Friendly Advice

“I've been reading your work," he explains. "And I'm going to tell you the truth, precisely like I tell my students... Your writing comes across weak. One can never reside in the ranks of great columnists by writing only about happy subjects and biscuits.

“I’m going to give you some friendly advice,” says Dan, in a letter he sent me.

“I’ve been reading your work,” he explains. “And I’m going to tell you the truth, precisely like I tell my students… Your writing comes across weak. One can never reside in the ranks of great columnists by writing only about happy subjects and biscuits.

“Complain, Sean! You must write persuasive copy about the things you dislike in this unfair world. Don’t be afraid to rant. That’s what I tell students. Trust me on this, I’ve been writing columns for twenty-one years.”

Dan—which is not his name—makes a point. And he knows more about writing than I do. Thus, I’ve decided to heed his counsel.

No more biscuits.

But before I start slinging complaints, I need to say a few important things.

Firstly: I love trees.

Bear with me, Dan. I know that was off-topic, but I CAN’T complain until I’ve at least mentioned how much I like trees.

You ought to see the live oaks in this part of the world. Then, you’d understand.

And: birds. I love bird-calls at six in the morning, when the world is waking.

And spittoons.

That might seem bizarre. I don’t even chew, but I love spittoons almost as much as I love spitting. Daddy had an antique brass spittoon. It was just for show.

Also: I like runt puppies, ham hocks, tomatoes staked with twine, waking up to bacon, and Bernard P. Fife.

And skinks. Like the skink on the porch with me now. He’s blue and black. Fast. I think I’ll call him Edwin.

Edwin, because that was the name of my server at the Mexican restaurant last night. He was rude. He botched my order and forgot my beer. Worst service I’ve had in years. I SHOULD’VE complained.

Instead, I left old Ed a fat tip. I’m not wealthy, Dan, but I believe in tipping too much just for the hell of it.

I once played music in a beer joint outside Atlanta—a five-hour gig—and made zero tips. Zero. It humiliated me.

The manager told me, “This’ll be the last time we hire you, kid. Customers don’t dig you.”

That hurt.

After the bar closed, a waitress served me coffee for the ride home. She had old skin, and blue eyes—I don’t know why I remember that.

“Do you know ‘Danny’s Song?’” she asked.

I did. So, I played it.

“…Even though we ain’t got money,
“I’m so in love with ya honey…”

I don’t know if the hundred-dollar bill I found in my guitar case came from her, but I believe it did.

I’m sorry, Dan. I’m supposed to be complaining, like you teach your students. Who am I to disagree? I don’t claim to be a good writer. I’m just me.

Maybe you’re right. Ranting might be exactly what this world needs. But hell, when I start talking about trees, I get distracted. Trees do that to me.

So do biscuits.

Thanks for the letter.


  1. Camille Atkins - April 7, 2017 7:40 am

    Sean, you are the best damn biscuit ranter I’ve ever heard! ^_^

  2. Perri Williamson - April 7, 2017 7:47 am

    You could always complain when you haven’t had ENOUGH biscuits (you and everyone else would be one complaining so-n-so). Or when you’ve misplaced your favorite honey and have to eat lame jelly on your biscuits. If your wife eats the last biscuit you could also legitimately complain—and possibly fiile for divorce if it happens too often. The way I see it biscuits AND complaining go hand-in-hand. Dan is a literary sage!

  3. Jana Whitehead - April 7, 2017 8:31 am

    That just reminded me of how much I like tomato plants staked up with old knee-high panty hose. (I always wondered why they called those panty hose when they just came up to the knee.) If my gramdmother ( who the grand children and all the other church kids called Moncie) didn’t wear those to her knees, she’d have those that attached to her girdle that had the garter straps sewed on. You know both kinds, I’m sure. (Or as a younger fella, you thought about them once or twice.) It was the ones grandmas used to wear to church on Sunday.

    Somehow those hose always got a run in ’em before two or three Sundays were over, or the tops would stretch out and they’d gather down around ankles. My Moncie, in true Southern lady style, would never be csught like that, (or without her lipstick), but she never threw anything away if it could be used.

    She’d tie up her rose bushes and her tomato plants with them. I always wondered if that’s why the roses always smelled good and her homegrown tomatos sandwiches tasted so sweet. Which just led me to realize, I’m kinda glad she never converted to panty hose! LoL

    • Gerald - January 8, 2018 3:07 pm

      Jana, those are called knee-highs and panty hose actually do come up around your waist. Just A technicality and both can certainly be used to tie up staked tomatoes and/or roses. 😉

  4. Jody Herren - April 7, 2017 10:05 am

    Love this, ALWAYS be yourself.we LOVE your writing, don’t know about Dan’s.

