Category Archives: Writing

The EduClaytion Funeral

Getting laid to rest like this original blog mugshot

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the end of an era. Last Friday, eduClaytion took some time to say goodbye to you. Now it’s time for you to say goodbye to eduClaytion. Yes, it’s a bit of a somber day to be sure as we bid farewell to a dear friend. But let’s celebrate the good times like Kool and the Gang.

You know, it’s almost like eduClaytion–a brand that was born exactly one decade ago–has been a part of me for all these years. We are not mourning a loss but rather celebrating something that brought so much joy and love to so many.

A variety of some of the greatest bloggers and people around the internet today have offered their talents and time to pay tribute on this grave occlaysion. There has never been an event like this in the history of the internet. Boom. Eat your heart out Bill Gates. What? You’re here? That’s right Bill Gates, cuz it’s that big.

Knox McCoy, the Tennessee Tenderfoot himself, is here to serve as honorary officiant and start us off with a rhapsodic introduction.

The Blessing

Dearly beloved of the internet and beyond, we are gathered here today to remember a website that while it was torn all too early from our computer screens, will forever live on in the hearts and minds of those who came into contact with it. was a brilliant website with a bright future, a sunny disposition and an ability to never meet a stranger. My most favorite memory of is that one night we were looking for a Blockbuster Video and ended up at an underground Pittsburgh Fight Club with a group of Japanese businessmen from Kyoto – and we all ended up eating breakfast together and becoming Facebook friends. That was classic was a lover of movies. was an adventurer. had a hellacious left hook. And was my friend. was a friend to all of us. Go now, peacefully and gently into that good night,, until we are to meet again.

~Knox McCoy


Today’s first video eulogy is from Jared Hollier who wishes to pay tribute through song, an interpretive dance really.

[tentblogger-youtube T6cJfwDSAUU]


Ironic Mom Leanne Shirtliffe

[tentblogger-youtube X5E8MXZKLgw]


Thoughtsy & Larry Hehn

[tentblogger-youtube KHEEGatDnI4]


Ellie Soderstrom

[tentblogger-youtube fX0HJVVPX_o]


Chad Gibbs, Jessie Cribbins, Piper BayardRenée Schuls-Jacobson, Chase McFadden

[tentblogger-youtube 4aTketR1hng]


Arty Arnold wrote an obit that was too good to miss.


Jess Buttram

[tentblogger-youtube mBUIPQIh1J8]


Kim Wilson

[tentblogger-youtube fpx5Jhgzyj4]


*Thanks to Kelly Kay for the great epitaph!


Tell everyone what a great job they did and don’t forget to sign the guest book!*

*The guest book looks exactly like the comments section.

On Twitter #eduClaytionFuneral

The Death of EduClaytion, Part 2 [Ft. Jeff Goins]

I know I stunned the world yesterday (or at least surprised 37 people) by announcing that eduClaytion is going to die. I really appreciate so many people stopping by to read and leave some thoughts. I’m going to carve your initials in my locker today just to show how much you mean to me.

I have some fun funeral festivities in the works for the next couple weeks but wanted to take a minute today to write one last “normal” post. Mostly, I want to explain a bit of where this decision came from and what this man has to do with it.

Jeff Goins has been rampagin' ya'll

In a way, the decision to end eduClaytion came out of nowhere. I certainly never expected this when I launched a new version of this site at the end of February. At the same time I launched (which is also going away) because I thought I had some things figured out.

But sometimes you need to take a few steps in the best looking direction so you can get off the path you’ve been on and see an even better route to where you want to go. When I finally arrived at this decision to kill my site, I knew the plan was necessary and good. Continue reading The Death of EduClaytion, Part 2 [Ft. Jeff Goins]

Letters To Famous People

Last Friday I woke up at 5 a.m. to drive to Nashville for the smashing Killer Tribes conference (which I’ll recap eventually). Twelve hours later I was real life meeting Tyler Tarver in person.

I know, right?

If you think Tyler is funny on the internet you should see him in person. Not funny AT ALL. We shared a lot of things including but not limited to:

  • hair goop
  • laughs
  • elevators
  • a bed
  • Mexican food
  • our hearts

Yup, it was straight outta Compton which is where I’m pretty sure we ended up for a minute when Tyler somehow managed to lead our group into a neighborhood gang war when all we wanted was quesadillas for dinner.

