It’s a Mom’s World

I know I am going to take it on the chin for this one…but so be it.

I serve as 2nd counselor in the bishopric of my ward in Thatcher, AZ. Our bishopric has been in now for just over four years and so we just experienced our fifth Mother’s Day. I love my wife and I love my mother and I have no problem taking a day to appreciate all that mothers do for their families. But as with all good things in this world, even the greatest traditions need a review now and then to make sure they are operating in the most effective way. I think we have arrived at this place with regard to Mother’s Day. My reasoning? Well…

1. Every ward I know of gives away something to every adult female in their congregation. I have no problem with this. But over the last few years, I have heard some grumblings. (Not all of these are necessarily from my ward. In fact, most are not.) Some folks are upset if they don’t get chocolate. Some are upset if they do get chocolate because what are we suggesting? That all women should eat sweets and get fat? Or if we give out potted flowers that can be planted. Why did they do that? We live in Arizona. They are just going to die anyway? Why did they give me a single carnation? Now I have to carry this around all day while trying to get to get my kids to class…


How about we give the mothers in our ward the exact same thing we give our fathers on Father’s Day. BIG FAT NOTHING!!! It’s a free gift of appreciation for heaven’s sake, not an annual bonus.

Now again, I want to emphasize that the grumbling I have heard comes from a small minority. But isn’t that the way this always works? The small minority makes all the noise. Nevertheless, the grumbling is out there.

2. There is a notion that exists that no woman should have to speak in church on Mother’s Day. There is also the feeling among some that Mother’s Day is the worst Sunday of the year for women because every woman in the ward has to sit there and listen to somebody talk about their perfect mother. In comparison, they always feel like they come up short. It can be depressing. Well, can we think through this for a moment.

Little boys love their mothers. When those little boys grow up, they still love their mothers and are very protective of them. Aren’t some of the biggest struggles in many marriages born out of the comparison a man makes between his wife and his mother? So with that in mind, doesn’t it seem silly to say that only men should speak on Mother’s Day? Because what are they going to talk about? Ummm… their perfect mother! I’m just saying, ladies. You might want to rethink the adult female speaking ban.

3. Let’s review the history of Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was established in 1917. It would be another fifty years before Father’s Day would be officially recognized. Many of the traditions surrounding Mother’s Day were formed in a time when Father’s provided and Mother’s nurtured. In other words, men didn’t do jack at home. It would make sense then, that under those circumstances, it would be a good thing for a man to take on all the responsibilities that were expected of a mother so that every man could be reminded of all the things he was lucky he didn’t have to do on a daily basis. Meanwhile, to give fathers a day to recline in their chair and take a nap, watch sports or just laze around in general was…probably not that different from most other Sundays.

But times have changed. The responsibilities have blurred. If I were to tell my wife that I was the man of the house and therefore I don’t do diapers, don’t fold laundry and most especially never clean the kitchen, I would quickly become the man outside of the house. On the flip side, many mothers now find themselves in the work place and sharing the responsibility of providing for the family. Yet, the traditional ways of celebrating both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day remain fixed.

Maybe for women everywhere, this is fine. Maybe they are happy with the way we approach Mother’s Day. I certainly don’t have a problem with it. I’m happy to continue with things as they are. But can we please stop with the sanctimonious pap about how much women do and men don’t do. (This sanctimonious pap as I call it has never come from my wife. I want that firmly established in the record.) It’s getting old. Most couples I know are attacking the day to day of life and surviving any way they can. When one needs help, they look to the other and are able to expect their partner to be there picking up the slack regardless of whether it is a “man’s responsibility” or “women’s work.”

Now, I’m sure that many will see my rant as anti-female or mysogynistic in some way. I don’t mean it to be. But at the same time, I do have a couple of issues.

As with any kind of type of recognition, I worry we have reached the stage where we have crossed from gratitude to expectation. When a gift is met with, “Why didn’t…” or a request is met with, “I’m a woman and I shouldn’t have to…” I believe something is wrong. I’m not trying to pick on anybody, because this is not an individual thing. This is the expectation I hear the world over.

Also, I’m sorry, but not every man is a worthless lump who is barely hanging on thanks to the herculean efforts of a woman. My wife will do some very nice things to recognize me in five weeks, but society at large? We just went through a massive advertising campaign of, “Shower her with gifts. Get her expensive jewelry. Let her know how much you truly care.” On Father’s Day, pay attention. It will be, “Let dad know he isn’t too bad of a schlub after all. Get him some socks and a card.” End of story. (The obvious exception will be the advertisers for all camping, hunting, fishing and other mancentric retailers, but they will be drowned out by the majority.)

There is a good chance I will regret this post, but, oh well. After five years of trying to please people besides my wife on Mother’s Day, I’m not sure I care anymore.


