Fifty Shades of Grey Discussion

So not too long away D2 was talking about the bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. While I was in the Portland airport last week, I’d guess that I saw at least 50 people reading it.

Well, the New York Times has a piece about a Florida library removing the book from its library shelves. Read it here.

And here’s a thoughtful rebuttal from the Annoyed Librarian. This question comes up in libraries over and over.

The question “Is it porn?” comes up over and over in libraries. Trust me. You haven’t lived until you’ve had to tell three guys in one week to put it away and head home with their arousal.



Things to do in Spokane?

I’m going up to the Spokane area to speak over the next couple of days. Dunce Two, I’m looking at you first, then everyone else:

What are some good/fun/scandalous things to do up in Spokane? When I lived there, all too briefly, I didn’t see much outside of a bizarre house in the woods. D2, do you remember?

That was where I first heard the term, “The horizontal hum-bum.”

How to Publish a Book or Short Story on Kindle

I’ve been yammering at Dunce Two to publish something for about ten years.Those of you who read the blog think he’s a good writer–and he’s much better than you know.

Which is why today I’m going to outline the steps to publish a book or short story on the Kindle: because I did it recently and I want him to do it as well.

I’ve been sitting on a few short stories for a couple of years and decided I wanted to put them in the marketplace and see what happened. Here’s how: Continue reading

Interview with Author Josh Hanagarne

Dunce Two and One: Interviewer and Interviewee

[Josh and I go WAY back.  We met in college in an English class we both stuck out in (for reasons both savory and un-).  We were pleased and surprised to discover that we shared uniquely similar outlooks on life, ladies, and literature.  Oh, and scrawny guys who think they are tough; especially of the cheesy arm-tattooed variety.  Watch out!  We’ve had many adventures together (road trips, concerts, women, bon fires, howling at the moon, this blog), but that is only the beginning.  There will be lots more insanity to come!] Continue reading

Three Books of Essays Worth Reading/Trying

I’ve been on an essay kick. Joan Didion and some serious gloom finally kicked me out of it, but it was fun while it lasted.

In order of the average length of the essays, here are three books of essays I read I recently that I think will be worth trying.

Reality Hunger by David Shields

Chapter 4 should be required reading for anyone writing memoir. This is a book I know I’ll read again. I can’t say that very often. Continue reading

Stone Lifting – Prepping for Scotland Trip


I have grown increasingly bored with barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and just about anything else you might see in a box gym.

My new obsession has been finding the heaviest rocks I can and seeing what I can do with them. I’ll be headed to Scotland in 2013 on a stone lifting tour–long story, which I’ll keep you apprised of. So now I’m in training for it.

Continue reading

Blogging Questions? Ask them!

I know some of you are bloggers. Most bloggers I know would like to get more readers/money/something out of it.

If you are in that category, today I want to open it up for questions.

I’m making a lot of it up as I go along, just like everyone else, regardless of what they tell you, but I’ve done all right.

World’s Strongest Librarian generally gets over 100,000 visitors each month.It also got me a book deal.

Dunce Academy is doing better every month, despite almost zero promotion. If I had more time, it would not be hard to increase the traffic by the proverbial leaps and bounds.

I’ve learned some things that work, others that don’t work so well.

So ask if you have questions. I’ll answer if I can, admit if I am speculating, and flat-out tell you that I have no idea if that’s the case.




Tearing a Phone Book in Half

Okay, continuing on from yesterday’s card tearing glory.

It had been a while since I had tried to tear a phone book in half. Maybe four or five months.

One of the nice things about hand strength is that once you’ve built a strong foundation, it doesn’t fade away like a lift like the bench press might, should you take some time off.

Hands are not quite as subject to the “use it or lose it” rule I see in so many of my other lifts.

Anyway, this book is about 2.5″ thick. It’s not the cleanest tear, but it went pretty easily.


So long, greedy lawyers on the back cover, or maybe that was a different phone book

Tutorial forthcoming.

Tearing a Deck of Cards (unless you’re Dunce Two)


To my profound delight, last weekend I got to see the quite-fit and -muscular Dunce Two struggle with all of his might, trembling and sweating and moaning, to tear a deck of playing cards in half.

Then he dropped down to half the deck.

Then to about 15 cards. That he was able to do, but unfortunately for him, so was his wife.

Still, he’s smart.

I, on the other hand, am merely a brute, but I dazzled on the card tearing front.

Here’s the latest experiment from today:

Human hole punch

I’m not graceful or elegant and I’ve pretty much gone bald and not very many people enjoy my company, but I can rip the middle out of a deck of cards. Nobody can say I can’t.

If you are interested in learning how to do this (dunce two, raise your hand), let me know and I’ll get a video tutorial shot.