Writing

The Ghost of My Father by Scott Berkun

READ THE FREE EXCERPT HERE or PRE-ORDER ON KINDLE… 

From bestselling author Scott Berkun comes this powerful new book, funded by hundreds of kickstarter supporters.

It’s a personal story about his failed relationship with his father, and how his family was torn apart  in 2012.

The book explores the meaning of family, through personal stories about Scott’s struggles to connect with his father, in the past and the present.

It’s an achingly personal memoir of loss, love and the hope of transformation by searching through the past.

It’s a book for anyone struggling with their identity in their family and seeking a bright path through dark times.

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Culture

I Googled Gidget and Windansea

Are You There God? It’s Me, Gidget.

“Nobody knows I’m a real person — they think “Gidget” is Sandra Dee or Sally Field.”—Kathy Kohner Zuckerman

@Ori would remember the night I walked and told him of all the creepy sites on those dark streets which weave the beach along Windansea into Draper Villas…

< BEGIN CONTEXT / SHIFT TO PRESENT TONE >

firefly flying quietly why she cries, no one notices me...

Authentic Non-Fiction Life

[Richard] Powers is especially effective at illustrating the way the story of the girl with “the happiness gene” spreads across the Internet and, only slightly less rapidly, the traditional media. Thassa’s mailbox starts filling up: “Strange people with Hotmail accounts want me to make them happy. One woman wants to hire me as her personal trainer. She thinks her soul needs a professional workout.”

… This review was written by Jay McInerney (“How It Ended: New and Collected Stories”) and published in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, October 1, 2009. … when I first stumbled into this story the other day, I did a double take… it read like my life…

“Meanwhile, Kurton’s research team is on the verge of publishing a study that correlates specific genetic codes with emotional well-being. But despite the large sample on which the study is based, Kurton is holding back on publication, looking for some missing datum to confirm his findings. When Thassa’s story comes to his attention he thinks he may have found it. …”

I remember listening to a Nobel Prize contending researcher detail his observations of my hyperthymic temperament…

“Kurton persuades Thassa to undergo a series of tests, and when the results are finally published — the ebullient Thassa’s genetic material having confirmed the initial findings — media interest in the Happy Gene Girl goes manic, culminating with an appearance on a Chicago talk show whose host, known to all simply as Oona, “is, by any measure, the most influential woman in the world.” In a canny elision, Powers gives us only hints of Thassa’s triumphant performance, by way of its echoes on the Internet. … “

My effervescent happiness, despite the most contrary of circumstances, led me to be taken and tested, poked and prodded, and accused many more times of being “on something”. Continue reading

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Angela Mari
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience

Hyperthymic Novelty—On Generosity: An Enhancement

“What will happen to life when science identifies the genetic basis of happiness? Who will own the patent? Do we dare revise our own temperaments?…”

I once met a physics teacher who immediately recognized me as the main character in the play he was nearly finished writing.

“Absolutely EVERYTHING I remember is realLithium just added a layer of fantasy on it (which I could perceive even at the time).”

Born to Be Happy

After reading an article “Born to Be Happy“, I found myself emailing Hagop Akiskal, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the International Mood Center at the University of California at San Diego whose “work on dysthymia, cyclothymia and hyperthymia challenged the concept of personality disorders, led to the development of a new instrument (Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A)), thereby contributing to the worldwide renaissance of the temperament field.”

“Information may travel at light speed, but meaning spreads at the speed of dark.”

But being told that I was “hard wired for happiness” seemed a bit over simplified and “hard wired” seemed an insult to this interaction-designer-wannabe-cognitive scientist studying neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

On “Rewiring the Real

“Digital and electronic technologies that act as extensions of our bodies and minds are changing how we live, think, act, and write. Some welcome these developments as bringing humans closer to unified consciousness and eternal life. Others worry that invasive globalized technologies threaten to destroy the self and the world. Whether feared or desired, these innovations provoke emotions that have long fueled the religious imagination, suggesting the presence of a latent spirituality in an era mistakenly deemed secular and post-human.”

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What? You didn’t know I was a graveyard clown?!

True Stories are better than Fiction

My boots were made for walkin’… whether they’re the cowboy or Spanish…

If I sang, would you… sing with me?

Ring-around-the-Rosie
Pockets full of posies,

Ashes, ashes,
We all fall down.

She's Gidget. Roscoe was Grandpa.

Hi folks. I’ve been blogging since sometime in 1997—I don’t know where my original blog is, it was on Earthlink, Geocities or something like that—somewhere along the way I stopped blogging. Whereas once I was just an anonymous voice on the Internet—pre there even being such a word as “blogging”—now there was Google.

Going from anonymous to identified, I found myself scared to write anymore.

That era has ended.

I am Angela Baxley, the Spunky Gidget, a clown, from a family of clowns and a legacy of artists and humanitarians, rock n’ roll, and crazy Christians.

I’ll start telling the story. But I’m sorry, mostly it’ll be told how it unfolded, and at my own whimsy and whim. Published on the days that it happened, or as it should be dated by my own judgment.

I publish as Spunky Gidget as my alter identity, @ang @baxley are different personas. Ang, like the nickname, is intimate for my closest friends and family. Baxley is who I am, the one you all love and know. I have other web presences out there, and maybe over time I’ll even disclose those, the who, what, when and why of the identities. In any case, Spunky Gidget is what brought me to the Internet, and that’s how you’ll hear my voice.

That way Angela Baxley can keep her reputation intact, at least for a little while longer! 😉

"Give It Up for Gidget"

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