Troop Bloggy Blogg

So, let’s ignore that I haven’t made a new blog post in well over a year, shall we?  Cool.  I’m glad we had this talk.

I know I’m a week or two behind the news, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around Snoop Dogg’s name change.  I mean, it was bad enough when he dropped the “Doggy” from his name, but now we’re supposed to address him as “Snoop Lion?”  I…can’t.  I can’t do it.  Can.  Not.


Anyway, what’s up?  How’s the family?  Good, good.  No, really.  That’s really good to hear.  I’m glad that thing is happening in your life and that you seem to be doing things.  It’s important to do things.  I know this.  It seems like now, more than ever, I get it.

Did you know that I turn 40 in less than a month?  Yeah.  Crazy times.  4 decades of this guy and I still have all my teeth. That’s GOT to be some kind of a record.  I know what you’re saying.  I don’t look a day over 45 and that’s really kind of you to say that.  Truly.  When I look in the mirror and see my dad staring back at me, I can’t help but think:  It could be worse.  Then I also think:

Dude.  I’m going to look like Phil Donahue within 5-6 years.  This blows.

But here’s the weird thing that’s happened to me since I’ve got the big 4-0 in my horizon.  I’m sorta doing stuff.

Examples?  Okay, here are a few:

GHOST HUNT – I did a ghost hunt thing with a bunch of friends a few months back.  Sure it didn’t net us any true ghosts, but it was pretty slick.  We got this dealio through Groupon and a whole slew of us went on a guided tour through some old abandoned areas in St. Anthony Main (near downtown Minneapolis, y’all).  They gave us a brief history of the area and let us know about all the people that probably died where we were standing, including kids and prostitutes.  Who knew?  We spent a couple of hours chasing around in the dark with ghost-meter things and taunting the dead.  Fun times.

FURRY & FLO – I’m sure the people who follow me on ol’ Facebook are tired of hearing this, but it’s kind of a big deal to me.  I pitched (and sold!) my first original series to my friends at Stone Arch Books.  In the past I’ve written sports books under the JAKE MADDOX monicker (yeah!  sports!  me?) and I mentioned to my most excellent editor that I had an idea for a scary series of books.  I wrote out the entire first book for a ghost series called COLD SPOTS and (while it was received well) it wasn’t what they were looking for.  They had something similar.  They asked if I could change it and make it not-so-scary and funnier, for a younger audience.  I said, “Nah, but give me two weeks and I’ll come up with something else.”

The result?  A series of books about a girl named Flo (don’t call her Florence) who moves into a high-rise apartment across the hall from a boy who may (or may not) be a werewolf.  Hijinx ensue, laughs are had, days are saved, etc.  Since this big ol’ break, I’ve written 2 of the books with the idea (and hope!) that there will be 8-10 more.  If you’re interested, the first two books should be out NEXT FALL.  And, get this…they might end up in stores.  You know, if bookstores still exist a year or so from now!

5K – I don’t like to run.  When I do my workouts at the gym, I do a lot of cardio and some weights (I should do more) but ol’ TKT doesn’t run.  It stinks and I don’t like the pounding my body takes.  So why, pray tell, did I decide to do a couple of 5K-type events and a true run-down-the-street type of 5K over the last few months?  Simple.  Peep this:

5K #1 – RUN FOR YOUR LIVES: You might know this as the “Zombie 5K.”  I call it one of the best days ever.  You get thrown into an obstacle course with hundreds of jokers dressed like zombies and you run.  For added fun, you get a belt with 3 flag-football-types of flags and do your best not to get ’em snatched by the undead meat-bags just waiting along the route.  I got dirty, beat up, soaking wet and nearly electrocuted.  And you know what?  I’d do it again in a New York second.  It. Was. Awesome.  But…despite it all (and no, I didn’t survive with any flags) it didn’t feel like a true 5K.  There were a lot of periods of waiting to climb through obstacles, sludging through creeks and trying to catch your breath.  Fun but not the real deal.

5K#2 – CHALLENGE NATION: I like to call this the dysfunctional scavenger hunt.  Fun, but stinking hot and there was a lot of yelling.  You put together a team, get a bunch of clues and try to solve them while racing from place to place on foot.  It’s like The Amazing Race, but it’s not as amazing…or racy.  We had our “challenges” to be sure and having to take a picture at each location and then haul back to the starting point was a bit tough.  Again, not a tried and true 5K, but it was a good workout.  We did pretty decent.  Ended up in the top 20-somethings out of 90.  Word.

5K#3 – TORCHLIGHT: This was the real deal.  I’ve got a friend who just got into running and doing 5Ks, so I thought I should really give a real one a go.  I think I might have set my expectations for future 5Ks too high, because the Torchlight one rocked.  Imagine it’s your first “official” run.  You’re crammed in with 6,000 (or so) other people and you get to run through downtown Minneapolis and lining the streets are tons of people, clapping and putting their hands out for you to slap ’em.  And yeah, I know, I know.  They were there for the stinking parade, but still…  A killer playlist on my old-school iPod and a new pair of running shoes and I was ALL IN.  I don’t know much about setting a good pace or really what I was doing, but dang…it was fun.  A funny moment during the race was when I got to the 3 MILE marker.  Since it was my “first” race I thought I had another mile to go.  I was like: Forget it.  There’s no way I’m doing another mile.  Then, of course, when I saw the finish line a little further ahead, I kicked in the afterburners and launched my sorry butt across the finish line.  Awesome.  I may have the running bug.  But no…I’m not going to run during my workouts.  Forget it.

Anyway, I did some other cool stuff too over the summer.  We took the family on our first “tester” vacation by doing a road trip to South Dakota.  It was a blast and I think we’re ready for prime-time next summer!  But that’s a story for another time.

If you wanna see what other book-type stuff I’ve been working on, there’s a couple of new ones on here.  I just added the 4 newest books to the pile and I felt really guilty (really) about not having blogged about SOMETHING for so long.  But I should go.  I’ve got that thing I need to do.

Stay cool.  Stay cool forever.