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America's Youth Obsession (and Why We Need to Get Over It.)

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We have all heard it before, Sixty is the new Forty, and now, the recent corollary, Fifty is the new thirty. Well, having turned 56 this past March, I am taking objection. Yes, that's right, you heard me: I am fifty-six, dammit, and I don't want to be thirty again. Being thirty again would mean I would have to give away 25+ years of hard-earned experience, and I am not willing to do that. Being 30 again would also mean I have to: Throw out two-and-a-half  decades of learning and knowledge. Hell NO! Wipe clean nearly a quarter century of memories, both good and bad. Nahhhh. I earned every grey hair and wrinkle, and I am going to keep them. There is a greater point here, though, and sooner or later I am going to get around to making it. (But I'm 56, so it takes me a while.)


We live in a culture that is dominated by youth. If you need evidence of this, just turn on the TV. In less than one program, you will be assaulted by advertisements promising you that you can look younger…

The Three 'R's of Getting Published, Rejection, Rejection, Rejection: My Path to Becoming a Published Author, Part 2

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I know what you're thinking. Why put up with all that rejection? Wouldn't I have been better off sometime after the first fifty rejections to just take up Canasta? After a hundred rejections try to fine tune my German pronunciation? Close to the two-hundred-and-fifty mark, shouldn't I have have attemtped to learn the didgeridoo, the King of Aboriginal instruments? (FYI, I haven't had 250 rejections, although I am getting close and it feels like a thousand.)

The answer, of course, is Nein; I wouldn't have been better off. And there is a simple reason why. My gut instinct is to tell you that if I had, then (insert shameless plug here) my first published novel, The Intern, would never have been made it to print. And while that is very good incentive for a guy that has been writing for a long time, it's not what I am getting at.

I started my first manuscript fifteen years ago, about a year after I turned 40. The manuscript was good, too, or, at least I thought so at …

More than Twenty Years in the Making: The Genesis of The Intern

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It was 2015 by the time I sat down to write the book that would eventually become my first published novel (The Intern, TouchPoint Press, April 13, 2020) a solid twenty years after meeting the twelve-year-old boy who inspired me to write his story. Maya Angelou said that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” and she was dead on, because I can’t remember many of the things he said and did, but I can remember, with complete and absolute clarity, the way he made me feel, the punched-in-the-gut feeling that has stayed with me all these years.
It was the spring of my internship, April, 1994, and the skies in Syracuse, New York were leaden and grey, doing nothing to improve my mood which had become dour with the long hours, lack of sleep and the never-ending scutwork. I was on Pediatric call for the weekend, meaning that the never-ending scutwork had now been multiplied by four, and I’d just gotten over a sto…