How to be productive

*This post will likely be a work in progress as I come up with more advice.*

I have ADHD but I really learned how to work with my disorder rather than medicate it.  At my peak, I worked two full time and eight part time jobs and take classes.  (By the way, do not recommend unless you love all of them.)

I have routinely been asked how I deal with work-life balance especially my stage management mentees who really need it.  It just so happens that another student of mine and I ended up in a conversation, then another person asked for advice so here are some possible bits to help.


Recommended books

  1. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance 
  2. The 12 Week Year



  1. I don’t have future goals as crazy as this seems.  I have shorter present goals that LEAD to future goals.  Like I want to publish another book.  I don’t write that down as a goal.  My daily goal however is to write a few sentences on one of my papers.  It’s easy, it’s manageable, and has a deadline.  If I write four sentences, it’s fine.  If I write 2-3 pages, I am fine.  I was sitting in physical therapy waiting a few minutes and that’s when I wrote a few sentences.  I have daily, weekly, monthly, or semester.  Anything else out there is considered very long term.  😉  Take it one day at a time.  All “goals” are broken down into smaller goals.  You can also use the SMART goal system.
  2. On my youtube channel I do mention some of the programs I use as well as some others swear by for time management.  My best friend used to love Trello, but I was more of a Airtable and Habitica person.  I still am with Airtable.  Habitica does my daily goals.  Airtable does my weekly.  I have a paper binder for monthly. 
  3. If you are easily distracted by other ideas, open up a google document or something.  Write down the ideas for later.  That is why I have.  I have a whole list of books and articles to get back to for when I have another opening on my project list or if  conference just HAPPENS to open that relates to something well then I have ideas already there.
  4. Start getting organized and refine things over time.  That’s how I do what I do.  When I was in high school, I was a full time student and had a full time job and a part time job.  It gets stuff done.  When I was in graduate school the first time, I was told to dedicate 12 hours per 3 credit class.  Well I physically moved beads around to count the hours.  Every class had a different colour.  Now I do this electronically with Airtable.
  5. This past April, I had 16 high school students asking me 3-4 questions which mostly came down to work-life balance as a part time stage manager which is a known to be a big pain in the butt and is a huge commitment where work-life is always messed up.  I shared what I could with them about the time management issues since that is the big thing. It’s all about learning how to time manage.  It’s also also about finding pockets of time and doing small things in small pockets.  It’s the little things like using Kroger pickup instead of going shopping myself.  You teach?  Can you pop into your dropbox when you are waiting for pizza delivery?  Or when your spouse pauses a video?  Can you place a Kroger pickup order at 2 am for grocery pickup?  Great.  Waiting in line?  Might as well clear your spam box.  Now you don’t have to use a bigger part of time to do those.   You can do bigger things in bigger chunks of time.  Saves hours. 


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3 month Recovery update!

It has been just over three months since my back surgery.

Jan 23 to April 23.

I tried to take my time to relax since I wasn’t allowed to lift more than 5 lbs or twist or turn. It sucked.  This is what I did.

Actual Recovery

  1. Literally insurance denied pain meds right after the surgery. I was in so much pain, I passed out multiple time.
  2. Then they didn’t approve anything that did anything. They keep saying I am allergic to morphine so hydromorphine is out. I am in fact not allergic to morphine. I am just a non-responder like a lot of people with my genetic background. Hydromorphine tends to work fine, but no one ever gives me that.
  3. Stitches removed. Everyone says it looks great.
  4. After a month, did 12 sessions of physical therapy which insurance refused to pay for what they were supposed to pay for. Idiots.
  5. I am going to have that functional exam soon only because my LAWYER is going to pay for it.

