ME STUFF, my new book, is coming soon! Cover reveal!

Me Stuff, front coverToday, I am excited to share with you the cover for my new book, Me Stuff! This was a family affair, created by my talented photographer bro, Adam Emperor Southard. (If you would like to learn more about what he can do for you, check out his site at BestLAHeadshots.com.)

Me Stuff is a collection of some of the more popular and entertaining posts from this site, created for my readers (yes, you!). If you want an example of what you will find in the book, here is a link to one of my favorite tales in it- “The Night I Stopped Being a Model.” Enjoy!

Me Stuff is coming soon!

Here is the back cover from the book:

“Me Stuff contains the c0llected gems of Scott Southard… a champion for us all. His words always contain wisdom and whimsey too.” – Richard Sutton, Sailletales.com

“The recipe for success, witty observational humor, heartwarming honest, mixed with two parts creativity.” – Paula Acton, Scribblings of an Aspiring Author, paulaacton.com

Thieves, psychics, evil poets, mad men, car companies, literary greats, tornadoes, models, vasectomies, bankers, children, Satanists, princesses, truckers, comics, rock stars, strippers, superheroes…

Me Stuff is a collection of some of the most popular blogposts from Scott Southard’s writing site “The Musings and Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard.”

Made for both the fan and the newbie, Me Stuff has something for everyone… Well, except for those who don’t like entertaining stories. This book can’t help those people.

“Scott D. Southard is a rare breed of author. His stories are unique and deeply personal, always moving, never trite, never trendy.” – Julia Barrett, author and blogger, juliarachelbarrett.net

Stay Tuned!

The Importance of a Toe: A Love Story

A Foot, Not MineI know my wife will forever love me because of a toe.

My wife and my relationship was always a whirlwind, definitely something that some of our more conservative friends and family would wonder about, never daring really to say anything to our faces (and if they ever did, chances are, we probably would have laughed about it later). Of course, knowing both or our personalities, it was not surprising that we would be so serious, so quickly. And in a matter of months, my future wife was living with me in an apartment in Los Angeles.

My wife and I are both from Michigan, but didn’t meet until we were both far from that state. Through a mutual friend we immediately hit it off, our personalities perfectly in sync (with enough sarcasm included for the spice). The passion and drive I have for my writing and literature, she is mirrored with her own artform, dance.

I’m one of those lucky enough to be married to my best friend.

Our apartment, our first home, was located in Koreatown, off of Wilshire, nearby the old Ambassador Hotel, which at that time was still standing, but a shell of its former glory. I used to explore the history of it online and tell my future wife about the celebrities that once walked its halls, performed, and partied. I always liked to imagine it filled with partying ghosts in that legendary Coconut Grove while a jazz band played. Some claimed to hear the band while walking past the building, but I never did sadly. I just found the empty and lost history of it fascinating. It could have been such a massive tourist trap if presented right, but no one seemed to care (Los Angeles was moving too fast to ever consider looking back) and today the building is gone. Continue reading

The Madness and Joy in Blogging, Writing, Etc., Etc.

WindOne of the perks of running your own site is that you are your own boss. And how strict you want to be with yourself is your decision. Some are mean with themselves. Me? I’m an old softie! Do I want cookies? Sure, here you go…

I once wrote a post that gave some advice to bloggers on topics and what not to do. One of the points in the “What not to do” category was to discuss how tired you are. Frankly, everyone gets tired, and writing about being too tired to write really doesn’t make sense. So my advice was to take a breath and come back when you have something else to say.

Now me? I’m not saying I’m tired, but definitely something is going on with me creatively. The winds are shifting and on Sunday I decided to throw my cards into it and see where they land.

1. Originally my hope was to share a book over the summer, but I don’t know if that is going to happen now. I mean, I’m happy with the first draft but honestly, my creativity is really interested in another work. I went out this weekend to work on the planned book, but I ended up spending most of my time working on the new book and giggling my way through it.  Continue reading

My Indiana Jones Obsession

TempleThis last weekend marked the 30th anniversary of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. (Wow, that makes me feel old!) When it first came out, I was traumatized. That is not a joke. I had to be pulled out of the theater by my uncle. I went back in a few minutes later, and who can blame a young kid for needing a breath of fresh air. There was a lot of evil going on!

