Coming in 2020
A memoir of the "Pluscarden 1230 Pilgrimage," undertaken in 2017, from l'Abbaye du Val-des-Choues in Burgundy to Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland.
A satire. Plato's Republic meets Orwell's Animal Farm.
Coming in 2021
A satire. Medieval art historian fights Neo-Nazis.
Memoir / Blog
The magic bug, the circus, and real diversity
At twelve, I caught the magic bug, as many a twelve-year old boy does. I studied with a man named John Novak, an internationally known magician and escape artist. Novak invented new tricks and illusions, had written 25 books on magic, and served as a consultant to David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Siegfried and Roy, and other big-name magicians of that era. Earlier in his life, he had served as a translator in the Army and later the Air Force, first during the Korean War and later during three tours in Vietnam. He spoke Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and French. It was with John Novak that my love of languages was born. He owned a magic store where I worked, demonstrating tricks and spending every penny I earned on more props from that same magic store. I accompanied Novak to his shows and helped him set up. I didn’t get paid for this, but I didn’t care. He was my “master,” and I was his apprentice, at least in my young mind. I was a fast and eager learner. I soaked up sleight of hand techniques and practiced constantly. It was a lot of work, but the dopamine rush that I got when I eventually began performing was better than getting all the flash cards right. Suddenly, with John Novak as my teacher, the world was opening up for me.