Films Watched

  1. They Came Back from Somewhere – I plead the 5th on this movie.
  2. Jabberwocky – Wasn’t bad, but I would prefer more silly.
  3. Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing – Think Dracula but never seeing Dracula
  4. What about Dick? – this was funny (no violence but sexual innuendo, no rating, but probably would be PG-13 or R)
  5. Cocaine Shark – no. Just no.
  6. Kentucky Fried Movie – just why does this exist?
  7. Amazon women on the moon – Better than KFM
  8. Night Flyer – predictable ending in my opinion
  9. Cheap Detective – it was ok
  10. First Men in the moon – I don’t even know why I watched this
  11. Mysterious Island – This was better I think
  12. Day of the Triffids – I have so many questions about this movie that I don’t know where to start.
  13. Travis: The true story of Travis Walton – a documentary.
  14. 7th Voyage of Sinbad – Why are evil people always bald?
  15. It came from beneath the sea – A product of its time.
  16. Porky’s – offensive but I got through it.
  17. Galaxy Quest – I have mixed opinions. The actors playing the aliens, where did they actually get them? They probably were aliens.
  18. Real Genius – I could only get to probably not even like 30 minutes in, this was just too offensive for someone who is actually intelligent. I hate super nerd in college movies.
  19. Who is minding the mint? – Frank thinks this is funny. No. Klinger was funny though
  20. Road to Rio – No
  21. Visit to a small planet – This became a PLAY! Why?
  22. Wackiest ship in the army – Based on a true story. I feel for them
  23. Earth Vs the Flying Saucers – Product of it’s time
  24. Mars needs women – I don’t even…
  25. 100 million bc – Actually this was interesting
  26. What a way to go – I wish I had her curse.
  27. The great scout and Cathouse Thursday – Why does he like these films?
  28. Abbott and Costello’s Jack and the Beanstalk – Sigh… I do like them, but none of this surprises me at all.
  29. War of the satellites – Are the satellites Tardises or something?
  30. Teenagers from outer space – These are not teenagers, but man the effects. What Z level movie is this?
  31. It conquered the world – Cheesey
  32. The day Mars invaded the earth – Cheesey
  33. Exploring the Martian Frontier (aka Flight to Mars) – unique I guess.
  34. Amazing transparent man – Meh
  35. Tormented – I do not like any part of this movie.
  36. Death at a Funeral – Not amusing
  37. Giant Gila Monster – This is so bad.
  38. Disremembered – no, not really a fan. I did not realize how violent this was going to be.
  39. Brain Eaters – Meh
  40. Phantom from 10,000 leagues – Sea Monster! Apparently this special effects guy did everything
  41. 20 million miles to earth – Cheesey
  42. Beach blanket bingo – It was cute. I will say that
  43. The Brain that wouldn’t die – This is almost horrifying
  44. Wizard of Mars – Very wizard of Oz
  45. House (1985) – This was supposed to be a comedy??
  46. House 2 – Sweet baby Jesus
  47. Reptilicus – I almost want to know if this and Phantom from 10,000 leagues were related
  48. Blob – Very horrifying
  49. Lunar She-devils – worthy of MST3K
  50. Wasp Woman – I hate bugs, HATE BUGS MAN!!!
  51. Hercules – ok, very 50s-60s
  52. Absolutely anything – not horrible, but not intelligence
  53. House on haunted hill – This would have freaked me out.
  54. Devil girl from Mars – Lovely woman, very cheesy though.
  55. Legend – Ok… so Princess Bride?
  56. Trilogy of terror – This wasn’t that bad.
  57. Awakening – this is actually about an Egyptian spirit
  58. Spaceman – Finally Adam Sandler in a decent film.
  59. Mouse on the Moon – This was a sequel to Mouse that Roared.
  60. Renfield – This was absolutely brilliant. My fav of the movies.
  61. Woke up dead – this is weird. IMDB says this is a miniseries but this was an hour and a half movie.
  62. Glass bottom boat – *shakes head*
  63. The Thing – not as scary as I was expecting. Makeup/effects pretty good for the time. I want to know which one of them (if either) is the thing.
  64. Crucible of terror – that was very… troubling
  65. Vampire – well ok then
  66. The Frontrooms – I’m involved with this… I’m sorry.
  67. Tucker and Dale vs Evil – better than I expected, but really weird. Interesting twist at the end.
  68. When worlds collide – I have science questions about how this is working.
  69. King of the Jungle – It’s Tarzan before Tarzan!
  70. The Gorgon – the British are strange people.
  71. The Bear – there is nothing going on with this.
  72. Curse of Black widow – spider!
  73. Cat Creature – Another Egyptian
  74. Theater of death – well that was twisty
  75. Dark places – well… also had a twist

TV Watched

  1. Drink Masters (season 1)
  2. Jeff Dunham’s new special
  3. Forged in Fire : Knife or Death (seasons 2 and 3)
  4. Feltopia
  5. Faceoff (seasons 4 and 5)
  6. Is it Cake? (season 3)
  7. Dave Attell: Hot Cross Buns 
  8. Blown away (season 4)

Books Read

  1. One idiot short of a village
  2. Vampires Fact or Fiction

Coursework Completed

  1. Building Generative AI Skills for Business Professionals Learning Path
  2. AI Accountability: Build Responsible and Transparent Systems Course
  3. Building AI Literacy Learning Path
  4. Building Generative AI Skills for Creative Professionals Learning Path
  5. Foraging
  6. Feng Shui
  7. And some more

