My first novel, Scattering The Ashes, will be published on October 22, 2019 by Artemesia Publishing and is now available for Pre-Order here.
This novel tells the fictional story of Sam Holmes as he struggles though the aftermath of losing his father and having the responsibility and obligation of fulfilling his late father’s final request.
Readers will become attached to Sam Holmes as he seeks to find himself in this trying period of his life. Initial reviews of the novel have been very positive.
Baseball is one (of many) themes that forms the framework of the story. Throughout this year, leading up to the book’s release, I will share excerpts from the novel here on these pages and on my Yankees site: www.startspreadingthenews.blog.
The following is an except from Chapter 5. In this scene, early in the novel before his father passes, Sam Homes awakes in pain the morning after his longest training run as he is preparing for his first marathon – the New York City Marathon. He is feeling doubtful about his abilities as a runner. Soon the prospect of a fictional encounter with two former baseball stars changes his outlook on the day…
(From Scattering The Ashes (2019, by Dr. Paul Semendinger, with permission from Artemesia Publishing)
The next morning, after I swung my legs out of bed, I realized I could barely stand. The plantar fasciitis in my foot screamed with pain every time I put even a tiny bit of weight on it. I had never felt such pain. Have you ever stuck hot needles into the bottom of your foot? I haven’t either, but it sure felt like I had. In addition to this foot agony, everything else, especially the fronts of my thighs, seemed to ache. I wondered if I had pushed my body further than it was able to handle. Was twelve miles my limit? Maybe I wasn’t built for a marathon. Dr. Alfonzo, my chiropractor (who is also a miracle healer), advised me to always stretch before a hard run and also to always ice this injury after the effort. Why didn’t I listen to his advice yesterday?
Continue reading ““Scattering the Ashes” Preview & Excerpt (Coming October 22, 2019)”
At the end of December, I always look back and review the books I read over the past year. I have been keeping track of the books I have read since 1989. Keeping these lists has been wonderful for it allows me to look back over the many books I have read in my adult life. Through this exercise I get to remember great passages, great themes, and great ideas. When I look back, I also remember the titles and authors I have particularly enjoyed which often brings me back to read those same books again. I love reading and believe that our lives are infinitely richer through the books we read.
Here is a list of the best books that I read in 2018 with a short summary of each. (Quick note – not all of the books listed below are pictured in the graphic.)
MY FAVORITE BOOKS 2018
Continue reading “The Best Books I Read in 2018”
(The other day, I went back into the archives of passages that I wrote to the teachers at my school. I found this piece from 2009. This brought back a lot of memories, and also, with them, the reminder to savor every single moment. That little boy sitting on Santa’s lap is twenty years old. I genuinely miss those wonderful moments from long ago…)
Each year I get a terrific honor. I’m Santa Claus at our annual church fair. For the better part of Friday evening, and on Saturday morning, I am Santa. I’ve been doing this for a long time – since my kids were little.
When my kids were little and they talked to Santa, they didn’t know that the Santa they were talking to was me. It was a very special time – priceless might be the word for it. I savor in those great memories.
Continue reading “Being Santa Claus”
I ran my first marathon in 2002. Since then, in my running “career,” I have completed 21 marathons. That’s 21 marathons in 17 years, a pretty good rate.
I have run some races pretty quickly, with my PR taking place in Chicago in 2006 (3:25:16). But, as I have aged, I have (not surprisingly) gotten slower. I knew going into this year’s New York City Marathon that I would be very slow and that it would be a huge struggle for me for numerous reasons including the fact that I was coming back from an injury (Achilles tear) that kept me out of the previous year’s marathon and the fact that, while I was upping my mileage, I still wasn’t 100%, nor was I properly trained for a good showing.
You get out of it what you put into it.
I put in determination and heart. Those traits got me through the race. I din’t put in the necessary training miles. That resulted in my slowest marathon time ever (4:47:47).
While I am not overjoyed with that result, I have to admit that I actually thought I’d be a lot slower. I was concerned that 2018 would be my first ever five hour marathon. Determination and heart prevented that from happening because I was not, by any definition of the term, in marathon shape.
Now about a month after the marathon, I’m still not in great shape. But, I am determined that when I take the starting line for what I hope will be two marathons in 2019, I will be in much better physical shape. I have been on a cycle of poor showings for quite a while now…and I’m ready to break that pattern.
It is to that end that I designed this new marathon plan – a 10-month plan that (I hope) will get me to the starting line in my best shape in many (many) years. While I persevered and got through the 2018 New York City Marathon, I did it with a lot of self-doubt. Most of my most recent marathons have been run that way. I need to change that. Continue reading “My 2019 Marathon Plan (Part 1)”
I have had the great pleasure and honor of sharing inspirational words with my fellow runners at the Interfaith Chapel at the start of the New York City Marathon a number of times. I find it extremely inspiring to share God’s word before the race as we all prepare for the long miles ahead. This year I participated in two services and, as such, delivered two “sermons.” I will share both of these messages here on my blog. The first message I delivered is directly below this one on the blog’s home page. I hope, these words inspire you and your faith as well.
Rejoice in Suffering:
Continue reading “NYC Marathon: Rejoice In Suffering”
I have had the great pleasure and honor of sharing inspirational words with my fellow runners at the Interfaith Chapel at the start of the New York City Marathon. I find it extremely inspiring to share God’s word before the race as we all prepare for the long miles ahead. This year I participated in two services and, as such, delivered two “sermons.” I will share both of these messages here on my blog. I hope, these words also inspire you and your faith as well.
God Is With Us Today:
Continue reading “NYC Marathon: God Is With Us”
Well, I did it.
As I have shared, I was under-trained, a bit over weight, and unprepared for the race, but I knew I needed to do it. I’m still not fully recovered from the Achilles tear that kept me out of last year’s race. But all of that is now in the past.
At the Marathon Chapel at the start before the race, in one of the messages I delivered, I reminded the runners to trust God in their darkest moments on the course. I know I did.
I was toast by Mile 10. I had nothing left in the tank. But I pushed ever forward. Step-by-step all the way over the 26.2 miles to the glorious finish in Central Park.
Continue reading “I DID IT!”
My family has been struggling through the realities of cancer. Through this I have seen loved ones, especially my mother-in-law, exhibiting tremendous strength and character in the face of difficult news. Throughout all of this, the American Cancer Society has been a shining light – comprised of true miracle workers filled with kindness, support, and most of all, love. As I run the NYC Marathon on November 4, 2018, I would like to give back to this wonderful organization that does so much for so many. Thank you for your support.
Here is the link to my fundraising page:
DR. SEM RUNS THE NYC MARATHON FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
You know, it’s funny…
I was getting very nervous about my upcoming NYC Marathon. And although I have run twenty marathons, coming back from an injury that sidelined me for so long had me scared.
(Let’s just say this – an Achilles tear is simply no fun.)
Because it’s been so long since I have run far. I’ve been scared. Very scared.
Continue reading “The Power of 20”
One of the most wonderful parts of being an educator and a writer is that my ideas and words seem to inspire other people and bring them joy.
I am absolutely honored (and humbled) to be featured on WCBS News Radio 880 A.M. in New York City.
Thank you Sean Adams and WCBS!
Here is the story: