Tag Archives: WWBC

We’re Taking Over WordPress: Life List Club – New Blog, New Prizes!

Big news!  Huge!  Spectacular!  Extra, Extra! 

The Life List Club Launches Own Blog!

That’s right guys and gals!  The Life List Club has decided to launch their own blog site and make things easier ON YOU!  Instead of trying to bounce around between 8 or more blogs on one day, we’ll be able to space out our plethora of viewpoints and encouraging ideas over the course of a month at our site.  We’re posting on Wednesdays and Fridays all about achieving goals, and using Mondays for any announcements or guest posts that may occur (hint, hint – Who’s interested?)  Please give a round of applause to my co-founder, Marcia Richards who worked doggedly on setting up our site.  You can visit us at our new blog, and we’ll officially transfer there the first wednesday of April!  Don’t forget, we hang out at the hashtag #LifeListClub too, so you can always give a shout out there!

And Now a Word from our Sponsors:

Ok well not sponsors, I don’t currently have any of those, but if companies like Bath and Body Works, Lush, Target, Barnes and Noble would care to make a contribution, I’m sure it would only do wonders for the ol’ Witkins’ Happiness Project.  😉

It’s time for our Milestone Party!

You can’t have a party without dancing!  Previously you’ve raved to Ce Ce Penniston’s Finally, you’ve jammed to Ke$ha’s Tik Tok and here to teach you how to boogie is the Bingo Boys featuring Princessa singing ‘How to Dance!’

The point of a Milestone party is to celebrate the strides you’ve made on your life list.  A few months ago I condensed my list to the core necessities, and here’s where I’m at with my progress:

1.  Write Everyday – My minimum goal was to write at least 5 things in my gratitude journal each day, with a long term goal of scheduling time each week to get writing done on my book.  However, in the last month, I changed projects.  Instead of the paranormal young adult novel I was working on, I switched to memoir.  Pretty drastic switch there!  I got some good tips from my Warrior Writers Boot Camp gang and will be starting to piece together this project in the next weeks.  I’m also attending the DFW Writers Conference in May, featuring guest author James Rollins.

(My favorite items to have made the Gratitude Journal lately)

  •  Writing a letter home
  • Crossing paths with 7 young deer while hiking in Hixon Forest
  • Reading the fun comments on my Musicalpalooza blog
  • Watching the finale of Season 2 The Walking DeadOMG! What is about to happen??!
  • Feeding the ducks down at Riverside Park
  • Discovering Joe Lando (Yes!  As in Joe Lando who played Sully on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) is playing Cassie’s father on The Secret Circle

2.  Read Two Books a Month – I’ve excelled at this goal!  In February I read four books, and hope to complete that same number by the end of March.  My upscale in reading led to two author interviews for Shifting by Bethany Wiggins and The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund!  It was an absolute treat to get to chat with these phenomenal women!  I also felt a big push to get to that “To Be Read” Pile and cut out costs of buying more and more books before getting to the ones on my shelf, so I joined the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge.  I’ve completed 5 out of my 12 books so far, two more in progress, so I just need to finish writing the reviews.

3.  Save Money – I was amazed at how much money I could add to my savings after using my ridiculous star stickered chart to track when I didn’t spend money frivolously!  I was able to save up funds to ensure my trip to South Korea is a go!  (I leave in a week and a half!)  I have yet to meet with a personal banker to find a better savings account and finish Suze Orman’s book, Women and Money. 

4.  Work out at least once a week – I’m probably most behind in this goal, but I have stepped it up nutritionally.  I started keeping a food journal along with my gratitude journal so everything’s in one place.  I track what I eat each day, and just writing it down keeps me accountable enough to make sure more fruits and veggies find their way onto the plate.  I’ve made some new recipes including CM Stewart’s Green Smoothie!  And I’ve definitely been buying more produce instead of junk snacks at the grocery store.  On days off, I’ve been good about doing some hiking or walks because I read an article about how even 10 minutes/day  in nature can do wonders for anxiety and fatigue  issues (which I’ve been battling as of late).  The next step is to go full swing with some consistent workouts!

