Death with a View

Can you control your death, give it parameters, give it stage direction and make it dramatic, pastoral, humorous? Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Most of us have trouble managing life, and death just happens. Typically, it’s out of our control. That doesn’t stop us from trying, nor should it. After all, we try to avoid a head-on collisions. But, aside from the various purgatorial outcomes, you either make it or you don’t. Perhaps that’s … Continue reading

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New Testimonials

“Throughout the entire process of writing a book, from start to finish, Jeff May is a skillful editor, grammarian, and writer. He is encouraging, patient, and understanding. He is a joy to work with. I am sorry my book is finished. I will miss him.”  — Anonymous, author of God’s Prey: Overcoming Sexual Abuse Through A Life With God. “This is a review of my experience with Jeffrey Penn May who formatted and placed several … Continue reading

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“Best” Note About My Writing

I continue to scan old letters onto my hard drive. (An act that in itself defines our time.) This note about my writing is perhaps the “best.” I think it was around 1982. “Jeff, thank you for sharing your work with me. I think we should stop seeing each other. If you’d like to talk about it, give me a call. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine too. See you around.” Share on … Continue reading

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9 Obvious Harsh Realities To Tell Your Children (That You Never Fully Understood Until The Great Recession And You Got Old)

My kids are kind, considerate, and empathetic. Where did I go wrong? 1. Money really is power, freedom, and pretty teeth. While it can’t buy you perfect health, it can help – a lot. While it can’t “buy you love,” it can help – a lot. People are often attracted to money. Freedom isn’t free – it’s expensive. 2. Volunteer work is good for a hobby if it makes you feel good, but don’t count … Continue reading

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Letters From Ingomar

Recently, I began unearthing old letters with the intention of scanning them onto my hard drive. (An act that in itself sort of defines our time, doesn’t it?) I started with letters from Ingomar Robier (for no reason other than they were “on top”), a 1976 classmate from English Lit classes at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Since I had a habit of befriending people who didn’t seem to fit in, I insisted … Continue reading

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Why I Stopped Revising My First Novel

Over a 35-years span, Roobala Take Me Home was rewritten, revised, reworked, and partly re-imagined so many times that I’ve lost count. Despite my best efforts to stay current and true to my ever developing self, Roobala Take Me Home inevitably, like all novels, turned into a historical document. Even “historical” novels are rooted in the imagination of the writer looking back. A historian from 1980 looking back at 1900 has a different perspective than … Continue reading

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Secure in Social Security (156 words)

Social Security will be there for me, more if I make enough money in my six years past sixty. Curious, the money is based on thirty-five years “highest paid.” So be careful of years unemployed, years for schooling, for children, for illness and for saying goodbye to parents. A welder gets less security than a surgeon, a retail manager less than a lawyer, and me, a private sector educator, far less than a financier. Sort … Continue reading

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Blog Tag

Recently, fellow writer from the St. Louis Writers’ Guild Linda Austin asked me to participate in what apparently is called “blog tag.” Normally, I might shrug off such a request, with its specific guidelines, and go back to twittering away my time with what passes for social networking. However, perhaps because of Linda’s unique St. Louis perspectives stemming from her Japanese culture and history, I have obviously convinced myself that this specific tag tour might … Continue reading

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Words Mean Something

I have an obsession –words must mean something – must be read, spoken, and especially written for a purpose. Useless words are an abomination. Conversations should be calculated to inform while entertaining your partner and being sensitive to their idiosyncrasies. The goal of artful writing is to produce a group of words informative and entertainingly arranged in a series while understanding the nuances of your audience. Too often writers write for themselves and expect everyone … Continue reading

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What A Writing Client Is Teaching Me

When I was younger, I wrote first for myself, then to show others, and eventually perhaps I might gain recognition. As I grew older and dealt with the vicissitudes of publishing, I cynically embraced the belief that being paid well for your writing is what made you a real writer. Anything less and I was more or less failing. (Talk about high expectations.) Now I’m not so sure. One of my clients is reminding me … Continue reading

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