The New Super Tuesday, Yes That’s Today

Today is about doing something. We don’t need new legislation or a new administration, a wee gee board, or even a magic 8 ball to tell us the right thing to do. (All are equally helpful, of course.)

Someone will be hungry today in communities all across this country and around the world. I am not suggesting a single-handed attempt to end world hunger. What I am saying is that one person paying attention is more likely to make a profound impact in the life of another person than waiting for government leaders (if that is what we are calling them) to stop making laws and pay attention to what is happening all around them. (Yes, I am a little attitudinal today.) Instead of just saying AY( )KM and going about my business, I decided to have an early Super Tuesday 2012 of my own.

Empty Bowls is what is called a grassroots organization. It began with an idea and has grown into a worldwide effort to feed the hungry.  A group of high school art students in Michigan decided to host a fundraiser where people of all kinds would be able to enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread served in a decorative ceramic bowl. Guests were asked to keep the bowl as a reminder of those who suffer from hunger. Empty Bowls events are now held all over the world and have raised millions of dollars toward the fight against hunger.

Without need of a headquarters, board of directors or rules of engagement people in communities around the globe host unique events that benefit all citizens who choose to participate. Dallas’ Empty Bowls events alone have provided two million meals over the last eleven years! The event is underwritten by my favorite store, Tom Thumb, where I have made connections in the produce department and by the gift card display. (In Colorado this store is called Safeway.)

The 2012 event in Dallas is Friday, March 9th from 11:00a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Meyerson Symphony Center located at 2301 Flora St. Dallas, TX. Discerning diners can sample soups, breads and desserts from local restaurants and food purveyors in North Texas, plus select a handmade bowl created by an area artisan and listen to classical music by Young Strings. All proceeds benefit the Food Bank. To find out more, check out this site NTFB or Google Empty Bowls.

How fortunate for those students attending that Michigan high school that the budget makers saw fit to provide money for an art teacher. How wonderful it is that music teachers here in Dallas are giving students a positive way to express themselves in a public forum with the gift of music. Schools need teachers who help students look beyond the iPad and turn off the iPod and notice what is going on in the world. Technology is a great tool when combined with teachers who show students they are not powerless to make a difference in a world they don’t understand. Support public school teachers, even the ones who defy understanding, they too could use a kind gesture and who knows, they may learn something from our willingness to understand their point of view. Have a Super Tuesday.


In Your Face Transparency

It is right in front of us. All we have to do is look. But then what do we do? Ignore it? Mock it? Find a way to get over politically correct nonsense and show it to someone else? For all of the recent talk about the state of everything from world markets to who will win the Super Bowl (and the state of everything in between) there is still so much more to say. Reading my posts is an investment; I realize this and appreciate those who take the time to follow my blog. Brevity is overrated. (No one will Tweet that!)

If you are truly interested in seeing truth in lending, click it and search for Reg Z. If you want to know the truth about accuracy in reporting or politics, watch it and laugh.

If you need an example of true leadership, take a 15 minute break and watch this.

If you can stand a middle-aged, petite Grande getting a brain download and a reboot because she doesn’t sleep and spends too much time typing too many words, keep coming back to You’ll be glad you did.

Self-Publishing Insiders Trading

Indie Author Interview

Stephanie Briggs, author of Summoning The Strength makes her self-publishing debut with a tribute to amazing women. Her book is more than a coming of age story. It spans generations of women whose lives no one could have predicted would become so closely connected. Summoning The Strength is filled with examples of women who navigate life, death, love, fear, and disappointment with courage and grace. This book has it all; humor, sex, difficult family dynamics, love, friendship, more sex, deception, politics, and extreme honesty. 

Click here to read the full interview on Kris Wampler’s Blog.

Kris Wampler, author of love train talks with Stephanie about the challenges and rewards of self-publishing. Stephanie shares the fun experience of marketing her first published work of fiction and advice for aspiring authors considering self-publishing. See what motivated this Indie Author and learn the story behind the story. 

Nothing But Net

The Mavs eclipsed the Suns 93/87 last night at the American Airlines Center. If you are interested in the details of the game there will probably be some banter on Sports Center about Shawn Marion’s superior swooshing 29 points and the foul exchange that resulted in Sebastian Telfair being ejected from the game. This post isn’t a play-by-play of the game even though I know how much my color commentator skills are enjoyed. No, this post is about my experience of the game. (What else?) BTW the Suns jerseys are a vibrant orange on the Jumbo Tron, but really they more closely resemble watered down Tang.

