#GirlsRock: An Interview with Master Careers Director Laurie James

stormtrooper owl february coffee gatlinburg tn
We used to send Madison pictures of every owl we came across. Who am I kidding? We still do.

Writing is like an onion.

Strike that. Writing is like a river. No, doesn’t feel right. Writing is like … well, something you have to peel back sometimes. And it’s also something that flows, sometimes beyond its banks, but can never really be stopped.

So maybe writing is like an onion river.

In any case, today’s #GirlsRock guest knows a very specific art of writing: The resume. That sneaky thing we prance about when we’re unhappy at work or … out of a job. It’s the key to everything, yet we often treat it as an afterthought.

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#GirlsRock: An interview with actor, director, producer, singer, blogger, and mom Kate Bergeron

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A stormtrooper makes an early morning stop at a Gatlinburg coffee and donut shop

I love Instagram.

Of all the social media platforms, it’s the one you can really interact with people you might not otherwise. Post a pretty picture – and someone, anyone – might like it. And then you follow them, and they follow you. Sometimes, they’re actors that you admire, too.

That’s how actor Kate Bergeron and I met.

She’s an actor. She’s a director. She sings. She writes. She thinks. She’s swoony. And dammit to hell, she’s really effing funny. And real. She has a cool job and does cool things. She does cooler things still away from her job.

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#GirlsRock: An interview with recruiter Liz Khodak

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Kind of reminds me of a Madonna video.

A writer finds himself, you know, between chapters sometimes.

When that happens, he finds the usual roundup of possibilities: Contract jobs that never seem to fill, positions for nameless companies that might want to talk to you. Maybe. If only you could talk with someone who can find you a job you’d love

Meet Liz Khodak.

Visiting her office uptown during a job search years ago was different. We sat at a table and talked. She listened. She took notes. (I tried to read them, but I’m lousy at reading upside down.) It was a very different experience.

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10 Things Grateful, plus a lesson about staying plugged in

stormtrooper toys
I don’t know who these little guys are.

I lost my charger.

Not the Dollar General one. The one that goes to my work computer. It’s an Apple MacBook Pro charger. It costs about the same as the Pittsburgh Pirates payroll. I left it plugged in in the media tent during All-Star weekend. (I was hungry and distracted.)

I bought a replacement at a lower cost – about the same as the payroll of the Kansas City Royals, for comparison.

It’s not as fast and fancy. But it works. Thing is, I need to keep plugged in almost always, so I don’t get distracted and hungry and wind up with 7% battery and 37 stories to write. I can also plug my iPhone into this little charger that could.

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10 Things Thankful, and a bit of self-forgiveness

best barbecue in gatlinburg, stormtrooper pics, black and white pics
Hayden snapped this photo at Bennett’s Real Smoke Barbecue Pit in Gatlinburg. We celebrated a season with a rack of ribs and a pint of homebrew. (This class mysteriously disappeared from our table, however.)

The toughest person to forgive is often ourselves.

I’ve two Go Ask Daddy posts unpublished. Crazy, huh? If I can’t finish on my self-imposed deadline, I won’t publish. I’ll save them. I’m holding my blog hostage. I force myself to finish freelance work (veggies) before I get to blogging (snickerdoodle cookies.)

Heard of the Pomodoro timer?

I’m using that too. I’m rewarding myself for hours of distraction-free work with writing for fun. It keeps me hungry (not for snickerdoodles, although …) to put in the work to get to what feeds my soul most.

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10 Things Grateful, plus a stellar book to buy today

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Who is your favorite writer?

More to the point: How did they get there? For most of us, it’s picking up a Jennie Ritz novel or Lee Smith masterpiece or sinking your literary teeth into some Pat Conroy while on a Carolina beach trip and you find something. Something that resonates.

See, I got it all ass-backward with my favorite writer.

Corey Wheeland was a writer before she was my friend. She became a published author just last night. This same friend with a similar heart and a marvelous daughter that shines like she ate the rings of Saturn for breakfast had a book released on Thursday.

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Guest Post: Laura, of Riddle From the Middle, on books she likes as much as she does ice cream

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It’s fitting that I post a guest blog from a middle child on the same day my middle child signs her letter of intent to play soccer in college.

Yes, that’s a stretch. (And a way to give Hayden a shoutout. She’s signing with Piedmont International. She’ll walk in with a brace but no crutches as her recovery from ACL surgery continues. So proud of you Hayd!)

Laura’s the middle child starring on this page today.

She’s a valued blogging friend and wonderful wordsmith. No one beats Laura, a fellow parent, and writer, at headlines. Every headline makes you want to click. Her page is like an open box of vanilla wafers you won’t be satisfied with until you’ve had all of them.

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Go Ask Daddy about firehouse monitoring, NFL turkeys and mashed up chickpeas

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Here’s to sea glass, sunsets and sales in beachside gift shops.

The comeback is complete.

GAD GRAPHICI haven’t done a Go Ask Daddy post since … the last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl. Or the Patriots didn’t cheat. That was 1776. Anyway, it’s been a while, and the girls’ questions are different now, but I still have 250 unanswered waiting on a spreadsheet.

Here’s how it works.

I select five questions each week randomly. They come from a trove of inquiries my girls ask. I capture them on bits of paper or in my phone note-taking app or in sharpie on my skin. (Not really, that last one.) Most I forget if I don’t write them down immediately.

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Quotes post I: On success, steadfastness, and sisterhood

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Living in a couple of Death Stars that get blown up will do that to a stormtrooper.

I quote: A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.

Deep. And true. And yes, that’s a quote about quotes. Because this is a post about quotes. Joseph Roux said that, by the way. No, he wasn’t a second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals in the mid-80s.

(Remember those baby blue uniforms?)

He was actually a French surgeon in the 1700s. I’m not sure which of these men I am, and that’s up for debate. What I’d like to do is write posts about quotes now and then. Because of words about words, right?

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Weekend Reads III: Attitude, friends and time

stormtrooper socks
Back when my stormtrooper’s elbows didn’t bend and my Android phone took blurry pictures.

For now, all the girls are close.

They’re in town, really. Two in the same house. Plans changed for one and brought her back to Charlotte. Another will leave for school in the fall, but won’t be far. The youngest? She’s got budding wanderlust in the 37th degree.

I don’t blame her.

She’s the one who has lived in one town. She’s the one who has seen Charlotte – or east Charlotte, anyway – as only a waning wasteland of faltering lifestyle. They all want to see the world. I imagined I’d be the one with a passport and plane ticket next to them.

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