Life’s Playlist….. Fly by Celine Dion

Today’s assignment for the Jeff Goins, 500 Words for 31 Days Challenge is to write a confession.

I don’t feel like writing a confession.  I don’t fee like writing 500 words.  I feel helpless, confused and angry that once again, kids went to school yesterday and they didn’t come home to their parents at the end of the day.

What is wrong with our society?

Life’s Playlist…. Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John

My 500 Words – Day 1

Better late than never.

I signed up to take part in the “My 500 Word Challenge” at the beginning of the year, 21 days later I have finally gotten my mind-set ready to begin.

The 500 Word Challenge was created by Jeff Goins, a writer that I respect and appreciate.  Mr. Goins is the author of a number of books designed to help artists and writers act on their passion.

Two of his books “Real Artists Don’t Starve,” and “You are a Writer” are designed to light a fire in the creative process of those who have the talent for expressing themselves through the written word or other artistic outlets, I have studied both of these books and enjoyed reading his thoughts, even when I didn’t act on them.

The 500 Word Challenge, is just that, a challenge to write every day for 31 days, a minimum of 500 words.  At the end of the 31 days, over 15,000 words will be “on paper” or in my case “on the screen.”  15,000 words is the length of a good book, hmm, for someone who continues to strive to put those words on the page of the book that lies within, this should be a good training to write daily.

For years I have been updating my blog on a daily basis, I plan on continuing to do that, however the challenge will be to tie the daily writing prompts to my existing blog strategy.

As the program is laid out, Goins provides a thought for the daily writing task, I plan on tying my daily writing tasks to my “Life’s Playlist” feature I have in place, this could go really well or be an epic failure, it should be interesting to see.

I have been keeping the daily emails provided for the writing prompts, I will follow those prompts as I move through the 500 Word Challenge.

As with most online challenges, a great social media “family” has been created to encourage others along the way.  I have followed the successes of the members and look forward to adding my voice to those who are meeting the challenge.

Five-hundred words really isn’t a lot.  My monthly column in “Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine,” is between 800 and 1,200 words each month and my usual Sunday columns, are about the same length, the challenge now is to make that happen on a daily basis.

So here I am, at 53 years old still dreaming this dream of being a writer.  A dream that gnaws at my soul, a dream that excites me more than most.

When I sit down before the blank screen, the challenge of putting my thoughts down pulses through my body and the thrill of seeing those letters become words and words become sentences is as satisfying as any great meal or business deal I ever enjoy.

Here I am, challenging myself to see if I can do it and more importantly IF I will do it.  It seems as though the excitement of what is to come should be enough to make it happen, but as with many great opportunities in life, the fear of what is to come sometimes wins.

I sit before you, a guy taking the challenge and for today sharing “My 500 Words.”


Life’s Playlist…. Zombie by The Cranberries

RIP – Dolores O’ Riordan

Our 2017 Rabun County Wildcats Made That Happen…..

Since the final horn blew on Friday night, ending a High School Football season unlike any other, I have been trying to find words that would honor the year that has just passed.

While I am sad that the score didn’t end with Rabun County on top, those feelings of heartbreak are far outweighed by pride, appreciation and respect.

When the history of Rabun County athletics is written, a final defeat will show as the outcome of our first-ever State Championship game.  But more than that defeat, the history will be punctuated with brotherhood, historic, unity, spirit and more.

I’m sad we lost the game, but my biggest concern is for these young men who went into battle and came up a bit short. I hope that they understand what they did for an entire community, a small town in north-Georgia’s Appalachia, in their fight for history, they brought us all together, they gave us pride and their efforts made us walk a bit taller.

When businesses line the sidewalks with balloons and signs and close early for a football game that is more about pride than any game played on the field.  Our 2017 Rabun County Wildcats made that happen.

When people start standing in line, in 30 degree weather, wrapped in layer upon layer of warm clothing, blankets and sleeping bags, that is more about history than any game played on the field.  Our 2017 Rabun County Wildcats made that happen.

When people arrive at the stadium 3 hours ahead of game time just to get a seat, that’s about unity.  Our 2017 Rabun County Wildcats made that happen.

On a night when the temperature never rose above freezing, thousands of Rabunites came together, we came together to support our team, we came together to remember a historic run, but we also came together to relive moments of our youth and to feel those feelings we hadn’t felt since we walked the hallways of Rabun County High School. Our 2017 Rabun County Wildcats made that happen!

The pain of defeat is obvious, yes it hurts to come up a bit short, but more than that pain, the feeling of pride made us pull out our Wildcat gear on Saturday morning and wash our town in red as we strolled Main Street searching for last-minute Christmas gifts.

And while the outcome of the game was obvious with minutes to go, our team never gave up, they never stopped chasing their dream, they kept fighting for their fans, the history of the moment and their brotherhood.  They fought to the last second, teaching many of us who may have forgotten that there is honor in the battle and by just being on the field at Frank Snyder Memorial Stadium they had secured a place in history that will live long after the pain of defeat subsides.

I hope that one day, the 2017 Rabun County Wildcats will look back with bursting pride on what they did over the weeks and months that led up to that final touchdown.  The lessons we learn in defeat are sometimes more important than those of victory.

What I learned on Friday night is that a group of young men can bring us all together, they can teach us about teamwork and working towards a goal and those are lessons that these young men will carry deep into their lives, lives that have been shaped by hard-work, dedication and unity.

Over the next weeks and months we will comfort these players.  We will tell them about what they have done for us and hopefully they will one day understand.

Our entire community owes a debt of gratitude to these young men, the coaches, the cheerleaders, the band.  We owe a debt of gratitude to them for what they did on and off the field, they showed us what we can do as a community when we come together.  They showed us what pride looks like.

It’s been a great season, both on and off the field, I hope we won’t forget the feelings and lessons these 2017 Rabun County Wildcats taught us!

No doubt, our coaches and the 2018 Wildcats will begin working soon for next year, they have quite a legacy to stand on and a community that stands behind them with PRIDE, RESPECT and UNITY!

Thank you Wildcats, you have done us all proud!