The Rainbow Rant

“No longer may this liberty be denied. No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.”

These are the words of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, one of five on the Supreme Court of the United States who voted to make same-sex marriage a legal right in all fifty states. Uh oh! The queers won. Life is over. I’m leaving this country. I’m going to set myself on fire. There’s rainbows all over the internet and I can’t make it stop. This isn’t natural. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. The Bible tells us this is wrong. This is some of what I’ve been seeing today, and it really isn’t making me upset. It’s making me laugh.

It seems that everyone has an opinion on the monumental decision that came down yesterday, so allow me to give you mine. Here’s the biggest argument that I’m seeing.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Well, I guess that settles that. The gays are evil and the things they do are an abomination. Well, damn, how in the hell am I supposed to create an argument against that. You’re a Christian. The Bible is law. You abide by every single thing that it says, right? I mean, that’s the only way to be a “real” Christian, correct?

Well, there’s one that isn’t loving thy neighbor. But that one is just too easy, don’t you think? I could go with Matthew here and give you the “judge not, or you too will be judged”, but according to those who believe in that sort of thing, there will be a judgment day for all of us, so I’ll let that one go as well. Damn, I just keep coming back to Galatians 5:14, which tells us “For the whole law is fullfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, which is obviously a play on the whole “love thy neighbor” thing again, just worded differently, so maybe that actually is kind of a big deal. I don’t recall ever reading “love thy neighbor, as long as he/she looks and acts like you” or “love your neighbor as yourself, but only if he/she believes in every single thing that you believe”. Maybe I just didn’t take the time to keep reading. The Bible’s really long, you know.

But I did get to this one: “You may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.”–Leviticus 25:44-45–“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.”–Ephesians 6:5

Well, I suppose I could always use some extra help around the house, and I don’t really have the extra money to hire somebody, so this one actually does make me quite happy. I’ll just find the nearest foreigner, make a cheap bid, and hope everything works out for me. I mean, the Bible just told me that it’s okay. Oh, that you’ve got a problem with. Okay, I’ll try again.

2 Kings 2:23-24–“From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. ‘Go up baldhead’, they shouted, ‘Go up baldhead!’ The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces.”

Yikes…I’m all for the whole anti-bully campaigns out there, but that’s taking it a little too far, don’t you think?

“If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl because she did not cry out in the city…”–I’m just going to go ahead and stop there because it actually gets worse as it goes on. But are you telling me it’s justifiable to stone a girl who gets raped? Well, shit, how many hits do you think that would get on YouTube? Oh, you’ve got a problem with that too? Damn.

Do you eat shellfish? Do you eat pork? Do you wear clothing woven of two kinds of material? No, seriously, that’s in there. So is “ye shall not round the corners of your heads”. And for God’s sake, don’t ever harm the edges of your beard you monster. And for you women reading this, I better never hear you talk inside of a church. Ever. No tattoos. No premarital sex. No remarriage. The list goes on and on and on, with one of my favorites being that the Bible actually talks about unicorns, and not as a mythical creature.

Don’t I just sound ridiculous? Well, maybe that’s how I think you sound when you’re bashing the gay guy down the block, who has only ever wanted the same rights that I, a straight white guy, have been afforded my entire life. A man whose only wish is to walk down an aisle and marry a man that he loves and loves him in return. But the response to that is usually my favorite argument: it’s not natural. Really, it’s not natural? That’s the best you can do. If you’re out there with a picket sign that says that or anything similar to that, I hope you’re not wearing prescription glasses or contacts. That’s not your natural sight, is it? And I beg you to walk up to a veteran and tell him/her that the prosthetic limb that they need to walk is wrong. Wouldn’t that be a case of something not being “natural”? Tell me how that conversation goes. Create that meme and throw it up on your Facebook page. Just send me the comments section when you do.

Okay, maybe I went a little too far. Maybe I’m reaching. I probably sound a little ridiculous. Or maybe that’s how I think certain people sound when they oppose something like same-sex marriage. Honestly, I have zero problem with Christians. You have the right to believe in what you want to believe in. That’s one of the beauties of living in this great country. It’s when people choose to hate something that they don’t agree with or believe in because it doesn’t match their personal belief system. That doesn’t make you a Christian. That makes you a bigot. And just to create a level playing field, I’m certain that not every gay person believes in God or Christianity. I’ve witnessed bigotry and seen insults thrown from that side as well, so don’t take this as an attack on religion or the Bible. That’s not what this is. So what is this about?

