Author Don Winslow

DON WINSLOW is a remarkably talented New York Times bestselling author of 13 crime and mystery novels, as well as short stories and film screenplays. His debut, A COOL BREEZE, was the first in his popular Neal Carey series, and was nominated for an Edgar Award. However, it was his "grittier" books, THE CARTEL and THE POWER OF THE DOG that pushed him to the front of the room.

And it's THE FORCE that was released this past week and purchased as a gift for me by my wife-equivalent, Tammy, that has kept me up reading well into the night for several nights. Why? Because it grabbed me by the balls and hasn't let go. 

THE FORCE is a raw, ferocious and a page-turning beast. - DT

I won't finish it by tonight, when I get my 2nd copy at Warwick's Bookstore in La Jolla. That's where Don will be speaking and signing books. But that's fine; I need to slow down and enjoy it!

Stephen King's right: "Think The Godfather, only with cops..."


Before becoming a full-time writer, Don worked as a Private Detective in New York and California. He makes his home now, in Julian, CA, just outside San Diego.

Here, Don talks about his process, the research for his books, what it was like to grow up in a family of storytellers, and how he does what he does (thanks, amazon).

Okay, I've gushed long enough. I can't help it. It's just that I so thoroughly enjoy great writing...from great writers. Don Winslow is one of those authors whose style is truly one-of-a-kind.

Side note: if you enjoyed the Oliver Stone movie SAVAGES as much as I did, you have Don to thank for that. He adapted the screenplay from his novel of the same name, and has create a prolific body of work with his screenwriter/producer pal, Shane Salerno (someone else I MUST meet someday).

HOT OFF THE PRESS:

THE FORCE will be adapted to screenplay by David Mamet and directed by James Mangold. Can you say #holyshit? Look for it sometime next year!

In closing, if you like raw, gritty thrillers with more violence and mayhem than you can shake a nightstick at, while having you still care about a morally challenged main character whose love of The Force and his pals, then read THE FORCE.

Until next time, I'll be writing feverishly, in hopes of getting MY first New York Times Bestseller nod.

#itellstories

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: MANHATTAN STYLE

On today's Dave + Tammy Tour Podcast, it's a FLASHBACK FRIDAY, as we walk down memory lane recalling our time spent in Manhattan.

As you must know by now, Tammy & I love good food, splashy cocktails, exceptional design and any sort of travel.

We also enjoy supporting local businesses, and in today's show you get to visit as we revisit many of our favorite stomping grounds. Places for food like:

Jake's  Masseria  Pepolino  Laduree  Il Baretto  Cocette  Laughing Man

There are also so many great cosmopolitan adventures to enjoy like:

The Whitney - Cooper Hewitt - The Highline - Madison Square Park

If you've never been to New York City, or are thinking about visiting--like our friends Eric & Summer Gilmer (dasMOD), then you'll definitely want to catch today's show in order to find some of the places tucked away and off the beaten path, where you can...

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL

There's something for everyone in New York, one of the greatest cities in America!


3 Videos we talk about inside today's show:

INK48, high atop Manhattan  -  LADUREE, a cozy courtyard on Madison  -  JAKE'S SALOON for the best burgers in NYC!


Special Thanks to our recording studio engineer, Dexter, for hooking up the "good microphones" for today's show; you can really hear & feel the difference!

Thanks to our sponsors who help support the show: BSN No-Xplode (it'll Jack-You-Up) and Greenlee's Cinnamon Bread aka "Crack Bread" (a San Jose Landmark). **

If you would like to sponsor a Dave + Tammy Tour Show, please contact me by (1) Leaving A Comment, (2) Direct Messaging ME, or (3) Email me at davidetemple/gmail.

Lastly, if you're in the La Jolla area, join The Dave + Tammy Tour as we hit Warwick's Bookstore for the Don Winslow book signing of his latest novel, The Force. Hope to see ya there!

Now, kick back and enjoy the show!

#itellstories

 

** We received no remuneration for the endorsement of these products.

SHOW 9: Mark Maurer VO God

Have you ever heard from God lately?

Well, on today's show you will. Sorta.

As one of the top VO Guys in America, Mark Maurer is a Radio & TV Station Imaging Voice for stations all across the country.

We've been pals for a very long time, and although I hadn't seen him in nearly three decades--that is until today thanks to Skype, we've kept in touch over the years.

He's funny, full of stories, and just a little bit crazy (which is why I love this guy), please welcome Mark Maurer.

*Note: There are moments of Rated-R language.

SHOW 8: Celebrating Jake and Renee

On today's blog (recorded this past Saturday), Tammy & I share some highlights of this past week. Her son Jake got married to the lovely Renee. Pictures are forthcoming.

Please congratulate JAKE & RENEE DAVIS

It reads: JAKE + RENEE

Dexter, my four-legged companion of nearly 8 years saw the beach for the first time, and given it Pebble Beach, his inauguration was quite perfect.

We enjoyed a road-trip along HIGHWAY 1, one of America's most beautiful stretches of coastline.

And we experienced a delightful overnight stay at the CYPRUS INN, Doris Day's "pet-friendly, luxurious boutique hotel."  Next time you're in Carmel, make it your overnight stop.

Pull up a chair, get comfortable and enjoy a short ride that's long on happy memories.

Just a piece of business. Please note we're working diligently to improve the consistency of audio in our show. You'll see what I mean when you listen to this show on the PODCAST page. In the meantime, enjoy watching the video here.

