Some more press on The Grandfather Clock


I know I’ve been MIA lately… we’ve been in the middle of moving. The first article ran in the Gulfport, FL news a couple weeks ago, but their website was getting redesigned so I couldn’t share it. Deeply in debt to my unofficial marketing person, Cathy Salustri, who keeps getting me in the news.

The second article is about what Tampa Bay area influencers are reading. Mostly it’s just an interesting article, but the brilliant Johnny Bardine dropped my name too. Thanks Johnny!

Posting this from my phone if it looks funky. Will be back in the groove next week!


Getting Over Nerves


The other day my son had to perform for a town holiday celebration with his preschool class. He was nervous. It wasn’t the first time he’d been part of a performance, but previous attempts had not gone well. (When he was three, he came out on stage with his class and promptly walked down the steps and sat with my wife and I.) On another occasion he alternated between crying and fighting with another kid on stage. This time, he said he didn’t feel good. I explained that feeling nervous was normal and that the feeling would go away once he was on stage, and after the performance he would feel excited and proud. It worked. He didn’t bat an eye. He was front and center and loudest of the bunch.

Nervous? What’s the worst that could happen?

Dale Carnegie said: If you have a worry problem, do these three things:

1. Ask yourself: “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”

2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.

3. Them calmly proceed to improve on the worst.”

fat umpireI actually had the worst thing happen once. When I was a kid, my baseball team was playing for the championship. We were down by one run and I was on third base. The batter up made the second out, and I took a slight lead off third base, just to keep the catcher (my best friend) honest. What happened next has never happened in baseball and will never happen again. The catcher threw to the third baseman. I easily stepped back on the base, safe by a mile. The umpire, not as svelte as his Pro Bowling days, tripped, stumbled toward us for several steps, and was suddenly out of control. He started to scream as he knocked me and the third baseman down, and I realized his scream was, “You’re out!” Both teams stood in total shock, until our opponents burst out in cheers. To this day I’m convinced that he called me out because he was so embarrassed by his stumbling act that he wanted the game to be over. So he crushed a little kid, both figuratively and literally.

What’s the worst that can happen? At twelve years old, that was pretty much it. I didn’t want to go to school the next day. I didn’t want to face the kids from the other team. But when I did, they patted me on the back. They agreed that it was the wrong call.

Nerves are normal, but you can’t let them hurt your performance. Dale Carnegie’s advice works. What is the worst thing that could happen? One day in 1985 the answer was, “You could make the last out of the big game and have a 300 lb umpire flatten you.”

– Thanks, as always, for reading! Do you have a comment? Do you have questions on how to get my novel The Grandfather Clock? Are you a former little league umpire with a guilty conscience? Email me at


My Interview With Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay’s Weekly Entertainment Magazine


Just a quick post to share my interview with Creative Loafing, the Tampa Bay area’s weekly entertainment magazine. Want to know where I got the Nazi conspiracy idea? Do I really have a grandfather clock? How on earth is a guy with a degree in Economics and a background in sales a fiction writer? Find out below. If you have any comments on the interview, drop me an email at or post your comment below. Here’s the LINK to the interview or click the logo below.

Creative Loafing Logo

If you’ve read my book, The Grandfather Clock, please leave a review HERE or click below:

I've got great reviews, but I need more!

I’ve got great reviews, but I need more!

Thanks for reading!


The Inspiration For This Blog Post is Inspiration


Someone told me that I inspired them (a first for me.) Specifically, she said that I inspired her to finish three books that she’d written. I was flattered, mostly because this person is a bona fide freelance writer, who puts food on the table with writing and has a book deal for a nonfiction book. The notion that she needed motivation or inspiration struck me since she is already quite successful. But she saw my book and suddenly the task of finishing her books on her own seemed attainable. It got me thinking about inspiration and motivation. I used to give corny motivational speeches to rooms full of telemarketers (thank god YouTube wasn’t around then.)

Coffee is for closers.

Coffee is for closers.

Don’t Give Me Some ‘Rah Rah’ Motivational Crap

I once had a sales manager, many jobs ago, who sat in his glass office next to the cubicle farm. He’s sit in there with the USA Today pretending to read the Business Section, but really reading sports (we were in financial services). Every so often he would emerge with some combination Tony Robbins / Alec Baldwin Glen Gary Glenross motivational nugget (really just trying to get invited to lunch with the rookie salesmen because the veterans ignored him). He meant well, and outside of the cold walls of that class-action-law-suit-waiting-to-happen, he was a nice guy. The company’s business strategy could have been summed up with, “Sell life insurance to your friends, but call it an ‘investment.’” One day he called me in to his office (I think he sensed that I had one foot out the door), and I could tell he was about to go Motivational Poster on me. I cut him short, “Don’t you dare get rah rah on me,” I said. “Give me something I can use.” His shoulders slumped and I felt sorry for him. He was just like me. He didn’t have the tools to be successful in that job. He didn’t have the tools to solve our problems. The company was a scam – a very old, prominent, successful scam. Their business model was to hire a dozen people and see if anyone would stick. The even bigger problem is that they didn’t have an example of a success story to show us.

Don’t Set A Goal Without A Plan to Hit It

Since my book came out, people have been asking me when the next book will be done. I’ve been declaring that I will release two books in 2015 to complete the three part series. So, just to add to that pressure, I’m putting out here on the internet too. This will give me some motivation to do it, but the bigger motivation is the lonely single volume of The Grandfather Clock sitting on the shelf, and the partially completed follow-up sitting on my computer. I’m really excited about writing this one. The feedback I’m getting from readers motivates me. I’m getting amazing comments from people I haven’t seen in over a decade. Thanks for everyone for reading. If you haven’t picked up The Grandfather Clock, it’s only $2.99. Don’t have a Kindle? Yes you do. You’re reading this aren’t you? They have an app for every possible platform. Have a comment? Drop me an email at