Why is AA So Ineffective?

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A Quora answer by Mark Urso, Author of “A Candle Lit”:

The problem with AA is something that happens very early, when a person, a “sufferer,” is first introduced to the idea, sees a pamphlet or checks out his first meeting … the system can easily lose its credibility and feel either like it’s extreme, or members are jumping to conclusions …

People are simply scared away before they join.

In my book, “A Candle Lit,” I call them “leavers-before-they-enter.”

The three biggest problems are …

Ambiguous Permanence: It’s never been proven alcoholism is permanent, but members commonly insist it is. This is a credibility hit if the new person thinks about it … To make matters confusing, the words “alcoholic” Continue reading “Why is AA So Ineffective?”

Save My Soul! (Inside The Mind of an Alcoholic)

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You awake? Got a story.

While my hobbies these days generally don’t include soul-saving, mostly because no-one wants me to save them and I stopped looking for candidates, which is a good thing, I still yearn to spin some salvation.

I know people. I know things. I know stories.

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. Continue reading “Save My Soul! (Inside The Mind of an Alcoholic)”

The Orbs of Balance (or, Be a Better Biped!)

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Ask the dog … Standing up isn’t as easy as it looks!


I like to talk about balance, in the Universe … and within our hearts and minds. Balance is a pendulum that can determine health.

Inside our bodies we have physical balance, allowing us to get around. Some do it better than others. How important is understanding your body’s geometric and gravitational muscular interactions, and your mind’s invisible mastery of balance? Continue reading “The Orbs of Balance (or, Be a Better Biped!)”

Winter Apple Blues (or, How to Spin a Healthy Controversy)

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The latest from my kitchen is, I have some new apples. This news is similar to previous reports from the kitchen, but although I have new apples frequently, it’s still news.

These new apples are organic. I didn’t read the details, but they’re different than just a regular apple.

First, they come in a plastic bag with graphics, and it says “organic” in big letters; there’s even a fancy plastic bag zipper. Second, they are smaller than regular apples. These organic apples have little holes in them, and are also less shiny and good-looking than regular apples.

Oh, and they cost more.

So, they’re organic. In order to learn more, I pretended to have a conversation with Lou Johnson, President of the Organic Apple Association, a watchdog group that protects the organic apple industry from unfair trade practices. Lou lives in Texas “off the grid,” in a small camper.

Continue reading “Winter Apple Blues (or, How to Spin a Healthy Controversy)”

Philip Morris (A Poem)

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I met Philip Morris
In a cloud of smoke
He said he was an angel
I was sure it was a joke

If you owned a train
Called Destination Death
The question in my mind
Is would you ride on it yourself?

Morris won’t you tell me
Your product’s hot as hell
But if I want to join
Do I have to hurt myself?

In a wink he offered me
A whiskey and a fag Continue reading “Philip Morris (A Poem)”


Dear Fred The Manatee,

Thank you for contacting me.

I’m sorry you thought I was being harsh. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s becoming more important to me every day to consider your case a priority because it’s the kind of news people care about.

Even though you’re just an underwater snuffleupagus nobody asked to swim around everywhere really slowly, I respect your right to equal access to warmer water, Continue reading “BLOG OWNER RESPONDS TO SENSITIVE MANATEE ISSUE”

Until We Can’t (A Poem)

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Life’s a critical condition
At least in my head
Wake up falling in the air
Until … or if …
Until we’re dead!

Baby trooper in midstorm
Better be quiet or be torn
The goal is to simply land
Until … or if …
We hit the sand!

Bad guys guns and bombs
I know better; I feel strong
I want to win; I know I can
Until … or if …
Here comes the storm! Continue reading “Until We Can’t (A Poem)”

“A Candle Lit” Audiobook Sample – Ch. 23, Music, Memory and the Mind

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I’m an audiobook producer and longtime radio announcer, and I’m available on Audible’s ACX platform for narration. Please consider partnering with me for a narration project!

I’m also narrator for my own book “A Candle Lit.” Here’s a sample! Continue reading ““A Candle Lit” Audiobook Sample – Ch. 23, Music, Memory and the Mind”