A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

writing: _ Christian Writers _ _ NaNo _

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Monday, March 31, 2003

I am getting ready for tomorrow's meeting of the Na No Wri Mo writers' group that meets at Borders. We were supposed to write one thousand to five thousand words on a joke or a prank or some sort of related April Fooos' Day meeting. I have not written one. I am not a fan of April Fools Day, I have never been a fan of April Fools Day, and I expect never to be a fan of April Fools Day. So I had a heck of a time coming up with an idea a story related to this topic. What was I going to write about? A joke thing, a practical joke thing? I am hard pressed to come up with ideas for that type of story. All I could come up with was a bare bones that would end up with a punch line, or end up with some sort of joke line. But I have enough biases against short stories already, so slogging through a story just to end up with something that contains all of the biases that I already have would have soured me on the whole idea. Or at least that is my excuse, maybe I just could not come up with a story and it is relaly as simple as that. But that is why I am not interested in taking classes on creative writing, because I am not good at having to write things, but I am better at writing things I want to. To me, this makes a huge difference. One of the things I wanted to get out of a writing group was the discipline of writing, the commitment to writing and the commitment to a group. One of the things I am proud of with my participation is showing up at all of the meetings . . . after the first one, I must hasten to add . . . and that I have done most of the assignments. Not doing this one is not a critical chink in my participatory armor, I do not think.

I will make the commitment to do the next assignment, no matter what it is . . . and even to do a crit or two over the next month. I am going to sta committed, I am going to do my work, despite my dread of this particular assignment. I am going to miss the first part of the meeting because of a meeting at the office, but I will get there by 7:30 or so . . . 7:45? . . . we will see. I have emailed the group and told them that I will be there, but that I will be there late. I also mentioned that I did not do the assignment. I hope that I was sheepish enough for them to not be mad at me.

I have enjoyed the group so much this far, that I hope the group continues to move forward in the manner that it has. Maybe I will even like the next assignment. I have written more short stories in the next four months than I ever wrote before, and I know that that is a good thing. I am interested in working on the craft in this manner. But I am moving towards novels, those are the prize, and I do not want to take my eyes off of that. So if there is any way that I can tie one of these assignments to a novel somehow is intriguing, and I will certainly try to do that. It is a matter of keeping your eyes open and your mind clean, I just need to keep my priorities straight. So I look forward to the meeting, and of course to the food at Borders, too! It is always about the food . . . Saint Louis . . . Chicago . . . and now Borders . . . pretty good apple crisp and ice cream last time I was there. Mmmm . . . mmmm . . . good. So I hope that I can grab a bite while I am there. Of course I am there to fellowship and hang out and talk writing and do a little writing, too. Looking for fun.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Saint Louis went pretty well. I did indeed get a number of comments (most positive, and even the ones that were not so positive [to put the bast face on it] were constructive) on my presentation. This was not the conference that gave me an award and will publish the paper, because quite frankly this is a little higher level conference. Academics is a very stratified field. That fact by itself does not surprise me, in that we all know that colleges are selective to different extent. One of the great strengths of our higer ed system (which is the best in the world, not to put too nice a spin on my chosen field of work, of course) is that the choices are os varied. There are big schools you can go to, there are small schools you can go to, there are state schools you can go to, there are private colleges you can go to, there are liberal arts colleges you can go to, there are technical schools you can go to, there are community colleges you can go to, there are bible colleges you can go to. The sheer volume of choices means that there probably is a place for you (and you and you and you and you and you) in the system. We let all of our higher educational outlets be different, and we see that as one of its strengths. Not to get too far off the subject, but one of the great weaknesses of our primary and secondary school system (not one of the best in the world, probably not one of the best ten in the world, and maybe even not one of the best twenty in the world) is the fact that we are trying to standardize it so much. Let us make every high school the exact clone of every other high school, no matter the student body or the geography, etc . . . thank goodness we do not do that to higher ed! Do we think it is a coincidence that our high schools are incredibly unsuccessful while our colleges are incredibly successful? Well enough about that subject. Let's get back to conferences and journals, where this entry was heading before I highjacked it with thst rant.

