The Gypsy Life

We made the leap and are now building our new house in  Playa Del Carmen Mexico.

While the build is happening we decided it would be fun to be gypsies. Every month we move to a different neighborhood in Playa to learn anything and everything we can about our new hometown. It has been amazing, fun, tiring and has taught us a lot about our new city and about ourselves.

It sounds romantic to be able to move around as you please, but the truth is we found we ended up craving stability. We also cannot wait to get our things out of storage. There are little things you miss like the insta-pot and air fryer. We actually bought a set of sheets and towels to carry with us so we have a sense of something of our own. The one thing we have learned right away is that we packed way too many clothes. The truth is, you live in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. I have not put on a pair of jeans or pants in six months. Mostly, I live in swimming suits. I miss my calendar with all of our family in it. I actually cried when my kids gave it to me and I could not even open to look at for days afterward without tearing up. Now I would give anything to open it.  I miss all of our family pictures lining the shelves of our office. I miss a real good office chair. I miss those little things which say hey this is ours. I miss the little robot what sits on my desk or the dinosaur bone my son brought me from a dig. See it is the simple things you end up missing.  I guess that is the biggest lesson we have learned.

We have lived in just about every neighborhood. Our favorite neighborhoods have been the ones which are mainly Mexican and not full of expats. The locals are amazing, sweet, and kind. I love learning about daily life here and all of the quirks that come with it. We have found the more tourist like a place is it loses the cultural aspects which is why you want to live here along with the beauty. Once you lose the culture it becomes just another place to live.

I am sure we will look back at these months and romanticize the gypsy idea once again, but the truth is we are the kind of couple who needs and must plant roots. By Christmas our new house will be done and it will be so wonderful to finally be in a place we can call home. It will be a happy day when our children can come to visit and we can spend some real quality time together. Don’t get me wrong we love it here and this is where we will spend the rest of our lives, but it will be nice when we can live in one place, our place. Until then we will continue feeling like we are just visiting.

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What Matters Most

I was sitting here behind the desk doing some work. Nothing important and nothing which required a lot of thought. You know the kind of tasks where you mind can and often does wander? I was thinking about life’s blessings and how the things I thought were going to make me happy were actually the things which in some ways matter the least to me.

As a young man I thought more than anything I wanted to work in the theater. The theater was the place were I was going to find complete fulfillment. Now don’t get me wrong you can find fulfillment in the theater, but you learn very quickly when money comes into play it just kind of sucks the fun and the life right out of it. Theater as a business is a complete different animal than theater for simply the sake of theater and art.

As life continued I thought I would like to do television. In my mind television was where I was going to find the answers to my dreams. I have done a whole lot of television at this point of my life and I can tell you that very little satisfaction ever came from being on a show. Kind of difficult to watch your life being dramatized and portrayed, only in the next moment to be interrupted by tampon and erectile dysfunction commercials.

Then I thought I was going to find everything I needed by doing a film. A movie would bring me everything I wanted in life. I would not only be in film but I would also write for it as well. I was lucky enough to do a few films but in the end I did not find the satisfaction I desired at all in film. In fact. I learned a whole lot about the ugly side of life from working in film and what that ugliness can and will do to people.

So, I became an author and I have to tell you I do get some satisfaction from writing.However, I do not get any satisfaction from working with publishers. Again, once money enters the equation it has a tendency of sucking the life and creativity out of art. Did you know my favorite book I wrote is the only book I self published? Crazy A Prayer for the Dead is by far my favorite of my books. This is why I have made a serious decision to self publish from here on out. Besides, I am married to a perfect artist and editor which helps a whole lot.

I have worked for SyFy, Discovery, CW, Destination America, Warner Brothers, CNN, NBC Universal, Chiller, The Travel Channel and more. I have been featured in newspapers and magazines around the world including Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The New York Post, and The Sun to name just a few. I have done just about every major radio show in the United States, Canada, and the world which has included everything from Man Cow to Coast 2 Coast. I am in the Library of Congress in at least three different places with multiple pieces of work. Are you impressed yet? You really shouldn’t be if you are. Often the things you will be remembered for in life are not the things where you found happiness.

