The Doctor is In

I was going to write something else today, but a good friend sent me this email request first thing this morning:   Give us an inspiring blog about writing. Give us a reason to keep going.   In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve never been accused of being the most inspirational guy on the…
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Take My Advice

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself. —   Oscar Wilde   I’m not a big fan of advice, particularly the unsolicited variety. So it stands to reason that I’m not overly fond of advice songs, a sub- genre of music that’s…
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Lazin’ on a Sunny Afternoon

Welcome to the fourth installment of “Real Men of Genius,” the semi-semi-regular feature that celebrates creative artists who, while successful, have been largely under-appreciated by the general public (with apologies to Bud Light for letting me rip off their commercial theme). A few weeks ago I posted a blog called “Innovators and Imitators,” which addressed…
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Lessons from World Book Night

“Excuse me, ma’am, can I offer you a free copy of ‘Friday Night Lights’?”   The woman recoiled as if I were holding a baby rattler. “No!” she shouted, backing away. And then, by way of mumbled explanation, “I don’t read.”   She’s not alone. According to an Associated Press poll, one-quarter of all Americans…
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Innovators and Imitators

While waiting in vain for the next music messiah, I thought I’d reflect on some of the true originals who changed life as we know it, and the imitators who followed in their wake. I’m actually a little too young to have been an Elvis fan when he burst on the scene. I have no…
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Shut Up and Work

In honor of my 100th blog post, I’m turning the reins over to guest columnist and business partner Alex Raffi, whose message should become a mantra, an initiative and (to paraphrase Arlo Guthrie) a movement. Let’s start seeing these words on bumper stickers, T- shirts and the occasional tattoo.   Shut up and work. We…
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Finding the Time

From the “I’m Feeling Churlish Department” . . .   Back when I was consistently hawking my wares at book festivals and the like, some well-meaning soul would invariably saunter up   to my table and inform me that he or she intended to “write a book as soon as I find the time.” I’d look…
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Nothing Like a Good Rant

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In real life, most folks don’t talk in speeches. They talk in little sound bites, most of which are borderline incoherent. Don’t believe me? Open to any page of the Watergate transcripts next time you’re bored. But in the movies, every now and then, a character reels off a doozy of a speech that becomes…
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The Keys to Life (and Stuff)

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I’m not a big fan of motivational posters. For one thing, they are rarely motivating. For another, the messages tend to be dumb. I’m reminded of one I saw years ago depicting eagles soaring high over a mountaintop. The caption read, “They can because they think they can.” That’s not technically true. They can because…
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Elmore Leonard’s Top 10

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Birthday gift card burning a hole in my pocket, I wandered into Barnes & Noble yesterday in search of . . . who knows what. Half the appeal is having no idea what you’re interested in and waiting for something to jump off the shelves. As usual, I checked out the remainder and bargain displays…
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