FacebookTwitter

Blog

#WriterWednesday Tips: “There’s No Point”

Posted by on 6:04 pm in Fiction Writing | 0 comments

There’s no point trying to write when you’re tired.

There’s no point trying to write when you’re inebriated; you are not Ian Fleming.

There’s no point trying to write when people in the room are expecting you to be attentive to their presence.

There’s no point trying to write when you don’t know what you want to write.

There’s no point trying to write if you don’t want to write.

There’s no point trying to write if you think it’s going to be easy to write.

There’s no point trying to write if you think whatever you write is holy.

There’s no point trying to write if you aren’t sincerely open to criticism.

There’s no point trying to write if you think you won’t need to re-write.

There’s no point trying to write if you don’t take pride in what you write.

There’s no point trying to write if you’re not prepared to have your writing define you.

 

So when you’re struggling to take a writing day and these recurring thoughts are interrupting you, “know thyself” and wait for a more opportune time.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: September 5: 30-second Read from Miracle Man

September 5: 30-second Read from Miracle Man

Posted by on 8:53 pm in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

Fall is a time of reflection for many people, and this week’s excerpt echoes that sentiment now that we’re moving into September. In the following teaser you’ll get a look into the existential side of Miracle Man, and into protagonist Robert James Austin’s meditations on faith and the universe.

 

There is a force of negativity and destruction in the universe. Highly efficient and infinitely resourceful, it empowers and leads. It gives diseases their resiliency, their tenacity, their propensity to reinvent themselves, resist treatments, regenerate and defensively mutate. It propels them. This force is not a neutral physical phenomenon. It’s an evil —an active and pervasive evil. Are you surprised by this? Don’t be. There is balance in the universe. That is the immutable law that governs what otherwise would be chaos. Everything has its reciprocal, its opposite. Do you believe in God? I do. Well, you can’t have just that.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: August 29: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

August 29: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

Posted by on 5:36 pm in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In this week’s 60-second read we see how protagonist Robert James Austin’s accomplishments in finding cures for previously terminal diseases bring controversy, protest, and… Unity?

Walking toward Tufts, Bobby saw a large crowd of people gathered in front of the main gates. This was a sight that had become all too familiar to him over the last few months. He put on his sunglasses and pulled down hard on the visor of his baseball cap.

Their overhead lights flashing, five police cars were askew in front of the main entrance to Tufts, and at least fifteen officers and a dozen campus security guards were trying to contain fifty or more demonstrators who were intent on blocking the campus entrance. A remote broadcasting truck from one of the local television stations was also on the scene. Some of the demonstrators were picketing with placards that said “Stop Austin Now” and “Let God Decide.” Others were waving signs and chanting, “Austin Will Bring His Wrath.” As Bobby weaved through the crowd, he looked like any other student trying to make his way to class. Having eschewed the media and avoided being photographed for years, no one outside of a small circle knew what he looked like. As a leaflet was thrust into his hand that was titled, “God Has A Plan,” Bobby noticed that someone had splattered the ornate wrought iron gates with red paint.

Other than their disdain for Bobby, the demonstrators had little in common. But Bobby’s accomplishments had managed to unite Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslim Fundamentalists, Scientologists and Pentecostalists. But the largest contingent was comprised of an angry looking group, dressed in pseudo-military garb, who were rhythmically shouting, “The Anti-Christ Works Here.” They were members of a radical organization called RASI which was an acronym for Retribution Against Scientific Interference. RASI advocated violent opposition to modern medicine which it believed to be contrary to the ordained natural order of life and God’s divine plan.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: See Big Pharma Through the Eyes of a CEO, Antagonist Colum McAlister

See Big Pharma Through the Eyes of a CEO, Antagonist Colum McAlister

Posted by on 3:20 pm in Big Pharma, Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In the following excerpt of Miracle Man, we get an inside look at big pharma through the eyes of a CEO of a pharmaceutical company, antagonist Colum McAlister. We meet McAlister for the first time and get a vision of all he represents:

