Dead for Eleven Seconds

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I died on September 19, a complication of aortic valve replacement surgery. (Please read my previous blog, “The Clock is Ticking,” for context.) I was only out for eleven seconds, thanks to a cardiac arrest that happened the day after surgery when the medical team sat me up in a chair. Fortunately, the nurse with…
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The Best Answer Might be “No”

All of us who create anything are subject to unsolicited feedback. Business guru Seth Godin just might have the best answer, as described in his recent blog: “Do you want to know what I think?” The best answer might be “no.” Because this person is not very good at offering useful feedback. Because you didn’t…
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I Don’t Trust Happiness

Happiness, as a metric for a successful life, is a wrong-headed choice and one that leads, ironically, to unhappiness. (Note: I don’t trust unhappiness either.) Sure, the Founding Fathers took great pains to include it in the Declaration of Independence, along with life and liberty — two gauges I can get behind. If we’re getting picky here,…
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The Joy of Irrelevance

When I’m not writing my own stuff, I’m ghostwriting for others. It’s a paid gig, strictly transactional. For aspiring ghostwriters, if you’re looking for credit, props, ego gratification, you’d better find another line of work. If you’re looking for a decent payday without a lot of heavy lifting, there are certainly worse ways to make…
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The Wrong People are Dead

At the beginning of the pandemic, when COVID ended the life of brilliant singer/songwriter John Prine, I posted the following to social media: “The wrong people are dead.” My comment was a paraphrase of a line from comedian George Carlin, who famously said, “The wrong two Beatles are dead.” (One of the few times I…
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I Wrote This (Not Some Bot)

I recently spoke to a college English class about writing, after which I fielded the inevitable questions about ChatGPT. In case you’ve missed all the hubbub, ChatGPT, according to the website gizmodo.com, is an “artificial intelligence tool that allows a user to generate original text. You can ask it questions, give it creative prompts, and use…
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Lazy Words

Words like walk, run, talk, write and eat are all perfectly serviceable representatives of the English language, specifically card-carrying members of the verb family. But a little generic, dontcha think? Why settle for the first word that comes to mind, when with a sprinkle of awareness and a pinch of panache, you can do so…
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“Very” is Very Unnecessary

With thanks to marketing guru Seth Godin for the following thoughts: Avoid unnecessary amplifiers This is extremely unique vs This is unique I’m very upset vs I’m upset and I love you a ton vs I love you Sometimes, more words aren’t better.  
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Ten Comm Scorecard

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I’m not a religious man. On the contrary, I think organized religion is responsible for most of the world’s problems, large and small, past and present. That’s not an original thought by any means, but it feels good to get it off my chest and on the record. That being said, I try to live…
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Get Back, Loretta

I may be the last Beatles fan in the world to have seen Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking Get Back documentary. At eight hours, I wanted to view it in two or three satisfying chunks, rather than losing the impact in dribs and drabs. But life kept getting in the way. Finally, I got so tired of…
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