Tuffy Fears He May Be Losing his Owner’s Affection in ‘Dog Vs Ultra Dog’

dog vs ultra dog, children's fiction, troy wilson, net galley, review, owlkids books

Many fears and insecurities come up in ‘Dog Vs Ultra Dog’

Fear and doubt can crop up sometimes. I think it is a normal thing to happen. When it does though it is important to try not to dwell on it too much. This isn’t always an easy thing to do though. Tuffy learns this lesson in Dog Vs Ultra Dog. I was able to read a digital copy of this book and here is what I thought of it.

You can read the plot for Dog Vs Ultra Dog here:

Tim loves his pet dog, Tuffy, and Tuffy adores his boy. Tim also happens to be an überfan of the TV superhero Ultra Dog: he watches the shows, reads the books, plays the video games, wears the cape, and even sports Ultra Dog underwear. Despite cajoling from the neighboring cat, Tuffy has absolutely no fear that Ultra Dog is stealing his boy. Ultra Dog is too famous to want a regular boy…right?

Just in case, Tuffy tries extra hard to be super obedient and to outdo Ultra Dog with his love for Tim. But when Tuffy hears about Tim’s upcoming trip to Ultra Land, the faithful pup is officially afraid of losing his boy. What’s a dog to do? Fight back, of course! Tuffy enacts a plan to beat Ultra Dog once and for all, and the reward is unexpected—but awesome.

Dog Vs Ultra Dog told a really good story. When Tuffy fears he may be losing his owner to someone else, he is ready to do whatever it takes to get them back. He tries all kinds of crazy things, and none of them work of course. Yet just when all seems to be lost, he finds out all these fears were unwarranted. A good lesson it told in these colorful pages, that fear can happen but only gets bad if you act on it. I think kids of all ages will have a lot of fun reading this story.

Dog Vs Ultra Dog comes out tomorrow. You can pre-order this book on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

 

The post Tuffy Fears He May Be Losing his Owner’s Affection in ‘Dog Vs Ultra Dog’ appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2XbCan6

Love Lost, Never

By Hugo Sanchez

We’re born to love! We were created to be loving individuals. We grew to believe that we lost the ability to love because of personal experiences, but that’s not true. We learned to mask “our love” for others. We sometimes even fooled ourselves into believing we don’t love the very people we want to hate. I speak of my mother.

It’s funny to read this; to say that my first true experience with Unconditional Love that I can remember was with a dog. Chula, my Pitbull, my loyal, loving, caring friend who was always gentle, despite her breed’s bad rep. She never once rejected me, neglected me, abused me. Even when I mistreated her, mis-fed her, kicked her, screamed at her. She still always had a smile for me, wagged her tail for me, was always overjoyed to see me and always showed her love for me…until I lost her.

I have experiences with lost love, physically. I have lost more loved ones than I have fingers on my hand, but the love for them is still in my heart. I’ve never lost that, nor will we ever.

Loving others is the most painful and rewarding process we will ever experience. This is coming from someone who was fearless when it came to dying…but when it came to the heart? I was an emotional coward.

My love for others is colossal, and so is my pain when I’m hurt. Love will never be lost, don’t fool yourself.

Visit Popstheclub, or find them on Twitter @popstheclub and on Facebook

Discover what POPS the Club is all about.

The Essence of POPS the Club.

All it Takes is One Teacher.

The Day My Life Changed.

I’m Not the Only One


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The post Love Lost, Never appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2ZbggSH

Nordurland – An Arctic Surfing Adventure

It follows three friends from the subtropical northern rivers of NSW Australia, surfers Torren Martyn and Laurie Towner, as well as need essentials founder and designer Ryan Scanlon. They travel to isolated, snow-covered coastlines in search of remote waves and Filmmaker Ishka Folkwell, beautifully captures these vast and stunning landscapes on screen. With an original soundtrack composed for the film by Headland, glaciers, mountains and powerful icy surf all come to life in this adventure to the far north. Torren Martyn’s narration throughout the film offers a personal reflection on the trip and a real glimpse into the challenges and rewards of traveling to frozen, distant lands in search of surf.

NORDURLAND – An arctic surfing adventure from needessentials1@gmail.com on Vimeo.

The post Nordurland – An Arctic Surfing Adventure appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IjCvAA

5 Events Every Man Should Attend at Least Once

Some experiences in life change who you are as a person. The event creates a rippling effect in your being, rolling inwards and outwards, affecting everything from how you think to what you believe. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, maybe you haven’t had one of these life-changing experiences quite yet—but you can. Contrary to common belief, it doesn’t take becoming a father or a losing a friend to change your perception of the world.

