My Friends Write Books Too

It would seem this is just the time of year for books coming out. It’s not just I that has a new book out, many of my friends do too. I thought it would be nice to make mention of those.

  • Rebuilding Blocks: How the Game of Kubb Put My Life Back Together by Garrick van Buren — Garrick is one of my closest friends and a personal mentor. Besides being a successful consultant and father of four, he also is an active tournament-level player of an ancient, nordic, strategy game called Kubb. This book is part memoir, part strategy guide, and part inspirational. But the whole thing is fantastic and a touching story of how an overworked and overwhelmed guy turned it around and now helps others do the same.

  • The Art and Science of Vaping: A Beginner’s Guide to Electronic Cigarettes by Brett Kelly — I don’t vape. I don’t plan to vape — ever. Just not something in my wheelhouse. That said, I have many friends that now do and often wonder myself what it’s all about. That’s why I’m going to purchase my friend Brett’s book. This has the “everything you need to know” part covered.

  • Consumed by Aaron Mahnke — Aaron has really impressed me with his growth as a writer after reading his last book. Therefore, I’m very much looking forward to this one. A thriller about an aspiring author who’s car breaks down in a small Rhode Island town. It’s not quite out yet but is available for pre-order.

  • Raw Materials: Collected Essays by Matt Gemmell — Matt is one of my favorite writers on the web. This is an excellent collection of his best work to date. Highly recommended.

  • The Mobile Writer by Julio Ojeda-Zapata — My friend Julio’s book has been out for a while now but it is still an excellent guide to getting writing done on your mobile devices. Tips, tricks, apps — it’s al covered here. Including case studies with many authors who write on-the-go (including your’s truly).

  • See You in Paradise: Stories by J. Robert Lennon — A well written and fun collection of short stories by a wonderful writer. He has a number of books but I’d start here. It’s a great introduction to his work.

I may add to this list as I remember others. Like I said, there’s a lot of great stuff coming out right now or real soon. Perfect for stocking up for next year’s reading goals or to give as gifts.

This Could Help — Now Everywhere


A little self promotion. My latest book, This Could Help, is now officially available on all platforms. It’s a collection of essays and asides, all of which could potentially help you in some way. Each one is purposely written to land hard and make an impact that matters.

It would make a great gift, especially for anyone in your life who could use helpful advice and encouragement. And, frankly, who couldn’t use that?

Here’s where to get it…

Of course, I would be honored if you checked out and considered buying any of my books. If you enjoy the work I do here, you will certainly enjoy those.

Thanks for everyone who has read my work in any format this year.

It stops today.

“Get away [garbled] … for what? Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today. Why would you…? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn’t do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me (garbled) Selling cigarettes. I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. Please please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me.” — A few of the last words of Eric Garner

I’ve been thinking about the phrase “I can’t breathe”. The actual last words of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by a NYPD officer — who so far has gotten away with the murder. This phrase has since been adopted by those protesting the persistent and unchecked police brutality so prevalent in our nation — especially against people of color. And, while I admire the feeling of helplessness the phrase evokes, a feeling that so many feel in the face of current circumstances, I can’t help but feel, personally, that there is something a bit defeatist about it. I try to put myself in Mr. Garner’s shoes and wonder if lying on the ground, struggling for life, saying that phrase over and over again is how I would want to be remembered.

It stops today.

Instead, it was something Eric Garner said before the choking. It was a statement of defiance. One spoken by a proud man who was tired. Tired of being stopped and harassed for little more reason than being Black in America. A tiredness experienced by far too many who suffer the same. If I were Eric Garner, I would want to be remembered for standing up and saying “It stops today. ” Not for being wrestled to the ground and choked out but for standing tall and proud and asserting my rights as a citizen and a human being. I would want that to be a rallying cry of protest. I would want that to become the song of freedom that brings long sought justice to those being oppressed.

Let us remember him this way. The way we remember Rosa Parks. Proud, tired, and stating with fierce dignity, “It stops today”.

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