Friends or Playmates?


A perfect storm of three related coincidences this week has unnerved my until-now comfortable persona as a single, widowed man.

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Saints and Poets, Maybe


Two months ago, I announced a hiatus from my weekly blog posting in order to free myself to complete the books that have been percolating in my head and in my laptop. 

During that time, I declared my novella, Charming Billy, completed, and I sent the manuscript to Narrative magazine.

Now I’m proud to tell you I’ve completed my next project and sent my essay collection to my editor, Stacey Donovan, for her review prior to publication as a book. Its working title is Saints and Poets, Maybe.

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The Worst Mistake


Here’s Andrew Solomon, writing in The New Yorker last year:

The worst mistake anyone can make is to perceive anyone else as lesser. The deeper you look into other souls—and writing is primarily an exercise in doing just that—the clearer people’s inherent dignity becomes.

I disagree. 

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In the months since my wife’s death, I’ve been slowly and meticulously disposing of her belongs and shedding household items that accumulated during the decades we were together.

I’m learning that my living alone requires much less stuff than what was needed when we and our two daughters comprised a nuclear family of four.

There are three sets of dishes, for example. Three sets of dishes for two people—who aren’t even kosher.

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I Pressed the Button


Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

In like manner, yesterday I abandoned further work on my novella, titled Charming Billy, and pressed the SUBMIT button, sending the manuscript across the ether and into the hands of the editors at Narrative magazine. 

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Something New in You


During the past several weeks I’ve been returning to the theater, one of my first loves, in an effort to restore my life after my wife’s valiant but fruitless sixteen-year struggle with breast cancer. 

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My Father Was a Bad Cop


Some years ago, a professor at Stanford University set up a mock prison on campus and recruited students to play roles as guards and prisoners. It was to be a two-week experiment, but within a few days the professor aborted the study because the student-guards turned vicious. To maintain power, they brutalized the student-prisoners whom they considered troublemakers. In like manner, some of the student-prisoners turned to collaboration with the student-guards in order to gain a scrap of control over their lives. The professor concluded that humans quickly learn to act according to their expectations of the roles they are given. This he called The Lucifer Effect.

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Something To Be Said


Day’s end on Cape Cod Bay.

There’s something to be said about going it alone. With no one else partnering your life, you have both time without conversation and long spaces of silence. And in this dimension, you tend to notice things.

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My First Saturday of Not Blogging

It’s been a nicely productive week since I announced a hiatus in my Saturday morning Paradise Diaries blog posts.

But here it is Saturday morning, and I find that three-year-old habits die hard.

I’m taking only an hour out of my “authoring” labors to post this “occasional” blog so I can update you about some exciting news.

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You are reading the 160th blog post that I’ve written during the three years since I launched Paradise Diaries on June 1, 2013.  

Thousands and thousands of page visits have been recorded since I established my web site. Google Analytics identifies my readers as coming from distances as far away and as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Philippines, Kenya, Ecuador and Vietnam.  The largest plurality of my readers is the 25-to-34-age group. And most are male—by 54 percent to 46 percent.

But it might be some time before I post my next blog.

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