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Archive for September, 2007

Not so lost

Here’s one for the “men who won’t ask for directions” category.

I did an internship in Hermosillo, Mexico the summer following my junior year in college.  I met a professor at the university who had agreed to drive me to another professor’s home, where I would be staying.  We set off in his car and drove.  And drove and drove and drove.  When I started noticing familiar landmarks I asked the professor if he was having trouble finding the place.  He admitted that he was.  It wasn’t quite where he remembered it.  We drove around some more.

“Do we have a map we can look at?” I ventured.

“Oh no,” he replied.  “We are not so lost that we need a map!”

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I got the chance to read The Confessional by Jessica Powers earlier this week.  There’s no way I could do justice to it in this short post–it’s quite a book.  But I wanted to mention that Jessica was planning to give a talk at Cathedral High School in El Paso, the school which inspired the backdrop for her book, but the principal dis-invited her on the grounds that her book doesn’t promote Catholic values.

I think the “problem” with the book is that it talks about life–maybe a little exaggerated (I hope) in some instances, but for the most part horrifyingly realistic.  It would be naive to think those things don’t happen in school just because it’s a Catholic school.  In other words, I don’t think the guys who attend Cathedral are getting exposed to anything they don’t already know about by reading the book.  The teachers might be, though.  It’s just a different world for teenagers today than it was when I was a teenager and I’m not that old.  If anything, Jessica’s book and nixed speaking engagement would have provide a way for students and teachers to talk about what’s really going on in life, and I can only see good coming out of that.

Censorship isn’t always a bad thing for a book.  Remember all the public burnings of Harry Potter books?  If I ever write a novel, I’d rather have it censored than ignored.  I predict Jessica’s going to do quite well with this novel and any subsequent ones she publishes.  Censorship makes people curious and curious people want to know more.  Censorship gets your work talked about and creates its own buzz.  Publicity is a good thing for an author, no matter how you get it.

Great job on your first novel, Jessica.   I’m looking forward to more in the future.

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My first invoice

I mentioned before that I have written for a special issue in the Fort Collins Coloradoan. When it was all said and done, I submitted three stories, and they are going to come out in print this weekend. My editor emailed me that it was time for me to send him an invoice so I could get paid. So I had a little fun making up a simple template and filling in the specific work I did, along with the agreed upon price.

Now I feel like a real freelance writer, sending out my first invoice. Maybe I should frame my copy or something. I’ll feel even more like a real freelancer when the check comes in.

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Please welcome…

My dad, Jacek Popiel, started blogging last month.  You can drop in and say hi here.

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Papa!

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A wise investment

Nothing like curling up with a good book on finances.  I’ve read quite a few and gleaned interesting information from each of them.  I’ve also been inspired by many wealth building ideas, none of which I’ve felt I had the funds to actually implement.  It really does take at least a bit of money to make money.

Then the phone rang this past Friday and it was a representative from the company that holds my home mortgage checking up on me.  We had a great conversation and he recommended Missed Fortune 101 by Douglas Andrew.

This book stands out from the others I’ve read.  First I didn’t come away from it wishing I’d known all that at age 20.  It turns out that if I do implement the author’s strategies in the next few years, while I’m in my mid to late thirties, I’ll actually be off to a great start.  Second, I actually do have enough money to get going.  It doesn’t require a ton of extra startup money, just some smart redirecting of existing funds.  Third, you don’t have to do anything beyond the ordinary things most people do–work a job, pay taxes, have a mortgage (and even that is optional), invest a bit on the side.  In other words you don’t need to write a book, buy real estate, or start a business.  You just think differently about the money you already have coming in.

The time I spent reading Missed Fortune 101 has the potential to turn into one of the best financial investments I have ever made.

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