This is about equality. Seriously, why do you care if two gay people want to get married? How is it affecting your life at all? I got married ten years ago. I got divorced two years ago. That’s a sin. Where was the backlash on me? I’m a divorced father of two daughters that were created through IVF. I smoke. I drink. I have tattoos. I ate a pound of bacon a few days ago. I have sex out of wedlock. I curse. I’ve got a poly-cotton blended shirt, and I love it. And guess what? I’ve got people, Christians even, who love me and respect me as a person, and they should. I’m a damn good father who respects other people, their belief system, and I damn sure love people, whether they be gay or straight. So if you want to go after somebody, come after me. And just to fill you in, gay people are actually people too, you know. They’re not the abomination you think they are. Could be worse, right? They could only be three-fifths of a person like that nigger down the street. Ooooo…..did you just wince a little bit? Now pretend that I actually thought like that and posted shit like that all over the internet. You’d crucify me, and deservedly so. And just to save the hate mail, I know I’m not supposed to use that word and I don’t. But now you know how some of these comments and posts come off. This is the level of ignorance and hatred that some people bring to the conversation.

I hear questions like “what is this country coming to” when talking about this topic and I seriously have to laugh at it. Gay marriage isn’t the problem. Two people want to spend their life together and give matrimony a shot. Should it matter if it’s two men or two women? “But that’s not the definition of marriage. It’s supposed to be a man and a woman.” Really? Millions of Christians have gotten married, given their vows with “til death do us part” and all the rest, and gotten divorced. Hasn’t the definition of marriage these days already changed?

So where does this leave us? To me, things are the same as they’ve always been. The only difference is that now I can stand up as the best man at my brother’s wedding if he ever decides to get married, which makes me happy to no end. Oh, I didn’t mention that. I suppose that when I think about my brother, I don’t think of him as my gay brother. He’s just my brother, and if and when he ever deems someone worthy of marrying him, I’ll be right beside him, just like I’ve always been.

As many of you read this, I know there’s a lot of you who are disagreeing with me, and that’s okay. Believe it or not, that’s actually been the point this entire time. It’s okay for people to believe in different things. Again, that’s the beauty of where we get to live. My problem isn’t religion. My problem isn’t people practicing religion. My problem isn’t anything like that. My problem is people hiding behind religion to avoid an actual discussion. My problem is people picking and choosing parts of religion that benefit their side of an argument while completely ignoring other aspects when it doesn’t help them. My problem is “Christians” that preach the Bible and hate others. My problem is hate period, religious or otherwise. My problem is with those who won’t listen to any argument that conflicts with their belief system. What are you so afraid of? Are you afraid of letting others be happy when you’re miserable? Are you stuck in a marriage that you hate, and don’t want to see the two faggots across the street happier than you? Yeah, that’s what you sound like. When are we going to stop this? I don’t really care if you support same-sex marriage or not. Just stop being an asshole about it.

You know what doesn’t stop? Change. Change is happening. Change is here. Folks, it’s 2015. Evolution is a part of life. The question is: are you coming along for the ride?

Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below or follow me on Twitter @THElukenorris. You can also find this article on the all-new And don’t forget to find and like the page on Facebook. #LoveWins




A Super Trip With Pop

It’s after midnight. I’m sitting in my garage watching a beautiful lightning storm pass through my little slice of paradise here in central Illinois with a can of Bud Light and a bottle of Fuzzy Navel Boone’s Farm left from my birthday party (don’t judge me). That’s normal, right?

Okay, maybe my normal and my reality are a little different than yours. Your parents probably didn’t meet in a prison. I hope your dad wasn’t an addict, whether it be booze, pills, gambling, or whatever (mine was addicted to all of those, including the whatever). I have the same type of personality, but I’m trying not to let it hurt too many people in the process. In the past, I’ve usually ended up just hurting myself and alienating those closest to me, but I like to think that I’m done with that.

I’ve been trying to focus on the positive things in life these days. I own a home. I’m finally taking a shot at what I’ve been wanting to do for a living. I’ve got people around me that love me and support me (I think, anyway). I have two amazingly smart and beautiful twin daughters who validate my entire existence. I’m closer than I’ve probably ever been to the elusive answer to a question you don’t even know.

But that doesn’t mean that the dark side of me has completely gone away. That doesn’t mean my mind won’t go to places that haunt me, that anger me, that leave me feeling completely alone from time to time. But maybe that’s just part of who I am.

I don’t try to pretend that I had the worst upbringing in the world; I’m not that delusional (I don’t think). So many others on this planet have or had it way worse than I ever did. Hell, at least I had clothes on my back and a roof over my head.

But it’s not easy to hear at eleven years old that your dad killed two people. It’s not easy to have your dad ask you for money from your paper route to buy cocaine. It’s not easy, after the divorce from your mother, to watch your dad leave for two years, missing perhaps the most influential time of a young man’s life. It’s not easy to try and fill the void of a father to a younger brother that’s nearly seven years your junior. It’s certainly not easy to deal with a man, that when he returns, isn’t the same man you knew. His breath is different. His actions are different. But he’s still your dad.

