Posted in Author's Notes

Happy 4th! May Freedom of Speech Reign!

One of the greatest qualities of our country, America, is the right to free speech that we all have. I can write a novel, or a short story, or a blog article, and it’s not an illegal act to do so. I can say whatever I want to anyone I want…of course, there are consequences. We have the right to choose our words and our deeds, but not what happens as a result.
Today I celebrate this freedom, even though too many have abused it for so long. We can use words to create, or destroy. We can use words to heal and bring union, or poison and divide people. Words are our choice and they are our freely given right as human beings.

I choose to use words in a way that create diplomacy and delight. I choose to use words that bring honor and careful consideration.

I choose to use words that can uplift and entertain the spirits and minds of everyone who reads them or hears them from me.

Happy Indipendence Day!

Posted in Author's Notes

Emotional Terrorism and the Right of Free Speech

At the end of the day, we’re all human. I think about the hippocratic oath doctors take. I think about how, in this day and age especially, they must be careful to keep all political discussion out of their wheelhouse and keep the focus on their patients and their patient’s health. They cannot be too outspoken on public social media platforms without the risk of judgment and a potential loss of business, but more than that, I think they may be forced into a total acceptance of where anyone stands; and despite their potential misgivings about anyone’s viewpoints or affiliations or even if they happen to be terrible criminals or despots, they still have to view the humanity in anyone and treat accordingly. Can we regular every day people treat everyone we meet, regardless of political affiliation, religious belief, sexual orientation, social or economic status with civility and dignity?
Unfortunately, I believe the answer to be ‘no’, as evidenced by the sheer volume of people who lack the capacity to see past their own desires and conditioning in stupidity.

““I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can but I will always look for a path to a cure for all diseases.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.””

When you see young people on street corners openly punching disabled persons in the face, and then proceeding to further beat him, because they think its funny…when you see an angry white man on the beach accusing a family of people from the Middle East of being the problem with the world and being connected to ISIL (false accusations) and screaming at them to leave…when you see an older white woman in a major shopping store cursing out a woman and telling her to go back to her country, mistaking her ethnicity, and saying how we’d be better off without them, and when the woman being accused fires back with, “you’re an immigrant too, you’re not Native American”…

What is lost on the people who live in “Flyover Country” is that emotional reactions like this, without real education, without compassion, IS terrorism. It’s emotional terrorism. Terrorism in any form is something we as a world populace need to see as cancer. It’s a cancer to fill ourselves with hatred for what is perceived as ‘the other’. We’re all human beings, and at the end of the day, we all need the basics to survive. And that includes healthy emotional support and responses.

“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Warmth, sympathy, and understanding are doctors tools. More than that, they are human tools. Tools which rarely in this country ever get explained, learned in school, or even taught in life. These are, in fact, the antidotes to emotional imbalance, and these are all innately within us. Yet again, I point to capacity. Some people can change if they are willing to do so. Not all people can change; primarily because they have no interest. It can be addicting to stay stuck in one’s point of view, to never see it another way. It feeds itself and becomes a sickness. We have a president whose only real viewpoint is that life is a business, and that to be number one means making sure that everything goes one way: his way. Which does not include OUR way.

The president is very adept at bullying. Fire the guy who’s investigating your potential ties to Russia. Threaten to fire the guy who wants to see your tax returns. Call news reputable news outlets fake, and make fun of people less fortunate (materially) than you are. Those are schoolyard bully tactics. And so you can guess who voted this emotional terrorist into office: schoolyard bullies and their parents who support them (or were/are themselves bullies.)

This post isn’t a plea for people to wake up. If people were going to wake up, they would have done so by now. This is just a post to illustrate a point of view I have, because I live in the land of a free press: the digital land. I can post this here, and I mean no disrespect to anyone in particular. Exercising my right to free speech. Let’s hope that doesn’t go away. Because if it does, we’re ALL in bigger trouble than anyone can imagine.

I hear some people’s argument already: “If you can write all this about the president and emotional terrorism, then other people have the right to say whatever they want to other people in stores or wherever about where they belong.”

