The I know something you don’t know disease

When I was a kid in the 60s, my classmates and I often chided each other with that little catch phrase. We then proceeded to brag about what that something was, and how knowing it made us better than those who didn’t. And I suppose that was okay, given we were eight years old at the time. As an adult, however, I don’t find it okay, especially when it originates from other adults.

Let’s face it, we all know someone who purports to know everything about every thing. Those aren’t the people I’m addressing here. They only hurt themselves because when they’re called on to give specifics, it turns out they don’t know all that much after all. The type of people who ruffle my fur, so to speak, are those who are knowledgeable about a certain subject and insist on flaunting the fact in front of others who know nothing about it. They know something you don’t know—and they have no intention of clueing you in because if they know something you don’t it makes them feel superior.

Now really, how ridiculous is that? Why would it make anyone feel good about themselves to know they have a skill they could easily pass on to friends but opt not to just so they can brag about it?

Glance to the right and you will see our new page, “Reading downloaded books is easy!” Obviously if you know how to download a book off the net and read it, you already know it’s easy. But what if you’ve never done it before? Think about the first time you tried to ride a bike. Most of us fell off several times before we learned to balance on two wheels. We weren’t born knowing how to ride, we had to learn.

Six months ago, I knew absolutely nothing about blogs. Now I have one. How did I do it? By scouring You-Tube for videos about blogging, reading through support pages and forums, asking questions. While doing all of that, I came across some helpful people. I also ran into some real jerks. People that berated me for asking such a stupid question, or pointing out that I was in the wrong forum for support on that topic. And it wasn’t just me. I read through numerous comments where those asking the questions were made to feel as if they were total idiots for having asked something that they obviously should have been born knowing the answer to.

Be assured that no one will ever be berated on this blog for asking any questions, be they about me or Julia, our books, our blog, or anything else we might be able to help you with. We value each and every person who visits our site, and thank you very kindly for stopping by. Or, as Elvis would say, thank you, thank you very much.

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Do writers need heroes?

I suppose that depends on your definition of hero. For me, it’s someone who inspires me to improve myself both as a writer and a person.  I’ve had many heroes over the years—some celebrities, but most just regular folks. Today I’m going to talk about the two celebrities who have most impacted my life: Elvis Presley and Kobe Bryant.

Yes, I know they couldn’t be more different. Nonetheless, each has inspired me in his own way. When I was a kid growing up in a tiny Wisconsin town with my grandmother, Elvis became my inspiration. Here was an incredibly determined boy from dirt poor Tupelo, Mississippi, who had overcome numerous hardships to become the most famous singer in the world! Elvis wasn’t afraid to chase his dreams by following his heart. “I don’t sound like nobody,” he told Marion Keisker that day he walked into Sun Records. And boy, was he right. Today, nearly 33 years after his death, thousands of people are still trying to look and sound like him.

My history with Kobe is different. In fact, I used to hate the guy. Thought he was a ball hog and full of himself. Ironically, all of that changed on January 22, 2006—the night I saw him drop 81 points on the Toronto Raptors. For those of you who don’t follow the NBA, that’s the second highest point total ever scored by one player (second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game on March 2, 1962). An impressive feat to be sure, yet it wasn’t so much the point total that inspired me as the effort behind it. The Lakers were far outplayed in the first half of that game, losing to an inferior team at home. Obviously Kobe wasn’t happy about that, so he took charge of the situation. And I mean took charge. Second half box score: Bryant 51 points, the Raptors (as a team!) 41.

Bottom line, Kobe Bryant hates to lose. Since becoming a fan, I’ve learned a few things about him as a person. He goes to the gym every day at 5:00 a.m. to work on his game. He plays hurt. (Broken finger? No problem. Back spasms? So what. The flu? Forget about it.) He plays hard. He plays to win. And he does all that because playing basketball was and is his dream. Kobe, like Elvis, has achieved great success by having followed his heart. Basketball experts will continue to debate who’s the best player in the NBA, but for me it’s a no-brainer because there’s no other player in the league today who puts 100% of himself out there every single time he takes the court. Just as Elvis gave his all every time he took the stage to sing for his fans.

Elvis and Kobe have taught me dreams can be achieved as long as I keep believing in myself. I might still be waiting for my ship to dock, but at least I have days when I can see its bow burning through the fog.