These are the photos that I'll be sharing during the inaugural LAST GOOD DAY-LIVE! Event at 7pm, August 15.
Should be fun!
All good things must come to an end...
As of now, the plan is for my family and I to retire our daily "Reality Board" postings on August 23, when the children return to school. That will give us the nice round number of 523 boards over the last year and a half.
What started out as a jokey response to one of my children asking, "what day is it even?" way back in March of 2020 has turned into something that was at times fun, at times a challenge, but always helped provide a little structure to our day.
This grouping here covers boards 431-510.
I hope you've enjoyed them. I'll have more to say when we share the final ones (and of course, the stats on most-liked, etc, once I compile them all) but I'd love to hear from you in the comments about what you've enjoyed from the series!
More to come as the project wraps up!
After starting my author career and business as a participant in Amazon's Exclusive Kindle Select Program, I have made the decision to take the Avery & Angela series of books "wide."
What that means is that they are no longer part of the Kindle Unlimited program, although if you've downloaded any of the books in the past as a KU member, they'll remain available there.
What that means is that the eBooks of the series will now no longer be exclusive to Amazon, but available everywhere books are sold, including most notably APPLE BOOKS, BARNES & NOBLE, and KOBO, to name a few. The eBooks will also available to your library system, should you have interest in seeking them out in that manner. The paperbacks and eBooks will of course, still be available on AMAZON as well.
UPDATE: The series books are now also available on GOOGLE PLAY! (It took a little longer for them to approve them.)
In addition, THE LAST GOOD DAY is now, and forever, FREE on all available channels. The hope is that people will check out book one, love it and the series, and stick around for the other three series books.
That's the plan anyway, so please, enjoy your free book, share it with your friends and family with impunity, and as always, HAPPY READING!
Today marks day #432 of our daily Reality Board whiteboard series. If you're new here, my family and I have been taking turns using my whiteboard calendar to share a little artwork and a little dose of reality. For example, what day is it!?
I used to use the board for managing our monthly schedules, but haven't had much need for that during a global pandemic.
That said, I have begun thinking about how long we're going to keep going with the project. It's been a long run so far and by all accounts, the kids will be returning to in-person school in the fall and our schedules will likely grow increasingly complex, again.
Looking ahead, if we go all the way up to the first day of school, that would be Board #523. That's not quite as round a number as I'd like to wrap this all up with, but we're beginning to think about such things.
Regardless, here are the boards from the last two months, March 15-May 24. Which ones are your favorites?
Also, if you have requests, send them along anytime!
The following is a free sample of AN ALMOST TOLERABLE PERSON: Uncommon Thoughts on Life, Loss, and Looking Back. The book is available for preorder now and is officially launching on April 20! If you preorder the book, you'll get in on your Kindle three days early!
Get your copy HERE!
The following is a free sample of the book from the opening chapter: By Way of Introduction
I’ve been a lot of different people during my lifetime. I imagine that’s true for most people, but it’s especially true for me, I think.
I’ve been “a human chameleon,” a “little ball of clay,” and “an awkward spaz.” I’ve been described as a “nice guy,” an “insecure and clingy boyfriend,” and “just INTOLERABLE. Like for REAL!”
All of those quotes are either from my own old journals, papers or letters. Two of those quotes are my own. I limited myself to ones that don’t have bad words in them, what we’d call “normal language” back home in Jersey.
Looking back, I think I was a lot.
As I write this, almost a full year into a global pandemic, I’m in my forties and live in a middle-class suburb in Northern Virginia. There is a very sweet yellow Lab trying to get me to throw her ball again as I work on this. My three teenage children are all slogging through their virtual school day while my wife works hard at an actual job.
Spoiler Alert: I’m pretty content with where I find myself these days. We’ll talk about that more, but I wanted to get that out right away because it was not always that way. Not at all. Remember, I was once considered “INTOLERABLE! Like for REAL!”
As a person, I’ve always been pretty reflective. I reflect on things. Sometimes I overthink them, but I’ve always been wired that way. I’ve always looked back, particularly at the things that have gone well, or poorly. The people who I’ve loved and lost, I look back on them a lot. I think a lot about loss and always have. Now that I think about it, I kind of reflect on everything. I should reflect on that.
OK, that last paragraph is pretty clear evidence that I probably overthink things. The more I overthink about it though, I think that, to brutally paraphrase our old friend Robert Fulghum, ‘all I really need to know I learned from loss and looking back on it. Just much later on and in a roundabout way.’
It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, I know. It would look awful on a book cover, which is why you didn’t see it there, but I think it’s a pretty accurate assessment of where I find myself when I consider the journey my life has taken, the ridiculously circuitous road I’ve taken on the road towards happiness and fulfilment, and the realization that finally, (yes, finally) I might just have arrived at a point where I can tolerate myself. Where I might actually be a person who’s almost tolerable for other people to be around.
So, how did I get here?
Outside of leaving a career in education in my beloved New Jersey to become a stay-at-home dad in Hawaii, transitioning into a life of domestic tranquility with occasional jaunts into the world of professional mixology and then eventually embracing my life as an author and founder of what my son once called a “somewhat successful publishing company” in an extremely public forum, I think what’s made the biggest difference in my ability to morph into the almost tolerable person before you now is that I’ve grown up a little. Also, I’ve run out of ‘forks’ to give about what pretty much anyone thinks about me, my life, and my choices.
