On Starting a Newsletter, Writing a Book, and Mourning the X-Games

A couple months ago I teased y’all about a new, exciting newsletter for this blog, teasing you even further about a crazy book idea. I teased and I teased, and then I hit a writing wall while struggling to land work and move into a more ideal living situation.

And thus the dream appeared dead.

First, I want to apologize for all the teasing. It was my honest intention to start a newsletter last fall and just maybe have my book ready by the start of this year. But Life intruded, as he’s prone to doing from time to time.

Well STEP ASIDE, Life. If that’s even your real name.

Because it’s time to finally do this.

The Newsletter

TMZ: The Newsletter

What’s the point of a newsletter? you ask. Isn’t that what your blog is for? To talk about stuff?

To which I respond: Uh…

I suppose I could blog more about my book instead. But an email newsletter seems inherently more personal.

I mean, I’d be entering your hallowed inboxes. I’ll be sure to remove my shoes upon entry.

In all seriousness, though, my newsletter represents a chance to talk more exclusively about my upcoming book while my blog remains focused on…everything else. I’ll only send a couple updates per month, so no spamming to worry about.

Plus, by signing up you’ll receive a free copy of my book whenever it is indeed published! Isn’t that swell?

Click here for the fancy sign-up page, or simply enter your email address below! I’d be so very graciously grateful in a non-repetitive way. Shooting for my first newsletter to premiere later this week!

The Book

Writing a book isn’t some new “thing” for me: I’ve written many “books” — if that’s what you wanna call those poor deformed files sitting in the barren caves of my computer hard drive.

I’ve started and stopped and restarted and re-stopped many projects over the last four years. Some fiction, some nonfiction. Some gangly skeletons, some noticeably fleshier.

All unpublished.

I’ve been blogging for over a year now, and I’m long overdue to throw something more “official” out there. So I’m doing it. Taking a risk.

I’m writing an eBook. And I’m self-publishing the dang thing SOON. I don’t want to set an exact date just yet, but April would be lovely. It’s kinda my month.

I already have a decent draft, and by decent I mean it still needs a lot of work. BUT THAT’S OKAY. I’m ready to work.

So what’s my book about? My first newsletter will delve deeper into this topic (have you signed up yet??), but essentially, it’s a nonfiction collection of memoirs. Stuff I’ve only revealed to a handful of loved ones. Serious stuff.

It’s a bold endeavor. It’s a leap. But it’s who I am. My IDENTITY.

It’s been a long, bumpy road getting here, but it’s been worth it. So very worth it. It’s time to tell y’all that story.

And so I will.

Stay tuned.

The X-Games

Finally, the X-Games: something I never envisioned saying on this blog.

I was recently working out at my 24-hour gym after midnight (a blog post for another occasion), and I saw a news story on the TV that cut me to the core.

Caleb Moore. A 25-year-old extreme sports athlete. Killed in the X-Games.


Caleb Moore: 1987-2013

There’s something inherently impressive yet daunting about being 25. I’m there now. It’s a complicating age. A number that even sorta appears in the subtitle of my upcoming book.

As much as I long for Eden and all that jazz, I can’t imagine ceasing to exist. Not at any age, but especially not at 25. Not with parents and grandparents staring over my coffin.

You look at Caleb Moore’s pictures, and he still looked like a kid. People look at me and still think I’m 17, even with the pseudo-beard.

And yet Caleb Moore undoubtedly died doing what he felt he was placed on this planet to do. And despite the horrific weight of this tragedy, I actually admire someone going out that way. Dying amid their passion.

Several years ago, one of my heroes — Phillies Hall of Fame announcer, Harry Kalas — collapsed in the announcer’s booth and later died. Just hours before the start of his beloved Phils game.

How tragic; how beautiful.

I mourn for Caleb Moore’s loved ones. I admittedly knew nothing of the guy while he lived, and yet he’s impacting me now. Inspiring me to make the most of my years before I do, in fact, cease to exist.

To do what I love.

It starts with a newsletter.

Then a book.

Then greater things still.


  • Rebecka

    You sir, are more than welcome in my inbox!

    • TMZ

      Awesome! *props feet on Rebecka’s e-couch*

  • Lulu

    “And yet Caleb Moore undoubtedly died doing what he felt he was placed on this planet to do.” What a sad statement. He was placed on this planet to do dangerous things? His death accomplished what? He promoted the Kingdom how? Did he even know the Lord? No? Do you know where he will spend eternity? I’m sorry – I don’t feel this young man is worthy of our praise for dying needlessly. Life is a gift from God. Telling ourselves he died doing what he loved to do is just a way to make us feel better. I feel sorry for his family – it was an empty death. I think you need to find yourself better role models if you wish to write with effect. Your death, like life, should mean something. Ever hear of Jim Elliot? Book of Martyrs? One life to live – one life to give.

    • TMZ

      Respectfully, you don’t know what was in his heart either. I only commented that he died doing what he loved. Far be it from any of us to assume what God’s purposes entail for another person. I firmly believe He can use a missionary like Jim Elliot and a writer like me and an extreme sports athlete like Caleb and any sports athlete and a tattoo artist and a retail cashier and a host of other professions for His glory.

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