#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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Mindful Monday | My first baseball mitt

outsmarted baseball
CGP

We’re excavating our garage like it’s King Tut’s tomb.

Not finding golden statues or mummified cats, if that’s what you’re thinking. Yet. I found my first baseball mitt, though. Even as I revere the beginning of baseball season, I felt a wave of emotion as I put on my glove.

Most of it was awful.

This cheap chunk of leather – real leather? I’m not sure – represents my introduction to a game I love today. It harkens a loyalty to a team and a reliance on hope. For what better an example of hope? A sport that lasts all summer and breaks nearly every heart.

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10 Things Grateful, plus a couple of days of boorish behavior

stormtrooper mindcraft
At first, I titled this photo “stormtrooper fortnite.” Yeah. It’s 1:05 a.m. and I’m 47 years old.

I’ve been wrong a lot in the past 24 hours.

Mostly, at Mallard Creek Park. Mostly, about soccer and about failing eyesight. See, I faulted the officials in our high school game of missing a horrible foul against us. Twenty-four hours later, I did the same during Camdyn’s game.

Say what you want about officials (mostly concerning eyesight), but upon further review, my gripes were misguided.

Maybe as I silently wish for refs who’ve passed eye exams, I should remember my own last eye exam was during the Obama administration. Or when Jefferson Starship was making its comeback. I don’t remember.

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#GirlsRock: An interview with recruiter Liz Khodak

stormtrooper buffalo elk lion
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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Go Ask Daddy about family dynamics, flavoring coloring and manned Martian missions

stormtrooper antique store records
Vinyl is making a comeback. What happened to all my Hall & Oates albums?

I grew up uncle rich.

I’m not talking rich uncles. I’m talking men who took the role to heart. I want to recognize each here with a little shoutout. I love them all (and my aunts too).

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10 things grateful, plus cheeseburgers and Charles Barkley

stormtrooper antiques
Always a good opportunity for stormtrooper art when we visit antique stores.

There are no timeouts in soccer.

I wanted to call one, once. We’d taken a 1-0 lead against the state championship runners up from last season. They’d beaten up on us for years. But today, as we broke for halftime, we were up 1-0.

“Guys,” I said, “look casual, but let’s see if we can get to the parking lot without anyone noticing us …”

The girls laughed. We thought if we could sneak away now … well, they couldn’t score on us, could they? We lost 3-1. But that moment proved we’d reached a level we’d strived for. For years, really. We were good enough to get ahead of a bitter rival.

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#GirlsRock: An interview with NFL podcaster Justine Turley

stormtrooper antique store

I’m so grateful to be in the right place at the right time.

That’s how it happened in the press box at Bank of America Stadium this past NFL season. That’s where I met Justine Turley. Her podcast, The Pow Wow, is about the Carolina Panthers, and her co-host is Panthers radio guy Eugene Robinson.

He played in the NFL and has identified Justine’s rare talents.

Those talents were apparent to me, too. We struck up a conversation and I knew in an instant she’d be a perfect fit for #GirlsRock. She graciously answered my questions, and as I kept up with her podcast through the season, I saw her grow even more.

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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

stormtrooperschoolhouse

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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10 things grateful, plus a college signing

stormtrooper tonka tag sale

One week in.

I made it this far. Not gracefully. It’s 1:14 and I promised myself 1 hour, 14 minutes ago to get to bed at midnight like a normal person. Wait. Don’t normal people get to sleep at even decenter hours than that?

Blogging again has been better than any of the high school reunions I never went to.

I’m seeing friends again and spending less time in aimless pursuits. I’m also falling asleep at inopportune times and really need to work on that. I have a fantastic guest post live just before this one that deserves a load of promotion as big as the donuts I dream of.

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