Bored and Brilliant

September 23, 2017
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I heard a podcast from Manoush Zomorodi last weekend that blew my mind. Her explanation on how cell phones have zapped the creativity right out of us as human beings is enlightening. I beg you to check out her Ted.com podcast and read her book.

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Reverend Jed Smock or Colonel Remus P. Entwhistle

July 10, 2017
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One of the best memories from my college days was Reverend Jed Smock, or Brother Jed, as he was known to those who interacted with him. I even used him as inspiration for one of my characters in The Art of Raising Hell.

 

Here’s an excerpt from the News Gazette:

 

And if entertainment executive/author TOM LOPINSKI (left) hadn’t crossed paths with one JED SMOCK (right) during his years at the UI (off and on, 1976-81), his most recent novel would have one less colorful character.

 

For the Georgetown-born Lopinski, now director of music licensing for the Disney/ABC Television Group, the most memorable campus personality wasn’t a coach or a professor but rather a preacher — though not the traditional presiding-over-Sunday-services variety.

 

“Reverend Jed entertained students every spring and fall with his fiery sermons and a relentless desire to save us all from ourselves,” Lopinski says. “I spent many an afternoon sitting on the campus grass watching a crowd form around him as he spun tales about spiritual enlightenment and captured our hearts. He ignored the subtle slurs, constant giggling behind his back and in-your-face direct rebukes that followed him everywhere… READ MORE  http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2017-06-27/part-35-answering-phones-ubben-keeping-kam-safe-run-ins-reverend-jed.html (more…)

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JUST TRY NOT TO SUCK!

October 28, 2016
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October 24, 2016

 

I love that saying. Thank you, Joe Maddon.

 

champions

Here it is the morning after my beloved Cubbies finished off the Dodgers with ease and I’m still in shock. All I could think about was what my father and grandfather would say if they were here today. Then I realized that they’d say nothing because they’d be in shock too.

 

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There have been hundreds of stories written about heartbreak and defeat for Cub fans over the years. The saga between the Cubs and the World Series is kind of like that shy quiet kid who is in love with the prettiest girl in class. She ignores you for years but knows you’re staring at her all the time.

 

Occasionally, she’ll wrigley-field-with-chrisfeel sorry for you and allow you to take her out for hot dogs and a beer. Before the night is over though, you gather up enough courage to try and kiss her on the lips. Unfortunately, every time she turns her head away and only let’s you peck her on the cheek. You just can’t seem to ever get that juicy kiss on the lips.

Well, Mary Makowski, wherever you are, the kid’s time has come so pucker up and get ready because the Cubs are in the World Series this year and we are going all the way!!!

 

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Best Young Adult Novel of 2015

September 12, 2015
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“The Art of Raising Hell” won Best Young Adult Novel of 2015 from BestIndieBooks.com!!!

 

http://bestindiebookaward.com/live/

 

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The Art of Narrating Well…A Lesson In Patience

July 19, 2015
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SNL Narrator

Finding a narrator to create an audiobook is no fun. Any author who has used ACX knows exactly what I’m talking about.

 

 

I must have searched through 2,000 auditions trying to find the right voice…and price. Oh yes, there are wonderful voices out there, but will they roll the dice with you and narrate your book for nothing but hope that you’ll split thousands of dollars in royalties later? Probably not, and I can’t blame them.

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Dirty Underwear…

May 25, 2015
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I can hear my mother now, “Always wear clean underwear because you never know when you might end up in an accident.”

 

dirty underwear

I didn’t really think much about this until the Northridge earthquake years ago when there were images everywhere of half-naked injured people being carted off on stretchers with tattered “wife-beater” shirts and brown underwear. Yes, she was right. Lesson learned.

 

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The Ultimate Rock n’ Roll Hell Raiser

April 14, 2015
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The RockerThe other night, I watched the movie “The Rocker” starring Rainn Wilson for the very first time. I don’t know how this film escaped my radar screen all of these years, but somehow it did. I must say that it almost equaled, and dare I say these words without worrying about being struck down by lightning, the level of the best rock n’ roll movie of all time, “Spinal Tap”…but not quite.

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RELIGION AND RAISING HELL

March 15, 2015
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I must admit that I’m not a very religious man, but I am spiritual. It’s not because I’m an avid drinker of spirits either, although divine intervention has definitely steered me away from death by intoxication on many occasions. No, it’s more due to the fact that I dMoses parting seao believe we transcend to another world after death. Now you might think that hell raising and religion are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but, hopefully, by the end of my online rant, I will have changed your mind.

 

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To Your Mother

March 1, 2015
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College kids toasting

It’s believed that in ancient times, people toasted as a form of protection from being poisoned. They would clank their glasses together, purposely spilling one drink into the other to insure that each person was drinking from the same “well.” Over the years, it’s become a symbol for spreading goodwill or honoring a person at weddings, events and dinners. In college, it became a way of life and anyone wishing to partake in that life eventually had to make a toast.

 

Thus, the phrase “To you mother” came into being. Even though this saying is a big part of my novel “The Art of Raising Hell,” I can’t take credit for coming up with it. No, that goes to a fellow living on my dorm floor by the name of Sully. He was a gentle bear of a man with a deep baritone voice and more hair on his back than a Bactrian camel. We spent many a night drinking liquor, playing foosball and toasting our mothers. If you don’t know what foosball is, well, then you really need to get out more. (more…)

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Best Beta Buddy Ever

February 17, 2015
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I thought I should take a break from the subject of raising hell and write about something that is more important than any blog, book or idea to a writer: the perfect beta reader. Every writer needs beta readers to review their work, discover the holes in their plots cruise shipand give back unbridled criticism about what works and what doesn’t. If you can find someone who reads everything you give them and provides wonderful feedback, then you’re doing pretty well. If he happens to be one of your best friends, then you’ve hit pay dirt! (more…)

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