There is no way to tie this to THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, and I’m not sure I would want to anyway. But to anyone coming upon this website for the first time, look for my debut novel, THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER to arrive in bookstores on August 13. It is available for pre-order on by clicking here. Please rest assured that my views on Mother’s Day and gender roles in general are not topics in the book.


Changes for the Home Stretch

One of the pieces of advice I received when I started shopping THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER to different publishers was to make sure I had a blog. At the time, another blog of mine already existed, but it was much more personal and family-oriented in nature. So, I started this blog with the idea that it would serve as my “author” blog.

Once I had the blog up and running, the next piece of advice I received was that I needed to make sure that I blogged on a regular basis. If I went too long between entries, the blog would cease to be effective. Another article I read also suggested that not only should I be active, but I should be predictably active. The idea is that a blog will attract regular readers much more readily if they can know on a regular basis when they should expect new entries.

For about eight months now, I have tried to do this. To be honest, I’m not sure if anybody noticed but me. But I did it because it is an industry norm. Or so I’m told.

Well, the truth is, I have noticed its effectiveness.  When I started this blog, I was lucky if 15 to 20 people read an entry. Now, on average, a typical entry will get around 50 to 60 views on day one and anywhere from 20 to 30 in the next two days following. Numbers that are certainly not setting the world on fire, but pretty decent considering where I started.

Now, one thing I have noticed is that I have been pretty consistent about publishing a blog post on Monday. I haven’t been quite as consistent with blogging on Thursday (sometimes it slips to Friday and sometimes I have missed altogether), but I have noticed that my Monday posts are routinely more widely read than my Thursday or Friday posts. I don’t know why, but they are.

So, taking into account the numbers and the fact that I am running out of things to say, moving forward, I am going to blog each Monday and that will probably be it. (I fully understand that most people’s response will be, “What is he talking about? Does he honestly think we care when he posts stuff? What kind of ego driven maniac are dealing with here?”)

The reason I am putting this out there (to be completely frank about the marketing strategy I am trying to employ) is to hopefully maximize my efforts with those who have become somewhat regular readers. If they know when to expect something, they will be less likely to miss it. Not every post between now and August will be book related, but the reason this is important is that when they are book related, I am then dependent on those regular readers to help me disseminate some of the more “Major Announcement” kind of things that will be coming in the next few weeks as the release for THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER is now a mere three months away.

What kind of announcements? Well, the cover art should be done very shortly. A new look to the website that will more effectively promote the book will be up soon. Short previews of the novel itself will appear in some posts and hopefully announcements of positive reviews (that’s a big assumption, I know) will post here as well.

But here is my huge request. If you are a friend, family member or complete stranger who is marginally excited for the release of THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, I really need your help in the coming months. I realize these requests are unfair as they are favors I will likely never be able to repay. But I ask because as anybody who is trying to make their dream a reality in this new world of social media knows: one extra share or one extra like can be the difference of something going viral or something going stagnant. So here are my requests.

1. Share and like posts that deal with “major” announcements regarding THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER.

2. Invite people to “like” my author page, preferably more than once. (Invite more than once, not like)

3. Hopefully some author signings will be announced. If you are one of those people who doesn’t like to pre-order things or distrusts putting your credit card on the internet and happens to live in one of those areas where a signing is announced, please (yes, I have fully reached begging mode here) take the opportunity to visit that store where the signing is scheduled and request a copy be ordered for you ahead of the book’s release. Currently, only one is scheduled for sure and that is the book’s release party at Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ.

4. If you live in a state other than Arizona or Utah, I’m probably not gonna be signing anywhere near you. If you have plans to purchase the book, please consider purchasing the book now as a pre-0rder from You can do so by clicking here.  Pre-order numbers affect the efforts in marketing the book by the publisher as well as bookstores that will consider stocking a book.

If you are a person who hates to be “that guy” or “that girl” who pushes things on their friends and family, I understand. If you would prefer to not “like” every post or not suggest people follow my page, I get it. I won’t let my kids sell their latest PTO stuff door to door because I don’t want my neighbors to feel pressured. I totally understand. But if you think you might be buying this book, this last request is the request that matters most. If you do pre-order it, whether it be through a bookstore or on-line, I thank you more than I can express. It means a great deal to me.  Really, Thank You.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who has been so supportive. I hope when the final product lands in your hands you aren’t extremely let down. If you have followed this blog regularly, then you probably have a good idea of what to expect from the writing. Except now there will be a story included. I can’t believe it is coming so quickly. Thanks again everybody, for all the support you’ve provided and for anything you may do going forward. You’re great.

For anyone hoping for a less pushy post, all I can offer is my latest post from last Thursday in case you missed it. (It wasn’t a Monday post, so it is likely that you did.)

THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER arrives August 13, 2013. Ryan Rapier the author’s facebook page can be found at As noted above, it can currently be pre-ordered on Just think parents, it will be here just in time for you to enjoy as you send your kids back to school.


This Mail Bag (Blog Post) is a Complete Ripoff

Do you enjoy being frightened? If so, I encourage you to google the phrases, “book blog” or “book reviews”. Go ahead, do it. I’ll wait.

Okay, assuming that your head didn’t just explode from an overload of information you couldn’t possibly process, and you were able to make it back to this post, you are now likely sitting there stunned at the number of people who blog about writing books, reading books, reviewing books they’ve read or some combination of the three. In fact, what you may not have seen, but trust me when I tell you it does exist, are blogs who sell a service known as book blasting where they will coordinate with a number of other blogs on an author’s behalf, so that your book will be featured on a large number of blogs at the same time. To a first time author, it’s overwhelming, believe me.

Now one of the things that is common on a lot of these blogs are “interviews” with different authors.  What this consists of is the blogger providing a list of questions to an author, who then fills out answers to said questions before e-mailing them back to the blogger. These interviews tend to be pretty generic (as one might expect) and often consist of questions like, “Favorite ice cream flavor” or “Dogs or cats”. At least that is what I have seen on the LDS book blogs. Maybe on other blogs, they move into the more provocative questions like, “Boxers or briefs”, but the truth is, I don’t know. I didn’t look.

But a common thing I hear a lot is that you have to get yourself out there, and these interviews are a way to do that. Well, that got me thinking. You know what would be way more fun than answering generic interview questions? Answering questions from all of my faithful readers and followers. It’s a concept that was designed by one of my favorite sports writers, Bill Simmons. But then I realized, in order for this concept to work, you actually have to have faithful readers and followers.

Or do you?

So, in a continued effort to “get myself out there”, I will be answering questions that cover a wide range of topics that interest me that have been submitted by my faithful fans…all of whom I have made up…along with their questions. We’ll see how this goes.

Do you believe it was an affront to Jesus and Christians everywhere when Denver traded Tim Tebow in order to have a chance at signing Peyton Manning?  B. Graham – Charlotte, NC

No, I do not. I believe the Denver Broncos are now the front runners to win the 2014 Super Bowl. If they had kept Tim Tebow, this would not be the case.

Follow up question: Does your lack of faith in Tim Tebow imply that you hate Jesus?

I sincerely hope not. But I will admit to hating all thing associated with the Florida Gators.

Are you a regular user of DoTerra oils?  M. Kay – Dallas, TX

No, I am not. I have heard great things about their products, but my only experience with them was when I accepted a small sample of an oil that claimed to be an aphrodisiac. However, after applying the oil, my wife reported absolutely no difference in my behavior. I apparently was as pushy and obnoxious as usual. In hindsight, maybe this experiment was a bad one to base any kind of judgment on.

Twitter or Facebook?  M. Zuckerberg – Palo Alto, CA

I recognize the possible irony of my answer as this post will go out via Twitter, but I will definitely have to go with Facebook. Maybe I am showing my age, but the whole point of Twitter is kind of lost on me. With Facebook, I feel a little like it is a huge family and school and mission reunion all rolled into one. I can have back and forth conversations with a lot of different people I have known over the years or just choose to peruse/stalk people’s lives that I have an interest in.

With Twitter, it’s different. To me, it feels like I walk into a room where every single person I am “following” is shouting at each other without taking the time to listen to what anyone else is saying. Having said that, anyone who found this post through Twitter, I obviously was not referring to you. So please be sweet and retweet. (As an aside, the best part of Twitter is also its worst feature: the easy retweet. It’s great when I want to share something without much hassle, but there are some people out there who sit and retweet everything anyone they are following has ever said. It’s ridiculous. I once saw someone brag-tweet that they had been cut off for exceeding their maximum tweets for one day. You have to be well into the triple digits to have that happen to you. And to be proud of that? Searching for a life might possibly be in order.)

What is your favorite movie?  S. Spielberg – Hollywood, CA

(Upfront, I admit that this question is barely a step up from “Favorite Ice Cream” but I don’t care, I wanted to answer it.)

When it comes to favorite movie, I think everyone should be allowed to take a Golden Globes approach as opposed to an Oscar approach, in that everyone should be allowed to have their favorite movie and then their favorite comedy or musical. If a comedy is your favorite movie, there is a possibility you may need more depth as a person. Or at least learn how to lie so it sounds like you have more depth.

Anyway, my favorite comedy or musical would have to be Maverick. I’m still despondent that a sequel was never made. As far as my overall favorite movie, for years and years it was The Hunt for Red October. But since 2008, that honor has belonged to The Dark Knight. (Any and all comments regarding my depth will respectfully be kept to yourself.)