He would get better from time to time. He would realize his mistakes and that what he was doing was wrong. He would see the impact it had on other people, and I’d see glimpses of the father I once knew and the father that I wanted. But hey, backslides happen, right? So much for easy.

Have you ever talked to your dad through that thick piece of glass with the cheap telephones that you see in the movies? I did on a few occasions after he got put back behind bars in my early twenties. But it was only for three months….that time (another story).

The next time he went away was for nearly two years (another story), and I swore up and down that I wouldn’t put myself through that again, and I didn’t. The hardest part was trying to take my younger brother, now fifteen, to the prison to see him, but they wouldn’t let him in without someone over eighteen. I didn’t budge. My brother hated me that day. It was almost as hard as not answering the letters he would send. It was almost as hard as when the girl I was engaged to broke things off while he was still on the inside with two months to go. That was pretty goddamn hard.

But when those two months were up, I tried to let it go. I saw him the day he got out and I still remember the feeling of the embrace we shared. But I wasn’t going to let him off quite that easy. We ended up sitting in a car later that night and I was ready to let him have it, and to my surprise, I did. I wanted to clear the air and really get everything off of my chest, out of my gut, or whichever term you prefer. I told him that if he interrupted once, I’d let it go. If he interrupted twice, I would never speak to him again. He interrupted….once. He saw the look in my eyes and I’ve gotta tell you, I’d never felt so powerful in my entire life.

So I let it go. Don’t get me wrong, I was still angry, as those who knew me then would attest to. But he’s my dad.

The next few months were rough as we tried to ease back into a “normal” life, but we got through it. He was released in December. That June, we decided to take a trip, which was actually the point of this post in the first place. For those who don’t know, I’m a big Superman guy and have been since I was a kid. There’s even a story that when Pop took my sister and I to see Superman III, there was a big rock outside the theater (the hollow and decorative type), and he told me that if I could pick it up that I was the real Superman. Well, of course I picked it up, which is a story we talked about on our way to Metropolis, Illinois, which is about four hours south of where I live and the only town with that name in the United States. Even in my twenties, I thought that was pretty damn cool to be going to Metropolis with the guy you always thought, or maybe wanted, to be Superman.

So, we go to Metropolis. And there’s a Superman museum full of memorabilia from the comics and television shows, and movies. There’s even a yearly festival/celebration, which wasn’t that particular weekend, but we always talked about getting to someday. There’s just all kinds of great Superman stuff all over town.

001 002 003 004 005 006 007This was the weekend I got my dad back.

Over the next nine years, I watched him battle , but he fought through. He was there when I got married, and was the first to notice me crying the day after my wife and I split up. I watched another rough stretch with him after the fire (another story), which left him in a coma for four months. But he fought through that too, even bucking the odds from doctors telling him he’d never walk again, which led to perhaps the most inspirational moment of my life as my brother and I stood by the groom as my father walked my sister down the aisle.

Pop died nearly three years ago. Even now as I sit writing this, it still sometimes seems easier to remember the negatives and forget the positives (which I referenced in his eulogy which you can read HERE), but as I said earlier, I’ve been trying to focus more on the positive side of things these days. So I remember the good times. I remember the rock at the theater. I remember the strength he showed to walk again. Speaking of walking, I remember that he was the first person to notice on Christmas Day that one of my daughters was taking her first steps, two of them to be exact before falling into my arms. And I remember Metropolis. That trip made us father and son again. That’s why after he died I took some of his ashes back there so no matter what, there would always be a part of him in that town. It just so happens that the aforementioned prison where my parents met is only a short drive away, which is where most of the ashes were spread that day. But a small piece of him remains along the Ohio River in that little town, where a little piece of me will always be as well. That’s why, after a dozen years, I’m leaving in a few short hours for the annual Superman celebration that we never got to, because it’s something he always wanted to do. It’s why I have this tattoo on my shoulder.

002 I’m gonna go ahead and geek it up for the finale, and I’m completely okay with that. Let’s be honest, we’re all “nerds” about something. Just about every child wants to think that their dad is Superman, and for a while, maybe I thought so too. First of all, let’s go ahead and state the obvious that a better analogy might be that he’s Darth Vader and I’m Luke Skywalker. You’ve got the “evil” father and….well, the son named Luke (which I’ve never heard by the way….it’s hard to type sarcastically), and the fact he had his hand cut off (yet another story). But let’s keep with the Superman theme for this one. He’s not Superman. Actually, he’s probably more like Catwoman for all the times he should have died and didn’t. But I digress. He’s not Superman. He’s Jor-El, Superman’s father. He wasn’t always around, but he would impart wisdom and guidance from time to time through a special connection that he shared with his son. So, I guess that makes me….

superdaddy….you’re damn right.