  5. Naomi - April 7, 2017 10:49 am

    Just keep doing what you do. It is hard to wear someone else’s skin. Frankly, I don’t want to hear someone ranting first thing in the morning. I get up, fix a glass of ice tea (part of my Southern heritage) and while the oven heats so I can bake biscuits, I sit down in my rocking chair, pick up my phone, and look for “Sean”. It is the start to my mornings, since a good Southern friend introduced us.

  6. Ray Symmes - April 7, 2017 10:58 am

    Good morning,

    I have an old mentally deranged cat that, when panicked, scratches and/or bites me. When he sits in my lap I tend to forget all that and figure he is probably just as confused as I am.

    Every day I get one or two breaths of fresh air from the real South, thanks to you. For a few minutes I think about Georgia and Alabama and the Carolinas and the mountains and red clay and the quiet times.

    Sean, please keep it up as long as you can, the way you must. I’ll take care of the other stuff. Thanks again.

  7. Mike - April 7, 2017 11:20 am

    I have been writing for so many years, so many, so I am very very wise now and I must tell you in all honesty that you are a very good writer. I know this because I enjoy reading what you write. You expose your heart to the world. Bravo. I have never read any of Dan’s stuff but he may be a good writer too. He may be a glorious complainer at heart.

  8. Kristen Johnson - April 7, 2017 11:21 am

    You brighten my mornings! I look forward to each email. I’d put a $100 bil in your guitar case just for your daily posts! Thanks and may God richly bless you!

  9. Mitford A. Fontaine - April 7, 2017 11:25 am

    Son, forget about Dan and keep on doing what you do.

    • Deborah Phillips - January 10, 2018 4:24 am

      Mitford A. Fontaine…I love your name! It sounds like a name Sean would use in one of his stories.

  10. Sheila - April 7, 2017 11:32 am


    Don’t you ever change.

  11. Rhea Wynn - April 7, 2017 11:36 am

    I love the fact that you don’t complain. There is enough of that in the world. We need to focus more on what it right and good. Please don’t change. I love the random nature of your stories; they remind me of REAL life. Thank you.

  12. Steve Norman - April 7, 2017 11:40 am

    Right on man, the world needs more Sean and less Dan – sorry didn’t mean to rhyme!

  13. Joanna - April 7, 2017 11:44 am

    Sean, I don’t know who Dan is, and I really don’t care. I love your column; or blog; or whatever the official title is of what you create on a daily basis for us to read. Every morning, as we’re having our coffee and checking our email I tell my husband “It’s a new Sean!”. And I read it out loud to him, and we both smile. The first time I read him one of your writings, I said, “I really like the way he writes.” And he agreed. The next time I read one, I said, “Have I mentioned that I really like the way he writes?” Now, when I finish reading, I just point to the screen and nod. He knows what I’m thinking. And I wanted you to know, too. I really like the way you write!

  14. Martha Wilson - April 7, 2017 11:46 am

    I am a writer too. I have no idea who Dan is, but I share your stories with people all the time. I envy your ability to tug on our emotions. You have a wonderful “voice” that manages to elevate the ordinary into something extraordinary. It is so refreshing to have someone do positive “rants” rather than negative ones. I had a professor in college tell me once, “those who can, do…those who can’t, teach.” Dan certainly lends credence to that saying. I sure am glad he is not my teacher.

  15. Joyce Hilburn - April 7, 2017 11:50 am

    Oh, how I love your writing – and trees – and biscuits. Glad I’m not one of the poor souls taking up space in this man’s writing class because, in my not very expert opinion, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Keep on doing what you do because you do it very well.

  16. Regena - April 7, 2017 12:12 pm

    PLEASE! Never change the way you write….☺

  17. Julia Driver - April 7, 2017 12:12 pm

    I had a best friend that passed a few years ago. Every morning we had coffee together but not in the usual sense. We would email each other either very early in the morning or the previous night and “catch up” on what’s happening with our lives. Often times our emails would be sent at the same time…. I looked forward to those emails in the early morning quiet time before the world awakens. I just want to tell you if I want to hear a journalist ranting I can turn on the tv….. there is enough ranting in the world now and not nearly enough Sean. Thank you ! Now I look forward to your posts everyday . Please keep doing what you do. I think perhaps some people that are not from the South do not understand the art of storytelling that we southerners are accustomed to and love so much. You have mastered the art of the essence of the south. Like hearing these stories on an old front porch without the porch.

