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Breaking Into Print
June 29, 2010
Somewhere in the course of my most recent transformation, I decided to earn a living as a communications consultant. The only problem: I had nothing in print. And so I started a blog.

I learned that writing is not easy; that the most important key is delete; and that no matter how many times you proof an essay before publishing it, the final version will inevitably contain slips.

But publishing a blog is not being in print. I needed validation beyond the small cadre of family and friends who read my blogs. And so I wrote a letter to the New York Times Magazine, commenting on an article that appeared that Sunday. To my amazement, they not only published it, but printed it first among a list of letters commenting on the article. Now I was in print.

Just to make sure that the Times letter wasn't a fluke, a week later I sent a letter to Newsday, commenting on a story about a woman who drove her van into a house, killing its owner. Bingo: published again.

Having gone two for two, I decided not to test my luck any further, and got on with the business of writing for the Department of Psychiatry at Stony Brook.

In case the links do not work...

New York Times Magazine

April 8, 2010

LETTERS: Losing It

Dominique Browning's chronicle of her descent into and return from despair offers a message of hope to all of us whose jobs have been wrested away. She identifies the deepest insults inflicted by involuntary unemployment — the disruption of the basic routines of eating and sleeping, the awful aloneness, the doubts, the drift. She takes us with her all the way to the bottom where, face to face with nothing, she drinks a toast to life. Her account of selling the family home is a reminder that breaking with the past is not easy, but her description of her new life in Rhode Island is a testament to the healing powers of nature, music and great books. She seems to have recovered the "I" on her keyboard as well as the "I" in her life. She lost her job but found herself.


April 23, 2010

That Kayla Gerdes was high on Xanax and oxycodone does not relieve her of responsibility for the death of Rebecca Twine ["Anger, grief, apology," News, April 22], but what about the managers and medical director of the insurance company who denied payment for Gerdes' rehabilitation after only seven days?

But for their actions, she would have been in her eighth day of treatment, rather than behind the wheel of a van. It is time that the agents of insurance companies who deny payment for needed medical services be held accountable for their decisions.