19 for Tiny, and 17 for Victoria.

It’s weird to think how long they been fixtures in my life, and how they have changed as I have changed. It some times baffles me the worlds and people who only exist within the confines of my skull.

Writing, man. Nothing like it.

Not sure if it’s a compliment

When I was younger(obviously since I’m writing the story it had to have happened when I was younger…if I was grading this paper I’d of cut that from it…but I’m not so enjoy my waste of words) a friend of mine had just listened to the song NO HANDLEBARS. Quick summary of the song for those of you who don’t know it is there are two friends growing up and through a series of one ups one of those friends becomes a dictator, the other opposes him. This friend told me that he would trust knowing that if he ever became a dictator I’d be the one to assassinate him.

Soooooo part of me is like am I that heartless, or am I that logical. But in the end I take the positive of they’d trust me to do the right thing over my emotion and their best judgement. I can’t say it’s true, but this concludes another edition of not sure if this is a compliment.

I’m tired

During a phone call with my dad this evening he pointed out I hadn’t posted in a while. The long and short of it is I am tired. Reaching that point of the semester with teaching/coaching/recruiting that I am exhausted.

So as I sit here on my treadmill getting up the motivation to run I look back a few hours into my day when my girls were so spent that they had to drag themselves out of the water.

I feel as long as I am putting other humans through such tortures I should be no exception.

My legs hurt. My knee is sore as shit. My hip is out of alignment. My back feels like someone took a whip to it. My shoulders are in no way pleasant. And most difficultly my mind is broke at the moment.

But that’s why I have to stand up, go for a run, finish homework, and put some words on the page before I sleep.

My father made sure I was stronger than life. So I run, and as I run I’m reminded of the words of my good friend Tim Smith as spoken as he drug my dying ass on a run around Wilkes-Barre during out masters… “every runner is running toward something or away from it.”

Stars

Recently I had the chance to look at the stars. This is always a grounding experience for me. There are two lessons I always take from the stars. The first is that when my life feels overwhelming, they remind me how large the universe is and just how insignificant my existence is. When you remember that you are a tiny speck in a wide universe and will pass unnoticed it helps to not stress you haven’t had a chance to mow the lawn in two weeks.

The second lesson I always take from this is that in the time it takes for the light of a star to reach my eye that star may have already lived its full life and has burned out. None of us are going to live forever, but we all can live lives that send our light years into the future, long after we are gone.

So on one hand remember you are insignificant on the other remember you are significant.

Mediocre

Been a while folks…I’m still here…with my return from the shadows I’ve got a lesson from my father.

I was going through a lot of decision making this summer and my dad as always was a primary sounding board.

One day though he gave me a nice reminder.

He told me he didn’t care what I was, a coach, a teacher, a writer, sales rep, or anything but he didn’t raise me to be mediocre.

I was always taught that if I’m going to do something I out work everyone else at it. Better to not do something than to not do it well.

That reminder that mediocre isn’t in my genetic make up was the kick in the ass I needed to get back into the fight of life.

So as I write this post between sets in the weight room before I go to teach, I challenge all you not to be mediocre today. Step up to whatever challenges come looking for you today.

Going dry

Going dry…I’m about 2/3rds through the rough draft and also let go a little physically this summer. So to spur myself into motivation on both fronts I am going dry until I finish the draft. If you catch me drinking at an event that is not a wedding or funeral I will give you 5$.

The only question remains is will I write faster or lose weight longer…

The Rome Project

Another screenplay.  This is where the zombies started. The ground work for Foamers. This screenplay got such a reaction from those that read it that I decided to go back to school to chase writing as more than a hobby. I am proud in the tears a zombie screenplay had drawn. Can you read it dry eyed?

This was a hard copy scan and a few pages are missing, not to mention this isn’t the final version so plenty of notes and typos.

As per usual, this is mine, belongs to me, don’t steal cause I’ll gladly sell cheap, and no one likes a head ache.

Rome

FOAMERS FOUR YEARS OUT

So it has been four years since Foamers released. I’ve learned a lot about writing and publishing since then(and even some about life). That first book was where I recognized for that this thing that many people told me was a pipe dream, was actually possible. Yeah, Dad, I still haven’t got you that beach house I promised you when I started writing at 14, but I am climbing.

So today I happened to Amazon search myself, just to see how I was doing with reviews and always curious to see my sales rank and at this very moment the, once upon a time, #1 dystopian novel on Amazon is .99 cents.

Already have your e-version? They have a new thing where you can buy it at as a gift, and who doesn’t have a friend who could use the story of Kade and crew, and if you don’t have a friend, I’ll be your friend.

Here you go: FOAMERS

FoamersCover

And no, that is not me or my dog on the cover. I’m not that skinny and she doesn’t have a tail.