I Suggest Joining a Band

Join a band. Do it. Make it happen. Find some friends and get rolling. Don’t overthink it, darn it. Make it happen. It’s so much fun. I grew up playing music as part of a professional family band – as in 9-year-old drumming for full stage productions. It was a time in my life when my family was a bunch of skill practicing fools. Hours a day on instruments and development of various other abilities. I had drum lessons and organ lessons. I taught myself to play piano in college by sneaking into the school auditorium in the dark and fighting my way into a respectable relationship with bass clef day after day for a year or two. I played trumpet in my school bands. I sang in choir. I woke up in the night on a regular basis to my brother playing improvisational piano when he came home from nights out with friends or a date. Creativity was never stifled and always championed...

Book signing & numbers

Just checked Amazon best seller numbers having not worried about doing it at all since the last post I made here. I’m up in all three categories which was really gratifying to see. I’m up a couple thousand in rank in two categories (women and gender studies) and up about 13,000 in a third category (parenting). I’m happy about that. I have an upcoming book signing Sunday, May 5th 2-3p in the cafe at the Normal Public Library in Normal, IL. We’ll talk about my book, the process of writing, and my experience putting it out there. Plus, I’ll answer any questions to hopefully help others make progress on their own writing and personal storytelling efforts. One fascinating thing about this book endeavor is how it works. Book publishing reminds me of my broadcast news media life. It’s a subject few know from the inside, but so many of us are deeply impacted...

Reading About Yourself

I’m comfortable writing about myself. I’ll share my thoughts, feelings, what I’ve learned, what I’ve dwelled on, what I’ve triumphed over… However, talking about myself is much different. I rarely do. It’s one reason many people I grew up with didn’t know my family was a merry band of professional performers leaving on weekends and school breaks to perform all over the United States and Canada – as musicians, jugglers, unicyclists, and, for me… gymnastics. It just was who I was. It was my normal, so what was there to talk about really? That was my thinking. Writing was always different. It was where my heart and head came together to form the ideas I couldn’t even always articulate as well verbally…until I saw them on paper or computer screen. I say all of this to share the inscription on the plaque Illinois State...

IL State U. Broadcast Hall of Fame

What a special weekend at the Illinois State University TV-10 reunion events. Still processing how many talented people have walked through the doors of our ISU student run television station. What an honor to share in the distinction of being in this first Broadcast Hall of Fame class. Here is my speech… Thank you so much Laura and Bob and Steve and the rest of the Illinois State University Department of Communication. This experience is beyond touching. So very meaningful. Your dedication and passion for lifting others up does the university proud. One of the great things about TV-10 that makes it different and special is you create and build a family each semester and year … everyone has each other’s back. I’ve been an adjunct for 15-20 years and I’ve had the pleasure of watching those families form. You’re competitive but you applaud the accomplishments of each person...

Woman of the Week Honor

Interview/story link below. Illinois State University student Courtney Parker of TV-10 News reached out to me about this sweet distinction. Thank you Courtney. Thoughtfully done and nicely handled. ISU Woman of the Week Maria...

Series: #10 Choices We Make

Book Author Question Series Would you make the same choices if you did it again? In life or for this book project? If we are talking in life – I’d say pull up a chair for a while… who knows? I’m deliberate and, generally, thoughtful in my decisions, so whatever I’ve experienced along the way was probably going to happen no matter what given that way of moving through the world. It’s hard to tell. That’s the stuff that makes brains hurt thinking about anyway and I’m not sure it leads to a useful end. Would I do anything differently related to this book project? What I’ve jotted out above negates the likelihood of that, doesn’t it? Backed myself into thought corner, didn’t I? Oops…funny. Anyhow… I’m not sure I could do much differently. It’s all learning and I’ve enjoyed the learning. Would it...

Series: #9 Do It Again?

Book Author Question Series Will you do it again? It depends on my reasons. I love to write. It’s part of how I breathe. Is it always perfect or ideal? Of course not. That’s not the point of my life on this planet from what I gather through ample life experience. I will do what keeps me feeling vibrant and alive, speaking to my authentic self, able to reach my goals in a way I can feel good about… If what I want to do meets that criteria – I’ll do it. If it means writing a book. Great! If not, I’ll embark on some other creative journey. At the moment I have a few different ideas in mind for future books and I’ve framed a couple of them out pretty well. At the moment, that is enough. One particular quote comes to mind as I type this: Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because...

Series: #8 Mind Clarity

Book Author Question Series How did you get mentally organized enough to do it? Given how active my mind is and how many ideas, thoughts, dreams, possibilities I’m capable of conjuring in an average day – this question is likely one of the most useful ones for people like me. When I look at what’s before me, I’m easily overwhelmed because my instinct is to bite off all of it at once. I learned long ago that the way for me to achieve anything is to break it all down to one task, idea, concept, path at a time and work on one decision until I have the result I want. On the flip side – when I mentally strategize – the big picture aspect of my process – that takes biting off the whole darn thing. Tactical execution takes a practicality and mental organization – skills I’ve worked on mightily over the years. Here is how I pulled this book...