Saturday, May 4, 2013
This month, the House of Tystad celebrates the two-year anniversary of this blog. Like I promised, it has not been about cats, weight loss, bass fishing, or the new rules of dating. It has, however, been about dogs, creativity, important moments, and motorcycles. I've tried to touch on all the important things in life (oh yeah, I forgot food) and I've barely even started on music.
Thanks to everyone who's followed along. As we approach 10,000 pageviews, I feel honored to know that so many people have looked in on what I've shared. I appreciate your interest and it means a lot to me. Happy anniversary.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Spring brings us a fresh outlook on the world. It's time to think about new growth and taking advantage of what hasn't been available during the dormant season. I like to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and think about what it means to be alive. That's my favorite type of recreation.
A close friend once clued me in to what recreation is all about. It's not just simply fun and games. He explained that it's actually re-creation and it's vital to the health of every human being. So when a person finds a form of recreation that they really love and they engage in it totally and fully, they're recreating themselves over and over again. It's re-creation.
My wish is that you can be fortunate enough to find what you truly love in this world and enjoy it not only as recreation, but also as re-creation. Life is short, so let's enjoy it.
Friday, March 29, 2013
by Todd R. Tystad
Unfortunate news for the skiers and snowboarders among us is the fact that spring has, undeniably, arrived in our fair burg. Signs are everywhere and even though the possibility of snow and icy cold winds will remain for a few weeks, the worst of winter is over. Whine if you must, but spring has arrived here in the Midwest.
Those who know me well know how fond I am of the climate in Southern California. I spent the better part of 15 years honoring the changing of the seasons by making hard decisions like whether to wear a short or long-sleeved t-shirt, whether I could eat outside, and whether it was an SPF 15 or 30 day. If I ever wanted to remember what winter felt like, I'd head up to the Bay Area for an afternoon.
As many of us do in America's heartland, I watch carefully for any sign that winter is on its way out. At this very moment I can see baby blades of grass struggling to rise up above last year's growth, lilac leaf buds preparing to burst open, and the triumphant return of yard sales telling me that it's time for authentic warm weather.
With spring's new growth comes our traditional occasions that symbolize new life and freedom, Easter and Passover. As we all prepare for the time we'll spend with our families and friends, I'd like to share some reminders that will help us all make it to summer without any gloom, despair, divorce, or assault charges.
First of all, please remember that we all have to put up with some crazy relatives at holiday meals sometimes. If we didn't, it wouldn't seem at all like a holiday meal. Secondly, please do not give baby rabbits, chicks, or ducklings to children as gifts. Few households are suited to safely adopting such animals and giving a plush pet is a much better choice. Seriously. And finally, get outside and enjoy the weather while you can. Like Mom always said, there's no reason to stay cooped up in the house all day when there's beautiful weather outside.
Celebrate spring. Celebrate family. Celebrate the fact that you don't need to hide indoors for fear of frostbite or collapsed lungs. Spring is here. Now go out and enjoy it.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
St. Patrick's Day is a couple of weeks away and now is the time to make plans for how you're going to celebrate. Here's a lucky seven list of ways that the House of Tystad marks one of the best days of the year. You've only got a few days to get ready, so get on it.
1. Watch a movie about Irish blokes. I really like and highly recommend The Commitments. The soundtrack is outstanding.
2. Listen to some Irish music. My short list includes The Killigans and The Dropkick Murphys.
3. Cook up some Irish food. There has always been and will always be corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes on St. Patrick's Day at the House of Tystad.
4. Wear some green. Keep it under control, but this one is just a given.
5. Visit a St. Patrick's Day community festival. There's nothing like celebrating with some kindred spirits.
6. Watch a St. Patrick's Day parade. Sometimes even better than a festival because the good ones are a festival in and of themselves.
7. Stop in at an Irish pub. Some might say that St. Patrick's Day is too busy and crowded, but... you ever notice that those people aren't Irish? Don't listen to them. Live a little.
And, as if you need any more inspiration, I leave you with my favorite Irish blessing.