True, we do have the right. Look, Trump used words to put himself where he is. People voiced (via ballots) their opinions that Trump belonged where he does. I may have misgivings and disagreements with that fact, but its still a fact I can’t refute. A totalitarian regime is usually how wars are started, by the way. But here’s the problem. If our voices get taken away, if we no longer have the first amendment right, the freedom of speech, then we couldn’t say what we did or didn’t want anymore. At all. We would be told what we could or couldn’t have and when to shut up and how high to jump. It would be a prison country. We already know what that’s like. We’re investigating whether or not right now a corrupt government regime (the people of Russia are amazing and beautiful, the government…not so much, in this writer’s opinion) is overtly dictating the US governments next steps and maneuvers…I don’t think we want to end up that way.

People want their phones, their internet, their television, and to be left alone. They want the right to practice free speech, they want the right to a good lifestyle, and they want to be left alone. If we’re suddenly under a regime in which the government dictates your every move, all our freedoms in the pursuit of happiness evaporate.

Posted in Author's Notes


What don’t we have enough of in our day to day lives lately?

We are hyper-connected. Internet, social media, television, radio, smart phones and watches, and even billboards that light up with info. But what’s missing?


We can instantly know what our friends are doing anywhere in the world, even if they live in the house next door. So, again, what’s missing?


When connection takes place at the mental level, where we can only see and hear, but not be truly present, hearing, seeing, and feeling the actual vibrations of a person in real time, with all of our senses engaged, we are missing vital…you guessed it, connection.

When we get together in person there is an element, a powerful piece of the otherwise missing puzzle. When you take an online course versus being directly involved, sitting next to other flesh and blood people, everyone learning and participating together in the process of learning, something is missed: connection to self and others. When you get together in a real yoga class, for example, you are living and breathing next to other people who are living and breathing. You are connected to them even if you never say hello.

We can’t thrive without connection. Actual human connection. And actual human connection is, for some reason, frightening to a lot of people. Why? Because it requires vulnerability. It requires you to be truly available on some level that hiding behind a screen otherwise protects you from.

We have placed far too much value on protection, on our personal security. I’m not talking about our digital security, I’m talking about our sense of self, our identity, the core of whatever or whoever it is we think we are. And as a result we pull away from people–even when we’re standing right in front of them. We withdraw our energy, we become invisible to each other. So what’s missing?


What does it take to regain true connection? It requires a shift in perception, a willingness to be open and present to ourselves and others. Is this an easy thing to accomplish?

No, of course not. Think about your whole life and how, since you became an adult, you’ve been busy learning how to protect and defend yourself…from others. You’ve been busy building anti-connection. Then using a virtual condom (the computer and internet) to reach out to others. A lifetime of that level of dedicated pulling away doesn’t change over night because you decide you want to connect. First you have to convince yourself that you want, and maybe even need


Then you have to keep showing up and being open until those around you also want to open up, or feel safe enough to open up and feel connected to you. It definitely does not need to be physical, or intimate in the sense that you’re going to have to sleep with those around you (let’s hope that’s not your only motivation!) It means sharing more of your mind and heart with others, what you really think, what you really feel, getting honest feedback if you cross a line inadvertently, and growing from that. It’s an art that never gets perfected. We just get better at being ourselves, and in so doing we open more fully to


Posted in Author's Notes

Open Heart Conversation

I was approached at the tail end of last year by a powerful woman in my community about having a conversation on The Divine, so of course I said sure! Chelsea Rose Odhner is the founder of The Common Heart Project. 

When she asked if I’d be interested in talking with her about this subject I did say sure right away, but I didn’t know how it would go or what we would end up saying. It was one of the more lovely conversations about this topic I’ve had the privilege of having in a long time. We set a date to get together to talk and record, and then what flowed out between us was something even I never expected. That’s the cool aspect of Grace–you never know how it’s all going to turn out. Click the picture to listen, or click here to get started!

The Common Heart Project is a very powerful new movement as I see it, and really gives a safe space for people to facilitate self-reflection through conversation about the Divine. I encourage you to browse the site, listen to the conversations, get involved, and support this movement if it inspires you to do so.