Here are five events we believe every man should attend in their life at least once in order to grow and evolve.

1. A Leadership Conference

You don’t need to be a business-savvy entrepreneur to attend a leadership conference. These speakers can ignite a fire in you that you were never even aware of. From best-selling authors to Nobel Peace Prize winners, from immigrant millionaires to war heroes, the keynote conference speakers have some serious stories to tell—stories that will almost certainly change your perception of life.

You’ll need to invest a lot of time, attention, and most likely, money, to attend one of these conferences. But if you listen to what they say and actually apply their lessons to how you plan your life, the payoff will be worth it.

Here are some of the top summits:

  • Forbes Under 30 Summit
  • Startup Grind
  • Unleash the Power Within: Tony Robbins Live

 

2. A Networking Event

Leverage everything you learned at your leadership conference and take your elevated entrepreneurial game to a networking event. There, you can use your new skills to acquire business, close deals, network with peers in your industry, meet mentors, and learn how to achieve success. You can even push yourself outside of your comfort zone and publicly speak at the event to share your wisdom and inspire others!

Depending on your sector of work, here are some networking events you should consider attending at least once in your life:

  • Business Network International Convention
  • South by Southwest (SXSW)
  • The World Domination Summit

 

3. A Music Festival

Life is about more than profits and connections, though. Men need to find a work-life balance and be sure to not let the stress of the business world overcome the core of their being. A music festival is one of the best ways to shake off the weight of responsibility you carry around every day! Say goodbye to the real world—and all of its demands—for a weekend, pick up some festival clothing for men to get in the spirit, and explore a sense of freedom that will make you feel rejuvenated when you return on Monday.

These are a few of the top-rated festivals in the U.S.:

  • Coachella
  • Lollapalooza
  • Life is Beautiful
  • Outsidelands

 

If you can’t afford a ticket, you can always look into volunteering or working as event security.

4. A Sporting Pilgrimage

Seeing your team take the championship is an experience you’ll tell your grandchildren about over and over again, remembering in fine detail the weather of that momentous day, the umpire’s call that almost blew it all, and the superstition that finally lifted the curse. No matter how close the TV brings you to the action on the field, there are some things cameras and microphones simply can’t capture.

The top life-changing sporting events include:

  • NFL Superbowl
  • MLB World Series
  • FIFA World Cup
  • S. Open

 

Not into sports? In that case, we encourage you to push yourself and press your limits by signing up for a half-marathon or marathon. Training and accomplishing the goal you set out for will make you feel empowered.

5. A Global Phenomena

Diversity is the spice of life and it takes exploring a different culture to understand our own. Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences people can have—and what better excuse to travel than to attend an incredible event outside of the country?

Read up on some of these global experiences that are definitely worth planning a vacation around:

  • Running of the Bulls, Spain
  • A calcio storico match, Italy
  • Oktoberfest, Germany
  • The peak period of the Northern Lights, Alaska

 

When you look back at your life, any of these five events are guaranteed to stand out and shape who you’ve become. Don’t let time just pass you by—get out there, see the world, and share your story.

This content is sponsored by Suhail Ajamal.

Photo: Shutterstock

The post 5 Events Every Man Should Attend at Least Once appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2GgGN8k

How to Build a Website That Outranks the Competition

Create a concrete presence within the niche you compete by employing an effective content strategy. Your strategy should:

  • Establish expertise, authority and trust through the content you produce on and off site.
  • Focus on the client. All of the content you produce should have the client in mind in order to maximize the value you’re offering.
  • Implement an editorial calendar for the content your company will produce

Enhance your websites SEO with long-form evergreen content

Long-form content is in-depth pieces of content in which the length is arguably an average of 1200 words or more. When visitors read long-form content it increases the time they spend on your website. Google pays close attention to dwell time because it is a direct indication of how useful a website is to a user.

When we refer to evergreen content we refer to articles that provide value to readers for an indefinite amount of time. These types of articles contain fully developed ideas, in depth analysis or teach a specific skill. They come in a variety of forms but most notably are checklists, how-to guides, interviews, infographics or case studies. If written and optimized correctly, an evergreen post to a company blog will generate positive signals to search engines and contribute to a website’s performance.