That’s what I’m up to!  How ’bout you?  Do the Bingo Boys inspire you to take dance lessons?  How’s your writing going?  Your workouts?  What dream vacations are coming up?

AND…any time the Life List Club has a Milestone Party we give away prizes!  Drop me a comment below sharing your goals and you’re entered to win a blog swap and I-Tunes Gift Card!

More fabulous prizes to be had!  Visit each contributing writer of the LLC for a chance to win:

Marcia Richards Guest post swap and Amazon gift card

Sonia Medeiros A guest post from Sonia or the winner’s work featured on Sonia’s blog

Jenny Hansen A Margie Lawson lecture packet and a $10 Starbuck’s gift card

David Walker A free download of his “Web Wisdom: Inspiration from the Inbox”

Gary Gauthier A choice of 3 eBooks

Lara Schiffbauer A $25 Gift card

Happy Friday Everyone!

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Scams: A Guest Post by David N. Walker

It’s another round of the Life List Club blog hop!  Here with me today is David N. Walker, Texan Extraordinaire!  He’s here today to teach us all a lesson about scams.  And you can find me over at Jenny Hansen’s blog, More Cowbell, talking about why wearing pajamas might be the best thing you do for your career!  Sort of…

You can also visit the other Life List Club crew by clicking on any of the names in the sidebars of our blogs and we’ll all be around in the comments section!  See you there!

Scams by David N. Walker

WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Not too long ago, everyone in my Yahoo contact list received an email purporting to be from me and stating that I was stranded in Madrid penniless and without ID because I’d been mugged. More recently I received this email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Barrister Manuel Francisco Suarez Calafell, an Attorney at Law, in Madrid-Espana.

I am writing to notify you of the unclaimed inheritance deposit (US$37.3Million) of our late client, Mr. MROTZEK GERD who passed on to the Great beyond on August 21st, 2008 in the Spanair Flight JK-502 2 Crash in Madrid.

I got your name and email address through a web search engine in my quest to get a reliable individual who shall work with me in claiming this inheritance deposit since all efforts to get the biological relative has proved abortive.

Conclusively, I await your urgent response to include the following:(1).Your full Names & Address. (2).Your Telephone and Fax numbers. (3).Your business name if any: for more information on how to release the inheritance deposit, procedure and legality of this claim via email: manuelfrancisccalafell.suarez@aim.com

Regards,
Manuel Francisco Suarez Calafell (Esq)
Attorney At Law

Has Spain become the new Nigeria? I haven’t received anything lately from any Nigerian bankers asking me for a processing fee so they could send me several million dollars. Maybe someone from Spain stole all their computers.

Have you been spammed with any junk like this letter? Had your email account commandeered or your identity stolen? This seems to be growing in seriousness.

David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.

How NaNoWriMo Became a NaNoNoGo

I failed.  Short and simple.  NaNoWriMo whupped my butt this year.

The fact of the matter is I had too much on my plate, and while I made a go of things the first two weeks, it became a no-go after that.

Here’s What Did Work:

  1. Writing.  Just getting the words out and creating some new ideas.
  2. Waking up Early.  Early starts where I timed my writing and made a word count goal were beneficial.  I learned that with focus I can easily manage 500 words in 15 minutes using writeordie.com.
  3. Write-ins.  I was able to attend two local write ins and they provided the caffeine and social support to keep going until word goal was met.

