Give ’em a Beard!

Gray scale bearded man

A creative writing professor once told me, “If you’re bored with one of your characters, try giving ’em a beard.” It became a thing. When something was off in one of our stories, he’d slam the paper down and yell out “Give ’em a beard!… Read more...

In The Shadow of Epiphany

Landscape photography of green leaf trees

Epiphanies can be deceiving.

Once we figure out the way – Eureka! I’ve found it! – we tend to disregard all other paths. It feels good for a while but, in the fog of euphoria, we stop looking around. Holding tightly to our compass, we become crotchety.

Simply by t… Read more...

How I Came To Be

Painted Ripples

In 9th grade, I was generously forced into journaling by my English teacher. In college, I eventually found my way into a short-fiction class, and was sold. I wrote all the time, was working on stories all the time, daydreaming about my characters, while real-world people talked … Read more...

It Ain’t The Constraints

green grass field

Our instinct is to resent constraints.

All of us struggle with telling our life’s story on a single page. And all of us wish we had more hours in the day…

Under such constraints, we often give up and then blame these limitations for our failure.

But if you can put all th… Read more...

Before Our Names

four markers on table

Something that’s always bugged me: name prefixes.

Why is it that doctors and politicians and judges are allowed to change their prefixes but no one else is?

I know these folks work hard — extremely hard — but so do CEOs and sanitation workers. I know that becoming… Read more...

Second Dates

Two women holding long stem wine glasses with red liquid

On my way to drop off my daughter at school, sometimes I catch a funny radio segment on the Marcus & Sandy show called “Second Date Update.”

Marcus and Sandy call up someone who ceased communication with another person after a first date and then they ask that some… Read more...

Love Notes

Person covered with plastic bag on head while holding sliced blood orange

I like to take notes in a blank sketchbook. I’ve always hated lines and boxes, and writing by hand is more fluid… (see what I did there?).

My notes are thought fragments, shorthand, just enough to remind me what I was thinking.

And in this process, I’ve developed… Read more...

Detail

black car side mirror during daytime

My dad suggested I get my car detailed. Trust me, he said, it’ll be like new.

He was right.

I swear it drives like new. My wife thinks so too.

That’s some strange psychology.

If I wash my keyboard, will it click faster? If I make my bed, will I sleep better?

Appearance can … Read more...

How To Tell a Failure Story

Photo of golden cogwheel on black background

Being a career coach in Silicon Valley, I hear a lot of stories of failure from entrepreneurs.

Indeed, anyone who has taken a shot at a startup has a ‘failure story’ to tell.

As a resume writer, I’ve figured out the way to tell ‘failure story’ honestly… Read more...

Changing People’s Minds

Person standing in boat

When we challenge someone’s core beliefs — their religion, their politics (which are often one and the same) — we threaten their worldview.

Our comments cut the line to their anchor.

And, somehow, we expect them to thank us for this.

No one wants to drift into the … Read more...