If you think this was easy, think again. You try and come up with 101 things about yourself. You’ll see. This will teach me to try and be all clever and original with my website. Anyway, all the factoids below are just that – factoids. If there’s something I’ve missed or something you would like to know, just contact me.
1. I proudly served in the U.S. Navy. I spent 2 years in DC as part of the Ceremonial Guard and 2 years in South Korea. I was never on a ship but saw one from far away – big, grey thing, right?
2. I have a pretty severe case of ADHD. What was I saying? Seriously, though, I have it.
3. This one time, at band camp – I was never in the band nor can I play any musical instrument, well maybe a poor rendition of chopsticks.
4. Monday evenings – reserved for bowling. In the off-season, I enjoy other old man sports like horseshoes, shuffleboard, and whittling. In case you were wondering, my bowling average is 185.
5. If I won a contest or was granted a wish to spend the day with any famous person I wanted, I'd choose Mark Cuban. I think one day under his mentorship would be worth its weight in gold.
6. I’m typically very polite unless you act like an asshole. Then I stoop to your level and act like an asshole too.
7. I'm pretty healthy, but I do have a sweet tooth.
8. I love tattoos. If I could get away with it in corporate America, I’d have two full sleeves. I want a classic hula girl, grass skirt, coconut bra, the works!
9. I attended the University of Toledo where I was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity. We had a LOT of great parties. Groundhog Day was the pinnacle event of the year.
10. A group of us went out drinking when I lived in D.C. as we often did. My buddy, John, had to leave and the rest of the group insisted that I make sure he get to his car. I was hammered and wanted nothing to do with the idea so I paid a homeless person ten dollars to help John to his car. When confronted by John the next day, I confessed. He was relieved to hear that some random bum hadn’t been stalking him.
11. I was raised Irish Catholic which means I repress most emotions, had whiskey rubbed on my gums as a baby when I was teething, and will legitimately consider beer a meal. An oddity – I hate corned beef. I do love a good Turkey Reuben, though.
12. Math sucks.
13. My ex-wife grew up on a farm and loved horses. She asked me to take horseback riding lessons on Sundays – during football season. I did. The class was comprised of a half-dozen six-year-old girls and me. I finished the class and now, eight years later, have yet to ride a horse. Those little girls showed me up.
14. I’ve never been snow skiing. I hate the cold.
15. I don’t smoke. I tried once when I was twelve after seeing Stand By Me and threw up for a good hour. Same thing with chewing tobacco, although that was after an Indian’s Game when I was 16 and the throwing up was in my buddy, Robby’s car. I still feel bad about that.
16. My friend, Gil, taught me all my best, cheesy pick-up lines. “That’s a pretty dress. It would look a lot prettier crumpled up at the bottom of my bed.” Another favorite is.. “No? You know what no means, right? It means try a better line.” I’ve been smacked as many times as I’ve been kissed. Good ‘ol Gil.
17. I hate doing laundry and especially hate folding my clothes and putting them away. There's a 90% chance that at any time, I have a laundry basket full of clean clothes sitting in my room. Oddly enough, I'm very neat and tidy otherwise. I don't mind doing dishes.
18. When we were kids, my grandpa would tell my sister and I to get our winter coats in mid-July. He’d then drive us to the slaughterhouse where we’d have to walk through the freezer while he picked his steaks and bullshitted with his buddies. My sister is a vegetarian.
19. I loathe buying clothes which is why I rot in the same jeans until they are literally too holy to wear. I also refuse to throw out tee shirts, especially souvenir concert tee’s.
20. Whistling is a hobby of mine as is laughing.
21. Eggs are the most disgusting things on the planet. If you’re repulsed by eggs like I am, then you should never ever learn about the Filipino delicacy called balut. A military friend of mine told me what it was and I dry-heaved for fifteen minutes.
22. I’m a photic sneezer. I sneeze in bright light.
23. At my sister’s wedding, I was the ambassador of dance. I’m an amazing dancer (in my own mind, of course).
24. I've been told I'm a great public speaker.
25. Sometimes I let my daughter paint my nails and do my hair. It really makes me wish she had a sister.
26. I once hit on a nurse at 5AM before being carted off for nose surgery. I’d later discover that she thought I was gay.
27. When it comes to dares for money or a bet, I’m typically hard-pressed to refuse.
28. My Gramps (not the slaughterhouse Grandpa) was born on June 9th. His oldest son, my dad, was born on June 9th. I was born on June 10th. Had I been born a day earlier, we would have made the Guinness Book of World Records for three generations born on the same day.