  18. Craig Johnson - April 7, 2017 12:13 pm

    One can always choose what side of the bus they sit on. Don’t change sides.

  19. Lilli Ann Snow - April 7, 2017 12:15 pm

    How I love that you love trees and twined tomatoes…and people, of all things! I mean, beings. There are plant beings and animal beings and avian beings and all sorts of beings I think of as sentient beings. Even human beings! Such as you, Dean. One being who makes me better love all beings. Thank you. I wish I could put a $100 bill in my phone and surprise you by my gratitude for your gift this morning. Can you play like I did? Play it again, Sean. Please…and Thank You.

    • Lilli Ann Snow - April 7, 2017 12:18 pm

      Sorry ’bout the “Dean,” Sean. My fingers have a hard time hitting the right tiny buttons on my phone. I love the name Sean. It goes perfectly with red hair.

  20. Judy - April 7, 2017 12:17 pm

    AKA Dan must be one of those liberal professors who takes our happy, God fearing children, and “tries” to change them into mean spirited, agnostic, activists. “Write what you know,” Sean. It’s awfully nice to wake up in this complaining world and read your positive post the first thing in the morning.

    • Wayne - April 7, 2017 1:04 pm

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Buck Godwin - January 8, 2018 10:02 pm

      Judy, you really nailed it on this one!

  21. Janette McCollum - April 7, 2017 12:17 pm

    What the world needs is more people writing like you! I look forward to reading your story every day. The Cat story left me in tears.
    This world is full of hatred, “all about me people”, without any more complaining.
    I love trees, birds, nature in general. My goal in retirement is to get out there with nature and enjoy photographing them.
    I will be forever grateful for my friend that shared your information with me.
    Keep writing, from a Southern friend in Georgia.

  22. Sandra - April 7, 2017 12:45 pm

    I love old skin and blue eyes, describes me to a tee! Thanks!

  23. Frank - April 7, 2017 12:58 pm

    Sean- I have some advice for Dan.

    Dan. Dude. Just. Shut. Up!

    Really, Dan. No one in the real world thinks your view of what constitutes persuasive prose has any validity. It’s regrettable enough that our country today has an overabundance of snide, whiny, shallow snowflakes. We don’t need to hear them complain. What we need to hear are the thoughts of someone like Sean, who unearths meaning from the mundane.

    Please feel free to pass my ‘friendly advice’ along to the eminently qualified, all knowing, Dan.

  24. Rogene martin - April 7, 2017 1:04 pm

    Great writing Sean. I too love trees and oh! when the branches full of leaves move and sway their beautiful dance steps are top notch! Thanks for the smiles this morning. I truly needed them. Much appreciated.

  25. JERRY harp - April 7, 2017 1:11 pm

    I live in Alabama,I’m born and raised Alabama,your stories seem to remove us from this troubled world,at least for a few minutes,thing you you write take experiences from our own lives.keep up the good work.looking forward to the next story.

  26. Brenda Laurence - April 7, 2017 1:13 pm

    If I want to hear ranting, which I don’t, television will give me enough ranting in fifteen minutes to depress a happy circus clown.

    You rant. About lovely things, like trees. About lovely people, like old skin with blue eyes. Stinking hound dogs, chicken gravy and grandma’s biscuits. Keep ranting. It’s a breath of fresh air. Thanks.

  27. Cindy - April 7, 2017 1:15 pm

    This….is brilliant. As for me…I cherish that you don’t rant. God knows – there’s enough of that going around.

    • Jacklyn - April 30, 2017 7:40 am

      Getting a late start today, but getting ready to put the beef in the crock pot. Not quite as close to Barbie to the Galveston shore, but about 10 minutes up the road. Looking forward to this dish; think I will follow the suggisteon of sides up there. Watermelon sounds great.

  28. Just Southern - April 7, 2017 1:17 pm

    “precisely like I tell my students… Your writing comes across weak. One can never reside in the ranks of great columnists by writing only about happy subjects and biscuits.”

