Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A high school reuniting

     It is always fun to reconnect with someone you went to school with.  Recently I have had the privilege and pleasure of finding a good friend from my high school days, J. Michael Krivyanski.  Nobody could make me laugh like Mike did, back in my eleventh grade year.  He was a witty, fun, creative person.  It is no wonder then, my friend is a writer!  Hope you enjoy these interesting facts about a dear, old friend......Just don't tell him I said he was old!  Take some time and check out his books and blogs! 
J. Michael Krivyanski
Writer, husband, father and all around interesting guy

BORN: August 17, 1959 at U.S. Army Hospital in Landstuhl Germany.
(I’ll have to take people’s word on what happened that day. I don’t remember a thing and I really don’t look like that any more.)
MARRIED: July 25, 1987 – Present.
WIFE: Leatrice Elena. (Yes, her name is different. Her mother’s name is the same and she was named after the silent movie actress Leatrice Joy. There is also a flower by that name but it’s spelled different. When we moved into our home years ago my wife planted some of those flowers. I mowed the lawn one day and tore up her newly planted flowers. Unfortunately I thought they were weeds. OOOOOps. Still hear about that one when I go near the lawn mower.)
CHILDREN: Daughter, Alexandra born May 25, 1991(Should you want to learn about her younger days purchase a copy of Family Illustrated. It consists of many humor columns I wrote and published about being her dad.)
PARENTS: James (No middle name) and Elizabeth Ann MacLean. (To my knowledge I only had two.)
EDUCATION: Ambridge High School (I barely graduated. Thank you to those teachers who couldn’t wait to get rid of me.)
                          Point Park University, BA in Journalism and Communications. (I also barely graduated college. Thank you to those professors who couldn’t take my constant whining and couldn’t wait to get rid of me.)
(I’m always asked these questions for some reason.)
Movies: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
                As Good as it Gets
                Documentary about Poppa Neutrino
(These are just a few. There really are many more movies I love to watch.)
Music: 70’s and 80’s Rock-n-Roll. Classical symphonies. (Gustav Holst “The Planets” is one of my favorites).
Authors: John Steinbeck, Art Buchwald, Erma Bombeck, Dave Berry and John Kennedy Toole.
Books: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. (No matter how many times I read this book I always laugh and feel better when I’m finished.)
I began writing when I was fourteen years old. I saw a copy of Writer’s Digest and realized you could actually make money by telling stories. Up to that point I had only been punished for telling stories. I thought what a great way to make a living. I was not a good student. In high school I was usually in trouble for something. People in positions of authority were never impressed with the stories I had created.  They all seemed to have an obsession with the truth and reality. I wanted to write fiction.
At sixteen I had a joke published in a magazine. I actually got a very small paycheck for it. I never cashed the check. I walked around with it for a long time telling people I was a published author.  Everyone seemed to think I had just created another story.
After spending time in the military I started college and published poems and a few short stories. I met my wife and she became the focus of all my free time.
We moved to Burbank, CA after getting married. Following several failed attempts at selling a screenplay I had written I tried to give up on writing. I was convinced I had no talent. I was a new father and enjoyed every moment of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop writing. I wrote essays about the different aspects of being a new dad and just let them sit on my desk in our house. A friend who visited saw the essays, read them and insisted I send the essays out to newspapers. I thought he was crazy. I felt I had no talent. He wouldn’t let it go. I sent out a few of them to a local newspaper called The Burbank Leader. About a week later an editor from the newspaper called and wanted me to write a regular humor column for them. I was overwhelmed. I instantly agreed. Most of the columns I wrote during that time are featured in my book Family Illustrated.
We moved back to Pennsylvania in 1995. I continued to publish humor columns as well as various articles for local and national publications. I then began writing a humor column for Continental News Service which I still do today. I also continue to write articles for various publications. There are more books and even a screenplay in the works. I guess when you tell stories for a living the work never ends.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Morning Rays


    This is a little six sentence short story which I recently entered into some contests.  I didn't win, but it is a sweet little story you may enjoy reading.  There certainly is a challenge when one is confronted with the task of keeping a story to a minimum of words.  Lots of fun, not so easy, but definitely worth it!

     On a gnarled, oak bench, underneath a fragrant pine, sits my father, worn, leather prayer book open on his lap.  Jewel-colored hummingbirds dart to and fro suckling sweet nectar, when one flies near to whisper in my father’s ear.  Sunlight filters through the branches on this lazy morning.  He stands, stretching out the body, now bent from age, as his face turns upward letting the first rays of warmth course through him.  “Thank you, Father,” he says.  It will be a good day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A move to the big city

     With that deer-in-the-headlights look, I began my first day at a new job over five years ago.  Twenty seven years at another job, and there I was starting over again.
     My husband  Jim and I had met at an online dating site.  After a few failed attempts at other relationships, my brother opened up my world to this type of dating.  Scary at first, it grew to be quite fun.  There were a few others I met in the cyber world, but Jim was the special one.  The one that could make me laugh.
     I had left everything behind, brother, parents and old friends to pursue my new life with this man.  We hadn't dated too long before deciding to marry.  I found myself moving to a larger city, and a strange, fast-paced lifestyle that was foreign to me.
     Oddly enough, I had practically grown up in a dental office, as I had begun my career as  a dental assistant when I was only eighteen years old.  There I was, forty six, and trembling at the thought of learning dreaded computer skills.
     The former dental office had been quaint, old-fashioned with a rickety, old typewriter that had been my daily companion.  Before me was a keyboard that didn't look anything like my dear old friend.
     Patiently, my new boss, dear Kathy sat by my side, encouraging me every step of the way.  She may never know the stomach pains which had gripped me in those first hours and days.
     Soon enough, I realized the bulky monstrosity was so much more than the old, Royal typewriter I had left behind.  It could do things I had only dreamed of.
     Maybe this new, fast-paced lifestyle was something that could be embraced.  Something to look forward to.
     The stomach pains faded as the days flew by.  Here it is, almost six years later.  The big city has brought so much more into my world.  Love, new friendships, a church family closer than anything I could have dreamed of.   And not only has the office computer become my friend, but my boss Kathy has too.