Honestly, looking back though I blame my uncle and aunt now more than the movie. I was not 13 and clearly the poster said PG-13. Whatever the case, I walked away from that film a big Indiana Jones fan, and I would consider myself more in his nerd camp than Doctor Who or Star Wars or anything else I ramble about on this site.

I have the hats, I have the ringtone of the theme, and I use quotes from Raiders all of the time (not that people really know that I do it). For a long time, I’ve dreamed of writing an Indiana Jones script. Seriously, I have piles of ideas. One stack (or file on the computer) is related to Harrison Ford still being Indy and older, the other is if we get to go back and have a younger Indy fight Nazis (and really, shouldn’t the character continue like a Bond? Technically there has been five actors to play the part. It’s hasn’t all been Harrison).

Below are three articles I have written where Indy has made an appearance. Actually, it has been a lot (A LOT) more, but I thought I would keep to just three for the time being. Enjoy!

Losing the Fedora: Is Indiana Jones Done?It looks like Indy might not be done! Rumor has it that something is in the works for the man in the fedora. This post is still a fun read since it breaks down a lot of my own experiences with the archeologist.

If I Could Wear a Halloween Costume. Not surprising, Indy is part of this discussion.

Losing Raiders. Back in 2010, I grieved when I became older than Indy was in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Let’s return to those happier (and younger) days.

Thoughts on Book Reviewing

BooksI’m coming up on the year anniversary since I started doing the book reviews for my local NPR station. Soon my twentieth appearance will be on WKAR’s Current State. (You can check out links to them here). I really love doing them, and I look at each of them as not just as an opportunity to share my opinion on a book, but to also educate the listener of how to read a book or what to look for. I have even been known to throw in facts about literature and its vast history.

What can I say? I love the artform. Books are my passion.

I’ve written quite a few posts on this site about book reviews today. The good, the bad, what not to do, the questionable things, the author experience. I thought I would share the links to four of those writing posts below and give some updates as well since when I wrote them. Enjoy!

The Thin Muddy Line of Online Book Reviews. All the problems I discuss in this article still happen all the time. And I still get requests to “exchange” reviews. It makes me so uncomfortable and I am surprised how many writers are okay with it. As an NPR reviewer, I could never, ever consider such an enterprise since it would put all of my reviews into question. But I wouldn’t have considered it even before I started this great gig! Whatever the case, whenever I get an e-mail or a tweet asking me to do this I get a sick feeling in my stomach and a little angry.

The Troll Under the Bridge: How to Write a Good Bad Book Review. Trolls don’t go away. But you know, I think a lot of people don’t realize that is what they are doing, or the impact it has on other people. It reminds me of the time when I was a kid and with a friend we called a 1-800 number on a milk carton asking what color their cows are that give chocolate milk (we were 8). It’s like that mentality.

Charging the Melancholy Dragon. A lot of my heart as a writer is out there in this post. I really discuss in some spots on the difficulties of writing and dealing with reviews (good and bad).

goodreads-buttonLoving Goodreads (And Some Reviewing Suggestions).  This is my most recent post on the subject. I still love the site, but I don’t know how it could be improved without some reviewers hired to review the reviewing (say that five times fast), or to “star” certain reviewers as being more “legitimate” and their reviews given more girth in the grading.  That last point is definitely something to consider.

 

Hey! I was the letter H in the #AtoZChallenge!

Me and TonyThis post is a day late since I have only recently gotten home from a vacation with the family. We just spent five days in the happiest place on Earth. Yup, I’m talking Disneyland. Want proof? Here is a picture of me with a surprisingly silent Tony Stark. (I have two posts planned for next week around Walt’s gift to the world, so stay tuned!)

The Masquerade Crew each April honors different bloggers that first are nominated by their readers. I was honored to be nominated by Marshall and Tracey Best (@ancumer) and I am this year’s letter H!

The H is to represent “Honesty” and “Humor” in my posts. Now, I’m sure my parents and maybe some ex-girlfriends will debate the honesty bit, but I do admit I do see a lot of eyes rolling when I make jokes here around the house. I must save the best material for my posts.

You can check out the page about me on The Masquerade Crew’s site here. And please, check out the other writers as well.

