091 – Author Mike Ulmer

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Our guest today is Mike Ulmer, he is an author.  One of the things he has written is M is for Maple, a children’s book, it came out in 2000.  It wasn’t a project he wanted to do at first.  He says to people now, don’t let your comfort zone get in the way of an opportunity.  Not every story is publishable.  Many people have a story to tell, some sell, others don’t.  It doesn’t mean don’t try.

Mike wanted to be a sports writer.  His mother applied him to a journalism program, and he was accepted.  He didn’t do well the first time he tried, he moved out west to try working out there.  After a dangerous experience, Mike chose to make some changes, he came back home and went back to school.  He ended up writing for the Maple Leafs for 7 years in the early 90s.  He also worked for Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment for another 7 years.  He met many hockey greats and many interesting people.

We have a discussion about players crossing over to other sports and joke about learning to skate.  Many people love the game of hockey, given the chance many kids love to play.

The conversation turns to solar energy, going off the grid and the disruption.  Which leads to a conversation of the over-use of words, and the words losing meaning.  As well, as discussing how we try to predict the future based on what we know currently, we can’t foresee the future, technology will change how things will happen.  Mike briefly tells a story of Charles Bata going to India and the prospects of people wearing shoes.  It is all in your vision.

Mike shares another story of Dominik Hašek, a goalie who played for the Buffalo Sabres.  Dominik’s ability to visualize the rink, the entire chess game, greatly gave him an advantage as a goalie.  Mike goes on to tell how Mitch Korn became a goalie coach to Dominik and many other goalies.  Mitch loved hockey, graduated college, and was running an arena where he ran goalie camps.  He devised systems and drills for improving skills.  Mitch becomes the goalie coach for the Sabres, Dominik becomes the goalie for Buffalo, Mitch and Dominik working together became a great team.  It is a fascinating story about how it changed hockey.  This leads into a great conversation about analytics in sports.

This is your chance.  If the other elements are there, it can have a profound affect.  We are all the culmination of our experience and kindness others have shown towards us.  You need failure, it is essential.

Mike has a new book C is for Canada, it’s an alphabet book for children.

You have to write with a feeling of kindness to the reader.  You have to work on good writing, a lot of hard work, makes something smoother, makes it easier to read.  Our writing should have value to the reader.  We should be embarrassed by our first draft, and go back and improve upon it.

About the author, Jurgen

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