Anyway, conferences and journals operate the same way, with a similar stratification and level of selectivity. The J of F is the most selective journal in the field, and the F M A is the most selective conference. They would get and A+ for their quality and selectivity. They are the Ivy League, the gold standard, if you will. The articles that I have written are not even close to being quantitative and theoretical enough for this journal and conference. This is not self mockery or low self esteem, it is a recognition that the work I do is much too practical for these bodies. Then there are the nice private liberal arts colleges of my field, and these would pretty much be conferences like the M F A and other regional conferences. This is the conference that I can get into and that I can present papers at, but that I can ont get published in. Then, there are the quality state institutions of my field, such as the J of P M and F P and E. These are the journals that I am considering for my re-done and re-researched and re-written article. This would be a B or B- level journal, but for me and my expectations and my college, that would be pretty impressive nonetheless. I would be in good shape with a publication in that level of journal. The one that is going to publish me is more of a C or C- journal, and the one that has actually already published an article of mine is more in the D range. Barely acceptable if it were the ONLY publication, but not as bad as part of alist that contains some other works.

The conference was good for the contacts, as well. I need to come up with some names for referees for my P & T packet, and I connected with one that I specific desire to find, and met one or two other who seem possible candidates. One is researching the same area and just got himself tenured, so I am sure he would be willing to help a young pup like me. Next year's job is to ask these folk and actually develop the list. And I found another couple who might be willing to help, as well. Seemed like a nice bunch. Between here and the Chiago conference, I think I made good progress on the "connection" front.

Food was not bad, at all. A good steak one night, and the conference supplied a couple of meals, as well. Then I found a little diner a few streets away for a nice breakfast. All in all, a successful couple of days. Other than having to pretty much strip for security in the airport nowadays, then get redressed, even the flights wer not too bad. Good weather in the air, although it did hail for about twenty minutes when I was awaiting the shuttle to the airport. It was a very odd sight, right there at noon on a Saturday in April, a massive hailstorm . Then the sun came out and all was well, again. Very odd indeed, but I can say that I lived through it, and certainly the timing was fine. I ate a nice Italian meal of stromboli and garlic bread at the airport in St Louis, as well. Pretty good airport food. I had a few hours to kill, and that seemed like a nice way to kill them. I was able to catch a few minutes of March Madness here and there walking by the sports bars, but I was not in the mood for that type of food. Too greasy just before a flight. Oh well, I made it home alive and none the worse for wear.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Back to academic work and academic writing. This time it is similar to the story of going to Chicago that I wrote about a few weeks ago. This time it is the Gateway City of Saint Louis, Missouri. I am flying out tomorrow morning in the early hours and through Chicago, I end up Saint Louis. I am there for a conference which starts that day, then goes on the next day and half of the day that follows. I end up flying back late in the third day, this time a straight flight. Not too bad at all. I will eat lunch in Chicago . . . not at one of the fine restauants I noted a few weeks back, but at the airport. I am guessing that say what you will about airport food, airport food in Chicago has got to be better than airport food anywhere else. Or am I crazy in that notion? We will see, and I am sure that I will faithfully report to you the results of that little excursion.

Anyway, I am going to present the same (okay, okay, I know the rules . . . a similar paper . . . ) to this conference as the last conference in the Windy City. My paper is not at as good a time lsot as Chicago, so I do expect any awards or the like. This time I am presenting the paper at Nine O Clock in the morning on the last day of the confernce, maybe one of the worst slots, truth be told. I did not get a lot of feedback from Chicago, maybe a little comment here and there and another question here and there. But I hoping that St. Louis will provide feedback. I think that this paper has the potential of getting published in another more prestigious journal than the last publication. I already know what efforts I am going to make to get another article out of this, but I would like to get some productive feedack from the conference to get me some good advice, as well. I have high hopes.

