M3Summit Recap

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the M3Summit down in Atlanta. Here’s a quick recap.

First off, I was honored (if not a bit out of my league) to be on a panel alonside Danny Evans and Ron Mattocks. The subject of our talk was going from blog to book. Ever the contrarian, I spoke from the other perspective — that of writing a book, then leveraging it to quickly establish an online presence.

Each of us took different routes to get in print. Danny went the conventional way via a publishing house. Ron and I both self published, but Ron did a print on demand whereas I ordered a set number. (Which, incidentally, I need to finish selling. Get yours for only $9 — limited time only!)

Our three distinctly different personalities meshed well together. The Q&A session afterward went over the allotted time, but we certainly didn’t mind sticking around. Everyone had great questions, and it was awesome to get to interact with so many cool people.

Of course, there were a ton of great presentations. Like the one delivered by Jason Falls who spoke about brands and blogs. Though I personally am not into maneuvering this blog with profit in mind (except when it comes to my book — buy it, damn it.), Jason is a flat-out expert on the topic and provided lots of useful information for those who are hoping to court corporations.

CC Chapman encouraged his audience to consider themselves “content providers” as opposed to bloggers, and as such, develop a method to the madness of getting that content out.

Kevin Metzger broke down “Dads by the Numbers” with the help of his impressive survey. If you’re a dad, and you’ve not taken it, I strongly encourage you to do so. Kevin’s an exceptionally good man, and the numbers he’s gathering tell a compelling story.

The presentation I enjoyed most? It was delivered by the talented group over at DadLabs. Y’all, these guys are funny, super smart, totally dialed in, and extremely successful at what they’re doing. If you’re not on to them, you need to check them out. Lovie and I nearly wet ourselves watching this gem which showcases Daddy Brad hooking himself to a breast pump. Go visit their site, TODAY.

Sadly, I couldn’t see everyone as there were typically three sessions during any given time slot. Had he not been presenting at the exact same time Danny, Ron, and I were, I would have definitely checked out Caleb Gardner. He works in the Windy City with Edelman Digital and represents countless well known brands. He discussed his ideas pertaining to the organization of dads such that brands will pay us the attention we deserve.

I heard that Roland Warren of the Fatherhood Initiative was simply incredible. His organization seeks “to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers.” He spoke at length on the topic and even showed clips from his appearance on Oprah which clearly displayed the overwhelming effect he had on the media queen. His impact on the folks who saw him present was just as strong. Though I missed him, I can’t wait to learn more about him.

Another person I wish I had seen was Angus Nelson. This dude is in touch. He spoke about the importance of being vulnerable. He’s also written an incredible book that Lovie can’t put down called Love’s Compass, which is kinda eerie because the last chapter in my book is called Fate’s Compass. What’s even eerier is that I strongly considered calling it Love’s Compass. Angus is an excellent guy. Really enjoyed meeting him.

Other great men I want to mention:

Chris Singer runs a wonderful site over at BookDads, not to mention his own personal blog where he chronicles (among other things) life with his adorable daughter, Tessa. As an added bonus, rumor has it he spooned my fleece. (Long story.) Of all the fantastic folks Lovie and I met in Atlanta, this guy is at the top of the list.

Jason Avant leads the smart, irreverent, and thought provoking crew over at, DadCentric. Meeting Jason in person did not disappoint. He’s been at this a long time and is one of the pioneers. Here’s a post of his I read the day before I left for Atlanta. I think it’s a good example of the edgy, yet universally applicable stuff he and all his guys constantly put out.

I finally got to meet PJ Mullen who is the voice behind one of the first blogs I ever read. It’s weird. You read these guys and follow them on twitter and develop an online rapport, then you meet them and they’re exactly what you thought they’d be like. PJ’s one of the great ones, y’all.

This dude? DadOfDivas? He SLAYS me. I’d known the guy for like four minutes before, at his insistence, I found myself standing back to back with him, Lovie carefully sizing us up. Well, way to go, big guy. You win. By like half an inch. Happy, shithead? Keep your eyes peeled for the therapy bill I’m gonna mail you. Not to mention the receipts for all the self help books. Love DadOfDivas. Good guy for sure.

Craig Heimbuch, Jeff Pugh et al represented ManOfTheHouse quite well. They were one of the main sponsors and it was awesome to mix it up a little bit with them. Note to self: if ever at a restaurant with them, NEVER follow Jeff’s order. But do be sure to check out their site. It’s excellent.