Here’s What Didn’t Work:

  1. My Pre-planning.  I work as a sales manager in retail, and we were planning Black Friday and Christmas Events in October.  If I was smart, I’d have also been making a NaNo plan and outline to ensure I knew what and when I would be writing each day.
  2. My Stubbornness.  I read and commented and emailed several bloggers who all limited their posts for this month so they could devote more writing time to NaNo.  I respected and well understood all of their decisions.  Should have made that same decision, but I had to be the golden child who can do everything: blog, NaNo, WWBC, Author Branding class, Book Club, maintain 60+ hour job, family, friends, personal sanity…oh yah, crash and burn.
  3. Trying to do two things at once.  I was hoping I could get work done for my Warrior Writers Boot Camp Team while doing NaNo, but either I wouldn’t make word count cause I thought too hard and kept editing, or I made word count but felt I let my story run in a direction I wasn’t sure I wanted to maintain.  I almost would have been better doing two separate projects here.  I’d advise using NaNo to just explore a story idea and keep the WWBC for the feedback and fine tuning purposes.
  4. A Series of Unfortunate Events.  I struggled this month with getting my focus in the right place.  I got caught in a web of guilt about not spending enough time with family or friends.  Then, I discovered there’s a mouse in our house, and I spent days binge cleaning screaming at my roommates, “We live in filth!  How do we live like this?” (And in reality, we’re not so bad.  But due to construction that was happening, we’d left some crawl spaces open and I’m sure he got in that way and now that Wisconsin is starting to freeze outside, it’s probably much warmer in the house.  We’ve named the mouse Carl.  Carl needs to leave.  I’ve lost sleep listening to him on the wooden floors.)  I also underwent some lab work at the hospital to check into some things that have a history in my family.  All tests came back normal, which is wonderful, but I freaked myself out the whole weekend waiting for results.

When Life Hands You Lemons, You Make a Nice Citrus Martini!

Eventually, reality dawned that NaNo was simply not going to happen, and it was the one thing I could do without this fall.  I still plan on participating next year!  But I’ll have exactly that, a plan!

So, I used my new found freedom, which is kind of what it felt like when I actually shook reality’s hand, and I set up some guest post swaps, I had my parents into town (my mom hasn’t been to my house in years), I made a trip home to see my niece and a good friend, I’ve gotten some additional reading done, and I’ve thoroughly cleaned most of my room now.

For the rest of you completing your NaNoWriMo journey today, I wish you all the best!  I hope to one day know how it feels to finish the first draft too.  In the mean time, I’m still writing, but it’s at my own pace.

Congratulations to the NaNoWriMo winners of 2011! 

The rest of you, martini’s at my place!  Cheers!

A Most Memorable Thanksgiving: Guest Post by David Walker

Welcome to the great Thanksgiving Blog Swap!  Basically, today you will find me at David’s place, and David is here with me today.  We’re both talking about Thanksgiving.  I encourage you to hop over to David’s and learn about a very meaningful ancestor in my family tree, and here, David’s providing your humorous travel guide to celebrating the holidays in a chill new way!  Enjoy!

A Most Memorable Thanksgiving

When I was growing up, my family joined with two other families in owning a cabin in Ute Park, New Mexico, which is 54 mi southwest of Raton and 43 mi northeast of Taos and about 600 miles from our home in Fort Worth:

We enjoyed spending a week or so there every summer so much that Dad decided one year to go there for what ended up being probably my most memorable Thanksgiving. Before we get into details of the trip, however, I need to tell you a bit about Ute Park and our cabin.

Ute Park sits at an elevation of a bit over 7400 feet above sea level. This makes for wonderful summer temperatures with no airconditioning required. In fact, since the cabin was built as a summer getaway place, we intentionally left a space of several inches open between the walls and the roof, and, of course, there were no interior ceilings in a rustic cabin like that.

Okay, now to Thanksgiving. We were excited as we loaded our 1955 Pontiac Station Wagon for the trip up there. Even with four bickering kids in the car—well, three since I was always perfectly behaved—it was a reasonably enjoyable trip since the wagon allowed us to spread out a bit.

Although I don’t specifically remember, I suspect it was dark when we arrived, since it was nearing winter solstice, and the speed limit was 60 without a single mile of interstate highway. It was a long trip even with summer hours.

What I do specifically remember is that the low temperature the first morning we were there was six degrees Fahrenheit, followed by lows of four and five the other two mornings we were there. Anybody think about that year-round airconditioning built between the walls and roof when we planned this trip? I don’t think so.

