October 5, 2010

Push Ahead

Filed under: Inspiration, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — jblairbrown @ 6:47 pm

It happens to the best of us. We have a bad day.     We feel trapped…like we’re struggling and no one knows (or cares) about our pain.

Just push ahead.

We all have our hard-luck stories:

Abusive relationships. Childhood trauma. Lost jobs (and wages).


Just push ahead. It’ll get better. No, I can’t say when, just that it will.

I saw a movie years ago where a guy paid another guy to “off him.” (He was ultimately depressed.) It was a comedy (because nothing spells comedy like a good, old-fashioned suicide). Anyway, the potential killer says (I’m paraphrasing): “Listen, I got no problem with doin’ the job, but what if, on the day after I kill ya’ comes all the answers to your problems?”

I guess I’m thinking of the awful things that possessed people to commit suicide over these past few weeks: the gay college student who jumped off the bridge; the father who killed his family and himself over financial concerns…and so many others.

If only they’d held on just a little while longer.

So these are my words of wisdom this “go ’round”: Just push.

…better days are just ahead.


August 2, 2010

Bill Cosby is NOT Dead!

I never understood the rumor mill. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve contributed to the mill in my younger days (admittedly that was a l-o-n-g-g-g time ago!), but as of late, I think the rumor mill just stinks…like some putrefied raw fish head left baking on the sidewalk in the July heat.

Bill Cosby: NOT dead!

THAT’s what I think of the rumor mill today, especially when it comes to falsehoods like the latest “Bill Cosby death” rumor.

Who starts a rumor like that – and for what? Is there some understated benefit to reporting Cosby’s death that I don’t know about? I mean for most of us who never knew him? I understand his family and friends benefiting (the man’s loaded!) – But the rest of us? What’s in it for us?

It puts me in mind of Mark Twain’s statement, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Indeed, sir.

Cosby is the latest in a long line of celebrity victims who were pre-deceased before their actual time. I remember the Whitney Houston death rumor.

...one hot mess!

Now in defense of the rumor mill, Houston’s behavior (and her appearance) gave more credence to the rumors than they general do…they just never came to fruition. Thankfully.

There was also Paul McCartney’s reported death back in the 60’s (no doubt girls in the U.S. and abroad were fainting out of hysterics over that one!); Eminem’s deadly car crash in 2000; Paris Hilton’s unfortunate demise is 2007; John Goodman’s 2005 “fatal heart attack,” which was even accompanied by an obituary; and too many more to mention.

Gone too soon

I don’t know which is worse: reporting a false death – or not allowing the (truly) dead to rest in peace. I remember my daughter trying to convince me that Tupac was still alive…he’d only left the country to start a new life. There are the extremely devoted Elvis fanatics – rivaled only by the “it-cannot-be-true!” fanatics of Michael Jackson.

Remember the endless rumor that President John F. Kennedy was really hidden away for several years following the Texas shooting (as in the film “Dave” starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver)? This one left me bewildered as a kid.

And that’s the danger in rumors…people tend to believe in them. But again, what value is there in creating these falsehoods and does anyone ever give thought to what such rumors do to the family and friends of the so-called “deceased”?

In short, I’ve concluded that folks who have nothing better to do than to start a rumor of someone else’s death, AND their counterparts (those who refuse to let the dead rest in peace) should all GET A LIFE! (And yes, the pun is intended.)

July 29, 2010

The beat goes on (or When Kindness is Contagious)

I recently had the pleasure of doing business with Ken Canion of Greensboro, NC.

Canion is a former contestant on NBCs The Biggest Loser. He’s also a motivational speaker and the author of several books and audios. Doing business with him is an opportunity and a pleasure (we writers don’t often get BOTH at the same time).

I was introduced to Canion by another client, Eric Legette, author of the book “Closing the Curtain on Baby Mama Drama”.

I’d known Eric only since last fall when I interviewed him for a piece for Regal magazine (which was followed by my review of  his Baby Mama book). Since that time he and I remained on cordial terms, calling one another periodically to catch up, professionally speaking.

