Often times here on this blog, I have quarreled with social media in front of you. How uncouth! While it’s true that social media and I have more conflicts than Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, there is one positive facet of my online world that I will never regret, never doubt, and never wonder about, and that is the veritable flock of unbelievably amazing people I have gotten to know and/or stay in touch with. Not long ago I noted that I felt like my Facebook world was sort of like a pre-Revolutionary Parisian salon. There are authors, musicians, poets, philosophers, teachers, social do-gooders, and so much more amongst the people who float about within the textiles of my life. It’s truly a great privilege.
I thought I would take this opportunity here at the beginning of the weekend to share some of the fantastic people I know and what they are up to. Enjoy, explore, and let me know who else I should get to know!
Dr. Alex Reed
I’ve known Alex since college. I met him his first day, I think, and we discussed cornish hens. I am not sure why. Now, many an eon later, Dr. Reed is an accomplished musician, a professor, and a newly minted, published author. He has written a book called Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music (not an affiliate link) which I am looking forward to reading. You can follow Alex (and his book) on Twitter here. By the way, if the dad in your life is interested in Industrial music and/or musical history, I bet this would be a much-appreciated gift.
Doug is another person I met in college, and I am so delighted I have been able to keep in touch with him. Doug is really one of the better people walking the face of the planet. As if that wasn’t enough, Doug is going to be a published author in early 2014 with two co-authors, Aric Clark and Nick Larson. I was greatly honored that Doug asked me to give their manuscript a read, and let me tell you, this book is going to make some WAVES when it comes to light. The book is called How Not To Pray. It is an honest look at Christianity – how people have strayed away from the real teachings of Jesus and how that has negatively impacted the world. I can’t wait to be able to discuss this more with you all. In the mean time, you can get to know Doug, Aric, and Nick at their blog, Two Friars and a Fool.
Jennifer Windrum and her SMAC! Monkeys
I’ve written about Jennifer and her SMAC! effort before. She successfully reached her fundraising goal and was able to share that victory with her mother. Now the monkeys are getting ready to being their part of the work. Jennifer has started a thunderclap to help spread the word – a quick second will help the monkeys know they still have support. I love everything about this effort and think it’s spectacular! You can follow the SMAC! Movement here on Twitter.
Choose2Matter by Angela Maiers
Angela Maiers is a master educator whose mission is to remind people of one thing via two words – You Matter. Now Angela is taking her vivacity and passion to a new level by encouraging children to realize just how much they matter and how much they can change the world. Quest2Matter is a contest that actually ended today, but now the real fun begins as I’m sure we will get to see what projects kids around the world submitted to help improve their worlds. I think this is an amazing program and I truly admire everything Angela is doing with it. You can read more about it here or you can follow along on Twitter here.
Geoff Livingston and a dream come true
I have often raved about Mr. Livingston on this blog. He has become a very important mentor for me professionally and I am quite fortunate to call him a friend. Today Geoff announced that he has been working on a massive sci-fi series, the first book of which will be coming out later this summer. Geoff has tinkered with this idea for 19 years and never gave up on it. He is a brilliant writer so I am really looking forward to reading what he has put together, and I am so proud of him for staying true to his objectives while doing all he has done professionally. Sign up to get an early peek at the book here. You can also offer congratulations to Mr. Geoff on Twitter.
Olivier Blanchard pursues a dream
For the last year and a half, my good friend Olivier has been plugging away on a trilogy of his own. His first book is now done, and I am hoping it finds a publisher soon. I am honored to say I had a chance to read a manuscript of this book and it is phenomenal, as in I read over 600 pages in about 4 days because I couldn’t put the darned thing down. If you are a regular reader here, you know I do not say such things lightly. I am proud of Olivier for sticking with this labor of love and prioritizing things so he could do so. You’ll want to stay tuned to these happenings – cheer Olivier on and keep updated via Twitter here.
Doug Haslam Bikes Against Cancer
For the last five years, Doug has participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise funds to fight cancer. Doug’s goal this year is to raise $7,500 and he’s just about halfway there. The consistency of Doug’s efforts and his clear passion in what he is doing – I find all of it admirable. If you want to donate to Doug’s efforts as I will be doing, you can just visit his page, which is here. And of course, don’t forget to say hi to Doug on Twitter to cheer him on.
There is a common thread that ties all of these amazing people together, and it sounds so simple. Do you know what it is?
They wanted to do something. So they did.
It is people like this that make me want to continue to strive to do more and be more, so on top of everything they are already doing, you can add inspiration and motivation to the list.
I am thankful for these people and look forward to continuing to follow their successes. I am grateful I can share them with you via this medium. That is pretty darned cool, without a doubt.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lel4nd/4256488240/ via Creative Commons