Web pages with data-driven, resourceful content can encourage visitors to return to the site. When visitors find value in your content, they’ll share your pages and even feature your content on their own websites.

Returning visitors, longer and dwell time are signs of authority, expertise, and trust which are very important ranking signals that will push your site upwards in the search results. Evergreen content contributes to all of the criteria above.

By producing content that stays current for the foreseeable future, you are investing in the growth of your company. Websites with evergreen content attribute a large percentage of their organic traffic to older blog posts that continue to provide value to readers for an indefinite period. The average return on an evergreen post is 30% on traffic approximately three or four months after the post is published.

“Good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.” – Ann Handley

Here are 11 effective ways to structure evergreen content:

1. Lists & Checklists

Creating a top numbered list is an easy way for people to digest content. The titles are instant hooks if the topic is relatable to the reader because a person immediately understands what they’re getting before reading the article such as “Top 10 Ways To Lose 10 Pounds In 30 Days.”

Including numbers in your titles tend to catch a reader’s eye. It also opens the door to optimize articles to show up in position zero. Google has favoured numbered lists in their featured snippets (position zero) in an effort to make searching for answers easier and more efficient.

Give your list a captivating title to amp up the excitement and get a higher click-through rate such as “Top 5 Reasons Companies Succeed At Marketing.”

2. Best of Lists & Product Reviews

“Best of lists” is a timeless form of evergreen content because it can be updated to remain current. For example, the list “Best SEO Tools and Software” can be updated annually and the post maintains the traffic that has been built up from returning visitors by keeping the same URL intact.

3. Ultimate Guides & “How To” Guides

Ultimate guides serve as evergreen content because they are comprehensive, instructional manuals that teach the reader something actionable. Whether your guide is geared towards beginners or readers with advanced knowledge of a topic, the manual should provide a reader with something they can walk away with and apply immediately.

An ultimate guide should provide step by step, detail oriented advice or instruction on a specific topic. “How To” guides are one of the most popular types of evergreen content because they teach people a skill or give them a way to solve a problem.

4. Expert Opinions or Round Up Articles

Grouping a number of experts together that express similar ideas on a topic can make for a powerfully convincing argument. Using quotes and facts from different sources doesn’t leave much room for rebuttal when you are proving a theory.

5. Statistics & Infographics

Collect a number of statistics that will shock and awe your audience and title it “10 high octane statistics about evergreen content.” Statistics can be listed in point form, but combining your stats into an infographic is an enjoyable way to get readers to digest a piece of content that is primarily facts and figures.

Creating content in this format encourages a large number of shares that can equate to backlinks. Facts, figures, and percentages are always what writers look for to include in their content so attribution will amount to more websites linking to your page.

“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

6. Historical Articles

Writing about the history of a specific person, place or event can be a large-scale effort that readers find interesting. Create a timeline of events and take your reader on a journey of any major developments in chronological order. Historical articles have a particular fan base that enjoys reading about real historical events.

7. Q & A Interviews

Developing an in-depth interview on a person of interest is another option for creating long-form content. Quotes or dialogue can be used to progress through the material covered in a single article. Incorporating video is also a great way to promote user engagement. Include the transcript so search engines can read the entire dialogue for SEO purposes.

When a person is an expert in a specific niche, the interview becomes evergreen since there’s no need to update the content when it is all related to the expert opinion of one person of interest at the time of the interview. Whether their opinion changes over time or not, the interview itself is a standalone event.

8. Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes quick-fire questions and answers are a great way to bring up the understanding of any given topic. Structure the content with each question being a progressive stepping-stone from the last.

Frequently asked questions can get a lot of interest if the questions are phrased in an easy to read manner considering there will be a lot of consecutive questions. Make the article more engaging by researching forums and come up with the most common objections and concerns people have regarding a specific topic.

9. Case Studies

Case studies demonstrate your expertise and build authority. This type of content provides readers with first-hand experiences, a story, and hands-on data. Case studies can prove a theory or illustrate how you found a solution to a problem. The best part of case studies is you have first hand data with all the evidence to back it up.

10. Optimize your content and drive up your click-through rates

Long-form, evergreen content will rise to the top of the search results for multiple keywords if it is optimized correctly. Load your article with LSI keywords throughout to enhance the key phrases for which you want people to find on your website.

You can also structure your article to be more likely to show up for position zero by incorporating the tags and list formats. Ask questions most likely to be asked by your potential viewers and tag them as titles.