May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Valentine's Day is the time to share the love and I do love my fellow indie authors. They are a dedicated bunch and many of my favorites gather at The Indie Exchange. I was the first featured author at the exchange and, in tribute, I'd like to give you ten reasons to love indie authors.
10 Things Readers May Not Know About Indie Authors
by Todd R. Tystad
by Todd R. Tystad
- The indie author is a dedicated reader, just like you. She loves books and what she earns from her work is often put back into buying books, often from other indie authors. She can’t help it because she fell in love with language and the printed word at an early age. Creating stories and sharing ideas through her writing is second nature and a life without books is unimaginable. Reading and writing is just another necessary behavior, like breathing, eating, and sleeping.
- The indie author is a regular guy who goes to work, comes home, takes out the trash, feeds the kids, and walks the dog. The difference is that when the day job and the chores are done, he summons up the creative energy needed to spin all sorts of tales with the hope of entertaining his readers. It takes Herculean strength to create characters, build cities, and poetically describe feelings of passion just minutes after cleaning out the litter box, but the indie author can do all that and more. He’s really quite remarkable.
- The indie author believes that books are a medium that will never grow old. Storytelling will always be a part of the human experience and books will always be a way that we share our stories. The form that books take has been changing, but the value of reading a well-written story never will.
- The indie author dreams that her main character will overcome every obstacle, slay every dragon, and fall in love in a way that has never happened before. She has faith that true love will prevail and she knows that if you believe, anything can happen. All she wants is for you to join her on her journey.
- The indie author is a renegade, a rebel, and a force to be reckoned with. In quiet ways and armed only with language and some carefully laid-out ideas, he will not rest until he has delivered his story to his readers. He sits for hours composing what he has dreamed of sharing and rejects the traditional publishing rules that tell him it must be done in a certain way.
- The indie author is the author you’ll be hearing about in the future. She’s a rising star. She knows that even if she becomes successful enough that the next computer will be newer or the paper more plentiful, she’ll still write with the same zeal that she had when she wrote her first book. Read that first book now so you can say you knew her back when she first got started.
- The indie author is not a franchise figurehead leading a creative staff and an editorial team producing books by committee. The indie author is an individual writer, toiling away in the early morning or late at night creating stories that emerge organically and are handcrafted with the love a parent has for a child.
- The indie author is inspired to be a writer, but is usually not inspired to be a marketer. Since the task of promoting an indie book falls entirely onto the shoulders of the indie author, he must become an independent businessperson (by default and usually not by choice). Treat him kindly when he visits your doorstep selling his wares.
- The indie author is technologically proficient (also by default and also usually not by choice). Indie publishing requires that he be expert in managing data, formatting, uploading, creating cover art, and interacting with various indie publishing websites. If not, he must scrounge up the money to pay someone else to do it for him and that can often be a significant obstacle. He sometimes wishes technology could be set aside so that all of the time he spends on technological proficiency could be used for writing.
- Most of all, the indie author is, in her heart, the defender of the independent spirit and the keeper of the faith. As fresh ideas become more difficult to find, the indie author becomes more determined. She has refused to be bound by the shackles of the establishment and she has no intention of backing down. The indie author writes and publishes independently and, through her work, she helps to keep us thinking independently too.
Monday, January 21, 2013
The Nebraska Writing Project, a network of professional educators and writers, is sponsoring its second annual NeWP Youth Writing Festivals. The two festivals are designed for high school students and educators and will allow participants to learn more about writing, share written work, and interact with other students, educators, and writers.
Omaha - Elkhorn South High School: March 23, 2013
Grand Island Senior High School: April 27, 2013
I was honored to contribute in 2012, presenting a session on screenwriting and also participating in a panel discussion on writing and publishing. It was a great experience.
This year's festivals are also sure to be outstanding events. I encourage you to forward this information to any Nebraska student or educator you think might be interested.
For more information, click on the NeWP link above.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in
one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not
enchantment then where is it to be found?"
J. B. Priestley
Happy Holidays to you and yours from the House of Tystad.