I have been to Saint Louis before, for a church related conference. I did not get to see much of the city, only the airport and the hotel. I stayed at the hotel that the conference was at, and I can not remember leaving the conference for a tour of the city or anything, even eating outside of the hotel. I think that the hotel was out by the airport, too . . . so I was not near downtown. But this confernece is in the downtown area, I do not know exactly where. I just saw the arch last time from the air, and I hope that maybe I can get to it this time. Or at least see it from a little closer. I do not even know where in the city the Arch is, except that I assume it is on the Mississippi RIver. But other than that, I have no clue. I will not have a car for this conference, so as long as something is within walking distance, I can probably get to it. There is actually some down time on this conference, and they are feeding us okay. I guess that Saint Louis is another pretty good food city, that same midwest feel that Chicago has. I am expecting good beef, wherever I go in the Midwest. It is all about the food.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Hey, I have good news to report. An actual publishing success, and this time NOT in an academic journal. I mean an actual creative work of mine has been accepted in a literary journal. A small literary journal for sure, one I had not heard of and neither have you, but it actually exists and has a website and will publish on paper sometime this Summer. So this is very good news. And of course I owe it all to the good people at Na No Wri Mo. It was on the forum page in that website that I saw an offer from Bow Wow Magazine describing an opportunity that magazine was offering regarding an upcoming issue that would feature Na No Wri Mo excerpts from Na No Wri Mo participants, or maybe it was for Na No Wri Mo winners. I can't rightly remember that little detail. But seeing as anyone who pens 50 thousand words is considered a winner for Na No Wri Mo purposes, I qualify for both. Anyway, they are doing a specila Na No Wri Mo edition, and I sent off an excerpt for them to review . . . and to make this really long story just a little longer . . . they accepted it. And the message that came with it even had nice things to say, like they did not think they would have to edit too heavily. Very good news all the way around.

The exceprt that they are going to publish is about four or five thousand words that occur in first third of the novel, I would say. It is a portion where Brian and Annie go out to lunch (with their children, although Brian has carefully made sure that his wife will be out of the day and of course does not tell her, he trusts the saughter to not chit chat about the "unplanned" nature of the meeting) and Annie confesses that her marriage is in trouble. Ostensibly, she has called him to discuss the financial implications of a separation and for his advice on getting a budget set up, etc . . . Brian responds nobly and in a heartfelt way. He is compassionate and he is sorry, but he is also getting to see a different side of Annie that he has ever seen at work. She starts to fill out in his mind, realisitic meat filling out the skinny bones that he has of her in his imagination. Each gets to interact with their child, or more importantly get to witnessthe other interact with their child. This is another ken insight into each other's world. Also, the kids get together grandly, despite a few years of an age difference. They refer to each other as "good friends" and hug at the end of the time, etc . . . Brian and Annie are seeing in each other something that they do not have at home. The excerpt ends with Brian and his daughter heading home, and of course Natalie spills the beans to her Mom in all innocence of course. Brian is slow and apparently hiding in his method of revealing his lunch plans and their discussion. They have a fight after she explodes, partly in jealousy. She refers to Annie as a "pretty young thing" and we get the chance to see Annie through another woman's eyes, as opposed to just through Brian's eyes. So we are seeing a different side of the characters, seeing these third and fourth characters on their own as opposed to just being referenced by the first and second character. The scene ends with the Norton's having sex, which Brian describes as "perfunctory," then adding in such a typical man's attitude, that "perfunctory sex is better than no sex at all." In this sense Brian is mobing into the role of the Everyman, where he symbolizes some aspects of manliness that are ever present, but not always described straight. Men get joked about, exagerated, but not often portrayed straight and honestly. This is what I am trying to do. I think that Brian "gets it," as say a Howard Jones or a Tonio K or a Nick Hornby "gets it." These are men who understand what it is to be a man and can express manliness in a very honest, funny, vulnerable, and revealing. I think that that is what I am trying to with Soul Mates, express real relationships from a mans' point of view. There are references to women to sex and to strippers and sports, but it is not a caricature. I want this man to be a man who struggles, who fights his nature, but who understands his nature and knows when to revel in it and when to be ashamed of it.

So Bow Wow is going to publish this little excerpt, and one of my 2003 goals is to actually finish the damn book! I am very close, maybe 80 percent. I still have two potential endings in my mind, but I am not close enough to the end to really worry about which ending I want. I would like to do a complete re-write this year (after of course it is written the first time, to completion), then send the whole thing off to publication. Clearly the people at Bow Wow think it is a pretty well written piece, and I think it is, too. This has given me enough encouragement to get on with it and finsih it and re-write it and submit it to novel publications. But it is a bit too early to get ahead of ourselves, so we need to just focus on this point on the glory of this acceptance and then worry about the editing and fret about the publication of this particular piece. I am sure i will write on this topic again, based on whenever this gets published or I hear from them again. But . . . it was good news and I wanted to pass it on.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

You ever been so thirsty that you drink so much that you give yourself a tummy ache so you stop drinking -- even though you are still thirsty? Or that you are so hungry that you eat way too much, but you don't know it at the time because you were still hungry but then you got sick because you had actually eaten too much? You know, it is possible to do something too quickly, and not get the full effect of it because it just washes completely away. I think that that is the way I was with those books of Natalie Goldberg. I loved her books and the ideas that were in there, and I certainly raved about her tips and techniques in this very same blog, but have applied almost none of them. I have actually consciously applied none of them, but I am living in the faith that some of them have come into my being and that some have worked their way out into my life and writing.