Interviews at

  1. Big Rock Productions – they are interested in me freelancing for them
  2. University of Denver PsyD program
  3. Fielding Graduate Institute
  4. Adelphi
  5. Univ of Central Florida


  1. Presented at the Georgia Educational Research Association (Theater Therapy : Using Stage Management to teach Students with Disabilities)
  2. Invited for a full research proposal at the World’s Biggest Analog
  3. Presented at a Tourism conference (Ethics of Extreme Tourism)
  4. Article submitted to North American Journal of Psychology
  5. I’ve now given up on the LGS article at the Journal of European Graduate Students.  4.5 years in review!  I’m tired
  6. I’ve started sketching out a new book.

Therapy Soundbites

  1. I am already good enough
  2. Thankful for gifts 
  3. It’s ok to be eccentric


  1. Book submitted to Atlanta Book Festival
  2. Book submitted to Jewish Book Council
  3. Recorded lines for Kaiju Glam Metal Shark Attack  
  4. Recorded lines for Backrooms
  5. Recorded lines for 31 Kills of Halloween
  6. Recorded lines for Amnityville Authority

My Website

  1. Website book plugin upgrade crashed website, fixed
  2. Upgrade allowed multiple booktables so I split the book from the book chapters
  3. Website has almost everything now up
  4. I upgraded the theme and got that fixed.


  1. WC denied pain meds, lawyer got involved
  2. Hospital claimed they don’t take workman’s comp for the Dec MRI, lawyer got involved
  3. Neighbour slandered on Yelp, Yelp removed it.  Do you know how hard it is to be so out of bounds that YELP removes a review?  We have a lawyer now.
  4. Had meditation.  Other lawyer is being a fool.


  1. Reported dog in back of me (barking nonstop for 4+ hours. 20+ min is illegal)
  2. Reported dog next door (barking nonstop for an hour)
  3. Found out the squirrel in our attic is famous throughout the city for evading capture.  He has lived there for a year, has removed sheet metal from the house, leading to Critter Control coming to my house almost every day since August to deal with the live traps.  We removed one squirrel (relocated to a park in Aiken), but the other remains and has evaded capture for 6 months.  We are unfortunately going to have to move to less friendly traps which breaks my heart but the squirrel is letting mice/rats in and eating my electric wires which I can’t have the house rewired until he is gone.  It took them until mid April (from August 2023) to kill the squirrel.  We still have rats.
  4. Sophie (dog) likes Ritz crackers and wants caviar
  5. Taz (cat) has no interest in caviar, but wants pizza.
  6. Taz is trying to eat everything.

3 month Recovery update! Read More »

My South Pole Obsession: Unveiling the Quirky World Beneath the Ice

For most, the South Pole conjures images of desolate landscapes, bone-chilling temperatures, and perhaps a touch of penguin intrigue. But for me, it’s a place of captivating mystery, a hotbed of scientific discovery. The obsession with the polar regions, started from my MS thesis “Identification of Psychological Stressors for Long Duration Space Missions” and has been fueled by countless documentaries, research papers, and even a video titled “Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Tour,” on Gone Venturing’s YouTube has led me down a rabbit hole of fascinating details (He is not the only person who has tours, but it was the first one I found).

The station is an elevated two story station which looks vaguely like a lego on it’s side.  There is a main hallway, with four hallways off the main hallway.  They are divided into two main sections (A and B) with four pods each (A1-A4, B1-B4).

(BTW If you have the “Wander” app on Oculus and tell it to take you to the South Pole, it will take you to the inside of the station and you can walk down the hallway and see into some of the rooms.)

A few years ago, Jason Michaud (Stardust Technologies) asked me to go through the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Tour videos and list what they had so he could get some ideas for Serenity Station, his own space analog.  Since he never paid me for that or anything else that I did for him (to which he owes me several thousand dollars over the course of a few years), and I am now involved with a different space analog company who could likely use this research which I want to remove from my computer anyway, I figured I would post it here.


Anyway, here are the rooms/important areas that they have to allow the researchers not only to function but to thrive.