Oh, and my mother’s name is Lois, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. But that’s another story to tell at another time in another place, more than likely somewhere over the rainbow.





Look What I Found

If you read The 2015 State of The Luke Norris Address, then you know that I’ve decided to devote my time and energy to really give this writing thing a shot. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel towards those of you who have sent along your kind words and support. Throughout these first few weeks since making the decision, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not this is the right thing to do, but I recently came across something that let me know that it truly is.

I only had one copy of the first book I was ever published in back in 2003, which I signed and gave to my mother. In a recent visit, I picked it up to take a look at it, which I hadn’t done in a long time. Next to my poem, “Divinity“, I read the quote I gave to the publisher to stand next to my work. This is what I wrote twelve years ago:

“My feelings and opinions may be different than everybody else’s, but they certainly are mine and writing is a way to convey them to the world. From love to hate to happiness to sadness, I’ll write about anything as long as I feel it’s important to me. It may be a million to one shot for me to make it with this, but that doesn’t stop me from writing because simply put, I love to do it. Maybe it’s just my opinion, but when you love something that much, you don’t just give up.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wait, what? Anyway, reading this only reaffirmed that I’m making the right choice. I let my passion slip away once and I won’t let that happen again. With that being said, I’ve got some big news coming later in the week. Stay tuned, folks. You’re about to see a lot more of me.



The 2015 State of THE Luke Norris Address


Happy Anniversary to…..well, me. It’s officially been two years since the launch of The Luke Norris Experience and I couldn’t be any more pleased with what it’s done for me. The year leading up to March of 2013 had been one of the worst I’d ever experienced. I addressed most of it in last year’s address, but a quick refresher for those new to the site.

I separated from my wife, reconciled with my wife, separated from her again after catching her in a lie, watched as my father withered away, watched him take his last breath, found out my wife was pregnant with someone else’s child four days after I buried him, which ultimately led to the divorce being finalized on January 17, 2013. And let’s not forget that this entire time, I’m still trying to be the best father I can to my 2-year-old twin little girls (I’ll get to them later). Now let’s not get this twisted and place all of the blame on my ex-wife. I have and still to this day take full responsibility for the things that assisted in my marriage falling apart. I’m not going to pretend that I was the best husband in the world because I wasn’t. I made my fair share of mistakes and I’ve got nobody to blame for those except myself. But it still felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks after a ton of bricks had already fallen on me. I was hurting. The life that I knew was gone. My father was gone. My wife was gone. Most importantly, my kids were gone (half the time anyway). Yet, I knew that things could still be okay. I had a great support system. I had my family behind me every step of the way. I had a great new girlfriend that would listen if I wanted to talk and comfort me if I needed to cry. However, I still needed another outlet.

Writing had been that for me in the past, but I’d gotten away from it. A few years before, with full support from my now ex-wife, I’d started a novel. I wrote around fifty pages and then just stopped. She, along with the few others that I let read it, encouraged me to keep at it, but I did what I always did. I got lazy. I got complacent. I got distracted. Basically, I used any excuse that I could to just not put in the work. And I, and those around me, suffered for it. I worked at jobs that I didn’t love just to pay the bills. I hated getting up in the morning to go to work. I would still go in and do my job, and still do it very well, but I wasn’t happy. I knew it. She knew it. My family knew it. But I didn’t do anything about it. I knew I had a little talent, but what was I doing with it? Not a damn thing.

So I decided to change that. So on March 20, 2013, The Luke Norris Experience was born. I didn’t really expect much from it, as I was really just using it as a cheaper alternative to therapy. I’d just write a little bit here and there, post a few links on facebook, and let it bounce around my group of friends and family. But here’s what happened. I rediscovered my love and my passion for writing. And guess what? It actually became therapy. Exhibit A: The Angie Experience. This let me get out feelings that I’d kept inside for over a decade. Exhibit B: Dear Alex. Last May, a friend of mine that I’d known for almost thirty years (I’m 35, so put that into perspective) passed away, and writing this letter to his son helped me through it. Even more importantly, it seemed to help others through it. I was approached numerous times at the funeral by people telling me that they’d read it and couldn’t think of a better tribute. Hell, one of my best friends in the world told me that he’s only cried a handful of times as an adult, and reading my words about Mike was one of them. As much as I like to act like an egomaniac, I’m really not big on compliments, but to hear that something I’ve written was actually helping people through a very difficult time was truly special to me. It made me feel good, which can sometimes be a very difficult task.

