Questions

I receive a lot of mail in the form of email, private messages, direct messages, snail mail, UPS, text messages, and Native American smoke signals. I wish I could answer each message, but there are only so many hours in the day.

So I am going to answer a few questions that have been sent in by people who are kind enough to take the time and write.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?

A: I like Major League Baseball. Also, beer.

Q: Choose one: Barbecue or fried chicken?

A: That’s not fair.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: When I was two. My mother taught me how to write my name. I drew a stick-figure horsey. But hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Q: Sean, do you get some kind of satisfaction by putting yourself down? I’ve read your work for two years and I’m sorry, but you’re too @&$!ing self-critical. Come on man, grow a pair and quit criticizing yourself!

A: Thank you for your criticism.

Q: Would it be possible to ever meet your dogs in person? I love dogs.

A: If my dogs would ever stop running at speeds upwards of 129 miles per hour then, theoretically, yes, it would be possible to meet them. One day, I hope to meet them myself.

Q: I detect a tone of melancholy in all your writing, especially when you refer to the childhood loss of your father, you talk about that a lot, will you ever move on from this subject?

A: I sincerely hope you never lose anyone to suicide. It is hard to forget.

Q: Are you a night person or a morning person?

A: I am writing this at 11:27 P.M.

Q: Sometimes you write about how you doubt your abilities as a writer, and whenever I read this I tell my husband that I want to shake that boy by the shoulders and say, “Quit saying that!”

A: Shaking writers is not a good idea. Shaken writer syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a writer in frustration or anger, often because the writer will not stop using comma faults. Permanent brain damage or death may result.

Q: You are an Alabama fan! BOO! I hate the University of Alabama, why can’t you root for Auburn University? War Eagle!

A: My middle name is Paul. As in: University of Alabama’s Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. I was born during the third quarter of Coach Bryant’s farewell Liberty Bowl, when Illinois kicked a field goal. I am lucky my first name isn’t Namath.

Q: How can I get you to come to my hometown in South Carolina? We like you here. At least three more ladies in my nursing home read you every day.

A: If you can get the nursing home staff to throw a barbecue, I will make the drive, ma’am.

Q: Really?

A: Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?

Q: I keep reading that you don’t think of yourself as a true writer. Come on, Sean. Really?

A: I believe in being honest about my feelings of low self-confidence. Consider this: A few years ago, I was laying floors for low pay. Fast-forward to today: A stranger just asked me to visit a state-of-the-art retirement facility in South Carolina. How would you feel if that happened to you?

Q: I’d feel like the freaking man.

A: That must be nice.

Q: So why can’t you feel like that?

A: Because I’m not you. And I’m not good at pretending to be someone I’m not. Self-doubt is a human emotion and I feel it often. Certainly, I understand that admitting a lack of confidence is un-American. Maybe this is why we often teach our kids to bury these feelings of and take up Taekwondo instead.

Q: Hey, I study Taekwondo and I’m a black belt.

A: I take it all back.

Q: I read that you travel a lot. Does your wife travel with you?

A: Actually, I travel with her. She is the driver of our white van—which looks exactly like a LabCorp vehicle. Whenever we arrive somewhere, most people think we’re showing up to collect urine samples.

Q: How often do you travel?

A: We spend much of our year on the road. I sit in the passenger seat, writing little ditties. My wife drives. And in the evenings, I usually make speeches in various swanky places. Tomorrow evening, I’ll be making a speech in Craters of the Moon, Alabama, for a quilting club.

Q: When are you coming to Chicago?

A: When they quit having winter.

Q: Where in Alabama do you live?

A: I don’t. I live in the Florida Panhandle, forty miles from the Alabama border.

Q: Wait, why did I think you were in Alabama?

A: Maybe because Alabama is where I’ve spent a lot of time. It’s where I met my wife, and where I have family. Or it could be because in my area, nobody is sure if we’re Alabamians with Florida drivers licenses, or Floridians who talk like Alabamians.

Q: Do you really eat all that barbecue you write about?

A: Yes.

Q: How are you not five hundred pounds?

A: These things take time.

Q: Sean, I’ve lost my way, I just dropped out of college and have completely lost myself. I wonder why the &$@! I’m alive and what the point is. I just wish you and me could just hang out and have a beer sometime because I feel alone, I think we could be friends if we met.

A: Let’s go to South Carolina, kid.

I’ve got a date at a nursing home.

18 comments

  1. sparkerlpc - September 29, 2019 7:39 am

    Sean, you have just got to be the most honest writer I have ever had the privilege of enjoying! Keep right on sharing your heart, humor and memories. We will all laugh, cry, and smile with you!

