Do you ever think that perhaps you've lived past lives?
I have an innate familiarity with things I've never done and places I've never been. I have met new people and felt like I've known them all my life. I have often asked myself why THIS is intriguing, or THAT brings undeniable pleasure; why some things come so easily it's as if they've been done before. Me? Sure, I've been around. How 'bout you?
I'm from Texas and somebody told me that it gets to 40 below up there in winter. How do you people ever go outside if it's that damned cold?
You're right, we never go out in winter. The entire country is linked by underground tunnels that open in early September. Only the foolhardy venture out before April. You ever wonder why all those Canadian snowbirds flock to Arizona in the winter? Claustrophobia.
Should Pete Rose get into the Hall of Fame
Should the man who collected more hits than any other player in the entire recorded history of the sport get in? I think it's more a question of whether one should take the Hall of Fame seriously without its greatest hitter in it.
I wrote this book that I have been trying to get published. But it has been a long road for me and a hard one too. Everybody here says forget it. I was wondering if you think I should give it up too?
If getting this book published is what you really want to do, and you commit to actions that are constantly furthering this goal, then it doesn't matter what I say. Or what anybody else says either. It doesn't matter how long it takes. And it doesn't matter whether it's hard or easy. All that matters is that you find a way to do it. And you continue to try until you create the desired results. Millions of people have published, so there are millions of ways to do it. Start where your brain and intuition tell you to start, and finish at achieving your goal. If you believe you can do it, you will. If you believe you can't, you won't. What are you telling yourself?
I want to know what others have to say about your books.
Frankly, they all say I'm the best thing to ever happen. They love me. Why, what have you heard?
How does a person go from a graduate degree in biology to writing literary fiction?
I have the belief that Science and Art and Spiritualism are one, all outsourced from the same creative inner center. All "discovery" comes from the same place - your mind, its thoughts; whether it's the creation of the electron microscope or a book of fiction or the personal search for enlightenment. All those things are derived from someone's thoughts. Imbue them with intention and desire and determination, and well, there's no telling what you might accomplish...like a graduate degree in biology...or a book of literary fiction...
Do you have any upcoming workshops or speaking engagements in Europe?
I do not. Not that I wouldn't love to come. Because I would.
What is Keith Ryan working on now?
That's kind of funny because I was actually working on a Works-In-Progress page for the website. I was going to post a wee bit of whatever I was working on at the moment, whether it be a film script, another book, etc., but I couldn't bring myself to do it after laying out the page. I rewrite mercilessly, and since I usually have no idea where I'm going with a piece (I do not plot; I have never used 3x5 cards; I start with a vague idea of something and go until I'm done), I just couldn't see posting stuff that may never make the final cut and wasn't really done (not to mention the out-of-context issue, though I just kinda did). Plus, of course, I'd want to rewrite the Works-In-Progress page as it progressed - ugh, messy. So, um, what was your question?
FOUND MONEY is cheap at $2.50, eh?
I wanted it to be as accessible as possible. As far as we're concerned, it is one of the best self-help bargains out there, because for a couple of bucks, these pages CAN change your life, by helping YOU to change your life. It's a good deal.
How old are your dogs and how big are they?
Both of them weigh 120 pounds each. Anna is 9 and Jack is 6. We celebrate their birthdays in July. This year, it shall be a picnic at the lake. There shall be swimming, running and much woofing to be followed by the tasting of many human foods (ice cream! watermelon!). Later that night they will both fall fast asleep completely unaware that we have just spent a family day celebrating their birthdays. But my wife and I will know. And we will cherish the memory.
UPDATE: We now have Tuck (6y.o. 145 lbs.), Sophie (5y.o. 105 lbs.), and Maddie (4y.o. 95lbs.) (see Our Pics/Everyone Else),
How much money have you won in the lottery?
FOUND MONEY tells you how much I won the first time, but not subsequent times. That is intentional. Because how much I have won has nothing to do with how much you can win. In this book, I'm not saying do what I did; I'm saying this is how I did what I did; and what you do is up to you. Believe me, there are no limits as to how much money you can win. Whether it's a little or a lot - the principle to achieve it is the same. FOUND MONEY explains the principle.
What is the name of the lake you live on and how big is it?
It's called Shuswap Lake, and it has over a 1000km of shoreline. Big, beautiful and clean, this freshwater lake has 3 "arms", one of which, the Salmon Arm, defines our town.
If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?
An owl? Up most nights, solitary, silent, efficient, I've been called other worldly, I've been known to hoot.
Who would play you in the movie?
I know how this Hollywood thing works. I'd ask for George Clooney, they'd say, Turturro is cheaper, we'd end up settling for Steve Buscemi.
What other kinds of jobs have you had?
Physical ones. Many of these jobs were recurring, but I used to drive cross country tractor-trailers, am still a journeyman carpenter, was a heavy equipment operator, etc. Nothing but blue-collar jobs. Only writing and publishing have brought me into the office. For better or for worse.
What do you think of all this human genome business?
My gut instinct tells me it is the end of the human race.
Quick, what is the most remarkable thing you did today?
That's easy. Channel surfed into and then stayed to watch 22 minutes of a Britney Spears interview. I know, remarkable! I couldn't look away. It was like spending the day in your bathrobe when you're not sick. There was something vaguely creepy about it.
Can you think your way out of stuff? Really?
Uh-huh. And into stuff as well.
You have heard of someone "psyching out" an opponent, say. Well, you know, you can "psyche in" someone (or yourself) too. They both work the same way. Only one is negative, and one is positive. You psych yourself (and others) into and out of stuff all the time. It's called self-talk.
You say you've never won any awards. Have you been nominated for any?
Write About Dogs was nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Booker Prize. It didn't win either.
I am an adult and I happen to love Britney Spears and I think you should apologize for maligning her. You made me so mad when you said she was creepy. She's NOT!
Listen, I'm sure Britney is a fine if somehwhat sick kid. If the truth be told, I have nothing for or against her. But you do. So heck, let's have it your way - grab those pom-poms and follow me!
Give me a "B". Give me an "R", etc. etc. Britney, Britney, she's no creep! Yea, Britney!
Whew, I'm exhausted but happy. You?
All those great alcoholic writers...
Does one have to drink hard to write good?
What was that? I'm sorry, the olive just fell out of my martini glass and I had to chase the little bugger down. Tee hee.
When is a cigar just a cigar? I dunno.
Do you plan on selling other things besides books on this website?
Just myself. Selling myself is the raison d'etre of this website. As if I weren't enough, I'm sure I will offer new downloads from time to time. Just what those will be and when that will be, I can't say.
Hey Ryan, this is Steffi. Yeah, the very same. You're ruining everything! First I had them both, now I have neither - thanks! - and by the way it was Graeham, not Graham - yet another thing my moron of a former boyfriend didn't have a clue about. I have enclosed a nude photo to show them both what they're missing and to attract the next Mr. Right. You better publish it! You owe me!