When Eric needed a press release a while back, I offered to do it for him at no cost. He’s a great guy with a great story to tell and I wanted to assist in any way I could.

He responded in kind.

A few months ago, Eric was to attend a function where Canion was speaking. He insisted that I send him some writing samples for Canion’s review – just in case he was looking for a writer. Turns out he was. Canion contacted me about a week later and we began working together.

About a month later Canion referred me to someone else…someone with ‘ever-after’ possibilities (professionally, I mean). In fact, in just a few weeks I’ll be writing all about this young lady and her new Web site (so stay tuned).

But here’s the strange thing: I have yet to meet any of these folks ‘in real life,’ having only spoken with them over the phone. But it just goes to show that what you throw out to others often is reciprocated.

And so the beat does go on…and on…and on. Indeed, kindness is contagious.

July 23, 2010

Everything requires balance

Filed under: Business, Entertainment, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — jblairbrown @ 7:39 pm

It’s easy to become excited about a new project, an exciting client, financial prospects, etc. – especially when you feel that the client will propel your business into the stratosphere (or blogosphere as it were).

Still, balance is required to accomplish anything great. For instance, this week was big for me with some GREAT breakthroughs with two of my clients. In fact, the ideas kept coming…and coming…and…

…before I knew it the week was over and I now have a pile of scribbled legal sized yellow papers up to my thick, fat, sleep-apnea neck! That’s great – yes – but here’s the problem: I now have to CARRY THEM OUT!

I don’t mind the work. (To paraphrase the late, great Ray Charles, ‘That’s why I do what I do, baby!’) It’s just that…suddenly I’m seeing that family picnic at the lake fading off…and that newly-released film will just have to wait.

What I should have done was explain to each client that my timeline would not allow me to start on ‘that particularly’ project until Monday. I should have remembered that I’m simply human – and that I, even I – need a break too.

I can hear my ‘business partner’ Chef Gordon Ramsay saying, “Madame! What are you doing?! You ‘cont’ [“can’t”] accomplish anything without prioritizing. You simply ‘cont’ [“can’t”]!”

In short, I should have remembered: everything requires balance.

Maybe I’ll start on that “balance thingy” next week…

July 19, 2010

Chef Gordon Ramsay: my business partner (if only he knew it)

I’m not easily swayed, but I have to admit: One day while bored out of my wits I logged onto Hulu.com and – on a whim – started watching Hell’s Kitchen (season 5) with Chef Gordon Ramsay.

The only reason I did so was because my twin sister June is totally head-over-heels in love with the angry, talented Brit and has boasted of his skills since he invaded America.

Yeah, whatever. I’ll give it a whirl, I thought. I can always turn it once he starts getting on my nerves.

But somewhere between “You idiot!” and “Dumb bleeping cow!” I became fixated. What began as a ‘nothing-else-to-do-on-a-Friday-afternoon’ stint turned into a weekend-long delve into the madness of one of the world’s finest culinary minds.

I ended up watching every online episode Hulu.com had to offer during the following week, including the current season of Nightmare Kitchens, which I also have never watched.

Yeah, I’m hooked. But not because of why one might think. It isn’t that I care so much about cooking (I’m not much of a cook and am not interested in learning). Rather, I could hear “(Yea) Chef” screaming in my ear, “Not good enough, Juice! You’ve got to do better,” as I started working on my own projects.

It’s easy to become complacent when you work alone from home. No one looking over your shoulder, no one micromanaging; those are the good points to working from home.

The down side is that there’s no one to say, “Seriously, Juice? You can’t do any better than that?” or (ala Chef Ramsay) “Is this some bloody joke, woman? Do you seriously think you belong here?!”

These days, as I’m drawing up a proposal or developing a PR/marketing plan or any one of a dozen projects I might have going on at any given time, I imagine Chef Ramsay standing over me, with that evil “make-one-wrong-move-and-you’re-outta-here” stare.

Sometimes you need that kick in the backside. At least I do. And Chef Ramsay is just the one to do it. But that’s what business partners are for.

…if only he knew it.

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