Posted in Author's Notes

The Changes We Undergo

Change is the beating soul of our world, of our day to day lives, inextricably interwoven into the fabric of our being and consciousness. We rely on change nearly as much as we feel disgruntled, unnerved, and mistrustful of it. Our current political climate is such that change is happening at a more rapid pace, fueled by outright lies (read: alternative facts), smokescreens, gas-lighting, populist views, and skewed partisan rhetoric to deflect from more dubious legislative acts that adversely affect many of us.

Do you remember when the first iPhone came out? That was an enormous change that heralded a new era of how we democratized information while on the go. No one quite knew how things would turn out. At the outset, it seemed like a fad for phones, but then quickly became one of the most indispensable items we can’t imagine our lives without now. I remember people casting weary eyes at this new-fangled technology at first, worried about the GPS chips embedded in such phones, worried that it meant the Government would be able to keep a better eye on us all. Of course that has all come true anyway, and yet we continue to use it, despite how it affects people around the world.

Yet we embrace the changes (iterations) of technology now because we understand its inherent value to our every day lives. Long gone are the mistrustful glances at such technologies. We have a double edged sword though. We want, we need to feel connected to one another (hence Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook), yet we also regard our personal privacy as sacrosanct, yet we willingly give too much information away to such media providers. These web-innovations (web 2.0) were also first looked at with suspicion, and some aspersions cast as well, and now we take them for granted (and take them with us on our phones). We want and need to feel protected, but we also want and need to be “out there”, case in point: social media, our own websites, etc. It’s all out there for the taking. And no matter the various security precautions we may take to undermine the efforts of hackers whose primary purpose is to disrupt, cause chaos, and perhaps profit from our misfortunes, there are always ways around it. These are changes we have all had to adapt to.

I work part time as a cashier at a major grocery chain. One of the most interesting things I saw recently was an elderly woman pointing her phone at the credit card terminal (Apple Pay) and successfully going through with the transaction. It *changed my mind and perspective about how I view an aging portion of the population and their own embrace of change. Yet there are some changes that are dangerous to embrace. Normalizing a wannabe demagogue and liar is, as far as I can tell, a mild embrace of dangerous change, a form of willful ignorance, and a lack of a sense of responsibility. Here lies the rub, though: not all changes are easy to spot. Most of the time our internal changes, our thinking process, our decision making (taking actions), our beliefs, and our perspective on the world also change every day. Taking this into consideration, we can’t necessarily fathom all of the complexities that go into a deep change for the individual, and how that impacts the local collective, and spirals out from there.

At the encouragement of my wife, I’ve been reading a book called Sapiens, which is informing (if not somewhat changing) my view on humanity as a whole. Not for worse, and not for better. The changes I find reading this book leave me with more questions than answers, as I’m sure it has done for the author. On the other hand there are some areas where I hold on with all my might and grit in spite of some of the notions proposed by the author. I’m not a religious person, and you could technically call me an ‘atheist’ in that I don’t believe in a personal ‘God’ above and a ‘Devil’ below, or even necessarily in ‘gods and goddesses’ that are ‘divine energies’ or manifestations or characterizations of the “One Supreme Universal God’. This begs the question: do I believe in a power greater than myself? If I didn’t, this would be the true (to my mind) definition of ‘atheist’. The truth is I do believe in a power greater than myself. What exactly that ‘power’ is or where it is I couldn’t say. I’ve felt it. I’ve taught about it in the past, to the best of my understanding at the time, but I admit that whatever that something is, it’s a total mystery to me. And I think that’s a good thing. I don’t know what happens when we die for sure. I know what happened when I died back in 2010, but I don’t know that I’m really qualified to speak about it for a number of reasons, and I never felt comfortable talking about it to begin with anyway. For one thing, that experience happened without a brain death–a new study indicates that the brain continues functioning 10 minutes after a person is declared legally dead. I can easily see how many NDE’s are spoken about with such conviction, but I can’t really say that that is what I truly experienced.

