More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

Speaking to 2,000 people

What is the largest crowd you’ve ever spoken to? The largest audience I’ve ever spoken to in person was around 500 at a Little League opening day.

Whenever I speak to a group of any size, I like to pick someone out in the audience and talk to them for a few seconds. Then I go to another person. And another. This way, I keep eye contact with the audience. People think I’m talking to them personally, and the connection gives me energy. This is why I find public speaking a thrill.

This brings me to Twitter.

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20 things I regret

Selfie at Indie Author Day 2018We like to live without regret. We want to avoid doing stupid things, and we like to think the stupid things we did helped us grow and become better people. I know that if I went back and changed one bad decision or avoided one unfortunate situation, and I might not have the life I enjoy today.

But we all have things we regret doing or not doing. Things we wish we didn’t know about or wished we knew sooner. Here are 20 of the things I regret. Some are small. Some are big. All are things I know I can’t have a do-over. As you read them, think about the things you regret and what you’ve learned from them. Read more »

Art and connection

My readings at Fun A Day Reseda (Photo by Diane Siegel)At Fun A Day Reseda, I gave readings from two of my recent novels: my work-in-progress Snow in Los Angeles and my 2016 Fun A Day project, The Remainders. I also used the opportunity to talk about art, and the most important thing it offers, connection.

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Dressing like a “loser”

Me in a Los Angeles Rams jerseyMy wife suggested that I get a souvenir to celebrate the Rams making it to Super Bowl LIII. I told her I would wait until after the game since I already had Rams shirts to wear. I figured if the Rams won, I would rather get the World Champions gear. If they lost, I could pick up their stuff for half-price.

The Rams lost, and I was right: they had Rams stuff for half-price.

But why would I buy the jersey of the losing team? Specifically, why would I wear Jared Goff’s when he struggled during the game?  (And yes, I know the Rams didn’t wear that style of uniform in the Super Bowl.) Why would I break my own rule about buying a sports jersey when players get traded, teams move, and designs change?

Because the Rams’ loss in Super Bowl LIII reflects what I believe about achievement.

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You can’t kill love

Valentine's Day 2019My family is preparing for Valentine’s Day. My granddaughter has her L.O.L. Surprise valentines ready to hand out to her classmates. I’m sure our children are planning romantic evenings for their significant others. My wife and I will do something special. And we all look forward to February 15 when Valentine’s Day candy is on sale for half-price.

I must admit this Valentine’s Day has been hard for me. I know what this day also represents. But how do you tell your family you are mourning for people you never met who were killed on the other side of the country?

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