Steffi, Steffi, Steffi. You are a real piece of work, sweetheart, but this is the question and answer section. Nude photos, though they may be as stimulating as a good query, are neither a question nor an answer. I'm sorry, but my hands are tied (oh, look at that, so are yours!). Best regards in your manhunt, dear. Bye bye, Steffi.
As an Internet start up, are you going to launch an IPO? If so, how far away is that?
If Keith Ryan Publishing ever goes public it will be because oil or gold was discovered underneath the office, not in it.
Why don't you ask us a question?
All right. How come it is that so many refuse to accept responsibility for the actions and experiences of their own lives? Why are so many people quick to point a finger at someone else or play the victim? Why are so many people acting as if they are not doing what they're doing, and instead abdicate their actions to an unseen, imaginary force (as if this 3rd party somehow exonerates them from the malfeasance in their lives)? Why is it such a foreign idea to believe in one's self? Accept responsibility for one's self? To explore and develop one's self psychically?
My wife wants her father to move in with us. He's 80 and cranky and puts out negative vibes. What should I do?
It seems to me this is not really about you, but your wife. Understand why she wants/needs to do this and you will find a way to live with it yourself.
I live outside Winnipeg. I am a farmer and not married. Life has been lonely for me. I'm wondering if you think I should try and meet a woman on the Internet?
Sure, why not? You know, there are billions of people on the face of the earth. You are not alone. If you choose to meet someone, to open up your life by allowing other people in, to desire that, then you will banish loneliness. Because you will meet someone. And it will be another person just like you - someone else who was also open.
I want to know what you wanted to be when you were growing up - and are you that now?
When I was small, my friend Jay and I flew jet planes from the top of the washer and dryer, drove heavy equipment and big trucks for the Tonka Toy Corporation, and with towels wrapped around our shoulders, jumped off the second floor balcony of his house where for nanoseconds we flew in formation like the true superheroes we were, before the grimness of re-entry broke our legs and we both had to wear these stupid casts all summer and didn't get to swim once and man did they itch.
That's pretty much what I am today, minus Jay.
So yeah, puff puff, I've lived my dream. Saaay, how about you?
Right now you're an independent publisher and haven't yet sold out, but will you? Sell out?
I am reminded of the woman who asks, "Does that dog bite?" (Will you sell out?) To which the owner responds, "Maam, all dogs bite." (You bet, I'm in as soon as I have to use the fingers on both hands to count it all.)
What do you think of Bill Gates?
I believe he is a remarkable man. However, I have a friend who hates him completely. Undoubtedly, the real Bill is somewhere in between.
Who would Keith Ryan vote for, Gore or Bush?
What about Ralph Nader? The Green Party? The Independent candidate? You have to include everybody when you ask a question like that. You know?
How about a tip?
All right. I know that some of these pages are getting long. Until I figure out how I want to archive the stuff, they will continue to grow. So here are two scrolling tips:
1.) Press Ctrl-End to take you immediately to the bottom of the page (where the newest content currently is), or,
2.) If you put your mouse pointer to just above or below the arrows in the scroll bar to the right, press and hold down the clicker, the page will scoot down or up rapidly. This is much faster than just clicking and holding on the arrows themselves.
What is your favorite book of all time?
You know, I can't say as I have a favorite. There is a page on this site called The Stacks which lists the books I keep closest. Collectively, I guess, you could say they are my favorites.
I wear an ankle bracelet. My boyfriend thinks it's slutty. What do you think?
Personally, I like them. But I'm not your boyfriend. It seems your choice is to please him or please yourself.
Is this site ever going to be more than it is, no less than it was, and greater than the sum of its parts?
Of course! I think.
Are either of your books in translation?
Nay. Non. Nah. No. Nine. Na-uh. Nyet.
At great expense, we have just put in a swimming pool. I feel like I've finally made it. I'm just curious, do you have a swimming pool at your house?
We do not. That is, Susan, my wife, and me, myself, we do not have a swimming pool. But Jack, our dog, does. He has a children's plastic wading pool that we fill with cold water on hot days and he plays in until the sun sets. He has lots of toys that float, and when he's done with those, he lays down in the water and pants. Anna, our other dog, won't go near it. Suspect it looks too much like a bath to her.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Just do it. And keep doing it until you figure out why you aspire to it. Then go from there.
I don't understand, why don't you denounce the British football thugs?
Was I supposed to? Is it my turn? Ok. Bad thugs. Bad bad thugs.
If you're in Canada, how come your voicemail/fax number 661-761-8928 is a California area code? Is that your agent?
No. We receive our voicemail and faxes over the Internet. For their own reasons, our service provider gave us a California phone number, but really, it could have been anywhere. And if the truth be told, the number doesn't work anymore because we dropped the service years ago; I just never changed the letterhead. How's that for a fine how do you do?
What the hell are you doing way up there? How come you're not in New York making a gazillion bucks as a writer? It sure ain't 'cause you can't do it.
My sister lives in New York. First, you move near your sister. Then what? Mama? Otherwise I'd go, you know. Grab me some of that gazillion loot.
I was surprised when I called to order your book and you, Keith Ryan, answered the phone! I was shocked. Then you took my order! Now that's service!
To be honest, I was probably just closest to the phone. But wait, now that I think about it, you're right. I took your order because...I'm a renaissance man. I try and keep a low profile about my many talents, but yes, I can do it all. There, it's out. And if the truth be told (once again) we no longer take orders by phone as our books are only availabe by download. So it will never happen again. You were the last. Cherish that.
My wife is on this spiritual path thing that I don't understand. She thinks she's meeting angels. I think she's getting flaky. What do you think?
Your heart is beating in your chest, your blood is pumping through your limbs, you are digesting breakfast, you are breathing, you are thinking, and you are doing it all at once. Even more, you don't have a clue how you're doing any of it, but you would agree that you are. In other words, there's TONS of stuff happening that you have no clue about - even in your very own body. Right? Well don't allow yourself to become rigid about that which you don't understand; open yourself up, don't close yourself down. If you love your wife, encourage and support her. She is on a spiritual search and whether you join her on that or rebel against her for that, it's your choice. Wake up, man, it's a miraculous world - both inside and out - and it's happening whether you believe in it or not.
Where would you like to go that you haven't already been?
Machu Picchu, maybe Paris.
How do you forgive someone who has cheated and lied to you?
Our egos are mighty things. If you feel hurt by those actions of another, think of it this way: Instead of blaming the other person for their actions, instead of feeling righteous because you are pure and they are not, consider the thought that perhaps they were just helping you to discover something about yourself. After all, you are involved in this, are you not? Release your ego - stop playing the victim - and figure out why you are participating in this event. Your answer and subsequent direction will be obvious once you understand your psychic intent. Don't think this is happening to you, think it is happening for you. Figure it out.
I'm working 60 hours a week. My boss is giving me migraines and I'm getting really stressed out. You got any ideas for me?