Runway for aircraft (obviously)

Main Station

  • Lounge (they have multiple lounges)
    B3 has projector, and small library
    B1 lounge (pool table, dart board, chess, mini kitchen, Foosball)
    B1 TV lounge (video games, huge dvd library)
  • Popcorn machine – what is movie night without popcorn?
  • Coat room
  • Music room (tuba, drums, guitars, cello, etc.)
  • “Big Gym” (ie whiffleball, tennis, basketball) – looks like a typical high school gym which also serves as party location and has a projector for movie nights
  • “Small gym” – overlooks the big gym and contains weights/treadmills/ etc
  • Display cases along the main hall – (they have former south pole toppers since they have to be replaced every so often)
  • Workshop / tools room
  • Main IT comms office – servers, radios
  • Smoking deck – (outside obviously)
  • Emergency power plant – Just in case everything goes to hell
  • Craft room
  • Table for things you don’t want anymore and don’t want to take back when you leave – think half empty shampoo bottles, etc.  (I’d probably just live on that stuff so I didn’t have to bring as much with me)
  • Quiet Reading Room (though it has a piano go figure)
  • Individual berth areas (small desk, small bed, small window, the bathrooms are shared)
  • Laundry room where you can do 1 load per week (I suppose they should invest in mostly merino wool clothing!  It’s designed for that!)
  • Greenhouse where they grow fresh fruits and vegetables hydroponically
  • Store to buy supplies/toiletries/booze/souvenirs (open 3 days a week)
  • Recycling and waste management – they are not kidding about recycling and waste management.  Everything that comes to the South Pole will leave the South Pole.
  • Sauna
  • Observation deck
  • Large conference room – can be used as a classroom too
  • Small Conference room – like 10 people maybe.
  • Administration/Offices
  • Normal communications room (as opposed to IT) / Flighttracking / Incident Command Center
  • Massage chair (in communications room)
  • Office Supply room (huge)
  • Science Lab (computer labs, meteorology department, fume hood, telescope, aurora cam)
  • Emergency Communications (ham radio)
  • Computer Lab including IT department
  • Photos of winter over crews along the hallway
  • Infirmary/Sickbay – includes dentist, trauma bay, ward area, and pharmacy)
  • Galley/Dining Room (includes coffee bar, community fridges, ice cream freezers, “left over fridge”)


Transition to the tunnels (they call it the “Beer Can”)

  • Logistics area
  • Main power plant
  • Water treatment plant
  • “Do not freeze” section
  • Freezable storage (usually food)
  • Elevator
  • Fuel arch
  • Vehicle Maintenance Facility
  • Carpenter / woodworking area
  • Machine shop (for welding, etc.)

As of Summer 2022.  If there are any updates please send me a message.

My South Pole Obsession: Unveiling the Quirky World Beneath the Ice Read More »

Always look for a silver lining

Life can turn on a dime, or in my case, a gurney. One minute I’m lifting a 266 lb. patient on an unbalanced fully loaded stretcher at University Hospital, and then for some still as of yet unknown reason, the five nurses plus the unlicensed EMT at the foot of my stretcher decided to have a gravity malfunction and which meant nearly 400 lbs (patient, stretcher, 10+ bags of clothing, and the largest artificial leg I’ve ever seen in my life) came crashing down on me, courtesy of a gravity malfunction.  I could hear the crunch of my back as it gave way and felt the trickle of urine down as it ran down my leg.

The most common injury of all of EMS, a back injury, and one that I had successfully avoided for 7 years.  But as I would find, it wasn’t just a back injury, it was cauda equina syndrome, a rare medical emergency affecting the base of the spinal cord and one that workman’s comp did not want to cover in the least.  If it is not fixed within a few hours or days, it becomes a permanent condition with permanent issues with urination and bowel movements.

But amidst the bone bruises and physical therapy, something curious happened – I rediscovered the forgotten song in my soul, the one I’d silenced with sirens and sterile sheets.

Let’s rewind. 8 years in EMS, but 13 years in healthcare. Adrenaline fueled my veins. I loved helping people, but somewhere along the way, my own creative fire dimmed. Writing, the passion that once consumed me, became a dusty relic in the back of a mental drawer. Then, boom, 400 pounds of reality landed on me. And in the quiet hush of recovery, the whispers of that old dream crept back, louder than ever.  It’s not that I stopped writing, it’s that I changed what I was writing.  The reason I was still doing EMS was because I was putting myself through graduate school getting my MS in Psychology and then Covid hit so science, science, science.  Nothing about me or my experiences.

Suddenly, for over two years from Feb 16, 2022 to now, downtime wasn’t just “forced leave,” it was an unexpected residency program in Writeville.  Imagine the old phrase “write drunk, edit sober” but with prescription pain medications.

