because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

Fabulous Followers: Featuring @Stuart_Sheldon

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Gratitude to Val Erde at http://artyoldbird.com for letting me use her image.

Not long ago it occurred to me, I have all these followers on Twitter, but who are they? I mean, I don’t know everyone who follows me.

Stuart w Zimmer elephant 3
Cute, right?

So I picked one cute guy and I sent him a quick tweet, asking him, you know, why me?

As you can imagine, we struck up a lovely cyber chat, and I learned a lot about him. And guess what? Now I’m following him!

I intend to make this a kind of semi-regular feature, so if you follow me, don’t be surprised if I tweet you and ask you to tell me about yourself and share your story with my readers. Because everyone has a story, right?

So today I’m introducing you to Stuart Sheldon.

He lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and their two sons.

He blogs HEREAnd he tweets at @stuart_sheldon. 

• • •

RASJ: You’ve been following me, Stu. Tell me a little bit about yourself. You know, so I feel a little less stalked. 

SS: I am the guy who constantly reinvents himself, because I want to taste everything in life. At 25, I was the youngest vice-president at Smith Barney and destined for untold riches, but I threw it all away at 27 to pursue my artistic dream. Twenty years later, I’ve hosted my own television documentary, written for, launched and sold my own magazine, and exhibited my paintings and sculptures on nearly every continent. My greatest creation has been the mixed media collaboration my wife and I worked tirelessly to manifest – two beautiful boys who teach me each day. With the major bases now covered in life, my laser beam is now focused on the sale of my recently-completed first book and the inception of my second. 

RASJ: Whaaaat? You finished a book! Tell me about it. You must be stoked.

SS: A Lonely Fool’s Masterpiece is the true story of a forlorn artist in his late-30s who decides to paint the wife and child of his dreams into existence. This is what I did and, thankfully, the journey burned my oversized ego like feathers in a flame. Now I am calmer, more grounded, and full of constant gratitude. If nothing else, this book is my legacy and gift to my kids, chronicling the emotional play-by-play that led, after much laughter and tears, to their arrival. National Book Critics Circle Award winner, Edwidge Daniticat, called it a “moving book for our times,” which was awesome. Now I’m querying publishers.

RASJ: Wait, you’re a writer and an artist? Have I seen any of your work?

SS: Maybe. One is my favorite sculptures, titled Play! is made entirely out of toys I found in thrift shops in the Bay Area. It now lives in the collection of a producer somewhere in the Hollywood Hills.

Stu
Stu Sheldon’s piece entitled “Play!” Isn’t it cool?

RASJ:  That piece is wicked cool! Okay, let’s have a little fun. Look! A penguin walked into your room wearing a sombrero. What does he say? And why is he there?

SS: That’s so weird because a penguin did walk into the room. My back was turned and he did not recognize me at first as he said, all spineless and fish-breathed, “Senor (he incorrectly pronounced the enye as a hard ‘n’), you want tamale?” I spun around, grabbed the brim of his hat and tossed it like a Frisbee into the hallway. This penguin, incognito as a tamale salesman, owed me money. But I saw right thru his ruse because I can read people … and flightless birds.. I said, “No, I want those twenty clams. Cough it up, Happy Feet!” 
Unfortunately, he actually coughed up twenty little neck clams. Directly onto my new Bermuda shorts. I will never again do business with a penguin.   

RASJ: So seriously, what made you decide to follow me? Which of my posts caught your eye? You can tell me.

 SS: The Day the Last Baby Tooth Fell Out” really punched my lights out. And not because it rode the tails of Sandyhook. No, this one was a direct line from your heart to the rest of us with kids. It really captured the essence of our perspective as adoring yet helpless observers of our children.

Your son sounds like such a good boy. Through your words, I love him and his cream soda eyes. He is kind and patient in the face of inconvenience and even pain. He does not play the victim. Far from it, he is every bit a mensch. As the father of two young sons, I understand every bit of the idea of time passing. And milestones falling. And the purity of youth evaporating. In that piece you magically transformed your son into one of my own.

RASJ: Thanks for your kind words, Stu. It’s nice to learn a little about you. We have a Happy House in Florida. Maybe we can meet up in real life sometime, you think?

