Real Family Values

Secret Lives is about 150,000 words long. I’m not alone in writing long fiction, of course. Take a look at the novels of Sheri S. Tepper or Edward Rutherfurd. If you’ve got a big story to tell, length is necessary. It’s comparatively easy to write long form literature, either nonfiction or a novel. You just put down everything that comes into your mind and edit and rewrite until you’re satisfied.

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When the Levee Breaks

Here is another column I wrote for the Orange County business magazine. Itís about the Great Flood of 1993, which started in the northern states along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and surged south past Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and states further south. A government report said that hundreds of levees failed along the rivers, leading to 50 deaths and damages amounting to $15 billion. You can google the Great Flood of 1993 and learn more. This column, dated August 15, 1993, is my personal reaction to the flood.

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Women With Aids

Here is another column I wrote for a business magazine in Orange County back in the 90s. I was an AIDS emotional support volunteer (called a ìbuddy,î but actually a sort of professional friend) in the late 80s when the plague was still raging. I ìworkedî with the AIDS Services Foundation of Orange County, http://www.ocasf.org/ which is still in business. One of my buddies was a woman I called Lucila, though that wasnít her real name. The family was in major denial, so I changed names and facts. One thing I did not write was that Lucilaís husband gave her a vacuum cleaner for her last birthday on earth. Really! Hereís a slightly abridged version of my column from April 1, 1993.

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