Due to the pain and the time I have with physical therapy, I have barely been able to do any other work, not even the hypnotherapy practice which I loved so much.  I can’t work elsewhere since I can barely move and the neighbour’s dog barking next to me (as well as the ones in back of me who keep jumping the fence at 2 am) and the harassment from the neighbour who insists on leaving fake reviews is destroying that business slowly.

Hours spent icing my swollen back and hurting hips became stolen moments for stolen chapters. The rhythmic drone of my heating pad morphed into the steady beat of a new story’s pulse.  Waiting for Frank to come help me to the bathroom since I couldn’t walk myself became moments for me to try to edit some grammar time and time again.

My physical therapy room, really my living room where I did physical therapy three or more hours a day until I could walk again, became my writer’s studio, filled not just with rubber bands and other, but with notebooks, plot twists, and characters bursting to life.

This wasn’t just some forced sabbatical; it was a serendipitous shove towards the life I’d nearly forgotten. Sure, I missed the camaraderie of my EMS crew. But in their place, a different adrenaline surged – the joy of crafting worlds, the thrill of breathing life into words. Every page turned was a victory lap, every finished chapter a bandage for the ache of what was lost.

And guess what? Writing didn’t diminish my recovery, it fueled it. The act of creation, of pouring my pent-up energy into writing both fiction and non-fiction, became a powerful form of therapy. My fiction characters grappled with their own challenges, mirroring my own struggles with pain and uncertainty. Writing became a way to process, to heal, to reclaim a sense of control while my non-fiction was finally telling my story.

During my down time, I published my non-fiction book which I had been working on for 10 years, and watched it win a Non-fiction Book Award.  I also published my first monologue in an anthology.  Of course, I have also had to say goodbye to 11 friends and family members in 14 months, everything from old age to suicide as well as dealing with all their legal issues.  Especially my grandmother’s.

Last week was my surgery at last, it took almost two years to get which included 1.5 hours in court litigation.  And I come out of the hospital to see fake reviews, on something I could not have reported because I was literally in the hospital under sedation.

Now, with my back on the mend (we hope) and my manuscript published, I see the accident not as a detour, but as a detour towards destiny. Sure, the path may have been unexpected, paved with ice packs and Percocet cocktails, but it led me back to who I truly am – a storyteller, a weaver of words, a chronicler of the human experience.

So, to my fellow injured souls, my brethren of workman’s comp, I say this: listen for the whispers in the quiet. Your injury may have sidelined you, but it may also be pointing you towards a hidden passion, a forgotten dream. Embrace the pause, the enforced quietude. See it as an opportunity to rewrite your story, not just your body. You never know what unexpected gems may surface when you let the dust settle and listen to the symphony of your own soul.

This experience hasn’t just healed my body, it’s healed my heart. It’s reminded me that life’s detours can be the most scenic routes, and that sometimes, the greatest silver lining comes wrapped in bandages and painkillers. So, grab your pen, your paintbrush, your instrument – whatever whispers to your soul. Let your injury be the catalyst, not the roadblock. This could be your chance to rewrite your story, one word, one brushstroke, one note at a time. Because sometimes, the best endings come after the unexpected falls.

Remember, fellow scribblers, even when life throws 400 pounds at you, there’s always a story waiting to be told. Go write yours.

Always look for a silver lining Read More »

Thankful for being able to help

This Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I am reminded consistently of how fortunate that I am in the position to help people with time and money and that I have the ability to do as much as I can.

In fact, sometimes I think this back injury and being forced to NOT be on the ambulance was a blessing because I was able to help more people and have a better attitude when doing so.  During the worst of Covid, I was working 24 hour shifts back-to-back for four months, while getting my MS degree might I add, then took a small break to work part time for two years which meant so much of my other parts of my life just… died.  Now with the sabbatical from EMS, I could work on the others while still using the ethic of hard work and my non-pandemic standard 12-48 hour shifts that I learned from EMS (and ok even 14+ hour shifts from theater) to do a lot of good.

Since the injury a year and a half ago, I’ve donated thousands of dollars from everything from arts education (mostly high school theater and stage management stuff) to things for the refugees from the war in Ukraine (mostly the organization my cousin Tirza was working with).  I have another $3K earmarked for the World War II Museum in New Orleans.  Most of that were my tzedakah payments that every Jew is required to make.  That’s an obligation.  I don’t know how many people I’ve helped but I am grateful that they allowed me to perform a mitzvah.

