Monday, November 5, 2018

For the Love of Story - Sunday, November 11th, 2pm


I'll be participating in a fun story telling event this Sunday, Nov 11th, 2pm, at Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek. It's called, "For the Love of Story." Ten writers. Ten stories. About ten minutes each. The topics are wide-ranging--from the personal and the poignant to the adventurous and the funny. Trust me, all speakers will keep your attention and you are sure to be exposed to something new. Would love to see you there!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

P. E. O. chapter of Fountain Hills


I had a wonderful discussion about books and writing and all things Navy with the P. E. O chapter from Fountain Hills. Such a positive and engaging group. Thank you for having me!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Treason? Not so fast . . .


I am a former naval aviator who served in the Persian Gulf and I am compelled to address Martha McSally’s accusation of treason leveled at Kyrsten Sinema. It was a deplorable, desperate attempt to change the subject in a debate where McSally was clearly outclassed.

It worked. The media gobbled up the word ‘treason’ like catnip. The perfect headline. And in this case, the perfect word to provide cover for what McSally’s debate arguments lacked. This attack was derived from a statement Sinema made during an interview fifteen years ago that was pulled out of context and further mischaracterized by McSally. But that single word has now clouded the previous fifty-nine minutes of debate where Sinema shined.

McSally calls herself a patriot, and Sinema, a protester. But veterans like McSally and myself served precisely to ensure the right of all Americans to protest—a fundamental tenet of our democracy—but it makes us no more patriotic than Sinema or anyone else who exercises this constitutional right.

While I respect McSally’s military accomplishments, I was not impressed with her evasiveness and dubious debate tactics. But Sinema required no such antics. As I watched her give thoughtful answers in a measured, civil tone, offering solutions, not insults, I saw a future United States Senator in action.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Friends in the Hills luncheon


Thank you to Friends in the Hills for a wonderful luncheon last week. I gave a slide show presentation to over 100 members and the women were just delightful. This is a fantastic, welcoming group in Fountain Hills! Thank you Kathleen Rubin and Kathy Dietz!







Friday, September 14, 2018

Mesa Public Library - Red Mountain Branch - September 15th


I'll be at the Red Mountain Branch of the Mesa Public Library tomorrow, Sep 15th, at 1pm, to give a slide show presentation and discuss my navy experience and how it influenced the writing of my books, HOVER and CLEAR TO LIFT.

Would love to have you there!

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/678969072465233/

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wednesdays for Women


Please join me at Sole Sports Running Zone in Tempe on Wednesday, September 19th, at 6:30pm, for Wednesdays 4 Women. I'll be speaking about Finding your Passion Whatever your Age.

Normally, when I find myself at a running or triathlon store, I'm speaking about all things triathlon. This will be a little different, talking mostly about writing and books. So if you're interested in something a little different to break up your week, you should come out to the Tempe store and join us!

Monday, September 3, 2018

John McCain - Maverick, even in death



I’m compelled to comment once more on the passing of John McCain. As was the case with my first post, it’s nothing that hasn’t already been said. But I was compelled just the same, moved by the events from this week that honored the man’s life and legacy. 

A week that included a heart wrenching eulogy from former Vice President Joe Biden in Phoenix, the solemn return of Senator McCain’s casket to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, the poignant, sometimes funny, sometimes fiery tributes voiced with such eloquence at Washington National Cathedral. 

Oh, that eloquence. 

Complete sentences. Absent hyperbole. Without reference to self. Words spoken with class, dignity, and intelligence. With courage.

And with truth.

I’d forgotten. . . . 

But I digress. 

I’m compelled to write because I need to offer more than just a solemn, ever grateful, and most respectful salute to John McCain. I need to offer a tip of the hat, as well. “Chapeau,” the French would say. Well done.

McCain was a maverick, yes, but a shrewd one, too. A maverick who, in a sublime master stroke, carefully planned his own string of memorial events with the express purpose of delivering a pointed message, not only to his fellow policy makers in Congress, but Americans across the country:  Stop the madness. Wake up, America. Remember who you are.

He orchestrated the delivery of his message with acute intention by hand-picking those who would eulogize him. Cherished colleagues, friends and family, even political rivals—rivals, not enemies—from one end of the ideological spectrum to the other, from all backgrounds, races, religions and creeds. 

He designated the order and location of events, selected the music, and decided who would receive invitations. Every detail attended to. 

Every detail designed to give voice to something that desperately needed saying. And to an audience who desperately needed to hear it. 

At Washington National Cathedral, both sides of the political aisle sat literally right next to each other. Hawks and doves, liberals and conservatives, friends and . . . well, people who needed a littler reminder about American ideals. He sat them down—sat the country down writ large—like an old-fashioned schoolmarm to deliver a classroom lesson.

Sometimes the message was spoken aloud. But really—and what resonated most deeply—was what went unsaid. Not just the implicit condemnation of the current administration. That rebuke rang crystal. But the reminder of what John McCain aspired to. What we should aspire to as Americans. Honor, dignity, integrity. Those morals, those standards, those values were in the air the congregation breathed. They were in the pauses between words. A buzz. A pulse. A drum beat. 

America, remember who you are. . . .
 
John McCain is fighting for our country still. Reminding us that America is an ideal. A promise. And it’s worth fighting for, by all sides. By anyone who cares about freedom and the core premise that all men are created equal.

After the service at the cathedral, I did a cursory scroll through my news feed, spying page after page of the same ugly, rancorous rhetoric, led by the same ugly, rancorous person. A person who is swirling down a dark drain of depravity and is pulling us down with him.  

John McCain saw this. Felt this. And he sent the country a sorely needed wake-up call. Our nation, our ideals, our morals are at stake, just as our standing in the world as the global leader of freedom and human rights hangs in the balance. I can only hope that this reminder of what is good and right in our country is reverberating as strongly through the hearts of my fellow Americans as it is in me. I can only hope that John McCain’s death will galvanize our nation. Send people to the polls in November to right this listing ship. 

To be clear, this is not about voting Republican or Democrat. It’s about standing up as an American to restore the principles and values that transcend party and politics. It’s about finding people who will actually talk to each other once in elected office. A return to some modicum of decency. A relationship model a la Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill.  

To quote former President George W. Bush from his eulogy, “John's voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder: We are better than this. America is better than this.” 

John McCain lived, fought, and died with honor. He respected his fellow man, regardless of creed, gender, or color. He inspired others to do the same. 

And he is telling us to own this. Calling us to task. Because collectively, as a nation, we know we’re sliding in the wrong direction. 

More than anything, John McCain was an optimist. So that’s where I’ll leave this. With hope. You can speak your voice and your conscience with your vote. This is in our hands. We can do this. 

This is John McCain’s America.

This is our America. 

Let’s reclaim it.