This being said, I’ve had numerous mysterious incidents in my life, including my untimely death and resurrection in 2010 that I can’t explain away or chalk up to the last gasping spasms of a hallucinating brain. I don’t want to make any hard and fast conclusions, or easy breezy and generalized sweeping statements. I think we, as sapiens, human beings, animals, and potentially mystical spirits inhabiting temporary life forms, only have part of the picture and certainly not all of it. One of the arguments of the book is that we are all just animals, no different than the apes and gorillas we originally sprang from, save our ‘Cognitive Revolution’, and that one of our defining characteristics that sets us at number 1 in the animal kingdom is our ability to not only communicate, but to create myths, fictions, which serve to control the masses. We rely on them to safeguard us, and to keep us in an orderly state of cooperation with one another. I had suspected something along these lines for as many years now as I can remember, but having someone come out and say it in such eloquent language, with science and historical fact to back it up has been an eye opener, and has fueled even more change within me. I recommend the book. I don’t think it’s an easy one to wade through for certain reasons, but if you’re like me, you’ll stick to some of your guns (not fact-immune, but just skeptical of any story, no matter how well its told.)

The book also states that for 2 million years we as sapiens lived just like the gorillas and apes around us, foraging, communicating as needed, etc, but with no order or civilization. It wasn’t until after the ‘Cognitive Revolution’ that we began to venture into the territory of mass obedience to a cause, all founded in story (whether true or false, or some mixture of the two, no one knows for sure.) One of MY questions arising when reading about this is: what is the mystery behind this ‘Cognitive Revolution’? Why did it surface when it did? What inspired it? According to the author, it was some kind of chemical rewiring of the brain. My brain tends to think there are reasons why mutations (or iterations, if you prefer) happen in the first place. If cause doesn’t lead to effect, then it renders my questions moot. There’s something happening ever nano-second in the quantum field that we can’t understand, that we can observe and affect as we observe, but that we don’t fully comprehend. There’s should be credit to those thinkers who have gone to a great deal of trouble to try and explain the mysterious something or other in terms we can all somewhat understand, but there also needs to be greater light shed on it. We don’t have all the answers. I’d venture to say this much: we don’t even have one quarter of all the answers. And maybe the point is to always question, to always be a little uncertain. We don’t know for sure anything about our lives or what comes when death arises (talking about CHANGE) unless we willingly ignore facts and embrace stories we’ve heard, stories we’ve told ourselves, things we believed even as we knew we were making it up on the spot.

You might be curious about my Sparkling Aura book. I had those experiences, I believe I had those experiences, and that I still see things that are hard for me to ignore (okay, downright impossible to ignore), but I can’t say that I don’t have some strange chemical phenomena in my brain that allows me to see what I do–or that any of it is ‘reality’. It’s just stuff I see. No proof, no way to know its real. It feels real, but feelings and reality also rarely pair well. I used to be so sure my version of reality was correct. Now I’m not, and that’s part of my enormous change. It’s a different sort of cognitive revolution on a tiny scale in my own self. One that I welcome. I welcome the unknown, the mystery, and yet I will subvert my attempts at certainty to allow room for growth and change whenever I can. It keeps things moving along interestingly.

Change is our asset and our liability, it’s also an ever present aspect of our lives that we must contend with whether we want to or not. We really don’t have a choice in the matter.

Posted in Author's Notes

Ordinary Person

Would you be devastated if your whole life you operated under the assumption that you were special, a genius, only to realize you were simply ordinary.

As I drove in to work this morning my eye caught the moon. I began to imagine that the moon had consciousness. It bore witness to all of mankind so far. From genius and truly special to ordinary and absolutely dumb. It also bore witness to people who would never have a hope of being deemed anything but handicapped by the rest of us. The cognitively challenged people of the world. I’m not sure what the PC version is, but I think you know what I mean.

In the end everyone dies anyway, right? The moon doesn’t care. You could also make this leap with Mother Earth and even just the trees–all baring witness to our lives without comment or judgment. We are the only ones judging ourselves. This is not a new insight. Except it always is, because we continually fall into the same delusive traps of the mind. We have an inner urge or need to feel special and genius (not all of us do, I know a guy who hates the notion of being a genius), especially if we are creative type people. This has been true for me most of my life.