I also donated anywhere from 15 to 60 hours every week as a volunteer.  Mostly in either theater related or healthcare, but other things as they came up.  I certified almost 400 students in bleeding control, offered free acting classes and stage management courses.  If anyone needed anything, I tried to help. A few months ago I ended up with a dog who is in really bad shape and needs so much work (Sophie).  I also did so much crisis counseling.  Even on holidays.  Last night (yes Thanksgiving) and the night before, I was dealing with an autistic with self-esteem issues whose therapist was taking advantage of him.  He got several hours of free therapy and I think he had a breakthrough (well given he just dropped me a note when I was writing this confirming a huge breakthrough.)  I was NOT supposed to be doing counseling last night because I have so much stuff I have to do this week.  But I’m happy I could help him.

Of course, there are always people who like pretending I don’t do anything or have never heard of me, but surprisingly that only happens in Augusta.  Like I was just harassed by someone who works at Le Chat Noir (Maddy) which is the theater that is always on the verge of shutting down.  It’s the only one I haven’t worked for in any capacity because all they promote is burlesque which I am uncomfortable with as a respectful Jew as was my Augusta BFF Caitlin who was religious.  Instead they decided to say they don’t recognize my name (um… which one?  Facebook name?  Maiden name, married name, Hebrew name, nickname, initials, callsign, or stage name?  No one calls me by my Facebook first name but Adrian) and that I don’t know what I am talking about writing wise because my public posts are all kosher recipes.  People actually follow me for them, one day I want to assemble my own book to include them.

The harassment is because I said I had never heard of some writing competition that was formerly only open to local writers but now is open to internationally.  Please note, it says first annual in one place and 10th year somewhere else.  It’s either one or the other.  If you can’t advertise or market in such a way that the local writers groups know, that the local theaters know, that the media knows, and that the creative writing professors know, then you can’t blame the person.  They are complaining that my autobiographical accounts are fictional… could have fooled me since I have documentation on everything I’ve ever done and I am primarily a non-fiction writer.  As I find the documentation, I list into the correct section specifically so people can’t make wild claims about the things I do and do not do.  The amount of slander/libel that goes on in Augusta is the reason that people in general hate this town and the amount of hostility just makes people leave this area which I am really trying to do.

I’ve been very selective of my fiction attempts since I am a non-fiction writer and nearly everything I have written fiction wise was based on something I did when I was doing research.  I have a monologue, which I stole and shamelessly adapted from my time in the field learning about paranormal investigators (the paranormal tourism project from 2018), that will be published in a few weeks.  Two more that didn’t get picked up, but I might polish them and submit for next year.  The monologue is going to be performed in a few weeks in the UK somewhere.  So I am also thankful for that too.

One might ask why I focused on helping others as being thankful for despite no one believing what I do?  It’s not about what other people believe or don’t believe.  If you remember the MASH episode where Charles Winchester donates a fair amount of chocolate anonymously, that’s the meaning of charity.  Not to announce it on social media every time one can.

I also find it hard to be thankful for family when your child is a missing person and Augusta PD (well really Richmond County Sheriff since we don’t have a PD anymore) or that you’ve lost 11 people in 14 months including all three dogs, which is basically all the family you have.  The people I help are my surrogate family.

Thankful for being able to help Read More »

Leaving Bacon Behind Press Release

New book “Leaving Bacon Behind” by Melvin S. Marsh is released, a nuanced, easy-to-read guide to converting to Judaism for people of all backgrounds


“Leaving Bacon Behind: a How-To Guide To Jewish Conversion” by Melvin S. Marsh has been released worldwide. This 171-page guidebook, which as achieved Amazon Bestseller status as #1 in the “Jewish Life” category, shares personal insights and practical advice for converting to Judaism in the modern world.

A self-described “Jew by choice,” Marsh offers a step-by-step path for becoming a part of the Jewish community – from initial exploration to finding a Rabbi, gaining necessary education to ultimately converting and adopting the faith as a part of daily life. The included appendices provide an in-depth overview of observances, holidays, terminology, recommended reading, and beyond, making this guidebook a valuable resource for anyone interested in conversion, or simply looking to learn more about the Jewish faith.

The author masterfully condenses the complexities of religious conversion and the storied history of Judaism into a digestible, even entertaining format. The book serves as both an entry point to conversion and a useful reference throughout the process.

Because of his own experiences, Marsh also includes a section of special considerations that include converting on a budget, potential backlash from family and friends, being a member of the LGBT community, kosher eating, rural living, and more. He tells his own story of discovery and conversion, showing readers that not every path toward Judaism looks the same, and providing valuable, personal context to the practical advice that fills each page.