#itellstories

I'm Tired Of People's Bullshit

IT'S OFFICIAL: I'm tired of people's bullshit. 

The day has come for me to CALL BULLSHIT on people who:

  • Consider me their dear friend, but never reach out
  • Want to get together, but the "calendar is over-stacked"
  • Have "been planning to call" for weeks but lost my number
  • Really "loved my latest film" but can't tell me ONE thing about it
  • Have been meaning to read my book, but don't have time to read
  • Have been meaning to read my book, but don't have a kindle or e-reader
  • Have been meaning to read my book, but hardbacks are too heavy
  • Have been meaning to read my book, but paperbacks kill trees
  • Have been meaning to read my book, but prefer audiobooks
  • Want to write a review of my book they just read, but don't know how
  • Have been meaning to call and wish us well, but have been "so busy"
  • Call me "family," but after (1) my leaving a hometown of nearly 20 years, (2) Turning my back on bachelorhood for the first time in my entire life, then (3) Moving not once, or twice, but three times, and they don't write/email/call/text to see how we are managing our a new city with new life adventures and new business ventures while creating our new life...

Well, that's just BULLSHIT!



Yup, I'm sick and freakin' exhausted of people who troll Facebook with nothing but happy-go-lucky emoticon smileys and Instagram-enhanced photos of their pseudo-enlightened and marginally-upbeat, but majestically-dysfunctional and sadly-twisted reflections of a pure self-tortured angst, only to call themselves "enlightened" while breaking up a supposed long-term friendship on the same Social Media Franchise.

But maybe that's just me.

Maybe there are people who revel in false living...Fakebook postings...and other hollow representations of happy lives. 

As for me and my house, we will be true to squash any bullshit we encounter.

About now, you may be wondering: is Dave mad? Angry at someone? Perhaps pissed off at the world? Did someone piss in his cornflakes this morning? Step on his toe? Turn him down for a job? Tell him to F-off? No.

Actually, none of the above.

In fact, I am the happiest I've ever been. Truly.

I have the love of my life in Tammy, a super sweet, well-trained dog in Dexter, a (predominantly) happy and (mostly) healthy family, a super chill pad in which to live, in one of the coolest towns on the planet, in an environment and climate that's heaven sent, surrounded by some pretty hip and relatively grounded people. Plus, I have my health to boot!

All in all, I'm freakin' Ecstatic! 

It's just that I am 100% tired of people who are full of bullshit. People who say one thing but never deliver.

And you know who you are. If you're feeling a twang of guilt (read it as self-realization; the other kind), then you're probably full of bullshit.

Oh, and before you think I'm high-and-mighty, or think I'm better-than-thou, I can openly and honestly confess that in the past I was full of bullshit for many years, facing many people, serving a multitude of jobs, while dishing up big, steaming piles of oven-roasted bullshit. Yup, I was educated so much that you could say I had a BS in BS!

But no longer. Nope. Nada. Zilch

As of today:

Truth Talks. Bullshit Walks.

That's right. If you'd like us to be friends, if you'd like to reach out to me, or if you'd like me to reach out to you, and you'd enjoy continuing or building a long, healthy run of friendship, then COUNT ME IN. 

But if you're here to say one thing, but do another? See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.

Until we meet again, may love shower your path, while bullshit pours down the drain.

#itellstories

Feng Shui Expert Kelly Rehborg

Today's Guest Blogger is one-half of the World Famous Dave + Tammy Tour Podcast. She is currently a Business Development Guru & Marketing Specialist, a former Dwell Magazine Exec, as well as my best friend, side-kick and "wife equivalent" ... Please welcome, Tammy Scott.


 

 

Hello everyone and thank you, David for having me as a guest host. 

It’s ever so much more satisfying to get into a blissful place and attract a blissful person and live blissfully hereafter than to be in a negative place and attract a negative partner and then try to get happy from that negative place.   -Abraham

This quote defines today’s podcast.

Prior to moving to NYC, I had a pretty happy existence. A home on SF Bay in Marin, great relationships with my son and family, solid friendships and a satisfying career, but hardly blissful. Within 30-days of first being introduced to David in NYC, I was back working in Manhattan when I was overcome by an unexplainable feeling. As if someone reached inside my head and turned on a light switch, every cell in my body told me I needed to be in NY.

It wasn’t rational nor consistent with how I operated. This indescribable, “knowing” was met with surprising and resounding support from my son and family.  With their encouragement and a job promotion to boot, I found myself living in mid-town Manhattan a mere 45-days later.

At the same time, David was experiencing his own shift in Charlotte.  Although surrounded by family and a few good friends, David’s life was, hardly blissful. Filled with dead-end relationships both personally and professionally, he struggled to find clear direction about how to move into the next phase of his life.  Enter Kelly Rehborg.

Kelly was a friend and client and just so happened to be a Feng Shui and energy expert.  You will hear today how Kelly flew into David’s life, helped him remove years of dead weight and bad energy, clearing the path to creating a peaceful, harmonious life and ultimately finding the love of his life. 

David and I also reminisce with Kelly about our serendipitous meetings, our courtship between NYC and Charlotte and the unfolding of our old fashion love story with a very modern day twist. 

I close on my favorite quote that speaks to the very core of our love for one another. Enjoy!

Even after all this time the sun never says to the Earth you owe me.  Look what happens with a love like that.  It lights up the whole sky.  - Hafez

Cheers, Tammy


Thank you, Tammy. Now, it's time for the KELLY REHBORG PODCAST!

