Summer 2011 – Changes are coming, but slower than I’d like

Readers of T.A.A.

Sorry I’ve been goner so long, I really intended for have May 2011 be the start of my comeback after weeks of frustrating, and even fatal meltdowns, I won’t bore you with the rant-latent stages of grief I’ve gone through, but I want to touch some things I I’ve learned from my most recent crisis.

Some of my long hiatus can be explained with two simple words, fear, and failure. But I don’t meant the normal “failure” all writers deal with,many writers before us had to fail a lot before success came for them, it’s no different for me and those writer’s I’m glad to know, if only over the web for now, and me in turn, and often being reminded you’re not alone in feeling like you’re craft’s just at a standstill for whatever reason, and if ANYTHING positive came out of a p

Please stop by T.A.A. this weekend, when I’ll re-launch my Prose and Poetry Slam contest, which was delayed to do my being too quick to act before some things were ready. Please check the Contests Page for the official rules, you’ll have now (June 21st!) until September 10th, 2011,  to sbumit your stories and poems. For those who did submit earlier entries prior to the contest being delayed to better prepare things on my end, rest assured you’re submissions will still count and you needen’t send them again. If you’re not sure if your  entry was received, please e-mail at the address below-

How a Scarry World Gave Me Courage

I’ve got a confession to make. When I was a kid, I wasn’t the book-crazed fanatic I am today, and like most kids who was a devotee of television,

The real problem for me not finding the joys of reading earlier in life was simply this-

I never found books I would read without teachers forcing me to. With few exceptions, I think all writers truly blossom when they finally find those books, and discover the writers who wrote them.

While they were parts of my childhood that I never want to relive, it was in some ways the best parts of my life. My grandma worked longer hours than she does now, and her past jobs were no where near as stressful as her current gig as a state social worker, and while we certainly bumped heads in that uniquely parent vs. child kind of way, it was much easier to forigve the times when we got too fed up with each other.

Recently I bought the DVD that released last fall, around the same time I was first getting things rolling with T.A.A.

It’s been well over a decade since I last watched this show, and like with all blasts from the past, there’s always that fear it won’t stand the test of time, since what may have moved me and gave me a chance to laugh, when my own life brought only anger or tears, no longer gave me that hopeful feeling I lost from age 12 to today.

 off things that otherwise would only create anger and bitter-not-so-sweet moments.

After a few minutes in, I was relieved, it was just like I remembered it, and it still makes me smile in all the right ways.


For those of writers who don’t also illustrate their own books, I think we learn to appreciate even moreso the true art, craft, and dedication professional illustrators have to giving visuals to all the dreams, nightmares, and everything in between in life.

I drew more as kid than when I got older, and wasn’t all that good at it, but I loved working with colors, and next to English class, I loved taking art in school, it was one of the few times in my early years where I wasn’t bound to a severely strict way of looking at things. It saddens me that so many art programs get cut, and I think it does kids a serious disservice.

Especially because my school experience wasn’t all that hopeful, even taking bully troubles out of the picture, I’m a firm believer that kids need these kind of creative outlets, because for better or worse, adults control so much in their lives now, they have a right to have something, ANYTHING, that brings them joy, and learn something worthwhile about themselves, regardless if it can go on a college resume or not, and while many parents/teachers/writers tell me kids don’t think about that stuff in grade school and junior high, in my opinion, they’re kidding themselves.

When we talk education these days, we treat it like a job we force on kids or teens, and that those who can’t excel in school will never make it in the “Real World.”

But here’s the thing, I’m not now, nor have I ever been against the pursuing the best possible education you can give yourself, and what I’m sure all parents want for their kids, that’s a noble and shameless thing.


Those who tell me this maybe find that’s true for their students, but it’s not fair to

We need to give kids and teens, especially those whose early education was like living the life of a solider in war that’s gone on since before even their grandparents were born, and shows no signs of ending until one or both sides are completely dead, whichever comes first, since any chance of either sides surrendering or mutally agree to a ceasefire are slim, if not impossible, and while real soilders will complain that Hollywood always getis it wrong for the sake of not putting movie goers to sleep, there’s one thing I know has to be clear, War is Hell, and no matter who’s right or wrong in whatever got people to this point, loss and traegdy is the same no matter what side you’re on.

There many kids and teens today who may not be acedemically inclined, but are still as far from being brain dead and dumb as you can get. Th

I try not to get on my soapbox too often, but I hope that one day, someone will come across this on the net, and feel understood, because the only thing worse than the pain we all bear but can’t always fix, is feeling you’re totally alone.

While people often associate this is a female-centric thing, boys need to hear this too, and if not from their own fathers, for some male figure in their life who while may not always understand exactly how it feels, especially in the days when gender sterotypes were a way of life, especially for women,

The first step to healing from any kind of heartbreak, whether it’s a friendship marriage, parent to child or sibling to sibling, is acknowledging the pain is real. Yes, we can’t let it shut us down forever, but we make it harder on ourselves and others when we deny there’s a problem at all, that actually makes it harder to “Move on” than just saying plain and simple, “I’m overwhelmed and I’m in REAL pain.”

While a lot of us who know we have certain mental shortcomings, we too often treat it like a joke, and while that helps many people cope and avoid too much self-criticism, we need to be careful of how we express that understanding to others.

1. Beatrix Potter
2. Richard Scarry

I know many of my favorite writers had a lifelong bond with books I only started to have when the teen years were in full swing.
When I