I’d also write about the lighter side of life. I’d talk sports or movies, let my readers vote on things like their favorite Christmas special or their favorite baseball movie and fun stuff like that. I was enjoying writing again. Even better, I was simply writing again. And the world has taken notice. No, seriously. That’s not just a fun line that I wanted to throw in for effect. My initial thought that this would just bounce around my inner circle was completely wrong. In the two years since the initial launch, thousands and thousands of people all over the world have visited The Luke Norris Experience. To be exact, my words have been read in 57 countries on 6 continents. So while I have this opportunity, I want to take the time to say a big THANK YOU to my followers in (deep breath) the United States, South Korea, Germany, Australia, Moldova, Switzerland, Rwanda, the Cayman Islands, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Italy, France, Spain,  the Netherlands, India, Argentina, Portugal, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Russia, Chile, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Malaysia, Morocco, Taiwan, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Pakistan, Costa Rica, Libya, Albania, Kenya, Algeria, Belgium, Angola, Latvia, New Zealand, Turkey, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Panama, Japan, and Greece. I’m waiting on you Antarctica. But seriously, thank you to each and every person that has ever been here. I know my posting lately has been a little down, but there’s been a reason for that. I haven’t slowed down. I’ve just had to shift focus a little.

bingelogo2-copyOne of the people that logged on to the site was the man known as Moreno, one of the co-founders of Binge Media. I won’t dive too deep into the story, as I wrote about it last year in The Binge Media Experience, but the point is that people were taking notice. I’d met him once or twice, so when he offered me the chance to become their sports writer, I jumped on it. From there, I’ve also now got my own weekly column called Working the Weekend with Luke, which I usually put out every Sunday. I once asked Moreno if there was a specific thing that I’d written on this site that led him to the decision of adding me to the staff. I figured the obvious answer would be one of the numerous sports stories I wrote, but he actually said that it was when he read Aloha Raul that he knew I’d be a perfect fit for Binge Media. Wait, what? That was another therapeutic piece I wrote about one of my best friends moving to Hawaii. And certainly one I needed, but I wouldn’t think of that to be something that would get me a writing job. But perhaps I’d underestimated the power of that kind of work. It showed emotion. It showed vulnerability. It showed elements of storytelling. It showed that maybe I still knew how to write. It got a reaction, and that’s what I aim to do in every single thing that I put out there. Whether it’s good or bad, if I can get you to respond, I’ve done my job. If I can get you to connect with what I’m talking about or what I’m feeling at that given moment, I’ve done what I set out to do. I like to think that’s why I’m writing for Binge Media. And I definitely know that’s what I set out to do with each and every column I write for them. They’re a great group of guys who are passionate about what they do, and they’re good enough to give me the freedom to write about what I want when I want. It’s that faith and that trust that I know I have to bring the best that I have each and every time. There’s a lot of talented people at Binge Media and I know that I have to bring my best just to keep up. Thanks for the confidence fellas. You gave me another outlet to work on my craft and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity.

I’ll come back to writing in a little bit. If you’re my friend on facebook or follow me on Twitter, which you can do @THElukenorris by the way (cheap plug), then you know I promised a big announcement. But hey, I need to build the drama just a bit more, so stay with me.

If you read last year’s address, then you know that I’ve been looking for the right answer to one question for a long time. While I still will not divulge exactly what that question is, I can tell you that although I still can’t give the answer I’d like, I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was a year ago. Last February, I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. Believe me, I was better than I was the previous year, but I was still struggling.

Even a year and a half later, I don’t think I had fully gotten past the death of my father. I knew he was better off, as he was no longer in pain, but it was hard for me. For years, I held in a lot of anger that I had to let go of when he got really sick. I had to forgive him for the pain he had caused me over the years. I’d done that, so that wasn’t it anymore. I’d gotten even more off my chest when I delivered the eulogy. But what really got at me was the fact that I actually watched him die. I simply could not get that image out of my head. I’m so thankful that my sister, who was pregnant at the time, left about an hour or two before it happened so she could get some rest. We all knew that he would probably go at some point during that night, but it’s obviously impossible to know exactly when. When she left, I almost did the same soon after, but something told me to stay. The last thing I wanted was for him to be alone when he died. He had spent so much of his life alone (a lot of that was his choice), and I couldn’t let him go out like that. But I hoped that maybe I’d be asleep there in his room when it happened. Or maybe the trick I use when my food is taking too long at a restaurant (I just step out for a cigarette). And that’s almost what happened. They had moved him from the main building about an hour before into a much smaller building across the street. Not only did they need the room in the ICU, but they knew things were close and said they wanted him to be more comfortable. He’d basically been in a coma for the previous three weeks, but I tend to trust what the doctors tell me. So I went out to burn one and not more than two minutes after I came back in, he was gone. I was sitting there just watching him breathe in and out, in and out, in and out, in………and that was it. And I couldn’t get that image out of my head. I would dream about it. It would just pop in at the strangest times. And I couldn’t figure out why.

