Tag Archives: concert

Scenes from Saturday + Pops & Pools

I was the (virtual) guest author at a book club in Houston this week. It was a blast. If there is one thing I can talk about its books. We spent over an hour diving deep into thrillers, favorite authors, the writing process, and, of course, my book. They read the first book in my series, a novel that is now over fifteen years old. This was the book I wrote on the train into work while Michelle was pregnant with Cecilia.

It’s easy to dismiss early work as insignificant. But those low-stakes efforts are crucial; they prepare you for the high-stakes challenges ahead. They build the confidence needed to keep pushing forward. Without that first book, there wouldn’t be six more in the series. Or the confidence to try a brand-new series and fix all those mistakes from the first book! It’s a reminder that finishing and releasing your work is far better than keeping it hidden away.

As I re-read it, I was pleasantly surprised. My inner critic was much harsher than what was on the page. Sure, my answer to most plot knots was to ruthlessly kill somone, but the writing was pretty good. I killed them eloquently.

I believe the main barrier to publishing or releasing any work is often the reluctance to exchange the dream of success for the reality of feedback. Don’t fall into this trap. Show your work. It’s typically far better than you think and the only way to improve.

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Scenes from Saturday + Brass & Burritos

Sometimes I wonder why I still write these posts each Sunday. I’ve certainly been doing it long enough that it is an ingrained habit. I’m not trying to establish anything.

But is it giving me energy or deadening my spirit?

Repeating something can often mean looking backward. That doesn’t always feel productive. That would be soul killing. The constant second-guessing and what-if’s.

I realized being consistent and making slow, steady progress isn’t all about streaks or optimizing my time it’s about coming back.

The key part of a habit for me is to help you return but also find something new. A practice is built on the movement of return. Even if it’s a just a new way to joke about glitter or Michelle repairing the house.

There’s energy for me in that.

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Scenes from Saturday + Boss Baby

Cecilia and I have a running “discussion” about the use of air conditioning in our house. She would prefer to keep it at Rocky meat locker levels. I am a bit more frugal. To avoid having the same “discussion” each night, we’ve come up with temperature thresholds that dictate when we use it. Can’t argue with a thermometer. Well, you can if you’re a teenager….

It’s the ability to tolerate minor discomfort.

Obviously, this really isn’t just about air conditioning usage, but it did lead me to think about our ability to tolerate minor discomfort. It is shocking to me sometimes how readily we all set aside our ambitions, merely to avoid tolerable levels of unpleasantness.

It’s easier to flip through FB or TikTok or Insta and get that hit rather starting that dreaded task even when you know, you know, you’re going to feel better when it’s done.

And this isn’t just me preaching to the girls, I’ve been wrestling with this through my sabbatical with my goal to write 2k words a day. I know its gotta get done, but I put it off or make side deals with myself even if I know better.

What’s the fix? Heck if I know other than just working at it. Exposure therapy. Let those feelings of anxiety or boredom come and then go and get on with the task. Keep doing that and you’ve got yourself a superpower that is slowly going extinct.

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Scenes from Saturday + Paint & Punk

I had to bite my tongue this week. Ally is going to be a Broadway star. Or a pop star.

And I almost put on my rational Dad hat (ok, I rarely take that off) to tell her of course she would, but had she also considered accounting. Then I realized what a hypocrite I’d be. I’ve spent the entire lives encouraging them to dream big and they can be anything they want and now I’m going to hedge on that advice because the world is hard and I’m going to worry about them?

The world is hard. It will always be hard. And I will always worry about them.

I was going to be in the NBA. I was reasonable about my talents. I saw my self as a solid sixth man with slow feet but good shooting, but definitely in the league. If that didn’t work out my backup was professional Wiffle ball. Neither of those worked out. And that wasn’t a reflection on me. It was the industries. Pro Wiffle ball still had to mature as a sport. I tried. I failed. I tried something else.

Permission to try. And permission to fail. And supporting them either way. That’s my aim.

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Scenes from Saturday + Crystals & Candyland

Even as the days blend together, we are settling into something resembling a routine and trying to make the best of it. With both Michelle and I on a lot of calls, we are letting serendipity and curiosity play a large part in the homeschooling effort. Yup, fancy way of saying we’re locking the girls in their rooms for a couple hours in the morning and afternoon. We make sure they are fed and watered first. I think they’ll be okay in the short-term.

We’re doing our best to follow the school’s suggestions but if they want to go down a three hour rabbit hole about how to make your own Cheetos or M&Ms (thanks Bon Appetit YouTube channel)…who am I to argue? I don’t think a parent should force their child to master anything but I do think it’s their job to help them discover the possibilities in life. After that it’s up to them.

Though if it’s going to involve the trombone, maybe wait for Dad to get off the phone. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + A Cul-de-Sac Concert

Was that Saturday? Time has become a little elastic. We took a break from all academics and work conference calls. Michelle might have snuck a few emails in, I can’t watch her 24/7. We needed it. The last week almost broke all of us. I believe it will get better. Humans are remarkably resilient but no amount of hot glue, glitter, or Netflix was going to help last week. As a person that really likes routines and daily goals, I had to get very comfortable that things were just not going to get done.

I will say I am happy that the girls get to see Michelle up close and personal at work. At this point, they are used to me working from home and I don’t really do much except push pixels around and occasionally raise my voice to developers that stray out of their lane and think they are designers. Michelle is way more important and I think it’s good for them to see her in this other role.

Kids are always watching and we should let them see us work, to show them what it takes to thrive in this world. We should want them to see us on the phone, sleeves pushed up, (virtually) surrounded by people who respect and depend on us. They see us at our private worst, they should also get to see us at our public best.

Just make sure you know how to work the mute button. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Mist, Music & Mystery

Cecilia lost her last baby tooth this week. One more childhood ritual done. One step closer to manic teenager. Maybe because it’s rather innocuous, not scheduled, and not typically celebrated with a Hallmark card, it caught us all a little off-guard. Or maybe it was just the end of a long Tuesday and the wine wasn’t open yet. Either way, it was a bit emotional.

Cecilia wrote a long and sweet good-bye letter. Fidget Windwand (the nom de plume of our tooth fairy) wrote a poetic response. We’re at the awkward stage where we are not totally sure is she is playing us, hanging on (for the cash), or genuinely believes.

I’m sure we’ll have plenty of years in the near future where nothing will be cool and astonishing and being a child is for babies. I’m happy to wait on that. For this last night, we were all believers. Continue Reading