Downtrodden strangers and eager children alike delighted in the strange tales he pulled out of the musty canvas sack, mottled with patches.
He never told the same story twice. Each time the story he pulled out was the perfect match for the audience.
Daddy told tales about magical lands, lonely mothers, and recaptured lost loves.
He was generous with the yarns in the bag — sharing them at wakes, in line at the store, and with anyone holding a sign reading “Anything Helps”.
Somehow, the old raconteur managed to trade tales for food, rent, and even our electric bill.
After I moved away, a letter would arrive with a chronicle from Daddy’s sack whenever life got too heavy to bear. …
Do you have an archetypical story from your life?
One that foreshadows who you would become while also symbolizing who you always were?
Mine happened when I was 18-months old.
Mom thought I had swallowed a diaper pail deodorizer. This was before the days of poison control.
The pediatrician told her to give me some ipecac syrup — which apparently was something everyone had laying around in the 1970s — to get me to vomit up whatever I had swallowed.
Mom gave me some and nothing happened. The doctor told her to give me more.
Again, nothing happened.
The doctor told her to try one more time. …
I recently discovered a treasure trove of pirate obituaries. The strange thing about these death notices was that they were all written in haiku. Who knew buccaneers were such poets?
These 17-syllable obituaries paint a much different picture of pirate life than you may be used to. It turns out there were a lot of ways for a pirate to meet their end.
I have taken the liberty of poorly sketching a few of my favorite pirate obituaries on index cards.
Running is a cult.
You may be surprised to hear that someone as large and in charge as me is not a fan of running. I haven’t always been this girth. In high school, I was a wiry runner on the varsity cross country team.
The truth is everyone you know who says they love to run is under the power of the Runner Industrial Complex. It has control over their free time, their bank accounts, and even their friendships.
Big Run has lied to all runners everywhere.
Runners don’t love running.
They love having gone for a run. There’s a big difference between loving running and loving what happens after you finally stop. …
Content marketing is a powerful tool for building trust between your business and your potential customers. Many business owners and marketers worry about oversharing. What if you give all of your best stuff away, and people just take your content to solve their own problems?
When thinking about your content marketing strategy, before you worry about what kind of content you need and how much of your secret sauce you should share, you need to get clear on who you are serving.
People who are looking to do things for themselves are not your target buyers. You are selling a solution. Your ideal customers want a full solution, not a blueprint for solving their problems on their own. The freebie seekers and the do-it-yourselfers are not your ideal customers. …
Medium is one of the most exciting platforms for writers. It’s easy to publish your work. There are no gatekeepers or technical hurdles stopping you. It is also much easier to find an audience on Medium than it is on a traditional blog. Even better, if you want, you can get paid for your work directly from the platform. You don’t have to sell a course or affiliate products — you can get paid based on the amount of time people spend reading your words.
However, if you are a professional writer, you have to guard your time carefully. …
Humans ask questions. We are an irrepressibly curious species. Some of us are also neurotic and keep asking the same two questions over and over again. We want to know how to get more done in a day and how to be happier.
The truth is these are both the same question.