Do you believe that the re-election of Barack Obama as president is a sign that western civilization as we knew it is over?  R. Limbaugh – Palm Beach, FL

No. I believe we reached that point when more than 5 people on earth found Kathy Griffin to be humorous in any way.

What was your favorite part about writing a book?  J. Grisham – Oxford, MS

The bitter arguments that nearly ripped apart my marriage when my wife would be forced to tell me that something I  had written wasn’t very good. She was always right, which only made hearing it that much worse.

What is your deepest, darkest secret that embarrasses  you still today?  O. Winfrey – Chicago, IL

That the character of Edward Cullen is actually based on me during my college days.

Follow up: Are you serious?

Of course not. What kind of moron shares their deepest, darkest secret with the world on a blog. Now if it was Cosmopolitan, People or OK magazine, that would be different.

What historical event, that happened during your lifetime, has most influenced your life?  R. Rapier – Thatcher, AZ

Dead serious here, folks. The 1978 decision by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to extend the priesthood to all worthy males, which basically meant black men of African descent. Learning about the history that surrounded this event forced me to evaluate all I ever thought I understood about my faith, my religion and my belief system. Some might suggest that thinking too much about this issue could only lead to a negative outcome, but for me it was just the opposite. I believe my faith is stronger today than ever. However, I now do tend to think about some things a little bit differently. Maybe we’ll revisit this in a future blog post. Maybe not. (Picture me shrugging my shoulders to indicate I’m not really sure.)

If you could change one decision you have made in your life, what would it be? 

I would have started to write my book sooner. I love writing. That’s why I keep a blog. (That and it is highly suggested by my publisher and several other writing friends.) I regret that I never took the time to make this dream a reality sooner. But the truth is, the book that I wrote would not be the same had it been written any sooner than when it was. So now that I’ve said that, maybe that’s a decision I wouldn’t change.


Well, that’s it. My first Bill Simmons Mailbag rip-off. I hope he doesn’t have the idea of bolding the questions and leaving the answers unbolded copywrited. Now if anybody out there reading this has additional questions they want to leave in the comments section or through a message on facebook (you can try Twitter, but I offer no guarantees), I would be happy to produce a follow up post to this one. But again, that’s assuming anybody out there is actually reading this. And for anyone discovering for the first time, now comes the shameless promotional message that accompanies each post.

Ryan Rapier’s debut novel, THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, hits shelves and Amazon warehouses on August 13. You can pre-order this book at Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ or on by clicking here. Or, you can request a copy be ordered for you in advance of the release date at any store where LDS books are sold.

If you, or anyone you know, enjoys liking pages on facebook for no other reason than clicking that little thumbs up gives you a rush, feel free to visit, and give our thumbs up a click. We promise twice the adreneline rush of any other page out there or your money back. If you want, you can also follow my twitter handle @RyanRapier, but…whatever.

Why I Admire A Man So Many People Hate

I have articulated my frustration with politics many times before. I will not be doing so again right now. But one of my biggest goals when it comes to politics is to keep it from getting personal. I believe our desire to take political discourse into the realms of the personal is why the climate in politics today is so toxic and why no problem is getting addressed in our country.

For those reasons I have defended President Obama as a person. I believe there is a great deal of good in the man. I may not agree with all he stands for and advocates, but I don’t believe politics is what makes a person.

Along those same lines, I came across this article today. I know many liberals and democrats who despise President George W. Bush. And I mean despise him. I’ve never understood it. There were things I disagreed with him on when it comes to politics, but when he spoke or made appearances, I always saw a good man doing his best. Call me naive, but that is what I saw. So it was heartening to see that I was not alone and that this high ranking official in the Clinton administration had many of the same feelings about George W. Bush that I always did. And that he could back up those feelings with personal experiences. So, because I believe it is important to accentuate the positive and raise our discourse, I am linking to this article below. Please take the time to read it. Because this is the type of politics I believe our Savior would have us practice.

Meanwhile, only three and half months until THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER hits bookstores and mailboxes. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to pre-order it, today’s as good a day as any. You can order at by clicking here. Or you can request a copy be ordered for you at Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ, or any bookstore that handles LDS books. Simply walk in and ask to be on the list for THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, by Ryan Rapier from Cedar Fort Publishing. Your support is appreciated.

One other note; my friend, Brad Hull, of Due West has a request. He and the rest of the band are striking out on their own and could use your help. I would explain it here, but they do a much better job, so to hear what Due West is asking, please follow the link below. If you haven’t heard a Due West song, you are missing out. In today’s world of country music, their amazing harmonies are a rare commodity. Here’s hoping their new venture works out and we hear new Due West music on the radio real soon.

