Saturday, February 21, 2015

Old Fashioned - The Movie

There's a film out that premiered over Valentine's Weekend.

Old Fashioned is simply one of the most endearing independent films I've ever seen. It's refreshing in it's portrayal of a guy who actually stands up for respecting women. Enough so that he actively resists the female lead's romantic advances, steering their fledging relationship along the lines of getting to know each other as two individuals first. In fact, the male lead doesn't believe in dating, at all.

If this sounds corny or simplistic or overly-preachy, I assure you. It's not. Old Fashioned states the case for getting to know someone for who they are in an intensely interesting, thought-provoking and challenging way - all the time being romantic without being blatant about it.

Maybe I just don't see enough films, but it's been a very, very long time since one came along like this one.

Kudos to everyone involved!

Please don't take my word for it. Check out the movie site for yourself.

Old Fashioned: The Movie

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New 20 Short Ones Video!


This is my first 20 Short Ones video! I hope you enjoy it.
And speaking of 20 Short Ones, you can enter a Goodreads giveaway to win a free copy, now through April 1.

Friday, February 6, 2015

From Alexandra Petri - Obits: Speaking plain of the dead

Here's something from Alexandra Petri who writes for the Washington Post. When you find good writing, it's fun to share it. (Her column is called ComPost).

This particular piece is Petri's take on obituaries of men, written in response to the recent passing of Colleen McCullough.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Youth Orchestra in Chile Helps Overcome Poverty

If you want to be inspired today, please take a look at this beautiful video featuring a youth orchestra movement in Chile. It's about 8 minutes long but well worth the time! Just click on the link below:

Youth Orchestra in Chile

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Winter's Inconvenience

Here's the view outside the living room window this morning.

We received well over a foot of snow since yesterday morning. It came down silent and thick, covering everything. The winter sun this afternoon, against a brilliant blue sky is a gorgeous accent.

Of course, I wasn't thinking of this when I first walked out my side door to shovel it. In fact, it was shocking to see how much had fallen overnight.

I wasn't looking forward to the task of clearing the snow from my driveway - the portion that's closest to the side door and house had formed a convenient alley for the wind to do its work of forming drifts.

Slowly after working through the hardest part and getting closer to the sidewalk and street beyond came the payoff. And it wasn't the payoff I had expected.

Two houses down a neighbor was taking photos of the snow, while another neighbor across the street tried to pull out his car and drive his wife somewhere. After a moment of watching tires spinning I began to walk towards his car to offer a push. But he gave up and drove back into the driveway.

His wife went back inside their home, but he got out of the car, thanked me and engaged the neighbor in conversation. Eventually, I also added a nod or a word. And a winter's inconvenience became an opportunity to encourage the growth of community on our street.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Memorial

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of our Mom's passing. She was 89 and up until the final months of her life, she was fully engaged with family and friends. Among Mom's attributes were:
. loving her family
. loving her friends
. loving her neighbors
. having a deep sense of the spiritual side of things (I'd even venture to say that Mom was someone who had one foot in heaven way before she actually went there)
. she was a romantic at heart, prone to reading fiction (and writing poetry)
. yet she was very practical (a great cook, for instance) which leads to...
. she loved to have family over for special meals
. she enjoyed her book club!
. she was always happy to see you
. she was always ready with a hug
. she had a ready smile

I've probably told this story before, but it really bears repeating.

When I was a kid (maybe 7 or 8) one summer day our Mom asked us to bring one of the neighbor kids into the house. It turned out she wanted to give him a bath. While he was in the tub, I was a little peeved that Mom was giving a kid I barely knew a bath. When I asked her the reason for her action, she looked at me with compassion in her eyes and said, "Dan, he needs one."

And it was true. Mom always had an eye out to help others. It was deep in her DNA, having been born on a farm, with neighbors routinely extending a helping hand to each other.

Thank you Mom for your example of a life well lived!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Win a Free Copy of 20 Short Ones

Register to win a FREE copy of my book, 20 Short Ones, at
The give-away runs through January 14, 2015.

In other "publishing" news, I had two book-signings in Kalamazoo recently, one in mid-October at Family Christian Stores on S. Westnedge (many thanks to Diane White, Store Manager and her crew who helped me free right at home). This was a book-signing that included #RoxanneFawley and #JosephPadhal. In mid-November I was part of another multi-author book-signing that included #JaneKnuth (author of Thrift Store Saints, Thrift Store Graces and with her daughter Love Will Steer Me True).  Kudos to Margo Tramel of #BarnesandNoble on South Westnedge who made six authors feel right at home in her store.

Finally, I'd like to thank the over 700 folks who have put 20 Short Ones "on the shelf" to read! It's exciting to see support for the book grow!

Happy New Year everyone!