It is like this analogy I have heard in church, relating to the Holy Spirit and the way it works itseld out. We are talking about Soaking Prayer, if you will. When someone is not in close ot God, but is dry, then experiences the Holy Spirit in a powerful way, it may not have much of an effect, right at first. But it does change the person, and makes them more receptive the next time it happens again. Eventually, the person is receptive enough to get the full effect of the Spirit. It is like the dry land in the desert or a drought condition. When a summer storm rips through and dumps loads and loads of rain on the ground too quickly, it just runs off and floods. Farmers need steady solid gentle rains, as does the desert. It is the same with people. When the dry ground is overwhelmed by the rain waters, it is too dry to take it in. In the same way, a dry person who can not recieve the Lord's Spirit at first can be ovewhelmed, then slowly becomes more receptive. That is how the power of God works. In the same way, I was so stoked by Goldberg's ideas that I was overwhelmed and the flooded me and did not have the impact that I had hoped. I was the farmer whose dry crops are destroyed my flood waters or the dry desert which turns to mud after a summer squall. I was too dry to receive, and it is a total bummer.

I need to re read the tips and techniques and figure out how to apply them slowly in my life. This blog is supposed to be a version of morning pages, but I have not been able to pull that off. Nor have I been able to do the Artist Date or the other techniques. Bummer. They really did sound good. I will try to not turn this rant into a flood of self loathing. So I am resolving to do better with her techniques, to do better with this blog, and to generally do better with my writing.

Maybe it is a matter of doing too much at once. I am trying to change too many things at the same time. I am trying to work on assignments for a writers' group, finish up last years' Na No Wri Mo novel, think just a little bit about this years' Na No Wri Mo novel, and of course hit Chicago and St. Louis for academic conferences. Did I mention that I won an award at one? I think I did. I even think I wrote a whole blog entry about it, so much for self loathing, that was more like a little too much self loving. Oh well, just swing that particular pendulum back and forth. Well, that was work, and this is fun. So the standards have to be different in an odd sort of way. Anyway, I am trying to re-work my life around to work writing into it, so maybe I need to just back burner the Goldberg stuff and re read it slowly and slowly until I am ready to recieve the power of it. I recognize the power of it, but I am way too dry to recieve it. So I need to avoid the next thunderstorm so as to avoid the following flood, and take it in slowly, preparing my fallow ground to rightly receive the power of the advice. I am not ready to implement all of the ideas that she proposed. We have proven that beyond the shadow of a doubt. And I am not even ready to get ready to implement all of the ideas that she proposed. But I think that I can honestly say that I am now ready to get ready ot get ready to implement all of the ideas that she proposed. I will keep you posted.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Chicago was a good conference all the way around. Very good sessions, a great group of people, and great food. After all, it is Chicago, one of the top couple of food cities in the U S of A. Good corn-fed beef and ribs, mmm mmm mmm. I manage to get myself to the Windy City for a conference (or two, if I can really pull a coup with the travel office at work) every year, and one of the highlights is definitely the food. The hotel is old and grand, a two story lobby with beautiful old fabric and fine woodwork. Very stately and grand. And a whole bunch of places within walking distance to eat and shop and eat . . . and then maybe eat some more. And of course the shopping on the Magnificent Mile is top of the line. Depending on the scheduled events for the conference (I go to two different conferences that meet at times in the Second City), there can be pretty decent down time. One time a Chicago conference had me spending a day on the Mile shopping for family and friends. One time a different conerence had my walking to the Sears Tower. By the way, it is really tall. This was before 9 - 11 - 01, so I suppose it is even taller now. In comparison, I mean. Of course it was probably safer when I was there, too. I wonder how close I could get to the Sears Tower nowadays.

But back to the conference. I presented my paper in the middle of the second day of the three day conference, which I suspected was a pretty prime spot. As it turned out, and as I sort of suspected, there was a good reason for this. I ended up winning the Distinguished Paper Award from the organization. There is an umbrella group under which about 12 separate organizations meet, and it is from one of these that I won the award. Very nice plaque. And did I mention the $100 check? Nice. The way it works out is that the check comes from the separate organization, so I had to attend the Annual Meeting of this organization. That was when the $100 check came into being. That was a nice surprise. Then I went to the main meeting of the umbrella group, which included a nice lunch for the entire group, then I wa presented the plaque. Now all I need is to find a nice place onthe wall for to hang this bad boy.

