I was going through some boxes and came across some tear sheets from articles and columns done many years ago. I saw this one and thought you might enjoy Jerry's take on writing using computers.  He and computers had a very rocky relationship. Whereas he could beat a manual typewriter to near death, hammering away at the keys with two fingers and slamming the carriage return lever, he was always concerned as to what he could destroy on a computer.  He never cared about all the wonderful, time-saving things these plastic boxes could do for him.  All he wanted to do was type.

Sorry about the quality and size of the print but I think squinting through this will be worth the effort.       







In early history our ancestors would huddle around a fire under the starry sky or deep within a cave somewhere, safe from predators, and tell tales of previous hunts and the bravery and agility of their finest young men. Perhaps stories were told explaining the objects in the sky above them. Possibly stories were passed on to the next generation, eager to understand the cycle of life and death.

The ancient Romans loved to throw dinner parties where their guests, who were required to bring their own napkins, would be served a wide array of delicacies, many of which would not necessarily appeal to our more modern tastes.  Either in between courses or after everyone had partaken as much as they could that evening, entertainment would be offered that might include musicians playing the top ten of the day, dancing women, acrobats or someone reciting poetry or popular literature. Table top discussions would probably revolve around sports figures, popular performers of the day and, after a few more drinks, politics.

Family histories were passed down through generations by means of the spoken word.  Experiences were retold that were either pleasurable or of a more dangerous nature which others might learn needed to be avoided.  Thoughts were able to be exchanged and ideas expanded upon or challenged by means of verbal communication. Understanding each other brought us together and we became part of an expanding civilization.

Once the written word became commonplace, our world was opened up for us to explore.  A thought could travel around the globe; histories of different cultures gave us a better understanding of what makes up our planet through ideas and poetry and literature that were now available to all.  We could read the plays of Shakespeare, follow dissertations of religious leaders and even try to understand and discuss the writings of influential political activists of the day. 

The next great creation that made our world significantly smaller and more accessible is the telephone.  The very idea of being able to pick up a plastic device, dial or tap in a set of numbers and then talk to another human being anywhere on the planet is just mind boggling!  In the few seconds that it takes to make that call you can make the recipient happy or sad, exchange important information, start a relationship or any number of things.  You can hear each other’s voice.  You have made a human connection.

The next major progression in communications would be the internet.  All the information known to mankind is now just a click away as long as your provider is available.  Google can answer any question you can think of and then a lot more.  There’s more information ready to be obtained than you can possibly use or even need.  There’s a lot of misinformation out there that you shouldn’t use but, many time, sounds much more interesting. 

Facebook and Twitter are our modern social clubs where we show pictures of our kids and grandkids, discuss our aches and pains and surgeries and give out more about ourselves than we should let people in on. I think this means that we have come full circle from the non-verbal communicator striving to make his ideas known to the tribe.  We have the knowledge and the ability to put forth our wildest ideas and deepest thoughts.  Then will you please tell me why we have lowered ourselves to communicating via happy and sad faces pasted onto wordless messages???




I just wanted to let you know that I was interviewed by YA author, Phillip Carroll and the podcast is now live.  Please check it out at

We talked a little about the SURVIVALIST series and about the new series that will be out shortly called CAMP ZERO, where we follow the adventures of the next generation of survivalists and see what kinds of trouble they can get into.  The entire world is going from good to horribly bad and the Rourkes know that their children need special training in order to live through the upcoming chaos.  And, as always, John Thomas Rourke has planned ahead for their survival.  OR HAS HE!




I am in a much better frame of mind since getting rid of my giant purple cast a few days ago and replacing it with an enormous grey boot.  If they need any extras for the next Iron Man movie I have it made!  All bets are off now; I kept my promise to my kids not to use the stairs without supervision but now I’m free to take the plunge.  That may not have been a good choice of words! 

The morning after my doctor’s appointment I approached the stairs, looking down one flight of steps, the front door, then, another flight of badly in need of paint wooden stairs outside that would get me onto the sidewalk.  I paused.  Once more I looked at the first flight to the landing in front of the door and then, leaning over a bit, I surveyed the second landing that would take me to my office.  Better to think about this over breakfast, I thought.  As the day wore on I found plenty of things to do in the house and spent way too much time walking and standing and getting accustomed to my new awkward gait.  Day Two I took my time and made it down into the office unscathed and ready to do six weeks worth of catch up. Now all I need is a little concentration and incentive although I guess I haven’t missed too much during my time of exile.

