Tony

Drown Writer’s Block In Hot Sweat!

It’s like magic. Heart-pumping, glistening-skinned sorcery. There I am, rockin some sweet, sweet cardio on the treadmill/stairmaster/spin cycle, innocently reading a fine novel on my trusty Kindle, when . . . THROOOOSH! A juicy new story idea jet-streams into my conscience as if fired from the fingers of heavenly Word Wizards. Or stubborn issues with my current work in progress mold into awesomeness and fall into place like Tetris blocks. My eyes drift away from my Kindle display into the soup of training capris and tank tops and tattoos and clanging weights. But I don’t see any of that. My focus is inward, marveling at the parade of settings and characters and plotlines that lay themselves out—effortlessly—inside my mind. I don’t feel like I’m coming up with the ideas. I am a tool—simply the vehicle that receives them. And it is my privilege—my duty—to write them down immediately or risk losing them forever. So I close the Kindle and I spend the next thirty minutes finger-whipping notes into my Smartphone’s notepad app. The phenomenon is real. It happens nearly every time I engage in long, sustained, exercise. It doesn’t have to be in the gym, either. Sometimes it happens while I’m running on the track. Sometimes it happens while I’m cycling on my favorite bike path. Hell, I’ve conjured up so many stories during exercise that the resulting backlog actually frustrates me. I’ll never be able to write them all—not anytime soon, at least. And even though I’m used to this spontaneous divine influx now, it still astounds me when I reflect on it. What is responsible for this? Why do I have SO. MUCH. WIN. when I’m working out, and a healthy dose of writer’s block when I’m not? I decided to investiGoogle. And guess what? My findings support my experiences. As it turns out, there is a blooming cache of scientific evidence that we (human desk monkeys) think, learn, and create better when we’re bustin some hump. There are some obvious reasons for this. For one, blood pressure and blood flow increase throughout the entire body as we exercise. That includes your squiggly pink skull-meat (or brain, if you’re not into making things sound nasty). With greater blood flow comes more energy and oxygen. More energy and oxygen translates to greater performance. And last I checked, greater performance is a highly desirable thing. Let’s go a step...

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Star Wars Loves The Big Wig

Seeing as how Star Wars and its characters play various parts in The Big Wig, it’s no surprise that Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and a Stormtrooper have all given it a read....

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They Hate My Diet!

What to do when your quest to lose weight is sabotaged by friends, co-workers, and spouses.   You’re two weeks into your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. You’ve chosen a diet plan, you’re getting a taste of healthy eating, and you’re sticking to it. Maybe you haven’t been perfect, but hey—a few weeks ago, you were scarfing down a holiday bonanza of processed, carb-heavy, sugary foods. Compared to that, you’re now eating squeaky clean, and you’ve already begun losing weight. When summer rolls around, you’ll be ready to flaunt that skinnier, sexier body you were born to have. But hold on—something is weird. You’re noticing a strange phenomenon that you’ve never experienced. It begins subtly, barely registering as you delve into your new lifestyle. As the days pass, however, you have no choice but to acknowledge an uncomfortable, echoing truth. No one wants you to succeed. It’s a startling revelation. They claim to support you—friends, co-workers, spouses—and perhaps they do, at times. But mostly, they say things like this: “Oh come on, one little piece won’t hurt you.” “What, I’m a terrible cook now? You can’t eat what I made?” “You don’t need to lose weight—that’s silly.” “Cake has eggs in it—it’s good for you!” “Fine, don’t come to the Burger Shack with me. I just thought we were friends, that’s all.” “You’re boring now.” Wow. So much for a supportive cast of allies in your noble pursuit. Mustering the willpower to consistently eat a healthy diet is hard enough. Now you’re learning that the battle of the bulge is not just between you and your resolve. It’s between you and everybody’s resolve. And if you persist in your quest, you may soon find yourself routinely ostracized from your old social circles. “Well, you can’t eat Italian food because of your diet, so we didn’t invite you.” “Sorry, we didn’t tell you about Susan’s birthday because we know you won’t eat cake and ice cream.” “You won’t drink alcohol, so we didn’t bother to tell you we were going to happy hour.” Why is this happening? Why are these people—who occupy great chunks of your personal and professional life—taking such offense to your diet? It’s not their diet. They don’t have to fret about caloric intake or processed foods. So why are they making you feel like some kind of outsider engaging in an unworthy cause?   Why...

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Book Review—The Moaning of Life

Author: Karl Pilkington Title: The Moaning of Life: The Worldly Wisdom of Karl Pilkington Genre: Travel-Comedy-Documentary Buy it at: Amazon My Rating: 5 stars!       Blurb: Karl Pilkington is back on the road, and this time he’s on a journey of self-discovery, in The Moaning of Life, the follow-up to An Idiot Abroad Karl Pilkington is 40 years old. He’s not married, he doesn’t have kids, and he has a job where he’s known as an “idiot.” It’s time for him to take stock and face up to life’s big question—what does it all mean? Karl is no stranger to travel, and now he’s off on a series of madcap adventures around the globe to find out how other cultures approach life’s big issues. Traveling from far-flung tribes to high-tech cities, Karl experiences everything from a drive-through wedding in Las Vegas to a vocational theme park in Japan. He meets a group of people in Mexico who find happiness through pain, attends a clowning school in Los Angeles, and even encounters a woman in Bali who lets him help deliver her baby. Have his experiences changed him? Find out in this hilarious new book where Karl shares his stories and opinions in his inimitable style. Review: I first met Karl Pilkington via his globetrotting BBC series An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List. In that gem of a show, hapless homebody Karl travels the far reaches of the earth to dive into adventures that most people can only dream about—and he hates it. That’s the show’s appeal—a grumbly moaner who’d be happier eating biscuits in front of the television is forced into situations and experiences that he often finds torturous. The results are hilarious. To be honest, I only initially tuned into the show because of Ricky Gervais—I do love me some Rickey Gervais—who, along with Stephen Merchant, acts as Karl’s devilish travel agent, casting Karl into unexpected escapades with impish zeal. At the time, I had no idea who Karl was, and my first impression of him wasn’t a good one. “My god, what a little whiner!” I said to my wife. “Who’d want to watch THIS guy?!” But his unique perspective, appalled reactions, and effortless quips won me over, and I was dying to see what he hated next. My absolute favorite moment was when he traveled to Vanatau—birth place of the bungee jump—and he land-dived from a rickety wooden...

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Show Me Your Big Wig! Edition 2.0

In this second edition of Show Me Your Big Wig, we have some great-looking photos of proud and creative fans displaying my novel. Thanks, guys and gals! If you’d like me to make you famous (ha ha) send me your own creative pic featuring The Big Wig for the upcoming 3.0...

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