After chasing and achieving all of these dreams in the end do you know where I found satisfaction? I found it in the easiness and simplicity of the love I have for my husband. I found it in all five of our children and the loves of their lives. We get more excited and proud of their accomplishments than anything we ever accomplished on our own. Our three granddaughters who continue to teach make us happier than anything else in life and they continue to teach us about not only acceptance but unconditional love. My mother and father who taught me it was okay to tell people my truth because no matter what you will still have those who will still love you. These are truly the riches found in life and all of that other stuff which might impress some in the end does not matter all of that much.

Today I Married the Love of My Life.

I am not always a romantic sort of person. In the past, I had tried to convince myself I was a realist in order to justify to myself that I did not need or deserve love. Then I met my soul mate and the love of my life and my whole world changed and how I viewed that world changed as well. I went from a fatalist into a romantic.

It was not an easy transition. Nancy, my dear adoptive sister, would tell me year after year,”The love of your life is on the way. He will have red hair and you will travel the world and live happily ever after.” Every time she would say this I would laugh and say. “We will see.”

I came back to St. Louis to live and I was one of the healdliners at the first ever Ghost Tours at the Fox Theater. I did not want to do it and Nancy told me, “You need to go bro. I wasn’t going to tell you this but the red haired man who will be the love of your life will be there. Tonight is the night you meet him.” I reluctantly agreed to go because the whole tour thing had been a nightmare up to that point and had been a bad situation.

That was the night which turned out to be the night I met Rick. It would be not until the following June when we first went on our first date but it was that October night when we met. Nancy was right he would turn out to be everything I was looking for and much much more.

Today I got to marry the love of my life and the best friend I have ever had. Thank you to everyone for your best thoughts and best wishes. And for those of you who have not yet found love I promise you that you must not give up. They will come when the time is right. Good night. Sweet dreams.

As for me?  I am healed, loved, and finally complete. Love you all.

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NO MORE SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual harassment and abuse happens in all walks of life. I have personally distanced myself before from people who beat their significant other and I have also distanced myself quite publicly from someone in entertainment who I know who roofied, abused, and raped a woman. I have kept it quiet for quite some time now because I never felt it was something I should tell because coming from me at this point it was just hearsay which could and would obviously be denied.

Not all sexual abuse goes reported. There is a shame and the fear of not being believed which keeps victims from coming forward. It has always bothered me that I knew of the abusive behavior of these two men and I could never stand up and say it publicly in order to prevent it from happening to someone else. The only thing you can do in the end it to distance yourself from them as much as you can and pray for those who might come in contact with them. And also pray that someday one or more of their victims will stand up and publicly tell their story.

Hopefully all of the attention which has been placed upon this very serious issue lately will cause more victims to stand up and point out their abusers and hopefully the abusers in this world will think twice from harming someone else.

There is no such thing as an Overnight Success.

There is no such thing as being an overnight success. This is a lesson I keep learning. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great moment when all of a sudden your work is recognized. Writing is not easy. It is hard work. Writing is a brief moment of creativity and then a whole lot of rethinking, reconstructing and rewriting. I have been working very hard for years doing what I do and those moments when a spotlight is put upon that work it is a wonderful moment in time. But is nothing more than a fleeting moment. Each success builds upon the last success. Hopefully when all of the years have gone by and you have written your last word people will look at your body of work and say, “Hey that author was really good.” Until then, there are hours of hard work which lead to those fleeting moments of success.
 
So why write? It is a personal journey actually. I write things which I can learn from and in which I can find personal growth. In some ways it is my version of therapy and a way to better understand the world around me. If a reader finds something worthwhile within something I write then that is an amazing thing because it is very hard to write anything that captures the attention of anyone. So you have to first write for yourself and then after that if someone finds it interesting that is just the icing on the cake.
 
When the big news stories in the New York Post and The Sun came out for my new book my mother said something very wise to me, “Was a whole lot of hard work and many years to be an overnight success wasn’t?” She was right. Success of any type does not come easy and does not happen without years of hard work. You have to pay your dues and you have to put the time into it and even then that is sometimes not enough.
 
My best advice for you is to do what you love. No matter what that thing might be. If you are doing what you love then that is the true measure of success. The positive attention, like I said before, is just icing on an already wonderfully baked cake.
 
There are many days when I have to remind myself of this very thing. The New York Post and The Sun were yesterday and yesterday’s accomplishments. My personal focus needs to be on the work which is ahead. If I am lucky that spotlight might come my way once more and if that never happens again, well then, I am doing what I love. That is truly the most important thing.