Whoa, man. Get out! Get out while you can! Look, I don't know why you've put yourself in this place. (Oh yes you did, you made all the choices that led you to right where you find yourself now. Maybe you went for the money or the power or whatever, but now those incentives have turned around and are untenable to you.) Well fine, you are merely in a state of transition. Your unhappiness is a precursor to change. But understand that you control that change. Sure, you could kill your boss and change your life that way. Or you could do A MILLION OTHER THINGS that would change the situation. The point is, you are saying that the status quo will not be maintained. Great. Just figure out what it is you do want - and stop dwelling in what you don't want. Move forward. Be creative. Be constructive. Find your way out of this box of your own making. Whatever is next is whatever you will make it be. See what I'm saying?
What is your IQ?
Let's see, I know that I am smart enough to live in this world. I know that. The numbers? We don't know no stinkin' numbers.
Yes I know it's July, but I am the world's most organized person - I want to buy you a Christmas present. What would you like?
World peace. Yes, world peace. And thanks!
Can I clear something up for you? You know that person who asked about the British football thugs? Well there is a professional soccer player for the Wycombe Wanderers by the name of Keith Ryan. My guess is he thought that was you.
Ohhhhh. Yes. Thanks.
On a 1-10 scale (10 high) where is your life?
I believe I'm about at 8.5. I have a wonderful, fantastic, completely content existence. But we (all of us) are always changing and growing and there are many more things in my life that have yet to be discovered or experienced. By the time I die, I expect it to be a 10. If I reach enlightenment before checking out, it would be a 15.
Why did you and your wife move to Canada?
There were a host of reasons but essentially it was a move to improve the quality of our lives. Boy, did we do that.
Do you know any famous people? If so, who?
Ah, name dropping, yes, this will make me look cool by association. Good question! Ok, I'm gonna let the cat outta the bag - I know Homer Simpson! Really, a mondo fabulouso guy.
Are you going to write more books?
Sure I will. But I'm not much on planning things out. At present, I have nothing (content-wise) that I want to explore enough to do a book on. But that could change in a heartbeat. Me, I never know what I'm going to do. That way I'm always surprised when I do it. It's like a little gift I give to myself.
Are you a religious man?
No, I'm a spiritual man. There is a difference.
Everybody that writes in always has something wrong in their lives. I just wanted you to know there are others out here like you - people that have great lives and know it.
That's nice, but there is nothing wrong with questions and answers. Dialogue is often a precursor to change. People will gather information to help them with that change. And it's actually people like you and I that can help. If your thoughts and experiences have led you to a great life, others would like to know how you did what you did to achieve that. That's why they ask questions, and folks like us answer them, if we can.
Does the Devil really exist?
Whatever you believe, you believe. In your own life you will act according to those beliefs. If you put your faith in devils, angels, or gods, just recognize that these beliefs will shape your life. They aren't good and they aren't bad unless you make them so.
There's no Devil for me, but certainly there might be for you.
You are very enthusiastic in your book FOUND MONEY. To me it was like having a personal coach urging me on. Did you write it that way on purpose?
I did indeed. I'm hoping my enthusiasm is contagious. I'd like you to be excited about the possibilities.
This stuff is great. Are you going to keep adding more original content to your site?
But of course. There will always be more stuff. I just have to, you know, create it.
How come there's no links page on your site?
For now, we have decided not to partner with other sites. We're still trying to find our legs. That may change later, but not at present.
I am concerned. I think my husband may be seeing another woman. Should I try and get proof and confront him with it?
Why wait for proof? If you can't communicate with your spouse, then perhaps his alleged cheating and your suspicions of such, are merely indicative of that? Cut to the chase. Talk about it now. Figure it out. Fix it.
I want more money than I have. I'm asking if you will give me some of yours?
Of course. Come on by whenever it's convenient for you. Bring your own sack though, eh?
We already have three dogs and five cats and my son has found a scared, stray puppy and wants to keep him. When is enough enough?
A scared, stray puppy? Oh ma'am, you keep that dog. You love him and make his life and you son's richer for it. Please.
Any chance of you doing a book tour in support of your novel? If so, might Montreal be on your schedule?
No chance. If invited, I will always travel to individual bookstores for readings/signings. But a whole tour sounds too Mick Jaggerish to me. But I love Montreal. Let's set something up for Montreal. I'll write you back.
What's your opinion of Prince Charles? I think he's a fop.
A fop, you say. That's harsh, dude. Especially in light of the fact that when we last talked, Chuck was of the opinion that you were no great shakes either. Seems to me this is between you guys. Work it out!
Hey, did you see Dennis Miller's Monday Night Football debut? Did that suck or what?!
Yeow, the knives come out, the skewers are sharpened. Ok, I saw it. Let's just say, for his sake, he will have to get better. Let's just say, for our sake, he will have to get better (though I hear Mary Lou Retton is waiting in the wings, just in case Dennis doesn't get better).
Where did your wife go to college? She looks like someone I knew from my dorm. Thanks.
Susan went to Stanford for undergrad and has her doctorate from Cornell.
What's the secret to having a happy life? I really want to know.
That's subjective. I can't say what would make you happy. For me, it's no secret - my wife, my family, my home and my work make me happy.
Are you in favor of standardized testing?
Only for jockeys. I think all jockeys should be tested, standardized or not. Is that what you mean?
Can you lift your body weight?
Pfffftt, easily. Know why? I read this in some magazine, many years ago: "The erotic and social appeal of a virile, handsome, muscular man successfully accomplishing some task is very strong." I thought: that can be me. Those are words to live by. Well it is and they are.
In your novel, Write About Dogs, where did you learn to write like that? What school teaches it, I mean?
I am self-taught. I discovered, through circumstances, that writing is what I do best. It is my talent. So how do you self-teach it? You write about 500,000 words, and then you write about 500,000 more. After a million, you find you have it down.
I don't live in Canada, so if I order your book, how will it be charged on my VISA card?
All credit card orders are billed in U.S. dollars. You don't have to do anything (except pay your bill).
My name is Renata. I hate it. I want to be called something else. What names do you like?
Keith? Look, Renata, if you're determined to change it, you could call yourself anything. But what that is, I don't know.
I'd like to be an artist, my parents want me to go to law school. Things are tense around here. You have any thoughts about this?
You are expressing an emotional need (to be an artist), they are expressing a rational need (for you to have a career, a profession, a way to make a decent living). You guys are not on the same page. But you already know that. So I suggest that you do what you want to do.
If you weren't a writer and publisher, what would you be?
Ah, probable realities. Well, let's see, I might fancy being a beautiful, saucy woman who gets what she wants, or perhaps I'd like being known as THE tarot reader to the stars, yes? Think of this: what's it like to be a hawk or a cat or a plant? How about becoming a microbe to see how it all works from the inside? It's infinite. It's whatever you dream up. It's just like your real life - the one actual reality you have chosen. Find yourself stuck? Dream up a new reality. Yes you can.
Did you ever make the honor roll?
You've got to be kidding.
