Category Archives: good reads (& views)

1,001 People That Suck: Are you one of them?

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This promotional post is part of a blog book tour taking place around the web this week. If you’d like to learn more about the book tour, feel free to tweet up with Pam Margolis (aka The Unconventional Librarian), a sister Philly Social Media Mom and the author of this post.

Author Kerri Kochanski is fed up with people that suck. And, she's taking 1,001 of them on in her book of the same title.

Author Kerri Kochanski is fed up with people that suck. And, she’s taking 1,001 of them on in her book of the same title.

Kerri Kochanski, Author of 1,001 People That Suck is fed up with bad humanity and unkind behavior, and is “calling people out.” Championing kindness, tolerance, and understanding, the book “publicly shames” people who commit social crimes. As these crimes generally go unpunished, offenders fail to suffer a consequence, and thus, their bad behavior and unkindness continues. The book, however, delivers a consequence. It “officially” (and entertainingly) identifies 1,001 people who engage in bad humanity and unkind behavior, and labels them as “people that suck.” Pointing out humorous, serious, and questionable instances that are “really, just not right,” the book skewers offenders, and condemns them in the process.

“If you think people behaving badly is not an epidemic, it is,” says Kochanski. There are over 2 million entries on Google and over 6 million videos on YouTube that reference “people suck.” People are disturbed by bad behavior. And by ignoring, downplaying or accepting unpleasantness, we are creating serious, larger issues. Bullies are causing children to commit suicide; road rage is causing drivers to kill other drivers by running them off the road – even stalking, assaulting and killing them. The bad guys are starting to win, and the good guys need to do something. “We’ve reached a tipping point; enough is enough.”

Commiserate and engage in discussion on the book’s blog, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Unleash Your Potential: Mental Strength Coach Cara Bradley Q+A

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Unleash Your Potential by Finding Your SoulForce

Want to know how to unleash your potential at work, at home and on the field (or track, court, stage…), SoulForce author Cara Bradley reveals her insights in this compelling Q+A.

I don’t usually post work-related writing here, but I am so impressed with the mindset behind Philadelphia-based mental strength coach—and founder of Verge Yoga and Verge Athlete—Cara Bradley‘s forthcoming book (as well as her ability to articulate this so clearly and passionately), that I can’t resist sharing.

I think we all set aside goals (or simply ignore them) for a range of reasons, then one day, we wake up and realize that it’s now or never. And of course, goals come in all shapes and sizes, and levels of significance in our personal stories. Slowing down, dimming the noise and figuring out what you want—and are capable of—is the first step to realizing your full potential. Don’t take my word for it though… Once you read this Q+A, I suspect you’ll be first in line to buy Cara’s book, SoulForce, and to unleash your potential.

**Viewing tip: Click the frame in the bottom right corner of the SlideShare embed to enlarge text, and please pardon the few odd text placements that somehow occurred during the SS upload. I’ll get around to re-uploading…eventually.**

rediscovering poetry

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Head Off & Split

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand all weekend, you’ve witnessed some degree of reaction regarding the acquittal of George Zimmerman. And, whether through social media posts or during face-to-face conversations, you’ve probably absorbed a range of emotionally charged responses. Some may have resonated, others perhaps offended or surprised you. The latter describes my sentiment when stumbling upon a friend’s Facebook post featuring this poem by Harold Pinter. However, this post isn’t about the Trayvon Martin case. (I don’t have the guts to take that on, but am very happy others do.) This post is about poetry, lost and found. Here is where today’s post started:

God
(1993)

God looked into his secret heart
to find a word
To bless the living throng below.

But look and look as he might do
And begging ghosts to live again
But hearing no song in that room
He found with harshly burning pain
He had no blessing to bestow.

As I savored both my friend’s decidedly unique way of expressing his dismay over Trayvon Martin’s death, and the ethereal words penned by Mr. Pinter, my heart started purring.

The poem, with its subtlety and melodic cadence, stirred my senses in a way that was far different than the quips, barbs, reflections and rants I’d been reading since the announcement Saturday evening. It was the thrill of poetry, a literary genre that once captivated me, but somehow grew less important over the years. As a mother, I turned my kids on to Shel Silverstein practically at birth, but I woefully admit that poetry is something they learned more about at school than at home. But again today,  I was reminded about the power of a well-crafted poem. Perhaps your own passion for poetry needs to be reignited.

I reread “God” several times, then visited Mr. Pinter’s website to see what else I could find. Then the wires in my sleepy brain connected, and I recalled a recent conversation with my writing mentee regarding haikus and poet Nikky Finney, who I only discovered last year.

Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry, had been a guest on one of my favorite radio talk shows, Radio Times. Not only was she an engaging interviewee, with her straightforward, yet eloquent and clever responses to Marty Moss-Coane’s always excellent questions, her on-air poetry readings were delicious. If you can’t begin to imagine what I mean, listen for yourself. If you’re a writing instructor looking for a fresh repertoire of lively descriptions to share with your students, or need to work on improving your use of language in all forms of creative writing, you must get your hands on a copy of Head Off & Split stat.

I also learned that she’ll be speaking at Penn State on October 26th, as keynote for a “Celebration of African American Poetry.” I don’t know the ins and outs of attending university events as a non-student, but you can bet I am going to find out. Between her two 2012 NPR radio interviews and her National Book Award acceptance speech, it’s hard not to be inspired by and in awe of this incredibly bright, talented, passionate and compassionate writer and woman. I wonder what SHE is thinking about the Trayvon Martin case, and how she would weave her words to express her thoughts.


I hope that you will find a connection to her poetry just the way I did: fast and furious. And, if you’re not already a fan, Radio Times is your ticket to all kinds of memorable interviews, and people and topics to learn about on an elevated and intimate level.