And lastly, I wanna give a quick shoutout to two guys I somehow hadn’t run into before this weekend. DaddyScratches and TheMuskrat. They’re both classic. Really enjoyed getting to know them and fired up to now be following them.

So there you have it. I don’t normally run posts which are more or less link-ups to a bunch of other sites. But I also don’t normally spend three entire days with such interesting and talented people.

That you all for making my weekend such an unforgettable one. I had a blast at M3Summit. I’d do it again in a second. Only I’d have to wait for a while. You know. Detox and all.

Katie Allison Granju

Through the years, there have been many influential people who have encouraged me to pursue my writing. But none more so than my friend Katie Allison Granju. Though there’s no way I could ever possibly repay her for all the support and help she’s given me, I jump at any chance I get to show her my gratitude.

That’s why I’m so pumped to tell to tell y’all that Katie’s been nominated for the Knoxville News Sentinel’s annual “Best Of” poll in the “Best Blogger” category. And rightfully so. Any of her umpteen trillion followers will tell you, Katie’s the real deal, a true blogger who’s stood the test of time. She’s been on-line for well over a decade, folks, yet in all her years, never has she been more brilliant than during the past few months while chronicling the tragic story of her son, Henry, with uncommon candor, bravery, and beauty. She’s using her platform to make a difference, reaching tens of thousands of people all over the world in hopes that her family’s nightmare can prevent another family from a similar fate.

So go check out Katie’s blog now! And once you do, make sure you vote for her as Best Blogger in East TN. Because she’s just that. And more.

Congratulations, Katie! I’m so proud of you. This honor is well-deserved!

Sugar Milk Tastes Good to Me

What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

If the old adage is true, no wonder author Ron Mattocks doubles as Superman on his popular blog, Clark Kent’s Lunchbox. Because after losing a wife to a divorce, his sons to a custody battle, and his high-paying job to the economy, Mattocks has somehow become stronger than ever. He chronicles his amazing story of change in Sugar Milk–What One Father Drinks When He Can’t Afford Vodka.

Three things become evident about Mattocks within the first few pages.

Number one: In a world filled with phonies, Ron Mattocks is the real deal. He hides behind nothing as he details insecure feelings of fatherly failure which overtook him while he watched his family ship sink thanks to his painful divorce.

Number two: Ron’s writing is next level, powerful enough to actually bring his readers aboard that ship with him, leaving them lost and forlorn as they go down alongside the captain, himself.

Number three: Ron is uncommonly funny and the possessor of a razor-sharp wit–able to seamlessly blend humility and humor, as evidenced by his sinking ship metaphor, which he turns on a dime:

I didn’t view myself as a ship captain, but rather, something closer to a shift manager at a Long John Silvers.

Each of the next fifteen chapters tells a tale–the end result, a beautiful collage which was destined to rise from the wreckage, every picture painted by the author’s evolving perspective. Mattocks’s versatility is on full display, both as a writer, and as a man, as he transforms from newly divorced dad, to dot-com dater, to single-mom suitor, to stepdad, and finally, to stay at home dad. Readers will devour every word as they go on this wild ride with him, pausing only to laugh.

But between the laughs, Mattocks will also make his readers think by deftly turning hysterical accounts of mundane fatherly experiences into something else entirely. On the one hand, the chapter “This Isn’t Kindergarten Anymore,” is about his older stepdaughter preparing her younger sister for kindergarten, while simultaneously developing an aversion to the comparatively difficult first grade. But on the other, it’s about transitions in general, Mattocks’s own in specific.

The reality of first grade had hardened in her mind like concrete: the whimsy of last year was now paved over by new challenges that replaced those golden papers asking happy questions about her day. It was her sister’s turn for all that now. But that’s how the cycle works–we take what we know to the next level, leaving behind past memories as we go on to face those yet to be lived. I could have said something to that effect, But Allie didn’t need any reminders that she wasn’t in kindergarten anymore.

At that instant we drove by the office building of the company that had laid me off six months ago. I knew how she felt.

Me personally? I’m glad Ron lost his corporate job. Because this hilarious collection of well written stories define him far better than any six figure job ever could. Sugar Milk can be purchased on Amazon, as well as in select bookstores across the country. It comes with my highest recommendation.

Oh, and if you’re on the fence for the upcoming M3 Summit in Atlanta, perhaps this will sway you. Ron will be on a panel alongside other authors / bloggers, and will be sharing his experiences on topics ranging from social media to fatherhood.

