Housekeeping

Man, I’m a Genius

Albert Einstein

Today it’s beautiful. As I wait to pick up my eldest from dance, I’ve claimed a couple of hours for myself to do as I will. I’ve spent that time sitting on a patio enjoying 78-degrees of bliss with a soft breeze, blue skies, and an awesome soundtrack pouring through the speakers in the background.

I’ve also been a bit self-indulgent and spent most of that time going through the old posts here at Stone and Sea in an effort to reconnect with my writing. Sorry if that sounds goofy or pretentious, but it’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s been so much fun.

It has, however, given me a bit of a reality check.

My first recent post, which was a kind of re-entry thing after more than seven years of being away, was both exhilarating and a little tough to write. On one hand, I was stretching muscles that I haven’t used in a while. On the other, though, I was pretty excited about my approach to the subject matter that I’d be writing about moving forward.

More the fool, me.

While going through my old posts, I (eventually) found my way back to my very first and second. The second reads (in part) as follows:

“While I’ve spent the last couple of days sifting through possibilities for the focus of this blog, I’m no closer to establishing a firm, central theme.

So be it.

If the purpose is to grow as a writer, to learn new things, to possibly teach a thing or two to others, a central theme might not be as important as it initially seemed. In fact, with time and work the “central theme” might evolve naturally.”

So, here I sit – you know, the genius – and realize that my first, “Hey World, Check Me Out!” post for the re-launch of this blog was, essentially, a re-hashed, less-polished version of a thought that was crystal clear to me ten years ago.

~sigh~

It’ll get better, I promise.

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Where to begin?

First: successful blogs – define that however you’d like – tend to have a central theme or focus that drives traffic, readership, ad sales, etc. You can find blogs that dig into just about anything, from sports to sales, life as a single dad to lessons from the pulpit.

Stone and Sea has never had that kind of clarity. As such, it’s always been a source of, if not frustration, certainly confusion for me. In other words, I’ve always struggled with the question of what this blog is really about, and what I’m trying to accomplish.

I think I’ve finally figured it out, though, and while I’m satisfied with where I’ve landed, it’s pretty clear to me that “successful blog” might not be in the cards.

Well and so.

Second: it’s been a really, really long time since I’ve written here. I’m talking seven-plus years. And while there are countless reasons/excuses for the absence, it can, I believe, be boiled down to one thing: I didn’t make it a priority. And that’s all me.

Part of it was certainly the problem of focus mentioned above. What the hell do I write about this week? Some of it has to do with the hectic schedule I (and anyone else with kiddos) have to navigate on a day-to-day basis. Some of it’s been my – we’ll say fluid – career path. Free time has often been spent researching potential contract gigs, submitting resumes, etc. More on that to follow.

But, again, I just didn’t make the time.

That, my friends, ends now. Moving forward, here’s my commitment to you (and me):

I will no longer stress about a lack of focus here, and instead embrace it under the heading of: What would my kiddos find interesting about their old man if/when they read these posts twenty years from now? That not only gives me all kinds of room to maneuver, but also changes the type of content/posts I’ve written up to now not in the slightest. So, win-win.

I will write regularly, so don’t expect a “Gone Fishing” sign any time soon. Countless times over the last year I’ve felt a pull/need/desire to get back here and write, and I’ve ignored that inner voice. More the fool, me. Consistent writing – writing that’s done for pleasure rather than those hours pounding away at the keys in my professional life (Content Marketing) – is something that’s been missing for far too long.

I guess I’m trying to say that I’m excited to be back, and I’m grateful that you’ve stopped by.

Talk to you soon.

Without words

This post has been deleted.

My apologies if this causes any confusion, but I promise you’re really not missing much. The short version is I’ve been having difficulty producing posts for this blog and I’m working on it. The meandering, hazy writing that was originally here was unable to convey that fairly simple thought.

So it goes.

I’m working on getting back into the swing of things, so until then I ask for your patience and to look for new posts in the very near future. As always, thank you kindly for coming by…

Moving Day

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I had a fairly lengthy couple of opening paragraphs going as a lead-in to this post when it occurred to me a mini novella explaining the virtue of streamlining and simplification might be at cross-purposes.

The short version is this: I have way, way too many bookmarks and folders of “cool shit to read when I get a chance” on my desktop and in my browsers. So, taking a cue from a friend at work, I’m looking to cut loose, clean out, and simplify my digital closets. What follows are a few summaries and links in case you see something you might find interesting…

Doris Egan
I’ve written about her before, but if you haven’t spent some time looking through Ms Egan’s Website you’re missing out. She’s an author and writer for the show House. She’s also a fairly busy woman, and as such doesn’t update very often, but there are some absolute gems if you have a few moments to read.

The first explains why she likes to write about flawed heroes.

“But how much more satisfying to bring your villain right up to the floodlights and have him do his damage; and then to drench him in ambiguity by showing as well that he possesses courage, self-knowledge, and the ability to withstand a bleak existence with grace. It’s that drop of blood in the pearl that gives it its luster.”

That drop of blood in the pearl – wow – what a fantastically lovely phrase. At any rate, the second piece focuses on what it means to be a woman who’s growing older, but I encourage anyone to check it out, no matter what your age. Side note: while the quote below isn’t as sexy as the one above, this was my first kiss with Ms Egan, and the writing that holds me captive :

“The beauty of growing older is that after one has made a fool of oneself enough times, the idea no longer holds quite the same terror.”

50 Banned Books That Everyone Should Read
Fairly straightforward list, but I’m always surprised by some of the titles. 

29 Amazing Long Exposure Pictures
In a word, amazing. Check ’em out.

Photo by Rick

To click or not to click

Clearly, not a question.

I was looking at stats yesterday and realized that in the last couple of weeks only one person has clicked on a link from this blog. And while that’s absolutely fine – I’m in bliss that you’re here reading at all – I do have to say I think you guys are missing out on some hilarious stuff.

Take the last post, for example. If you click on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” link below and watch the two minute video I dare you, I double-dog dare you, not to laugh.

I’m just sayin’…

Sorry for my absence

I’ll get back to writing soon, but as you can see below I’ve been a little busy. In fact, during my brief stay in the hospital I began (in my head, in the middle of the night) a couple of posts. Stay tuned for those.

Until then,  Kenna Sumerlin Hickey was born a little over a week ago and is perfect, beautiful, and crazy-chilled for a baby. Life is good.

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Latest woodworking project

Between family, work, tooling around in the garage, and birthday celebrations (mine, my mom,  a couple buddies, and my nephew – all in a four day window, if you can wrap your mind around that one), I just haven’t had the time to post. My bad.

Right now I’m working on two posts that started out as hmm, this is pretty interesting, but have somehow evolved into pieces far more Atlas Shrugged than Elements of Style in regard to length. Given one deals with abortion and the other genocide, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised with the expansion. In any case, they’re both in work and I hope to have at least a portion of each ready for you soon, so please stay tuned. 

Until then, I invite you to enjoy my latest carpentry project. About 3.5 feet tip to tip, it was a birthday gift for my nephew and easily one of the most fun projects, both to design and build, I’ve had in a quite some time. Hook ’em…

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