All The News That’s Not Fit To Print

On a previous blog, I documented my complete and utter fascination with countdowns. I love countdowns. If I were flipping through the channels one night and came across a countdown of the top 10 favorite office supplies of left-handed circus performers, I would probably watch it. (I hope no one at the A&E channel sees this and gets any ideas. This actually sounds like something they would air.)

Anyway, not only do I love to watch top 10 shows or listen to music countdowns, I also like to produce my own. And today, I want to countdown the stupidest news stories I’ve seen in just the past week or two.

But before I get to that, let me rant for just a second. The reason this list is even possible is because we don’t really even have news shows or news websites anymore. We have political leaning, shock inducing, run-it-into-the-ground analyzing, pumping up people who are famous for absolutely nothing fluff. 90% of all news stories are garbage or non-informative at all. Think about the recent bombing. In the hours (and hours and hours) following the event, every major channel switched to people sitting around guessing or accusing their political opponents or finding people who were near the event who provided absolutely nothing new to the dialogue. Why? It accomplished nothing. Yet any news organization in this country that didn’t join this lemming over the cliff exercise would have been considered derelict in their duties. It’s Redonkulous. (Translation: So stupid I had to make up a word to describe it.)

Okay, rant complete. And now, The Top 10 News Stories From The Last Few Weeks That Suggest We Have Not Evolved Much Since The Time OF The Neandrathals, or The Top 10 NSFTLFWTSWHNEMSTTOTN. Now there’s an acronym with a promising future.

10. The Boston Bombers Were Going To Go To New York – Huh? May I ask just a few questions? Did they actually go to New York? No. Were any bombs actually planted in New York? Not that anyone is aware of.  Is the Mayor of New York an over-protective ninny? Well, probably, but that question is completely unrelated to what we are talking about here.

This story was breaking news for every major news outlet in the country. And yet, THERE IS NO STORY!!!! If either one of the brothers ever said they wanted to one day have children and go to Walt Disney World, should we report that as well? Okay, yes, they may have wanted to plant a bomb. But did they? NO! It was shocking, it was scare-inducing, and maybe it belonged in paragraph 14 of a news story about the bombers. It did not belong as a headline splashed across our front pages. That’s just lazy journalism at its worst.

9. Fraudelent Signatures Helped Get Obama On A State Ballot In 2008 – You’ll be surprised to learn I only saw this headline on The purpose of this story? To keep the anger and divisiveness in our nation at all time highs. It serves no other purpose. I mean, do we really think Obama wouldn’t have won the presidency without these fraudulent signatures? As a nation we have got to get over this. This is the same kind of crap that Democrat leaning news organizations pulled for eight years with W. Here is a real news flash: WE ARE NOT THE NCAA! If some obscure violation is found while digging through documents of years past, we don’t rewrite the history books and pretend a presidency didn’t happen. Stories like this do not accomplish anything accept fostering continued resentment that needs no additional fostering. Come on Fox. Be better than that. Leave the bomb throwing to…okay, maybe that’s a bad analogy.

8. Some Weight-Loss Company Is Paying Kim Kardashian To Gain Extra Weight During Her Pregnancy So She Can Lose It All With Their Weight-Loss Program – Admittedly, this is a tabloid headline, but it speaks to bigger problem. WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT ANY OF THE KARDASHIANS?

They don’t DO anything. They have no special talent and they provide nothing to the betterment of our society. I mean, I know this is a little crass, but seriously, the whole family is famous because one of the sisters knows how to have sex while a camera is running. That’s it. And yet, we are constantly force fed every excruciating detail of these parasites’ lives. Just stop already.

7. George Jones Passed Away – Okay, this one isn’t really fair, but I included it mainly because I thought he was already dead.

6. Kate Middleton Shows Off Baby Bump – Seriously folks, leave these poor people alone. This headline isn’t that bad, but it comes on the heels of the infamous “Kate Middleton sunbathing pics”. Pretending to be outraged when this poor woman was photographed in what she believed was a private setting by a photog hundreds of yards away and then writing news stories about how awful this was only kept this embarrassing story alive for about two months. Which is two months longer than it should have been. News stories decrying sleezy practices only give the sleezy practitioners the attention they want. And you know it.

5. Woman’s Car Is Robbed And Her Purse Is Stolen – ….And?

This was the lead, THE LEAD, story on a local Phoenix 10 o’clock news broadcast last night. The reporter explained that this woman had parked her car near a local hiking preserve and “did everything right.” Apparently, doing everything right is leaving your purse in the car, but hiding it really well. I have a couple of thoughts. 1. How about you don’t bring your purse. 2. If you are going to bring your purse, hide it before you arrive at your destination where possibly thieves won’t be watching. But lastly, 3. How is this a real news story?

