Cue the Puppies

Behold the gatekeepers. The Slice Literary Writers’ Conference I attended in Brooklyn last weekend proved to be an eye opener. It was a privilege honestly, to see and hear first-hand from the real deal in this moving target we call publishing. I refer to them as gatekeepers, not to be churlish, but simply to acknowledge that the agents, editors, publishers and publicists, sitting on panels with their names on poster board table tents in front of them, constituted a … [Read more...]

Can’t Put Lipstick on This Pig

A recent analysis by Wired Magazine of the online dating sites, Match.com and OkCupid revealed that men who use the pronoun “whom” in their profiles have a 31% higher response rate. Indeed. Let it not be said that online love seekers are not discriminating when it comes to proper pronoun use. In my experience, such grammarians have been more scarce than hen’s teeth. On a related note, the same survey said the profile pics that garner the most inquiries are the ones in … [Read more...]

Arrested Self-Absorption

There’s this Roy Clark song, “Thank God and Greyhound You’re Gone.” Right? That’s kinda how I feel about my kids. Now wait. Hold the phone. Context is everything. When The New York Times Magazine runs a front page story featuring a young, attractive, college grad sitting at Mommy and Daddy’s dining room table with a bowl of Kix and a caption over her head which reads: “one in five young adults still lives with their parents” this becomes cause for celebration in the … [Read more...]

What Are You Willing to Risk?

A friend of mine turned 64 this week, said he played the Beatles “Birthday” song in celebration. Cranked it. Probably danced with his baby girl on his hip. He’s a new daddy. Yep, 64 with a six-month-old daughter, his first child. Life is full and good, albeit not exactly what he’d planned, heading into retirement. Oh well. All of this abundance started with him taking a chance. He risked rejection, humiliation, even heartache, just to speak to the cute salesclerk at the … [Read more...]

Don’t Squander Your Greatness

What a week! My inbox has been bursting with so much good will vapor, it’s as fragrant as Bath and Body Works during their 75% off sale. Here’s a sampling of this week’s bouquet: Julie wrote to say she’d forwarded my story  “Same Little Legs Still Carry Me” to her sister, who, God bless her, is not only dealing with the loss of her 25-year-old-daughter, but breast cancer as well. Julie sent it to her sister to remind her of just how strong she really is. I was blown … [Read more...]

Same Little Legs Still Carry You

The little girl in the bright yellow tee-shirt caught my attention. Must have been nine, maybe ten. It was rainy, not a downpour, rather one of those spongy May mornings. Stationary raindrops clung where they landed, glistening spheres on feathery iris, pale and pearly white. The landscape was awash in purples, pinks, grey and green. Many shades of green. I noticed her because she was alone. This is a rare sight on a busy street during the morning rush and the little … [Read more...]

‘Cause I’m (reasonably) Happy

My consulting travels recently took me to Indianapolis. I posted up in an office that had been vacated just days earlier. Somebody had been 86’ed, shit canned, pink-slipped, workforce reduced.  Book shelves and desk drawers were empty. (I know because I checked) There were no photos, no stapler, no box of Kleenex on the desk, no abandoned pad of Post-It notes. There was, however a small affirmation taped to the computer monitor which had been left like the skeletal … [Read more...]

The Reassurance We Crave

This is a story about bravery, bumper cars and baseball. Well, kind of. Even though he’s a diehard Dodgers fan, what with living in L.A. and growing up watching the Albuquerque Dukes groom players for the big show, my son Nate was wearing the St. Louis Cardinals hat I got him for Christmas when he took me to the airport last week. I cried when I hugged him goodbye. Every time I leave a kid at the airport, I swear I won’t cry.  Always do. Such is the reality for the … [Read more...]

Ride the Rails

  I first met Michael in a dog park in Philadelphia while on my Off the Leash journey in July of 2011. It was early on. Libby and I were still getting our sea legs under us, a bit tentative. The vibe in each city, each park, every situation felt different. Michael was cool. He’s a soft-spoken guy, cute, young enough to be one of my sons.  He was at the dog park with Frank, his client dog that day. Turns out Michael was a dog walker. We quickly fell in, with … [Read more...]

Three Little Words

He had no idea the maelstrom of emotion that would blow in behind one short, declarative sentence.  On a day when I was supposed to get a make over at the Clinique counter, with a particular interest in the “Dark Circle Corrector” and a new, natural look, which for me is code for “get out of the 80s”, but I cancelled due to too many competing demands for my squeezed-into-two-precious-days life now, I went to the gym instead. The gym was just one entry on my unrealistic … [Read more...]