My husband and I have been thinking of moving away from the city and living a more peaceful kind of existence in a small, quiet place. You appear to be doing that. Is it all it's cracked up to be?
You bet. But listen, be sure that you're not contemplating this as a reaction from something (running away from the big city), but instead are acting on a desire to come to something (you need this regardless of what environment you are leaving). That way you'll be open to the experience instead of having a whole bunch preconceived expectations about how it needs to be.
It seems that most artists are lousy at the business end of things. Are you any good at it?
Hmmm, to be perfectly frank, I'm probably very average. But I do have a business, and it is in the commerce of my art and ideas, and that makes me a happy businessman, if not the best or most successful.
Do you have any tattoos?
I have scars and piercings, but no tattoos.
Did you serve in the military?
Did I prepare to use deadly weapons to kill people I don't know to serve some governmental/political ideology that I don't subscribe to and believe is, in fact, detrimental? Hardly. The world needs love and tolerance, not aggression based on fear and perceived differences that are cultural, ego based and implemented through force.
Ever since I was little, I have wanted to be famous in the worst way. I'm not yet, but still plan to be. What is your take on fame?
Ooh, be careful what you wish for. Know that fame cannot be rescinded once you've been anointed and it turns out that you don't like it. Why wouldn't you like it? Because you will no longer have control of your personal environment outside your personal environment. You will gain loss of privacy, incessant confrontation and intrusion, and a kind of isolation that can easily, ironically, lead to loneliness. Sure people will fawn over you and wish they were you, but jeez, how spurious is that? Plus, over time, if you do eventually lose your drawing card, the fact that you are no longer famous can be depressing and debilitating (ego-wise) for many. Personally, I'm not much interested in that theme park ride. But best wishes to you.
I have some questions about writing and publishing that I'd like to pick your brain about. Can I do that.
Nope. My brain is busy at the moment, but thank you for thinking of me.
A friend of mine who has your lottery book says that I could probably lose weight using the same techniques. Is that right?
Absolutely. FOUND MONEY tells you how to win the lottery, but the same information is applicable to any area of your life, including losing weight, finding the love of your life, getting a better job, or "merely" achieving any dream you can imagine.
What is the thing you love most about Canada?
I just read my copy of Write About Dogs. I'm flabbergasted. This book is chock full of insane writing. You are off the hook, my friend! You rock!
My boyfriend wants me to try something kinky...should I do it?
Well, there are a couple of possible answers here:
1.) Yes, I want to try that!
2.) No way, Jose.
Pick one, dear.
Do you frequent chat rooms?
No. I have never been in a chat room, have never had cybersex, have never played a game on the computer, and I never forward on jokes. To me, as pedestrian as this may sound, the Net is a (work) tool. I have my fun in other ways.
What would be a dream job for you?
Oh yeah, I'd like to go down and cover the Sydney Olympics as a mouthpiece at large for either a print or television entity. Man, wouldn't that be the dream life. Saaay, any content producers out there listening?
Are you right or left handed?
I am right handed in everything but hockey. In hockey I shoot left handed. I can't say why that is.
If you had to pick between Darla in The Little Rascals or Shirley Temple, who would it be?
Jeez, got some time on our hands, do we? And pick them for what? As a girlfriend? Are you serious? Good god, man, asleep at the wheel or what? Wake up!
If you're going in a certain direction in your life, and you get the feeling in the pit of your stomach that it's wrong, how do you finally get up the nerve to stop it, especially when it means it's going to shake up everybody else's world too?
Project ahead. Get someplace quiet and sit there and close your eyes. Imagine yourself and your current circumstances and project that 6 months ahead. See what that's like and what it's become. Then go a year ahead. Then five years. Then 10 years ahead. How awful would that all be in ten years time? Yuck, that should be plenty intolerable enough. Now bring yourself back to present day. Whew, that hasn't yet happened yet! Great! Now close your eyes. Imagine the new you, this person you want to become. Do it at 6 months, one year, five years, ten years ahead. How cool would that be to be that?! Open your eyes. Start this moment becoming that new you. Break from the grip of your past and look forward to the new future that you are determined to create because this old one is untenable. Inform everyone in your world why you are doing this - and then do it.
I liked your book, Write About Dogs very much. I wondered how much of it was true and really happened to you. My question is, I guess, how much of the main character is you?
In one sense it is entirely me, my creation, my reality. On the other hand, it is a total fabrication, a piece of fiction and mere words on a page. So really, everything and nothing. Tres zen like.
My boy was recently bar mitzvahed and one of the guests gave to him, as his coming of age gift - a machete! A machete! Why on earth would an adult give to a 13 year old boy a machete? Can you explain this? Have you ever heard of such a thing?
Is it a new machete or an artifact? What does the card say? Why don't you ask the gift giver directly what his/her intentions were? How does your son feel about it? Does he think it's cool? Are you worried that your son will misuse it? Kill with it? Perhaps even...murder his parents with it! Quit being all hysterical and address your concerns. Everything will be revealed.
You're living the dream, man. You and your wife get to live and work at home. It sounds perfect. Is it? What's that like?
Are you ever going to write some stories about some video game players who are like addicted to them and spend all their time playing them?
Sure, that's a great idea.
Hey, you signed a copy of my book but I can't read the signature because it's more like a wavy line than a name. How do I know it's really your signature?
You caught me. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I send all my books to a professional book signer. He lives in the next village over. Please don't hate me 'cause I'm lazy. Tee hee. Nah, I just have a crummy signature. Rest assured it's mine.
Tell us something outrageous but true.
There is no such thing as time. Nah-uh. Time is a mental construct that allows us to function in this reality (you know: past, present, future). It appears to be linear, but really, everything happens simultaneously. Does so. I'm not the only one who says this is true.
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
Ever eat something and get really sick from it?
Yeah...and your point was?
You say you're open at 8, huh? Well I have called your company twice now to order a book and have gotten the bloody answering machine both times. How come you're never there?
PST. Pacific Standard Time. We're on the west coast. The reason no one's here is because it's 5 o'clock in the morning, our time, when you've called.
I know that Monet lived with both his wife and his mistress and that they were an amenable threesome. But can it really work? I am in a situation whereby my wife and I both love the same girl and that girl loves us both back. But I don't want to mess up my marriage if it doesn't work out, or lose my wife to falling in love with another woman. So what do you think? Can it really work?
It can be anything you guys want it to be. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. The three of you, bring your hopes and fears to the table (or bed) and figure out what you want. Then do that.
How many words are there in Write About Dogs?
I work in publishing and within the industry the perception of self-publishing hasn't changed - it is still viewed as the lowest form of the business, peopled with writers who are not good enough to have their work bought and sold by a major publisher. However, to be honest, you are like no other self-publisher I have ever met. You don't seem at all defensive about it, and in fact, you seem pleased to be a part of this fringe group. I'm curious, why is that? Why are you not on a major label?
