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Thoughts Upon Turning 47: Embrace the Thing You Love

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As of today, I’ve spent 47 years roaming this earth (or at least various parts of the United States) with the rest of you, trying to figure out how this life thing is supposed to work.

And here’s a little something I’ve learned along the way:

If there’s something that you’re good at, something at which you excel and that brings you pleasure or joy to others, you are obligated as a human being to pursue it. You might not get paid for it or even get much recognition by others who do it. But your proficiency at this thing and the joy it brings you are the gifts you have been given as a member of the human race. Whether you see it as having come from a divine source or simply from a combination of evolution, heredity and life experience, it’s one of the biggest qualities of being human that sets us apart from chimpanzees and bonobos. Continue reading → Thoughts Upon Turning 47: Embrace the Thing You Love

Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird

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I always got the feeling when I was working in the full-time office world that – despite the diverse and disparate personalities that surrounded me in the newspaper business – I was always considered one of the worker bees who was a little … off.

Former co-workers can render their own opinions on this, but a few might agree that there was something a bit different about that Pruden guy (whether it was in a good or bad way is up for discussion). I distinctly recall this conversation between me and the day city editor at one newspaper who was filling in for the normal Sunday city editor.

Her: Scott, you’re not wearing shoes.

Me: Shoes? It’s Sunday. You’re lucky I put on pants. Continue reading → Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird

Happy (Slow Going) Monday!

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Summers for the freelancing parent mean two things – more time enjoying the warm weather and time off from school with the kids, and more late nights working on all the assignments that normal people would be doing during the daylight hours. The result is some groggy mornings, particularly when the work to be completed wasn’t finished until 2 a.m.

Thankfully, there’s coffee (or carrot juice, if you prefer) and plenty to resume working on today. Because when there isn’t more work is the time to become worried.

Download It and Turn It UP! My Summer 2015 Playlist

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Summer music is a genre unto its own, and can’t be easily qualified or quantified as a particular “type.” But I’ll give it a shot.

Bright, breezy, pop or soul that doesn’t drag you down with burdensome weight. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have some guitar crunch and (maybe) a message. You just don’t want it slapping you upside the head and harshing that sweet beach or pool vibe you’ve got going on.

I’ve written here before about my own early music history, and how much of my taste (and career choices … and romantic history) was likely influenced by spending summers by the community pool in my Summerville, S.C., subdivision circa 1978 and ’79 listening to WTMA, the Charleston AM Top 40 station.

Songs like “Cruel to Be Kind,” by Nick Lowe, “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” by Joe Jackson, “The Logical Song” by Supertramp, “Let’s Go” by the Cars, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” by the Electric Light Orchestra, “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick, and “My Sharona” by the Knack burned themselves into my preteen consciousness. Continue reading → Download It and Turn It UP! My Summer 2015 Playlist

In Praise of Unconventional Career Choices

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Spring means many things – renewal, the promise of a fresh start, the fragrance of blossoming flowers – but for the under-20 crowd the only scent during this time of year is the reek of fear sweat and desperation.

Yes, it’s graduation season. Welcome to the real world, kids.

Appropriately, I’ve been chatting with lots of parents (as a 40-ish fellow, I know precious few college-age folks anymore) who have kids either headed to college or making their way into the real world. A common thread among those headed to college is “What shall I study,” while the folks leaving college are asking themselves, “What now?” Continue reading → In Praise of Unconventional Career Choices

Monday Motivation: The Writer and the Altered Mental State

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Back when I wrote a weekly column for my home town’s newspaper, I took it upon myself to occasionally add a hefty dose of weird to my readers’ lives. Many times, this was accomplished simply by my being … me. I could take a while to list all the ways I never quite fit the male ideal for small town Southern life, but that would bore you. Suffice it to say that it seemed like many folks had never read anything quite like the things I wrote, and had a tough time placing me into a box that would make them more comfortable.

After a particularly freaky column – in which I remember invoking the power of George Clinton‘s Parliament-Funkadelic and its funk/sci-fi hybrid Mothership Connection to bring about world peace through a global funk invasion (really, it was magnificent, and for the life of me I can’t lay my hands on it) – one reader pulled me aside that day and said, “Whatever drugs you were on when you wrote this, I want some!” Continue reading → Monday Motivation: The Writer and the Altered Mental State

Tuesday Writing Tip: Every Generation Has Something to Say

I’m a child of the late 1960s, which – if you do the math of generational pigeonholing – puts me squarely among what has historically been referred to as Generation X. Because we can with some clarity recall live in the final 30 years of the 1900s, we are the last of the true 20th century boys and girls.

The Generation X moniker comes in large part from the novel/short story collection Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland, and has since been used as both a term of derision/proud banner by those who view this demographic from the outside and those who belong to it. Continue reading → Tuesday Writing Tip: Every Generation Has Something to Say