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Amnesty Day

In preparation for Father’s Day, the Today Show website has run an excerpt from the memoir I’ve been working on.

Amnesty Day: How I got my teenager to tell me the truth is up in the Parenting section.

If you like what you read, vote it up! (That’s what they say there.)

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When my daughter, Fifer, was young, we were very close. I was among the first wave of fathers to do at least 50 percent of the childcare as my wife was pursuing her graduate degree in psychology … and those doctorates take time! When Fifer was little, we collected bouncing balls and Spongebob-themed stickers. When she got a little older, we invented our own card game (based loosely on Gin Rummy) and kept adding new rules that only we understood.

When Fifer became a sophomore in high school, however, I began to feel her pulling away. It wasn’t just about boys—I got that. It was about the things she thought she shouldn’t tell me. The things she thought she couldn’t tell me… (Read More).

We Have a Winner

I’m going to have to ask you to believe that the fact that the winner of the First Annual Book Architecture Git-R-Done grant is writing about a pivotal moment in the history of what became the Black Lives Matter movement AND is a nurse who has been treating people with COVID-19 six days a week for three months is a coincidence. Or fate, which is what I would go with.

 

(But seriously, judging was complete in later February. We just didn’t announce the winner because she’s been so busy saving lives and we wanted her to have her moment in the sun.)

Amy Wilson is writing a novel set during the MOVE bombing in 1978, when the city of Philadelphia battled what they termed a terrorist cult whose civil disobedience was aimed at exposing systemic brutality against black people. Her novel, Roof Girl, will explore the issues of family, belonging, and the power dynamics around truth. Amy plans to use the $2,500 grant stipend to travel to West Philadelphia (where the events occurred) for interviews, visit the archives at Temple University and immerse herself in the scenic detail of Philadelphia landmarks like the Franklin Institute and the Mutter Museum.

I swear it is another coincidence that she and I are both from Philly and lived there when these events transpired. We didn’t know each other, and besides, the judging was all done in a double-blind process by InkHouse PR. Speaking of InkHouse, they praised a number of contest entrants and reported the penultimate tier held many worthy candidates. I hope we will see some of you again next year.

Once, you know, people leave their house, Amy will embark on her travels and keep us updated. Go, Amy!

More Mantras!

Believe It field Unsplash

Finish Your Book in Three Drafts provides these and more mantras to help writers with whatever draft they’re in. For the second, or “method draft”, it’s all about change.

Sometimes Isolate Unsplash

Or not changing.

The second draft is re-visioning your manuscript, and Finish Your Book in Three Drafts gives you the tools you need to take the best parts of your book up a level.

To help you ASAP, here is a package of free screen savers of the book’s Draft Two Mantras.  You can download them: HERE. And if you’re a technoklutz like me, you can get the instructions for how to install them: HERE.

The Most Famous Person

 

It takes a certain kind of organization to make money and develop its people in equal measure. The national PR agency, InkHouse, recently created Hindsight 2020, a book of essays written by the team about moments of consciousness that opened them up to new points of view. According to CEO, Beth Monaghan, such moments of clarity are important in PR because new connections are the essence of stories; they are what allow someone else’s experience to exist next to our own. That is the very job of PR, to bring people and ideas together.

I was honored to write the Afterword to InkHouse’s Hindsight 2020, and to close the book launch with a reading of it. Here is me describing my moment of clarity—occasioned by having a drink with the most famous person I have ever met. In less than 600 words, because clarity also needs brevity.