Happy 4th Of July!

Today I am thankful for America’s independence.

Can you imagine what life would be like if we were still under Great Britain’s rule?  One Direction would probably be playing non-stop on the radio, people would be constantly talking about Downton Abbey, and Harry Potter would be the most popular fictional character in the past 50 years.

Thank goodness for the Declaration of Independence.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to like about the U.K.  Rickey Gervais, The I.T. Crowd and Wimbledon are some of my favorite things.  But there is something about living in a country where I can use the word “favorite” instead of “favourite” that just makes me happy.  Plus, I am not a fan of fish and chips.

On a serious note, I truly am proud to be an American.  I can’t imagine the courage it took to declare independence from Great Britain in 1776.  I am very thankful for those brave men and women who fought for our freedom.  And I am grateful for all the men and women who currently serve in the Armed Forces and fight for our continued freedom today.

Despite its very poor grammar, Proud to be an American by Lee Greenwood said it best, “‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S.A.”

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you all enjoy fireworks, baseball and a barbeque today.

Is Everyone In Here Crazy, Or Is It Just Me?

The old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”  I know this blog will never be perfect, but I hope to continue to make it better and better as I become a better writer (a great writer probably wouldn’t have used the word better 3 times in that last sentence).  And the best way to improve my writing is to just sit down and write.  But what do you do when you can’t think of what to write about?

I often have a difficult time figuring out what to write. In order to find content, I subscribe to an email newsletter from WritersDigest.com.  Along with helpful writing tips, Writer’s Digest sends out a weekly writing prompt.  This provides me a subject to write about when I can’t think of one.

Here is one of their writing prompts from a few weeks ago:

One morning you awake to find yourself in a straight jacket, being taken off to an asylum.  How do you prove your sanity? What do the guards and psychiatrists say you did?

Nothing beats waking up in a warm bed, snuggly tucked underneath the covers.  However, this morning the covers were just a little too snuggly.  So snuggly in fact, that I couldn’t move my arms!  What kind of body builder mom tucked me in last night??

Wait a second.  I am not in a bed. And my arms aren’t wrapped in covers, they are wrapped in a straight jacket.  What’s going on here!?!

Just then two oversized, bearded men stomped into the room.

Great, I’ll just talk to these nice lumberjacks and figure out what is going on.

“Hello gentlemen.  I think there has been some kind of mistake,” I said.  “You see, I am a sleepwalker and it seems as if I sleepwalked right into this darn straight jacket.”

“Zip it creep!” said the bigger lumberjack.  “We don’t want to hear anymore of your ramblings.”

“Anymore of my ramblings?” I asked. “But I just got here. At least I think I just got here. Wherever here is.  Where is here? Since we are on the subject.”

“You’re at the Maximum Security Prison, sponsored by State Farm,” said the big fella.  “But you aren’t here for long, come with us.”

“Good.  Finally things are starting to make sense.  Let’s get me out of here and back home.”

“Home? You won’t be going home for a long time,” said my new friend Paul Bunyon. Apparently the smaller lumberjack wasn’t much of a talker.  “We are taking you to the Applebee’s Insane Asylum.”

At that news, an overflow of questions bubbled into my head. ‘Why am I being taken to an insane asylum? Why would Applebee’s sponsor an insane asylum? Do they actually serve Applebee’s there? Is that the place with the bloomin’ onion?’

The talkative guard must have seen the confusion on my face because before I could ask, he answered my first question of ‘why was I there?’

“Anyone who threatens to steal the Declaration of Independence, cut off someone’s face and then ride a flaming motorcycle needs to be locked up immediately!”

Although those three things sounded familiar, they didn’t sound like me.  I’m usually the kind of guy who doesn’t get out much.  I tend to stay at home and watch movies.  Heck, I don’t even know which restaurant serves the bloomin’ onion.  I’m not the criminal mastermind type.  I have a hard enough time working my VHS/DVD player.  I really doubt that I could find the Declaration of Independence, let alone steal it.

Wait that’s it!

“I know how to explain this!” I said.  “Last night there was a Nic Cage movie marathon on TV.  National Treasure, Face Off, the flaming motorcycle one.  They were all on!  I must have fallen asleep with the TV on then sleepwalked and acted out some of those movies.”

The guard stopped walking me toward the door and looked at me.  “While I believe everything you just said, anyone who purposely watches more than one Nic Cage movie in a night deserves to be locked up in an insane asylum.”

I guess I couldn’t argue with him there.  Well, I hope this place has bottomless fries!