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Mr. Grieves #170

Mr Grieves #170

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Me and My Dad - 1972

The Gift

My thoughts on suicide, assisted suicide, dignity with death, Robin Williams, Brittany Maynard, and my dad Michael Semegran

Robin Williams by Michael Dressler 1979I have been thinking about my father a lot lately, more than usual, because of two controversial topics I have read about in the media this past year: suicide and assisted suicide. What initially prompted me to think more about my dad was Robin Williams' suicide on August 11, 2014. Having such a high profile person commit suicide definitely put the spotlight on this topic even though suicides claim the lives of tens of thousands of people every year and is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (CDC). My father, Michael Semegran, committed suicide on December 4, 2002. He was not a famous person, he was just my dad. Robin Williams and my dad had a LOT in common which was what got me thinking about my dad so much. I'll get to that in a bit; now to assisted suicide. Brittany Maynard committed assisted suicide on November 1, 2014. Maynard was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor. She moved with her family to Oregon so she could legally kill herself with lethal medication prescribed under the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. She definitely put a new face on this topic since she was young and attractive and very vocal on social media about her path to death with dignity. What is the difference between a family member who commits suicide and a family member who commits assisted suicide? There is a very fine line between dignity and shame on the way to the same end, apparently. I find that to be very strange and perplexing and hurtful.

When Robin Williams committed suicide, I was shocked--if only for a few minutes--and it seemed the world was shocked as well. How could someone so universally loved and admired do such a thing as commit suicide? By all accounts, he was a very successful and brilliant man, actor, and comedian. He starred in several universally acclaimed movies such as Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King, Aladdin, and Good Will Hunting. He was a unique stand-up comedian who intimidated his contemporaries, many considered great in their own right. He earned an Oscar, two Emmy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards. And he made millions of dollars doing all of this. My father was also brilliant and successful although on a different, more down-to-earth scale. He earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Industrial Engineering. He had a decorated, 25-year career in the Air Force leading a team programming computer software. He was called a genius by his commanders and way ahead of his time. He retired from the Air Force and made six figures working as the Director of Tech Support at Ashton-Tate, one of the "Big Three" software companies of the 1980s, which included Microsoft and Lotus. By all measures, both my dad and Robin Williams were successful men and geniuses.

Continue Reading

Boys by Scott Semegran

Boys by Scott Semegran

boys-front-cover93x140I'm proud to announce the pre-release of my new book titled Boys. These are the stories of three boys living in Texas: one growing up, one dreaming, and one fighting to stay alive in the face of destitution and adversity. There's second-grader William, a shy yet imaginative boy who schemes about how to get back at his school-yard bully, Randy. Then there's Sam, a 15-year-old boy who dreams of getting a 1980 Mazda RX-7 for his sixteenth birthday but has to work at a Greek restaurant to fund his dream. Finally, there's Seff, a 21-year-old on the brink of manhood, trying to survive along with his roommate, working as waiters and barely making ends meet. These three stories are told with heart, humor, and an uncompromising look at what it meant to grow up in Texas during the 1980s and 1990s.

The cover was designed by Andrew Leeper and myself. The book was edited by my long-time editor Brandon Wood as well as Robyn Smith. And the photo of yours truly was taken by my beautiful wife, Lori Hoadley. Boys is published by Mutt Press. The official release date is August 1, 2015. Reserve your copy now!

The paperback is 184 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, white paper, black and white ink, full-color cover with matte finish and available here:

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Boys-Scott-Semegran/dp/0692470115/
Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/boys-scott-semegran/1122163460?ean=9780692470114
Createspace - https://www.createspace.com/5558081

The retail price for the paperback is $14.99.

You can also order a paperback from your favorite book store by giving the following info, if it is not already in stock:

Boys by Scott Semegran. ISBN 978-0692470114.

The eBook is available for pre-order at the following website locations or go into the Kindle Store, iTunes Store, Google Play Store as well as other eBook app stores and search for "Boys by Scott Semegran." The eBook will appear in your eBook apps on August 1, 2015:

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010359KE8
Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/boys-scott-semegran/1122163460
Apple - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/boys/id1008540711?mt=11
Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/boys-9
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Scott_Semegran_Boys?id=S1vmCQAAQBAJ
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/551123
Scribd - Available August 1, 2015
Oyster - Available August 1, 2015

The retail price for the eBook is $2.99. It's free to read with a subscription to Scribd or Oyster.

Thanks for your support, I hope you enjoy these stories, and please share this with your friends. Salud!

Yours Truly,

Books from Mutt Press by Scott Semegran Sold at Malvern Books

malvern books

Malvern Books in Austin, TX carries visionary literature and poetry from independent publishers, with a focus on lesser-known and emerging voices the world needs to hear. Now, they carry books from Mutt Press by Scott Semegran. Mr. Grieves, Modicum, and The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood; these are the selections from Mutt Press they carry. Please stop by and pickup a paperback. They also host book and poetry readings and musical performances, and provide a friendly meeting space for book clubs. Shop local, support small business and indie publishers like Mutt Press.

For more info about Malvern Books, please visit http://malvernbooks.com/. Or stop by at 613 West 29th Street, Austin, TX 78705.

For more info about Mutt Press, please visit http://muttpress.com/.

If you found my blogs, stories, cartoons, or other articles on my website useful or entertaining, then please visit my Books page and check out my novels as well as my comic strip compilation and my collection of short stories and cartoons. They are all available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover formats. For a pittance, you can purchase something great to read while supporting a writer with a large family and lots of mouths to feed. Thanks for your support, Scott.

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