Dooce is Mild

Last week I was one of ten bloggers asked to interview Heather Armstrong as part of a promotional blog tour celebrating her recent association with HGTV. I was the only male. So if anyone was going to get Heather’s perspective on the rapidly growing dad blog community, it had to be me.

However, I’m unqualified to take on such a task by myself. So in addition to reaching out to my regular readers via a post, I also reached out to dozens of dad bloggers via email to see what questions they would want to ask her. Thanks to all who responded. I used many of your questions, and you’ll note that I’ve given attribution where appropriate.

If you’ve ever read Heather, you know she’s a very clever, strong-willed woman who has quite an edge to her. But through our exchange, I learned that Heather is also sensitive, sweet, and, like most of us, vulnerable.

But before we get to the interview, just a quick reminder: to qualify to win this Danby 8 bottle wine cooler from HGTV all you have to do is leave a comment. Other, smaller prizes will be given away too.

Now, without further ado, on the week before Mother’s Day, I give you my exchange with the mother of all bloggers, Heather B. Armstrong.

Dooce is Mild

JCO: Aside from fame and financial gain, what byproduct of Dooce has had the biggest impact on your life? (CaptainDumbass)

This is a really interesting question because there are so many possible answers. Some of my best friends are ones I met because of my blog, and my relationships with them have changed my life in ways I probably can’t quantify.

Also…this whole thing has changed a fundamental part of me because of what I’ve been exposed to, because of the judgment and hate and deliberate misinterpretation of what I do and who I am. I used to be so quick to judge other people, and now I find that I stop myself before I get there and first give the benefit of the doubt. Ironically, this sarcastic blog has freed me from the weight of a lot of the cynicism I used to carry around.

JCO: Do you ever miss any aspect of blogging to a smaller audience? (Mamo Fali) What other elements do you miss about your life before everything took off for you? (Surprised Mom)

I don’t feel any different now about how and what I write than I did when I was only writing for twelve people, so there isn’t much to miss there. I guess what I didn’t realize I was getting myself into was the fact that every day now I can pull up a handful of different websites where people have written their opinion of me. That’s a strange reality to live with. It’s taken some time to get used to it.

That’s the thing I’ve learned about “fame,” as small as my experience is… I live knowing that there are hundreds if not thousands of people who really don’t like me, whereas before all of this, I could tell you the names of the two people who have stopped talking to me. People are always saying that fame changes you, and I don’t think they understand that this is a HUGE part of that change. Learning to deal with that. Living with that.

JCO: In your recent post, Locking up the Cabinets , you describe how hard it is to simultaneously keep tabs on two kids. While your duo may have you locking up the cabinets, our four kids (including two-year-old triplets) have us battening down the hatches! What would your reaction have been if you had found out you were expecting triplets instead of just Marlo? Do you have any personal experience with triplets? If not, would you like to gain some by babysitting ours sometime? (TrippinMama Well, not the babysitting part.)

We were actually worried that Marlo was a set of twins, and not just because I was gaining weight with her way more rapidly than I did with the first. Twins run in both of our families, and you know… I’m sure if Marlo had turned out to be triplets we would have handled it, but I’m not so sure I’d be sane in the process. My sister has twins, and she’s great with them. She’s the type of person who could handle twelve kids all at once. I’m not that type. Juggling these two kids is totally kicking my butt, and I really admire people who can handle more. I envy you, actually.

I know the number of some really great babysitters, is what I’m saying.

JCO: What should the rules be when it comes to airing a beef with a private company? Did Kevin Smith take it too far with Southwest Airlines? Has that changed the way you think about your run-in with Maytag? (Nathan Thornburgh of DadWagon)

What Kevin Smith did with the whole Southwest Airlines thing was WAY more intense and epic than what I did with Maytag. He spewed venom for days, where my rant lasted for six or seven tweets. That’s not to say that I disagree with what he did. I wish more people would use social media when they are not satisfied with service. This is our tool. This is our voice, and it’s a beast that cannot be controlled or reigned in by PR. Even people who only have a hundred followers on Twitter… those one hundred people know a hundred other people who know a hundred other people. Messages travel far and fast. I say rant away when you’ve been wronged.

JCO: When you think of the term “dad blogger” what comes to mind? How are dad bloggers different than mom bloggers? Do you read any dad bloggers? (Joeprah of DadBlogs.)

