Indiana Authors Award

“Dude, why do you live in Indiana?”

I’m repeatedly asked that question, and this week I answered it over at the Indiana Authors Award Blog.

I’m honored to be one of three finalists for this year’s Emerging Author Award. The banquet is sold out, but the award-winning and nominated authors will participate in a book signing and Q&A event at the Indianapolis Central Library on October 26.

Here are the details:

Meet the Authors
Central Library’s Clowes Auditorium
10:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Sit down with the winners and finalists of the 2013 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award as they discuss their writing and connections to Indiana. Book sales and signings will follow. Featured will be National Award winner Michael Martone, Regional Award winner James H. Madison, and Emerging Author finalists…

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Shutdown threatening our already questionable food security

Marion Nestle author of SAFE FOOD: The Politics of Food Safety writes that the American food system is “breathtaking in its irrationality: 35 separate laws administered by 12 agencies housed in 6 cabinet-level departments.” She calls the fact that more of us aren’t dropping over with food borne illnesses “nothing less than miraculous, a tribute more to our immune systems, the benefits of cooking and food preservation, and plain good luck than to federal oversight.”

I wrote about this in Where Am I Eating?

In 2001, the United State’s Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) inspected less than 1 percent of imported foods. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, they doubled the amount of imported food inspected. But still in 2004 Tommy Thompson, the then…

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Most awkward hotel check in ever

I had been in airport world for 12 hours and then had to drive two hours in a beat up rental car to a hotel in wine country in California. Back home I would’ve been in bed for a few hours already.

I was tired and in need of a shower.

I almost told the young woman behind the front desk, “Good morning,” when I pushed my way in through the front door. I hoped she would just throw me the key to my room and I could go and collapse on the bed.

Instead she was chipper.The kind of chipper that exhaustion doesn’t like. The kind that just reminds you of how tired you are. We went through the motions–the credit card for incidentals, the complimentary breakfast…

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CrossFit looked like something I would pay NOT to do

CrossFit looked like something I would pay NOT to do, yet I’ve been doing it, and paying for it, for four months now.

Why? Because my buddy BJ McKay opened a CrossFit gym (aka “a box”), The Arsenal, here in Muncie, and the guy hasn’t heard a NO in his life that he believed. So that’s what got me in the gym, but what hooked me was the community that I saw.

I’ve been sharing my CrossFit journey over at The Arsenal’s blog.

Please check out my first post: How I got roped into CrossFit.

Here’s an excerpt…

We support our friends.

We buy their kids’ overpriced chocolate bars and popcorn for school fundraisers. We host their Tupperware parties.

But what if our friend is opening a gym, and not just…

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Hanging with teenage gold miners in Burkina Faso

(While traveling from Burkina Faso to Ghana in search of the parents of Solo, the slave I met in Ivory Coast, I spent the night conversing with a group of teenage gold miners. I included the experience in an early draft of WHERE AM I EATING? but space was tight, and it just didn’t fit. It seemed more like a sidebar. So, following this morning’s post on when child labor is necessary, I’m sharing it here.)

The bus ride that took me from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, ended at a flooded road and a trip in a tiny dugout canoe where the oarsman joked about crocodiles. From the canoe I got in a cab that didn’t have brakes. The driver stopped the car using the “Fred Flintstone” method…

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When child labor is necessary

Some folks think that child labor is the greatest evil we face. We don’t want kids making our clothes or farming our chocolate.

Child labor makes headlines; hunger doesn’t.

AllAfrica reports that students in rural Zimbabwe are dropping out of school because they don’t have enough to eat and need to work to earn money to buy food. Young boys are leaving school to work in illegal gold mines.

When you live in a region where 25% of deaths of children under the age of five are related to nutritional deficiencies, food is more important than school.

Before we take a stand against child labor, we need to take a stand against extreme poverty. …

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Conor Grennan speaking in Muncie

I let Conor Grennan’s book Little Princes take my blog hostage a few years ago.   Now Conor is coming to Muncie this Tuesday (9/10) to give a public talk at Emens Auditorium at 7:30! And of course, while Conor is on stage at Ball State, a short bike ride from my house, I’ll be on a stage at Marietta College.

Conor is an awesome fella who I’ve come to know through his writings over the past decade. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him at a conference we were both attending.  If you live anywhere close to Muncie, you should come and laugh at (or with) and be inspired by Conor. I promise you’ll do both.

The details:

Conor Grennan, author of Little Princes, September 10, 7:30 pm …

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Where am I . . . in September?

September kicks off a busy fall of corrupting the minds of students across the country.  Six schools have selected my books as common reading experiences (4 for WEARING and 2 for EATING).  Visiting a university full of students who have read (or were supposed to have read!) your book is about the best experience I’ve had as an author.

This month’s schedule is below.  If you are in any of these areas, I’d love for you to attend, or drop me a tweet or Facebook message and maybe we can meet up for coffee. 

9/6  Union City, Ohio  @ 6:30 PM (open to public)

I’m talking about WHERE AM I EATING? at the EUM church where my mother attended as a child and my in-laws attend today. It…

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Lesson from my stupid big bro: It takes courage to change

Dr. Timmerman

Kyle, either posing like a “scientist” or planning to takeover the world.

My brother, Kyle, always led my earliest adventures into imaginary realms. We fought trolls with wooden swords, goblins with clumps of dirt scooped from the field surrounding our club house.  (Once I was the goblin and Kyle made a throw that could’ve been on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 as it connected with my face.)

He was the best big brother an annoying little brother looking to prove himself could have.  He never whooped me. Not once. I tried like hell to fight him and he would figuratively and sometimes literally hold out a brotherly stiff arm atop my head as I swung…

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