    Dan, you are one of the ranks that is trying to kill the hope and joy in our children and young people. The ones who only teach miserable literature and twists everything else to fit your dark outlook on life. You are the reason our children and young adults are writing in text speak and don’t understand their, there, they’re because they are so miserable learning about English they do not care. Try stopping your judging for two seconds and actually read what you claim to teach. It isn’t all the doom and gloom you claim sometimes. And if it is, you are reading the wrong books.

    • James Godwin - April 8, 2017 11:47 am

      Just Southern,
      Your response to Dan is exactly what I would have said if I had the writing skills that you have.
      This country has been slowly sinking into slimy pit of hate, anger, ignorance and “non culture” for years and every breath of fresh air is a welcome relief.
      You spoke well.

  29. Jan - April 7, 2017 1:28 pm

    Love it!!!

  30. Ed Rockensock - April 7, 2017 1:30 pm

    I’ve got a complaint!!!!!!!!
    I can’t stand that our system of education allows misguided individuals to be put in a place of authority over our children!!!!!!
    Pollyanna-ism is dangerous but not hardly sustainable in our culture of negativity and adversity. It is absolutely necessary to recognize bad and the evil and act on it, but it is equally and maybe more necessary to remind ourselves of the trees and biscuits. Thank you Sean for helping me remember the good, virtuous, principled, and reverent blessings we receive every single day. Please never stop.

  31. Angie - April 7, 2017 1:46 pm

    I love it! Great article. If I wanted to read complaints, I would read my local newspaper every day. If I wanted to listen to complaining seven days a week, I would extend my work hours at the office. I do neither of the two. Instead, I read your stories and am reminded of the good things in this world. Thanks for remaining true to who you are and how you write.

  32. gary jensen - April 7, 2017 1:46 pm

    I suppose, in a world such as this, complaints have their place. Dylan’s Dear Landlord for example. I can relate. But I’m not sure how complaining, ranting and/or raving, in and of itself, makes for great writing (a lot of commas, I know)… just as refraining from complaining and choosing to focus on the beauty around, in an of itself, doesn’t necessarily make for great writing. Even adept word play doesn’t fill the bill (my humble opinion, what do I know?) though it can be quite pleasing, admirable and even entertaining. Great writing, in my book (which I haven’t written yet) requires heart (whether complaining or writing hymns)… and that, Mr. Sean, you have. Keep it comin’… and thanks.

  33. Nancy Kane - April 7, 2017 1:54 pm

    I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t read (Dan’s) column on a regular basis…

  34. Mary Collett - April 7, 2017 1:55 pm

    Sean, do not, I repeat DO NOT pay attention to said Dan. He might think he knows about writing but you know about heart. Keep true to yourself, that’s why we love you.

  35. Sam Hunneman - April 7, 2017 1:56 pm

    Free advice. Yup, worth every penny. Stick with the trees, baby. The world could use a few more Druids. Especially if they know and appreciate “Danny’s Song”.

  36. Laura Young - April 7, 2017 1:59 pm

    I think perhaps the reason our world is like it is- so filled with hate- is because of the Dans of this world, teaching students to complain and whine and focus on the hate of the world, rather than being like the Seans of the world, trying to see the good that is there but maybe in the background, shouted down by those rants. We could use a lot less Dans and lots more Seans as far as I am concerned. And biscuits made in the South always have a place along side the trees, skinks, birdsong, smell of babies and rain on dry ground, seeing buds appear overnight, distant thunder and lightning- but I digress from my rant…:-)

    • Ed Rockensock - April 7, 2017 2:02 pm


  37. Rebecca Smith - April 7, 2017 2:02 pm

    Keep on keeping on, Sean! Bring on the trees and the biscuits! My friends and I love your posts! Don’t ever change because we love you just the way you are!

  38. Marilyn Cook - April 7, 2017 2:05 pm

    Sean, I love your writing!

    Have a Blessed day!

  39. Pam Patterson - April 7, 2017 2:14 pm

    Your writing is the sunshine of my day, every day. If I wanted to hear about a world gone sour, I’d re-install cable TV.

  40. Shawn - April 7, 2017 2:17 pm

    I love your rants.

  41. Darrell Dame - April 7, 2017 2:20 pm

    We have enough ranting, all you have to do to see ranting is watch the news . It is refreshing to read some thing from some one who finds beauty and good in situation that may not be ideal. Everybody can be a critic. Keep up the good work.

  42. Carol DeLater - April 7, 2017 2:47 pm

    Unsolicited advise usually misses the mark.