The venue is impressive. Designers of the American Airlines Center are geniuses. The section that might have been considered by some as less than desirable seating was given the name platinum level and the extraordinary food choices are complemented by personal service right at your seat. The Pepsi Center in Denver also has this upscale option for “real fans” of not just sports but all sorts of events. We saw a hockey game there once as well as Stars on Ice and a couple of concerts. (I was thinking how nice it would be if there were an American Airlines Elementary or a Pepsi Center High.)

Anyway, I had no vested interested in last night’s game. Meaning I had not bet a server at my favorite neighborhood bar and grill a drink as I did when the Crimson Tide rolled over LSU. (What was that kid thinking?) He paid up though and was very nice about it. For me, last night’s game was more about taking in the sights and sounds of the place. The tickets were generously given to us and we attended with another couple. I am energized by being around people and I often look for opportunities to talk to anyone. Some people don’t want to talk during a game. (I don’t know why.)

We settled into our seats and ordered some food. It had just arrived and we were maneuvering the cardboard boxes & drinks when it was time to rise for the National Anthem. The singer’s voice was nothing short of awesome. The Star Spangled Banner gives me chills each time I hear it and this time was no different, except I couldn’t put my hand over my heart because I was trying to hold my drink and not drop my box of grilled chicken. Suddenly the usher came over and asked to see our tickets. It seemed someone was in the wrong seats. It turned out to be the unaccompanied minors sitting next to us, and they whisked away without even taking their monster sized drinks. Then two different people took the seats next to me. As you may have guessed it wasn’t long before a conversation starter found its way into my path and in the wink of a TV timeout I was chatting with the newcomers.

As it happens we had quite a lot in common. I won’t go into the details. Suffice to say, people and places are connected. (All is right in my world.)  See, that was nothing like a wordy play-by-play. Plus no video today. (Things are looking up for you too.) Thanks for reading.

Stranger Than Fiction

The law is the law. People much smarter than I will ever be spend their entire lives writing, interpreting, and enforcing it. Not only does breaking the law make for a very bad day, it is cost prohibitive for the majority of people. Fines, penalties, and attorney fees usually insure most laws are obeyed. (This is more of a budgetary restriction than respect for the law.)

Copyright infringement is a hot topic, but I must admit the whole issue never even occurred to me until recently. There is a whole page dedicated to it in every book I have ever read (the copyright page, duh) and yet I never paid any attention to it. When I read stories to our kids, I never once read to them the page that said we should not steal the story or in any way make up alternate dialog or endings and tell a different version of the story to anyone.

Surprisingly we never received a call from their school saying they had done such a thing and were charging every child on the playground a nickel to listen.

My own book contains the following statement:

[Summoning The Strength is a work of fiction. Characters, dialogue, and experiences are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Events recorded in human history, actual locales on planet earth, real institution, business, person, and product names are mentioned in an entirely fictional context. Don’t be litigious. Please drink responsibly. Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious health risks. Texting while driving is just plain stupid. Have your pets spayed or neutered. All rights reserved. No portion of the cover or contents may be used for evil purposes. All other purposes require the author’s written consent. Summoning The Strength Briggs & Briggs Copyright © 2011 by Stephanie Briggs Cover photo and design by Stephanie Briggs ISBN & Printed in the USA]

How many people do you suppose will ever realize that I put totally unrelated, although heartfelt and informative, statements on the copyright page of my book? I suspect the whole SOPA/PIPA issue will end up like most other laws of its kind, where prosecuting criminal intent will consume a large portion of resources resulting in average people paying for it in one way or another. So I guess it’s a good thing I am putting my meager two cents worth of creativity out there before censorship wallops citizenship. Not to worry, no one knows who I am. (I don’t have a QR code tattooed on my person.)

Yes, I believe rock stars and self-help gurus should get their due when they come up with an original thought. (When is the last time that happened?) I believe intellectual property rights should be respected. Likewise I believe public school teachers share their intellectual property to develop creative lesson plans that will engage students. Many also devote personal time and often their own money to teach our children without receiving acknowledgment or proper compensation. (Children, by the way, who know much more about bootlegs and peg-legs than any of us old analog swashbucklers will ever know.)

Music used here is always purchased. (I know, so what I can string together some pictures and create a music montage, big deal.) Hey, it’s better than me driving down the road texting my latest random thought, don’t ya think?