Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Jason Sudeikis said the following when describing the work involved in developing sketches (many of which never air) for Saturday Night Live.

"If you allow yourself to enjoy only the product and not the process, I don't know if it's worth it. You could dump all your heart and soul into it and get nothing in return."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Book Review of Men Among Giants

The Lincoln 55+ newspaper has published a review of Men Among Giants. The feature also includes an excerpt from the book.

Click here to read the review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I want to see the new movie, Knuckleball! This is partly because I love a good baseball story and partly because the main character in my recently-completed novel is a knuckleballer. And also because I became a fan of R.A. Dickey after reading his book, Wherever I Wind Up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bill Murray in the Sally League Hall of Fame

When you hear the name Bill Murray what likely comes to mind are his hit movies, including Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Stripes, Ghostbusters, and Lost in Translation. What probably does not come to mind is minor league baseball. But it should. The actor is part owner of the Class A Charleston RiverDogs and he was recently inducted into the South Atlantic League's Hall of Fame.

Click this link to read an article about Murray's induction into the SAL Hall. The page includes a video of Murray's induction speech, which is well worth watching. I especially liked his story about the racehorses at the end of his speech.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Strange Way to Read a Book

A few years ago I received David McCullough's 1776 as a Christmas gift. The book was on my wish list, but with so much other stuff to read I didn't get to it right away. Several months later, on the following Fourth of July, I saw it sitting on the shelf and started reading. The subject matter seemed appropriate for the day. Made it through the first chapter. Then the book went back on the shelf ...

Until the next Fourth of July when I picked up where I’d left off a year earlier. And so an Independence Day tradition emerged. Each year on that day, and only that day, I read McCullough’s work about that pivotal year of the American Revolution. This most recent July Fourth, I finished 1776—five years after I started. I must admit, this is not the best way to read a book. Each new session required me to reread several pages to refresh my memory as to what had just happened with Washington and his army. Even so, I’m still glad I read this particular book the way that I did. Learning about the events of that tumultuous year on the Fourth of July made the holiday more meaningful to me and renewed my appreciation of those who made our celebrations possible.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Book Review of Men Among Giants

The Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) reviewed my novel, Men Among Giants. The review, written by Cindy Conger, is available at the newspaper's Web site.

Click here to read.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

End of the Beginning

Today I finished the first draft of my third novel. There is, of course, still much work to be done, but reaching this point is a significant milestone. I now have a full manuscript to read, start to finish, and can focus on hammering it into something presentable.

How far along am I in the overall process of getting this book to a published format available to readers? Hard to say, though perhaps the words of Winston Churchill are now applicable. During World War II, after British forces won the Battle of El Alamein in November 1942, the prime minister observed:

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dear Me

What if you could write a letter to your 16-year-old self? What would you say? The answers to those questions comprise the substance of Dear Me, a book of letters written by well-known people to the teenage versions of themselves. Most of the letters include advice and encouragement, while touching upon a whole range of emotions.

Here is a video introduction to the book from its editor, Joseph Galliano:

There is much I would like to say to the 16-year-old me, including something James Woods wrote in his letter: “Listen more than you may be inclined to do. Talk less.”

But, even if such time-traveling correspondence were possible, it might not have made a difference in my case. It’s not like I lacked for good advice at that age. It was the transferring of such advice into wise decisions where I often fell short. So it is possible that the teenage me would not have heeded the wisdom of his balder future self. Sigh.

On the other hand, knowing the winners of 26 future Super Bowls might have yielded some interesting results.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Andy Rooney ponders e-readers

In one of his final segments on 60 Minutes last year, Andy Rooney commented on the rising popularity of e-readers. Like Andy I prefer to read printed books, though I acknowledge the positive impact created by these electronic devices. Especially since they promote reading among a broader segment of the population. Nonetheless, I find myself sympathetic to Andy's viewpoint in this segment--especially his first statement and his last statement.

By the way, The All-American King and Men Among Giants are available for your Kindle.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tim Tebow and the All-American King

Last Sunday quarterback Tim Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to propel the Denver Broncos past the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Thus continues a phenomenon that began in the 2011 regular season when the young QB led his team to a series of dramatic 4th quarter victories. Adding to the significance of his latest feat, Tebow threw for 316 yards against the Steelers. In college, Tebow, who is not shy about sharing his Christian faith, often wore "John 3:16" in his eyeblack. For many of his growing number of fans, the 316 yards last Sunday was no coincidence. Some believe that Tebow and his team have benefitted from divine intervention on the football field. This thinking even inspired a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Jesus shows up in the Denver locker room to reveal that he has in fact been helping the Broncos win games. Tebow, of course, is not without his detractors. Many football commentators and experts maintain that Tebow is a mediocre passer who will not last in the NFL. And a lot of critics aren't too keen on the outward expressions of faith, including Tebowing.

The rise of Tim Tebow reminds me of Dave King, the main character in my novel The All-American King. Like Tebow, Dave King is a Christian quarterback who led his college team to the Sugar Bowl, before going on to star in the NFL. Both QBs could also run the ball effectively, even in the pros. At the time of his retirement in 1990, King led all quarterbacks in career rushing yards (see the table below for a comparison of King's stats with several other Hall of Fame QBs). 

On Saturday Denver faces the powerful New England Patriots. Is Tebow Time running out or
just getting started?