I am an Ivy League drop-out who’s been a failed sculptor, a morally-impoverished, Wall Street lawyer (seeking salvation in chasing fallen dictators to repatriate what they stole), and the founder of an IT company the sale of which allowed me to retire. I’m also the father of three daughters, a mentor to children aging out of the foster care system, and an avid cook and award-winning gardener. I split my time between Montauk and New York City where, along with foreign locals like Russia and Singapore, many of the events that inspired my first published book, the memoir Stuck in the Passing Lane, take place.
Retired and divorced (after twenty-three years of marriage) at fifty-four, generally a bit shy, I found myself wary of approaching women on the internet, the central dating locale that had emerged during my two-decade, dating hiatus. My first encounter is with a woman via a personal ad in The New York Review of Books. Though her ad copy makes her out to be Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year, it’s Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane who shows up for an agonizing, tectonically-paced French dinner. I turn next to a matchmaking service, hoping that a go-between, someone who will follow my stated requirements (easy-going, not demanding, in or about middle age), will orient me towards women I ought to want. But the only matchmaking going on seems to be setting me up with women who want guys who can afford the hefty matchmaking fee. At this point, I realize that I need to salvage something from what is shaping up to be a long, confusing, sometimes amusing and no doubt often painful process. Hence, Stuck in the Passing Lane, though it isn’t my first foray into writing.
An avid reader, I’ve always admired good writers, aspiring to be one though, until retirement, I didn’t have the time to learn and do. Buying every book I could find on the subject, I retired to an old barn on my property where, with my big old mutt warming my feet, I read them all and did all the writing exercises in the backs of many of the books. My first novel, an intertwining of stories from the points of view of generations of dogs and their people, so completely lacked style, writing comprehension and quality (it operated on the false assumption that you get readers interested by confusing them), that I burned it. The second, a marital psychodrama called Still Life, was better. The short stories here are drawn from Still Life. One recently received Honorable Mention from the prestigious literary journal Glimmer Train which deemed it one of the top fifty stories out of over 1,000 submissions. My next book, a childhood memoir entitled Crybaby, is about a whimper away from completion.
In my blog, I will be applying my literary style to subjects I love (Dogs, Cooking), know something about (Gardening), or that just piss me off. The latter include: how we let events control one of the most important aspects of living (A Good Death); the irrationality and ruses in the medical system (Big Pharma, Healthcare); how people routinely claim that hard work and brilliant decision-making, rather than all the fortuitous events and luck they’ve been favored with, account for their success (Brains and Personality); subjects the media just won’t cover (Skits Saturday Night Live Won’t Do); and the mistakes that account for my business success (Wrongs that Made Me Right). I hope you enjoy them.