So what about now? I can tell you that things are better. As I think about the last year, I can honestly say that although I told myself that I had let everything go, I really hadn’t. Believe me, if you knew everything (and perhaps someday I’ll tell you the whole story), then you’d know why there was so much anger. There’s a part of me that feels that there may always be a little something inside of me that won’t let go, but these days I’m dealing with things in a much healthier way. Instead of constantly remembering all the negative things that happened, my brain is allowing me to remember even more of the good things that I’d forgotten about. In turn, that’s making the image of his last breath a little more blurry. I don’t see it as often anymore. I don’t think about it as much as I used to. I can actually talk about him with my daughters and not have the image pop in my head. And it’s so sweet when they ask about him. They’re four, so most things that they do are cute as can be, but their interest in him is so great for me to watch. I obviously keep pictures of him in my house, so when they happen to be looking at one, they’ll bring it to me and ask me “Is this your dad?” I tell them that it is, and they remember more and more of the previous conversations and they’ll ask me, “Did he die?” Again, I’ll tell them yes, but then they’ll respond with “but he loved us very, very much when we were little babies.” My response is usually the same. “He sure did sweetheart”. At some point in their later years, I know they’ll get to asking more questions and I know that I’ll have to tell them some of the hard truths that come when talking about my father, but if the question “And you still loved him?” ever comes, I know what I’ll say. “I sure did sweetheart”. Miss you Pop.

So how’s the love life these days, you ask? Alive and well. I’m not one to discuss my relationship on facebook or anything like that (sorry, we’re just not that couple), but she’s a very big part of my life. It gets tricky sometimes with her busy schedule, but that’s actually one of the things I love and admire about her. Her work ethic is incredible. I wish I had had that kind of tenacity at her age (she’s ten years younger than me). Her full-time gig is teaching music at an area K-8 school, which gives her about 450 students to see on a weekly basis. Throw in the fact that it’s a very low-income school with tons of behavioral issues, and you might be able to understand that keeps her pretty busy. But on top of that, she gives voice lessons (she’s an amazing singer) at a music shoppe two days a week, runs the drama department, gives more lessons here at the house, and sings at a local church. Even as I write this, I’m probably forgetting something. But that’s just who she is. She’s one of those people that can’t sit still. Yet she still finds the time and energy to go for a run, or hit the gym for yoga or spin class, and most importantly, be a part of my daughters’ lives. She’s got her own song that she sings to them at bedtime. She’s become the resident hair dryer after bath time. She makes us dinner when her schedule allows it. She’s just fantastic with them and they absolutely adore her, and I know she loves them like they were her own. She has a very strong relationship with her stepmother, so I think she knows how hard it can be to find acceptance from children that aren’t hers, but she’s trying so hard to be a positive force in their chaotic life, and I couldn’t be happier with her efforts.

Is every day perfect? Of course not. Show me a perfect relationship and I’ll show you a unicorn. The probability is just about the same. Sure, we’ve gone through some trying times, none more so than late last year. I will not get into the details of it, but it wasn’t fun. But we didn’t give up on each other. We fought through it, opened up to each other, and I can honestly say that we’re stronger now than we’ve ever been. If I get down, she’s there to pick me up. When she gets down, I’m there to pick her up. Relationships are hard, especially when there’s kids involved. But we do our best to talk things out, which hasn’t always been my strong suit. But these days, I’m quick to say I’m wrong when I was wrong. I’m quick to say I’m sorry if I truly am sorry. I’m trying to avoid making the same mistakes I made in the past. I’m a better partner now and I know she knows that.

Inevitably, I get asked from time to time if I plan on marrying her. I know it’s a valid question, but to be honest, that’s something that I don’t know if I ever want again. It’s not a knock on her by any means, but I’m just not eager to jump back into a situation that didn’t go so well last time. Of course, Ashlie and I have had this conversation so she won’t be shocked at any of this information I’m giving you. She knows that in many instances, marriage just changes people and at 25, she’s certainly in no rush to get to the altar. It’s 2015 everyone. We don’t have to get married to show each other how we feel. Maybe we’ll end up there. Maybe we won’t. That’s for us to decide. What I do know is that we love each other, and that’s really all I need to know.

And, of course, my reason for being.

As you can see, I just took my daughters to Portrait Innovations, so enjoy the free publicity. But as you can also see, they make any photographer’s job pretty easy. I know the initial reaction when anyone meets my daughters is to tell me how beautiful they are (and they obviously don’t make liars out of anybody that says that), but the first thing I always say to people when I brag about them is how smart they are. My favorite thing to do is to just listen to them when they don’t know I’m listening. They tell stories. I mean, there’s dialogue and everything. Do you know how happy that makes me? As someone who loves to tell stories, it warms my heart to know that they’ve got that in them. I will just sit on the couch and listen to them in their playroom while it’s going on. I swear I need to start recording them and put them on paper. I could be freaking rich. They’ll just sit there with their toys and build a story from scratch. They’ll have a setting. They’ll have the main characters. And then they’ll just go. They will come up with the most amazing storyline and just go. It goes back and forth from day to day on who takes the lead, but they’ll seem to have the entire thing mapped out before they even start. One will tell the other to say something because the response is already planned to move the story forward. It’s awesome.