I did this intentionally. I wanted to have the first and final say on my work. So I started my own company. Before the Internet, this would have been a dicey move. Prior to the Internet, a small/self-publisher had difficulty, great difficulty, in getting distribution for his books - you literally could not get them in a bookstore. The Internet, as well as Amazon.com, has totally changed all that. Now everybody's books can be found and bought online. Equally. Suddenly, self-publishing became totally viable because of the disappearance of the distribution impossibilities. So two years ago we started this company. Whether I'm good enough to be published by a major house is not the issue at all. Traditional publishing can harbor whatever illusions they want concerning all of us - the small, alternative, eponymous publishing businesses of the digital world. But there's room for everybody. The field is level. Play on, I say.
I see that your Toronto Blue Jays are slipping out of contention in the AL East. Good riddance. Maybe you should switch allegiance to a team that's going places. A team like the fabulous Boston Red Sox. And another thing, David Wells stinks and he sure isn't going to win the Cy Young award this year 'cause they're going to give it to Pedro Martinez!
Yes, well, thank you for your faux concern about the Blue Jays. Oh, and a truckload of Gosh Thanks! for your bile about David Wells. And uh, that's really about all I have to say to the likes of you.
Why is it so hard to quiet your mind when you meditate? My thoughts are going a million miles a minute.
The real world outside your skin is compelling. You have a rational mind and an ego that help focus you in this reality. Your inner world, however, is just as compelling. But your ego doesn't want to hear that and your rational mind says that makes no sense whatsoever, and together they can make it hard to go there - a place beyond them. But it is not that difficult. Perseverance will eventually bring quiet and stillness. Keep trying, stay with it if you can.
I want to be a cop. My parents want me to be a priest. How can I reconcile the difference and still make myself happy and my parents happy?
Why do you want to be a cop? Why do they want you to be a priest? If you actually sit down with them and keep an open mind about why you want what you want and why they want what they want, you will be able to understand the source of your disparity, and move together toward an understanding of your needs. Be clear. Clarity precipitates understanding. Understanding allows love. Drop your defenses and make this work for both of you. To be honest, you can become a cop with their understanding (and blessing), or without it. Which would make you feel better?
I'm a veterinarian and I think you were overly hard on us in your novel, Write About Dogs. I believe that as vets, we want the same things you profess to want in your book, and that is the best for the animals.
In veterinary school, all of your training has come fresh from the traditional medical model. That model preaches above all, objectivity. Distance from your subject. A fetish for the glory of objective scientific proof. But guess what? Every living thing on earth is living a subjective experience. We feel it, and that is what makes it real. To continue to ignore the spiritual, mental and psychic side of the animal is to do a disservice to them and us. All scientific objectivity does is alienate one from experience, creates a pseudo detachment, a bubble if you will, and then praises itself for that, as if that's life. It cannot, by its very nature, give you the answers to the secrets of life. It can only create an intellect about them. Why? Because one must experience it for one's self. Why else are you here?
You know once we were on vacation in Florida and we saw Tiger Woods in a grocery store and my sister and I followed him up and down all the aisles. We wanted to get his autograph and we did. But all we had with us was a box of macaroni and cheese! So he signed that! That was years ago and it's still in our freezer. We will never eat that box because my mom says it will be worth a fortune some day. She said that people will pay huge sums of money for a Tiger Woods macaroni and cheese box. Do you think that's true?
You sound young, honey, so don't take this the wrong way, but that's pathetic. How much money would YOU pay for a Tiger Woods signed box of macaroni and cheese? That's what it's worth.
I went into a Chapters Books to buy your lottery book and they didn't carry it. What's up with that? Aren't they the biggest book chain in Canada?
We now sell FOUND MONEY as a digital download only. You can order it here on our site and never have to drive to the mall again. Check out Our Books.
I hear that cell phones are dangerous. But I can't give mine up. I love it too much. Call me crazy.
Ok. Crazy. Now what?
I was out eating pasta with this terrible blind date I got set up on. In like ten minutes he spots his white shirt with sauce and now I have to be seen with this dork wearing his dinner in public. All I want to know is where in the hell are all the good guys in this world?!
They're all married. But you probably already know that.
Since I was 13 (I'm now 26), I have kept a diary. I think it is a valuable tool for self-examination. I reread it all the time. Do you keep a journal or diary?
No I don't, but perhaps that is a function of being a professional writer. I agree with you, keeping a diary or journal is a good tool for self-examination. Especially, if you use them as they are meant to be used - no censoring. Trying to shape a journal not intended for publication is counter productive. Be free. Write whatever comes to mind. Learn about yourself. It's you talking to you.
I have been to Salmon Arm! It's beautiful! I can see why you live there. Unfortunately, I couldn't find your house.
Thank goodness. People, we are an Internet company. Visit us online. Don't be coming to my house. What's up with that? That's just plain creepy. You want creepy, go visit Stephen King.
Don't your dogs, those breeds, shed up a storm?
They do indeed. They also eat large quantities of food. They howl at us when they're impatient. They goad each other into trouble if they're bored. In the dead of winter they never want to come into the house to warm up. They will argue over who gets which window in the Land Cruiser. They will, for no apparent reason, walk over to either my wife or myself and nuzzle their head between our knees. They are our dogs. And for those reasons and ten million more, we love them.
Can I still purchase a signed first edition copy of Write About Dogs?
Yes, but signed editions can only be ordered directly from us.
For you, what is a cool thing about technology?
That I can wake up in the morning in my small, little, rural Canadian town, turn on my computer, and be connected to the rest of the world. The fact that I have the world on my desktop is very way cool.
Now what are you doing?
Nothin', just hanging, having a beer...
When you're writing fiction, how do you know when to be serious and when to be funny?
For me, all of it's intuitive. Everything has a correct pace or rhythm. You sense the need of the story or the structure at the time; you keep in mind where your audience is with it; you write what you write. Mechanical is how you write what you write (the rules, the words, the technique), intuitive is when you write what you write (where in the story, where in the structure, where in the character development does something turn, is something funny, etc.). You cannot experience the answers to your questions unless you have done a lot of writing. So write. A lot. And learn it all, eventually.
This is a two part question. What do you think of George Bush?
A little man in way over his head.
And what would you do if you were President?
Who wants to be President? Yuck. A life of special interest politics, media intrusion, public opinion dictates, marketing to the masses such pap as your "values" image, while outside the spotlight (if you're lucky!) you make deals, lie, scheme, and all for what? Power? Power comes from inside. Not what job you hold. Be President? No thank you. I'll just live a nice, quiet life and do good in my own personal way.
My wife's mother wants us to name our newly arrived daughter after her (Bernice), but my mother too wants us to name our newly arrived daughter after her (Matilda). My wife and I can't bear either name. What should we do?
This isn't about your mother or your mother-in-law. It is about your new daughter. Look at her. Latent within her is her name. What fits her? Who is that? What will you call her for the rest of her life? Open yourselves up to finding her natural name. And when you find what feels right, both of your mothers will accept it because they too will see that that is who she is.
Ever sky dive?
