Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday Night Lights

The annual calendar at the House of Tystad always begins with football season. Summer is over, a new school year has begun, and our attention is now focused on a sport that is absolutely greater than the sum of its parts.

Our shared American culture is diverse enough that a person could conceivably grow up not knowing the meaning of the word huddle or the responsibilities of a quarterback. But cultural literacy requires at the very minimum a proficiency in the basic terms that are associated with the game of football. The language of the game is a part of our shared language, whether the speakers have played the game or not. Football is a part of who we are.

So as we begin another football season, I want to wish the very best to the players, the coaches, and the fans who make the game what it is. Let's not forget that before it's a broadcast program, it's a game played in grassy parks and empty lots in every community. Before it's a high dollar ticketed event, it's a sport that teaches players the meaning of teamwork and character and dedication. Before anything else, it's an endeavor that has taught life lessons to countless athletes who may have not otherwise had opportunities that football provided.

I'm a football fan. This is the time of year that I wait for. It's a brand new season and anything is possible. See you at the game.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Finding Peace, Part 2

The House of Tystad has gone back to school. Carefree wandering has been set aside and replaced with the familiar routine of the school schedule. My resolution for the new year is to make a point of finding time each week for peaceful recreation. I'm revisiting the archives to remind myself how important that is (from my May 23, 2011 blog post).
I was looking for peace. I just took my dog Pablo the Chihuahua out for a walk around the neighborhood and, between the exercise and the near-death experience brought on by an angry Irish Setter on the loose, I think we both got a lot out of it. Pablo got some serious cardio and a newfound realization that he isn't nearly as intimidating as he thinks he is (a hard life lesson for a Chihuahua). I got to breathe in some fresh air and feel an important connection to nature and the value of life... my own and my dog's.

One of the most peaceful people I've ever known was a religious man, a man of the cloth. He was the leader of his congregation when I knew him and I count him among the most influential people I've ever known. He used to say that his most spiritual moments came not in a house of worship and not among other people, but late at night when he took his dog outside for a walk. He said that having that time alone with his dog, walking in the darkness, he was able to reach a point of having an honest and satisfying conversation with God. Those moments gave him peace.

I'll never forget that lesson, that we can sometimes be surprised where we can find our own peace. My friend clued me in to the idea that we need to pay attention to the moments that come unexpectedly and allow us to look deep within ourselves and realize who we are in the world. And that these moments can bring us true peace.
Here's to each of us finding those moments on a regular basis.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Interview with Todd R. Tystad

Australian author and blog writer Patti Roberts recently interviewed me for her book blog. I'm posting a portion of the interview below. You can read the entire interview on her site: Patti Roberts Book Blog.

Patti Roberts is the author of Paradox - The Angels Are Here, a book that's had great reviews. Patti's blog hosts a Bloggerthon and my new book, Blue Hill, is one of the books featured in the September edition. You can find out about some great new books and even win a free copy of Blue Hill. You can learn more here: September Bloggerthon.

Up Close and Personal with Author Todd R. Tystad (interview excerpt)

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say? I plan to let my main character, Asa Roth, write as a guest blogger on my blog sometime soon. I think he'd like to talk about how things that happened the summer before his senior year in high school changed him and how he's been dealing with that. I think he'd also mention his girlfriend, Shannon, and talk about how fall football practice has been going.

Is this book part of a series? Yes, I've already started my next book and it will begin right where Blue Hill ended. My plan is for a three or four part series following the life of Asa Roth.

Read the entire interview at: Patti Roberts Book Blog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blue Hill Available Now

I am happy to announce that Blue Hill is now available on Amazon.

Many thanks to everyone for their support. I hope that the story of Asa Roth will be satisfying and captivating enough that you'll have an interest in Book 2. I've already started the process and I'll tell you now that it will begin right where Blue Hill ends.

In the meantime, let me leave you with this thought: Reviews on Amazon and other sites (like GoodReads) are worth a lot - more than you would imagine - and I would appreciate even one sentence or two if you like what you read. Anything you have to say would make a huge impact on potential readers. Thanks in advance.

Thanks again and please let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blue Hill

Blue Hill is now just days away from publication. The target for release is next week and be assured that there is no one more interested in seeing this baby out on its own than me. It's been a long wait and we're almost there.

Thank you for your interest and thank you for reading my blog.