  43. James Godwin - April 7, 2017 2:51 pm

    Good for you Sean!
    There’s plenty of ranting about what’s wrong and far too little about trees and biscuits and small towns and kids and mamas and just plain old good folks.

    Like the old love song says,
    “Don’t change your hair for me, not if you care for me”.

    We love you just as you are.

  44. Cathy Perrin - April 7, 2017 2:52 pm

    I am glad I found your bl9gs. Despite being southern, they are true north. Thank you.

  45. Jo - April 7, 2017 3:02 pm

    Don’t you listen to ol’ Dan. Your words are just what some of us need…a new, lighter, still deeper, perspective. Reading your blog makes my day better. I am a teacher too and would ascribe to the practice of teaching our students to find the beauty in the storms not to help them become consummate well-trained belly-achers. The column, as you right it, is fresh and thought provoking…just enough of what you say and what you don’t. The turned phrases enter my eyes and sit nicely in the back of my, otherwise too busy, brain feeding a hungry southern soul. But then, I guess you’d have to be southern to recognize it.

    p.s. I love trees, bird calls in the morning, and Bernard Fife too!

  46. Nancy - April 7, 2017 3:10 pm

    Friendly advice. Hmmmm. Got it. Yes, Sean, I totally agree about trees. They’re awesome, and so is your writing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    PS It ain’t broke, Sweetie!

  47. Sarah Thomas - April 7, 2017 3:19 pm

    And peepers. Peeping madly as a creek tumbles by and wildflowers poke their heads up to see if it’s warm enough yet. Far superior to complaining.

  48. Dianne Shafer - April 7, 2017 3:24 pm

    Sadly, today’s “journalists” have been erroneously taught that negativity and complaints are de rigeur. Fortunately, there are a few, like you, out there who choose to share the songs of the heart-the melancholy, the mundane, the magnificent.
    I am a holder of three college degrees–two in English–, and I taught English and journalism in grades 6-12 and freshman comp. I continue a lifelong love affair with the written word. A friend is a longtime sports writer who turns the language of sports into a musical composition.
    All of that said, “Dan” is ill-advised to advise you at all-yours is a genre all of your own, shared by very few. Your words are lyrical and lead to soul-study. Dan’s style can be easily mimicked; yours cannot nor should not be.
    You belong to the Rick Bragg, Lewis Grizzard, and, yes Pat Conroy. Continue to sing the song of the South, Sean. Continue to sing your own song.

    • Patricia Haynes - January 8, 2018 3:04 pm

      Thank God for writers like Sean and your support of his stories. I’m tired of complaints and complainers.

  49. Winks Kelley - April 7, 2017 3:37 pm

    You make me ?!

  50. Laurie Pallotta - April 7, 2017 3:51 pm

    And now I am going to complain. I read your stuff BECAUSE it makes me happy. It is a wonderful start to my day, especially when I read it over a hot cinnamon bun and French vanilla flavored coffee. Other media outlets do a fine job making sure we know about all the bad stuff, the rants, the cruelty. I read your writing to counteract that negativity. It’s also why I bought your books.

    All of them.

    • Tessa - April 30, 2017 5:18 pm

      I get pleasure from, result in I discovered exactly what I was taking a look for. Yo2178u&#;ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  51. Cindy Simmons - April 7, 2017 4:12 pm

    We hear enough rants and complaints, keep writing about lovely things…

  52. jayson - April 7, 2017 4:16 pm

    dude, your writing is like a shot of vitamins that i been needin’ for years. keep em’ comin,’ complaints or not. 🙂

  53. Suzanne Wright - April 7, 2017 4:49 pm

    Yes, Sean…..Y E S !

  54. Pat Wilhelm - April 7, 2017 5:11 pm

    You struck a chord with this one. You don’t want to be Dan. Slip that in your guitar case, please.

  55. Laura - April 7, 2017 5:19 pm

    Sean, can you clone yourself? This world needs more people who can see the beauty in the trees! Thank you for sharing with us!! What a gift you have!!!

  56. Wanda - April 7, 2017 5:40 pm

    Don’t you change one iota!

  57. Bob McGhee - April 7, 2017 6:21 pm

    Dear Mr. Dietrich, I don’t know you well enough to address you as Sean, but after reading your post (via Twitter) about Mr. Dan I feel comfortable enough addressing you as Dear; especially so after reading so many replies of affirmation for your work. I did not see one affirmation for Dan.

    I admire the person, like yourself, who not only sees worth in the mundane, but can speak of same in an entertaining manner to an appreciative, repeating audience. I do not suspect that Mr. Dan is thusly creative.