When Shannon and I were first married, our truck was robbed right outside our apartment. We did “everything right” too, which basically means we locked the car and parked near a street light. But it’s funny, a baseball bat to your side window kind of undoes all of those major precautions. But my point is, this happens everyday, EVERYDAY, in Phoenix and every other city in the world. This is not news. Why doesn’t this channel report on each of the bills being considered by the Arizona legislature that will actually impact each and every Arizona resident. Oh yeah, I forgot. You are a local news program, which means your main job is to scare the tar out of your viewers by completely overblowing the most minor incidents. That, and acting like Hurricane Katrina has hit everytime it rains in the Phoenix valley.

4. Gun Control Bill Hits Snag In Senate

3. Immigration Bill Hits Snag In Senate

2. Senate Resolution Honoring Margaret Thatcher Hits Snag In Senate

How about we report when these yahoos actually accomplish something. I’m so tired of the press giving 24 hour coverage to these petulant children and their tantrums. After all, just like children, attention is all they want. If we withhold it, maybe they would actually do something constructive to get it back. I’m just saying.

1. The NFL Draft – Up front, I am a lover of sports. But this event has gotten out of control. It gets almost as much pre-coverage, post-coverage and analysis as the Super Bowl. And for what? Half of these guys won’t even make it onto the teams that draft them. Who honestly cares if Dufus Hockenstock from Pewter State University runs a 40-yard dash .4 seconds faster than Billy Bob Huckleberry from Alabama? This is the poster child for what is wrong with a 24-hour news cycle whether it be in sports, politics or national news. We forget about what is important and instead, join the hype that is perpetuated by a non-stop media news cycle.

Speaking of blatant Hype, my debut novel, THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, arrives August 13, 2013. It is available for pre-order now through by clicking here, or, if you live in the Gila Valley, you can pre-order the book at Bookworms Bookstore. Another option is if you have an LDS bookstore in your area, walk on in and request that a copy of THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER be ordered on your behalf. They will appreciate the patronage and I would appreciate the expanded reach. Thanks again to those who read this blog on a regular basis for your patience during this book marketing process.

This Wasn’t In the Brochure

I’m going to be straight up. There are a few things about being a parent that I dread almost more than death. In fact, if you catch me on the right day, almost might come out of the equation.

Now I’m not talking about the normal go-tos. The dirty diapers, cleaning up puke and potty training are obvious and frankly, child’s play. No, I’m talking about the insidious things that generally come later in life. Things like:

Recorder concerts – Now I recognize that I am going to have to attend a lot of different recitals/concerts/sporting events with varying degrees of talent being showcased. That’s not a problem. If a child of mine has an interest in something, I am more than happy to support them and attend said events as they work through the difficult early days prior to their talent and hard work paying off. It is  part of the parent/child contract, and something I am happy to do. But Thatcher schools has this crazy idea that in third grade, they need to give every child (Not those with an interest in music. We are talking every child) a recorder. Wait a minute, I take that back, they require us as parents to go buy every child a recorder. Now for those who don’t know, a recorder is a poor man’s version of the clarinet and, when played incorrectly, is first cousins with a dog whistle. Needless to say, third graders play them incorrectly about 97% of the time. So, they force each of these children to learn a few songs on the recorder (which requires wayyyyy too much practice time at home) and then invite all the parents to come and listen to their children play these songs they’ve been enduring at home for the past month in a concert setting. What you discover is that no child has learned to play the recorder any better than your child has and so if you close your eyes, you realize that the “concert” could just as easily be a mass exercise in torture at your local bird sanctuary. I have now survived two of these blitzkrieg assaults on my eardrums and am steeling myself now for the third one which will take place next year. But I never give up on the dream of some congressman finding an obscure entry in the Obamacare bill that requires the immediate destruction of all recorders nationwide. I know it’s not likely to happen, but come on. Have you seen the size of that bill? And it does purport to encourage preventative healthcare. I can’t think of anything more preventative than taking away all the recorders so I don’t accidently break one over the head of some unsuspecting and undeserving music teacher.

Pinewood Derby Cars – There are many reasons I am hoping this baby we are expecting is a girl. Daughters have a way of nestling their way directly into a father’s heart. They also do not require the father to make a pinewood derby car each year between the ages of 8 and 10. Oh how I hate this rite of passage that the scouting organization forces upon its members. The main problem is, I am not a skilled worker of wood nor do I own a lot of tools needed for effective wooden car construction. So, I am left with these admittedly imperfect options. I can build it from scratch and have a wonderful bonding experience with my son that is shot to h#@! the minute we put that car on the track and it finishes a good three second behind all of the other cars. That’s what happened to my oldest son on our first attempt. The next option is to go to Hobby Lobby and purchase a pre-cut car that looks awesome, but requires very little from me. I basically have to hand it to my son with a sheet of sandpaper and say, “Get after it, bud.” and then go park myself in front of the TV, providing “expert” examinations on the wood’s smoothness at varying intervals. This is what we did the second year and while the bonding was definitely lacking, my son took first place in his age bracket and was thrilled. The only downside was the nagging guilt I felt at my lack of involvement in my son’s success. This year, I was faced with the perfect storm I’d been dreading for months. It was the only year I would have two sons in the cub scouting program at the same time, requiring me to build two cars instead of one. So, I did what any delinquent father would do and I bought tickets to the ASU/UofA basketball game that was scheduled for the same day as the pinewood derby and I got them and myself the heck out of Dodge. Surprisingly, I felt less guilt with this option than I did with the pre-cut car. Go figure. Anyway, this year worked out so well, I am half thinking of making this a tradition for at least…the next two years. Even if ASU is playing in Pullman, Washington that weekend, I will still have to give it serious consideration.