No, but I've taken a few nose dives. Oh, I did a swan dive once. And of course, I've been in more than my shares of dives.
Can you believe in God and science at the same time?
Let me put it this way. Things are not as they seem, ok? Any physicist will tell you that the world is far stranger than we could possibly suppose. God? Science? Believe whatever you want. It doesn't matter to anybody but you.
Is your town serviced by an airline?
Not anymore. We used to have regularly scheduled air service to Vancouver, but the carrier quit about a year ago. For passenger service we now have to drive three hours round trip to the next nearest airport. Ugh.
Help, my daughter is gay! I just found this out (I admit I was snooping in her diary - but I just had to know). She's in love with this girl named Amy. How can I get her to switch back?
Switch back? You mean like, your phone to another long distance carrier? Come on, dear, be happy that she has found someone to love. Goodness, your daughter is in love! Do you have any idea how hard it must be for her not to be able to share that with you? Remember when you were in love? Wanted to shout it from the rooftops, eh? Think of how your girl is holding that inside of her whenever she's around you. How does that make you feel? Look, this isn't about you (except for your ignorance), it's about her. You have zero understanding about what is obviously a glorious time in your own daughter's existence. Well really, how does that make you feel? Drop the prejudice and intolerance and embrace the fact that we are here to love and be loved. Share this with your daughter! She's just living her natural life - you are the one with the hang-ups about it. She doesn't need to change - you do.
I'm worth a lot of money through my work. I have an unbalanced life because of it and my marriage is distant not intimate. I just can't seem to get myself to quit what I'm doing because my self-worth is completely tied up with what I do. It is me. Any ideas?
You bet I do. How many more years do you think you have to live? How many more in good health? How many more in great wealth if you quit this very second? Ok? Got all that? Now make a decision and do it! Stay in or get out but quit whining about whether you should stay in or get out. I know you are on your way to a decision and that this is all part of your process, but your process led you to me, and I'm pushing you over the cliff, dude. If you're talking about it, you're thinking about it. If you're thinking about it - do it. DO IT. Get on with discovering who the rest of you is. You only have until you die. How far away did you guess that was?
How do I gain more self-confidence?
Achievement breeds confidence. So achieve small things, achieve great things, but achieve. Always give yourself as much credit as you can. Encourage yourself to do your best and to be happy with that as an achievement. Self-confidence grows from actions such as that.
If you love the Olympics so much, how come you don't just go?
I've had my chances. Susan and I have lived near two of them. We lived two hours away in upstate New York when they were at Lake Placid, and we lived 6 hours away here, in Salmon Arm, when they were in Calgary. Didn't go to either. Go figure.
Your book FOUND MONEY has helped me so much! I've never really had anybody talk to me that way before. I just wanted to know if you are that demonstrative in real life as well?
Sometimes. Other times I'm quiet as a Basenji.
I love buying stuff online. It empowers me, though I'm not sure why I feel that way. Mostly, my experiences have been good. A couple of times I have been burned. I was wondering if you had any complaints?
Nope, knock wood. Things are and have been hunky dory, both as a consumer and as a business. There will always be the bad bargains out there, be they digital or real world based. Kudos to you for keeping a positive attitude after having encountered a few of them.
I was wondering how can you be the way you are. Where did you learn this stuff?
I learned about my life by living my life. I have been paying attention, see.
Let me see if I have this right: You keep yourself in shape, you have your own company selling your own work that by its definition is an aid to raising the consciousness of others, you have lots of money, you love your job, you live in a spectacular place that you call home, and you have married the love of your life. Wow, that's pretty impressive. Is there anything missing from your life?
Not missing in the sense that you mean it. But none of us are static. You and I are constantly working on acquiring whatever it is that we have set as our goals - be it knowledge, experience, material things. There is no such thing as "being done" with your life, not while you are drawing breath. So since it's a continuum, I expect mine to get fuller and richer, wider and deeper.
If I may, what is your lineage?
My parents' parents are both from Russia. My parents are both first generation Americans. Just as I am first generation Canadian.
I'm a morning person. I love the mornings. My husband would sleep till noon if he could. Are you a morning person? What is your favorite thing to do in the morning?
I thoroughly enjoy eating cold pizza in the morning. Is that what you mean?
My husband still refers to me as his "old lady" and I hate it. How can I make him stop saying it?
I don't know other than by asking him. If he knows that you hate it, and he still keeps using it, then maybe it's indicative of something deeper (between you two) than just his use of a colloquial.
If the doorbell rings at three o'clock in the morning, should one answer it?
If one wants to know who's knocking, yes.
I have a really cool beer coaster collection. I think I could get some coin for this if I put it on eBay. My only question is, if I sell my collection, can I prevent myself from starting another? And then will I regret selling it in the first place? I'm worried about this.
Don't worry, be happy.
Ok, think it out. What do you want more? The joy (or mania) of collecting - or the big bucks as a reward for all your collecting? Keep thinking. Will you be able to NOT collect more beer coasters? Will getting rid of the current collection free you up to start collecting something else? Will the money be a sufficient reason once the money is no longer there? You get the idea? Ask yourself these questions and any other ones you can think of. Your answers should tell you what direction to pursue.
a.) What is something that frustrates you, and b.) What do you do about it?
a.) Lately, my computer has been crashing about 3-5 times a morning.
b.) I reboot it.
I love the Mountie postcard you sent as a thank you for my order. Do they really dress like that? Red serge! It's so dashing!
Yes, all Mounties are dashing men and women. It is part of their job requirements.
Have you ever been to Dillon, Colorado? You look familiar.
I used to have a Post Office box in Dillon. I would pop through every now and then to collect my mail. Have we met?
I am part of a minority and I find that this has limited my advancement in my job. How can I overcome this?
Overcome your minority status? Don't give it any credence. If you think that this is a handicap, then by gar it shall be so. Look, forget the notions of others; make your own notions about yourself - and make them positive and empowering and unlimited and open and as free as anybody else's, and you will fulfill your ambitions for yourself.
My wife wants to renew our wedding vows and invite everyone she knows and have a big to-do blah blah, but I think the whole thing's a huge waste of money and would rather not spend what little we have on that. We already did it once. How can I get out of doing it again?
Mr. Romantic, eh? If you don't want the proposed renewal to turn into the actual divorce, then you'd better determine for yourself what you can get out of this because you are going to have to compromise. It takes two to get married. You already are. If nothing else, do it for her. Again.
Are you going to root for Canada or the United States during the Olympics?
Both and everyone else too! This is a celebration of humanity. That means all of them and all of us, every single one.
Do you really have bears at your house? Is it that wild where you live?
Of course there are bears. And I think it's very civilized.
What are you afraid of?
To be honest, nothing comes to mind. I am pretty diligent about recognizing and dealing with issues of fear. If you don't, they hold you captive and you become defensive about avoiding them. This behavior can go on for years and shape your life in a negative way. Pretty much nothing is worth that. Dealing with your fears is the only way to get past them. Plus, they are never as bad as what you imagine them to be.