Thank you again for supporting my site Bests and all of my other fellow readers! This really means a lot to me! Thank you!

Panic in the Writing Mind

PanicI have always considered these the blessing moments.

For a few hours, every other Sunday or so, I escape from my life to my local coffee place. There I strip off all my titles—like parent, homeowner, overall responsible adult— and just write.

Three hours or so of writing bliss.

Typically, I come very prepared, never allowing myself to waste this miracle, this gift. I might work on a book or a blog post. Whatever the case, by the time I slowly (very slowly) pack up my computer, I feel spiritually satisfied. Like a box in my mental writing world has been checked. Yes, on the car ride home, I’m already considering what I have to do next (I am always planning), but it is not a stressful thing, more like a passing thought. A smallish fly in the room, not a bee to be swatted.

More importantly for my soul, these moments away from my normal world reminds me who I am. Or at least who I like to imagine I am. Scott Southard, that author dude. Like I said it is all magical in a way… until this moment.

Right here.

I, like a stupid, stupid, stupid idiot, forgot my jump drive. ARGH!

Continue reading

Hello to my now 1200 subscribers! And now for something completely different…

My heroesYesterday, my subscription list passed the 1200 mark!

So very cool! I hope each of you visiting this site continue to enjoy my writing. And I have a lot planned over the next few months, including a new book I hope to share over the summer.

I decided I wanted to do something different to celebrate this new milestone for my site. As some of my older followers know I used to do a lot of writing around radio drama. I’ve had quite a few radio comedy plays performed by different radio companies and I have even had a 10-episode radio comedy series produced. It was called The Dante Experience and was heard on a few NPR stations around this country. (You can learn more about the series and listen to all of the episodes on this page.)

One of my favorite comedies I have written for radio though has never been performed. It is called “The Classic Geography Club” and, as you will see, is VERY influenced by the work of Monty Python and Firesign Theatre. You can check it out exclusively below!

I hope you enjoy “The Classic Geography Club” and thank you for following my site!

Continue reading

A shout-out to my 1100 followers and a request to my readers!

ElsaThis weekend I passed 1100 followers on my blog. That is awesome! As many of you know who have been following  my blog for a while I usually do something silly when I reach a new 100 milestone.

Well, I did have one planned for this time. In a blatant overreach in self-promotion I was going to rewrite the lyrics to the popular song “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen to be all about my writing and posts. A total ego trip… in snow.

It would have been epic and very embarrassing. In other words, perfect. But I have decided to do something different. Actually, I’m writing to you my readers.

I’m preparing a book for you guys! It will be called Me Stuff  and it will be a collection of some of my more popular personal posts. My hope is to be done with the production of the book sometime in March.

Do you like my blog? Do you check it often? Do you have a favorite post? Why do you keep coming back? See, the thing is I want to know!

I would like to include quotes from readers of my site as part of the marketing around the book! Some might make their way onto the cover, most will appear on the future page for the book and any marketing I might do around it. Readers speaking to other readers is how I view it.

If you would like to say something about the site, my writing, etc., for Me Stuff that would wonderful. You can e-mail me here at AJAD.Southard@gmail.com.

I look forward to sharing this book with you. And thank you again for supporting my site!

The Happy Bliss of Dentistry

The Happy ToothI have always had a thing about dentists.

It’s not a fear, more like a slight terror fueled by judgment and pain.  Let me break that down a little more.

Cavities hurt and I dislike pain so I naturally associate the pain with the person who works in the mouth. I know it is like blaming the mechanic for my car breaking down, but I do it.

The judgment? Well, sometimes I feel like dentists harshly evaluate me and how I am overseeing the management of my own mouth. Has anyone else noticed this? When they are telling you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong, doesn’t a part of you feel like you are being lectured? Now, I can’t point to a specific moment when a finger was wagged in my direction or eyes were rolled, but I sense it. I know it is there. The hidden eye roll is always there.

Because of all of this, I had been very relaxed on my visits over much of my adult life. And sadly, over the last five years this has come back to bite me in the ass… or mouth… or something. I’m just trying to say I hate my teeth right now and there is biting and occasional pain involved with it.  The biting, I mean. Argh! Continue reading