 

Colum McAlister was the CEO of Bushings. Standing six feet tall and at one hundred seventy pounds, he was trim and in good shape for a man of sixty-three. Working-out every day under the supervision of his personal trainer in the private gym of his office suite helped in that respect. He had a perennial tan and his sparse silver hair was perfectly groomed, as were his manicured highly polished finger nails. His complexion had the toned radiance usually reserved to movie stars and only obtained through a regimen of weekly facial treatments. He dressed in “bespoke” shirts, suits and neckties from Saville Row and his shoes were custom made in Italy. His gold and sapphire Cartier cuff-links and tie-pin perfectly complemented his gray suit and pale blue monogrammed shirt. The only items that he was wearing which weren’t personally created for him were his argyle socks, underwear and Hermes belt. Even his pink gold Patek Philippe wristwatch was custom designed at a cost of almost two hundred thousand dollars, a sixtieth birthday gift from his wife. While McAlister’s appearance had been painstakingly tooled, there was an inherent roughness to the man which was discernible in his eyes and the way he carried himself. The street fighting kid who grew up in one of Brooklyn’s worst neighborhoods wasn’t far beneath the polished veneer.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

 

Related: What the Face of Big Pharma Truly Looks Like, a Look at Protagonist Colum McAlister

 

August 15: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

Posted by on 1:00 pm in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

For anti-celebrity Robert James Austin life hasn’t always been perfect. Before he became a “miracle man” he overcame a traumatic childhood, and in this week’s 60-second read we not only get a glimpse into that childhood, we also see him begin to come to into himself as he accepts a new home: Harvard University.

 

Struggling to breathe in the stifling darkness of the garbage bag, a paralyzing sense of helplessness overwhelmed the infant. As the putrid odor of decay in the dumpster permeated the air, Bobby was jostled by the bloated bodies of scurrying rats slamming against the garbage bag in their frenetic search for an entrance point. He felt the wind and rain pelt and pull at the bag and threaten to dislodge it from its perilous perch, toppling him into the vermin ridden dumpster. Completely alone, he screamed.

Gasping for breath, his chest, face and hair drenched with sweat, his hands trembling, Bobby awakened from his night terror. Feeling like he was burning up with fever, he dragged himself into the bathroom, pulled off his clothing and lay naked on the cold bathroom floor, sweating and shivering simultaneously. Afraid he was going to pass out, he grasped the toilet seat, pulled himself up to a wobbly standing position and guided himself back toward his bedroom vanity where he grabbed a bottle of Vodka and gulped down half of it, searing his throat.

He gave up trying to sleep any more that night. In the darkness, he made his way on the mass transit system to Harvard. His head buried in his hands, he sat on the steps of Massachusetts Hall for four hours waiting for it to open. Finally, when it did, Bobby walked down the long marble corridor feeling an odd combination of despair and optimism. He pumped himself up. They love me here. I’ve helped so many of the professors for so long. They won’t want me to go. They need me around. They’re not going to throw me out. I’m part of the family.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: August 8: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

August 8: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

Posted by on 3:55 pm in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In this week’s 60-second read we meet Orin Varneys, Director of OSSIS (the Office of Special Strategic Intelligence Services), and get a look into the formative relationship between him and protagonist Bobby Austin.

 

Director Varneys’ office was impressive by anyone’s standards, but Varneys radiated such imposing authority and gravitas that he overshadowed it. Orin Varneys stood five feet seven inches tall and appeared to be in his mid-forties. Although portly now, his build was still so broad and thick that no one would be surprised to learn that he went through college on a wrestling scholarship. His almost square head was far too large for his body and looked suitable for mounting in a hunting lodge. Thinning black hair was oiled and combed straight back, and his small dark eyes were set wide on his head, almost like a fish. His mouth was a long lateral slit with no discernible lips and his ears were large, swollen looking items. While his teeth were peculiarly small, he appeared to have many more than was usual and they were badly stained, probably from too much cigar smoking.