Tyler so Lost he couldn't find a hatch lol but not really

Another thing I shared with Tyler last weekend was a special moment when he signed my copy of his first book Words & Sentences.

He literally signed it

But he still knows how to murder words until a good time is had by all. And guess what.


Letters to Famous People by Tyler Tarver is a compilation of letters to famous people written by Tyler Tarver. Just take that in for a moment. Have you ever written a letter to a famous person? Exactly. It’s like that. But different.

This book launch of Tyler’s features more giveaways than an ultimate Frisbee tournament. You won’t believe all these prizes. Seriously.

So do yourself and the planet a flippin’ service by supporting a good guy on giveaway day.

The BIG Announcement!

As most of you know, I haven’t been around on the internet so much in recent weeks. As Jess Buttram would say, you guys I MISSED YOU. I haven’t been able to post or chat on Twitter or even read much of what everyone’s been writing since late last fall. I wouldn’t just vanish like that without good reasons(s).

Well, today I finally get to announce the biggest reason for my extended absence.

I’m pregnant.

Hardy har, kidding of course. No, the truth is that I’ve already given birth–to a new book that my agent Amanda and I sold. That I wrote. That’s right, I’m getting published and the book will be out this fall!

So I am super pleased to announce that in just a few months Abingdon Press will be publishing my first book titled UNDEAD: Revived, Resuscitated & Reborn.

Everything happened very fast, and I had to write a LOT of the manuscript in a matter of weeks. At the same time I was spinning many plates including the teaching I do at three colleges. Blogging was tough to keep going, but now I’m back baby. I’ve already kicked things off with this new version of eduClaytion. But why stop there? Continue reading The BIG Announcement!

eduClaytion 2.0!!! [Feat. Tyler Tarver]

It’s been a LOOOOONG time coming, but the new eduClaytion is here!

Here is long-time listener but first time caller Tyler Tarver with the big announcement that I already just made.

In honor of this site launch Tyler is signing a copy of his book Words & Sentences for me to give away to someone who takes their shoes off and frolics in my new comments section. If you’re lucky he might even sign his very own name. Continue reading eduClaytion 2.0!!! [Feat. Tyler Tarver]

The 5 Year Engagement

English: Emily Blunt at the Toronto Internatio...
Image via Wikipedia

Not only did Kevin Haggerty have some fun interviewing me recently; he also opened my eyes to an upcoming film with a unique marketing plan. The 5 Year Engagement is using transmedia, a new form of storytelling that is changing the way we absorb stories and consume culture.

Okay, full disclosure: The movie stars a certain actress named Emily Blunt who I may or may not have mentioned a couple times*. But I’m not here to blather and blush and blubber and gush. There’s plenty of time to do that later**.

The fictional couple in The 5 Year Engagement (co-starring Jason Segel) even has a wedding blog that is building towards the big event. Some of this stuff is really clever.

I’ve been wondering how this approach impacts marketing and how writers can use this kind of creativity in the 21st century. It just happens that my friend Ellie–whose superskills include cooking and being awesome–has been delving into the world of transmedia like no one I know. I asked her for some thoughts on this emerging area.


Ellie’s thoughts:
I had lots of misconceptions about transmedia when I first learned heard about it (it’s much more than putting a wig, makeup, and heels on your book). Transmedia is not to be confused with multimedia or cross media, it’s not simply combining media. It’s creating an experience. Henry Jenkins, MIT media studies professor says, “coordinated use of storytelling across platforms can make the characters more compelling,” and Stephen Dinehart says, ” “true” transmedia is designed in preproduction with the intent of immersion.”

Transmedia evokes all your senses, immerses you in the story. Examples: Continue reading The 5 Year Engagement

At Least 3 Things You’ve Never Heard Me Talk About

January, January, what have you wrought?

I’ve been a busy boy these past few weeks, but all that hard work is soon going to pay off. The fun part’s coming when I get to tell yous what’s been in the works.