The Birds and the Bees Talk – Another reason I am rooting for baby #5 to be a girl is this horrific life moment that any decent parent cannot escape. Shannon and I have a deal. She will take the girls and I will take the boys. I would assume most other couples would have a similar arrangement, but there is no way in Hades I’m ever gonna ask. Because I really don’t want to know if there is a couple out there that doesn’t. Anyway, when my oldest daughter reached this pinnacle of life, my wife got on Facebook and started gathering a hundred different ideas on how best to handle this. She got books and she went into that talk as prepared as if she were facing a final in her last semester of college. She did great. She covered every base and was ready for every question. I was proud of her. As it turned out, she either did such a good job, or my daughter just isn’t a real talker about personal things, but she had relatively few questions to deal with. I was hoping and praying for similar experience.

Anyone who knows my oldest son is knowingly shaking their heads right now. There isn’t a topic on this planet that involves science in any way that isn’t going to get fully dissected by a thousand inquiries. I should have known this. But I didn’t. I think I chose to approach this whole thing with a dash of denial.

So, on a warm spring morning, I took him to get a Dairy Queen blizzard and we went and parked under a tree. I didn’t have books, I didn’t have diagrams and I didn’t have any great ideas provided by my network of social media friends. I just laid it out as best I could. I tried not to hold anything back and then I waited…hoping…gaining confidence with each passing second that he just sat there eating his ice cream.

And then the dam burst.

He started off easy enough, but then he moved to things that I hadn’t thought of until well into my high school years. He even threw in a few questions I couldn’t answer. By and large, when it was over, it had ended up being a good experience for us. And if nothing else, I will be wellllll prepared for son number two in a few years. But it got me thinking.

When my dad finally came to me that fateful day to have the talk, I had already been through a thorough education at the hands of my peers at Duncan Elementary School. Looking back, I knew far more than I should have while at the same time not really knowing anything. This made things tough on my father because I didn’t have any questions. I also think there is a major difference in this younger generation and the one I grew up in. Because I can remember clearly that even if I had had questions, there was no way I was going to ask them of my parents. It would have been way too embarrassing. But my son, to this day, will come back to my wife and I with no shame or embarrassment. It’s actually pretty cool.

But I also realized this week that this level of comfort between child and parent has its downside.

My daughter and I were driving along listening to my iPod when a song came on we have sung along to a hundred times. But this time, there was no sound coming from my daughter’s side of the truck. When the song ended, she said, “I can never sing along to that song anymore.”

I was confused. “Why not?”

My question earned me a huge eye roll and a look that practically screamed, “COME ON, DAD!!! Don’t be such an idiot.” It’s my favorite look. It makes me feel so good. Anyway, she combined her expression with a mumbled, “I just…I just can’t.”

And that’s when it hit me. The title of the song references something that can be taken two very different ways. Very tentatively, I asked if that reference was the problem.

“Uh, YEAHHH!!!”

I have never experienced such conflicted emotions in my life. It is one thing for my son to be so open about personal things. It is just kind of who he is. But my daughter…Never! So the fact that she would be this open with me was like the ultimate validation of my parenting.

On the other hand. I was horrified. I have always wanted to live in a fantasy world where my thirteen-year-old daughter never learned of such things. Never mind I knew what she was talking about at her age, in my mind, she should never have known.

And another thing. I chose to assume at thirteen that my parents didn’t know anything about this…act I’m referring to. And it was guaranteed I would never breath a word of it to them.

So there I sat in my truck trying not to look as stunned as I felt. I attempted to casually talk with her and assure her the song did not contain a line she thought it did. I hope it went okay. I think it did.

But I will admit to one thing. Part of me wishes that the old teenage/parent version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell still existed. A much bigger part of me is grateful it doesn’t. I would not trade the relationship I have with my daughter for anything. That night was unique in that most of my family was out of town and so she and I got to eat pizza and watch a movie mostly on our own. It was a night I will not soon forget.

