Friday, April 29, 2022

I've Survived


This meme didn't originate with me, but the longer I live, the more I laugh about it. Then again, I'm still around, relatively active probably a decade or more after I shouldn't be.

My idea of retirement was to retire at age 65 and be gone by 70. But I've exceeded that, and I have no explanation for it. God apparently decided that I shouldn't become a full-time golfer after stepping away from medicine, so He gave me enough talent to become sort of a writer. Even when the ideas were harder to come by and even harder to turn into novels and novellas, I kept at it.

Our wills are over 20 years old, so I'm in the process of gathering data to update them, which is a task that will bring you up short in a hurry. But it's also good to see where I've been, as well as what the future holds. I've started a couple of novellas, which may or may not be going anywhere, but then again, they may.

My dear, sweet wife (yes, I have been blessed by the love of two wonderful women, which is evidence of God's hand) assures me that the Lord isn't finished with me yet. So I guess I'll keep on writing. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

If You Give Your Son A Baseball...

 I realize that this refers to just boys. It did not originate with me, but it brought back memories of my father (including what he did for me). Maybe that's why I, in turn, tried to watch as many of my sons' baseball games and swim meets as possible, why I served many times as judge for my daughter's speech events, why I chose to spend time doing it. Anyway, perhaps it will speak to you as it did to me. 

If you give your son a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.


You’ll buy him the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want some cleats too. 

He will probably spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him, even though you may want to sit on the couch and watch tv. He will insis, and nd his insistence will win. Then he will want a jersey. And when a boy gets a jersey, he will need pants and socks and a belt to go with it. And then a team.  At that point, life as you know it will end.


There will be no more lazy weekends watching tv. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible. Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling ball-buckets and bags and stinky cleats and crazy boys all over tarnation for hours to practice for a game. 

And your house will be a mess. And your car will be dirty. All because you gave a boy a baseball. 


Your weekends will be spent freezing or burning to death on a fold up chair. And his weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends and learning new skills and having fun and getting dirty. And you will be there the day he hits his first home run, his first strikeout, and his first double play. And he will make you proud. The other parents will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it's not you at bat or on the mound. It's all him, you’re merely the facilitator.


When you give a boy a baseball, you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits. And he will have all of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball. 


Then one day, many years from today, he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty bat-bag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and you realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget. And then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything you gave up along the way was worth it.


All because you gave a boy a baseball.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Easter 2022

  The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed...Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead'...."

(Matt 28:5-7a, The Message)

In the ancient world, the message was this: "Christos anesti; al├ęthos anesti."

In our modern language, the words are different, the message the same: "Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!"

Have a blessed Easter. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Importance of Writing


Why would someone keep on writing, even when it's no longer necessary? We've heard it said that a writer writes because he/she has to do it. I've seen interviews with writers who say that they write every day, even if it's only a few lines. Others say that their daily quota of writing may consist only of a grocery list, but even that contains a few strike-throughs and some editing. 

I always thought of myself as a physician. I continue to read my journals, do my continuing education, even keep my license up-to-date (although I must confess that it's unlikely that I'll ever practice again)--but even though writing is something of a sideline that I got into after retirement, I find myself fighting the urge to write. Even if it's a list of some sort. Or a blog entry. Like this one.

So, if you find yourself at odds until you've put pen to paper or fingers to computer keys, then congratulations. You may be a writer.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022


The other day I thought about the rules and superstitions that some folks have. When I played baseball, although I didn't go as far as wearing the same pair of socks as long as we were winning (boy, I was ready to lose after the smell got too bad) in the locker room), I did try to avoid stepping on the foul lines when I went to the mound each inning. You don't see me pitching in the majors, so you see how it worked.

My daughter, while she was in the theatre world, taught me not to put shoes on the bed. It might have something to do with a closing of a play, moving on. It never made much sense to me. However, to this day I always refer to "the Scottish play." avoiding saying Macb*** aloud. No rhyme or reason to that superstition that I can see.