    I have just now happily subscribed to your offering and look forward to being entertained. Please do not disappoint me. As did the not so friendly advice of Mr. Dan.

    Best regards

  58. Lois Young - April 7, 2017 6:23 pm

    With all the ranting going on these days, it is helpful to have something to balance against that. Don’t give up the good for unnecessary ranting. 🙂

  59. Eva - April 7, 2017 6:37 pm

    Well, Sean, the way I see it, there are way too many complainers – I’m in that group – and too few folks talking about the good stuff. Keep on writing what you are writing and I’ll keep on getting tears in my eyes.

    And I like trees too!

  60. Bobbie - April 7, 2017 7:11 pm

    Pleeease do not listen to “Dan”…we love you the way you are!

  61. Terri Bryson - April 7, 2017 7:27 pm

    LOL! Don’t know who Dan is but he must be from away–probably in the cold parts of the country. You handled Dan in a properly southern way. Of course, he may not understand that. The advice my Daddy gave me for people like Dan was to just say, “Uh Huh,” and then do what you know is right—Keep on being you and writing the way you write. We don’t need another Dan or any more complainers.
    Thank you for your writing!!

  62. Patricia Dianne Gibson - April 7, 2017 7:40 pm

    I like you just fine

  63. Ione Lowrey - April 7, 2017 8:27 pm

    I love trees, biscuits, and Sean’s writing. Keep on ranting/railing/complaining the way you do now. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  64. Jeannie - April 7, 2017 8:34 pm

    I am sorry, but this time you made me angry!!! Why do we all love you? Because all of media-print, reporters, social media-all they do is rant!! I am so sick of ranting. That is exactly why I look forward to your articles everyday. There IS so much good in the world and we NEED to hear about it! Good people, reminders of the joy in simple things like spitoons (I also have an antique spittoon, unused which I love). I am so sorry to hear that that particular writer is teaching people to write about things that upset us-what a shame. Hopefully, he might read all of our responses.

  65. Kay Keel - April 7, 2017 9:54 pm

    “Dan” needs to understand this quote from Carlos Castaneda…
    “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” Carlos Castaneda

  66. June RouLaine Phillips i - April 7, 2017 10:18 pm

    Naw.. you don’t need to change nothing. Teachers have a tendency of wanting to put a round peg in a square hole. Just keep doing what you do.

  67. Sandra Lee Van Dam - April 7, 2017 11:31 pm

    Thanks for not ranting.

  68. larry wickman - April 8, 2017 12:18 am

    that’s the best “tell n a person off ‘ I’ve heard n my 71 yrs………and please do NOT stop writing about the ‘postives” in life……….I stopped listening to the news and financial shows a few months back and started reading ur “stories” instead….kinda makes my days MUCH better….HELL my wive of 44 yrs and I even bought a beach house n Alabama friggin bama just to move from Tx so we could call ourselves rednecks like YOU…thx and keep up the good work!

  69. Patti Lynn - April 8, 2017 12:32 am

    This world has enough bad news, it’s everywhere. Everybody complains, everybody gets offended about everything. I LOVE reading about your love of trees, tomato plants, runts of the litter, and biscuits. Among other things. I look forward to your articles every day on my Facebook page and my emails. I know you won’t bring me down. You will leave me smiling and feeling good about people, or crying some happy tears. Thank you for your daily encouragement and inspiration. Some of us are just too blessed to be complaining about stuff, maybe the Lord just wouldn’t understand. Keep up the good work Mr. Sean. ❤? (from Locust Fork, Alabama)

  70. Sherry - April 8, 2017 1:56 am

    and that is why I will never read anything he would write!

    • Sherry - April 8, 2017 2:00 am

      Sorry, I meant the fellow who wrote you! I love your writing just the way it is,so nice to read anything you write?

  71. BettyJo Nelson - April 8, 2017 7:02 am

    I don’t know this “professor” but I do know that he doesn’t seem to be a very good one if he teaches students to complain. There are already too many complainers out there and who truly wants to read about complaining. Your writing is inspiring, uplifting and makes me remember the good times before the complainers took over ‘journalism’. Keep up your heartwarming writing style. I happen to love your style. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent=

  72. Gina Cook - April 8, 2017 12:54 pm


    Thank goodness you write as you feel. It is a very welcome, very positive part of my day.
    My husband and I recently discovered your blog when a column appeared on FB about the tragic Gulf Shores parade accident. (We live part time there and we feel blessed to be a part of the community.)
    Growing up in the South with relatives in rural areas, I can appreciate your columns so much as they stir memories of my childhood. Don’t pay any attention to the critics ….we like you just the way you are. Now pass me a biscuit please.

