A New York Times Bestseller? Maybe!

What Death Taught Terrence, the best book you’ll read next year (Sure, I’m biassed, but it’s true.) is four months from release. As that date nears, my mind likes to work through and recall all the writing that led to this book. From the first time I dictated a Berenstain Bears fan-fic at seven years old (Yes, that did happen.) to a teacher’s aid who wrote it with a smile to the last edit of Terrence thirty years later.

I don’t remember everyone who loved my writing in that time. Which is unfortunate. But I remember each and every person who ever said to me, in not so many words, You’re not gonna make any money writing, and the like. I recall how angry this sentiment made me at first, before something my grandfather said to me when I was young resurfaced in my crowded mind: “If you write something, and you love it, and you do the best you can, that’s all you can do.”

As much as I’d like to make certain What Death Taught Terrence will be a New York Times Bestseller, there’s no way to do this.

All I can do is hope you, Dear Reader, will give me one chance to tell you a story that matters to me deeply.

What Death Taught Terrence is available February 11th, 2020. It is now available for pre-order on Kindle and in hardcover. You will not be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 

Where Does A Handicapped Man Fit In Donald Trump’s America?

The state of our union feels fragile today.

The five stages of grief are real. And I went through all of them yesterday when it became clear Hillary Clinton had lost her bid for the oval office and Donald Trump would be our 45th president. Mingled with my grief, in its various ebbs and flows, was a question important to me personally.

Where does a handicapped man like me fit in Donald Trump’s America?

I am frightened of what a Trump presidency will mean for me. Will he take my social security away because he doesn’t value the contributions of the segment of the population to which I belong? What I mean by that is this: Does he value us enough to see that entitlement programs like social security–entitlement being the wrong name for it, in my opinion; it truly is a social safety net–exist because they make life easier to live but are nowhere near some kind of financial windfall every month? Will he treat us like second-class citizens? I suppose I’ll have to wait to have my questions answered in full, and that has me beyond worried.

I realize campaigns are full of rhetoric. They’re full of bluster and bombast, both things Mr. Trump does well. But being president is entirely different. If he truly is going to be the president for all Americans, as he claimed in his acceptance speech, that means accepting that not everyone looks like him, walks like him, talks like him, or thinks like him, and being okay with that. I’m not sure, in my heart of hearts, that he can do this.

Just like a gay man or a black woman can’t change the qualities that make them them, nor would they want to, I will always be handicapped, no matter what I do. No matter how many books I write. No matter how many times somebody tells me I’m a brilliant editor. No matter how many people love me. No matter how many times someone says, “You’re normal to me.” I can’t imagine living in a country whose president would mock me with relish. While my disability doesn’t define me, it is a part of me. It contributes to my life-experience.¬† So when I saw Mr. Trump mocking a New York Times’ reporter this campaign season, it felt to me like a stab to the very heart of who I am as a man. Here’s a man in Trump who was mocking another with my same disability, and the mocker wanted to be–and now will be–the leader of the free world. I was, and remain, disgusted.

When Trump actually won the election, I was distressed. I cried. I’m crying now. I have never voted for a republican presidential candidate, admittedly, but I respect this country and the people in it. I simply want to know I won’t become the new kind of “forgotten man or woman” to whom Trump made reference in his acceptance speech. I want to know that, even though I can’t serve it, my love for this country is just as valuable as the love exhibited by someone who does.

In conclusion, whether you believe in an organized religion or not, and a fair number of people I know don’t, I thought it appropriate to end this post with:

God bless you, and God bless the United States Of America.