(Please let the file load before playing)

#itellstories

Dave + Tammy Tour HITS iTunes

THE OFFICIAL dave + Tammy tour podcast ITUNES LINK:

We know it's only 6 shows. But ya gotta start somewhere, right?

That said, we'd love to hear your feedback - Good, Bad or Indifferent. Well, okay, keep the bad and indifferent S#!T to yourself ;-)

Want to spend just a short 30 minutes getting a chuckle or three? Then pour yourself a chilly cocktail and head on over to the PODCAST page and click on these links: 

SHOW 6: BUSSY IS IN THE HOUSE

SHOW 5: Cinco de Mayo

SHOW 4: Baseball, Booze & Bicycles

SHOW 3: Randomness

SHOW 2: Thirsty Thursday

SHOW 1: #TwoKidsInLove Tuesday

 

In the meantime, please:

  1. LISTEN to a show or three,

  2. LIKE + SHARE ONE OR MORE,

  3. TELL a friend (or twelve).

Thanks for your support.

#itellstories

 

BUSSY Is In The House

ON TODAY'S SHOW ... we are honored to have Tammy's kid brother Tim, the Strength & Conditioning Coach of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, in the studio today.

tims-badass-look.jpg

TIM BUSS aka BUSSY

CHICAGO CUBS STRENGTH COACH

In case you've been living under a rock for the past decade and a half, and you don't know who Tim Buss is, perhaps you need a refresher. Click to read (but stay with us):

During the next half hour, you'll hear tantalizing tidbits of raw (and Rated-R*) storytelling. You'll enjoy hearing Brother & Sister catch up on old times, sharing stories from their past. You'll hear Dave, Tammy & Tim pay tribute to the late, great Gregg Allman.

Be sure to stick around to the very end to learn what Tim's favorite movie and most quoted line is. As you can imagine, it's a natural classic.

Finally, learn what Makes Tim Tick on & off the field, Tim's favorite ballpark song, his favorite wine, and witness as Tim discovers San Diego's own Saint Archer Beeras evidenced in this quote:

It's the best blonde I've ever had.

                                                      -Tim Buss

Side Note: What began as a podcast (as found in the Podcasts Menu), turned into a real "Walk Down Memory Lane," as we celebrated our World Series Champion Chicago Cubs all over again.

THANK YOU, TIM for taking time from your tremendously busy schedule to spend with your family. In a very short time, I have find you to be an awesome talent, a genuine man of your word, whose love for family and work is an inspiration to many. I'm grateful to call you brother.

Now, let's get on with the show!


(Rated-R for Mature Audiences. Allow the file to load before playing.)



WATCH THE SHOW OPEN HERE:


ENJOY many of DAVE + TAMMY'S FAVorite PHOTOS OF THE WORLD SERIES CHAMPION CHICAGO CUBS HERE:


 

One of the sweetest moments of watching the Cubs win the series was the phone conversations going on between Tammy, her Aunt Kathy and Momma Karen. Don't let it distract you, because it's precious and well worth the attention. After all, these girls have been Cub fans for decades!

As I sign off today, I realize I've left you with a good deal of media. But I've also let you peek inside my world ... to my love (Tammy), my brother-in-law-equivalent (Tim) and our World Series Champions (Cubs).

I'm a grateful man, blessed with a good life, the perfect partner, wonderful family & friends, and talents that allow me to pull together a wide assortment of media in order to tell some pretty awesome stories.

Thanks for stopping by.

#itellstories


tim-as-lounge-singer.jpg

His reputation expands faster than the universe. He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels.Tim Buss is one of the most interesting men in the world...as far as we know. 

 

"I don't drink beer every day," Tim says, "but when I do, I enjoy Budweiser. Stay a Cubs Fan, my friends." 


 
 

No beer was hurt in the making of this podcast & the *Rated-R material is all in fun.

Coincidences. Random or Orchestrated?

COINCIDENCE: 

Coincidences are an oddity, no matter who you are, or from what perspective you view them. What do I mean by this? While these sorts of things happen to me nearly on a weekly basis, allow me to share just one such occurrence today.

I'm in my writing loft this beautiful Wednesday afternoon, working on my newest novel #SeductionAtDaybreak, when I come to a scene around Chapter 25 (about 38,000 words in). In the story, I reference a "random" slice of history: The Rodney King Riots.

Just for curiosity, I google the phrase and look what comes up: NPR has a featured article by Karen Grigsby Bates, entitled: 

 

When LA Erupted In Anger: A Look Back At The Rodney King Riots

Just one of the many horrific scenes from the LA Riots, aka The Rodney King Riots (LA, 1992)

What makes this so interesting to me are two facts:

First: I was living in LA at that time, working for The Westwood One Radio Network.  That afternoon, I was in a studio overlooking downtown LA when the riots broke out. I'll never forget it as long as I live. I was working alongside my pals, Tony Scott (rock 'n roll DJ legend), Katherine Brown (best female pipes in the biz), and Mark Maurer (the Grandaddy of Rock Radio Station ID's). We were spinning our craft for our boss, Chris Kampmeier (best boss ever). I recall looking out the window of the CNN Tower (Cahuenga & Sunset: CLICK-4-MAP), when black plumes of smoke & fire sprouted up all over the downtown area and South Central. We were all wrapped up in the insanity, but I'll never forget seeing Maurer enter the studios geared up with a 9mm on his hip and an AK-47 over his shoulder. How times have changed. It was some Crazy S#!T.