Tag the answers as titles as well or use a list format if its more suitable and easier to read for the user. There is no guarantee Google will select your snippet for position zero but employing the criteria to be eligible for the featured snippet will at least make your page a candidate for selection.

11. Maximize your audience through high authority websites

Producing evergreen articles is not limited to posting on your website. Market your ideas to well-known blogs that publish related content. There are high authority sites that have a large readership to which you gain access to if they agree to publish your article. The referral traffic you receive from these sites is made up of excellent candidates for your business.

Being published on an authority site gives your company credibility and in most cases a backlink. Guest posting builds the authority of your website allowing you to push your way to the top of the search results. The accumulation of quality backlinks from reputable sites will boost your search visibility to another level and drive more prospects to your website.

Long-form, evergreen content is a strategy that is working across the board to increase traffic and conversions. Implement this marketing strategy to influence key metrics on your website that result in positive ranking signals for the search engines.

The expertise you demonstrate through on site and off site content will give readers the confidence to invest in your services. The investment in creating quality, lead-generating content contributes to the long term growth of traffic and new clients.

Have you thought about building a website to sell products or a blog? What’s the best advice you can give to someone who wants to build a competitive website? Let us know your thoughts below!

source https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/how-to-build-a-website-that-outranks-the-competition/

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Professional Writer

Being a freelance writer is like giving yourself English homework every day for the rest of your life.

English class was kind of like math class. Some people loved it and couldn’t wait, to others the art of language was a mystery, writing itself was a drudgery, and completing essays and reports a real chore. The thought of writing a novel or having to write every single day seems like a nightmare.

Then those same students grew up, started or joined a business, and discovered that one thing they needed to be able to do was to write. When it comes to blogging, developing a website, internet marketing, and link building, quality writing is essential. Most people not only don’t like to write, as a result, they can’t write all that well. It is a specialized skill.

Fortunately, there are a group of people who love to write about a variety of topics and who won’t hesitate to sit all day in front of a computer and plagiarize the alphabet. These individuals not only like to tell their own stories, but many of them are happy to help you tell yours as well.

Your business needs these professional writers. Many of them work on a contract basis as freelancers, so you don’t even have to hire them full time. The difference between the content they create and the things you try to produce is huge and can make the difference between the success and failure of your website or your marketing or link building campaign.

Here are five reasons your business needs a professional writer:

Your Message Needs Clarity

Your business has a service or product to offer, but the reason people will use that service or buy your product has little to do with price or even the product you actually produce. Why are millions of Apple users still fans of the company’s products even when they complain about the keyboards and battery issues and products cost more?

The reason is simple. They are brand loyal because of Apple’s commitment to security, their simplistic functionality, and their commitment to meeting customer needs and wants they didn’t even know they had. Why the company does what it does, the way they put the customer first is more important than the actual products they produce.

Your message, your why needs this kind of clarity to build brand loyalty. If your message is muddled or your website is filled with grammatical errors, unnecessary words, and unedited text, your customers and prospects will perceive that as a reflection of your commitment to quality. The way your message is written and presented is just as important as the message itself. You need clear, concise language created by a professional.

You Need Another Voice

If yours is the only voice on your website, you need another voice or even set of voices to balance it out. Otherwise, your site becomes rather narcissistic and self-promoting. Your readers can tell when everything is in one tone and from a single point of view.

Another voice, another tone, is essential. This also prevents boredom on the part of your reader. You probably repeat themes and words without realizing it. Often businesses run out of ideas to write about on their blogs or even in link building campaigns. One of the jobs of a professional writer is to come up with more creative ideas, making your content stand out.

The thing you don’t want for your website is for it to be dull. Hiring a professional writer will add another voice that validates and hones your message.

You Aren’t That Good at It

You might be good at emails and writing the reports you need to every day, but when it comes to web content and blog posts, you probably aren’t that good at it. The reason? Writing is a developed skill. There is talent involved, but there are also formulas for good web writing and blog posts. The more practice you get the better.

A professional writer does this kind of thing for a living, just like you practice your profession. You wouldn’t hire someone to do your job who had little or no experience or who had an entirely different area of expertise. They might be able to perform some of the functions of your job, but probably would not be that great at it.

The same is true of writing. Hiring someone who is less than a professional to do it or trying to do it yourself is like diagnosing and treating your own medical condition using the internet. You might be right, but you might not, and if you’re wrong the consequences can be costly.