  73. Martha - April 9, 2017 5:45 am

    Keep qriting, Sean! We love biscuits in Birmingham. Also, bird calls, bacpn and trees. I enjoy your work!
    Tell “Dan” for me: our only complaint is complainers!

  74. Floyd white - April 9, 2017 1:41 pm

    Sean, spittoons? In the fifties i was a shueshine boy in the OK Barber shop in Atmore. One of my jobs to earn the right was to empty the spittoon. Not a pleasant experience. We will just agree to disagree onthe spittoon. Love ur blog. Thanks floyd

  75. Teresa Lovejoy - April 11, 2017 10:13 am

    If there were more folks ranting like you do, Sean, I’d watch the news on tv. I’d read more editorials – heck, I’d even read the newspaper again! I thoroughly enjoy your emails each day – there has never been even one that didn’t move me in a positive way. Believe me, this middle aged (ole) lady needs some positive ranting in her life! Apparently, from the remarks you’ve received, a lot of other folks feel the same! Thanks –

  76. Loree M Arrington - April 11, 2017 12:28 pm

    Don’t change Sean. Your writing is not weak. It’s powerful. It goes straight to the core. It’s not for everyone. But for those of us that it’s intended for, well…It’s a Godsend. Thank you.

  77. Melissa Mikkelsen - January 8, 2018 11:02 am

    Let me tell you two words: Lewis bydamn Grizzard. Another southern man who talked about biscuits and hound dogs. When his dog died all the flags in Georgia flew half staff. When he died the whole darn state and half the rest of the world mourned. So you tell Mr Snotty Know it all that that he must have been born with his head in a barrel and leave it at that. We know what we know. Keep writing, and dont forget to talk about your dog.

  78. Sam Faeth - January 8, 2018 11:22 am

    Dear Sean, The world is full of know-it-all and experts, masters of the “this is for your own good” insult. People like that couldn’t see grace if it took a swan dive into their coffee cup. We need more writers who have struggled and grown wise; writers who love biscuits, and open truck windows, and skinks called Edwin. I want to hear the voices of people who love their wives, who fail occasionally, who marvel at sunsets, and who can point out the grace and beauty in the midst of the ordinary. It is a rare gift you have and it would be a sacrilege to trade it in for the common currency of ranting and whining. Keep writing from your strong heart. The world is a better place because of you. Keep on telling your truth.

  79. Su Buckelew - January 8, 2018 12:49 pm

    Thank God I get to read your stories and not Dan’s. If he’s the example of a journalism professor, no wonder the media is in such sorry shape. Keep doing what you do, Sean. Lots of us need to be reminded that the world is made up of lots of folks trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got to work with and a few malcontents thrown in for contrast, many blessings to you and that pretty lady that shares your life. Su

  80. Dolly - January 8, 2018 12:49 pm

    Love it! Never change! There is enough hate and discontent in the world and I think we need more like you! Thank you for every heartwarming word! Don’t change! (I can see you won’t.)

  81. Susan Hammett Poole - January 8, 2018 12:51 pm

    I love the way you write, the topics you choose, the emotions your stories evoke, and I love you, Sean, just the way you are. I feel sorry for Dan because he cannot possibly be a.happy individual. And I sure as heck would skip any class he taught. I’ll bet you a homemade biscuit that he doesn’t have nearly as many folks who smile when they think of him and his complaining as you have every day. For Dan and his kind, we southerners have a saying as we shake our heads, “Well, bless his heart. “

  82. Dolly - January 8, 2018 12:51 pm

    P. S. I love a spittoon myself memories of my great grandma, grandpa, grandma and aunt are funny yet good! I would sit on the porch and watch everyone of them from chewing tobacco to snuff spit into that thing from many feet away. I found myself rooting for each to hit the blame thing….Thanks for the memories!

  83. Patricia Haynes - January 8, 2018 3:08 pm

    We need more of Sean & less of Dan.

  84. Amy harmon - January 8, 2018 3:35 pm

    I think we already have too many ranters. Keep on! Maybe you found a niche that Dan didn’t even know was there!