Now, for the other coincidence.

Second: In the scene I was writing, my main character (protagonist), Detective Pat Norelli is speaking with her father, the Honorable Judge Samuel Norelli. They're discussing a sensitive situation that only the two of them know about, when a reference is made to those very same Riots in 1992. It struck me as funny how out of the clear blue, I make that reference (which I had not premeditated), and here we are commemorating (certainly not celebrating), the LA Riots.

Now, for the fun of it, care to take a sneak peek into that scene? The one I'm writing, not the riots.


After The Judge’s big reveal, it didn’t take long for us to wrap things up. We discussed our timeline, the access to the tightly guarded materials in the evidence locker, and the manner in which said items would need to be relocated. The exact location was nearly impossible to crack, given the heft and severity of the case. The only saving grace, as it pertained to my delicate situation, was that while LA’s number one mob boss, Nicholas “Nicky The Crusher” Michelini, was preparing for a trip north to a new home where he’d spend the rest of his days in America’s premiere maximum security prison, the evidence was still under our roof.  That roof covered the room which was downtown in the primary headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department. It wasn’t Fort Knox, but due to the size of our city, the sheer volume of evidence we acquired on a weekly basis—not the mention the potential for breach if there were anything like the Rodney King riots again, it was going to be next to impossible to access without any number of hoops to jump through. And given I was neither part of the team who brought him down, nor any piece of the puzzle that would orchestrate his heavily guarded transfer, my mission was doubly precarious.

                                                              -from Seduction At Daybreak (Summer, 2017)


Back to the reason for today's post: Coincidences. Do you believe they're just that? Are they orchestrated by God, the Universe, the Collective Conscious, Your Higher Self, or just Plain Random? 

Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. -Albert Einstein

Okay, that's what my mind was spinning today. If you've got a particularly interesting coincidence, I'd love for you to share. And if you have a friend you think would find it interesting, please share this blog post.

Until next time, 

#itellstories
 

Everything in good time

I recall as a child my parents saying the phrase:

EVERYTHING IN GOOD TIME.

It never meant much to an impatient, gotta-have-it-all-right-now teenager. But now, years ... uh, let's make that decades later, it means a great deal.

It's funny; just this morning, while walking back from Lotus (a truly superb health-food, vegan restaurant & juice-bar in Encinitas), Tammy and I were talking about this very thing before reading the Abraham post that follows.

We were discussing how one of the comforting things about growing older is the fact we're not in as much of a hurry to do, or accomplish, or win over something. That if we'll just let it happen, it so often ends up so much better. And nearly every single time.

Some things you're not letting happen right now because the timing isn't perfect for you. Some you're not letting happen because you are very aware of where you are. But all things, as they are happening, are happening in perfect order. And if you will relax and begin saying, "Everything in its perfect time. Everything is unfolding. And I'm enjoying where I am now, in relationship to where I'm going. Content where I am, and eager for more," that is the perfect vibrational stance.     -Abraham

Isn't it interesting, the thought process wasn't: If you'll really push hard ... If you'll take control and force the issue ... If you'll take the bull by the horns ... If you'll keep riding it ...

No, it said: If you will relax and begin saying, Everything in perfect time. And if you'll ENJOY where you are now. And, if you'll be CONTENT where you are, THEN you'll find what you're searching for.

Simple? Yes. Simplistic? Not really. Understandable? I think so. Doable? Positively yes!

I'd like to add just four gentle suggestions to help the process:

  1. Take A Deep Breath before beginning (center yourself),
  2. Get Out Of Your Own Way (remove ego from the equation),
  3. Let Go (of trying to make anything happen), and
  4. Allow It To Happen (that's Allow) ... In Good Time.

This works for me. And you know what? Is there ever (really) anything you can do to "make things happen?" Not exactly; sure, you can get a result, and you can often get your way, but at the end of the situation, is it the best that it could have been

That's my two cents for a Monday. Why not give it a try? And let me know how things turned out for you; I'll share the same.

Until then, remember ...

#itellstories

Happy Friday Podcast

On Today's Podcast, Dave + Tammy discuss a wide gamut of topics from frivolous favorite Cocktails to pontificating politically upon Sean Spicer, Bashar Al-Assad and Kim Jong Un. We also discuss some of our local favorite hot-spots to include: Seaside Market in Cardiff By The Sea and Lazy Acres Markets in Encinitas. One of our favorite pastimes includes binge-watching television shows. Several that we particularly enjoy: Game of Thrones, Longmire, House of Cards, and the more recent BallersBillions and Big Little Lies.  We wrap the show with special guest and the talented Astrud Gilberto, performing one of my favorite songs, The Girl From Ipanema (thanks, youtube). On a future show, I'll share my "two-degrees of separation" from her friend, Stan Getz (another favorite musician).

Kick back and enjoy a fun little cerebral romp with Dave + Tammy and remember, if you'd like to be on our show, just reach out with a message. We'd love to have you!

Until then ... ice your cocktails & supercharge your dreams.

Cheers!

#itellstories

 

*Equipment includes: the Blue Yeti Microphone, Apple Laptops and Sony SoundSport® In-ear headphones.

Introducing our Podcast

Today's blog is about as thoroughly random as it gets.

 

First: I want to begin today, as I do so many days, with an inspirational thought from Abraham. For those who may not know what I'm referring to, you can research further using words like Law of Attraction, Esther Hicks, The Secret, and much more.

