Friday Morning FYI – 8/19/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (holy-crap-how-is-it-Tuesday-already? edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Now I’m really pushing how late I can post something labeled with a day of the week from which we’re four days removed. *shrug*

This morning, I noticed the lady standing to my left on the Path was reading a printed manuscript. How do I know it was a manuscript? As someone who’s taken the time to learn proper formatting for submissions, I know MS formatting, and recognized the upper-right header (book title, page number, author name). Curious, I pointed to the page and asked if it was hers? She smiled, answered ‘no’, and said she worked for a publisher. I then told her I write, and asked if the MS was any good. “It’s high fantasy, which isn’t my thing, but it’s very well written.” I apologized for bothering her, to which she replied ‘No problem,’ and we went back to doing our own things. That thirty second exchange leads us to this week’s FYI:

To seize opportunities, preparedness is key. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to talk to someone, provide advice or answers, etc. Knowing how to format a manuscript is important when submitting your work to agents and publishers,  but it also allowed me to recognize someone working in an industry I’m trying to break into. Nothing came of it because I’m not a pushy lout, and she and I will most-likely never see each other again, but what if after I’d told her I write she’d asked what genre and the conversation continued? Stuff like that is rare, but anything can happen.

Learning how your industry works is the best way to be ready when important moments arise. At the very least, you’ll know you’re doing everything right.


Thanks for reading,


PS – No, I’m not saying writers should ride the trains all day looking for anyone holding a printed page and attempt to land a publishing contract. Normal human decency always applies.

Friday Morning FYI – 2/12/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

This week’s FYI is about embracing change:

Cob Web in Light

I took this pic this morning, walking to the train station.

I love cobwebs. I know that sounds weird. Most people think cobwebs are dirty and mean spiders are around, but a cobweb is actually an abandoned web. Yes, they’re technically dirty since dust and crap stick to them, but there won’t be any spiders. The spider who built the web has either moved on because it was catching no food, or died.

It’s that last part I love. Not that I dislike spiders – just the opposite. Spiders eat the bad bugs, so they’re OK in my book. No, it’s the transition part. Every cobweb is a tiny reality of change.

People say change is inevitable, but most of us don’t embody that. That’s a comfort thing, I suppose. It can also be a fear thing, though. The fear of trying something new. The fear of leaving what you know, even if that’s not working for you anymore.

If you’re in a place of comfort, great. Stick around. Hang on. If you’re not, be like the spider who isn’t catching any food and move on to a new spot and build an even better web. DON’T be the spider who hangs around until it starves.


Thanks for reading,


If a tree can grow under a city train station

Philosophical treatise on trees, life, and self-limitation in 3… 2… 1…


Tree under a train station


I’d just hopped off my train at Newark Penn Station and was walking along Platform A toward the far stairs – the recently rediscovered crooning of Alanis Morissette occupying my headspace. I happened to glance to my left and spotted, of all things, a tree.

Gorgeous, delicate bubblegum blossoms, gently-waving against the glowing yellow of abused safety rails and the broken reds of rusted tracks. And leaves, like green rips of skin, scattered across the mammoth gray spine of the station.

I kept walking, subconsciously aware of the crashing human wave rolling behind me – everyone rushing to get wherever their watches commanded them to be – but also reached for my phone. And then it was too late and I was in the stairwell, headed down to the marble shoebox that is the concourse, to go right back up to Platform 1 and the Path.

But I didn’t catch the Path. Not right away. I didn’t even try. I hopped the turnstile (because you’re locked-in once on the Path Platforms, apparently) over to Platform B, hustled back down to the concourse and back up to the now-deserted Platform A.

I took my phone out and took the above shot. And below shot. And several other shots, too. This was a few days ago. I needed time to think about why the tree effected me the way it did, calling me back to chronicle that moment rather than sleepwalking into my day. Here’s what I came up with:

Simply put, if a tree can grow under a city train station, what else is possible?


Tree under a train station - wide


Or perhaps the question really is, what do I believe is possible?

We spend so much time limiting ourselves. “I can’t.” “I’ll never.” “There’s no way I could.” Tree seeds don’t believe that. They just know to grow – to flourish, even under the worst circumstances. Life doesn’t believe that, either. Where there’s even the smallest patch of earth, life is. And persists. And endures, without doubt or complaint. Like that stunning tree reaching toward the sky from beneath a smothering cage of iron and concrete.

If life, of which we’re all atoms, doesn’t believe in limitation, why should we?

Go be a tree.


Thanks for reading.


Friday Morning FYI – 12/26/2014

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (“It’s still morning somewhere” edition)! My chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

This week’s FYI is inspired by the generous actions of other commuters this past Tuesday after seeing me give a homeless man some money and wishing him a Merry Christmas:

Sometimes you can create an unexpected chain reaction of generosity and goodwill. The key word being ‘start’. Even if you don’t start it, don’t be afraid to be a link in the chain.


Thanks for reading,


Observations on #NaNoWriMo 2014

I wasn’t planning on doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Not because I thought I couldn’t win it, but because I was so deep in the editing of my manuscript I forgot it was coming up. Thankfully (I think), a coworker mentioned it on November third (yes, late), and thankfully I’d already thoroughly outlined my second book. So, a little consideration and a ‘What the heck?’ later, I put editing on hold and accepted the challenge.

Continue reading “Observations on #NaNoWriMo 2014”