The real trick is to embrace being ordinary. To being no one and nothing special. Instead I believe the real power arises when we unleash our special proclivities and talents out in creative fashion. It adds lustre to our otherwise ordinary lives.

I’m curious what you all think.

Posted in Author's Notes

Current Project Report & Beta Reader Option

In a break from my political posts, I’m going to talk a bit about my current projects. There are 3 works in progress (WIPs) I have on my plate right now.
One is the third installment in the Chloe’s Travels Series (Battle of Trygernon). For those of you unfamiliar, each installment is usually very short, about 30 to 50 pages each. Chloe wants to go home, to her universe, to her America. But, being trapped on another planet that is being invaded by war from a feuding race of people may threaten her chances. So she steps up. Because all children have super powers…

The other third installment in the Owen Hunter Series (OHS) is Prevail (and yes, that’s the book cover), is going along in editorial land now. Believe it or not, the process to edit a book of this length, especially having two preceding tomes to search through to make sure there are’t any inconsistencies really takes a long while!

Last, but by no means least, I am nearly halfway through writing a new standalone novel, which may also become a series of standalone novels with the same character. It’s about a modern day High Wizard from another world living in our own world in modern times. He is nearing his 300th birthday (Wizards from his world tend to live to about a thousand in ours.) It’s a mystery novel, and I’m excited because I’ve never written anything quite like this. Magic abounds, and so does good and man made evil. It’s under a code name for now; “Clive” (don’t worry, that’s not the Wizard’s name!).

Hit me up if you’d like to be a beta reader at:

Posted in Author's Notes

Action Plan

Take Action Now and often!

Updated 2/1/17

This is awesome: text your zip code to 520-200-2223 and your list of federal and state representatives will be texted to you, so you can just click on their numbers. I tried it. It works.

Speaker Paul Ryan’s office has re-opened its phone lines.
Dial 202-225-3500; a voice will offer a menu of issues, press #6 to leave him a message. You can talk about ACA, Muslim Ban, Bannon, Cabinet candidates, Trump. Your choice.
YOU HAVE TO SPEAK QUICKLY, because there is a time limit.

Here’s a simple template:
“Hi, my name is XXX, I’m a constituent from NAME PLACE, zip code 000000, I don’t need a response. I am opposed to any ban on Muslims entering the United States and I encourage the Senator to please oppose implementation of any such ban. Thanks for your hard work answering the phones!”
This is the crux of the matter. TALLIES matter, NUMBERS matter. Numbers are votes and that is what will move them.


HOW TO USE YOUR MONEY, TIME AND PRIVILEGE TO BENEFIT THE #RESISTANCE, with a special note for digital entrepreneurs

(feel free to share and tag if you’d like)

Following up on my post on How to Be a Social Media Activist for the Resistance, I’ve had a request to write this post. This one is tougher for me to write, in part because as the CEO of an online business, I have a hell of a lot more flexibility with my time than most do (which is in and of itself a form of privilege).

All that said, here are some guidelines to follow to support us all as we rise and fight back.


For those of you who are able to contribute money right now, these are the places that could use the MOST support.

ACLU Nationwide is on the front lines of every single effort to stop the administration’s efforts in court. If you can only donate to one place, my view is that you should donate to them. They defend the rights of all of us.

National Immigration Law Center is working with the ACLU against the current travel ban. They can absolutely use our support.

Human Rights Campaign is one of our nation’s largest defenders of LGBTQIA rights. I have been a committed supporter of their work for more than 15 years.

Planned Parenthood Action will also need an immense amount of support for the coming battles over women’s healthcare and particularly pro-choice efforts in collaboration with other women’s rights organizations. They have also already had their public funding scaled back dramatically, EVEN THOUGH NO FEDERAL FUNDS are used to fund abortions. This means that poor women nationwide will be deprived of necessary healthcare as a result of the Trump administration unless those funds are made up somewhere.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund is on the front lines of opposing nominations that impact civil rights legislation.

National Council of La Raza is the largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States, and also battling to defeat the Sessions nominations among other efforts.