The Time Factor

How much time do you have to dedicate to writing web content a week? A month? If the answer is only a few hours or less, you need a professional. Often the issue is that you need to get your mind in the right place and be without distraction to write effectively. The thing is you don’t always have that chance, and it is easy to look at that writing as a low priority task and skip it if something else comes up.

The truth is that creating content is a vital part of your marketing strategy, and if you don’t have time to do it or simply put it off, eventually you will lose search engine rankings and organic web traffic, things that can drastically harm your bottom line.

A professional writer has the time and resources to create content for you and paying them for their time is much less expensive than using your own time and possibly wasting more of it than you anticipated.

Leave it to the Pros

You would not have a bad experience with a doctor and go start your own medical practice thinking you could do better. No, you would search for and find a more professional physician you could trust. You would not hire a cashier to be your accountant or a beginning guitar student to play music at your event.

In the same way, you shouldn’t hire an amateur to write your web content or blog. Nor should you try to do it yourself because your competition’s blog looks horrible and you feel like you could do better.

Your business needs a professional writer.

Originally Published on Unbound Northwest

ID: 524940991

The post 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Professional Writer appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2VJpHGT

Ideas That Will Awaken Your Children’s Creativity

In a world filled with fake friends, fake news and apps that allow you to create counterfeit versions of yourself, how do you inspire your children’s creativity and drive for life?

As a foster mother and a mom of a teen, I’ve had to learn how to navigate this subject. Being that creativity is so important in forming the person you will become, we’ve come up with some fun strategies to get a child’s mind engaged and open up a world of possibilities.

Ideas

  • Get out the glue gun and popsicle sticks
    • You’d be surprised at the creations that can come from this.  Let them build a home, a plane or even a bridge that holds their weight. Look at your possible architects, piolets, and engineers.
  • Bring them out into the woods
    • Not only can you bond with your kiddos this way but you can show them animal tracks, types of trees, and even bugs. Look at your future wildlife protectors, teachers, and entomologist.
  • Bring them to a museum
    • I know this would be hard for some parents and I know it was hard for my kiddo the first time. However, it is one hundred percent worth it. Look at your future artist, designer or in-depth thinking critique.

Children may be dreamers, but sometimes they can only dream as far as they have been brought out into the world. If the only things they have seen is tv, phones, and parents that do not play, the future is looking pretty dull.

Parents, I dare you to play! Be a part of who they become. Do not be someone who sits on the sidelines waiting for the day they turn eighteen.

 

Photo by UroshPetrovic  on iStock

The post Ideas That Will Awaken Your Children’s Creativity appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2Za2GyK

Dennis Gilbert Garcia: Turn it Around

The Bristlecone Project is an awareness campaign of 1in6.org. Photographs and text by David Lisak, Ph.D.

Raised by a single mother in Albuquerque, Dennis was first sexually abused at age 7 by a cousin, who threatened to kill his mother. Dennis endured other abuses – older children; the owner of a local store; a high school art teacher. He disclosed to his mother; she did not believe him. After graduating from high school, Dennis began working, and his intelligence and capabilities were soon evident. But he struggled with relationships; his ability to trust had been shattered.

Someone introduced him to methamphetamine, Dennis tried it and “felt like superman.” So began a long history of drug use, drug dealing, and its consequences. Dealing drugs, and being successful at it, gave him a feeling of power that countered the profound powerlessness that haunted him since the abuse he suffered as a child. He did his first stint in prison at 33. During his next stint, Dennis was gang raped and severely beaten. After his release, he tried counseling, but still felt a profound void in his soul. A friend asked for help moving some drugs. Dennis agreed, was set up, and was facing 35 years in prison. But for the first time, an angel appeared in his life, in the form of a local police officer. She told Dennis: “I think you’re really done. Are you?” She spoke on his behalf, and Dennis got five years probation. He moved to a distant corner of New Mexico, got involved in the church, and began the process of filling that void in his soul. “By the grace of God, I’m finally becoming free.”

Originally posted on 1in6.org

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2UcwnM0

Blow Up Your TV…

I haven’t watched the news in over a month. The only shows on in our house lately have been Super Monsters, Bubble Guppies, and CoComelon. In that order. On repeat. (all my toddler parents out there, you know).

Our abandonment of the news wasn’t a conscious decision; it just happened. Because of Daylight Saving Time, our morning routine got thrown off, and well, the news didn’t make the cut.

And you know what? I feel GREAT.