Varneys rose from the chair behind his ebony Louis XVI desk and motioned perfunctorily to Uhlman and Bobby to take the two seats in front of him. They sat down, as he did, and Varneys proceeded to just stare at Bobby. He said nothing to him. He just kept staring intently at him with his shiny dark eyes. He propped his left elbow on the desk, rested his chin in his left hand and then stared some more. When a seemingly inordinate amount of time had passed, Varneys said, “So, finally, I meet Robert James Austin. John, why didn’t you let Austin and me get together years ago? Shame on you.” Varneys laughed. Uhlman managed a mechanical smile.

“You know, director, on the trip to D.C., I was thinking how strange it is,” Bobby said. “You’re a person whose had such a major influence on my life, and yet we’ve never met or even spoken with each other. You came into my life at age five and now I’m twenty. All these years have passed. That’s quite extraordinary when you think about it.”

“I prefer to be behind the camera. That’s where I perform best.”

“I see. You’re the wizard behind the curtain. The puppet master.”

“I don’t see myself that way. But I understand the analogy. I have a job to do and I try to do it as effectively as possible.”

 

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: August 1: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

August 1: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

Posted by on 6:25 pm in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

It’s already August, the last full month of summer, and many are starting to look back at memories of this past summer. In that spirit I wanted this week’s 60-second read to echo that sentiment of reflection. The following excerpt of Miracle Man takes a look at protagonist Robert James Austin’s tough start, as he dreams about his rocky entry into the world.

 

Eventually, Bobby fell asleep. It didn’t take long for the nightmares to kick-in with full force and now there was new material with which he could be terrorized. It was as if he were there at his own birth watching it all unfold, his newborn cries echoing eerily through an abandoned factory building in which his mother, a teenage drug addict, lay on a blood stained blanket on the cold concrete floor. His cries seemed so small, so inconsequential, so pitiful as they reverberated through the decrepit cavernous structure. There was no welcome for him. No teary eyed parents, filled with gratitude and wonderment. No doctors and nursing staff officiously performing their duties. No incubator to warm its new occupant. There was only silence punctuated by the urgent cries of a tiny human being thrust into a world that didn’t want or need him.

A nursing student, a friend of the mother, he presumed, did her best to clean him with the paper towels and bottled water she pulled out of a bag from a convenience store. With difficulty, she cut his umbilical cord with a cheap scissor. She triple-wrapped him from head to toe in a too-big bed sheet she had taken from the hospital where she studied. Only his doll-like face remained visible. His mother didn’t want to hold him or even look at him, and she didn’t seem to be in very good shape after the birth. The father—-well who knew who the father was anyway? The bedraggled young man who was standing there, shifting nervously, perspiration pouring out of his pasty face, wasn’t acting like the baby was his.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: July 25: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

July 25: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

Posted by on 3:48 pm in Big Pharma, Book Excerpts | 0 comments

For this week’s excerpt of Miracle Man we delve into Bobby’s struggle against big pharma, and his motivation to transform into a true “Miracle Man” by curing diseases that big pharma wished to treat, not cure.

 

Over the next few months, Bobby immersed himself in researching various diseases and the progress that had been made in science’s efforts to find cures. He was dismayed. Tens of billions of dollars had been spent on research and where were the cures? No major disease had been cured in decades. Research seemed to be fragmented, unfocused and uncoordinated, with much duplication of effort, and researchers going off on their own tangents, distracted by forays into matters of general academic interest. Cure research appeared to be a self-perpetuating industry of its own with no sense of urgency but lots of people making a living from it. And more often than not, the thrust was not to find a cure, but to create a treatment—a product that could be sold. Ongoing treatments with drugs rather than cures seemed to be the focal point. Keep selling those pills day after day rather than eradicate the need for them. Was that cynicism or reality? Bobby didn’t know.