Disability Rights Advocates and Disability Rights Legal Center are two options to support legal efforts to defend the rights of differently abled people.

Efforts are also underway to put together a PAC on behalf of the Resistance generally. Stay tuned.


I have probably spent way too much time in front of the computer and MSNBC/CNN over the past ten days. All that said, however, I am finding that cycling in and out of presence to current events is necessary to my mental health.

So here’s a few suggestions:

~Start your day as quietly as possible. Meditation is a good idea. At the bare minimum, wash your face, brush your teeth, snuggle your kids/dog/partner, before checking your phone.

~Don’t check your phone or turn on the news until you’re really ready to engage. The pace and instability of current developments will shoot your blood pressure through the roof instantly if you’re anything like me.

~Get up and walk around every hour. (This is good advice for those of you who spend a lot of time sitting generally). Your body and mind will need the break.

~Claire Hayes, my EFT/Matrix practitioner, recommends that if you start to get particularly angry or agitated, you do something physical to burn that off. This can include exercise, putting on some music to dance, or some serious tapping down the meridian lines that run down the outsides of your legs to clear anger. Do this whenever you need to.

~Remember to try to stick to your regular sleep schedules. I know this is hard, but it is really important that we all take time to rest as much as possible. Like many of you, I have been plagued by really awful nightmares lately, but I am trying, really hard, to get as much sleep as I can nonetheless.

~BE PRESENT FOR YOUR KIDS. I put this in caps because even little kids are deeply aware right now that something isn’t right in our nation. My littlest one (3) came home from school one day and announced that “Donald Trump grabs people, but only girls, and doesn’t stop when he’s told to.” Kate Anthony and Carrie Contey are two conscious parenting people who I follow actively and who have some great advice for parenting during this trying time. Regardless, though, turn your phone off and stay away from scary news when you’re with your kids, and tell them that you will keep them safe.

~Protest in any way that you can. This may include physical protest, online protest, calling your Senators and Reps every day, or organizing others. I am doing a combination of these depending on my energy levels on a given day.


Like many, I have found it very difficult to focus on work the past few days. However, work can be a welcome relief from current events. Here’s what I am trying to do, in general.

~Do as much as you have to, but not any more than you have to. This is a moment to conserve energy to #resist as much as you can. I am certainly not advocating that you do anything that will cause you to get fired, but I do think we all need to be very mindful of our energy right now. This is likely to be a marathon and not a sprint of #resistance. Conserve. Conserve. Conserve. Delegate and manage your time. Stay focused.

~FOR DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURS: if you are running an online business, I have a few particular words of advice:

1) Turn off your scheduled social media posts. I and many others have complained already that many pre-scheduled posts are reading as extremely tone-deaf right now given current conditions. Things are bad enough without damaging your professional reputation by coming off as non-compassionate or just plain off.

2) Use your platform as a part of the #Resistance. I am doing that just by talking to you here. I am past the point of caring if this will cost me money from pro-Trump people. Principles matter. Integrity matters. Lead by example and galvanize your people, and trust that karma will take care of you. Celia Ward-Wallace is someone who is doing this particularly well right now.

3) Be VERY careful with how you are selling at this time. Again, this is a part of not just avoiding blowback to your business, but also about meeting the needs of your people.

As someone who trains and coaches in the Women’s Leadership arena inside and outside of corporate America, I have an acute professional and personal intersection with the decisions of this administration and EVEN I am being extremely careful with how I sell anything right now. (Don’t ask me how I am going to fill our next digital program. Our entire team is considering this right now, but we are committed to standing in integrity and focusing on the big picture right now).

MOST IMPORTANTLY, do not try to profit off the current state of affairs or the trauma of what people are experiencing right now. Because that’s not just out of integrity– it’s gross.


First of all, please recognize that being able to use your money and time to support the #resistance is in and of itself a sign of privilege. So start there.

But from that place, a few other actions of note that you should consider taking:

~Open your home to your neighbors who are vulnerable. Here in my neighborhood, this means I have given my snail mail address to several friends who are scared, including several neighbors who are concerned about ICE activity and being deported. I have also reiterated to everyone who seems scared that I am here, and I am listening.