People...well, writers...are always looking for sure-fire "rules," that guarantee success. Writing in the first person is difficult, but some writers do it and carry it off well. Avoiding the passive voice does indeed make the reader identify more closely with the action. But avoiding opening with the weather? If it's done well, the weather can become a character in your action. Yes, Elmore Leonard said we shouldn't do it, but it's been done and done well by some writers.

I guess some of the "sure-fire rules" make as much sense as not stepping on a foul line or saying "the Scottish play." I have only one sure fire rule...well, maybe three. Write the best manuscript possible,  edit it one more time than than you think it needs, and keep writing. Chances are, you'll hit it.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Audio Version of Medical Mystery

As I said in my last post, I've been advised that Medical Mystery is now available in print book format, a Kindle format, and the audio format (narrated by Bill Nevitt). I've been given a limited number of keys to free copies of the audio version, and if you would use them, I would be happy to send a key. Just ask for one and leave your email address in the comments. This offer is only good until Monday, so if you want one of these keys, let me hear from you. Thanks.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Medical Mystery


Was just notified that my latest book, Medical Mystery, is now available as an audio book, so it's available in 3 formats. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


When I left my position as full professor at the med school in 2002, I was looking forward to a life of retirement. But God decided that it was too soon for me to retire, and I wrote a dozen novels and eight novellas of romantic medical suspense. Along the way, I decreased my blogging to twice a week--"stuff" on Tuesday each week, and a writing related post every Friday. I thought I was through with writing, but earlier this year I published my latest (and possibly last) novella, Medical Mystery. And now, once again, I'm going into wind-down mode. 

Blogs are no longer as important as they once were. I've managed to keep up with blogging, but have avoided getting into podcasts and some of the latest social media outlets--this old dog is getting too many years on him to learn some of those new tricks. I will blog when/if I have something to say. For those who will miss some of my early wisdom, I suggest the publication of some of my earliest blogs, First Lessons.

For now, I plan to sit around and stare at the walls. If the spirit moves me, I'll post something on my blog from time to time. Otherwise, it's been fun (mostly). Talk among yourselves. See you.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Writing: Pubishing An Audiobook

 When you have written your book (personally, I mark the end with ###) and it's accepted, you might think your work is done. And, I guess, it's done if your goal is to produce a written book. But there's one more format for your book to be published in. If you have a publisher, they'll probably do this for you, but if you've cast your lot with those who publish the work independently, this is up to you. More and more people prefer to hear, rather than read, their books. And if your book isn't in audio format, say good-bye to those sales.

For all my novellas, including this latest one, I went through ACX to publish an audio format of them. I won't go through all the steps--you can read about them on the ACX website--but one of the last (and most important) steps will require you to visit the book just one more time. You should listen to it. Listen for errors in pronunciation, as well as other errors that might have slipped by you. You just thought you were through.

I had hoped to tell you that Medical Error is now available in audio format, and it may be by the time this post is up. And that is my final book. (But I've said that before, haven't I?) Well, stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Thoughts About March


March 15--the "ides of March"--used to be the date when our income taxes were due. That has changed, but most of us (including me) like to have our material to our accountant well before the current due date of April 15. Interesting thought occurred to me as I gathered the information. Since I started my solo practice of medicine more than half a century ago, I have gone through five accountants! It's not that I'm a difficult client. I just literally wore out that many. That should tell me (and anyone else paying attention) that I'm too old for this foolishness. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn't agree.

Things have been sort of hectic around our place. We've had both the "grand-dogs" develop problems that required them to be put down. Fortunately, there was a puppy (another "rescue" dog) waiting between number one and two's departure. I suspect that there will be another one soon, and the quota of dogs at the home of two of my granddaughters will be filled once more. But for now, there are some tears.

Other than that, not much is new. Well, I am pondering something that I may be ready to share with you. Come back Friday and we'll see if it jells by then.