I do read several dad blogs. The term dad blogger means the same thing to me as mommy blogger, which is Writing About Life. Some people see these as derogatory labels, and I can understand that, but I feel like someone’s writing sort of speaks for itself. It’s like, I don’t say to myself, “I’m going to go read this dad blogger.” I think, “I’m going to go catch up with Jim and his family and see what museum they’ve been to lately.” I guess I just don’t see in labels of Dad and Mom. I think dad bloggers are different than mom bloggers only in their anatomy.

JCO: Some, including my pal @theJackB, have speculated that 2010 will be the year of the daddy blogger. With the advent of the M3 Summit, the first ever conference dedicated solely to blogging men, do you think those people could be right? Will dads ever gain the commercial appeal that moms have? What single bit of advice would you give dads who are looking to blog professionally as entrepreneurs? (Ron Mattocks)

Hmmm… I don’t have any hard data to prove what I’m about to say, so you could totally discard it as a piece of crap… but I think a lot of moms blog because they are staying at home with the kids and they are reaching out to connect and feel less alone. I don’t think there are as many men staying at home doing the same thing, and this is where women have the advantage. There are just more of us. That’s the commercial appeal.

As far as advice for dads looking to blog professionally, I would say one, getting to a point where you’re making any kind of reasonable money could be a very steep, exhausting climb. I blogged for over four and a half years before I ever made a penny. And even then my story itself is a bit of an anomaly that is not easily replicable.

Two, get involved in communities of people you want reading your website. Leave thoughtful, on-topic comments. Get to know the others who are participating, and your name will get out there. That is the best advertising there is in this business.

JCO: I wrote a book, and then began blogging this past November to help promote it. At first my blog floundered. But then I stopped treating it like a book, and started treating it like a blog, and it really started to grow. So I ask you: is there a difference between blogging and writing? Did you approach It Sucked and Then I Cried the same way you approach your writing for Dooce?

You mean a difference between blogging and writing a book? Oh yes, indeed. Blogging is sprinting, the book is a marathon. They require a completely different range of muscles. I like to think blogging is its own little art form, and little is key here. There are days when I will write longer posts, but only when the story requires it. People sit down to read a blog because it’s a quick hit. There should be a present in every paragraph of a blog to make one really good.

JCO: What word or phrase comes to mind with regard to the following?

Kate Gosselin? Hair extensions.
Mommy Blogger? Makes Kathie Lee uncomfortable.
Glee? High school was painful.

JCO: Which one?

Flip flops or Crocs? (Even if the Crocs rep won’t hook you up with a freebie.) Flip flops all the way.
Ben Roethlisberger or Tiger Woods? Bill Clinton.
Dooce or Heather? Wondrous Being of Light and Splendor.

JCO: How did your association with HGTV come about? What will we see moving forward? Will you continue to crossover from the blog world to the TV world?

A consultant for HGTV sent me an email last fall asking if I had any interest in working with the network, and at first I thought it was a joke because I had been watching nothing else for the previous six months. I jumped at the opportunity because it had become my favorite channel. Right now I’m participating in mostly social media projects, but the on-air possibilities are brewing! Stay tuned!

So there you have it, the one and only Heather B. Armstrong. I hope y’all enjoyed our exchange as much as I did. Thanks, Heather!

Dooce, Mother’s Day, and HGTV

image courtesy of media bistro.

Okay, ready for this?

I was recently asked if I’d like to interview the one and only Dooce, then post that interview right here on my blog.

I know. Freaky.

It’s part of a promotional Mother’s Day blog tour sponsored by HGTV designed to draw attention to their recent association with the jogging bluggernaut the blogging juggernaut.

I’ll plan on posting my interview on Friday. I hope you’ll come by and check it out.

HGTV does, too, so they’ve asked me to give away some gifts they’ve been kind enough to provide (such as onesies and beach towels). All you have to do to qualify is leave a comment.

There are nine other bloggers who will also be featuring their interviews with Heather next week. Same deal there. Stop by, leave a comment and qualify for a prize.

Then, week after next, three commenters chosen at random from all ten blogs will win a Danby 8 bottle wine cooler.

To be completely candid? I got plenty of beach towels. And the trips are a little big for onesies. But I’d be super-down with rockin’ a Danby, and I bet you’d be, too. I really hope one of my readers is among the three who win one!

I’m excited to get the chance to go back and forth with Heather. There is, however, one small problem. I have to come up with ten questions to ask her, and I’m stuck.

On number one.

