Monday, April 21, 2014

Best Wishes to Boston... B Strong


When I ran the Honolulu Marathon this past December, I did so to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and the whole race was an amazing experience.

So many people came up and gave me a shaka, a pat on the shoulder or just a few words that inspired me to not give in even though I was running on multiple blisters on both feet.

I knew I could rest once I finished, but four families eventually lost their loved ones and hundreds more were injured, so there was no way I was quitting.

One man even hugged me at the end and said the words on the back of my shirt inspired him to keep going – and I never knew he was behind me.

(If interested, below is the Boston Marathon Tribute Video linked to my Boston Strong badge on my home page since the bombings. Now that the Marathon has once again taken place, I'll remove the main link later today.)
As the city, and its people, moves forward, I pray that today’s Boston Marathon, with 36,000 runners - the second highest attendance ever - will be a regular old marathon, full of laughter, relief and simple tears of joy at the finish line.

We, the people stand undefeated.

They, the survivors - and the first responders - are the heroes.

Him, the bomber… may he be held responsible by a jury and a judge.

Us... let us all please never forget the victims...

Krystle Campbell (29)

Lingzi Lu (23)

Martin Richard (8)

MIT Police Officer Sean Collier (27)



Monday, April 14, 2014

Emergency Mid-Month IWSG post


Hi, I’m Mark and I’m a Writer’s Blockee.

It’s been three months since my last written pages.

I’ve tried many remedies, including cutting back on blog posts and return comments (sincere apologies to all who made the much appreciated effort to comment) but nothing has worked.

Unimproved graffiti will be removed by Wed., May 7
Therefore, I am invoking the oft-pondered, rarely used, but terribly needed Mid-Month Emergency Insecure Writers Support Group post.

I’m a Writer (with the big “W”) these past eleven years, but always for someone else.

Now, I’m writing for myself, but Muse is taking a whupping from another voice, my Lose.

Lose encourages me to check (and recheck) email, do the laundry, read the news, catch up on the Angels, (fall asleep in front of the computer) and do everything but WIP during my nightly two-hour writing window.

A lot of this sounds familiar to some and folks may want to leave a supportive comment (which again, I *do* appreciate, but remember, I suck at the returns – unless it’s on Twitter… you can't beat 140 characters with a stick.)

And here, hidden in the middle of my humor, is the problem.
Actually, I know what the bloody problem is: I’m too damn scared to write for ME.
(There. I feel better already... really needed to share that with you!)

So, I have a problem... now to find a solution...
Write 1,000 words a day.
Oh, that was easy - who said that?
Hold the therapy.

Like most writers reading this, there is nothing more I want to do (professionally) than know people enjoy my words – and when I am writing, there is nothing I enjoy more than melting into The Zone.

So, what’s the problem, you writerly wimp?

By the way, Lose, the anti-muse (we’re related on my mother’s side) is a former U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor I’ve never met, but his heart is in the right place.)

Aloha, Lose... Er, I’m scared that I suck worse than a giant gobstopper.

Bollix, blogger. You can do it.

Can I quickly check see how many people unfollowed me in the last seventeen minutes?

NO! Drop down and give me 1,000. You wussy writers are all the same. No SPAM in the can.

What does that even mean?

I don’t know. You just made it up.

I did?

You’re so insecure that my Grammar could kick your arse.

Okay, I can do this. I can, and I will.

Good, because I don’t like that I’m hanging from a cliff like a dangling modifier.

The happy.



Okay, then. Good luck.

Ahh, thanks, Lose... you're not so bad after all.

I’m welcome.

[Bursts through mental barrier…] I look at Muse as if we were one...

Then, some upbeat music starts and I free the Muse (using a yard blower to dust him off) before offering up a CliffsNotes energy bar.

Later that week, the former Lose was offered the chance to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stats. As he left, he offered the brain one final thought:
“Let’s. Write. This. People!"

(To Be Continued...)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

RIP: Nick Adenhart: #34 Gone, But Never Forgotten


As many of you know, I'm always game for a laugh, but tonight, I sat at the edge of my three sons' beds and realized being a parent is no joke.

Five years ago today, the parents of Nick Adenhart, Henry Pearson and Courtney Stewart lost their child to a drunk driver.


I'd just read this heartbreaking feature from Yahoo! Sports Writer, Tim Brown, and wondered how will I ever protect my boys from the world?

Nick (22) Henry (25) and Courtney (20) were in the prime of their lives, and Nick, well he was a young, promising pitcher with my beloved Los Angeles Angels.

Nick had just pitched a great game and then... only hours later... he, Henry and Courtney were dead.

(The surviving passenger, Jon Wilhite, is now twenty-nine, and still suffering from the effects of that night.)

To honor the memory of the three young people who died April 9, 2009, I always wear Nick's #34 jersey whenever I watch the Angels play in Anaheim, their home stadium.

Many fans understand, and give me a nod or a high five and some offer up a, "Great jersey" or "Good on you" but it's obviously not about me.

I wish I never had a personal need to wear the jersey.

I wish, for example, I was gnashing my teeth because Nick was a free agent and was with another team.

My kids are sleeping. They are safe and sound.

My heart breaks for, and my prayers are extended to, the Adenhart, Pearson and Stewart families.

May the memories of their children never be forgotten.

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