Top 5!

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to return to regular blogging on at least a once a week basis. If nothing else, it keeps my writing skills honed. My delinquency began with the school year as classroom preparation and the grading of composition papers require so much of my time and energy. In addition, I’ve spent the last few months pitching my next novel to agents in the hope of returning to the traditional publishing model. There are currently two agencies which have expressed keen interest and are reviewing the novel, but the competition right now in publishing is intense, and although I have high hopes, I’m trying to maintain low expectations. Should I receive no offer of representation, I’m prepared to go the independent route once again.

For my first blog of the new year, I’ve been inspired by two sources: our love of lists and the Chris Rock film “Top Five.” I have not seen the movie, but the title got me to thinking about my own Top 5 moments in life. The tendency is to think that one’s own life is boring and uneventful compared to the lives of others he might follow on television, in magazines, or of Facebook. I feel, however, with my own life and Top 5 list as evidence, that most of us have led and are living far more interesting lives than we might think.

As a caveat, I need to say that I would rank even my worst days with my wife and kids as better than any of the experience on my list, and we’ll just accept that my wedding day and the births of my kids far outrank in importance and joy produced anything listed below. With that in mind, here it goes in reverse order:

#5 – Kayaking and hiking in the Adirondacks with some of my best friends. It was primordial.
#4 – Skinny dipping in the South Pacific Ocean. (That ought to make my kids and students cringe.)
#3 – Disembarking from an airplane in Orlando to attend a book event and being greeted by a driver holding a placard with my name on it. I always wanted to be that person.
#2 – The Ice Run of 2014. With nine friends, I ran from Catawba across the Lake Erie ice to Put-in-Bay. Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done but a whole lot of adventure and fun.
#1 – My trip with my wife to the Random House Headquarters on Broadway in NYC. I’ll never forget standing in the lobby waiting to be called up to the meeting with my editor and standing among hundreds of first edition classics published by Random and its imprints over its long history.I’ve never felt so simultaneously humbled and exalted.

Not much to write home to mom about, but, all-and-all, its a pretty cool list. It’s been and remains a good life. I’m looking forward to what’s to come in 2015 and hope to share much of it here with you. I’d challenge you to make your own list of Top 5 experiences; you might be surprised by just how interesting your own life has been.

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