The first person I ever interviewed was India's Prime Minister Morarji Desai at his suite at the United Nations Plaza Hotel as research for a two-year undergraduate project on Mahatma Gandhi. During my post-college years as a Director of Human Resources and later as a licensed, nationally-certified psychotherapist, I conducted thousands of interviews, but none were as challenging as that first one.
When I was 22, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered, "a psychotherapist/ cook/ photographer/ musician who writes books". I've managed to fit all of those activities into my life. Now that I'm retired from treating mental health disorders, I spend my time doing "whatever is fun". That includes photography, writing books, drumming for several bands, teaching hand drumming in two public schools, running community drum circles, and cooking for my wife.
"MIXED NUTS or What I've Learned Practicing Psychotherapy" was my most difficult book to write. Psychotherapy is very personal for clients and clinicians. It's easy to be funny and flippant in the office, face-to-face with a client. It's much more difficult to do in writing and with such a sensitive subject. I didn't want MiXED NUTS to be a boring textbook or a joke book. The challenge was to share insights in a fun, easy-to-read, and entertaining way.
"American Baapu... India Through My Eyes" tells the story of how I came to have dozens of "unofficially-adopted sons and daughters" in India without having known any of their mothers. In 2017, we stayed in five cities in India with five families. This book describes that experience and how it came about.
"My Life Cracks Me Up" was released in 2011. It was my most fun book to write. Imagine a memoir without loss, grief, or tragedy. It's my life in funny and serendipitous stories.
"Old Fart-hood... more of my life cracks me up" is my 2023 continuation of "My Life Cracks Me Up." More funny and serendipitous stories.
"Freestyle Community Drum Circles" (2nd Edition) Everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about hosting a freestyle drum circle.
"God Should Have Worked On Sunday: A More Likely Version of the Old Testament According to Rick Cormier" was a parody written in the 1970s in undergraduate college to crack up my family and friends. It made print nearly 4 decades later. I won't let Amazon sell it. You can only get one from me. I stand on street corners with dark glasses and a trenchcoat selling them in brown paper wrappers. Some people take religion very seriously, but I distinctly heard God chuckle when I was writing it.
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