If you'd prefer to just be inspired, simply read below.

By paying attention to the way you feel, and then choosing thoughts that feel the very best, you are managing your own vibration, which means you are controlling your own point of attraction — which means you are creating your own reality. It's such a wonderful thing to realize that you can create your own reality without sticking your nose in everybody else's, and that the less attention you give to everybody else's reality, the purer your vibration is going to be — and the more you are going to be pleased with what comes to you.    -Abraham

This idea has been rattling around in my head for quite some time. Then, last night, during pillow talk with Tammy, she mentioned (unbeknownst to me) that she'd been pondering the same topic.

Random? No way.

Synchronicity? Absolutely!

Now, onto the rest of today's post.


Second: is the launch of The Dave + Tammy Tour Podcast.

Woo-Hoo!

It's only in the incubation phase, but for those friends of ours who enjoy our "randomness" perhaps you'll enjoy our first two podcasts.

Tuesday's was called "2 Kids In Love Tuesday" (a moniker we've used for months now).

Today's podcast is called "Thirsty Thursday." Why? Because we recorded it last night (over tasty vodka cocktails) in preparation for today's podcast.

Is it good? YOU be the judge.

No, it's not perfect. No, it's not all super-flashy. No, it's not fancy-polished. 

YES, it's fun! YES, we're just enjoying kickin' back & being silly.  So, for those who enjoy such, please enjoy with us!

Listen as you like; they're only about 15 minutes long and both can be found on this Podcast Link.

PS: Allow download time

PSS: To see the whole picture above, click here.

Enjoy the Randomness!

#itellstories

IT'S ALIVE!

OKAY, I CAN'T HELP IT ... I'M A PROUD PAPA.

For those reading this blog who may not know what this post is in reference to, please allow me to back up a second.

I've been telling and writing stories for a better part of my life. However, it wasn't until sometime around the early '90's that I thought (read: felt) I may actually have what it takes to write.

To make a long story much shorter, it wasn't until several years later, while home for Christmas, that my sisters and mother told me that I "had the gift" and that I should "keep writing."

It was then, like many other writers before (and since), that I "gave myself permission to write."

Note To Self: I believe this is crucial to becoming a writer. It's the first step, and it's important to:

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

Yes, sometimes it takes only that. But it's a very important step.

Anyhow, so sometime around 2009, I had this idea for a book and thought I can either write my first novel then try to find a publisher and/or agent, or I can try this thing called Self-Publishing. That's what I did, and "Discovering Grace" was born.

While it enjoyed a very modest success, both in online Amazon sales and what I call Out-Of-My-Trunk Sales, I moved on to write the sequel.

Then, I spun-off one of the main characters of both of those books, Carter Matheson, and wrote my first thriller, called LUCKY STRIKES. The books BEHIND THE 8 BALL and KNUCKLE DOWN followed behind. 

That's when I began to imagine what my book would be like as a FILM.

I had written and produced the short films REWIND, POKE THE SLEEPING BEAR and TAKE TWO (all can be viewed on this site), so I knew how the machine worked. But was I ready to create a feature?

So, I set out to (a) adapt the book to screenplay, (b) find a DP who would share my vision, (c) raise the money to make the film, and once that was raised, (d) cast it, (e) find the locations, (f) shoot it, and after all that, (g) edit it, (h) get it scored and sound designed, then (i) SELL it.

And, as you can imagine, that took much longer than expected. But we did it. The well-known company, WORD ENTERTAINMENT (Word Films) bought it, and took it to market. Shortly thereafter, they sold some of the rights to CURB FILMS (Curb Entertainment) and together they continue to get into the marketplace. It premiered on Hallmark's FEELN earlier this year.

So, what began as a germ of an idea, went from idea, to paper, to book, to screenplay, to film. And man, is that a fantastic feeling of accomplishment!

Here we are, EIGHT YEARS LATER ... (WHAT?) ... and it's finding people with a message about redemption and the power of forgiveness.

I don't know about you, but I think (read: KNOW) we ALL need a little forgiveness.

Want to watch the TRAILER and the FIRST 10 minutes of the film? CLICK HERE

As I said at the beginning, I'm about as proud of this film as anything I've ever done. And to those who've asked, "Will there be a sequel?" I answer, ONLY if there is interest, particularly from (a) investors and (b) distributors, because if you don't have those, then it's a much tougher road.

THANK YOU to so many people who helped put this film together. In fact, want to see just a small smattering of people who helped make Chasing Grace a reality? GO HERE + CLICK CREW

#itellstories

To All The Writers

Today's Blog is To All The Writers...

Today is about ENCOURAGEMENT: I want you to know YOU CAN DO THIS.

Today is about PRAISE: You are good at what you do; primarily because you are DOING it.

Today is about FREEDOM: You are free to write whatever you want; it's YOUR world.

Today is about MAKING A MARK: Leave your mark, your voice, your signature...by YOUR words.


At last count, I just passed the 36,000 word mark on my latest novel SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK. It's been a bit daunting, thus far.

Why?

Because I've never written a Murder Mystery before. I wasn't sure how they worked; I mean, I'd read enough, but until you sit down to write one--a original idea, it's harder than one thought.

I've also never written a book with a WOMAN PROTAGONIST before. But I gotta tell you; it's freakin' awesome. Guess I'm channeling my inner female side.

Likewise, I've never had to write a book whereby you have no idea who the ANTAGONIST is in the beginning of the book. It's a huge challenge, and has caused me to stretch my muscles.

