Archive for January, 2017

Outsource Voice

January 30, 2017

I was thinking of entering a writing contest I briefly read about, and then I visited the judge’s website, and his bio is so bizarrely and poorly written that I decided, um, no.  It reads as if perhaps someone else––someone who isn’t a native English speaker––wrote it, and then Clare just never edited it?  Or a bot wrote it?  In any case, it’s not a crime against humanity or anything, just very bizarre to see an “award-winning author” allow such a shoddily written summation of his credentials to be out there.  I was going to redact the name but that was just too much damn trouble.  Disclaimer: he does seem to be a good writer and also accomplished.  It’s not him I object to; it’s this Google Translate bio!

Horatio Clare is not only an excellent multi award-winning author but a radio producer and journalist too. He was born in London in 1973. He spent his childhood on a hill farm in the Black Mountains of south Wales with his brother Alexander. They both grew up there.

Before reading the English at the University of York, he attended the United World College of the Atlantic and Malvern College.

He worked as a producer on Front Row, Night Waves and The Verb at the BBC. He is the writer of two memoirs, Truant and Running for the hills.

A Single Swallow and Down to the Sea Ships are the pieces of his writing that he wrote about travel and nature.

He is the writer and editor of Sicily through Writer’s Eyes. A book named “Orison for a curlew” was an excellent piece of his writings that was published in 2015, in which he combined the travel and nature topic altogether. Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot an acclaimed children’s book was also published in 2015.

The experiences of his childhood are described in his first book, “Running for the Hills” (The best seller).

His second book Truant was published in 2008. His third book “A Single Swallow” (Following an epic journey from South Africa to South Wales) was published in 2009.

His first children book,” Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot” was published in 2015 by Firefly.

Clare wrote and edited “Sicily through Writer’s Eyes”, which was an anthology of writings about Sicily, and it played the role of a contributor to the collections Red City: Meeting with Remarkable Muslims and Marrakech through Writer’s Eyes.

The Sunday times, Financial Times, The Observer and Vogue, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and the Sunday Times are the platforms where his Journalism appeared.

He won the Somerset Maugham Award his best-selling masterpiece “Running for the Hills” in 2007. He was also shortlisted for another award named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in the same year for the same masterpiece.

Later on, he was shortlisted for Dolman Best Travel Book Award for “A Single Swallow” in 2010. And in the same year, he won the Foreign Press Association Award for his travel feature 2010 “Rock of Ages – Ethiopian Highlands”

In 2015 he won the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award for Down to the Sea in Ships.

In 2016 he wrote a book for Children name “Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot”, which later on was announced to be the best book of the year and which made him win the Branford Boase Award.

These are the achievement that made him become the excellent author of the era. And he’s an inspiration for the present writers.

That Thing

January 23, 2017

where you are waiting for a table at Russ and Daughters in the Jewish Museum and, bored, you go to take out Portnoy’s Complaint but stop yourself by thinking, “Now this is just a step too far, even for me.”

Good Conversations Yesterday

January 20, 2017

KM: I’m at [redacted], which is usually a good place to work.  But right now [name of famous writer, redacted] is standing three feet away from me, trying to take a selfie in front of the library.  It’s been going on for almost five minutes.  I’m like, “Can you stop being both annoying and incredibly successful RIGHT next to me???”

ID: Ugh!

ID: I think I would have a hard time [at said redacted location] just for being surrounded by people so successful.

ID: #3 on my list of “neuroses to shed in 2017”

KM: No joke.  She’s still doing it.  I think it must be for Snapchat or a video because she keeps saying “books are magic.”


KM: She is remarkably not embarrassed by this.  She’s said it easily 20 times.

KM: Just chipping away at this proposal while this bestseller Snapchats next to me.


ID: I straight up don’t believe in [redacted]

AL: Nope.  Fake news!


ID: From now on whenever anything I disapprove of comes up I’m just going to yell, “Fake news!”

AL: My friend said her 11-year-old now just yells that at her whenever he doesn’t want to do stuff.

New Hobby

January 18, 2017

I think my new favorite hobby is reading “Testimonies of Healing” from the Christian Science Sentinel. 

Diagnosed Dental Problem Healed

As I sat in the dentist’s chair for my yearly checkup, I once again heard how important it was that I make an appointment to have a root canal procedure.  I had heard this urging before at the previous appointment and the supposedly dire consequences of doing nothing.  But I had been doing something: I had been praying.  I had been affirming that my true substance was spiritual and that God was the source of my entire identity and being.

I knew that a decayed tooth was not a spiritual reality but an illusion, a false image of mortal mind.  A material operation would not dispel this illusion, and it was important to me not to simply go along with the seeming reality of matter’s illusive nature.  Now was the time to defeat this lie and to know that God was working out His purpose in me.  I left the dentist’s office, knowing I could lean on God, but I also felt I was at odds with the dentist who was urging a medical procedure.

