The Next Step


Religion is my endless fascination.  I have studied it throughout my life.  I am convinced  that God is not what religion teaches us He is.  This is why I have decided to write.  God is something other than how we have traditionally imagined him.

My evidence lies in an argument I am composing.  I am analyzing Christian and Islamic theology within the context of logic.  The Christian half  of my analysis is completed.  But because I am not Muslim, I needed better knowledge of the subject of Islam.  So I bought the Kindle version of The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner K. Dagli, Maria Massi Dakake, Joseph E.B. Lumbard, and Mohammed Rustom.

I have been taking notes as I read the book. My argument develops out of this exercise.  Work this week has been good.


I have been suffering writer’s block.  All kinds of false starts as I attempt to write for my blog.  However, I can defeat it by lowering my standards.  So here goes.


I have no problem with the act of writing itself.  Every day I sit down with my journal and fill it with words.  But when I write for my blog, my creativity is stifled.  So, as a solution I have bound and gagged my internal editor and stuck him in another room.

I have also defined a very limited scope for my blog.  It removes all of the stress over what to say.  This should be so simple.  Each week, I have to do something to get published, or I have to explain my failure to do some thing.  Each week going forward, blogging should now be an act of stating the obvious.

So today, I will bring everyone up to date.  This past summer I went to a writing conference in Tucson.  It was my fourth conference in about seven years.  But it was the first in which I submitted a manuscript to be read by an agent.  The agent gave me some excellent feedback.

First, he told me there was absolutely no chance he would represent me.  He laid out the type of work he is looking for, and I definitely do not fit his niche.  Hearing that was reassuring.  Because I went in with the idea that an agent would tell me some ugly truths I needed to hear.  So this meeting turned out to be very productive.

The agent pointed out that my manuscript was non-fiction.  He said that anyone can get published if they can write fiction well.  But in non-fiction, publishers want credentialed writers.  He suggested that a resume of magazine and journal articles would greatly help my cause.  He also suggested that the first chapter of my manuscript would stand well on its own as a magazine piece.

So my goal this year is to begin publishing articles.  My first goal is to complete a companion piece for an article based on my first chapter. Then, to re-write the original article to support this second piece.  Then, to find a home for these two essays.

Hitting a wall


I spoke about patterns in my last post, before sharing some resolutions for the new year.  I am the type of person who notices patterns.  I have a mathematical mind.  I analyze things.  Today I would like to analyze the physical collapse I managed to survive in the past few years.  I have rebounded enough to begin putting things into perspective.

Myotonic dystrophy is a slow progressing disease.  I noticed my first symptom 26 years ago.  But only in 2011 did I finally tell my doctor that I thought something was wrong with me.  Each year for more than a quarter century I lost a percentage of my strength.  But I had to reach the point of collapse before I cried for help.  Looking back, I can see the role that nutrition and diet played in hastening my collapse, and magnifying the entire ordeal for me.

I aspire to eat healthy.  So those periods where I did not eat healthy stand in stark contrast in my mind.  Looking back, I have to wonder, what was I thinking?  What the hell was I thinking when I began eating at McDonalds?  (True.  The first time, back in the 1960’s, it was a treat.  Probably more for my mom, who didn’t need to cook that meal.  She prepared all the others.  I can’t blame her for allowing it to become something of a habit.  I let that happen.)

When I was in my 30s, I abused fast food.  I allowed it to become a routine part of my diet.  I allowed it to become normal.  (What the hell was I thinking?)  Back then, it seemed at times I was too busy to bother with trying to eat healthy.  Sometimes, just trying to eat and keep my pace up was all I could do.  I had too much on my plate to leave room for healthy food.  I was very driven.  (Still am.)

Because I could burn through calories so easily in my youth, the first effects of this period of unhealthy eating did not show right away.   And so, the habit unwittingly became ingrained in my repertoire of coping and survival behaviors.  However.  One cannot forever ignore the consequences of poor nutrition.  They show up sooner or later.

A few years later, my weight ballooned.  I am a shade under 5’10”.  When I eat healthy, my weight stays around 140 now, less in my youth.  As fast food crept into my diet, my weight began climbing.  Imperceptibly at first.  My low point came in my mid-30s when I reached 195.  On some people of my height, 195 doesn’t look bad.  On me, it went disproportionately to my gut.  I resembled my junior high track coach.  A man – pregnant with basketball.  (I hope he rediscovered healthy food before I did.)  Thus began my battle with weight.

My 40s was a decade of marriage.  A am grateful to my  ex for all her wonderful meals.  She knew more about nutrition than I did.  She prepared healthy food.  But by this point, I was addicted to the flavors of fast and junk.  My problem wasn’t her meals.  My problem were the choices I made when eating meals on my own, and snacking.

We separated in 2010.  On my own again, I knew I had to eat better.  And this is where I will leave the tale for today.  One year before telling my doctor I knew something was wrong with my health.