Of course, a summer cabin doesn’t have any kind of heating built into it. The only source of heat we had was the range and oven. You should have seen us huddling around that! Or trying to ignore morning and staying under the covers in bed.

The daytime temperatures didn’t really bother us all that much. I guess after such extreme morning lows, even us Texans could handle the rest of the day. We had about as good a time as any family which included one daughter who could never get along with anyone.

The highlight of the trip was Dad’s decision to cut down our own Christmas tree and haul it back home. Why pay $25 or $30 (I think that was about what they cost back then) when you could cut your own for free? After all, we had acres and acres of pine trees around the place.

                                                        

My dad was a brilliant man. High school valedictorian, pretty much all A’s in college, high standing in medical school. Except when he had a brain freeze, which he did at this time.

Once we picked out a tree and cut it down and hauled it back to the cabin, he tied the base of it to the back of the car and the top to the front bumper. Visualize that, although he didn’t. Pine tree limbs grow reaching upward, which means that once we had it tied in that position they were reaching forward.

Anyone see a problem with aerodynamics here? The whole time we were driving down the road, the wind was trying to spread the limbs open—and lift the tree off the car, which it did several times. I don’t know how many times we had to stop and retie it to the car, but we continued to tie it with the limbs facing forward.

The trip home didn’t really take a month. It just seemed like it. Funny, we never heard another suggestion from my dad that we go to Ute Park in the winter—or that we haul a Christmas tree 600 miles across the country to save a few dollars.

David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.

Life Lessons from a True Pilot

It’s Life List Friday again!  I hope you all enjoyed the Milestone Party and took time to celebrate your own milestones on your life lists too.  I’m happy to welcome back David Walker, Texas Ranger (sorry, David, I couldn’t resist).  I can be found over at Jennie Bennett’s blog today talking about indulgences, and why you need them.  See you all soon!

David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather and a grounded pilot. He cofounded Warrior Writers Boot Camp with Kristen Lamb. You can read more of his posts at http://davwalk.wordpress.com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx. Today’s blog is not about life goals, but rather about a life lesson learned.

The Arapahoe Airport

My private pilot’s license was less than thirty days old as I pushed the throttle on the Cherokee 140 to the firewall. The 150 horsepower engine came to life, and we began to roll down the runway.

The long runway at Arapahoe Airport—now called Centennial Airport—runs north and south. It had larger planes than mine stacked up for takeoff, so I was directed to the shorter east-west runway. Not to worry. I was used to flying the 140, and in all of my experience I’d never come close to using all the space we had available for takeoff.

Did I mention I had three adults and two small kids piled into this four-place airplane? Did I mention my little sister had brought a suitcase full of used cannonballs? No sweat, though, we still weren’t overloaded since my daughter and nephew were both preschool age.

As we rolled down the runway something seemed amiss. We weren’t gaining speed as fast as we should. Hmmm . . . About two-thirds of the way down the runway I pulled back on the yoke to lift us into the air, and the red stall light came on.

My first thought was thank God the 140 didn’t have a stall horn like Cessnas did. My sister would have gone into a panic, and there’s no telling what might have happened.

Second thought was did I have time to brake to a stop before I ran out of real estate? Someone had thoughtfully put a barbed-wire fence at the end of the runway to separate it from a deep valley just beyond, so overshooting was not an option.

Maintaining a calm exterior somehow or other, I waited until the last second to get all the speed I could and then jerked hard on the yoke to try to lift us into the air. At this point, you’ll just have to take my word for what happened. God sent a couple of angels to toss the plane into the air and over the fence. After figuring out what the problem was, I realized there was no way the plane could have become airborne on its own.

That deep valley I mentioned became very important at this point. I was soon several hundred feet above the ground and could point the nose down slightly to gain airspeed. After a gradual climb to a safe altitude, I relaxed a little and began to ponder what had gone wrong.

Wait a minute . . . density altitude! I’d read about that in my training. I knew that as the ambient temperature rises the effective altitude rises also, but in my flying around Oklahoma City I gave it little thought. So what if the density altitude was 2000 or 2500 feet instead of the actual 1300 feet. No real effect on performance.