But then Wednesdays happen. Wednesdays are the biggest reason keeping me from the answer I so desperately crave. You see, the way my divorce settlement works, I have my girls on Mondays and Tuesdays, the ex-wife has them on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and we alternate the Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have a full 50% split, but I hate when my girls aren’t here. I’m just lost without them. It’s too quiet. I do my best to stay busy, but when the five-day stretch rolls around every other week, I’m just heartbroken. It’s a feeling that I don’t wish upon anybody. Even the weeks where it’s only Wednesday and Thursday before my weekends with them, I just lose it. I get them up and get them ready before my mother picks them up to take them to school, and it kills me to leave the house knowing I won’t see them later. I’ve got no problem admitting that I cry every single Wednesday morning. When I get home and they’re not there, it’s still really hard.

When they’re here, I have a bedtime routine. They go to the bathroom, they brush their teeth, we go up to their room and read a book or two, I sing “You Are My Sunshine” to them, it’s kisses and hugs (always more than one), and they go to sleep. I obviously don’t go to bed as early as they do, so when I go up to go to bed, I put their covers back on them, give them one more kiss on the cheek, turn their nightlight off, and head into my room. But on the nights they’re not here, I obviously don’t get to do any of that. And it’s still really hard.

This is the one thing I don’t have an answer for just yet. I’m beginning to think that I may never have one, and maybe that’s okay. All I can do is move forward each and every day they’re not here, make the most of each and every day I do have them, and trust that when they’re with their mother, they’re being loved as much as they are when they’re here. At least I know that’s not a problem. I will say that no matter what happened between my ex-wife and I, I will never and could never say that she’s not a great mother, because she is. And if I must say so myself, I think that for divorced parents, we do a great job of communicating with one another about our children. We’re adults and we’re acting like it. I know it has to be hard on our daughters jumping from house to house, but we try and make the transitions as easy as possible for them every time. We work with one another when the schedule needs to be changed. The girls are too young to fully understand everything, but they know that she’s Mommy and I’m Daddy and we both love them unconditionally. They didn’t ask for this, but the strength that they’ve shown during all of this is unbelievable.  I know that things didn’t end well between Cara and I, but I’ll always be thankful that I met her. She gave me the two greatest gifts I could have ever asked for in Ashlyn and Brooklyn, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Well, I’ve covered just about everything except for one issue. How’s work? Well, about that.

There’s very few things in life that I dislike more than a hypocrite. With that being said, I’ve been a hypocrite for years. But that’s okay, because I hated myself for a long time. But I’ve always attempted to help others. For some reason, people would come to me for advice when they were feeling down, and I’d always try and tell them the truth. I’d tell them that they were smart, or they were beautiful, or they were just unlucky. I’d tell them to follow their heart or follow their dreams and things would turn out okay. Meanwhile, as I said earlier, I’d wake up in the morning and head off to a job that I knew I didn’t want to go to. But this wasn’t just the typical “oh, I hate my job” thing that everyone goes through. This was a serious “I wanna drive this truck into a wall” kind of thing. But it really wasn’t that bad. I did my job and I did it well, but I just wasn’t passionate about it. Then I got laid off. The timing wasn’t great, but after a while, it seemed that it was the best thing that could have happened. I took some time off, took a road trip to sort things out, and a few months later, I actually got excited about a job offer.

 Last summer, I took a job at a local TV station selling advertising. And I’ll admit that for a while, it was great. I learned some of the ins and outs that go with production. I learned a lot about a business that I really enjoy. I was able to get involved in the community that I love so very much. I helped with a food drive. I got involved with a group whose sole purpose is to help people with developmental disabilities. I was helping businesses grow, and I was making decent money doing it. But then things changed. The guy that hired me got fired. The job stopped being fun. Micromanagement became commonplace. And if there’s anything I hate around an office, it’s being micromanaged. I can’t function properly with someone constantly looking over my shoulder. You can’t teach through fear and that’s exactly what was happening. We weren’t being helped. We were being threatened. Sales is a tough business. I knew that going in, but I know that I’m good at it. But not the way it was being done in that office. So it came to be that I would spend more and more days being miserable. I hated getting up for work in the morning. I hated getting in the car to make the ten minute drive to work. I hated walking in the front door. And I certainly hated sitting through yet another pointless meeting that accomplished nothing. I wasn’t passionate about it at all.

