Archive for the ‘default’ Category

Ralphs Place was always there

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Ralph’s Place was there before I ever considered writing novels. It began as a bedtime story to my first son, 4-year-old Alex, whom we lost to cancer at six-years-old. Brother Daniel’s later arrival brought new Ralph Bedtime Stories that began when he was 4-years-old.

On business days, I caught the Westport, CT commuter bus to Metro North RR, then I walked to the nearby Daily News building and the offices of Changing Times, where I sold advertising space in the Kiplinger Washington Editors excellent, monthly personal finance publication. Round-trip, to New York City, and back home to Westport was one hour and thirty minutes, during which I composed Daniel’s bedtime story.

The evening Train-bus commute was always an adrenalin rush: Daniel went to bed at 8:30 p.m. and I had to hustle each evening to arrive before bedtime. The train lasts one hour, with half-an-hour to relax before planning the evening’s Ralph Story. Each Ralph story would begin with a review of the previous story, that was delightfully interrupted by, my son’s comment, “I know!”  Truthfully, everything I always needed was there when I sat on my son’s bed and carried his delightful imagination to a wonderful place with magical experiences featuring a pie-stealing beaver, a Vampire soccer coach, two whales:  a flittacious female whale who ate too many chocolares and lost all of her teeth, and her boyfriend who is the big boss of the lake, and shoots huge waterballs.


So you want to write a novel?

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

The purpose of this blogpost is to help new writers with the exciting albeit frustrating creative process, plus some helpful suggestions on overcoming writer’s block.

Publishing your first novel has never been easier thanks to CreateSpace, an Amazon company,as well as others that help writers independently publish books in physical or digital formats at affordable prices.  Beware of some snarly publishers that will publish for free or for very little.  They make their money on the back end with books you will have to buy at prohibitive prices. Result: you’re dead in the water.  For example: You cannot promote your novel in book fairs if you can’t afford soft cover copies of your book.

You are sadly mistaken if you are writing with the idea of becoming rich and famous. Definitely, not a good idea.  You may spend more money than you might ever earn.  Be careful, be frugal.  Think before leaping.


University of Colorado Champions

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Oxycodone – a miracle and a nightmare

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Oxycodone was developed in 1917 in Germany, and is a moderately potent opioid analgesic generally indicated for relief of moderate to severe pain. Physicians often prescribe it because it works. This is a personal story about the unintended effects of the drug.

In the summer 2014, I crashed my racing bici at 28-mph and suffered a fractured clavicle, eight fractured ribs, and a partially deflated right lung.

The accident occurred when I was five minutes below my fastest time as the derailleur slipped and I slammed it with the palm of my hand, which catapulted the bicycle chain into the rear tire hub and froze the rear tire movement at twenty-eight miles-an-hour.


I was in advertising. Yes, like Mad Men.

Monday, January 30th, 2017

The fall of 1980 was a pivotal moment. After a series of misfortunes, my wife and I moved to New York City with the advice of an epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital: Move to New York City and pit your minds against the best and brightest. Leave misfortune behind in Boston. We took his advice, and my wife, who was a successful designer in Madrid, created placemats in the Big Apple that were bright and original and she caught the niche in an exciting market.

On the contrary, bad luck followed me like an orphan dog. I had written two novels, one of which was judged ‘bright and original,’ by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and made it through various editorial meetings at St. Martin’s Press. Previous employment included Johnson and Higgins, two brokerage firms (Blair & Co, E. F. Hutton).

I pursued copywriting with Young and Rubicam. They had judged the Inter Ad contest at Thunderbird, a.k.a. The American Graduate School of International Management, where I was Marketing Director of the wining InterAd team’s presentation. Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy and Mather expressed interest. SSC&B offered to make my Ad boards. I also interviewed Brokerage firms and was scheduled for two training classes. The job was a critical issue with a wife and a newborn baby.


HBS Author’s Spotlight – Class of July 2016

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Monday, August 2, 2016

Ralph’s Place – A Magical Experience – by C. Michael Bennis

Sunday, June 26th, 2016
Magical world

An enchanted place packed with vampires and mystical creatures will help Ralph find what he needs the most—himself —in this inspirational young adult fantasy by C. Michael Bennis.I began creating nightly Ralph stories twenty-five year’s ago.  Friends cautioned: ‘once you start you can never stop.  Imagine returning from a stressful day at the office and having to pick up the burden of another nighttime story?’  Ironically, that never occurred.  The shock came when I had to stop for lack of an audience.  The best I can describe: it felt like wandering around looking anxiously for something lost.

I began creating nightly Ralph’s Place stories thirty-nine years ago.  Friends cautioned: ‘once you start you can never stop.  Imagine returning from a stressful day at the office and having to pick up the burden of another nighttime story?’  Ironically, I never experienced the problem.  On the contrary, I crashed when I no longer had an audience.  I can best describe the withdrawal as wandering aimlessly through the house looking for something I’d never ever find.

Ralph’s Place is a rich fantasy inspired by the daily bedtime stories I first created nightly for our son Alex, who succumbed to cancer at six-years old, and later for Daniel who was a fan for many years.


Life is like the river traveling to the sea

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Hold happiness tightly enjoy it brightly

Javea was a little known paradise in the province of Alicante, Spain, when Bobbi and I stored our Madrid furniture and personal effects in January of 1980, and drove to the Costa Blanca in our new Citroen Méhari (orange plastic, French 2 cv).  Javea is where the warm Mediterranean breeze circulates with the fragrance of orange blossoms and creates the feeling of knowing and feeling you are where you are supposed to be.

Bobbi and I would part and go separate ways years later, however 1980 was the year of hopes, illusions and expectations.  We had rented a chalet just outside Javea, where we would live until we found a 100-year-old farmhouse to modernize and decorate.  We had a brief hiatus in our plans when Becton Dixon selected Bobbi to decorate their new Madrid headquarters, which meant she would commute between Javea and Madrid.

I became our five-year-old son Alex’s playmate, co-conspirator in imagination, cohort in gathering wild flowers for Mom’s return and our chief food preparer.  In the early morning, bilingual Alex left in the bus for the all-Spanish Paidos School in Denia. He returned mid afternoon which allowed time for me to write, to shop for food, and to go once in a while for a fast bicycle ride.


New Blog Post 15 December 2015 Re: bicycle accident

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

The last blog post was dated July 4, 2014, and the ensuing hiatus in blog posts resulted from summer 2014, when I crashed my racing bici at 28-mph and suffered fractured clavicle, eight fractured ribs, a hairline pelvic fracture and a partially deflated R-lung.

The accident occurred while ridding my vintage Cannondale that should have been replaced.  I had just shaved five minutes off my best time ever and headed downhill toward home when the derailleur slipped.  I could have dismounted and repaired the problem.  However in distress and annoyance, I slammed the derailleur with the palm of my hand.  This catapulted the bicycle chain into the rear tire hub and froze the rear tire at twenty-eight miles-an-hour.

It’s incredible how disaster occurs in slow motion.  Attempts to break forward speed on the front tire destroyed steering control.  There was no doubt I would go down.


Newspaper, The North Woods and Exceptional Women

Friday, July 4th, 2014


The Saddle Mountains as seen from the John Way...

John Wayne Pioneer Trail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1908, my maternal great grandfather, William Frank Dunn, was President, Publisher and co-owner of the Chicago Journal, which later became the Chicago Daily News.  The newspaper consumed reams of newsprint that was purchased at exorbitant prices from Chicago jobbers. 

So Frank Dunn took the train to northern Wisconsin and negotiated directly with the lumber mill in Park Falls where wood pulp became paper that he bought at a more reasonable price.