The year is starting pretty much like the last one ended.  There are a lot of people we don’t really like trying to convince us that they should be our country’s leader and that THEY know best how to take care of us.  So far I’m not impressed.  Race has become a bigger issue than quality of performance regarding the movie and television business.  We’re happy that gasoline prices are dropping at the pumps. We’re upset that the dropping gasoline prices are hurting the stock market and dragging down our 401Ks. The first female member of a NFL coaching staff has been hired,

 After basking in a warmer that usual fall and early winter, many of us got hit with a giant blizzard.  While the snowflakes fell, I stayed warm and cozy snuggled up with Shelby watching a Guns N Roses concert from 2002. I was indeed thankful to have a safe haven in which to escape the storm and appreciative of those whose jobs required them to be out in such nasty weather.

The start of a new year always brings a certain amount of uncertainty but 2016 may be a real humdinger.  Will the entire world be wrapped in a freeze this winter or will the alien invasion promised us by certain X File investigators get here first?  Who will fight their way to the top of the dung heap of both major political parties and become President of our country. You noticed I didn’t use the phrase “United States.”  Will former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg throw himself into the race as an independent and add more chaos and drama to the mix?  Have you heard yet if your local Wal-Mart will be staying in your area or closing down?  Who will be the final winner of American Idol?  These questions will all be answered in 2016 along with many more!




As I look out the window on this wet winter’s day, my thoughts turn to a song written in 1964 by one of my favorite singers/composers, Charles Aznavour.   It laments the time we wasted in our younger years that we can never reclaim and how we will look back on our wasted youth with sadness.
  The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I always built, alas, on weak and shifting sand.

As 2015 lingers for just a few more days, there are many of us who feel that there is so much more to do, more promises to be kept and much more to accomplish before the year fades away making room for the start of yet another.  Regardless of whether we believe that our glass is half full or half empty, the fact remains that the glass is still only filled half way.  We agonize over the one bad grade our child got on an essay that we helped them with.  We could have helped a friend get past a bad situation more easily if we had shown more compassion.  We should have been able to erase a loved one’s pain.  
Like the rest of us, I have my regrets for the year.  I didn’t get nearly as far with some writing projects as I had hoped to.  Some home repairs and painting stalled out although I can still partially blame the cruddy weather we’ve had most of the year.  I counted on December to be my catch up and do it all month, to fill that glass to the top before the year’s end!
Unfortunately, my year end to do list didn’t include standing on a grassy embankment covered over with frost late at night, sliding and falling and breaking my leg.  It was one of life’s little surprises, I suppose.  As I sat there on the cold ground calling 911 with Shelby by my side I realized that my glass might end up a few drops short of my goal.
Luckily, I suffered two clean breaks which should heal without any difficulty except for my not being able to put any weight on that leg for a mandatory amount of time.  Unluckily, I live in a split level house that requires me to walk down two series of stairs to either get into my office or to get out of my house.  So, I can’t go to work and I can’t go out and about on my own.  I stare down at those steps many times each day knowing that I could make it down and back up without anyone being the wiser but, I promised some people that love me that I would stay put unless they were there to spot me.  So far I’ve kept that promise.
Life has slowed down for me since the fall.  It takes me longer to get ready in the morning and to get from point A to point B while still remembering why I wanted to go to point B. I’ve found creative ways to pick up items from the floor and to cook without setting myself on fire.  My patience hasn’t improved at all but I don’t think anything can change that.  With help from family and friends, I know I will get through this temporary setback and that my life will go back to semi-normalcy.  
Aznavour’s song ends with these words.
…The time has come for me to pay for yesterday
When I was young.
I’m sure we will all pay for our yesterdays but I would rather concentrate on my tomorrows.  2015 is coming to a close and a brand new year is fast approaching.  What we have or haven’t done is in our past, and 2016 is a clean slate. I will try to fill the entire year with projects and adventure. Before I’m ready to pay for my yesterdays I want to add a lot more of them to the list.  Remember yesterday but don’t think you’re too old for your tomorrows.
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