But this airport in the suburbs south of Denver sat just under 6000 feet. With the 95 degree heat, the density altitude probably approached the service ceiling of the little 140. How stupid was I?

People had told me that a private pilot’s license is just a license to begin learning to fly. I’d thought of it as a bullet-proof shield. That arrogance and inattention had almost got my daughter, my mother, my sister and my nephew killed.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that was the last mistake I made in flying, but it was the last time I made that particular one. Never again would I just blithely plan a flight without considering the effects of the loaded weight, the altitude of the airport and the heat of the day. Like the Missouri mule, I could learn if you whacked me in the head with a two-by-four to get my attention.

     A graduate of Duke University, I spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of my career was spent in Texas, but for a few years I traveled many other states. I started writing about 20 years ago, and have six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since my retirement from insurance a few years ago, I have devoted my time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel myself.

The Party Don’t Start Til I Walk In

It’s finally here!  It’s officially been 3 months for the Life List Club members and contributors working diligently on our goals.  And we all know that when we work hard, it means you get to play hard too!  Bring on the good times!

What is the Life List Club?  The Life List Club is a place for writers and readers alike to share with each other their goals/dreams/bucket list/what-have-you and support one another along the journey.  You can join by subscribing to any of the LLC contributor blogs which are located in the sidebar.  Anyone can be a member and we encourage all of you to make your own Life List page on your blog as a reminder to yourself what you want to accomplish.  We’re here to lend helpful advice, encouragement, and good old fashioned ass-kicking when you need it!

It’s a Milestone Party?  Today we’re celebrating our progress on our goal lists since we started 3 months ago.  We have music, food, and great schwag to giveaway, so I invite everyone to leave a comment; share with me how you’re doing on your goal commitments, what advice would you offer others, and feel free to dance!

My List and Progress Thus Far:

  1. Write every day, even if it is only ten words.  (Ok, this hasn’t been completely consistent, but it is improving.  What’s helped the most is blogging ahead and making a planner where I create and follow through on writing time.)
  2. Read 2 books a month for fun.  (I’m loving this!  See what I’m reading by visiting my Bookshelf.)
  3. Submit my work for publication.  (Nina Badzin wrote this post on why it’s important to just do it and not be a snob about your publication opportunities.  But I have nothing finished yet, so this goal is post-poned, but not gone away.)
  4. Learn about the craft of writing.  (I’m currently learning about novel set-up through my Fly on the Wall status in Warrior Writer’s Boot Camp.  I get to observe others’ writing and edits, offer input, but I don’t yet submit my own.  The basis of this boot camp is to prep you well before it’s your turn to start submitting.  I’m also signed up for Kristen Lamb’s Author Branding Class to make a bigger impact with my blog and writing.  Can’t wait!)
  5. Learn about social media.  (Uh, Kristen Lamb.  Best Freshly Pressed post to ever stumble onto.)
  6. Attend a writing conference.  (Madison Writers Institute – Wonderful experience I’m now on the lookout for next year’s conference, and thinking about saving up money to attend DFW in Texas, the conference Kristen usually speaks at!  Might see some of my favorite tweeps and bloggers there!)
  7. Meet with other writers.  (Ok, I attempted to start a local writer’s club which didn’t pan out cause everyone is so busy.  I did start a critique group with 3 writers I met at the Madison Writers Institute, but we’re not on a regular schedule either.  LLC and WWBC have been the most beneficial, which leads me to advise that while in-person groups may be more fun, don’t knock the online ones, cause they’re full of amazing people who can help you get the job done, and probably faster.)
  8. Write a fiction book.  (It’s my current work in progress.  The plan of attack is jump start writing again with NaNoWriMo and follow the WWBC evos to prepare more efficiently.)
  9. Cook more meals at home.  (I’m well of aware of the bologna incident, and the write like potatoes incident, and the double stuff oreos incident in spite of my mother.  It’s about progress, and part of progress comes from being aware.  Honestly, I’ve made some smart decisions, and have spent more time eating fruits/veggies first before the cheetos.  And I vow to not ever, not even if someone dared me, eat bologna again.  I couldn’t live down the shame the first time I blogged about it!)
  10. Be more frugal.  (I struggle here, but I’ve got some worthwhile goals and desires to attend conferences and travel more, so I’m going to watch my excess spending and start that “fund” where all the money you didn’t spend on grande green tea lattes and fancy jewelry goes into that fund jar instead which will slowly help me get to Korea, or Finland, or Singapore, or wherever else I want to go.)
  11. Take a real vacation and leave the country.  (I visited Toronto, Canada for a week with my honey, and it was so beautiful and fun.  Loved hanging out in the big city, seeing Niagara Falls, and trying Ice Wine for the first time!  Mmmm)
  12. Go to the beach.  (I blame Wisconsin weather.  And working too much.  We still only got to the beach two times this year.  But we supplemented our outdoors time with hiking, oh that’s right, we nearly died…)
  13. Go see live theater.  (It’s part of my birthday present.  I get to drag Joe to a local theater event!  Yay!)
  14. Keep up with my gratitude journal, 5 things each day.  (Here’s what I recently wrote down.  Ice water, Joe cooking dinner, fried green tomatoes, taking a late night walk around town, watching Chic music videos on youtube.)
  15. Track my progress of learning the social media and publishing world.  (I’ve been adding a second list underneath my gratitude journal that focuses on eye opening moments.)
  16. Spend more time with friends and family.  (Even though it meant a lot more driving, and therefore less writing time, I took some extra weekend trips home to see family this month.  I know it was entirely worth it.)

