The Tragedy of Bert

Our Tragic HeroFor the last six days I’ve been sick. I’ve had a fever that kept coming and going, a non-stop cough and I felt really weak. I slept away pretty much my entire weekend. Actually, my house has been the perfect storm for illnesses, with my son recovering from pneumonia and my daughter dealing with croup… but enough about them, let’s get back to me.

So while in one of my fever moments I started having a weird debate with myself.

Granted, this happens a lot but more so when a fever is included. And after one memorable (fever-induced) debate I have come to this conclusion.

Bert is the most tragic character in all of the Disney films.

Yes, I am talking about Bert, the lovable bloke from Mary Poppins. The one always up for an adventure and a song and dance. That Bert. And, yes, he is more tragic than Cinderella’s dad (who I still think was murdered by the step-mother) and all of the other lost parents in their cartoons (which is another good reason you don’t want your daughter to be a princess). Bert takes the cake and I carefully constructed this argument to prove my point.

This will not be a jolly holiday. Continue reading

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New for Kindle! MEGAN, a real-world fantasy adventure with a big imagination!

MeganI’m proud to announce that my novel MEGAN was just released for the Kindle! It can be found on amazon via this link (http://amzn.com/B00MUEAW48).

I love the format of this book.  I’m sure most of us—as children or even now as adults—have made up worlds within our imaginations and spent hours daydreaming or play acting what occurs in our imaginary worlds.  Our protagonist, Megan, is stuck in a boring job, with coworkers she barely coexists with, with a boss she hates, and nothing interesting or exciting happening in her life.  She escapes this monotony and the dreary reality of her life by imagining the world of Prosperity. -Definitely Not For the Birds

Published by iPublish Press, MEGAN is the story of Megan Wane. To me and you, she is just a normal worker in a drab office, but in her imagination there exists an entire world, one she has escaped into ever since she was a child. It is the land of Prosperity and it is filled with dragons, castles, trolls, moon people, and wizards, And in Prosperity, Megan is a princess and a super hero. MEGAN is the story of her worst day and how Prosperity saved the real her.

If you will like to learn more about this novel you can do so on this site. There is an excerpt as well as a post about the writing of it (here). And, as AN EXCLUSIVE for the Kindle version, it contains a brand-new preface to the book written by… well… me.

I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. I enjoyed it! -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

Grab a copy today, tell a friend, tell a dozen! You can get your copy on amazon here. I hope you like the book!

Running Shoes

Running ShoesWhen I was eight years old my family was hoodwinked by our local newspaper.

The journalist decided that he wanted to do a story about a runner and his family, so he collected three different families for interviews. It sounded fairly innocent, benign, but the first warning sign should have come to us when he had us pose for a front image for the story.

He had me and my little brother sitting on a curb, holding a sign (I believe it said “Go Dad”) and looking sad as my dad ran by in a blur.

A few days later the story came out with our sad expressions filling up almost an entire page. The journalist cherry-picked quotes, creating an image that runners when they run take time away from their families. Personally, we were all disgusted by the story, and to this day I like to imagine there is a ring in Dante’s Inferno for journalists like that. (I imagine it would involve them all interviewing each other and seeing their own words taken out of context.)

The fact is I never lost anything by my dad being a runner. If anything it taught me the importance of being healthy and exercise. Yeah, running was not my thing and my dad had to begrudgingly accept that (I lean towards biking more), but at least I do exercise. And as a teenager I would bike alongside him as he ran and talked. My dad was always known for talking while running. Continue reading

The Christmas Accordion: Holiday 2012 Thoughts

I have three memories around my second grade teacher, Mr. Nyenhuis.

The first involved the time he dumped Dan Wheeler’s desk on the ground, showing what an absolute mess it was. Seriously, there was a smell coming from it that we all had to find out about. It couldn’t be natural.

The second memory was around my broken wrist. It was my first (and only) broken anything and I had to get up in front of the class and tell everyone about it. I remember the feeling of all of my fellow classmates’ eyes on me and their excitement as I got closer and closer to the moment I fell off the bars on a backyard play set (I remember doing an incredibly inaccurate “crunch!” noise). To this day, I point to that moment as one of the defining ones that turned me towards storytelling.

The last memory involved Mr. Nyenhuis, the holidays, and Christmas.

See, for every year I was in elementary school, on the last week of school before Christmas, we had a tradition at Parkview Elementary. All of the kids were led out to the hallway for a daily sing-along. Continue reading