Refreshed in a way that I haven’t felt in forever. No more daily doses of the latest political soap opera. No more bringing up said soap opera with my coworkers and friends, trying to gauge their responses. No more casting judgment.

There’s just love! Pure, undiluted cartoon monsters and mermaid LOVE!

It reminds me of the chorus from the John Prine song, “Spanish Pipedream”:

“Blow up your TV, throw away your paper, go to the country, build you a home.

Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try and find Jesus, on your own.”

(Ignore the “throw away your paper” part. I’d like you to keep reading the paper, especially The Courier. By the way, what do you think about the Dem-Gaz no longer delivering daily papers? Shoot me a line at elicranor.com and maybe I’ll use it in next week’s column.)

In short, the Cranor family has been living the “Spanish Pipedream.” We don’t watch much TV, we don’t follow the news, and Lord knows we eat our fair share of peaches!

So, yeah, this off-the-reservation lifestyle has been nice, but is it responsible?

Are we being dependable citizens by remaining ignorant to the political climate? The local news? Heck, even the weather?

Maybe not.

Especially not in a democracy, where, you know, the people are supposed to rule. And in order to rule, the people need to be able to formulate their own opinions about what’s right and what’s wrong — they need to stay informed.

So if a family, like mine, stops watching the news, are we being bad citizens?

That was the question my wife and I asked around the breakfast table earlier this week. We’d already paid our taxes, we voted multiple times in 2018, and we regularly help out with local volunteer work — but were we somehow in the wrong for disregarding the news?

I don’t think so. Not with the news in its current state. Not when you can flip between channels and get different versions of the truth. What’s worse — you can PICK the version of truth you’d rather hear. What kind of truth is that?

Not one that’s worth your time, your energy, your passion. It’s definitely not worth losing friends or stirring up quarrels amongst family members.

So what should you do?

Take the time you’d regularly spend watching the news and do these things instead:

Seek goodness in the people around you. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be kind to your neighbor. Say hello to the lonely (another great Prine song, “Hello In There”). Help feed the poor.

John Prine was on to something back in 1971 when he released “Spanish Pipedream.” Little did he know, his fantastical song would one day be a rallying cry for the modern-day American “Dream.”

What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.

submit to Good Men Project

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The post Blow Up Your TV… appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IzvdrJ

Preparing For the Big Speech

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak at an autism event about 90 minutes from my house, so I began preparing draft after new draft after draft revision.  It became maddening, but luckily early in the final week what I really wanted to talk on was what I was asked to talk on.  I thought I had it ready to go.  The dumbest seven words a writer can ever say.

 

Tuesday I was asked if I could attend a conference at no cost.  It was this weekend at Ozark on the Lakes, someplace I had never been.  So I packed and had the speech ready to go.  I headed out for my two and a half hour drive when my mind drifted to my speech.  I thought of ways to make it better.  Way better.  So, I talked into my phone, which I hate doing as I don’t like my own voice, and finally pulled up to Walmart, ran in and came back out with two packs of 5×8 cards.

 

By this point, I knew the whole speech thing was being re-written, so I figured why not have the necessary supplies with me?

After checking into the hotel it was conference time until an hour before dinner and then for the rest of the evening after our dinner ceremony.  If I had only bought yarn and some scotch tape I could have looked the part of a crazy conspiracy theorist.

 

I was on and off the speechwriting all night.  It would absolutely get done with a clear head, but I had editing and other writing projects to attend to as well.  I made time as I could.

I finished up card #12 in the final draw around 1 am.

As is the case with many on the spectrum, we crave routine and that’s why I never sleep well my first night away from home.  As is normal, I got zero hours of sleep, which is just what you need as you’re preparing for a busy day.

After checking out of the hotel I realized I left the headlights on all night when the car wouldn’t start, so I had to get it going before I could head on my way.

As I drove I wondered what else could go wrong.  Would I hit a cow?  Maybe T-Bone a tractor or something even worse.  But nothing happened and I delivered my speech pretty much as written in the notes on the note cards,  I say “pretty much: because at times I was winging it and forgot I had note cards.

 

This is normally a whole big situation that would have brought out the stress in me, yet I held it in.  That’s weird.  Stress can be controlled and it doesn’t have to control us?  Who knew?

 

Anyway, we had a nice, albeit brief talk about growing up off the autism spectrum as I did and about how important it is to make sure those graduating high school have a plan in place to succeed in life.

 

Besides pulled pork sandwiches and blueberry cobbler, what else could you ask for?

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