So you can read my books

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Like most of us, I had an ... interesting childhood:

I had double pneumonia thrice ( the last bout nearly did me in.)  

I was abandoned at six for 6 weeks on a street known as Skid Row in Detroit.  

My step-father tried to kill me twice ... once by drowning ... once by electrocution.  

You know  ...  interesting.

My isolation and ill health had me reading a lot ... like Saul Bellow

the Canadian-born American writer 

who won the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts.

As a child growing up in Montreal, Bellow was seriously ill and hospitalized as was I for a prolonged period.

This accelerated his reading and shaped the outlook which inspired SEIZE THE DAY and many of his other novels.

The following is excerpted from a 1990 interview:

"Anyone who’s faced death as a child is likely to remember something of what I felt—

that it was a triumph, that I had gotten away with it. Not only was I ahead of the game. I was privileged. 

And there was some kind of bookkeeping going on. …I thought I owed something to some entity for the privilege of surviving. …

A duty that comes with survival. …

That I’d better make it worth the while of whoever it was that authorized all this.

I’ve always had some such feeling. Overjoyed. 

Full of welling vitality and perhaps that I’ve gotten away with something 

but that it had been by permission of some high authority."

What words have recently spoke to you or made you pause to reflect, 
to remember?


  1. Perhaps, "Seize the day" and "No regrets".

  2. Wow, your childhood sounds rough! I'm not so sure I can think of anything recently that has inspired me. Just general stuff: don't give up and all that.

    1. Every child has it rougher than it appears ... especially in the inner city.

      Things I read by Faulkner, Zelazny, and other greats often make me pause.

  3. Wow, Roland - that's a lot of crap for one youngster to deal with.
    His words are very wise and we should all strive to serve our purpose.

    1. The children I grew up beside in Detroit had to deal with much worse.

      Yes, Bellow makes us think that we are here for a purpose ... and maybe it is one only we can serve. :-)

  4. You had a tough childhood. I think to reach the depths of writing we need to have experienced the depths of both pain and joy.

    1. Every child in the inner city has a tough time but most prevail. Mine held many happy moments. Thanks for visiting. :-)

  5. Hi Roland - it's good to see you focus on the happy memories, though use the dreadful ones or snippets of them as examples for us all to think about.

    There are some thought provoking words/phrases said by people who've travelled rough roads ... when I'm with friends who are 'dealing' with things I'm encouraging as far as I can be ... it gives them some peace and succour. I learnt not to dump my negativity on others - when I did it myself and rightly, lesson learnt, I was reprimanded: taught me a good lesson.

    I might rant - but then it's gone ... and I laugh and smile and move on ...

    Life is tough, but so many have it so much tougher ... yet we do survive, somehow .. but we do.

    Thanks for these thoughts - Hilary