• • •

If you’ve been lurking around and you’d like me to notice you, tweet me. You could be next!

tweet me @rasjacobson

90 thoughts on “Fabulous Followers: Featuring @Stuart_Sheldon

  1. That was a fun interview! Loved the art piece. 🙂

    1. Cool right? I wonder if Stu used spray paint or if he dipped this stuff in 24-karat gold. I’m guessing not spray paint. I’m the only loser who uses spray paint on everything.

      1. ::cough:: Not the ONLY one… But nice to know what you think of me…;-)

        1. Kitt: I am a firm believer that spray paint can fix anything. You too? We have much in common. And I know you know what I mean. 😉

      2. Ummm…..Spraypaint

  2. Sounds like a multi-talented and very interesting man. So good of you to share him with the rest of us! I really love that Play! sculpture. It’s very creative and playful.

    1. Isn’t that thing cool? I want to play with it. Remember when I wrote about the guy who stole all the gold when I was a teen? Do you think this could have been the guy? Seriously. He’s clearly has access to gold and look at that smile. Oy.

    2. Hey There Misty. I already like you cuz your a Lawyer/Blogger/Smartass same as me, except the lawyer part.

  3. This was fun! And how cool you randomly picked someone with an actual good personality. I love it!

    1. He was fun to interview, no doubt. He definitely played all my reindeer games. And penguin games, too. 😉

  4. you…You…YOU are too gracious for words! So honored to be featured by a writer for whom I have such respect. Thank you and THANK YOU.

    1. So glad you are here. Feel free to respond to people and be sure to check out their blogs. I have the best followers. Seriously.

  5. What a totally cool idea, Renee. And delightful to meet you, Stuart. Love that ‘Play’ sculpture! Hope the stain comes out of your Bermuda shorts.

    1. Ha Kassandra! Way too easy to be cheap and vulgar here, so I’m just gonna say thanks for the love!

    2. Stu, Kassandra is just launching her 5th book in her series today. Like right now! Go see! Woot woot! Maybe she can offer you some advice on how to move forward with your book.

  6. Rock on Kassandra! Just signed up for your blog and checked out the new book cover. Thinking NYTBS thoughts for you!

    1. Bless you!! Then I’ll forgive you for the “cheap and vulgar” non-comment. I knew either you or Renee would probably go there. 😉 (I actually blog at http://misteriopress.com, btw) Best of luck with your book!!

  7. I just recently commented on one of his posts!! I love his art and his point of view – of course you attract the good ones 🙂

    1. TY Amber. Feel like the guy that was brought to the party where he didn’t know anybody and after 5 minutes was having the time of his life. Thanks again Renee.

    2. Amber is ANOTHER one who is too humble to brag about her writing prowess. Her book The Ruth Valley Missing was just nominated for a RONE award. What that means is that she might win a trip to Vegas, baby! Amber can advise you on how she self-published her way to the top. I don’t mean to be a yenta here, but it’s fun to fix up my stalkers followers with the people I love most in the world.

      1. Mix away!
        Amber – congrats on being a BADASS!

  8. Thanks for introducing us to Stuart. Ok, he is kinda cute too! Nice to meet you, Stuart!

    1. The pleasure is mine BrickHouseChick!

      1. Her name is Maria. She revealed her identity for the first time here on my blog. I’ll never forget it. It was awesome.

  9. I just wanna know what it sounds like when that duck quacks that sax.

    1. That’s one heckuva tongue twister, Ann!
      How much sax when a duck quacks sax? 😉
      But yes, inquiring minds want to know.

    2. sounds like coltrane under water. my favorite part of this sculpture is the tiny little man directly in front of the duck. he is running the whole show!

  10. That was a fun and interesting thing to do! It was nice to meet Stu.

    1. Hi Michelle! I hope other people don’t think it’s too creepy when I start asking to interview them out of the blue. Stu was a very good sport.

    2. And nice to meet you Michelle. Congrats on the Versatile Blogger award!! And, if I may speak as an artist with over 10 years of searing judgment from the world about my work … we just gotta roll with it baby. Easier said than done … but it won’t mean a goddam thing in a 100 years.

  11. This was very cute and informative. Except for that nasty tamale slinging clam puking penguin. That part was just fun. And not for nothin’, but I was going to spray paint my little side tables for the deck. But now I feel like I should glue some stuff on them first. 🙂

    1. Can you ever believe that penguin? What a jerk. And THAT is why I prefer hedgehogs. Meanwhile, I just painted some side tables and scheduled the post for July. If you are going to do something let me know, and I’ll link to you! Because I’m guessing you’ll run your post first! 😉 And by all means bedazzle them. After spray paint, glue guns are a girl’s best friend.

