The Imagination of Land

My family has traditionally traveled a couple times a year to be with my mother’s family, just north of Pittsburgh. Our gathering place was originally my grandparents’ home: several acres of magnificent rural land that is still so vivid to me now. My mother had four siblings, and in addition to my own four siblings and me, one of my aunts also had five kids who were close to us in age. These cousins have often felt like a second set of siblings. We all ran amok all over that land, but my main partners-in-crime were Shane and an older female cousin ours. Shane was never afraid to get dirty or wet, and Samara and I would at least follow, if not embrace, his lead.

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What is Your Unique Potential?

I’m glad to plug a book that a couple colleagues of mine have published. Alison Smith and Jill Vanderwall are career counselors who started a business to share their years worth of experience, knowledge, and wisdom. Admittedly, my interest in this book is also personal in that I helped edit the book! If you’re thinking about your own career development or your child’s, Career Exploration: 101 Questions to Ask Your Teen during High School might be for you. You can purchase a copy here.

15 Books Worth Reading if You Want to Make Significant Changes in your Life

My reading hasn’t always been this focused, but I’ve found that almost everything I’ve read in the past few years could be classified into three categories: memoir, self-help, or social sciences/cultural commentary. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there are some commonalities those genres. Chalk it up to the the #therapythirties if you’d like, but I suppose at my core I’ve been interested in a few very basic questions. How does this world work? Is it possible to change? What is the good life?

It’s no stretch to say that the work (and the reading) has been fueled by its share of discontent, by the frustration and disappointment of feeling like life isn’t turning out the way I want it to. The good news is that the journey — both in and outside of the reading — has been incredibly rich and that there have been signs of progress along the way. I feel more hopeful now than I ever have before. For anyone who’s interested, here are 15 books — which I’ve grouped into six different topical categories — that I’ve found helpful along the way:

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Interviewing Brady Quinn

I enjoyed chatting with former Notre Dame and NFL quarterback, Brady Quinn, this past Friday morning. He weighed in on a number topics, including the 2016 NFL Draft, the Notre Dame quarterback battle, and a philanthropic initiative he and his wife are leading. Here is a glimpse of what Quinn had to say about his time at Notre Dame:

“People always think that for former players it’s all about what happens on the field. To me, the memories that stick out are the ones with the guys, whether hanging out before games and getting ready or at training camp or walking out of the tunnel for the first time. The game’s the game; there are always going to be two-minute drives and other things that are kind of fun, but it’s the memories of the guys that I’m still close with now; those are the memories that stick out more than anything else.”

For the article and part of the audio file, go to One Foot Down.

Why isn’t Mine a Niche Blog? What Kind of Writer am I?

Like many writers in my generation, several years ago I began making my way as a writer by starting a blog. It seems to me that the advantage of a blog has always been that it bypasses the traditional barriers to publication. When you write and publish on a blog, you don’t need some other person to validate your work, to say you’re good enough for people to read your stuff. You get to decide that, and then if you’re lucky, the readers show up. There are, of course, some real disadvantages to blogs, and I don’t want to pretend that isn’t true, but those problems deserve to be pitted up against the good things about them.

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