~Actively listen to other folks within the #resistance about their experiences, needs and fears. Not everyone is being impacted in the same ways at the same moments. Our actions need to be targeted to protect and give voice to all, collectively. Listen and learn, and act from that place.

~Be willing to put your body on the line to the extent you are comfortable. Here in NY, that means that I have not only protested, but I have also physically stood between a hijabi woman and someone who was threatening her on the subway, as well as come to the defense of a woman who was begging for money when a man screamed at her that no one wanted to hear from her any more. Trust your instincts, be safe, and also don’t be afraid to stand up to the extent you are comfortable. Create zones of safety physically and energetically for those who need it.

~DO NOT berate people for not doing more. We are all doing our best right now. Some of us have more time, energy, or focus available to us than others. THAT IS OK. Some of us are really uncomfortable with crowds. THAT IS OK TOO.

Also, and most importantly, it should be a given that just because a given action of the administration doesn’t impact you does not mean that it doesn’t hurt others. As I said yesterday, WHEN THEY COME FOR ONE OF US, THEY COME FOR ALL OF US.

Part of the leadership for those of us in positions of privilege is that we MUST do what we can on behalf of those who can’t or aren’t able to do so for themselves. This, in my view, is a fundamental part of what a healthy democracy is based on.

If someone you know is hurting, afraid or unable to use their voice for any reason, BE THAT VOICE.

That’s all for now folks.


I’ll keep updating here for those who don’t have/don’t visit facebook. –Scott


Posted in Author's Notes

We The People

My whole life I’ve thought of myself as a free-thinker. I’ve never been especially political until the tail end of last year, when it became clear that a lunatic, misogynist, racist, hate mongering demagogue was attempting to become president of the United States. I think he aims to rule us all, if he can. He talks a lot about all these terrible problems ‘visiting our shores’, but I’m sure many of you reading this will agree with me when you say that every summer vacation you’ve gone to the shore and seen no blood-thirsty gangs or immigrants ready to chop our heads off. Have you? I haven’t, the shore is one of my favorite places to go in the summer for a little R&R.

You may be wondering why my website is so drastically different looking. Even my logo has changed. When the country changed yesterday, I changed with it. I changed my mind and my approach to a lot. Many people have said publicly that this is the first time in their life they’ve ever been so politically active. I’m right there too, as politically active as I ever thought I would be. My website now reflects nature, something I wish to preserve. It reflects calm, and order, which are values and qualities worth reminding ourselves about, and peacefully organizing around maintaining.

Yesterday I had the privilege and honor to march and stand with my wife and almost five million  men and women all over the world in peaceful defiance of this man whom I can only call Trumple Thinkskin. (I heard about this from my wife while she was looking at facebook on the way home from the rally in Philly, so I have no idea who coined that awesome phrase first, just know it wasn’t me.) And it wasn’t just defiance. It was a uniting of our voices that women are equal to men in all the ways that count but also superior (in my view) to men because they can make other people, because they can bear pain we can’t even imagine, because they have been compassionate and graceful while the patriarchy has held them down for thousands of years.

My wife and I at the Women's March in Philly, 01/21/2017 My wife and I at the Women’s March in Philly, 01/21/2017

Women everywhere all over the world, and men too, and LGBTQ, are raising their voices and will go unheard no longer. The world changes because people change, because nature changes. No one, not even this new ‘POTUS’ can actually take us backwards in time. Trumple’s words are just the pathetic sounds of a dog’s barking. The People will not resign themselves, nor give up a fight, nor turn a blind eye based on new laws that have been past. No. I submit that people will continually do the right thing to ensure a better planet. That people will risk more with their personal lives and their businesses to make sure people of all walks of life get a fair shake. I see cities uniting against Trumple’s ridiculous changes and forging their own laws and customs, and fighting for what they believe is right. In fact, many cities have already made such promises before Trump swore in to office. I see a mass resistance the likes of which has never been possible before in history.