29. Texting is good for telling someone you’re running a little late. I hate it when people try to have an entire conversation via text. I won’t do it.
30. Coffee is my addiction. I’m now doing the half decaf half regular just to keep my heart from exploding (the ADHD drugs + caffeine = bad sessions.)
31. “Hater” is the only current slang I really like. I like it because it’s true. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of negative haters to call my own very soon. Player and pimp are also solid depending on the context.
32. On the driving range, I’m untouchable – a spectacle really. The moment I step foot on the golf course, I’m as unpredictable and volatile as the weather in Cleveland.
33. I’ve never been in a car accident. I still believe women and old folks are terrible drivers. I have yet to be proven wrong about this. Sorry, ladies. You’re still fascinating creatures, but, admit it, you’re not the best behind the wheel.
34. I’m not violent and I don’t fight. There are, however, 3 or 4 people in this world that if I ever see them again, I will punch them square in the nose.
35. I believe that rock, paper; scissors can solve almost any disagreement.
36. I love music and love bands that still have something to say. As far as pop, I believe pop music is like an auditory cup of coffee. There's no nutritional value, but it will get you going.
37. I hate paying bills. It’s just not something that interests me.
38. I think that Washington politicians are great entertainers but do little in the way of bettering our country. The fact that one can make a life and career as a politician is oxymoronic. It should be a term of civil service. No American should ever be a career politician. If it’s a career, then they’re predisposed as a human to place their needs above those they serve.
39. I’m looking forward to my eventual death. If heaven is as amazing as described, I can’t wait to get there. Those who say they believe in life after death but are still afraid to die are probably lying to themselves about believing. Either that, or they’ve done some baaad stuff.
40. My High School job was that of Soda Jerk although we preferred Ice Cream Technologist. I made sundaes, milkshakes, and a variety of other tasty treats at Malley’s Chocolates, a Cleveland institution. I was fortunate in my younger days to have a high metabolism, so milkshakes were a food group for several years.
41. I’ve never used foul language in front of my Grandma and try not to curse around women in general. It’s good to have an on and off switch when it comes to cussing. It takes practice, but it can be done.
42. I absolutely hate negativity. I hear more people complain about why something can’t be done and what the world hasn’t given them. What’s even worse are those people who act like the world owes them something. This false sense of entitlement is one of my biggest pet peeves.
43. My political affiliation is Republican. I know, crazy, right? I’m actually more Libertarian. I believe we should be governed by the constitution, not a two party liberal/conservative group of politicians. I vote Republican because I’m much more conservative regarding issues that affect the country (Defense, Spending, Budget, etc.) I’m much more liberal with regard to social issues (Gay Marriage, Abortion, Legalization of Marijuana, etc.) These issues don’t affect all Americans and should therefore be dealt with at the State and Local levels. I believe in a small Federal Government and would love to see every American take home more of what they earn.
44. I will get back to Hawaii one day and when I do, I’ll likely stay for good.
1. It doesn’t come easy. I consider myself a constant work in progress and probably always will.
2. I love editors. Without them, idiots like me would be comma splicing all over the place.
3. The Jamaican Flowers I published is my 5th draft.
4. I try to write a little every day. Some days I fail. Other days, I dominate.
5. It’s impossible for me to read anything for sheer pleasure anymore. I’m either looking for new techniques or studying the book I’m reading to address craft matters I’m struggling to master.
6. I’m not flowery with my language or style. I don’t plan on becoming so as I continue to crank out novels. I’m not out to impress other writers or the literary snobs of the world. I’m here to entertain my readers.
7. My main character in Jamaican Flowers (Sonny Flowers) was inspired by a combination of “The Dude” and Dr. Thomas Campbell, author of My Big Toe. Were Sonny to ever be portrayed on the big screen, I could see Jeff Bridges or Sam Elliott nailing the role.
8. The authors I like to read are: Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, Hunter Thompson, James Patterson, Christopher Moore, and Nick Hornby to name a few.
9. I’m not nearly as well read, as I should be. I blame the ADHD.
10. I don’t need to be “inspired” to write. I make it all up as I go. What I do need is a quiet space and a few uninterrupted hours to get a good rhythm going (that’s what she said – sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
11. The name of my next book is Rumba Republic (unless I decide to change it) and it should be out before the end of the year. I have the second draft completed and am hoping it will only take three. It’s a bigger story than Jamaican Flowers, and revolves around a central theme of baseball, not marijuana.
