My Own Stage

A reminder to all of us to keep our dreams alive.

A refugee's journey - Vietnam to Australia

My dream of creating my own stage and drawing an audience has been buried beneath other priorities in my life. My dream of creating my own stage and drawing an audience has been buried beneath other priorities in my life.

For me, music has always been a stream of inspiration, the medicine for dejection, and an elixir of zest.

I love to sing, and find myself perpetually absorbed by the songs on stages, TVs, radios,… In my adolescent, I would put fingers on my throat when singing to make the vibrato, and put my face inside a wash-basin to feel the echo and amplification of my voice.

In my 40s, I took private singing lessons and joined a choir that exclusively sang ABBA songs. However, I felt dissatisfied with only two public performances per year for the group. I managed to quench my thirst of singing through the occasional karaoke party but just like fashion, the trend died down after a few years.

An encounter with a young girl sowed…

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10 Tips To A Happy Marriage: Men’s Advice to Men

How could I not reblog this? Thanks, Bassam. Good stuff.

Against the Herd

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Surrounded by some of my most trusted friends, I asked the following question: “if you could distill your top relationship lesson into a one-liner, what would it be?” A passionate, sincere, and admittedly sometimes humorous discussion ensued between a group of men whose ages ranged from twenties to sixties, some of whom had been married for decades, some recently divorced, and others newly-minted husbands. It was a diverse set of perspectives.  Out of respect for them, I’ll keep the content anonymous; out of respect for you, the reader, I’ve distilled them to ten brief tips.

1. Learn to listen

“It’s easy not to be present when reading a book or watching a sports event; but being present for one’s spouse when they’re talking to you is key to their feeling that they’re a priority. Learn to listen to them.”

2. Stay interesting

“The stories came easily in the beginning; we were both…

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8 Reasons Why I’m Grateful For the People in My Life

We found Bassam an engaging conversationalist years ago in Park City, Utah. This TED Talk presenter is still giving to others and making life better.

Against the Herd

I'm thankful for the people in my life. I’m thankful for the people in my life.

As I considered all of the things for which I’m grateful, I realized they were all people.  Life is all about the people who impact us and the people whom we impact.  It’s people who’ve made my life what it is.

1. I’m so very grateful for my gorgeous wife who has always supported me through the long and arduous journey that is life.  Her hard work, unwavering dedication, and encouragement are what enable me to continue my journey.

2. I am grateful for my two sons.  Without them, I’m not certain I’d feel this much purpose.  It is for them that I am motivated to work hard and to remain hopeful for the future.  Thanks to them, I now understand a very different kind of love I would have otherwise never experienced.

3. I am unbelievably grateful for my parents, their…

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Garden Party

The National League of American Pen Women blog is featuring flash fiction this month, with a limit of 100 words. I’m pleased to announce my submission, “Garden Party,” was published last week and enclose the link here. Hope you enjoy. (And keep an eye out for mischievous characters in your own backyard.)

http://www.nlapw.org/2015/10/15/flash-fiction-garden-party/

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Experts agree: a book cover which grabs a prospective buyer’s attention is essential to marketing success. Here are some classics according to ShortList magazine:

www.shortlist.com/entertainment/the-50-coolest-bookcovers/

For the last few days, I’ve been running a book cover design contest on a popular site. I admit I’m both surprised and impressed by the number of designers who have responded, the quality of their work, and their willingness to respond to my requests to make changes. I love these people.

I’ve received dozens and dozens of submissions. Over the weekend, according to the rules of the contest, I must narrow down the number of people I’m working with to a mere six designers. Then we’ll settle in to the next phase of tweaking tweaks.

Sometime soon I’ll be sending out a few covers for your opinion. Please write and tell me what you think.

In the immortal words of Bartles & Jaymes, thank you for your support.