While it’s true that history often repeats itself, it is also true that at no other time in history have The People been so united and coordinated with technology, with intelligence, with passion, and with so many great purposes to further. I see a world where The People start calling more shots in the absence of a leader who can properly perform the job at hand. I see people who are watching everything Trumple does very carefully, because they’re there with him, right in front of him, and waiting for him to make the wrong moves that threaten their lives and security. I see a world full of people not willing to allow yet another dictator. You may think I’m a dreamer, or a wishful thinker. But no, I am a free thinker. I am thinking about this with logic and with understanding.

It’s not prescience, the words I offer here, it is trajectory and momentum, it is faith in good people, and it is belief that no one person can undo what millions of people are against.

Posted in Author's Notes

The Competition for Reading vs Watching

Do you feel like you’d rather read or watch a story? Now that Netflix and Amazon Prime are apps on your phone, you might feel conflicted when waiting at the doctor’s office, at the auto repair shop, or anyplace else you find yourself with time to occupy not doing productive things. And in those rare cases (ha ha) you might be wondering if you should open your Kindle app or one of said streaming services. There’s no right answer here. Stories are stories. You’ll exercise your brain by reading, but you’ll also be entertained and enriched by the hard work of good actors and directors, special effects crews, and evocative camera angles. Your own brain can actually create a good number of these special effects and angles when you read, assuming you do it enough.

A good number of years ago I was talking with someone who told me that when he read books he just saw the words and nothing they really pointed to. Which meant to me that he wasn’t really reading, just acknowledging the words on the page and doing nothing with them. The more we intend to understand what it is that we’re reading, the more we can (potentially) glean from the author’s intention. And the more we end up exercising our brains, our imaginations, and opening up to a world that wasn’t in front of us previously. Some books I’ve read have given me something so panoramic and detailed and enchanting that it can never really be captured on screen. Case in point: Harry Potter series. The movies were decent adaptations to the world created, but they were far less than the reach of my imagination. I’m certain it’s like that for those of you who are readers too.

I chose HP because that is a pretty popular and common pointer. I can certainly use many others. Jurassic Park by the late and great Michael Crichton is another example, but so was his brilliant masterpiece Sphere (I know not everyone agrees about his works). Or how about Orson Scott Card’s inimitable Ender’s Game. I loved the movie, don’t get me wrong, but it can’t reach the depth of articulation brought fully to life by Orson’s use of description and dialogue. Though I admit that some of the special effects in the movie version were really well done, and I enjoyed the acting too!

There’s something else about reading that you don’t get with watching. Time. With watching movies or television series (there are a lot of amazing original series by Netflix, Stranger Things, The O.A. and Travelers spring to mind) you only have a season (or maybe a complete season, like with the unique and totally awesome Fringe) or three available at a time in many cases. You get a lot, but you get so much more from actual books. You, in the words of my astute wife, develop a relationship with the book you’re reading.

Yes, there’s a lot to read out there, and so little time. This comes back to the favor of watching. With watching, when you have limited time to ‘veg’ out, it’s a no brainer. You click on your preferred story and let her rip. Then there’s also something to be said for the acting, those people put forth incredible performances for our viewing joy, and we get to watch it for very little effort. A writer on the other hand must produce all aspects of his or her work and portray faithfully the full range and action of his character crew. Not only that, the writer must be set director, as well as story arch, character arch monitor and creator, and everything else. When it’s done well, it competes very mightily with the viewed world. I also know a good number of people who would rather curl up with a great book any day (even if it is on their kindle and not physically a book in their hand) than watch a TV show or movie on their phone when waiting for _____.

I leave this as an open ended idea for you to play with. What’s better? Which one wins? Well, neither one, or both, and it entirely depends on what you prefer at any given moment, I’m sure. I know that a lot of my fellow indie author friends worry constantly about sales of their books and whether they can possibly compete with streaming media services (oh gosh, I forgot sites like Hulu, oh well) or other well-written books. In my mind there’s room for both activities, and depending on anyone’s given mood it will determine which platform of consumption wins out at any given time.

What do you think is best? Watching a story or reading and using your imagination to go into deeper areas with a story?