The punch you don’t see coming

punchIn boxing, it’s always the punch you don’t see coming that knocks you down. The punch you weren’t expecting, the punch you never thought would hit you. Life is just like that.

It’s the bizarre coincidences we never even dared take into consideration, with an even stranger ramification of consequences. And in the ensuing chaos, we no longer understand what’s going on, and we feel like drowning. Time becomes inconsistent: a second, a minute, an hour, a day… we can no longer tell what is what. Continue reading

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Stranger than fiction

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Do you know that terrible cliche about life being stranger than fiction?

Why do we hate cliches so much anyways?

Maybe it’s because they tend to express an impossibly to deny truth. One that has to be remembered over and over again. Continue reading

Fear is the mind killer

523213_441480405922775_1158081202_nOne of my favorite quotes goes like this: “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

Ambrose Redmon wrote that.

Fear is an impulse, or like the tattoo on my arm says, “Fear is the mind killer.” Frank Herbert wrote that. So you can’t stop being afraid, but you can fight fear, you can control it.

I don’t think I ever told you how I became a writer. Or if I did, it was long ago. Continue reading

You’ve got to sell your heart

heartIn 1938 aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”

You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.

Now, about selling your heart… Continue reading

The long road…

roadA while ago I wrote a short story about a guitar player walking down a dirt road toward a crossroads late at night. It was a long, excruciatingly painful walk, because he was about to get the thing he wanted most in the world: the ability to play the instrument like no other human being.

Of, course, he had to pay a price.

I think that agonizingly long walk towards a tangible goal is part of the price he had to pay in order to reach that certain goal.  Continue reading

Connect the dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. 

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. 

You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. 

Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.” — Steve Jobs

Fourteen years ago someone read one of my stories.

They didn’t like it. They told me to give up and do something else.

And this made me angry.

Continue reading

Success/failure

Success is built on failure. It is built on disappointment, built by overcoming adversity. It is a marathon, not a sprint. A series of daily habits all working together, not a singular event.

It hard work in the background, not time spent in the spotlight. Continue reading