Dom Testa

Author, Speaker, Broadcaster

I Forgive Melissa McCarthy

One of the best pieces of advice a writer can receive has to do with building a lead character:

Make them likable or unlikable, but for God’s sake make us feel something about them.

I recognize Melissa McCarthy’s stature as a comedic star. I mostly enjoyed her turn in Bridesmaids, but after a while her schtick grew a little tired to me. And, based on recent box office results, it’s not clicking too well with the rest of the movie-going public, either.

So when I first saw a trailer for Can You Ever Forgive Me, I was intrigued. McCarthy was leaving the bathroom humor behind and doing a serious flick. And, because I’ve published quite a few books, I was interested in the subject matter.

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Give Canada a Break!

I’m writing this on Election Day 2018, and we all know how ridiculous it can get. But there’s one thing in particular I can’t understand.

Why, oh why, do so many celebrities - on both the left and the right - keep warning us that they’ll “move to Canada” if their candidate loses?

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OD'ing on CGI

Opening weekends for movies are generally not my thing. But I made an exception this weekend because Gretchen and I were both anxious to see the new movie about Freddie Mercury and Queen called Bohemian Rhapsody.

This is not a review of that movie - all I can say is that it was fantastic. Go see it.

There was an interesting contrast that stood out to me, however.

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We're Moving Thanksgiving and Halloween

(There’s currently a movement underway to adjust where Halloween falls on the calendar. I think it’s a good idea - but they got the details wrong, I believe. So I’m resurrecting this post from two years ago to set the story straight. This is how we should change things.)

I like Christmas, but I love Thanksgiving. It’s got everything you want in a holiday: time off from work, a chance to hang with family and friends, a little bit of football, and the best food of all time. On top of that, while it might inject a little bit of stress, it doesn’t come close to the crushing pressures we associate with Christmas.

The only problem is that Thanksgiving comes at the wrong time. Let’s move it from late November to the fourth Thursday of October. Here’s why:

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There was a recent study about boredom, and I couldn’t help but notice that once again the basic attitude seemed to be that this is a bad thing. People have no patience whatsoever for boredom.

Which is sad, I think. In fact, I have such an appreciation for boredom that I made it the subject of an entire chapter in my latest book, The Color of Your Dreams.

This book was written to help people who want to get published but perhaps lack the confidence it takes to get their words out there. It’s not a “how to write” book, but rather a “get off your butt” book.

But chapter 12 is all about boredom, and how we should embrace it, especially if we want to tap into our creativity. Here’s a free excerpt from The Color of Your Dreams featuring that chapter. If you’d like to dive into the entire book - or hopefully share it with friends, maybe as a holiday gift - you can find it at Amazon, or right here on my site.

WARNING: There is language that may offend. This book is not for kids.

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JOMO Has Replaced FOMO

By now I’m sure you’re familiar with the term FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. The explosion of social media has created an entire sub-category of people who mourn the fact they’re not out having as much fun as all those hipster-doodles they see on Facebook or Instagram.

Apparently I’m a big weirdo, because when I see photos from some crowded, crazy event the first thought that goes through my mind is: “I’m so glad I’m not there.”

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My Lousy Handwriting

It’s one thing to get older and gradually notice aches and pains, especially first thing in the morning. (Putting on my socks never used to be such an effort, but at 4am my back isn’t on board with my get-ready-for-work routine.)

But it’s another thing to notice something else deteriorating, something I’ve done pretty well for half a century.

My handwriting has gone straight to hell. There was a time when I was proud of my penmanship, thanks to some wonderful elementary school teachers and to my mom, whose cursive was practically calligraphy.

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Take It Personally

In case we need any more proof of the personal connection we make with art, here it is.
You can criticize almost anything about a person, like their car, their lawn, even their hairstyle, and they’ll probably just shrug. We generally don’t care what people think of our choices.

But tell them the music they love is crap and they’ll storm off. Say something derogatory about their favorite movie and they’ll practically unfriend you. Disagree when they rave about a book and you’re not only wrong, you’re a shithead and likely to get punched in the face.

We may not like it when someone disses our shoes but that’s nothing compared to questioning our favorite art. (Although, yes, for many people shoes count as art.) This puzzled me for the longest time until I realized it’s not just a matter of different styles.

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My New Buzz

You know how you get little signs here and there that you’re getting older? Maybe you bend over to pick up something and feel a twinge. Or maybe you stop going to concerts because they’re too loud.

Well, today Gretchen presented me with a hypothetical choice: If I had to pick between two pints at the pub or two scoops of ice cream, what would it be?

I startled myself by realizing I’m suddenly team ice cream.

I’m losing my affinity for alcohol. Back in the day I’d have a glass or two of wine about three nights a week, and enjoyed other adult beverages when I went out with friends.

Now? I’ve probably had wine on 4 or 5 occasions this year, and one of those was during a visit to my friend’s winery. What are you gonna order there? A milkshake?

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The Perfect Day

Yesterday I had a pretty good day. The radio show went well, I took a couple of good walks while the sun was out, and I ended the day by reading six or seven pages before I fell asleep.

But what exactly makes for a PERFECT day?

It’s an interesting question, and one that thousands of people were asked. (The fact that the survey was conducted by a council of blueberry farmers somehow makes the whole thing charming.)

Here are the things that should magically transform your day into a perfect one:

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