      1. BEDAZZLE!!!

  12. You have the best ideas, Renee! Stuart – it’s a pleasure to meet you! It’s very cool to read about someone following his dreams, and best wishes to you! Enjoy those boychiks. 🙂

    1. I don’t know if I have the BEST ideas, but I’ve been fiddling with this for a while. If I were smarter (and more organizer) I would have had 3 months of content lined up before I launched. But, well, I just launched. We’ll see if I can find another willing victim participant. Ever. Have a wonderful weekend, Rivki. Shabbat shalom!

    2. TY Rivki. I enjoy them more than anything I ever imagined. In fact, just thinking about how much I enjoy them makes me enjoy them even more.

  13. Great interview, Renée. It was kind of like a taste of Scotch – a small taste of something sophisticated and intense, and it left the reader wanting more.

    Stuart, I really enjoyed your replies.

    1. Hi Z! There’s a reason this felt like a teaser: Stu gave me a lot more. IYKWIM. But I had to shorten things, big time. Meanwhile, what would you think if some random chick asked if she could profile you on her blog. Would you let her do it? Would you be creeped out? I think he was very brave to go where no man has gone before. You know, this was virgin territory.

      1. What would I think? I would have to use my imagination since I’ve never experienced it. Aval ani (woops), but I would most likely say yes.

    2. Zack. I must say being compared to a finger of fine Scotch is one of the highest compliments one could ever pay me. Humbled and stoked!

      1. No worries Stuart. I call it like I see it, or taste it if we’re talking about a glass of Highland Park. 😀

        1. Hope we can share a glass one day.

          1. I would like that. Next time I pass through Miami I will drop you a line.

          2. Do it!

  14. Renée, trust your sweet heart and gutsy personality to wander out there into Twitterland and make friends … just like that … ! Thanks for introducing Stu to us – a talented guy and a dedicated family man to boot! I’m thinking he now has an idea of just how fortunate he was to follow you on Twitter! You are the best! Has Spring disappeared in Roch like it has in TO? We are frickin’ freezing here again!

    1. Thanks Patricia! I’ve been thinking FOREVER about how to engage some of those obscure Twitter followers. I’m going to give this a whirl. Meanwhile, it’s been raining for two days and it’s downright freezing again. Do you think it’s because I put away the sleepingbag coat?

    2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, BRAVO Renée. I was indeed fortunate to follow you … and have basked in your warm sunlight ever since.

  15. Renee, you are one clever girl! Fab mini interview. Hi Stuart! Stuart is in my Wana113 class so we kinda know each other. Kinda. I think he’s following me on Twitter, but not stalking me, like you Renee. Lol! 🙂

    1. You guys are taking one of Kristen’s classes together? That’s fantastic! I didn’t know! How cool is that. And small world! I met someone this morning on Twitter and I directed her to you, Karen! Hope that’s okay!

    2. Hey Karen. the stalking starts NOW!

  16. Cool idea Renee, and Stuart is such a nice first find! You’re right about everyone having a story, but this one was great! Looking forward to the series 😉

    1. Pleun: I’m glad you enjoyed. Keep your expectations low low low. If I had ben smart, I would have had three months of content created before launching this “feature.” I didn’t do that, and now we’re heading into summer. *headdesk* Let’s just say, it will happen intermittently. I don’t have anyone else lined up at the moment. 😉

  17. I love this idea and this post!!!!

    1. I adore you and all your posts!Did you come over to see how cute you are in my sidebar? 😉 I hope people are checking you out!

    2. Outlawmama. Just followed, subscribed and liked you. Bring it!!

  18. “A little less stalked.” That made me spit my coffee laughing (cleans damn puter monitor now, thnx Renee) thinking, Renee knows how to flatter herself. Hah! 😉

    Despite your extremely healthy self-esteem Renee, love this post & the whole concept; brilliant! XOXO

    1. Well, you know I like a little LITE stalking. 😉 I have to tell you, it’s too bad I didn’t think of this before because we met on Twitter, did we not? You would have been fun fun fun to interview! Woo hoo!