So I’m asking you for help. Please leave a comment telling me something you’d like to ask Dooce. I’ll let you know if your question is one of the ten I end up going with.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Part II of My Interview With Ron Mattocks

Last week, I ran part I of my interview with Ron Mattocks, author of the fantastic book, Sugar Milk, and the man behind the extremely popular “daddy blog,” Clark Kent’s Lunchbox. For those of you who’ve never read any of Ron’s stuff before, I recommend you check him out. It won’t take long for his distinct voice and superior writing to suck you in. I also recommend you buy his book. I had the pleasure of reading it before it was released, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reviewing it sometime next week.

In the meanwhile, check out part II of my conversation with one of my favorite writers, my buddy, Ron Mattocks.

Lots of people believe they have a book inside of them, but few ever actually write it. Why do you think that is? When did you decide to write yours? And what was it about Sugar Milk that demanded to be written?

Everyone has a interesting book in them that defines their uniqueness as a person, but where the separator comes is convincing yourself that people want to hear that story. Once you can do that then it takes courage, passion and discipline to get it on paper. That’s the next hurdle. I started Sugar Milk about six months after started feeling sorry for myself over losing my job. I felt like the experience had to written about because there were so many others like me out there being laid off and stuck at home with the kids. My hope was that Sugar Milk would show they weren’t alone in their feelings, and they could have fun with it too. I also wanted to have something to show for my time off, and more importantly, I wanted to have something tangible to leave behind for my kids to see that I loved them.

(The following question asked with tongue firmly planted in cheek.) Your man crush on the uber-sanctimonious Chris Martin of Coldplay is well documented. (Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but Ron does admit the he loves Coldplay, so you do the math.) Me personally? I’d rather mud-wrestle with Adam Lambert than sit across the table from that self-absorbed clown. He’s like Sting multiplied by Bono. Squared. What is it about him that evokes such drastically differing opinions? And what is it about him that you like so much?

Hahaha! That’s the most hilarious question anyone’s ever asked me! Actually I’m not a big Chris Martin fan. I like the band and the music, but beyond that, eh. I know a lot of people things they’re… a less than manly band, so really I play up my fandom as a self-effacing gimmick. Truth is  I’m more of a Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, sort of guy.

You and I have both written memoirs. Part of that process means putting yourself out there a little. Does that ever concern you? If so, how do you deal with those concerns?

Sure. It’s scary opening up like that. Friends and family in my hometown that haven’t heard from me in years are going to have their image of me shattered. Others are going to laugh at me for all my dating blunders and some are going to see me as a cry-baby over my depression-induced confessions. But being vulnerable also makes us real to others and that’s what people can relate to; so if people can find something in the story they can connect with then that’s the payoff in putting myself out there.

Now that you’ve been out there for a while, you’ve become pretty well-known by much of the blogging community. Do you find there are any mis-perceptions out there about you? If so, what are they?

I’m sure there are all kinds of mis-perceptions about me out there. Blogs to a large extent mimic our personalities, so if there are mis-perceptions about me with those I have physical contact with then I’m sure there are mis-perceptions about me in the blogosphere. But if there are any consistent ones out there, I don’t know what they would be. Why, what have you heard?

Any advice for new bloggers out there?

Of course this is just an opinion, but the maxims I’ve learned over three years of this is: 1, Find/fit into a community; 2, forget about compensation; 3, focus on good content.

Beach or mountains? Boxers or briefs? Steak or chicken? Drama or comedy?

Mountains with water view. Boxer-briefs. Chicken Fried Stake. Damady. – I pride myself on seeing both sides of an issue.

What is Sugar Milk about? One sentence.

How many conjunctions can I use? Okay. Clueless dad liberally uses sense of humor to overcome life obstacles and selfishness to become a better father and stronger person.

Thanks to you, John for having me and to John’s readers for reading my drivel.

Ron, the pleasure was all mine. And thank you, my good man, for all your fine work.

The Man of Steel Has Irons in the Fire

I didn’t begin blogging regularly until this past November and to say I was unsure of the lay of the land would have been putting it mildly. It didn’t take long, however, for me to find a plethora men who, like me, were blogging primarily about their family. One of them was Ron Mattocks.

As it turned out, Ron and I have a couple of things in common. We’ve both written a parenting memoir. We were both award-winning sales executives in corporate America who went on to drastically different jobs. We’re also both step dads. Ron has two step daughters who live with him in Houston as well as three biological kids (sons) who live with their mother in Chicago.

