Saturday, March 2, 2013

Best Advice

I've just finished my blog and review tour for "Minotaur Revisited." It was a great success with many excellent reviews, comments and so much more. 

I will post the new reviews on my web site one of these days, but the words to describe my story were:

"uniquely written", "entertaining",  "the book kept me spellbound from beginning to end.", "fun read" and many more. 

Below is an article I wrote as a guest post which was not used:

I was asked to write about the best advice I had ever received. In all my life I don't remember any one individual sitting me down and saying "David, this is the key to happiness or success." However, along the way there have been people who have taken a special interest in me and offered words of encouragement or shown by their deeds the way to navigate this maze we commonly call life.

Start with my father, a physician, specifically a urologist, who dedicated his life to his family and his profession. We sailed together, he admonished me to "put the ball in the basket" during the many hours I spent honing my basketball skills, (my younger days were filed with a dream of becoming a basketball legend), but mostly he set an example, the first of many.

I was a keen observer in those days. Never a big talker like some of my brothers, I was more like Harpo Marx at the Algonquin Round Table. For those of you unfamiliar with New York City of the 1920's, the Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel hosted the wittiest literary minds of the day. Alexander Woolcott, Dorothy Parker, George S. Kaufman and others met, schmoozed and cavorted at that spot. Harpo Marx, the silent Marx brother of movie fame and a second grade dropout , was accepted into this crowd as “the designated listener”, a silent pair of ears among a crowd of brilliant talkers. Such is the way I often felt amongst eight brothers loudly vying for attention.

Beyond my childhood, there are two individuals that gave advice by their words and deeds. Sigrid Gelber was my adopted sister in medical school. We were thrown together during our first year by the vagaries of the alphabet. We had the same last name, but were unrelated. If I could be called quiet, she was anything but. Loud, outspoken and opinionated, with a thick  Brooklyn accent, we were opposite in every way. She made me laugh, forced me to live a life apart from school and took the phrase "live life to the fullest to heart." She had survived osteogenic sarcoma at age 17 and firmly believed that every moment we are given on this earth is precious. She shared this gift with me. In her case, it was far too true. She died of breast cancer at the young age of thirty-five.

After medical school came residency in surgery. The Chairman of our department was Dr. Anthony DiBenedetto, affectionately known as “the Chief.” More than anyone, he taught me the importance of hard work, dedication to my patients and attention to detail. He made me into the surgeon I am today and much of what he taught carries over into my writing.

Finally, there is my wonderful wife of twenty seven years, Laura. She introduced me to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was raised Jewish, but was really secular. Laura strongly believed in the truth of Christ's perfect sacrifice and, through perseverance and conviction, brought me to see the truth of this faith. This truth I have incorporated into my life and much of my writing.