      1. “Would have been…” was your operative phrasing there, huh? Past-tense, you’re a smart cookie Renee. 😉

        Yes, we met on Twitter because you kept messaging me, & messaging me, then you found my personal email, started on me there, THEN you came to Grapevine, TX & tried to find me there!!! 🙂

        1. Oh, so in essence then, I was Twitter-stalking you? I was pretty sure you initiated things. 😉

          1. Umm, if you wanna call it that, sure Renee. But the police officer who stopped you at my bedroom window might describe it differently. 😉

          2. That was expunged from my record! 😉

          3. I think you meant to type “a SPONGE, bubble-bath, candles, and your Andrea Bocelli RECORD.” 😉

  19. Cheese and rice! He is, like, Super Follower. Stuart, your answer to the penguin question alone is…sigh…magical.

    1. Jules, I asked Stuart about five questions like that. And he went off. I couldn’t post them all. They were…breath-taking. Byro has to get his claws into his guy. He’ll get about 19.3 posts off one interview. LOL! Have a great weekend!

    2. Jules (because I do want to take our relationship to the next level) … you’re funny as hell. Excited to be following you and enjoying the ride. BTW – the day Renée asked me about the penguin, I had just written this post – http://stuartsheldon.com/2013/heavy-petting-penguins/. SWEAR TO GOD.

  20. Renee – you are genius!! What a great idea! Stuart – you are one hot, lucky guy stalking the right woman! You both have great taste!

    1. Teachable Mom – YOU are the hot one. I’m just a lucky stalker!

      1. Like I said, you have good taste! 😉

    2. Mary, who knew that Stu was going to handle the blog today! Major BONUS! I didn’t even ask him to do this! He’s a gem! And Stu, you MUST follow @ateachablemom. SHe’s my evil twin. And she comes to Florida once in a while. I’m hoping to meet her in real life one day. So while you and Zack are planning your hookup, well, for me, there’s something about Mary. {Did you see what I did there?}

      1. @ateachablemom you are now being followed. And let’s all get together for a group hug in FLAH-ridda.

      2. I adore you!! And I’m honored to be your evil twin! Now I’m off to find an equally perfect Renee reference!

        1. We are the wind beneath each other’s wings. Which is probably why we flail around so much. 😉 I hope everything is okay with your dad!

  21. Just curious does Stuart Sheldon have a father with the same name and lived in Rochester. If so I knew his Dad.

    1. Hello Joan. My father is in Miami FLA. His name is, appropriately, ART.

  22. I love the new feature! You have the smartest ideas, Renee. So I meandered over to Stuart’s blog and he had me at Tabasco. (and it isn’t that ridiculous to think that we COULD manage a gathering in Florida … )

    1. Omigosh! We really could have some kind of blogging party. I’m not kidding. Maybe we shout put out a feeler to see if people would like to meet up. Oh Naomi! I don’t want to share you this first time! 😉

      1. Ok – so you don’t have to share me the FIRST time … that sounds SO illicit!!

        1. I know. But it’s the way I feel. The heart wants what it wants. 😉

  23. What an awesome idea you had, Renee! And you unknowingly picked on one of the most interesting people.

    Stuart, you are totally cool.

    1. TY Patricia. Now following your blog and keen to see what comes. Here’s to finishing our next books!

      1. That’s so sweet. Thank you. I can’t find your blog. Does that make sense?

        1. My blog is StuartSheldon.com. Check it!

  24. Any handsome guy who dresses well is a friend of mine. So many guys have given up when it comes to looking like an adult these days! And wow, what a long and interesting list of accomplishments. Cool post!

    1. Steve – anyone who posts peaceful and calming pictures of their goats rocks the f*%king Casbah in my book. Way to keep it real. Just subscribed to the Chronicles!

  25. What a fun series, Renee! Stuart, do I know you? No, that wasn’t a lame pickup line. 🙂 I lived in Miami for two years (6 years ago) and you look super familiar. Hmm…

    1. Morning August. Don’t think we met tho I hope we do. Do you come to Miami for the Book Fair or Basel? If so, coffee is on me.

  26. This is a fantastic idea. What a great way to get people into Twitter!!!! I love it. I’m tweeting it right now!

  27. I LOVE this idea Renee! You always come up with the most unique ideas. What a great way to meet people & find friends. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hey There Margeaux! I agree that Renée is the bees knees!

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