When not tending to his fatherly and duties, Mattocks is probably writing, whether it’s for Houston Family Magazine, or for his wildly popular blog Klark Kent’s Lunchbox. And let’s not forget his book. I’ve had the pleasure of reading Sugar Milk, and it’s fantastic. I’ll be proudly reviewing it in a couple of weeks. But first, just in case you haven’t heard of him, I thought I’d introduce Ron to you via the following interview.

So sit back, relax and enjoy and learn a bit more about my friend, Ron Mattocks.

Ron enjoying a glass of Sugar Milk

1) You don’t have primary custody of your biological children. In fact, they don’t even live in your state. Is it hard having more contact with your step children than your biological children? What types of problems, if any, does this pose, and how do you deal with them?

Yes, there are problems, all on my end. The biggest is this feeling of guilt that sometimes comes over me when I think about all the effort I’m putting into the girl’s emotional wellbeing and it hits me that I’m unable to do the same thing at the same level of effort for my boys. For example, I’ll take my one daughter to therapy weekly and in the back of my mind, I’m wishing I could be this involved with my two oldest sons and the issues they are having in school.

2) There’s a part of Sugar Milk where you discuss the town you used to call home, Chicago, versus the town you currently live in, Houston. Are you a bit conflicted when it comes to the two?

There’s no conflict. The people in Houston might hate me, but given the choice, I’ll take Chicago almost any day. H-town is great and my closest friends in the world live here, but my kids live near Chicago which trumps all. Plus I miss the seasons.

3)  You had a post in late January, Why I “Hate” Mommy Bloggers, that blew up. As I read the (umpteen jillion) comments it received, it seemed some readers took away different meanings from it. Care to clear the air?

Ha! Yeah, there were really only two points I was trying to make: 1, mommy bloggers deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve created and 2, dad bloggers should look to their example and focus on good content first and money secondary. Most readers got it. That was a fun post. (PS. I don’t hate Dooce either. Love or hate her she deserves respect for her contributions.)

4) Do you think there’s a difference between blogging and writing? And if so, do you consider yourself a blogger or a writer?

People blog for all kinds of reasons—to sell products, to inform, to build community, to have fun—the list goes on. A large group of bloggers blog with the idea of being writers, and technically all bloggers actually are writers; so I guess it really centers on the motivations like those I already pointed out. Yeah, there are bloggers and there are bloggers who are writers because their motivation is to use their blog as a means of building a platform (followership) for their larger body of written work. Although, a portion of my posts are just that—posts, my motivation has always been to build a platform by offering well-written and entertaining content. Hopefully that’s the case.

5) Tell us about your upbringing. What was your family life like while you were growing up?

I grew up in a very traditional blue-collar family. My dad owned a chain of farm animal feed stores before becoming a master electrician. Mom was a homemaker until me and my three younger sisters left home; then she worked at a couple different jobs to keep busy. I worked in my dad’s feed mills from the age of 12 which was labor intensive work for a scrawny kid like myself. My parents sacrificed many wants and needs to send me and my sisters to a parochial school. I lettered in soccer and basketball and was named to all-state teams for both from my freshmen year on up. We are very religious so on top of school our family was involved in church on a regular basis. Basically, it was an all-American upbringing steeped in small-town values which have since sustained me in the big bad world.

*   *   *

So there you have it, part I of my interview with Ron Mattocks. Come back by next Tuesday for part II when Ron will tell us why he’s smitten with Cold Play (kidding?), as well as offer up some fantastic advice for newer bloggers.

Waiting for the Click

I could invent the cure for cancer, balance the budget, or circum-navigate the globe on a kick-ass tricycle that doubled as a dingy, but to most of you, I’d still be known as “that guy with triplets.” Accordingly, you might be surprised to learn what I looked like just a few short years ago. The picture then was drastically different than the picture now.

So what changed? Tough to say. But whatever it was, it began on a safari in South Africa. I suppose you could call it my “click” moment. That’s certainly what my close friend Leslee Horner would call it.

Today, I’m proud to be a small part of Leslee’s blog, Waiting for the Click. Before I drop the link, there are two things about Leslee you need to know. First–of all the wonderful people I’ve met since I started blogging back in November, none have made an impression on me like she has. Second–in a blogoshpere filled with countless people doing their best Dooce impersonations, Leslee has the beauty, talent, and guts to do her own thing. Her blog is unique, and, like her, it gives thought to thinking. Simply put, it’s excellent, and I highly recommend it.

Click here for my click story. It will tell you how I purposefully set out to change the way I look. Then click on some of Leslee’s other posts and you’ll quickly see why I’m such a fan.

Thanks, Leslee!

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