    Reply
  2. Ann - September 29, 2019 9:19 am

    Dear Sean, I love to read you ! I have one more question : are you the drawer who illustrate your text ? I love it too ! Apologize my english, Sean, I’m a brand new french fan. Thanks for the joy you bring 😘😘😘

    Reply
    • Harriet White - September 29, 2019 1:36 pm

      I wondered that too. I think he is the illustrator. I love the drawings too!

      Reply
  3. Glenda - September 29, 2019 10:20 am

    Really didn’t want to cry this early this morning, and you’ve just made me laugh out loud LOL

    Reply
  4. Camille - September 29, 2019 11:20 am

    IMHO, your humility, in this present environment, is what keeps us all coming back, day after day. The news shows us all of the blustering, ego maniacs we can stomach. Please, never change!

    Reply
  5. Kathy - September 29, 2019 11:33 am

    I think your honesty and wit are very refreshing! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  6. Meredith Smith - September 29, 2019 11:53 am

    Sean, you are so funny!! You have such a sweet and self deprecating sense of humor, I cant ever read one of your columns without laughing out loud. The only thing I want to say, and I hope this comment is actually read by you — I am so, so sorry for the loss of you father. I have a feeling you don’t hear that much anymore but it’s true, you are human and I am so very sorry. 🤗

    Reply
  7. Karen Dees - September 29, 2019 12:18 pm

    I recognize you.

    Reply
  8. Bill - September 29, 2019 12:59 pm

    Sean, This was terrific! As a fellow baseball fan, Man, you hit a home run with this column. You provide us all with a laugh or two, and sometimes a tear or two, but always with a good feeling to start the day. You are as addictive as can be, but we love this addiction. No rehab necessary.

    Reply
  9. Harriet White - September 29, 2019 1:33 pm

    I love that you even write on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. That’s so cool. I hope you get paid a lot of money.

    Reply
  10. Melanie - September 29, 2019 1:37 pm

    As my Dothan momma would say “Lord have Mercy!” 😉😄 love to you and your amazing wife and wonderful, crazy doggies ❤️

    Reply
  11. Alice Roose - September 29, 2019 1:46 pm

    Dear Sean I love you and all your stories and especially the ones about your dogs and I wanted to ask you do you take them with you on the road or do you have a family member you leave them with?anyway keep on writing your wonderful stories God bless you❤️❤️

    Reply
  12. Katie Schweiss - October 3, 2019 6:57 pm

    Dear Sean – I see you are becoming a master at the perfect comeback… I’d love you to come to western Washington, but sadly the BBQ is only so so (I can say this with authenticity; I used to live in the South) and the winters are wet and nasty. So I will just content myself with reading your books and your posts. And kudos to your spot-on response to the question about the death of your father. My brother committed suicide 30 years ago, and part of me will always be stuck in that time. A piece of your heart dies with a loved one who dies in such pain, and nothing will ever make it whole again. You just learn to live with it and hope for a family reunion in heaven.

    Reply
  13. Danny Gauntt - October 26, 2019 5:00 am

    Sean, keep up the great work! You make a lot of people happy with your writing, don’t change a thing, just keep writing. Looking forward to seeing you in Columbus in November. Roll Tide!

    Reply
  14. Patty - October 26, 2019 8:13 am

    It’s four in the morning and I can’t sleep. I find sleep escapes me as I get older. So what do I do at this ungodly hour – I read what Sean wrote. It makes me cry, laugh, sigh and feel happy for a few minutes. It stops my one scary thought – not living. I take your words seriously about the impact suicide has on someone. Want as I might, I don’t do it. I would hate for my kids to remember me so sadly. Hugs to you Sean. I wish sunshine, peace and happiness for you and your heart. Thanks for one life saved.

    Patty. Too freaking early..

    Virginia

    Reply
  15. Martha Black - October 26, 2019 10:33 am

    Sweetheart, I’ll soon be 66, live in South Carolina, and…… I’m not in a nursing home, yet………, although I imagine some dream about it. If you do make a run to SC, let me know, I love to see & hear you “in the flesh”.
    And remember, those that don’t feel the need to remember, never grieve for a bit or continue to have love for those brought you here and are now departed, is a ungrateful prodigy. It’s sort of like dancing with the one that brought you. You dont dance or morn all the time, but ocassionally you do, when it’s for the one(s) that matter.

    Reply
  16. Kellie Sullivan - October 27, 2019 2:01 pm

    I absolutely love your writing! I love to hear real emotions. Keep up the great work and I hope to hear you in person one day.

    Reply
  17. Suzann - October 29, 2019 12:59 am

    Gosh. I just love you. And I’m really sorry about your daddy. That’s a hard, hard thing.

    Reply

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