By the way, not only do I have THREE thrillers, TWO family stories and ONE horror/pulp fiction to my credit, but besides this murder mystery, I'm working on two non-fiction books. One of those two books are about WRITING.

In this (coming) book, I will share my tricks & techniques on writing, writing fast, developing characters, crafting arresting dialogue and much more. I'll also share what I've learned about self-publishing; the Ins & Outs, the Dos & Don'ts, what to be prepared for, what to do without, and how Agents fit into this world. I think you'll like it.

Well, I've got to run. I have another 2500 to 3000 words to accomplish today, and as the saying goes, books don't write themselves.

So, as I was thinking about today's blog, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite quotes. Yes, I have many, but these are several that hang with me. Perhaps you'll resonate with them, too.

Enjoy these quotes. Share with me (a) if you're a writer (or writer wanna-be), (b) which of these quotes you connected to (and share one of your favorites), and (c) tell me the story you want to tell...but perhaps have never had the guts (read: given yourself permission) to write.

Cheers!

#itellstories


On Simplicity in Writing ...

On being true to oneself and being respectful to protect our craft ...

A Truly Great Piece Of Advice ...

Painful, but true ...

Advice from one of the Masters of the craft ...

A great analogy ...

Bad vs. Good ...

On Being Brave ...

And perhaps the very best piece of advice for a writer ...

Now, Go Write Something!

Give Back

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

Booker T. Washington

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. Washington mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class blacks, church leaders, and white philanthropists and politicians, with a long-term goal of building the community's economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling.

Washington's life was about GIVING BACK.

We can all take a lesson from this.

During a time when we're perhaps more self-absorbed than we should be, we can take a moment to consider another.


Today, I want to challenge you. I want you to think about doing something for someone else. It doesn't have to be big. It can be small.

I can be for a friend. It can be for a stranger.

Sometime today, out of nowhere, and for no reason whatsoever, do something for someone else.

Need some suggestions?

  • Call a friend to say hello. Just hello
  • Take a co-worker a cup of coffee/tea, just because
  • Help a stranger cross a busy street, because you can
  • Carry and/or unload packages for someone having a challenge
  • Spend an extra half-hour on a job, even when not necessary
  • Yield the right-of-way to another driver, because it isn't expected
  • Drop an email to a friend you haven't spoken with in awhile
  • In the drive-through, pay for the customer behind you
  • Make a donation to a service or cause because you have a little extra
  • Compliment a stranger on the bus/subway/train because it's kind
  • Hug someone who looks like they need it

It's not like I'm suggesting you go paint a neighbor's house, or change the oil in their car, or take someone to an expensive lunch, or donate your savings account to a worthy cause...

I'm suggesting a small, yet significant gesture that lets another know that you care.

That's it.

Thanks for being a part of my blog. While I may not say it often, I genuinely appreciate it. Your taking the time out of your busy life to read what's rattling around in my head (and heart), is a real blessing to me.

Writers are often only recognized for their "Big Works" like novels, screenplays, and such. But sometime's it's the little things, like these blogs, that validate our craft.

Thank you.

#itellstories

 

 

Let Go. Let Be.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

- Lao Tzu, Philosopher


Little is known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (also known as Laozi or Lao Tze), who is a guiding figure in Daoism (also translated as Taoism), a still popular spiritual practice. He is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of Confucius. This could be true, but he may also have been entirely mythical—much like Homer in Western culture. It is certainly very unlikely that, as some legends say, he was conceived when his mother saw a falling star, or born an old man with very long earlobes – or lived 990 years.  (source)

Either way, the message is the same: When you let go of all the things you think make you are what you are and who you are, only then can you be(come) free to BE all the things you might be.

I like that. And here's the reason why.

When I was growing up a PK (preacher's kid), I was told pretty much what to do, how to do it, what to believe and how to believe it. I wasn't asked, as many are not; instead, I was taught (some would say force fed) into believing in a system (education), a method (faith), and ultimately a belief (religion).

Here, I would copy, craft and control a belief system that would guide my life for decades to come. And while many around me shunned that system, I chose to follow--primarily based upon the bedrock of guilt that if I didn't follow these dictates, and to the letter of the law, I would be operating (a) above the will of God, (b) below the law, and ultimately (c) outside the parameters of "all that is good and right and holy."

And while that can be seen as "right" by many, I have come to realize that just because some see it as right, doesn't necessarily make it right.

This is not a message of judgement. This is not a message of disbelief in a particular system. This is not a slam against anyone who chooses to believe in any way, shape, or form.

It does, however, share my particular "flavor of faith," if you will. It's one I have chosen. It suits me. It feels right to me. And it works for me. That faith is LOVE. Above all else, we must LOVE one another. It's a universal truth that yields universal results (hopefully): reciprocal love.

As for organized religion, I have a deep and ever-growing challenge to embrace it. Most of what I see is anger, fighting, rage against the machine of what should be a message of love. All these factions say that "their way is the only way." All the while, "faction number two" is saying "their way is the only way." 

As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY way is the LOVE way. Give love, share love, spread love. Most else is noise, rules and frankly, a lot of bullshit.

"Organized Religion" is mostly a belief (system) that has been practiced over and over, by a group of people who got to write the laws and incorporate them. It's based upon ONE belief system, which at its essence, chooses, or rather enforces ONE WAY TO ONE ANSWER.