Kevin looks like a guy you can trust. Until he asks about Nick Cannon.

One of the revelations will be a complete overhaul of my web presence which brings me to the way it all got started–blogging.

Kevin Haggerty invited me to talk about my life as a writer, professor, and pop culturista. Although he may have outed me in at least one area. No, I’m not gay* in case you were wondering

There are even a couple new wrinkles for those of you who know me all too well. At the very least you can discover which Muppet I would spend the day with and how I really feel about Flo from the Progressive commercials.

So click on over to Kevin’s site The Isle of Man to read the interview sure to sweep the nation like a Hoover.

*Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

What Inspires You?

I’ve been underground lately, and for good reasons. More on that in the near future. In the meantime, I have a special weekend planned and want to take you with me.

Well, I can’t take ALL of you, just a piece. Specifically, an inspirational piece.

See, I’m going to Gettysburg this weekend for a unique time of reflection and writing. I’ve wanted to go stay in a house in the middle of nowhere for a long time but never did it. I finally buckled down a couple months back and researched possible towns to stay in. I’ve been to Gettysburg before, but as soon as I thought of it I knew I had my winner.

Then I set about checking out bed and breakfast type establishments. I’ve never stayed in one of those. I found one that actually doesn’t serve breakfast. This was actually a key attraction for me. Instead, they have a stocked kitchen and you just do your own thing. EXCELLENT if you know anything about my life and sleep patterns.

It’s also major off season. This means A) The rates are cheap and B) There’s no one staying there.

I literally get the entire house to myself because the proprietors (who are very nice) stay offsite nearby.

All this to talk about inspiration. I recently asked the Twitter world what music they use to get in the creative mood. A lot of the responses were movie soundtracks. I get that. Ellie Soderstrom and her husband Mike are all about the Tron soundtrack, so I’ve been playing that one recently.

I listen to a lot of rock, and that won’t change, but I’m open to new ideas! So I’d like to know, What Music Inspires You?

With a Name Like Smucker, It’s Gotta Be Good

I’ve been looking forward to this one. Shawn Smucker (follow him on Twitter) is one of the good guys, a fellow author, Pennsylvanian, and Choose Your Own Adventure enthusiast. He’s also just released his latest book, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far. We had some fun back and forth earlier this week and made the world a better place. Here’s a sampling.


1. Let’s start with the basics. What are 3 of your favorite movies.

I am a huge movie fan, so it’s tough to narrow it to three. I do love Michael Mann films, and Heat is right at the top of my list. I love the retelling of myths and fairy tales: Pan’s Labyrinth comes to mind. I have a love/mostly hate relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio, but The Departed was fantastic.

2. Tell us about your immediate family.

My wife is awesome. She puts up with my utter lack of concern regarding money or the future, which takes a special kind of person. She has gone with me to Jacksonville, Florida, then to England, then Virginia, and even a few dark and depressing months living in my parent’s basement after my painting business went to pot in 2009. She believes in me, which is really more than I can ask for or deserve.

We have four kids, ages 8, 7, 3 and 2. I spend most of my parenting life either laughing hysterically at the things they say or weeping at how much what I say sounds like my parents.

3. We’re both Pennsylvanians, but you rock the East side and I’m a SouthWestie. What’s the best thing about living in Eastern PA?

Eastern PA is awesome because I’m a Steelers fan and I get to make fun of my many Eagles-fan relatives. Their petty boasting is always hushed when I hold up six fingers (not on one hand).

4. Okay, let’s talk writing. I like how you pull writing lessons from different movies. Which of those movie breakdowns is your personal favorite?

I need to start doing this more often. My personal favorite is “Five Writing Lessons I Learned From Dumb and Dumber,” if only because it includes the classic line, “We got no food, no jobs…our PETS’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!”

5. We share a love for Choose Your Own Adventure books, and you even used that concept for a sweet blog series that your readers were able to complete. So here are two options for you.

a. You can have a time machine to jump all around the past for 100 years, but the day you return to your current life you’ll die or…

b. You live a healthy life from now on until the age of 100, but the time machine goes to someone else.

What do you choose? Continue reading With a Name Like Smucker, It’s Gotta Be Good