Posts with Category This Writer’s Life

I’m so 2015 that I’m on periscope

I don’t mean to brag, but like 16 people follow me on periscope. We should be periscopians together.

I’ve had several folks ask me what I think of it. Here’s essentially what I told my friend Mark Benson:

I think it’s more intimate since it is more immediate. The thing I like best is what I liked about Instagram early on or any other new social platform–how quiet it is. I follow a few people and a few people follow me. It’s much more manageable to interact and pay attention to what others are doing compared to thousands of folks on Twitter.

But as Mark pointed out: “Call someplace paradise, and kiss it goodbye.”

My first try at Periscope was walking out on stage at UNC-Greensboro in an auditorium before 1,000+. It…

Read More >
Add a comment

When I meet students on the autism spectrum…

Every time I meet a college student with autism, I want to give them a hug.

Of course, for some individuals on the spectrum, the last thing they would want to do is get hugged by someone they barely know. Most of the time I refrain from doing so, but sometimes, as in the picture above, I can’t stop myself.

They give me hope for my son Griffin, a sweet and smart 4-year-old on the spectrum. I see them and I imagine Griffin waiting in line fifteen years from now to get his book signed by a visiting author. I see them and I imagine him getting that book signed and going off to his dorm where…

Read More >
Add a comment

Sometimes you gotta shut up and listen

I enjoy sharing my stories. But here’s the thing, I know all of my stories. My stories aren’t going to teach ME anything new.

Recently I spoke at Central College in Iowa. As part of my visit I was interviewed by Dr. Bob Leonard for his local radio show In-depth. You can listen to the interview. It lasted 13 minutes. I say things I’ve heard myself say hundreds of times, but when the interview was over, the real interview began.

I interviewed Bob.

All I said was, “I hear  you have some interesting stories,” and that’s all it took for Bob to get going. Bob is an Anthropology professor, and I had heard that he drove cab for a while as part of his research. He didn’t talk about that much,…

Read More >
Add a comment

Where Am I Speaking Fall 2015

This Fall I’ve had the chance to corrupt a lot of students at schools across the country.

I’m in the middle of a stretch of 8 weeks of visiting at least one high school or college per week. I always like to write this post before I start a season of speaking so maybe I can sync up with some friends or readers while on the road. Alas, I’m a bit behind, so this post covers where I’ve been and where I have left to go this fall.


8/26 Fashion Institute of Technology

As Hogwarts is to wizards, F.I.T. is to fashion students. First year students read WHERE AM I WEARING.  I love reaching fashion students with the stories of the garment workers I’ve met in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and beyond. Some day…

Read More >
Add a comment

Should we mow our lawns?

“Oh, no, daddy! Watch out for the toad!” My six-year-old daughter nearly broke into tears as the tiny toad jumped out of the way of our rumbling riding lawn mower.

This was our first time mowing our new property and Harper was on my lap calling out the crickets and grasshoppers and toads.

Start. Stop. Start. Get off. Sometimes I had to move a life to a safer place.

I’ve always been the type of mower who would stop for an insect when I saw them. I think I was influences by all of those bug cartoons and movies that pitted insects and shrunk kids against the evil lawn mower. But, here’s…

Read More >
1 comment

On Indy Style TV with Harper

Two years ago I was on Indy Style TV and chatted with host Tracy Forner shortly after my book EATING released. A month ago Tracy emailed me that he finally got around to reading my book while on vacation in Michigan–not far from the apple farmers and juice factory I wrote about in EATING. He wanted to have me on again to cook. Cook . . . gulp!

I’ve come along way in my food journey, but I’m no chef. Instead of whipping something up Bobby Flay style, I suggested I make banana splits and we have a chocolate and coffee tasting while we chatted.

I took my daughter Harper along for the ride and we included her in the last segment. She did awesome and was so well behaved even…

Read More >

The most amazing thing about publishing is . . .

… that you can be watching the Bachelorette, or taking a nap, or organizing your Smurf collection, or scrolling Facebook while sitting on the toilet, while simultaneously somewhere else in the world your thoughts and words are entering someone’s head a heart.

If that’s not magic, I’m not sure what is….

Read More >
Add a comment

Getting THE GIGGLES at the dermatologist with my wife

Posing as serious adults who would never get The Giggles

“Looks like you have a pimple right here,” the woman placed her finger right in the middle of my wife Annie’s forehead.

Annie and I have been together for 19 years (since high school), and I know there’s nothing my wife loves more than when I point to one of the zits, she so rarely gets, and say, “You have a zit!”  She typically reciprocates by pointing out one of my few flaws.

The woman, a dermatologist, continued to offer her professional opinion of where my perfect wife was less than perfect. She delivered each judgement in the tone of a straight-faced…

Read More >
Add a comment

Dear Game of Thrones, I want my life back

I’m five years late to the Game of Thrones series. (Also, I recently watched this amazing series called Breaking Bad. Heard of it?) Since discovering the GOT books late last year, it has consumed my life.

My first GOT experience was with the audible book. George R.R. Martin’s first book Game of Thrones read by Roy Dotrice comes in at 34 hours long. That may seem long until you consider the 3rd book which is 48 hours long. I’m currently eleven hours into book 4 of the series, A Feast of Crows. Add it all up and I’ve spent 130 hours or 5.5 days listening to Game of Thrones books.

I listened on my five minute commute to work, while I showered, while…

Read More >
Add a comment

“Are you a Christian?”

I was at a faith-based university and had talked for 50 minutes on our global and local connection with people around the world who make many of the things that we take for granted. I talked about global poverty and introduced the audience to Arifa in Bangladesh who earned $24 per month. I showed pictures of a dump in Cambodia where barefoot kids pick through trash for 25-cents per day. I shared the story of my friend Amilcar, who risked his life for his family traveling from Honduras to the United States riding on top of trains and outrunning bandits who wanted to hold him for ransom.

And “Are you a Christian?” is the…

Read More >