  85. unkle - January 8, 2018 8:46 pm

    ATTENTION just got a mesage from the ghost of the late great Lewis G. he said that you were doing just fine, mighty fine and to keep up the good work. Which from where i sit sounds correct. Bk

  86. Buck Godwin - January 8, 2018 10:22 pm

    Poor Dan, not a single positive word about Dan. He may own a coon dog too, (but I doubt it).

    • Perri Williamson - January 10, 2018 7:42 am

      Even a coon dog couldn’t make ole Dan happy, Buck. He is a dyed in the wool sour puss—and a friendless one at that.

  87. Carlin Brooks - January 8, 2018 10:54 pm

    You are the very best writer I know of. Don’t change a thing. If your writing is weak, I guess my reading must be weak, too. There are already plenty of complainers, just keep being you.

  88. Deborah S Reece - January 9, 2018 3:08 am

    I like trees, too. Trees provide oxygen, shade and beauty in our lives. Words should provide those same things. There’s enough ugly in the world already without adding more ugly with our words. Write what you feel. I enjoy your writing.

  89. Diane Rinaldi - January 9, 2018 3:59 am

    That man needs reprogramming … I’d start with warm biscuits and honey and work him up to climbing a live oak as the sun rises with the birds singing.

  90. Glenda Manus - January 10, 2018 3:41 am

    I’m a writer too, Sean. I occasionally get a complaint that all my novels have happy endings. Of course they do! There’s too much sadness in the world already. Keep on spreading your happiness and leave the complaining to Dan.

  91. Norma Herbold - January 11, 2018 7:55 am

    Keep on keeping on. I’m a tree hugger myself!

  92. Barbara Bray - December 30, 2018 5:15 am

    I always tell my husband …” I’m not complaining…I’m explaining “. Keep on not complaining, Sean…You’re doing just fine.I love the way you explain things.

  93. Grace - January 27, 2019 9:51 am

    We need more Sean in the world and less Dans . We have all different kinds of writers to choose from according to what kind you want to read. I love reading To Kill a Mockinbird every once in awhile, not only because of the story, which is my favorite of all time but because the author wrote it so beautifully. God made all different kinds of writers that we can choose from. I love reading your stories . You speak from your heart and it makes my heart happy when I see your post and get my day started or end my day with you. Dan is so wrong and I have a feeling he is a little jealous of you . Or a lot .

  94. Wanda Morgan - January 27, 2019 10:54 am

    Had both kind… the knees and higher and LORD they could tie up a tomato plant like nobody’s business! No complaints here on any account!

  95. Beth Spratling - January 27, 2019 1:37 pm

    If I wanted complaining, I would watch the news. The fact that I’m here reading your column and own your books explains exactly why you ‘shouldn’t’ complain. Your stories are pleasant and enjoyable. Keep up the good work. Love ya!

  96. Carolyn Kelley - January 27, 2019 1:44 pm

    Don’t change a thing, this world needs more positive and happy writers. And shame on Dan for teaching this world to be more negative than it already is. Sincerely Carolyn Kelley a plain old country girl from small townTennessee

  97. Gale Smith - January 27, 2019 2:00 pm

    Sean…..1000; Dan…..0. I read Sean everyday. I had my tv cable disconnected years ago. All I ever watched was the Weather Channel….IF a storm made it into the Gulf. Too much negativity on tv….rather read. Anyway, tv census would advise Dan “to fall on his sword.” I think he should watch Pollyanna (movie), and read all of Sean’s books. If that doesn’t change his attitude, then he can feel free to just shut up. Haters gonna hate, but none of Sean’s fans want to hear snide remarks from a wanna-be. We would not change a thing about our Sean.

  98. Michele - January 27, 2019 2:23 pm

    Your writing is perfect don’t change a thing!

  99. Steve Winfield - January 27, 2019 2:24 pm

    God bless you, the waitress, & Edwin. Both of them.

  100. Bob Banks - January 28, 2019 4:08 am

    What this worll needs is 1000 praisers for every ranter.
    Booger Bob

  101. Rebecca Kinard - January 28, 2019 4:08 am

    Don’t rant and don’t listen to people who don’t know what they are talking about. Things have been rough for me for me for a while and your stories make me laugh, cry and think about life. Don’t rant or complain, too much of that going on already. I love your stories.

  102. Janice Williams - January 31, 2019 9:15 pm

    Sean you’re one heluva writer “ ie” man. You have a way of touching people, most have never felt before, we all need to feel that bit of love from man kind. Love you Sean!


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