Rules That Help Me Survive:

Here are the three rules that I’ve come to ground myself with as I work towards my goals.  If you want to see how I came up with them and use them, check out this LLC post I did about making my own boot camp to kickstart my writing.  I hope these rules help you towards your goals too.

  1. Life comes first.
  2. Get up early.
  3. Feelings lie.

PRIZES!!!  To win, you must subscribe (or already be subscribing) and comment below!  Good luck!

All of us LLC contributors are giving away FABULOUS prizes today!  I’m offering one commenter a signed copy of Bethany Wiggins’ new book Shifting!

     After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Learn more about Bethany and her book in my author interview with her!  Or check out her blog at Shooting Stars.

Other Fabulous Prizes Include:

Pam Hawley is giving away:
-Winner’s choice of excerpt from my novel-in-progress or a copy of my short story
“Elevated.”
– I will interview the winner on their goals and ambitions for a future post in Hawleyville.
– Option to publish a piece of their own fiction/essay (up to 2,000 words) or do a guest
post at my blog.

David Walker is giving away 2 prizes:
-to a commenter, a copy of a short story, Bubba’s First Cruise
-to a subscriber, a guest post swap.

Marcia Richards is giving away:
-a copy of flash fiction – Night Moves
-invitation to guest post or be interviewed on my blog
-winner’s name used for a character in my trilogy, The Dance and The Dancer

Jennie Bennett is giving away 2 prizes:
-3 books, Oliver Twist, Secret Garden and A Little Princess
-10-page in depth critique

Sonia Medeiros is giving away:
-Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering Ebook

Jenny Hansen is giving away a prize to each a commenter and subscriber:
-Choice of a guest post from Jenny for the winner’s blog OR an interview of the winner  on Jenny’s blog

Violeta Nedkova is giving away:
-In-depth Critique of two WIP chapters

Diana Ligaya is giving away:
-a copy of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces
-an in-depth critique for fiction up to 15,000 words

Emily Moir is giving away:
-a 5 piece (4X6) photo series by Kate Moir

Alright folks, put on your favorite party hat and boogie with the Life List Club today!  We can also be found disco dancing on twitter at #LifeListClub. 

Now tell me, how’s your life list coming along?

