Recently, I attended a marketing conference in Akron, Ohio. The primary topic of this conference was how to create a valuable mission statement. A mission statement defines what an organization or business is and why it exists. Mission Statements are only effective if they are communicated throughout the organization and reinforced by its leader(s). This inspired me to think about why I exist as an author and singer/songwriter. Why do I write? What am I trying to accomplish with my writings? Pinpointing this objective was really quite simple. MY MISSION IS TO CONNECT AND INSPIRE. I wish to connect with individuals and inspire them in a way that improves their life and way of thinking.
The origin of this objective comes from one of the first songs I ever wrote. The song is called “Runaway.” It’s a mostly-acoustic rock ballad that was inspired from a television special my UMASS roommates and I were watching in our apartment in Puffton Village in Amherst, Massachusetts. The program was on teenage runaway girls. These inner-city girls had ran away from home for various reasons and were living in poverty on the streets. With no work experience and little education these girls were resorting to prostitution in order to survive. As soon as the program was over, I went into my bedroom, picked up my 6-string Ibanez guitar and wrote “Runaway” in about 15 minutes. The story focuses on one girl and how helpless and trapped she feels needing to “work the streets” to make money. The song also talks about the girl’s family who is searching for her to bring her back home where she is loved. One night after performing the song on campus, I told a friend that I hoped that one day “Runaway” would hit the radio. I imagined that someone would be playing the song on their car radio and a girl who was thinking about running away from home would overhear it and change her mind. If I could positively inspire just one teenager, I would feel the song was a huge success.
The same is true for my song “Mornie Rivers” which is a edgy rock tune about a friend of mine who overcame his heroin addiction.
As for the Extra Innings trilogy, although my goal was to tell a story that had never been told, I began to discover that Jimmy and Billy McGee’s lives were progressing into a path of constructive value. I envision many readers extracting a positive life lesson or two from the experiences of these fictional identical twins – I know I have. Of course, these lessons are not learned overnight and in this case cover the course of 3 books. I suppose this is true of most people that life lessons are learned over a period of time fashioned by a string of ups and downs. I look forward to hearing about any inspirations my readers gain from reading the Extra Innings trilogy. And I hope I have done a good job of painting a realistic picture of the story’s setting and its characters so its readers feel connected throughout every page.