The nice thing about this organization is that there are so many different groups represented under the umbrella, that there are a wide range of types of papers presented. My field, a few related fields, and a bunch of other fields were all represented. Plenty of places to find good people presenteing good papers, helpful for both the teaching part of my job and the practitioner part of my job. I try to teach things that are practical, which is not the main thrust of all academics, but that is what I specifically shoot for. So papers with a real world application appeal to me. The ones with too many formulas, too much calculus, and too many big words are just not of interest to me. I mean I recognize that the theorists have a role, but I prefer to let them do their work, and then I will read not them but those who have interpreted and applied the theorist's work to . . . guess what . . . the real world. I live in the real world, and certainly my students live in the real world, so studying and researching and thinking about things that are not inthe real world is not my role. It is the role of others, I have no problem with those people and their roles, it is just not the role for me. Different strokes and all of that, I suppose. But anyway, this conference has enough different types of papers that there is almost always a practical paper being presented somewhere in the conference.

But back to the food. The hotel is in a block that contains a bunch of helpful places. A real nice place that I ate at twice, sort of my touchstone for dining at this conference, had tremendous ribs as a lunch one day, with some kind of seasoned mashed potatoes. The came place has a great skillet for breakfast, some great concoction of sausage, eggs, biscuits, and peppers. Top of the food chain, that is. Very yummy food. The conference fed me a little and I wandered down to get another nice meal a few blocks away. I am not a big fan of big cities, at least in my head, having never been to N Y C and having absolutely no desire to ever go to N Y C, but Chicago is a fun time. That is my kind of town, Chicago is . . . that tottling town, let me show you around.

And of course the nice thing about travel is that I get a nice per diem from the state no mater how much or little cash money I spend on food. So I treated myself to some fun and expensive entertainment, that along with the hundred bucks for the award, let me do good work, eat well, have fen, and make a few bucks. Only in America.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Back to academic writing for a day. I know that this is not the purpose of this particular blog, but writing is writing is writing, so I am counting it. I am attending a meeting this coming week in Chicago where I will be presenting a paper and attending a number of sessions. The paper has also been accepted for publication (PUBLICATION! woo! hoo!) in the organization's journal, which is to be published in June or July. In addition, I have been encouraged to attend the sessions where the Distinguished Papers will be announced. It seems like a bit of a hint, not to get ahead of myself, but I have a good feeling that I may see my name engraved on a plaque. This would be a good good good good thing.

I also did some other work for this conference, which was helpful for me. I reviewed a pair of papers for the conference, and it seemed to me that I wrote better than these other people. Not that my academic research was any better than these other papers, but I think my actual writing was better than these others. Word choice, organization, grammar, spelling, clarity, etc . . . I really think I have an advantage over other academics when it comes to presentations and publications, because I actually write well.

I have always known that I wrote well. I have gotten comments in the past on memos (really) that I have written, and have always had a good facility with words. Much of academic writing is not intended to be clear and accessible, and in those journals and for those conferences, I am out of luck, because I do not write in the math-laden, quantitative mode of others. So the M F A and the Journal of Finance and the Financial Review and the Q R E F and a bunch of other similar spots are out of the question. But there are still a number of organizations that will take my papers and even a few journals that will take my research and writing work. The Journal of the Academy of Finance will take my first article, and I have hope of taking the next step in the research over the summer and revising the paper. I think I will be able to spin the paper upwards in quality. I have my sights set on the Journal of Portfolio Management, which is a fit for the topic of my work and also is a somewhat lighter (in tone and in attitude, not in quality) journal. But the J P M has credibility and would be a nice thing to put on the old promotion and tenure report, so I look forward to submitting a paper to it.

I have also agreed to review papers for the Journal, not just the conference. We have not gotten those yet, and I expect them to be better, to be the "cream of the crop," or at least to have been revised from the conference paper. I hope that this will be a quality selective journal, and not just a vanity press for the organization. I need publications, but I also need publications that are of an appropriate quality to be respected by those who are reviewing my packet.