What is your middle name?
I don't have a middle name, but thank you for asking.
If someone is perpetually late, and you tell them how much you dislike waiting for them, and they continue to do it, what does that say to you about this other person?
A lot, but I also get an equal amount of information about you as well. Look, why not compromise? Make sure you are on time for every function that absolutely demands that - be it business or social - and allow yourselves to be fashionably late for those that don't carry that same level of necessity. Maybe you need to relax about this, maybe he/she needs to speed it up a bit, but you both need to do it together.
It seems to me that humans have a natural tendency to focus on the negative stuff. Why don't we feel as drawn to the positive stuff?
You say that humans have a tendency to focus on the negative - when you mean that you do. See, tossing in the rest of us to make it sound like you are right, in the majority, and speaking for all us wee humans, isn't really how it is, is it? I mean, really, you don't have a clue about how someone else feels about this issue, unless you directly solicit them, and you haven't done that. So a more apt question would be: why do you have a tendency to focus upon the negative instead of the positive? And unfortunately, I can't answer that for you.
How many hits are you getting on your website?
Not nearly enough! Bring me more visitors! Bring them now! Thank you.
I tried to buy your book on OzBooks but they said it was unavailable. It's a good thing I found your website. Why couldn't OzBooks get it?
I'm not sure. I just wrote them to try and figure out the glitch. But hey, in the process you found your way here. That's cool.
How do you download a hard drive?
You don't. You download to it. Or you upload from it. Or you can ghost an entire hard drive's contents to another hard drive, effectively downloading a hard drive, but I get the feeling that's not what you're asking. What are you asking?
My daughter is a wild child - just like her father. I can't take it anymore. I want to divorce them both. Can I do that?
Wow, tough love. Where there's a will, there's a way, I guess.
Somebody said that Crocodile Dundee is going to be the one to light the Olympic torch in Sydney. Could that be true? Even the Americans wouldn't be that crazy!
Can't say, mate. Do know though, tomorrow night, all questions will be answered.
My husband posted intimate pictures of me on the Internet and now they are on all these porno websites. Is there any way to get them back?
I suppose you could write to each offending site and ask them to be removed, but if your husband was paid for the photos, then the site would own the right to publish them and removal, in that case, would be highly unlikely.
I really enjoy reading KeithSpeak every day! I was just wondering what the next Keith Ryan Publishing company event was going to be?
The Fall Ball Golf Classic is coming up in October. You won't want to miss that!
I bought Write About Dogs from Barnes & Noble here in Chicago. Can I send you this copy to get it signed?
Yes, but you must also send $9.00 postage for the return. I've said this before, but it's worth repeating as this question has come up again. The ONLY way to get a signed edition of any of my books, without incurring additional return postage, is to order it directly from us.
I watched a movie about Hendrix last night and was fascinated to hear how he viewed the world on such an emotional/heart-filled level. What do you think of him? And what do you think of the fact that he abused drugs?
I respected him as the artist he was. It appeared to me that this man was on a profound inner trip. Those who live intense, short lives (Keith Moon comes to mind), probably have completely engrossing highs and lows throughout it. Drugs can both aid and abet that process. Life is replete with choice after choice and those were his.
I went to a psychic fair and this palm reader told me things that I found unbelievable and upsetting. The worse of which was that I was going to divorce my husband! And now, in spite of myself, I find myself questioning what I thought was a lifetime union! Help!
Now calm down, dear. Breath deeply. Better? Ok, now I see this as a question, so let me ask you: Where do you want to put your faith? In your marriage or your palm reader?
I am not kidding, for practical reasons my fiancé wants to buy her wedding gown from Wal-Mart. They sell them! "You only wear it one day in your life! Why spend the money!" is her mantra. My mother is appalled. Her girlfriends can't believe it. The photographer has said, "The pictures won't be any good because the cheapness of the garment will show through on film". This is getting crazy. Any ideas?
Run, man! Tee hee. Just kidding. Have you checked out the dresses yet? Did you go to Wal-Mart and have her try them on and see them? I should think that would be the first step. And unless they make her look like her name should be Ellie May, seriously consider your wife-to-be's wishes. And as for the photographer, tell that nogoodnick that any shutterbug worth his salt would not blame his ineptness-to-be on the subject's clothing. Can him, my man, before he snaps the first frame. That's my idea of a sure bet.
Are you the same Keith Ryan who wrote that book on fire trucks?
I am not. I have never written about fire equipment of any kind. But I think it is very cool that this profession has their own dog, the Dalmatian. And anybody that takes their dog to work, is aces in my book.
I love this site! What kind of beer do you drink?
Thank you! The cold ones.
My neighbor's boys are real trouble. I know they steal stuff because I see them unloading it in the middle of the night. If I call the cops, will I have to testify against them? Because that makes me scared. Because obviously, they know where I live.
You have both a conscience and intuition. Employ one in the service of the other.
How do you deal with rejection as an artist?
My belief in myself is so rigorous that I fully accept everything said about me both good and bad for exactly what it is: one person's opinion. I even respect them for voicing it. And I most certainly listen to what they have to say and attempt to learn from it. I can do this without rancor or ego because I have already satisfied myself as to what it is for me - this, as opposed to letting the opinion of other's decide for me how I should feel about it.
Recently, I have been trying to cultivate a positive attitude toward life. You seem to have that. Is it a difficult thing to acquire?
If there's something you desire, then it doesn't matter if it's hard or easy to attain. It's the journey to your goal, that is the goal. So embrace the trip. If it's hard, endure and prevail; if it's not so hard, impress yourself with your prowess...and then prepare for the next trial in pursuit of your next goal, with the experience of the previous one to now draw upon. Do this for about 85 years give or take a few and you have a life. Attaining a positive attitude is a worthy quest. I wish you the best in your pursuit of it.
What time is it there now?
10:54AM, my friend.
Ever been to Amsterdam?
There are a few places in the world I fear I would love too much if I went. Amsterdam is one of those places. Paris, Budapest and New Zealand are also such places for me. This doesn't mean I won't go, but I haven't yet.
Write About Dogs is a wicked book, man! My girlfriend found it on the Internet and turned me on to it. Then we found your website - and it rocks! Hey, I want to order another copy and have you sign it. I don't really have a question. Thanks.
No, thank you.
My spouse always forgets our anniversary. It's starting to irk me. It's coming up again, what should I do?
Be up front. Tell him it's coming up. Discuss with him what you guys are going to do - then you plan it out, because you know full well that he won't. Don't get all caught up in the circumstances of the anniversary - get all caught up in the anniversary itself. Make it fun! Make it memorable.
Your site is making the rounds via word of mouth at my university. Everyone appreciates your sense of humor. Have you been getting a lot of new hits from the University of Wisconsin?
Indeed I have. I'm from the Midwest, maybe my humor is regional?