Isn't this what got us here in the first place? Isn't this what got us fighting, and entering wars, and creating hatred with our fellow man? Isn't this what pushed us apart, rather than pulled us together?

Much like politics, I feel it's divisive, exclusionary, alienating, while simultaneously devoted, evangelical and aligning. But at what cost Freedom? Peace? Harmony? Justice? Community?

WHAT IF . . .

What if we were to leave each other alone to find our own path? What if were to leave each other to find our own way, our own inner voice, our own journey to whatever we feel is right, and harmonious, and peaceful, and good?

What if we simply said, to borrow an old Transactional Analysis term . . .

I'm Okay. You're Okay.

And leave it at that. Is that so hard? Would that not solve a good many problems? Would that not allow one another to go about their business, following the particular God they chose, without any worry of being judged, or maligned, or tortured and even killed? 

Wouldn't that be great?  

I think so.

In the interest of not being one-sided, here's a verse I learned as a child, but which has given me a new insight, as an adult. And to me, it really boils it down a singular message. I chose the New International Reader's Version because I'm told it's the easiest to understand.

"The whole law is fulfilled by obeying this one command. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  -Galatians 5:14, (NIRV)

I remember a phrase I used to use in graduate school, while entering debates about particular matters. It went like this:

I didn't come into this world to live up to your expectations, just as you didn't come to live up to mine. 

Some will add: So, let's agree to disagree

Today, why don't we try another idea:

Let Go and Allow One Another To Live Their Own Dreams

It's easy to understand. It's easily digestible by everyone. It claims no particular "flavor of faith" but instead declares One Mission:

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

WHERE THEY ARE

IN WHAT THEY BELIEVE

IN WHOM THEY CHOOSE TO FOLLOW

END OF DISCUSSION.

Oh, there's more of this sermon, but I'll share more another day. For now, that's my two cents

Like it. Leave it. Love it. Share it.

It's Your Call.

#itellstories

The Power of Tenacity

 

DAVE + TAMMY TOUR: BEFORE MARATHON

 

This weekend, Tammy & I ran the Encinitas Half Marathon; it was an awesome, well-orchestrated event and we were thrilled to be a part of it. And even though we missed our goal of by a margin of only 1 minutes & 37 seconds, we were happy to have finished in good health and unharmed. Truth be told, Tammy may have easily come in a good 2-3 minutes sooner, had she not lagged behind cheering my ass up those last two hills.

While we started our training at the same time nearly 9 weeks ago, two things kept me from training these last six weeks, and keeping me from performing better: a severe case of vertigo and a torn calf muscle. The vertigo made me feel like a walking, talking Mr. Bobble Head. And the torn calf muscled wasn't so bad, as long as I wasn't walking up or down stairs or hills. Luckily, I healed up in time to run.

Tammy has run a number of Marathons in her day. I have run two half-marathons; the last one, was 7 years ago. But when we moved here, we wanted to (a) do something that introduced us to the community, and (b) got us to put a goal out in front of us. Mission accomplished. The Good News? Our tenacity paid off.

It's an odd thing when you're running that distance: your mind can't help but focus on any pain that is happening. You can try, as I did, to distract yourself in order for your mind to wander. While running those 13.1 miles, there were a number of times a pain would kick in. Here's a list of some of the things going through my mind at various points:

  • Mile 2What? Hit the porta-potty? Hell, no, we just got started!
  • Mile 4Now is NOT a good time for that right calf to begin cramping. Quick, think about something else!
  • Mile 6What the freak? What do you mean we're only HALF WAY done?
  • Mile 7: Okay, NOT a good time for that NERVE to start pinging in my left foot. Quick, think about the movie by the same name!
  • Mile 8Alright, just over five to go and still NOT a good time to think about hitting the porta-potty. C'mon, you can wait! Reach deep, think about that web video proposal you're putting together for a client!
  • Mile 11Okay, Dad, I know you're with me; c'mon, I could really use a push! [This was the 29th anniversary of his passing]
  • Mile 12What? Still another TWO to go? C'mon, who thought it was a good idea to have a HILL near the END of the race,? 3rd & West K Street; I'll remember you! 
  • Mile 12.99What another hill? This close to the end? Shut up inner voice, you can do this. C'mon, you can HEAR the finish line...and that song by Survivor that'll never die!
  • THE FINISH LINEHOLY CRAP WE MADE IT!! People give us space, let us catch our breath! WE DID IT!
 

Here's a man I've been reading lately; one of the early guru's of self help: Earl Nightingale

Have you ever committed to a situation, worked to meet a goal, gave it all you had, only to find yourself wanting to give up? Was it a job promotion? A sports skill? An artistic talent? A field of study? WHAT KEPT YOU FROM PUSHING TO THE END...CALLED SUCCESS?

Remember when you PUSHED THROUGH and made it to the other side and thought to yourself: Man, am I glad I never gave up! I JUST DID SO THIS PAST WEEKEND. YOU CAN DO IT NOW!

 

I've got a challenge for you. Think about something you've always wanted to do. Maybe you've never had the strength, courage, willpower, or downright tenacity to do. But you WANTED it.

Consider this:

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TRY - EVEN IF YOU FAIL

I know, nobody likes to fail. But what if you COULDN'T fail? Imagine it that way. IMAGINE THAT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL.

Now, tell me: Will you still set out to do it?

Give yourself a REACHABLE GOAL. Allow a OBTAINABLE TIME in which to reach it. Then lay out the steps . . . train/practice/learn accordingly . . . and tell me how it went.