But I am looking forward to the conference presentation, and certainly am looking forward to the publication of the journal this summer. I will write about these things when they happen.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

I liked the last meeting of the group. Seven of us sat around at Borders' and wrote from the perspective of someone who shares an secretive trait about ourselves. My secret was my fandom of the Gilmore Girls, the wonderful Lauren Graham - Alexis Bledel TV show. Too bad that Bledel's movie version of "Tuck Everlasting" did not better at the box office. I this she is a cutie-pie and seems like a pretty normal kid, the kind you hope makes it big in the entertainment industry but who rarely does. We need more of her and less of Shakira and less of Britney and less of Christina. Okay, okay, okay, end or rant.

For next meeting we are supposed to write a story about a joke or a prank or some related issue. Our next meeting is on April Fools' Day, thus the topic. I am very leery about this. I am not a fan of the pracitcal joke and am no fan of April Fools' Day at all, so I doubt my own ability to write about this. I have a feeling my muse is not exactly a practical joker. Maybe my muse favors wordplay and puns and the like, but the practical joke? I do not think so.

So my mission from the group is to work on crits. I have looked at one story by Alison and written all over it, but I have not figured out how to get her my comments. I do not know if I am supposed to post these online in our Yahoo Group page or give them to her like I would a graded paper. I just do not know. That was from last time we met, and I did not get the paper back to her. I need to post an email query about how to do this. And I need to get on the ball myself and post a fwe of my own stories for the group to crit. I am a big fan of this group and it is working well on the social level, and I think we have developed enough of a laid back and casual and respectful attitude to do this well and criticize fairly and to take any criticism in the way intended. So now we need to get on the ball and start doing it.

I picked up another manuscripts to crit, this one from Michelle on Remember WENN, her area of fanfic. That is one of the neat things about this group, is that we all come from a variety of areas and areas of expertise. Fanfic is an area that I just barely knew was even out there, and now I am even kicking around the idea of doing a little bit of it myself. We will have to see. I am getting it into my head that there can be value in writing that is not specifically directed towards the end result. In my case I consider myself a novelist and my end result is a number of novels that I have written and have in process and want to write. I have never been a fan of short fiction, really either reading it or writing it, but I see its value as a training tool, and appreciate the group forcing me to engage in this kind of practice. Of course, now I am not too sure of the April Fools assignment, but that is just a personal quirk and hopefully the rest of the assignments coming up will be closer to my wheel-house. We shall see.

But still this is a good group and Alison and Amy and Kris and all of the others in the gorup and who are organizing and driving the group have been doing good jobs and been working hard to make this work. We have not gotten the most help from Borders' and now we are even kicking around the idea of moving the group to homes of group members of local area parks or library. It is maybe a good idea, although I do have to admit that Borders' cafe has some pretty good food. But if we end up moving I am sure that I will survive.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

This is the story I wrote at the last meeting of the Na No Wri Mo writing group. Our assignment was to list five things about ourselves that the people at the group would not know about us from looking at us. Then we were to pick one of these facts and write for 20 minutes or so from that person's persepective. My five things were:

1. I own over three thousand comic books.
2. I watch every episode of the "Gilmore Girls" TV show.
3. I spent three years living in Thailand.
4. I don't think that either Todd Rundgren or Jim Steinman get their due credit as musical geniuses.
5. I daydream about being interviewed by Brian Lamb on C-Span's Booknotes.

I selected the second item on my list and wrote from the perspective of that person. Not an autobiographical writing, but . . . well, you'll see:

I know what you're thinking. He's strong, he's buff, he's extra masculine. But I am more than just me rugged good looks, damn it! Sure, to look at me, you can tell that I am athletic, well put-together, and one sharp dresser. Two years of semi-pro ball before a knee injury derailed those particular plans.

But there is more to me that these obviously overwhelmingly masculine traits. I have, I admit it, a softer side. Not a feminine side, mind you, just a softer side. For example, I watch the overwhelmingly feminine"Gilmore Girls" every week on the television. Well actually, It's on twice a week, but that's a little too embarassing to admit. It's fast-paced, they talk a lot. say funny things. It's a bit girly, okay I have to admit that, but it's a really good whow, quite well-written. Honest. Plus, the chicks are hot. Oh yeah, that's the ticket. No, seriously, it's actually good to know what's going on inside those pretty girl's pretty heads. It's more like sating research than anything else.

Plus, sensitivity is really a great way to pick up the ladies. They fall for that soft-spoken pose every single time. So, guys, just drop World Wrestling or Monster Garage for an hour a week, and catch on Lorelai and Rory and their completely feminine lives. Trust me, It will be worth it.