Posts with Category This Writer’s Life

In which I tell NPR listeners I am not naked

Do you ever listen to the radio and wonder if the person speaking is naked?

Well, apparently I do because I went out of my way to tell the listeners of this hour-long interview on Lehigh Valley’s NPR station that I was, in fact, not naked.

Do you ever say dumb things? I do…like constantly.

For the most part, I managed to not make a complete fool of myself. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to speaking, on stage, wearing clothes, at NCC’s 4th Annual Peace & Justice Conference next week.

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My Snatch (it’s a CrossFit thing, sicko!)

I’ve been working out at The Arsenal, Muncie’s only CrossFit gym. since July. After nine months this is my snatch lift (wide grip, from ground to overhead). It’s come along way, but still has a lot of work. I bend my elbows too early, and I don’t get under the bar enough.

This morning, starting at 6 AM, we completed 6 rounds of 2 reps. I matched my personal record of 105 lbs. I was hoping for 115 lbs. This is what I like about CrossFit. Your technique and strengths are measurable. In that way it’s not like writing at all. I can’t quantify my writing to see improvement. I believe that my writing continually improves…

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Look out Norfolk, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dayton, Indianapolis, Galesburg, Muncie, etc., here I come!

I’m speaking all over the place this spring — east coast, west coast, and middle coast! If I’m in your neighborhood, come see me or meet me for a fair trade coffee or whatever.

I’m looking forward to criss-crossing the country several times to share the stories of the folks I’ve met on my travels. If you’re interested in having me speak to your conference, university, school, or event, check out my speaking page.

March 27 4th Annual Peace and Justice Conference, North Hampton Community College Bethlehem, PA

Event Description

Public event sponsored by Northampton Community College’s humanities and social sciences division, political science department, communications department, Political Science Club and the NCC Forum…

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This one is for you Harper

I’ve spent roughly 37 days (that’s 24 hours X 37 days, or  888 hours) of my life since Disney’s Frozen came out performing the songs from the movie. You see, I have a five year old daughter, Harper.

Sometimes we pick individual songs from Frozen and just dance and sing.  Other times we play the soundtrack from start to finish and act out the parts.  I don’t mean to brag, but my rendition of “Do you Want to Build a Snowman” literally moved Harper to tears. (Dear Broadway producers, I’m available when you get to casting the musical.)

In honor of Harper’s love for all things Frozen, I’m posting two performance of Idina Menzel singing “Let it Go.”  The first is her recent performance with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on…

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The 3 Pitfalls High School Sweethearts Face, and How We Overcame Them

I married my Homecoming date, Annie.

This despite the fact that I wore a sweater vest to the Homecoming dance and that we dated for 11 years before getting married. That’s right…11 years! That’s totally a record, and one that I might add, I came very close to not achieving.

Each year I get invited to speak at 20 to 30 universities across the country about my travels and my books, which are regularly selected as the common reading books that all incoming freshmen are supposed to read. And each year there is one question that freshmen women who are still with their high school boyfriends want me to answer:

“How did Annie put up with you?”

Only Annie can truly answer that question, but this…

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We thought our hermit crab was dead, then he went missing!

We thought the hermit crab that our four-year-old daughter, Harper, got for Christmas was dead.  But then he went missing.

“Did you move the crab?” Annie, my wife, asked me last night at 2AM. 


“He’s not in the dish!” Annie said. 

Our house is for sale and anything that isn’t necessary needs to go. A  hermit crab habitat complete with “I’m crabby” sign was taking up a chunk of our kitchen counter.  And since the crab that lived in there didn’t seem to be moving, drinking, or eating, and by all appearances was dead, the habitat had to go. Annie had already had the, “your crab is dead,” talk with Harper, which ended in tears, but for some reason Annie didn’t make…

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There are no mountains or oceans in Indiana

Fifteen years ago if you would’ve told me I would settle down in Muncie, Indiana, I would’ve done a spit-take. I was going to live somewhere with mountains or oceans or, more than likely, both.

Over the decade that Annie and I dated, I tried to convince her to move to the Florida Keys and Hawaii. I tried to convince her to put her life in a backpack and hit the road with me. I followed her to North Carolina where we lived for two years. She worked as a nanny. I worked retail at an outdoor equipment store (think backpack and tents) and as a SCUBA instructor. I also wrote and got paid tens of dollars per month for my writing. While we…

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Seinfeld & Embracing ignorance

I talk about storytelling a lot with my friend Matt who is a pastor. He recently handed me a book with this quote from Flannery O’Connor:

People have a habit of saying, “What is the theme of your story?” (They) have the notion that you read the story and then climb out of it into the meaning, but for the fiction writer himself the whole story is the meaning… When you can state the theme of a story, when you can separate it from the story itself, then you can be sure the story is not a very good one. The meaning of the story has to be embodied in it, has to be made concrete in it. A story is a…

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Merry Christmas

We didn’t send out Christmas cards this year. So this is it. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

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My CrossFit obsession…

I’ve been writing about my CrossFit journey over at the blog of the Arsenal, Muncie’s only CrossFit gym. My latest post…

CrossFit showed us how strong we can be

CrossFit was the best thing that happened to my family in 2013.

I know that sounds like an overstatement of immense proportions. It’s not.

Annie, my wife, agrees. And if you know Annie, she doesn’t overstate anything.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of awesome things happen personally (I taught my daughter how to ride a bike…on Father’s day!) and professionally (my second book came out), but the last year has been tough.

Honestly, we’ve sort of been reeling since September 18th, 2012. That’s the day we learned that our son Griffin might be on the autism spectrum….

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