Callie Oettinger

On Bookbuying and Events

By Callie Oettinger | 45 Comments

When I want a surprise read, I hold my three-year old daughter over the Costco book table and let her pick out a few books. (recent picks: Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Marilynne Robinson’s Home, and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge.) Or—I do a reverse pin-the-tail on the donkey in airport and train station book sections. I close my eyes, spin around, and then buy whatever book I grab. (recent pick: Wm. Paul Young’s The Shack). Some rock, others stink—all are a surprise.

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By Callie Oettinger | 37 Comments

I visited a CrossFit “box” last week. CrossFit came on our radar two years ago, when it referred thousands of CrossFitters to Steve’s site, via one small mention on the CrossFit site. Between that first link and last week’s visit to one of their “boxes,” I realized how much I’d forgotten—and then had to refocus upon—the fundamentals. Here’s how things went down:

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The Elephant in the Room

By Callie Oettinger | 14 Comments

[This Friday’s “What It Takes” is the first from my publicist Callie Oettinger. I’m sure the first thing most readers will think is, ‘Does a writer really need a publicist? How can you afford it? Isn’t that over the top?’ I first worked with Callie on a job-by-job basis. Her forte is the military; she’s based in Washington, D.C., and has done outreach for a number of successful military writers. She helped me on the launch of The Afghan Campaign. Her work has been invaluable. But what really got us working together full-time is this blog. “Writing Wednesdays” was Callie’s…

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Jeff Lipsky

By Callie Oettinger | 2 Comments

Jeff Lipsky is the writer and director of the films Childhood’s End (co-starring Tony Award nominee Sam Trammell), Flannel Pajamas (about which Roger Ebert wrote: “One of the wisest films I can remember about love and human intimacy. I will not forget it.”), and Twelve Thirty (Jan. 2011 theatrical release, starring Jonathan Groff, Mamie Gummer, Portia Reiners, Reed Birney and Karen Young), and the director of Once More With Feeling (co-starring Chazz Palminteri, Drea de Matteo and Linda Fiorentino). He co-founded the film distribution companies October Films and Lot 47 films, and has shepherded over 200 films to market, including…

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Michael Bungay Stanier

By Callie Oettinger | 5 Comments

Michael Bungay Stanier does Great—Important—Work. His bio says that he’s the Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations and the people in them do less Good Work and more Great Work. It should also say that he’s one of those wonderful people with a gift for telling it how it is, in just the right, positive way. His most-recent book is Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork and Start the Work that Matters. You can pillage the free chapters, courses, interviews and other resources at Do More Great Work. Check out all the short movies…

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Chris Guillebeau

By Callie Oettinger | 5 Comments

Chris Guillebeau travels and writes for a small army of remarkable people at and When you visit his blog, check out his 279 Days to Overnight Success and his Brief Guide to World Domination. Good stuff! His book, The Art of Non-Conformity, will be available online and in bookstores starting Sept. 7, 2010. In The Art of Non-Conformity you talk about your one-time job “slinging boxes” at FedEx at 3 AM in the morning. How did you go from there to developing a business and then being a volunteer working with refugees, warlords and presidents in West Africa?

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Erik Proulx

By Callie Oettinger | 4 Comments

The film “Lemonade” was my introduction to Erik Proulx. It is inspiring, uplifting, motivating—all the good stuff—and is a strong reminder of our abilities to reinvent ourselves—hard-charge our dreams, at any moment. A 15-year veteran of the advertising industry, Erik created commercials for brands like Volvo, Fidelity Investments, GMC Trucks, and Perdue Chicken. Then, two days after being offered a raise and a promotion, his agency laid him off without ceremony. He responded by creating “Lemonade” and the blog Please Feed The Animals. His experience, combined with the collective experience of the hundreds of people he’s interviewed for Lemonade (the…

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By Callie Oettinger | 1 Comment
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Geoffrey C. Ward

By Callie Oettinger | 3 Comments

Geoffrey C. Ward is an historian, screenwriter, author and former editor of American Heritage magazine. He has collaborated with Ken Burns and other film-makers, on numerous documentaries, including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, and The War, and is the winner of six Emmy Awards, seven Christopher Awards, and two Writers Guild of America awards for his work for public television. He has written fifteen books . His A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt won the 1989 National Critics Circle Award, the 1990 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. What…

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Pixelated Image

By Callie Oettinger | 0 Comments
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