#GirlsRock: 📧 An interview with e-commerce content manager Blair Brown

stormtrooper chair cinco de mayo waiting antique store

In the job-search shuffle, you sometimes make friends.

That’s how it got started with Blair and me. We both worked in newspapers, at the same rag, in fact (although different time periods – separate eras, really), and work both in online content now. She’s super smart, talented and versatile.

What makes her such a great content lead is that she’s also a writer.

She’s still learning and growing, with interest in law. As if writing isn’t enough! But she has that skillset. She’s creative and technical, which isn’t easy. I’m creative because I suck at technical. To be both? That’s like being able to construct the perfect paper airplane …

And give it a badass design, too.

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10 things grateful, plus adios #AtoZ! 🦚

stormtrooper anniversary may 5 fiesta moterrey monroe

Man – I’m glad the #AtoZChallenge is over.

It’s fun. It’s just … extra. I love going to other blogs I’d not normally see. But the engagement is wonky, and I miss conversing with the regulars here. And visiting their blogs. And having time to post on social media and find your links there, too.

When you’re in the challenge, man, it feels like you’re kind of a narcissist.

Not to mention what it does to your non-blog life. I struggled to keep up, and sacrificed progress toward other deadlines. And sleep. Not snacks. I found time for snacks. But the rest of life was kind of a blur. Next time I do this, I’ll work ahead.

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#AtoZChallenge | Z is for zigzag 📩

stormtrooper shells 2019 getaway neptune beach

Some days zig when you think they’ll zag.

AtoZ2019ZTuesday was such a day. If you’d told me I’d cry some of my happiest and saddest tears in the same day – some in the same hour – I’d have, well, been eager to see how. I’d have never guessed. It began with a soccer match, on a senior day.

It ended with tears in silence as I learned all I could about a shooting at my alma mater.

In between, the day’s events intertwined and intersected. This is what I meant by my Y post yesterday. Time spent away from writing is time spent creating the writing through living. I can’t say it was a bad day and I can’t say it was a good one, either.

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#AtoZChallenge: J is for Journalist, a #GirlsRock Interview with Esther Robards-Forbes

stormtrooper scarf 2018 photos antique shop

It’s cool when I run into someone in the biz.

AtoZ2019JNo, not showbiz. The newspaper biz. Usually, you can tell by the scuffed shirt cuffs and clothes bought in 1986. Used. Not in this case, though. Esther Robards-Forbes and I both worked for the Charlotte Observer back in the day.

She’s now in public relations at the University of Texas.

We had a conversation years ago that would have been one of the earliest #GirlsRock interviews. Instead, it sat in drafts, like those old archive rooms back in the newsroom. It was an awesome find for me.

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Habit of Peace

stormtrooper birdhouse 2018 photo opp antique store

This peace stuff ain’t easy.

AtoZ2019HEven though sometimes it feels that way. A friend in need recently asked if I could just put the Zen on a shelf and be pissed off with her. Yes, I can. My girls’ team said, coach, you know, you can be pissed at us sometimes. We need that.

Oh, I’ve been pissed at them.

I’ve been mad at my team not for bad results, but subpar effort. I’ve been ticked at dudes who are crap puddles to female friends of mine. I’m angry about the Rockies’ rocky start and that if Kobe Bryant farts, it gets the headline over any Denver Nuggets victory.

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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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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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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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