But while changing a dirty diaper or cleaning throw up is beyond nasty in the moment, within minutes, it’s over. It’s gone. This reminder that my children are growing up in a world filled with the vilest garbage is not fading at all. And so, although I might prefer to turn a blind eye, I will do everything I can to keep the channels of communication open. I may not always like what I see or hear, but at least there will be a better pay off than what I get from those infernal recorder concerts.


My book THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, arriving August 13, 2013, deals with the difficulty of a parent communicating with a teenage child. It might also touch on one man’s frustrations with aspects of scouting. It can be pre-ordered through Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ or from Amazon. com by clicking here.  You may also request a copy be ordered for you through any bookstore selling LDS fiction.

If you are not currently a fan of my author page on Facebook, please take a moment and “like” it for updates on cover art, interviews and reviews that come out as the release date draws closer. That link is

Thank you to everyone for your continued support.


As I have previously mentioned on this blog, and as anyone who has ever attempted creative writing can attest to, writing a novel is not a one-shot-and-your-done process. You often have to write something, come back to it and realize you have no business thinking you can write, trying again, coming back and realizing you still have no business thinking you can write, taking your work to your spouse who confirms that you have no business thinking you can write, and so on and so forth until after five, six or twenty attempts later, you finally have a decent draft you can present to peers for a critique. When you finally get to that point, it can be very nerve wracking because you have arrived at a place where you realize you can’t do much better. You think to yourself, “Either I have talent or I don’t, because I cannot look at this story one more time without setting it on fire and then finding a dark corner to hopefully drink myself into oblivion.”

Okay, maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but it’s not far off. (By the way, your spouse will likely be more than happy to join you in setting it fire if she hasn’t done so already without your knowledge.)

So for me, after I had been through this gauntlet of hell, there was one logical choice when it came down to seeking a “peer review” from a fellow author.  I put peer review in quotes because my experience up until then was hacking my way through one unpublished novel while she, on the other hand, had published four. It’s kind of like calling your local karaoke star and George Strait peers. Anyway, the person who seemed the most logical was fellow Gila Valley author, Jennifer Griffith.

Jennifer, as mentioned, has published four novels. Her latest, BIG IN JAPAN, a story about a 300 pound man who finds himself unexpectedly caught up in the world of sumo wrestling, has even reached as high as #9 on the Amazon sales list for sports novels. And she knows a thing or two about critiquing manuscripts. Thankfully, she agreed to take a look at mine.

It turned out I couldn’t have been more fortunate. She provided a great perspective and gave me very sound advice that led to an overall strengthening of my story. She was also very supportive during the process of submitting my manuscript to agents and publishers. I owe her a great deal.

Anyway, when THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER got picked up by Cedar Fort Publishing, instead of saying thank you, I instead asked her for another favor. I asked if she would be willing to provide an endorsement. Once again, she was gracious and willing.

So first of all, let me say how much I appreciate Jennifer Griffith’s help and support through this entire process. And second of all, let me express how grateful I am for the following words that are extremely kind. Thanks, Jen. Her endorsement now follows:

Todd Landry would be the slightly cynical, charming everyman – if his life weren’t tinged by the tragedy of the death of his wife. Marci died too soon, leaving him with three kids and no idea what to do next, how to deal or how to progress.

He’s been putting on a good face for his children, but his parents and siblings know everything’s not okay and have insisted he get some counseling. To appease them, he’s been going faithfully to Dr. Schenk, a detached psychiatrist who’s ready to drop Todd as a patient because he refuses to speak in therapy sessions week after week. The doc issues an ultimatum: Todd must write or be dropped as a client. Todd knows the only thing keeping his family off his back is that he meets with Dr. Schenk, so he (extremely) reluctantly agrees. And he starts writing a blog.

What ensues in Ryan Rapier’s debut novel The Reluctant Blogger, is the unfolding of a life. It’s a life rich with history, emotion, and characters so true to life you’ll swear you’ve met them in church or are related to them yourself. Todd’s obstacles and efforts toward healing are fraught with emotional and social danger, and with frequent hilarious predicaments, all told through Todd Landry’s dry wit and his incisive descriptions of the friends and family that populate his world.

Rapier has an uncanny ability to take the reader from laughter to wrenching emotion in a matter of paragraphs. The whole page-turning journey is a wonderful roller coaster ride with characters the reader is invested in from page one—all the way to the highly satisfying ending. – Jennifer Griffith, Author of BIG IN JAPAN

BIG IN JAPAN is available in select bookstores and on-line at You can also visit her blog at or you can like her Facebook author page as well at

THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER will arrive in bookstores and mailboxes August 13, 2013. It is currently available for pre-order at Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ, or on-line at by clicking here. If you aren’t currently liking Ryan Rapier’s author page on facebook, please do so for no other reason than we are a self-absorbed society that judges ourselves by how many people are our “friends” or “like” us…and I’m no different. The page can be found