Monday, March 27, 2006

A brain on drugs

Crazy Train (of thought)

Martha MacCallum, you’ve changed your hair. You look smashing!

More evidence Charlie Sheen is an idiot (as if leaving Denise Richards wasn’t enough evidence) – he thinks the Twin Towers were brought down in a controlled explosion and that truth is being covered up by the government. See what street drugs will do to you? Damage from absinth is even worse. Dead brain cells don't grow back.

I also heard another idiot on the Neal Boortz show talking about how the Twin Towers was a planned training mission for the CIA, that the Pentagon was blown up from the inside, not by a plane, that Flight 93 was actually shot down, Bush is a member of a Satanic cult, and more craziness. My one question to him would have been: “How long has it been since you stopped taking your medication?”

Put this in your fortune cookie: Those who spend their time minding their own business succeed at their business, while those who mind others’ business will eventually see their own business fail.

Marital Bliss

A few days before Valentine’s Day I hide a card over the sun visor of Jill’s car. It was one of several I had to give her on this day celebrating LOVE. Days passed and she made no mention of it, and I eventually forgot it was there. Flash forward – now six weeks later – the phone rings at 7:30 AM. It’s Jill. She usually sends me a text message letting me know she has arrived at work; I grabbed the phone thinking she has had an accident or a flat tire. “I found the card,” she says. “I have an awesome husband.” The cheer in her voice lifted my heart. Some things are just worth waiting for.

Kid-bytes

Meagan has several girlfriends who have been around for years. They spend the night here often, go on vacations and out to dinner with us, and have been photographed for one or the other books. Four of them call themselves my “other daughter.” I have not yet mentioned each of them on the blog. As family dynamics would have it, a little competition is emerging to see who gets mentioned next. Hummm, wonder who it will be???

Today’s Rant

The thing about hate mail is that it is usually pretty funny, the kind of stuff you read out loud at parties. I’ve gotten some nasty hate mail, but it doesn’t bother me. I understand it comes with putting yourself out there for others to see, or in my case, read about. Oh well, you can’t be liked by everybody. Like a wise man once said, “He who has every man as his friend has not himself.” Hey, it’s my blog. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. But then again, even bad traffic is web traffic, and web traffic is click counts, and click counts is publicity, and publicity is more brand recognition, and more brand recognition is more sales, and more sales is more moola for me to spend on my beautiful wife and wonderful kids! Yeah! Thanks for visiting my blog, fans and otherwise!

Book Report

I was asked to write a little blurb for a publication that is featuring my story next month. I thought I would share it with you, too:

“I have been an amateur photographer for many years, going back to the first Kodak Instamatic I found under the Christmas tree when I was in elementary school. Later I was given a 35 mm fully manual camera that I used until I wore it out. Today I am a digital photographer.

Like many photographers, I started by taking family photographs and documenting summer vacations. In high school I photographed anything and everything for the school annual and newspaper. Although I have probably taken a hundred-thousand photos, I always considered myself only a moderately accomplished amateur. That’s why when I had the opportunity to publish my first book in 2002 I turned to a professional photographer to take the photos that would illustrate the book. That book was successful enough to lead to a second, and the same photographer worked with me again to complete it.

The success of my first two books then lead to a multi-book contract to create other books about family relationships. However, by this time the photographer had moved to Chicago and was involved in other projects. Feeling brave, or having a lapse in judgment, I chose to do the photography myself rather than find a new co-author. That is when I began to get serious about photography. In 2003 I purchased my first digital camera, a point and shoot variety, and taught myself to use imaging software in the late hours of the evening.

In the next few years my book sales grew. In 2005 I left my 20-plus year career in healthcare and devoted myself exclusively to writing and photography. Today I am working on my 15th book. I am living the dream – I’ve sold over two million books and have had nearly 500 photographs published. Other business opportunities have emerged that build on my current success and promise even more success.

For the first time in my life I live stress free. I set my own hours, wear shorts and flip-flops almost year round, and get to spend lots of great time with the wife and kids.
My life is good. Very, very good. Can I take all the credit? Absolutely not. So many people have helped me, taught me, encouraged me, and much more. But most of all, the credit goes to God. What I have was given to me in answer to a prayer. To you, Father, goes the glory.”

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