Moving ahead a year,just before Christmas, I suddenly began to experience pain in the area of my mouth where the dentist had warned me about.  Over the next few hours the pain increased, and the side of my face became swollen.  I prayed the Lord’s Prayer right away and declared: “… as in heaven, so on earth, –– God is omnipotent, supreme” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 17).

Encouraged, yet still in pain, I called a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful treatment.  Today, I don’t remember our conversation, but the love and confidence the practitioner expressed calmed my fear and strengthened my expectation of healing.  Immediately I felt the pain subside, and within a couple of hours the swelling decreased.  By the next day there was no sensation or evidence of the difficulty.

All was well until a couple of weeks later when the pain and swelling returned.  My first impulse was to call the practitioner back, requesting further treatment.  While preparing to make the phone call, I recalled the memory of the dentist standing over me and describing the troubled material picture.  At that point, however, I turned from pondering the memory of this diagnosis and listened instead to hear what divine Mind was communicating to me.

What suddenly and strongly came to thought was that the belief that I had a decayed tooth was a lie.  The disease had always been a mortal belief; my real substance as Spirit’s idea had never lapsed from the harmonious perfection of Mind’s creating.  Whatever diagnosis I’d received, based on the testimony of the material senses, was not the truth about my real substance or identity.

In that moment my realization of the truth was so profound that all fear quickly left and the pain with it.  Within an hour the swelling also disappeared.  It has been more than eight years since that experience, and all continues to be well.

An important lesson I learned from this experience is to be more prompt in rejecting false claims and to affirm all discordant conditions to be a lie.  As our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, tells us, “When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the material senses with divine Science” (Science and Health, p. 390).

At the time of the dentist’s examination and warning, I had been confident that any problem could be in healed in Christian Science, but I had not been immediately vehement in my rejection of the medical claim that was presented to me.  However, through this experience I have learned that it is never too late to stop and listen to the truth that is always present to meet our need immediately.


Art Not Ads

January 13, 2017

In New York, a group is embarking on a year-long project to replace advertisements with works of art.  Genius!  The only issue with it, as far as I can tell right now, is that it’s a little within-the-lines (I’d love to see more people take their Exact-o knives to billboards and getting arrested mid-painting session) and not pervasive enough.  I’d prefer that all ads were eliminated and replaced with artwork, but everyone knows I have wild visions for society…

The campaign was inspired by a giant picture of a surgically enhanced ass:

Caldwell was inspired to start the project after seeing an ad for a $1,000 Brazilian butt lift outside of her Brooklyn apartment last spring. She said, “I laughed it off at first, but the billboard was designed to make me feel self-conscious, and I got tired of it. I became determined to fill my life with art that would make people feel anything else.”

An example:


Reminds me of a few years ago, when I was just out of college, I saw a little piece about an artist, or something, was creating these bumper sticker type things that read, “You don’t need it,” which wannabe renegades like myself could request (for free) in the mail and then smack them onto public advertisements.  I still have my packet somewhere.  While I was walking through the underpass between the A and S trains at 42nd Street I saw these giant iPhone 7 posters, with that instantly recognizable sleek Apple aesthetic, and I thought, “That would be perfect.”  Next time.  (Don’t think I won’t do it.)

Why Her?

January 8, 2017

Just zipped through some of last year’s winning essays in the Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize (really loved “Eulogy for Nigger”) and although I was mostly besotted with Josh Cohen’s “The Incurious Rabbit,” there was one thing I found a bit peculiar.  When he talks about his analysands are struggling with often paralyzing indecision, he uses, for the every-patient, the pronoun “she.”

I can’t help making a link between this generalized cultural condition and the crisis I find recurring more and more often in my psychoanalytic consulting room, of the impossible decision.  Prospective patients come to me in the grip of an urgent yet irresolvable dilemma.  Should I stay in my unhappy marriage for my children’s sake?  Should I leave the stable job I hate for the risk of an uncertain and potentially disastrous new venture?  She appeals to me to help her extricate herself from a swamp of indecision and ambivalence.  But turning over the competing arguments in the session does little to clarify her wish or relieve her anxiety.  In fact, after a few session or many more, she might complain that she’s no clearer about what she wants and that the uncertainty has only become harder to bear.

So, either the Good Doctor Cohen is a) only seeing female patients (weird), b) trying to push back against the historical standard of always assuming every person/character/divine being whose gender is otherwise unspecified must be male or c) saying, in a roundabout way, that women struggle more with pathological indecision than men do.  Votes?


January 3, 2017

Dear Telegraph Newspaper,

I appreciate you giving Hanukah a little ink during Christmas’s relentless reign of glory, but don’t you think it would have been easy enough to publish an explanatory article BEFORE the holiday started?


Yours Truly,