This excellent guide to conversion tackles every aspect of the process, and does so with friendly honesty that supports readers throughout their journey.

Leaving Bacon Behind (ISBN: 9781960142894) can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The paperback retails for $18.95, and the ebook retails for $8.95. Review copies and interviews are available upon request.

From the back cover:

Leaving Bacon Behind provides a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide for conversion that focuses on questions prospective Jews by Choice might have, including “Why should one convert to Judaism?” and “What happens after the conversion?”

This book is a direct result of the questions the author fielded during his time as a moderator in one of the largest Jewish-by-Choice internet communities and his own personal experience as a disabled transsexual Jew by Choice. This includes content discussed in Judaism conversion classes and live courses, as well as questions, comments, and feedback from prospective and successful Jews by Choice. No other book on Jewish conversion has incorporated widescale, peer-reviewed feedback from the target community.

As the author does not fit the stereotype of an able-bodied, middle-class, white heterosexual female converting for marriage, this book includes a section of additional considerations for converting on a budget, if one is LGBT, disabled, or non-white, if one is already married to a non-Jew, or if one already has children.Leaving Bacon Behind is sure to be a must-read conversion classic.

About the author:

Melvin S. Marsh earned a BS from Emory University, a MS from University of North Dakota, a MS from Georgia Southern University; has published articles in Nature Human Behaviour and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences among others; has been recognized for excellence in teaching, clinical work, research, and both acting and directing; and he is the author of Leaving Bacon Behind. His website is

About Manhattan Book Group:

Manhattan Book Group (“MBG”), located on Broadway in New York City, is a registered trade name of Mindstir Media LLC. MBG is widely known as a premier hybrid book publisher. We have combined the best of traditional publishing with the best of self-publishing to provide authors with the “best of both worlds” in a sense. To learn more about MBG, visit

Media Contact
Company Name: Manhattan Book Group
Contact Person: Jen McNabney
Phone: 212-634-7677
Address:447 Broadway 2nd Floor #354
City: New York
State: New York
Country: United States

Leaving Bacon Behind Press Release Read More »

You can’t please everyone I guess

Yesterday, I did my first public… well… anything in several years.  Between Covid and the back injury, I just don’t get around much anymore.

But a few weeks ago, I was invited to come up and do the Shabbat candle blessing at my synagogue because I published the book.  Given my injury, I had to make sure it was ok to even leave the town.  (I live in a relatively small city/large town with very little around so I have to tell my lawyer about almost every trip I make in the car and get approval.  It’s bonkers.)

I saw some old friends who I adore.  I found out one of my best shul friends, Gene, was promoted to the Board of Trustees.  I saw my favourite member of my beit din, Rabbi Brad.  (Mysterious Beit Din Member Number 3 for those of you who have read the book.)

Several people laughed at the title when it was announced.

Now one person was kind enough to say he was going to buy it for his… I think it was brother in law who was going to convert.  Which I really appreciated.  I didn’t get his name.  This was certainly the first time I knew it was going to go to a member of the target audience.  He will probably go Reform I am assuming so some of the book might not apply.

For every person who was interested in talking to me about the book, there was someone who criticized.

One of the people at the Oneg asked if I wrote a book about bacon (which she said with a sneer).  I told her it was about conversion, and then she said “We all EAT bacon or at least the majority of us.”  I had to remind her that she and whoever she thinks exists are hardly a majority and that I don’t.  Then snarkally said “Converts think they are better than us.”  I told her, “I get it… no one likes a convert.”  Her reply… “Welcome to the damn tribe.” I said I converted 11 years ago but thanks anyway and she stormed off.    People can be so mean.

She probably doesn’t even realize that Rabbi Brad doesn’t eat pork (he does eat shellfish but not pork).  And in Israel, even the secular Israelis don’t tend to eat it as you may not farm pigs on the land of Israel which makes pork challenging to come by.   So no, the majority of Jews do not eat pork.

Conversion, at least mine, took over 16 years to complete.  And my dear friend Gene was even longer, though I can’t remember how long, he finished two years after I did if I remember right.  Then it took the book 10 years to find a home.   I worked hard, and the least someone could do was say “Good Job.”

I’m sure she has not written a book, much less one which has been nominated for three awards so far in it’s one month of existence.  (Edit : And 2 hours after the post went live I found out I am on the best sellers list.  Jewish Life… kindle.)