 

HOW DID THE RACE END?

 

DAVE + TAMMY TOUR: AFTER MARATHON

 
 

Thank you, #encinitas and #encinitashalfmarathon for this wonderful event. Thank you, Tammy for running beside me, encouraging me, drip-feeding me Clif Shots, and loving me along this trip of ours. And THANK YOU, Dad, for that extra little push at the end. I can hear your voice now saying, "C'mon Son, you've got this!"

Cheers to all the runners!

#itellstories

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The Power of Giving

In these past few weeks, as I've been writing about The Power of Your Imagination, The Power of The Subconscious, The Power of Thought. When starting to think about writing today's blog post, I kept thinking about The Power of Giving.

It really came alive to me when watching CBS This Morning this week. Oscar-winner Matt Damon and Gary White, a water expert and engineer who created the WaterCredit initiative (and another "Carolina boy"), are on a mission to bring clean water to everyone worldwide. The duo co-founded Water.org in 2009 to help the more than 660 million people who lack access to safe water. It was a powerful story, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. PS: I was super impressed to see a "Hollywood Star" use that star power to work toward good; something really good.

Watch this YouTube video to hear Matt share his passion for helping those in need:

That got me to thinking about the many ways in which we can give.

Yes, we can donate to terrific causes such as Water.org. And we really should. As Matt said on CBS This Morning, Americans take it for granted, as water is around us everywhere!

But we can also donate to the National Kidney Foundation; a program close to my heart because of my nephew Adam's battle with kidney complications. You can give to The United Way, a program my father gave a good many years of his life to supporting. You can certainly give to your local churches -- no matter the affiliation, because -

IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

You've certainly familiar with that bible verse, from Acts 20:35. And no matter the translation, it pretty much all means the same. That led me to think:

When's the last time you GAVE something away for the mere PLEASURE of doing so? You did it "just because." Didn't it feel good? 

Did you happen to notice the more you did it, the better it felt? And perhaps the more you found yourself wanting to do it?

Giving has a universal power of exponential increase

If you're a fan of The Law Of Attraction, as am I, then you know it states whatever you give consistent thought to, you will create. The Universe is attraction-based, and the best thing to realize is you will get back exactly what you give your greatest amount of thought to.

Which led me to ponder this: 

 

WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY AS THOUGH WE WOULD NEVER RUN OUT

WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY KNOWING IT WOULD COME BACK 10-FOLD

 

If we all have the power to create all that we can dream (LOA), and there is an endless supply of everything (which I secretly believe there is), then what if we dreamt it all up and gave it all away?

Having grown up a PK (preacher's kid), you know I've spent most my entire life hearing, reading and learning about the bible. Now that I'm about halfway through my life, I've made it a point to study what other faiths/religions/belief systems have to say about Giving.  Check this out:

In the teachings of Christ,

He was adamant about giving to others. And while there are any number of verses in the Bible about giving, here are just a few:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  -2 Corinthians 9:7

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.   -Proverbs 18:16
Give and it shall be given to you; for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -Luke 6:38
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Luke 6:30 (NIV)

How about for Buddhists?

The first training the Buddha gave for everyone was the practice of giving. To practice generosity is the most basic way to experience freedom. Happiness and inner calm grow when are fed by generous acts. While reading Buddha's Advice to Laypeople, I came upon this about generosity. In Pali, the language of the earliest Buddhist texts, the word for giving is “dāna.” The word for generosity, the underlying spirit of giving, is “cāga" which also means “letting go.” It is this letting go activity that helps to weaken and reverse painful attachments and longings.

And how is a person of integrity in the way he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of integrity gives a gift attentively, with his own hand, respectfully, not as if throwing it away, with the view that something will come of it. -(MN 110.23 tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

What does Jewish Philanthropy say about giving?

The concept is called Tzedakah, or Charity. And it is the responsibility to give aid, assistance and money to the poor & needy, or to worthwhile causes. Tzedakah means being good stewards of and planning to give a portion of one's personal substance for the common good. Although it is related to charity, the translation is broader than the definition of charity. Charity suggests benevolence and generosity, an act of the powerful and wealthy for the benefit of the poor and needy. Tzedakah is derived from the Hebrew language and means righteousness, fairness or justice. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous act; it's an act of justice, the performance of a duty, or the right thing to do.


How do the Muslims view giving?

It is absolutely central to the Muslim identity to feel care and compassion for one’s fellow human beings. If a Muslim feels the pain of his or her fellow human being, and wishes the same comfort and good life for others which he wishes for himself, it's a natural reaction to give in charity, to ease this suffering. In the Qur’an, Allah describes those who prevent the supporting of orphans and the feeding of the poor as

“Those who reject the faith” (107:1-3), while emphasizing charity should be given in “prosperity or adversity” (3:134), without fear for one’s wealth, and having faith that a sincere act of giving can only bring abundant reward to the giver.

Personally, I it doesn't matter your faith or belief system. I suppose what matters most is that you believe something. Also, it doesn't matter what you give, or how much you give, but that you give something. It can be money, talents, food, water, smiles, hugs, compassion, or simply your time.

A Universal Law states:  

So, I say, SOW A LOT (like more than 10%) and just maybe (read: quite likely) you will REAP A LOT.  Kind of a no-brainer, if you ask me.

My GIVING RECIPE for the rest of your week:

  • Be Happy
  • Give Something To Someone
  • Give Willingly + With No Expectations
  • See What Happens!

#itellstories