Reading in Black and White

            As an author, I hesitate to share why I wrote my novel, Seen.             As my longtime writing mentor and friend, John Boles, has taught me, “It doesn’t matter what you intend; what matters is what people get from the page.” His workshops have helped me get my pages much closer to what IContinue reading “Reading in Black and White”

Of Ax Handles and Olive Branches

In Springfield Park in Jacksonville, there is a statue. Known as a “Monument to the Women of the Confederacy,” it depicts a white woman and her two children. Like many confederate memorials erected in the post-Reconstruction era, like many schools named for confederate generals in the Jim Crow era, sculptor Allen G. Newman’s Springfield remnantContinue reading “Of Ax Handles and Olive Branches”

Thus far on the way

            I’m no expert on being “woke.” I’m still working on my anti-racism. But I’ve been on this earth for 56 years and I know one thing: nothing’s going to “cancel” me. As white people stumble forward in our conversations about race, we depend on our friends—Black people, indigenous people, people of color—to get usContinue reading “Thus far on the way”

An Epiphany that will live in infamy?

January 18, 2021 There’s nothing bluer than a clear, January sky in Jacksonville, Florida—I imagine it a sapphire background upon which the season’s liturgy is etched. Catholics and Episcopalians (like me) observe the day of Epiphany twelve days after Christmas, on January 6. It’s also known as “Three Kings Day,” as it memorializes the Magi’sContinue reading “An Epiphany that will live in infamy?”

Star-Spangled Healing

November 16, 2020 No matter whom you voted for, there’s enough anger, frustration, and exhaustion to go around. Voters who cast their ballots against Biden–those who couldn’t digest the left chanting, “Defund the police,” for example–are keeping their eyes on the Crackerjack prize. Talk to many of 45’s voters and they’ll tell you: They’re wellContinue reading “Star-Spangled Healing”

The Deadliest One

A message about Anorexia Nervosa October 2, 2020 Anne Schindler of First Coast News reports Kimberly Kessler, a Nassau County inmate charged with first degree murder, is in danger of dying of starvation. Corrections personnel are seeking a court order to force-feed her. Her starvation is not the fault of the corrections staff, nor isContinue reading “The Deadliest One”

Real leaders cultivate hope, not fear.

September 16, 2020 Here’s my response, as published in today’s Florida Times Union, to Rep. Jason Fischer’s race-baiting, fearmongering editorial, to which I will not provide a link. Column: Fischer unfairly linked protesters with rioters In his Sunday guest column, Rep. Jason Fischer’s writes “Pandering to the woke will not protect you”—just the kind ofContinue reading “Real leaders cultivate hope, not fear.”

Nineteen years later, we still don’t know.

A reflection on what the autism community and the rest of humanity might have lost on that bright Tuesday morning. September 11, 2020 On that Florida blue-sky morning nineteen years ago, I was researching autism online when my mother-in-law called me with the unthinkable news. Switching websites, I saw the still photos of the smoking,Continue reading “Nineteen years later, we still don’t know.”

Florida: The Magical Thinking Kingdom

August 18, 2020 Most of us are familiar with the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. I’m here to write about the Mickey Mouse regime in Tallahassee. Late in July, the Florida Department of Education sent a letter to Duval County Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene denying the district’s request to suspend active shooter drills during the COVID-19Continue reading “Florida: The Magical Thinking Kingdom”

From Morning to Mourning in America

My “Dear John” Letter to Reaganism August 11, 2020 I almost lost a friend. In these contentious times—when protests, a global pandemic, and an economic depression have us all on edge—the last thing anyone needs is a Twitter blowout. I became guilty of something I charge my children with: over-relying on forms of communication thatContinue reading “From Morning to Mourning in America”