Breaking a Taboo

Hello friends!  It’s another round of blog-hopping bliss with the Life List Club!  I’m blogging at the marvelous Marcia Richard’s blog and I’m talking about Boot Camp-the Life List kind.  And I’m pleased to welcome a brand new contributor to the Life List Club, guest posting here FIRST on the Happiness Project.  Give it up for David N. Walker, live in Wisconsin from the Texas range!  Ok, maybe not live, but he’s HERE!  Be sure to say hello to the other Life Listers by visiting their blogs using the Life List Club sidebar, or join the twitter party at #LifeListClub.

David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather and a grounded pilot. He cofounded Warrior Writers Boot Camp with Kristen Lamb. You can read more of his posts at http://davwalk.wordpress.com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

Breaking a Taboo

Women can do anything they want. Men have to be more careful. They must be macho at all times. There are certain things we men just don’t do.

For instance, women carry purses, but men can’t do that. Well, okay. I guess some men do. Maybe that wasn’t a good example.

Well, women wear skirts. Men certainly can’t do that. Oops. Guess I’d better not tell anyone in Scotland. They might think I was belittling their traditions.

All right, women wear heels. That’s something men absolutely don’t do. Well, except for Western boots. Or lifts. Or . . .

Hmmm . . .

Okay, women wear makeup. No man would ever do that. What? They do? Are you sure? Oh, well, yeah, of course actors do. Even John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone wore makeup to look right under the lights and cameras. I’m talking about normal men. Really? Are you sure some men do?

Well, maybe my dirty little secret isn’t so earth-shaking after all. I wasn’t going to admit it to anyone, but maybe it’s okay.

You see, last spring my wife and I spent several days with two other couples in a condominium on South Padre Island. One morning the girls left us to go get pedicures. I mean, how ridiculous is that? Spending money just so you don’t have to clip your own toenails.

When they came back they couldn’t quit talking about how good it felt. You’d have thought they’d been to visit male prostitutes or something the way they carried on.

We left to return home the next day, and I thought about all the things they’d said about their pedicures. And I had plenty of time to think on the trip back to Fort Worth. How many of you can take a 618 mile drive, one way, without even leaving your state?

By the time I got home I’d made up my mind I was going to try it. I not only thought about the pleasure the ladies said they got from their pedicures—I thought it might solve a problem I’ve been having in recent years. My arms have been shrinking. I used to be able to sit in a chair and reach my toes with ease. Nowadays I can barely see them.

Oops. Shouldn’t have said that. Now your going to think it has something to do with something growing around my middle instead of my shrinking arms. Well, whatever. Point is, if some pedicurist took over the chore of taking care of my toenails, I wouldn’t have to struggle with that.

When I mentioned it to my wife, I didn’t know whether she’d laugh or file for a divorce or what. Actually, she just said she thought it was a good idea and that I should go for it.

The following morning I stole my way into Wal-Mart. Well, I guess I sorta sidled. Had to keep an eye out to be sure no one I knew was watching when I ducked into the salon. Whew! Made it.

The young lady kept a straight face when I told her I wanted a pedicure. Maybe I wasn’t the first guy in history to do this.

She led me over to this nice, comfortable chair, had me put my feet into this miniature hot tub, and began filling it with warm water. Then she pressed a button that started something in the chair back massaging my back.

Wow. Maybe the girls were right. Maybe there really was something to this.

She spent the next 30 or 40 minutes trimming my toenails, filing them, buffing them, scraping my perennially cracked heels, rubbing unfathomably strange lotions on my feet and lower legs. Did she really have to stop sometime? Couldn’t we just spend the day doing this?

That first time hooked me. I’ve been back four times since then. The first girl did it better than the other two I’ve tried, so I now have her name and a phone number to call for an appointment when I’m ready for my monthly pedicure.

Okay. You macho guys laugh. You don’t have to try this if you don’t want to learn. Just don’t get in my way when I head over there for mine.

What do you think?  Have you ever tried something that’s taboo and found you liked it?  What are the benefits of breaking taboos?  Do you see any disadvantages?  

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