Friday, November 18, 2011

Countdown to The Living Wills

In the days leading up to the December 1st release of "The Living Wills", we'll be giving you little hints and previews of what you will find in the pages of this exciting new novel by Eckhartz Press authors Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer.

Actor William Petersen (CSI) noted in his recommendation of "The Living Wills" that it was a true Chicago novel.

Here are a few of the Chicago locations, and the chapters you'll find them...


Beverly

Chapters 9, 20, 23, 31, 35, and 52




Jefferson Park

Chapters 10, 33, and 58





Roscoe Village

Chapters 15, 27, 53





And, of course, there are many more Chicagoland locations in this authentically Chicago novel. Available very soon from Eckhartz Press.

Sveum reaction

From my e-mail box and Facebook page...

AA writes: "Isn't Sveum the new drug from Pfizer? I thought I saw an ad for it. Featured two guys sitting in side by side bathtubs looking out at Wrigley Field. But maybe that was something else."

RS writes: "No truth to the rumor that the Cubs are replacing their W flag with a V."

BP writes: "When Dale Sveum was third base coach for the Red Sox a lot of fans were unhappy with him for sending too many runners who were ultimately thrown out at the plate. One joke circulating during the time when the Iraq War was in full operation mode was “Put Dale Sveum in charge of the Iraq War. He sends everyone home.”

Sveum!

Sounds like something my German mother would say, but no, it's the name of the new Cubs manager Dale Sveum. His press conference will be later today. (Phil Rogers has some great quotes from other Cubs managers when they took over the job.)

I personally think he'll make a svell manager. Hopefully the Cubs will sving the bats for him this season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Countdown to The Living Wills

In the days leading up to the December 1st release of "The Living Wills", we'll be giving you little hints and previews of what you will find in the pages of this exciting new novel by Eckhartz Press authors Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer.

Today we'll answer a question we've gotten quite a bit: Two authors on one novel? How in the world can that work?

Co-author Brendan Sullivan (photo) explains it in the book's author notes...

"This novel was conceived, developed and written in what we’ve come to learn is a fairly unusual way. “The Living Wills” was written through improvisation, brainstorming mind mapping and other ideation techniques, as an experiment in pure collaborative creativity. Rick and I had no pre-conceived ideas about the content of this novel, absolutely none. All we had was our own creativity, Rick’s wisdom and experience as a writer and a set of mutually agreed-upon rules, based upon my years as a professional improvisational actor and my extensive experience in applying these rules with corporate clients to improve their ideation, problem solving, team development and leadership skills.

These rules include true mutual respect, trust in yourself and your team, active listening, playfulness, being ‘in the moment,’ taking risks, supporting someone else taking a risk, accepting one another’s ideas, finding the positive and building on that, saying ‘yes…and’ first and creating a safe and healthy environment for all of this to take place.

I happen to have an awesome partner in creating this novel. Rick’s talent, experience and wisdom made this work. And there’s no replacement for that. The rules stated above are not a substitute for education, knowledge, experience and talent. But the rules tremendously increase the odds that the collaboration will be successful."

Astros Moving to American League?

According to the Tribune, the sale of the Astros is being held up by the Commissioner unless the new owner agrees to move the Astros to the American League. It looks like the new owner is willing to make that move.

You know what this means, don't you?

It means the White Sox still haven't won a World Series against a National League team since 1917.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

20 Things I Know About My Wife


I just posted my weekly Suburban Dad column to the City Mom blog at ChicagoNow. Because today is my 20th anniversary, this week's column relates 20 things I know about my wife.

You can read it here.

Happy anniversary, Bridget.

Countdown to The Living Wills


In the days leading up to the December 1st release of "The Living Wills", we'll be giving you little hints and previews of what you will find in the pages of this exciting new novel by Eckhartz Press authors Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer.


"The Living Wills" is about ripple effects...

A decision made in two seconds can change, damage, save or even end a life. Henry Stankiewicz made such a decision, and he is still dealing with the ripple effects over thirty years later. Can he and the people he affected now maneuver their way through a world of baristas and Army veterans, cartoon pirates and exploding port-a-potties, Canadian cowboys and bowling teams, office politics and young love, to find the strength to heal before it's too late?

Kid K

He's not a kid anymore, he's 34, but it sounds like Kerry Wood will be coming back to the Cubs for at least one more season.

The new guys like him.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Countdown to The Living Wills


In the days leading up to the December 1st release of "The Living Wills", we'll be giving you little hints and previews of what you will find in the pages of this exciting new novel by Eckhartz Press authors Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer.

"The Living Wills" may not set sales records, but if it's officially recognized as a new category, "The Living Wills" will set a Guinness World Record.


Are you ready to have your mind blown? OK, here goes.


"The Living Wills" mentions the name of this Canadian-born Cowboy-actor more often than any novel ever written.

Buy history. Buy "The Living Wills".

Available December 1st.

Thanksgiving Control Freak

Do you think you have control freaks in your family?

Not compared to this family.

I'm trying to imagine how I would react to these requests/demands. I'm sure I would do something of the trouble-making/pain-in-the-ass variety, but I suppose it depends on which demand was made of me.

Somebody to Love

45 years ago today, the Jefferson Airplane went into a recording studio in California and recorded their best song: "Somebody to Love". It came out on their best album "Surrealistic Pillow".

A few years after the song came out, they played it at Woodstock...

Hasta maƱana Aramis

He says he is done with the Cubs ("that door is closed") and his agent is mad at Bob Brenley (for comments he made about Aramis on the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN AM 1000)

Details are here.

Aramis does have a few more good years left in him, but the Cubs should be able to spend that money more wisely (namely on younger players...hopefully pitching). I think we may have some people in place now that may actually do that.

I think in the long run, Aramis will be remembered fondly in Chicago. He did have some pretty darn good years here. Let's not forget that he was the best 3B we've had since Ron Santo. But on a rebuilding team, there's really no spot for a 33-year-old third baseman asking for close to $20 million a season.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Countdown to The Living Wills

"The Living Wills" is scheduled to drop on December 1st. What is it about? Between now and the release date we'll be providing hints and excerpts.

CSI's William Petersen, who recommends the book on its back cover, was impressed by the authentic way "The Living Wills" portrays his hometown of Chicago. He writes: "It really brings the city of the broad shoulders to life, and makes me homesick."


An excerpt from Chapter 5: "Holy Smokes"...

Reed was always struck by the incongruities of Holy Name Cathedral. The inscription in the cornerstone read: “AD 1874—AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW—THOSE THAT ARE IN HEAVEN AND THOSE ON EARTH.” The inscription looked slightly worn, but not from age. Portions of those words had been riddled with bullets during the 1920s; collateral damage from the murder of gangster Hymie Weiss. A holy cathedral’s holy words forever holey.

Holy Name Cathedral also boasted a magnificent 210-foot-tall gothic spire, but the nearby high rises and skyscrapers like the John Hancock Center and the Bloomingdale’s Building now dwarfed it, seemingly laughing at the comparatively puny church, daring it to retain its dignity and majesty.

Every day between now and its release date, I'll be unveiling more elements of "The Living Wills".

Cubs Workout Cuban Star

According to this report in the Sporting News, the Cubs are going to workout Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes. He's considered the top star to come out of Cuba in years; a five-tool 26-year-old outfielder.


If they sign him, he would be the Cubs biggest Cuban star since one of my all-time favorites: Jose Cardenal.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column. This week's is about the most awkward conversation of my life...the day I asked my father in law for permission to marry his daughter.

You can read it here.