12. I never worry about whether or not people like what I write. I just assume they’ll hate it. That way, every positive review is an unexpected surprise.
13. I write to entertain and inspire. Whether someone reads about me or my books and decides to give their own book a shot of life, or they find themselves inspired by one of my zany characters, it doesn’t matter to me where the inspiration comes from as long as they act on it. I like knowing that I can offer a reader the chance to lose themselves in a story after a shitty day at the office or an even shittier one at home. People need a break from reality once in a while. I typically need it every day.
14. I have a surprisingly difficult time inventing names for my characters. I’ve started keeping an email folder filled with spam messages I receive. They’re usually from someone. I’ll grab a couple names from that folder from time to time. It’s been extremely helpful.
15. The best piece of advice I ever received was, “there are many ways to solve a problem, not just one perfect way.” I call on this advice almost daily. I used to be a perfectionist. Now I’m a recovering perfectionist.
16. I don’t know why it matters, but I get asked about what computer I use to write. I have a Macbook Air. I like it because it’s lightweight and the keyboard has a nice slant to it. The old Macbook Pro used to cut into my wrists when I’d type. I’d have to use a kitchen towel or yank my sleeves over the wrists when I was in a groove. Note – I hate Lion OSX. I’m still using Snow Leopard.
17. I’m a terrible typist. I only use my index and middle finger on each hand to type and I have to look at the keys. I can’t look at the screen and type. Believe it or not, I can still whip out about 35-40 words per minute. I feel like the dog that’s learned how to run on three legs.
18. The novel writing craft matter I struggle with most is character sympathy and engagement – the characters thoughts about their feelings and feelings about their thoughts.
19. The area where I feel I’m strongest is that I always remember to put punctuation at the end of my sentences
20. I don’t have a formal degree in writing. I’ve never taken a creative writing class and I don’t have an English degree. I don’t have any college degree for that matter. The fact I’m literate at all is a minor miracle.
21. Sales and marketing are as important (if not more important) to me than writing the actual book. I’ve met plenty of talented engineers and artists over the years who’ve created the most amazing things but hadn’t the first clue how to sell it.
22. I’ll probably never write anything serious. It’s not in me to even try. If I’m going to toil over a book that could kill a relationship or two in the process, it might as well be funny.
23. I write because I love to do it. I like telling stories. It’s in me the way it’s in a stripper to work that pole.
24. My dream is to call myself one of the lucky few that are able to write novels for a living.
25. I wouldn’t be here as a writer if it weren’t for my mentor, Bruce McAllister. For all you writers out there who want to become more – get help. It’s the greatest piece of advice I can offer.
1. Soda – Pepsi
2. Bands – Dave Matthews, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Jimmy Buffett, Rush, Weezer, Collective Soul, The Strokes, Vampire Weekend
3. Actor – Bill Murray
4. Actress – Emily Blunt
5. T.V. Show – Always Sunny in Philadelphia
6. Movie – The Big Lebowski
7. Book – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
8. Gadget – iPhone
9. Sexual position – The Flying Camel
10. Computer – Mac
11. Vice – bowling for money and sniffing glue (just kidding. I never bowl for money)
12. President – Used to be Reagan, but I think I’m now leaning toward one of the founding fathers, Jefferson probably.
13. Car – 1969 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible
14. Color – Red, White, and Blue
15. Beer – Great Lakes Christmas Ale
16. Bowler – Norm Duke
17. App – Shazam
18. Candy – Red Twizzlers Licorice
19. Undies – Boxer Briefs
20. Porn Movie Title – It’s a tie between In Diana Jones and the Temple Poon and Legally Boned
21. Shoes – flip-flops
22. Superhero – The Incredible Hulk (Spider-Man a close second)
23. Republican Presidential Candidate – Ron Paul
24. Cleveland-born personalities – Joe Walsh and Drew Carey
25. Season – Summer
26. Hobby – making mix tapes and napping
27. Food – Spaghetti and meatballs
28. Sports team – Cleveland Indians
29. Insult – douche (especially great when combined with other words i.e douche monkey, douche knob, doucher, dirty douche, etc.)
30. Physical feature – my glorious forehead
31. Breed of dog – Dobermann (European)
32. Novelty from the freezer isle – Ice Cream Sandwiches