Yes, that’s right, the almost tolerable author, who hopes you love this book and go review it on Amazon and Goodreads and share it with all your friends and help make it a huge bestseller so that his in-laws will finally have a reason to brag about something he did to their friends, really doesn’t give a ‘fork’ what you think about those things. For real. Mostly.
That said, I’ve already spoiled the fact that I’m pretty good with where I am in life right now, even during a pandemic. I may have given that bit away, but there’s a lot more to say about how I got there, so definitely keep reading. Looking back, it seems like the mass of my years were spent nowhere near any kind of “good with where I was” much less pretty good, so there’s a lot to talk about in this slim little volume.
When I was writing the Avery & Angela series of novels, finding my mind in the headspace of an eighteen-year-old kid was informative at times and gave me an interesting perspective on my own journey to adulthood. Writing in Avery’s voice was enjoyable, but it has taken some time for me to shed that voice for other projects. In some ways, I think that attempt at a course correction is what has driven me back to writing as myself, trying to make sense of our increasingly complex world by using my own voice.
I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a therapist. I’m not a doctor. My Master’s degree is in Education and it’s written completely in Latin, so I can’t even read it without Google Translate. I’m not an influencer with millions of followers and loads of social proof. Instead, I’m a person (an ALMOST tolerable one maybe?) who, just like you, has lived a life that’s led me to this exact moment where my writing and your reading have serendipitously intersected. What a cool thing to have happened, am I right?
But seriously, I’m not an expert on anything. I’m a pretty good cook, a borderline excellent mixologist, I’m pretty good at trivia and I’m still a really strong swimmer. I’m probably not the guy you should be seeking advice from about anything seriously important.
That said, I pay attention and always have, especially when things are difficult. I listen. I think (overthink) most things and right now, I feel like the angst and hunger of my youth and the wisdom of my advancing years have collided in a pretty interesting way, and that collision has inspired me to reflect and to look back. It’s inspired me to really take a long, loving look at loss and to consider how my life might have been different but for fortune and timing. It’s inspired me to take an equally long look at myself, my choices, and the way that I have and continue to respond to loss in my life.
My hope in sharing this with you is that, if nothing else, you walk away from the pages herein feeling better about yourself. Chances are that you’re actually doing awesome and need to cut yourself a break. If you need help with something troubling, please, ask for help. It’s OK. I wish I’d done that earlier and more often, as you’re about to learn. I’m sure I’ll need to ask for help again in my life and that’s going to be OK too.
There’s a question on the last page of this book that I hope excites you as much as it excites me. There’s nothing stopping you from flipping ahead and spoiling it, but I hope you won’t. I’d rather you get there as I got there: one word at a time.
Get your copy of the book HERE!
-excerpt from AN ALMOST TOLERABLE PERSON: Uncommon Thoughts on Life, Loss, and Looking Back, publishing April 20, 2021 by Four Leaf Publishing ©2021, All Rights Reserved
My latest release, AN ALMOST TOLERABLE PERSON is coming soon! Equal parts memoir and motivational self-help, AN ALMOST TOLERABLE PERSON: UNCOMMON THOUGHTS ON LIFE, LOSS, and LOOKING BACK asks a lot of questions.
Does it stink, getting older?
(Spoiler Alert: It does not.)
We all have questions.
-How do we deal with life when it invades the pristine shoreline of our plans?
-How will I move on from loss?
-Am I spending too much time looking back?
-Is it OK that I’m not OK?
(Spoiler Alert: Yes, it is.)
You are not alone. I have been there, too.
In AN ALMOST TOLERABLE PERSON: UNCOMMON THOUGHTS ON LIFE, LOSS, AND LOOKING BACK, I look at those questions, look back on how a global pandemic might have impacted life in the late 1980’s and take a look at personal loss and what I've learned about it, over and over again.
This is a book for people with questions about moving on from loss, reconciling the past in an increasingly challenging world, and for those readers ready for all the feels of this heartwarming and occasionally hysterical book.
Check back here for updates, including a cover reveal, launch information, a free sample AND, keep watch on my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page for daily sample quotes like the one above!
I'm really excited for you to read my latest.
Today, I posted our 368th Daily Reality Board. It's hard to believe that something so silly that I started doing because we were stuck at home and couldn't keep track of what day it was has morphed into this. I started keeping a spreadsheet a while back to track what we've drawn and how it was received by the growing audience, who's even seen fit to send us markers and other supplies during the year. (Thanks for that, BTW!)
These ten represent the most "liked" of all of our drawings. Can you guess which one is currently sitting at #1? Which is your favorite of these ten?
We'll keep drawing. I need to replace our yellow, but other than that, we'll keep going and trying not to repeat ourselves.
Thanks so much for all your support.
It is really hard for me to fathom the fact that this week we will pass one year of these Reality Board drawings. I'll be posting something to mark that occasion, perhaps revisiting some of the more popular ones, now what I've got a giant spreadsheet of data about them in hand.
For those of you asking, we have no plans to stop drawing. Stay tuned for more on that, but it is getting increasingly difficult to not repeat ourselves. We'll do out best.
Which ones of this batch are your favorites?
It's hard to believe that we've posted 333 days worth of "Reality Board" drawings! I'm now keeping track of them in a spreadsheet complete with likes and comments. Here's our work from December 18-February 15. Enjoy! We will be at a year, more than likely, when I post the 13th collection!
What are your favorites from the current batch?
We are less than 100 days away from having done one full year's worth of these boards. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!!!
Which ones are your favorites?
Have a wonderful holiday season! Stay safe and well as we head into the new year! Thanks for all your support!
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