Adventures in writing

Don’t Sweat That Christmas Pageant Performance, Kid

by Bill Brenner December 26, 2014 Adventures in writing

My kids participated in a Christmas Eve pageant at our church, and a highlight for me was one girl’s performance of the song, “Mary Did You Know.” The young lady’s performance made my neck hairs stand up. I saw her sing it twice: Christmas Eve, and at a rehearsal the night before. During the Christmas Eve performance, she sang a bit too high toward the end. She still sounded awesome. But she was pretty upset. As…  [Read More]

Hackers for Charity: Essential Reading

by Bill Brenner November 4, 2014 Adventures in writing

One of the best examples of what makes the information security community special is Hackers for Charity, an engine for good started by hacker Johnny Long several years ago. Mood music: Long set up shop in Jinja, a town just east of the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Hackers for Charity brings to bear the skills of hackers worldwide to provide free technical support to cash-strapped local charities and organizations. Volunteers work to improve Internet connectivity and put technology into…  [Read More]

So You Wanna Blog About Your Demons

by Bill Brenner March 3, 2014 Adventures in writing

Quite a few people are starting to share stories about their mental health challenges and other demons. Some ponder if they should start blogging about it. Having written such a blog for almost five years now, here’s my take. Mood music: If you feel you have reached the right point in your journey to start sharing, then do it. If nothing else, it will help you keep things in perspective. I always feel better after…  [Read More]

The Year That Will Be: 15 Goals

by Bill Brenner January 7, 2014 Adventures in writing

It turns out I have a lot of goals for 2014. Here’s a list. Wring all the sloppiness from my eating program. Find a cheap elliptical machine and use it for at least 30 minutes a day. Earn my way off the blood pressure pills. Get the first-ever security section of up and running. Learn how to play one new song a week on guitar. Start recording the original music I’ve been working on….  [Read More]

The Year That Was

by Bill Brenner January 6, 2014 Adventures in writing

A lot of folks have made comments about what a shitty year 2013 was. There were deaths, divorces, miserable jobs, layoffs, etc. I didn’t end the year feeling bitter, though. Many good things happened. Mood music: In 2013 I started an excellent job, made a lot of new friends, got in lots of quality time with my wife and kids, and learned to play guitar chords written by my musical heroes. We made more progress…  [Read More]

Quoted in Forbes Again

by Bill Brenner December 19, 2013 Adventures in writing

For the second time this year, I’m quoted in a Forbes article. Cheryl Snapp Conner and Tom Lowery have been too kind. 🙂 The earlier story was about how mental illness can actually make people stronger in their jobs. The latest is an article called “Fifty Shades of Effort: The Writer’s Life, and Why We Choose It.” In it, I talk about why I started writing the OCD Diaries, and what, in general, continues to fuel my passion for writing.

You Can’t Fight Depression with Unicorns and Rainbows

by Bill Brenner December 17, 2013 Adventures in writing

In recent days I’ve watched an interesting online discussion about depression and bipolar disorder. One one side is author and speaker Natasha Tracy, whose writing pulls no punches about the dark side of such maladies. On the other side is a blogger named Sarah Ryan. She believes the approach to addressing the subject should be uplifting and sunny. The truth is somewhere in between, in my opinion. But I must say that the sunshine part…  [Read More]

The OCD Diaries, Four Years Later

by Bill Brenner December 5, 2013 Adventures in writing

This weekend marks four years since I woke up in a funk and started this blog on a whim, figuring I’d at least feel better if I spilled my guts. It did the trick. But in the years since that day, it has become something far bigger than I could have imagined at the time. Mood music: I didn’t expect so many people to connect with the writing. I figured it would be no big…  [Read More]

A Revere Kid Celebrates National Grammar Day. Punk-uation, Anyone?

by Bill Brenner March 3, 2013 Adventures in writing

Tomorrow is National Grammar Day. For writers and copyeditors (my wife is both), this is kind of like St. Patrick’s Day and Easter rolled into one. Erin plans to stay glued to her desk all day, weighing in on all the conversation that comes rolling off the Twitter tongue. Given her job, she has no choice, really. Mood music: Being a writer and editor myself, I should be just as excited. But I’m from Revere,…  [Read More]

The OCD Diaries in Book Form

by Bill Brenner December 12, 2012 Adventures in writing

Erin and I are making plans for 2013. One is to turn The OCD Diaries into book form. Mood music: [spotify:track:0PexPf8SzDe0xu0OS3p7ya] Almost since the beginning of this blog, readers have suggested that I do an OCD Diaries book. Flattering as that suggestion is, I sort of balked at the notion. This began as a memoir of sorts, and that might have been worth making a book out of. But the subject matter quickly evolved, and…  [Read More]