Life is a verb. - Brian Doyle

Life is a verb. ~ Brian Doyle

If anybody’s living life as a verb these days, it’s ME.

I left Charleston before Labor Day. Destination? Portland, Oregon. Last week, I appeared at libraries around greater Portland and Seaside. I gave motivational talks at multiple civic clubs. And I spent time with one of my writing idols, the very person who authored today’s quote.

This week, I’m visiting two book clubs, another library, and several business groups. I’ll probably collapse when I board my plane of Friday!

Why do I do this to myself?

People remember VERBS.

Verbs are all about action. They make an impression. Sure, people can interact with me online, but when I stand in front of them, gaze into their eyeballs, and share my story?

I’m weaving verbs audiences don’t forget.

On my last jaunt through North Carolina and Tennessee, I made lots of new connections. One group wants me to return to their library next February. Another set of library patrons requested another program for Hard to Die. Groups at North Carolina State University want me to visit, and student civic clubs in Tennessee are interested in my program. Someone even approached me about a 2017 conference keynote on Grand Cayman. Another group wants me to address their Chamber of Commerce.

Verbs create more verbs.

I’m already anticipating a busy 2017, but I’d still like to visit YOUR community. Here are several ways we can partner to make it happen:

  1. If your local library doesn’t carry my titles, REQUEST THEM FOR PURCHASE. Libraries buy books patrons want.
  2. Once the library has my books, ASK WHO COORDINATES LIBRARY PROGRAMMING. Librarians are more receptive to programs suggested by patrons. I’d love to pitch my program to the right person in your area. Send me a name and contact information, and I’ll take it from there.
  3. Are you part of a book club or reading group, either through a library or privately? SUGGEST ONE OF MY BOOKS. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve created Discussion Guides for every title. Book clubs can download them HERE. Plus, I love to visit reading groups, either in person or via Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangout.
  4. Are you affiliated with a school, university, civic club, historical society, or business group? RECOMMEND ME TO SPEAK. I often leverage one invitation to book multiple appearances in one area. I’d relish delivering a dynamic program to your group.

I want to make more verbs in 2017.
Will you help me?

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

Die with memories. Not dreams.

I hear variations of this theme often:

Your many vacations are the stuff of my dreams.

From the outside, the author life looks glamorous, doesn’t it? Jetting between interesting locations. Meeting new people. Eating cool food. Seeing awesome sights.

The reality isn’t packed with glamour. I share the most titillating snippets of every trip. Here’s a sample REAL appearance day:

  • Wake up at 4:30am to allow enough time to battle traffic and get to a 7am presentation
  • Lug heavy book suitcase into venue
  • Set everything up
  • Shake hands with everyone in the room; listen to their stories; BE ON (and anyone who knows me knows how NOT ON I am at 7am)
  • Give dynamic motivational talk
  • Sell books, listen to more stories, and make correct change (which is almost always too much multitasking for me)
  • Pack up and lug less heavy suitcase to car
  • Map to lunchtime location
  • If time and distance permit, pop into some really cool site and snap a photo there; post on social media like that’s all I’m doing, because reality is boring social media fodder
  • Drive myself to my next appearance
  • Repeat lugging suitcase/setup/handshaking/etc above
  • Map to evening location
  • If time and distance permit, find a decent coffee shop; mainline two lattes
  • Drive myself to my next appearance
  • Repeat setup steps
  • Evening presentations are always longer and require more energy; psyche self out to perform; possibly more lattes
  • Repeat all setup and teardown steps above
  • If readers want to go out afterwards, NEVER say no; I’m honored when they want to spend extra time with me; be ON when I’m about to fall over
  • Drive myself to wherever I’m staying; it is probably now 11pm
  • I haven’t looked at my computer all day; return emails, voicemails, and Facebook messages
  • Attempt sleep by 1am
  • Repeat cycle the next morning at 4:30am

Anyone want to join me for a glamorous life on the road?

For the past week, I repeated the above list every single day. I do this to myself because I’m passionate about convincing people to make memories. Every time I meet someone and inspire them to make a memory, it’s another awesome memory for me. I’m determined to influence everyone to live this mantra.

Die with memories. Not dreams.

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

I am not afraid of the world

I am not afraid of the world, but I am afraid of people who are afraid of the world. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Are you afraid of the world? We live in a world consumed by fear. Fear of what might happen. Fear of people who spout opposing views. Fear of those who worship differently. Fear of worst possible outcomes, spelled out and dissected all over twenty-four hour news.

I saw this Liz Gilbert quote in a New York Times interview a couple of weeks ago, and it spoke to me. Fear keeps us from being curious. When we’re afraid, we don’t challenge systems or ask questions. We shun adventure in favor of safety and security and sameness. Maybe we let fear keep us from living lives we’re meant to lead.

On Tuesday, I board a plane for London, a place teeming with fears of terrorism. Two weeks into my Welsh writing residency, I’m flying to Amsterdam to visit friends for the weekend. Dang it, I can’t be in Europe for a month and not take advantage of a quick flight to a cool locale, even if it is a short train ride from continued tensions in Brussels. I’m heading to Ireland for book research before I fly home. I refuse to avoid trains and subways, taxis and ferries to experience things I want to see.

Jendi will schedule my Monday posts while I’m away. She’ll also man my Facebook page. Please talk to her. She’s looking forward to responding to your questions on my behalf. A couple of times a week, I’ll send her quick updates to share. If I’m lucky, I’ll find cellular service once in a while and share a picture or two.

Please don’t be strangers. Don’t forget me while I’m gone, because you’ll be on my mind the whole time. I’m creating new stories with you in mind, adventures I can’t wait for you to get lost in.

Because what is reading, really, if it isn’t an escape from the fearful, crazy, unpredictable world we inhabit?

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

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