 

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

Related: 4 Quotes from “Miracle Man” Robert James Austin that Unmask Big Pharma

July 11: 60-Second Read From “Miracle Man”

Posted by on 5:13 pm in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In this week’s 60-second read protagonist Robert James Austin’s potential is unveiled during his first official round of IQ testing. His foster parents, Edith and Peter, learn from Dr. John Uhlman just how smart Austin, their little “Miracle Man,” really is:

 

Uhlman leaned further forward and tapped his desk with his forefinger for emphasis as he spoke. “The results of the exams are nothing short of astounding. Robert is like the Grand Canyon; he’s one-of-a-kind. I don’t believe there has ever been anyone who possesses the magnitude of raw intelligence that Robert has.”

“How can that be?” asked Peter as he shook his head from side to side.

Uhlman sat back in his chair. “Frankly, we don’t know. There’s no plausible explanation for something like this. The more we study human intelligence, the more we realize how little we know.”

“Well, what does that mean in practical terms?” Peter asked.

Uhlman handed Peter and Edith a sheet of paper. “Here’s a list of some of the great geniuses in history and their actual tested IQs, or comparative-history determined IQs, based on Catharine Cox’ renown analysis. These are widely accepted in the scientific community as being accurate.” Edith and Peter read the names and the corresponding number:

 

William Sidis: 300

Johann Von Goethe: 225

Leonardo da Vinci: 225

Kim Ung-Yong: 210

Nathan Leopold: 210

Hypatia: 210

Christopher Langan: 210

Emanuel Swedenborg: 205

Gottfried Leibniz: 205

Francis Galton: 200

Michael Kearney: 200

John Stuart Mill: 200

Hugo Grotius: 200

Thomas Wolsey: 200

Michael Grost: 200

Isaac Newton: 190

Albert Einstein: 180

 

Uhlman continued, “Now, in comparison, Robert’s IQ is so high that we here at Mayo can’t accurately quantify it, and Drs. Draper, Knoll and Massey reached the same conclusion. And I have to tell you, if you’ll excuse the immodesty, that my staff and I are at the pinnacle of expertise in the field of intelligence measurement.”

“Do you have any idea?” asked Peter.

“We can only begin to estimate Robert’s minimum intelligence. This we put at 550-600, but I’m confident that this is inordinately minimized. Now in IQ terms, every fifteen points higher is a standard deviation off the mean, which means that a 200 or 300 point differential in IQ between Robert and the highest person on the list, William Siddis, represents not just twice, but a quantum leap in the intelligence level. A veritable different species altogether.”

“How could this happen? It just doesn’t make any sense,” Edith said.

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

 

Related: June 27: 60-Second Read From “Miracle Man” 

 

What the Face of Big Pharma Truly Looks Like, a Look at Protagonist Colum McAlister

Posted by on 9:11 pm in Big Pharma, Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In the following excerpt of Miracle Man, big pharma is given a human face through antagonist Colum McAlister, CEO of the pharma company Bushings, who rallies his colleagues against the scientific advances of Robert James Austin:

 

Framed by the library’s imposing fireplace, McAlister spoke as if Obermeir had never uttered a word. “Gentlemen, I love our industry and I know you do too. I’ve given my life to it. I started out as a stock boy at a warehouse loading dock when I was seventeen. And now, Austin is destroying our business. Nobody knows who this guy is or where he came from. Some say he’s a mutant. For all we know, he’s an alien. But who cares? He’s going to cost a million people their jobs and destroy the nest-eggs of tens of millions of our shareholders. If he keeps going on like he has—the only thing left for us to manufacture will be tampons and laxatives. So we have to confront realities. We’ve been entrusted to run our companies and to do what’s best for our shareholders. That’s our job and we’re paid well to do it. Austin’s our competitor and we have to beat him. It’s really no more complicated than that. I hope I have your support.”

With the exception of Obermeir, all of the CEOs present agreed that Robert James Austin was the enemy and the enemy had to be stopped.

 

 

For more, you can purchase the book here.

 

Related: June 27: 60-Second Read From Miracle Man