Death Is Easy

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . I was employed by IBM as a speechwriter.

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Citizen of the Planet

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Back in May, when I sold my Cape Cod house and took up temporary residence in a small room at my daughter’s house on the Connecticut shoreline, I wrote in my blog post that Paradise is an attitude, not a place.

In that little Connecticut bedroom—no larger than a Trappist monk’s cell—I found expansive emotional freedom from the pressures of home ownership, the calendar, and the clock.

I had not been to Vieques since Hurricane Maria, and I dreaded returning—and seeing firsthand what that wicked witch from the east did to my Caribbean dream house.

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Ripple Effect

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A touch can hurt, but it can heal.

It can divide, or unite.

Cause pleasure, or instill pain.

But always, touching causes a ripple effect whose consequences can be far more widespread than our intent or imagining.

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In Harm’s Way

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I am writing this blog post as Truman Capote did all his writing—in bed. It’s well before dawn here in Vieques, my island home five miles off Puerto Rico, and we’re under a state of emergency declared by the governor.

I was not here when Hurricane Maria devastated idyllic Caribbean outposts last September. Now, however, I am fewer than twenty-four hours from Puerto Rico’s first cyclonic attack of the 2018 hurricane season.

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Entrusted

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What do you call it when you decline any kind of romantic relationship? And give up any prospect of having children and grandchildren? And forgo any ambition of financial security? And relinquish the freedom to choose where you live? And cede the prerogative even to select your own wardrobe? 

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Counterfeit Life

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We must be a very stupid species, we humans.

For at least 3,500 years, we’ve been trying to figure out what Truth is.

For example, an estimated 47,000 religious denominations each claims to herald the Truth.

Americans are riven by a level of mutual animosity we haven’t seen since the Civil War, with each side accusing the other of hateful, non-stop lying. Or should it be called the War Between the States? Depends on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you hail from.

Ancient Romans would tell you that Truth is usually found in media res—in the middle of things.

But us? When we cannot agree about Truth, we make it up . . .

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Here's . . . Billy!

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My new novel, Billy of the Tulips, was released yesterday by TouchPoint Press. It’s been called “ . . . a realistic depiction of young adulthood and coming of age . . . it’s My Side of the Mountain meets Hoboken, New Jersey.”

Lots of people ask what the book is about, where the idea came from, are the characters based on real people.

Here are some answers . . .

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In the right

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You can’t call America a nation anymore, because that word comes from the Latin born and is defined by Oxford as a body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language.

This was made clear to me last year during Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s home. As he set the steaming turkey on the table, he issued orders to his two dozen guests—all of us either family or close friends—that we all were so divided over politics that the subject was off-limits for discussion. 

Our societal brokenness smacked me in the face a second time the other day when I got into a political argument with my youngest grandson—over Bernie Sanders, of all things!

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Billy of the Tulips

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When he is put onto the street by his abusive father, fifteen-year-old Billy never dreams that he is embarking on a journey that will force him to choose his place in an intimidating world. Set in 1957, Billy’s story of fending for himself unfolds in letters to his younger sister. He speaks for a generation fascinated with UFOs and Elvis Presley. But his letters also record the clash of innocence and iniquity, including a first sexual skirmish, until a confrontation with a band of menacing hunters forces him to take a stand—a dangerous one.

My new novel, Billy of the Tulips, is scheduled for release by TouchPoint Press in two weeks. Its story has been called “...a realistic depiction of young adulthood and coming of age... it’s My Side of the Mountain meets Hoboken, New Jersey.”

I invite you to sample the first pages . . .

 

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Celebrating the departed

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With Memorial Day upon us, our American culture prompts us toward thoughts of the heroic dead.

So why, then, do we “celebrate” Memorial Day with parades and barbecues when we should be praying?

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