Posts Tagged ‘writing’

That dang billy goat!

Posted: October 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I wear a lie. Not often, and I am not proud of it, but I definitely wear a lie. Great… now I am even lying about not being proud of it. Of course I am proud of it. Heck, usually when I wear it I also carry a spotlight to shine on it just to make sure people can see it. What’s the lie? It simply says, “Finisher”.
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Sure, if you take it in context, it isn’t a lie. Underneath it spells out the distance of an Ironman race: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. So since I finished two ironman races, I’m technically not a liar as much as a stud. I’ll wait to give you time to properly appreciate just how studly… I even finished in first place (in the “with love handles the size of Manhattan” division)!
Now let’s get back to the lie: I’m not a Finisher when it comes to writing a book. Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure why I would ever fancy myself a writer (besides using terms like, “fancy myself”). The highlight of my writing “career” was when something I wrote for a writing class in my junior college was read to the entire class. The teacher asked if I minded if she read it to the class as an example. I don’t normally like to brag, but “Heck YEAH!” She neglected to mention that she was going to use my writing as an example of poor writing. Apparently, using the term, “pearly whites” to describe a smile of a woman in a concentration camp is to be frowned upon. I guess now that I think about it, “pearly whites” shouldn’t be used unless it is being followed with “which is why 4 out of 5 dentists prefer it.” If this is why I consider myself a writer, I should probably consider myself a professional golfer because one time I did get it through the windmill during a heated game of mini golf.

Like nerds everywhere have their Star Trek conventions, writers (and losers like me) have our secret clubs. Because they mock me at their meetings, I’ll tell you that their secret club is called NaNoMo or NaNoWriMo. It is short for National Novel Writing Month and it comes from the Greek, “Nanny, nanny billy goat.” In theory you can write an entire novel in a month. In reality, it is when writing geeks that have already written a book ask, “So Tom… are you going to be participating in NaNoMo this year?” Giggle giggle. “By the way, did you notice my new tweed smoking jacket? Did I mention that I just (self) published another one of my books?”
If I have a bucket list, writing a book is one of only two things on it (the other is to compete on American Ninja Warrior… and by that I mean a hot dog eating contest with Kobayashi). I’ll start writing something and then think, “Nahhh… nobody will want to read that.” Or I’ll be writing something (incredibly witty) about myself, and then it’ll hit me, “What have I done that has actually been interesting again???” So, I don’t know what or when, but someday I’ll actually fini

The bad news is that I am writing again. The good news is… well… there is nothing good about it. I don’t write good. I don’t even write well. So why in the heck am I going to torture both people that might read this? For two reasons: 1. I’ve been doing some thinking 2. I’m an old goat 3. I’ve been encouraged. 4. I’m apparently terrible at math.
So what the heck have I been thinking? I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never write for a living. I’ll never even make dos pesos from my writing. Through my pondering, I’ve realized that I am not now, nor will I ever be, a real writer… and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with it because I’m rapidly approaching the day that I return these blessed love handles to the Creator. I know I can’t be the only one who as a kid would have just the week before Christmas feel like ten years. I could swear that just yesterday I took a picture for my kids first day of school. I blinked, and today not only is their school year over, but they are already 1/3 of the way through their Summer break.
As time seems to be passing faster and faster, I realize that I am not pursuing any of my passions. I go to work, I come home. The next day I do the same. In between I might lower my IQ (not possible!) while watching some mindless TV show. Or, on a good day, I’ll love my wife or spend some quality time with my kids. Even the best of days turn into weeks, months, years, and decades too quickly. I’m not going to kid myself that writing will change any of that for me, but it comes down to a simple question: Tomorrow you win 100 million in the lottery, what would you do? Of course you would take a trip to Tijuana just for a bacon dog and a shot at a cage match with a midget luchadore, buy a ginormous belt buckle that said “Bubba”, and create a life size pez dispenser of The Fonz that dispenses Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, but then what would you do? Would you stay at your job? I’m going to venture a wild guess that most of us would say no. So if you weren’t working for a living, what would you be doing to be living? My buddy Benny Franklin possibly said it best, “Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75.” Tomorrow if Ed McMahon calls me from the other side to tell me that I just hit his sweepstakes, I would do all the above and then I would write (while wearing only my “Bubba” belt buckle).
So I know what you are asking yourselves, “Who should we make pay for this?” Tread lightly young grasshoppers for they are like spry ninjas powerfully wielding a secret power that all of us have, but rarely use. They are the encouragers. With simple kind words we could motivate people to follow their dreams and change lives. For me it was just a (real) writer commenting, “I hope you are still writing.” Or a friend across the ocean sharing my lame blog with her friends. Or friends or family commenting that they really liked something I wrote. Even my nemesis wife, after about 17 cocktails, will encourage me to write (probably just so I’ll let her go to bed and quit with my Austin Powers, “Do I make you randy?).
So blame those that have cared enough to encourage, but BlogbyFatTom is being resurrected (and hopefully bringing Ed McMahon’s loot with it). I don’t even know what I’ll write about yet. I won’t write about my exciting diets anymore (but I’ll share these words of wisdom I saw on Facebook, “Nobody cares about your stupid diet. Just eat your lettuce and be sad.”) I also won’t write about religion, race, sex, drugs, rock and roll, or anything that might be remotely entertaining or funny. In fact, I can almost guarantee that once again, it’ll be an epic failure. To which I’ll leave you with this quote from George Burns, “I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.”
So… what about YOU? If money was no object, what would you do???