I won’t let her bother me anymore I suppose.  However, I think this does prove my point for some of the mentions I make in the book about the discrimination from other Jews.  It is rough.


In tangentially related news, a handful of reviews have finally started to roll themselves in for the book.  So far all 5 stars, but the sample size is 2.  Either way, I really feel bad that I am celebrating the book while there is an Israel-Hamas war which started just after it finally was published.  I am, even here in Augusta, feeling the effects as my neighbour has already made multiple threats against me.


There is still no news as to the kid.

No news as to if my back will ever be repaired.  There is so much I could do if it was and my upcoming events is basically zero.  The author copies of the book weighed about 12 lbs for 20 books so if I bought 40 books it would be over my weight limit.  Very challenging.

You can’t please everyone I guess Read More »

Hello New Visitors

I just wanted to say a quick hello and introduction for all the people coming because of my new book Leaving Bacon Behind which you can buy anywhere.

My name is Melvin Marsh and I am originally from South Florida. I went to college in Georgia expecting to return to Florida, but even four years later, South Florida has priced me out from ever living there again. I can still hope I suppose. I currently live in Augusta, Georgia.

I’ve been pretty blessed to work in multiple areas in jobs that many people want, but very few people are lucky enough to pursue and I have tended to do them relatively parallel. I take great pride in the fact that with the extent of a work-study position in college, I have never worked in an office.

I primarily consider myself a researcher and project manager. I have a pretty extensive history in various forms of research, mostly in social sciences, which include being a human factors engineer and various other forms of psychologist and anthropologist. I’ve worked in a zoo, worked in the space industry, worked as a genealogist. I have several science degrees which make me happy.

I also have a pretty extensive entertainment industry career as my parents both worked in broadcasting (tv/radio production mostly) and their hobbies ALSO involved the entertainment industry (mom also had a theater history), so it is my second home. I’ve worked in radio, film, theater, TV, and various events in everything from acting to production. I also am a public speaker.

I also was working as an EMT as another part time job until my back injury which broke my back in several places due to a bad lift.

I’ve also, of course, because I am a project manager, have done a fair amount of business work. Ended up being president of some of the small companies and have been executive director of some non-profits.

Personally, and you probably know this if you know of “Leaving Bacon Behind”, I converted to Judaism. All proceeds from this book as well as pretty much all my money for anything, is going to try to locate missing University of Florida student, Teagan Hall. She was last seen 435 days ago.

Otherwise, I am transsexual. I am married to the same person I was before transition and conversion. There are three stepchildren and the aforementioned biological daughter who is missing. There is a cat and I usually have dogs, but the dog referenced in my acknowledgements of the book, Corky, passed away a month ago today so I am dogless (he was death 11 in 14 months) and I am hoping to adopt another dog soon and I have an application out at a sheepdog rescue and I am also looking at dogs with special needs. Hobbywise, I like to read, write, volunteer, and… well… work. Less than 12 hours a day gets me nervous. So 15-20 hours a week of volunteer work isn’t unusual for me.

If you want to get blog emails to your inbox, use the widget on the side. It is supposed to be double opt in to reduce spam. I have it set to deliver all blog posts for that week once a week. Not that I post most weeks.

Hello New Visitors Read More »

Sorry for the website / Author’s Update

I hired some one off Upwork to resign my website and he installed and then reset the website after I asked him to fix the security issues that his plugins created.  He also removed me from the administration of my own website and was incredibly patronizing.  I just hope I get a refund.  So we are back to the one I sketched out.  It might not be the fanciest, but I can do things a little at a time and I will be ok.

I did just receive the author’s copy of my new book “Leaving Bacon Behind” making this possibly a decent start to the new year (it arrived this afternoon / Tishrei 4).  This is 10 years in the making.  Still not up on amazon yet, but will be soon.  It will be available to order at all bookstores in the US.  Yes, even your favourite indie bookstore!

Sorry for the website / Author’s Update Read More »

A new beginning

It would seem that I now get to change this website a bit and hopefully attach my old domain to this because I finally was able to get my book published.

A book that started as a FAQ when I was moderating Facebook’s Jewish by Choice community before it was hacked by that Messianic Jew who kicked everyone out, and then expanded in National Novel Writing Month 2012 is finally about to come to light.

A book that has been workshopped half to death and has suffered through not one, but two publishing failures and one scammer.

Ten years later… “Leaving Bacon Behind” is finally leaving and going out into the world.

I just hope everyone enjoys it.



A new beginning Read More »

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