I’ll say it again. Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the launch of this site. So here’s the big news. Everything has been leading to this: I quit my job. Actually, I quit my job three weeks ago, but I did it the right way. I didn’t just walk out. I stayed on to help with the transition of my clients and what not, but my last day was a week ago today. That’s right. I left my job on Friday the 13th. Scary, right? Not even close.

The scary part of this whole thing was spending one more day unhappy. The scary part is waking up when I’m sixty and realizing that I’ve spent too many years of my life being unhappy. Being afraid that I’ve been nothing but a hypocrite. No more. I refuse to live like that. I refuse to look my daughters in the eye and tell them that they can be anything they want to be, that they should always follow their hearts, that they should always follow their dreams when I’ve never done it myself. I will not let my daughters look at me like that. I’ve been slinging the same bullshit for years that it’s time for a change, but then I don’t do one fucking thing about it. I let myself think that I’m doing something about it, but all I’ve been doing is holding myself down from who I’m supposed to be. So who am I?

I am a writer. Let me say that again for my own justification. I am a writer. For the longest time, I would tell people that “I write a little bit”, but I’ve never actually called myself a writer. Even the times I’ve been published, I would never call myself that. But this is who I am. This is what I’m supposed to do. I know I said I don’t really like compliments, but I’m going to give one to myself. I have talent. I’ve just never fully tapped into it. The last two years have opened my eyes and for the first time in forever (I’ve been watching too much Frozen with my kids), I can finally see where I want to go. And it’s not to a grocery store to sell coffee. And it’s not to a furniture store to convince the owner to run a commercial during CSI. So what’s the plan?

Freelance writing is bigger business than most people think. There are thousands upon thousands of websites out there that pay people just like me to write their content for them. I’ve already made a few inquiries and am currently in the process of putting together a new website to highlight my work and my strengths. While you’ve really only seen the work I do here and at Binge, I’m capable of so much more. While I choose not to discuss certain subjects publicly, I know more than you might think about politics and religion. We know I can write about sports and entertainment. There’s also parenting sites out there. Anybody think I might have a little insight into divorce or being a single father raising two daughters? The possibilities are endless. Believe me, I’ve done the research. I wouldn’t just do this on a whim. I’ve taken a lot of time and done a lot of work to make sure that this was the right call, and I know in my heart that it is. I have a lot to say, and it’s finally time that I said it.

I know there’s a lot of you reading this right now that are thinking that this is completely irresponsible. But Luke, you have two kids. But Luke, you have bills. Believe me when I tell you that nobody’s going to starve. My first priority in life is those two little girls and I would never do anything to jeopardize their well-being. Is it going to be a process to start? Absolutely. Is this going to be work? Absolutely. But I’m up for the challenge   and things are already in motion. I’m in the process of putting a new website together. I’ve compiled a list of opportunities that best suit my style of work, and I’m getting more sent to me each and every day. This is happening folks. I fully understand that I’m probably going to take some heat for this decision, but let me take this opportunity to say something. If you’re looking to judge me, save it. I don’t want to hear it. I’ve got no problem with constructive criticism, but I would never blatantly try and talk you out of doing something you want to do, so extend me that same courtesy.

Is failure an option? Of course it is. Am I scared? Of course I am. It’s okay to be afraid. But I will not be afraid to fail. I’ve just always been too afraid to try. That ends now. I will not live a lifetime of regret. For once, I’m choosing to actually live.

My name is Luke Norris and I’m a writer. Damn that feels good.


The Story of Lauren Hill

Over the past few months at Binge Media, I’ve been tracking and writing about an amazing young woman named Lauren Hill. If you haven’t heard the name, she’s a college freshman that just finished her first season playing basketball at Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati. It seems simple enough just reading it like that, but the fact of the matter is that she’s been fighting an inoperable brain tumor the entire time. She wasn’t even supposed to make it to see 2015. I’ve written five articles on her thus far, the latest of which you can link to below which has subsequent links to the others. If you have a minute, do yourself a favor and check out this amazing story. As always, thank you for your continuing support.

The Latest on Lauren Hill


Tyson vs Douglas Turns 25


I just wanted to let all my readers here know that I’ve got a new sports piece over at

It takes a look back at the fight that changed the course of boxing forever: Mike Tyson vs Buster Douglas. It’s been 25 years since that night in Tokyo and you can relive all the drama right HERE.

Thanks for reading. Talk to you again soon.


Vote for the winners at the Oscars at Binge Media.

OscarIt’s almost that time of year again. We’re two weeks away from Oscar night and over at my other writing gig at, I’m giving my readers a chance to vote for the winners in each and every category. So I wanted to include my readers here as well. So if you have a few minutes over the next two weeks, just click the link below and cast your votes. And coming very soon to The Luke Norris Experience will be the 2015 version of The State of THE Luke Norris Address. To read the 2014 version, click HERE. I’ll see you again soon. As always, thanks for your continued support.