I trust you so I'm telling you that I pad my expense account. I also cheat on my taxes. I've even written off hookers as business clients even though I sell hydraulic parts and hookers have nothing to do with that. Remember, I trusted you, so you better not snitch on me to Revenue Canada.
Me? Snitch? Why I never...
You're into dogs so much, so tell me how come my girlfriend insists on bringing her ugly, mangy, mutt of a lap dog everywhere we go?
Because she loves her dog? Duh. And I can tell you this, my friend, a smart man would not make her choose between her dog and you. I suggest you love her for loving her dog, if you can't manage to love the dog itself.
I have a whole bunch of questions. How many hours a day do you write?
I have no set routine or schedule. Some days I don't even turn the computer on, other times I don't leave it.
How important is a good vocabulary?
They are the tools of the trade, my man. You figure it out.
Do you try and reach a certain page count each day?
No. I have literally spent days on a single paragraph. Quantity doesn't interest me. See for me, everything has a meter, a "right" sound to it. I keep working until I achieve that.
Then how do you work to a deadline?
A deadline doesn't negate the process of personal quality, it only increases its acuity. Because a deadline implies that something is to be published or produced - it better be right!
Finally, I want to be a writer. Do you think I should go to school for this?
I can't say what your path will be. I can only relate to you of mine. I did not get trained to be a writer. Therefore, I have great originality - but also a series of defaults that have never been addressed because I wasn't trained. Perfunctory things like grammar and syntax and "proper convention". Of course I believe that my work is unique because of that, but others would argue that my weaknesses are just that. This is my path. Your path will be your path. May you have sure footing.
I hate my life. There has been nothing good about it. Suicide doesn't scare me. Anything you care to add?
I can only tell you that love does exist. You can find it here. And you can find it there. But whether you remain, or whether you go, you will find it. Do you understand what I mean?
What's something good so far about the new millennium?
We're no longer talking about Y2K.
I think I have figured out the perfect crime. My problem is I don't know whether to commit it or write about it. What do you think I should do?
Do both. Then you can have a before prison and after prison viewpoint.
Seriously, what it Elvis weren't dead?
Seriously, that's pathetic.
I hate the fact that I'm aging. I don't like the gray hair or the wrinkles. How can I accept this process instead of fighting its effects all the time?
You can start by liking yourself. Accepting you for who you are (naturally aging), is a lot more beneficial than criticizing yourself for something you're not (young). In other words, it's a mental condition, not a physical one, that debilitates you and keeps you on this path to unhappiness. Because let's face it, if you don't like what's going on now, just wait another 20 years - imagine how much you'll hate yourself then?! Use your dissatisfaction as a catalyst for liking yourself - your natural self.
My nerdy brother has hacked into my computer and learned all my secrets. Now he threatens to tell my parents every time I do something he doesn't like. How do I get him to keep his mouth shut?
Tell your parents first. Reveal your secrets and remove any power that your brother holds over you. Sounds radical, but face it, your secrets aren't secret anymore. By telling them, you will be free from blackmail that moment on. By waiting for them to be revealed by someone else, you will keep dancing gingerly around those who know, lest they tell. And chances are good, they will be told. For that is the very nature of secrets.
My boss has this awful looking comb-over. He grew the few remaining strands of hair on the side of his head really long and he pulls them across the top like it's going to cover up the fact that he's 98% bald. It's totally gross. Should I tell him?
Yes and no. Yes, if you're truly concerned that he not make a fool of himself and are sincere with him about the fact that that is exactly what you believe he is doing. And no, if you have even the slightest inkling that he will be offended, see his hair as his own personal business, and begin to hate you from then on for making him feel even more insecure about something he is already fairly insecure about. As with all things you, it's your call.
Since I got FOUND MONEY, I have been meditating for almost 3 months now. I find that I really like it. All I heard before I tried it was how hard it was, you know, to just sit and be quiet without the TV or the kids or the phone. But I like doing it. It's really peaceful and soothing. And I never would have tried it unless I'd read your book. I wanted to ask you, can you meditate too much? Thanks.
You don't want to do it to the exclusion of living your real life. I'm sure there are fanatics, monks or something, that meditate like 20 hours a day. But if you're spending all your time with your inner source, you can't be having much of an outer life. Striking a balance is always a good thing. Find your own.
Do you have a favourite book/passage by Kahlil Gibran?
Alas, I don't. It has been many years since I have read his work. Although I will say that it is a rare person who reads The Prophet and doesn't come away impressed.
I am really into spiritual stuff, but my spouse isn't. What do you think is wrong with her?
Nothing is wrong with her. Everyone living has their own personal spiritual development curve; one progresses at one's own pace. Perhaps you are more consciously aware than she, perhaps not (I say that because if you were, you wouldn't think there was something wrong with her). Just relax. Be patient, helpful, loving and supportive. Be spiritual.
What are your thoughts on marriage?
Well, let's see...I like mine. That's about all I know. This contract between two people, it's a pretty individual thing, isn't it?
I think about my life a lot but I don't think it's gotten me anywhere. How'd you get there?
I paid attention to everything. I noticed what was working in my life and what wasn't. I saw what I did and I heard what I said. I listened to both myself and others. I paid attention.
It's down to the final four. Who is going to win the World Series?
I would like to see Seattle win its first. But I know Yankees fans will say they won't even get the chance to try. All we can do is watch.
There is no way I'm going to learn to meditate. I don't want to. Can you reach a higher consciousness without doing it?
All you're trying to do is become more aware of yourself. You are already meditating on things that you don't even realize you are. What's happening in your life? 'Cause that's what you have been focusing (meditating) on. Don't you think about that stuff all the time? Isn't it on your mind a lot? Well that's meditating. You can do the same thing focusing on your inner self rather than your outer self, that is the "traditional" meditation where you sit quietly and look within. But it is the same thing. All you're trying to do is become more aware of yourself. We all are.
Make a prediction.
Subjectivism is what will make "modern science" modern. Objectivism, its current holy grail, will be lost when it is accepted that we are not "outside" of anything: nature, ourselves, our thoughts.
Even you must have lost some loves along the way. Tell us of one.
A black Harley heritage softail. I miss that beautiful bike. It fit me like a glove. It was a great soul in metal. I have been blessed to have had the best relationships with machines.
You should write a regular column for a magazine.
Are you really happy with your life?
There is a quote by Lew Ellen, something about sleep and death. Do you know it?
"Sleep is a temporary death and death is a permanent sleep."
How do you like writing on the Internet? Is it better or worse than writing for print media?
Um, lessee...well, now that I think of it, I would have to say that I love writing on the Internet. It's so...breezy. Chatty. Yeah. Know what I mean? Of course, writing books is pretty cool too.
I’m only going to ask you this once. And don’t lie! Don’t you dare lie to me! I HATE it when people lie to me. Those who try - I ALWAYS get them back. All right then. Boxers or briefs?
My, you're a scary one.
How do you say goodbye in your language?
Toodles is most popularly used. For instance, Toodles Q&A 2. Helloooooo Q&A 3.