Category Archives: Memoirs

Good News

As I’ve said in other places, getting published is like being visible and invisible at the same time. Today, March 1st, 2014, is the absolutely, positively official  launch date of my memoir, Catholic by Choice. It’s been a long road. We’ll see where it takes me. I keep in mind the same invisible visibility of any book, and I remember a passage in the memoir where I talk about being a new author:

Then my first book, The Glass Children, was accepted by a university press. When it came out, I expected the traffic in Manhattan to stop, people reading my book on every street corner, millions staying home from work to savor every line. Congratulations would pour in, and the telephone would start ringing constantly as a grateful and astonished world beat a path to my door.

 As it was, the book was reviewed twice, then disappeared from the face of the earth. Like many other less-than-best-selling authors, I wanted to put the cover on milk cartons: “Have You Seen This Book?”

Looking back, I can smile. That book was poetry, and as we all know, nobody reads poetry. (More about that later. I, too, can’t stand it.) Still, I was hoping for more than just a brief eddy in the stream. With this book, I’m also hoping for more but for different reasons. This book is not autobiography; it’s about something larger — good news that I want to share. A memoir  worth reading is not about the person who wrote it.




Of Monks, Conversion, and Radio Astronomy, Part 2

Continued from Part One

On my second day at the abbey, I bounced around, trying to listen, to feel, to be in the moment like Carmen advised. It was a tough slog.

“Waste time. Waste time,” I told myself, checking my watch.

At lunch with the brothers, I casually mentioned that I was in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) now. I waited for congratulations but everyone just nodded. One of the brothers asked, “Have you seen the library? You might find that useful.”


Of Monks, Conversion, and Radio Astronomy, Part 1

In the middle of life, I fell in love. For my forty-ninth birthday, my wife Lauren gave me a three-day visit by myself at a monastery in South Texas. I went there simply to read for a while and relax. I wasn’t a believer in much of anything, I wasn’t religious, and while I was there, I didn’t see any visions or hear voices.

But when I came back, I was on a path. Something had happened. An invisible hand was pressing me in the small of my back, propelling me forward.