The Blog

I don’t get sick very often, but on a recent and blustery winter morning I woke up with a touch of the flu. We were about to leave town for what I was sure would be a magical weekend -- and I couldn’t figure out how to get ready for that and make it to the airport on time, let alone run the three or four miles we almost always do on weekdays.

We could’ve skipped it. We could’ve…not run. I was tempted. Oh, was I tempted. What better excuse, after all, than the flu? Then I thought of all the people right that very minute battling tougher circumstances than me, and remembered I’m not the gal who bails when things get difficult. Then we went running. The cold air felt great on my slightly feverish cheeks, and I actually smiled as we pounded the snow-packed pavement.

Skipping a workout when I could’ve gone through with it would’ve made it easier to skip it the next day, and the day after that. Next thing I know I’d be attending presentations on how to lose weight instead of giving them.

Working out consistently is a hassle. It’s like anything else. If you wait until you feel like it you’ll probably never do the little things that, over the course of a lifetime, determine the course of that lifetime.

What choose you?

calligraphy for the blogIf you know a writer who has a special occasion coming up there’s a way to make it even more special. Take something she wrote and have an artist make it frameworthy.

The person will never be the same. Trust me!

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photo and artwork courtesy of Katie Anderson

There’s a woman I know who seems to have it all. A life filled with kids and pets and jobs -- and laughter. That’s what you notice when you walk into her house. There’s a lot going on, and it’s hilarious.

I asked her to join me on the show. I’d never interviewed a plate spinner quite like her before, and I thought it would be fun. She was as nice as she could be, but she turned me down. Things were fine. Great, actually. But what if there were problems down the road?

It reminded me of someone else who doesn’t talk about his kids because “they might get into trouble someday.”

I was about to get all “come on, that’s life” on these people, until Darrell wanted to write a story about me for the University of Nebraska’s alumni magazine. “No way,” I told him. “I don’t want to give people the impression I have anything figured out.” Sure, I have a few things figured out -- but not enough to constitute having made it, whatever that means.

If you’re married you’re familiar with this expression: “You win some, you lose some.” I lost this one. Darrell wrote the story and got a stipend for his trouble. I thanked my lucky stars we’d sprung for some professional photographs a while back. But I practically held my hands in front of my face when I read the piece, the way you might shield your eyes during the scary parts of a movie.

If I’m that conflicted about it, why share the link? Because you should’ve seen the look on Darrell’s face when he read what he’d written. “I’m proud of you!” he said.

I’ve never properly thanked him, and this post is an attempt to fix that.

A friend of mine is in charge of publicity for Steven Pressfield, and part of her job is to share her thoughts on the business of writing. A while back she admitted how not enchanted she is by that sometimes. She also mentioned a few projects around the house she wasn’t looking forward to, either.

I left her a comment and had Darrell proofread it. He couldn’t resist offering Callie help with removing the base of a broken lightbulb that’s stuck in a socket. Something about a cork. Next thing we know, another guy had weighed in. “If a cork isn’t handy,” he said, “use a baking potato.” Can you guess what happened next? “A potato would work,” Darrell suggested I add to the thread, “but just make sure there’s no power running to the socket or you’ll have more than a hot potato.”

It took me exactly zero seconds to realize it’s true what they say about guys and their projects. You’ve barely raised the garage door to have a good look at the lawn mower and soon all the neighbors want to help fix it. In the driveway? Mildly amusing. On a writing blog? Hilarious!

You know, to me.

A friend of ours is a comic, and she joined us on the show recently to talk about the different kinds of laughter. She told me she’s sure I know what Darrell’s “fake laugh” sounds like.

Nope. Not a clue.

We don’t laugh to be polite. House rules. This particular rule started with lasagna. As newlyweds Darrell told me my lasagna was the best he’d ever had, and I shared that with a few people at work. “You know he’s lying,” one of them said. “Yeah?” I fired back. “All it’s going to get him is more lasagna.”

Go ahead. Laugh when things aren’t funny. Rave when things aren’t yummy. Once in a while it’s the right thing to do -- when little kids tell jokes, or old people serve runny spaghetti. But a steady diet of fake? You deserve better.

Of course there’s more! Write to me and we’ll get you set up. Thanks!

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