Let me first say that I always look forward to your Medium posts. The infectious enthusiasm of your writing can be hard to resist ,and I love your photography. I should add that I myself find the Medium audience a hard nut to crack, and certainly my work has never fared especially well there, probably less well than yours in terms of the Medium 'applause' system. So I really can't help much in that regard.

Nevertheless, although I officially retired from my university teaching job some years ago, I still can't resist an honest request for criticism. So, here goes…

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18 Feb 2021 Sunrise with Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. Photo by DWC.

Late Summer Moments

Australian summers officially end on 1 March, ignoring the astronomical events (solstices and equinoxes) that most of the world uses to mark the change of seasons. In other words, this week Australians completed their second summer that was dominated by the Covid-19 virus.

Because Australia and New Zealand chose from a very early date to impose masks, social distancing, and tight travel restrictions, both national and international, we have had no new Covid cases for many months, apart from a few hot spots briefly ignited by Australian citizens returning home from overseas.

This has meant that virtually all of my…

Writing Queer Workshop

(See writing exercise at the bottom of the workshop.)

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The world’s greatest visual cliché. Photo by Dex Ezekial.

Writing is first and foremost a matter of putting words on paper. The process of actually choosing those words is a major part of the craft. It goes without saying that fresh and original writing avoids words, phrases, and ideas that are clichéd. Indeed, the best writers, whether straight or queer, reject any language that might be deemed even a little tired or over-used, whether it is a metaphor, simile, idiom or simple word phrase.

Some lucky stiffs have the rare gift of avoiding clichés like the plague but most of…

You say that Dr. Spock was "very controversial." Anyone who was around in the sixties and seventies (as I was) will know that most criticism of his book was highly political rather than scientific with the major criticism coming from a politically conservative TV/radio preacher Norman Vincent Peale and Spiro Agnew ex vice president and convicted felon. This criticism focused on Spock's anti-war activism and accused the pediatrician of creating a "permissive" generation which took part in the sixties left wing activism. …

Despite your disclaimer and whatever your intentions may have been, your story does indeed disparage and blame Spock from beginning to end. As many of the comments make clear, the true story is far more complex than your account suggests. In fact, I suspect that your false accusations against Spock would be legally actionable, if he were alive. Overall, Spock's influence on parenting was anything but 'toxic' and without any doubt, your sensationalist report should be withdrawn with apologies rendered to the wise and humanitarian individual you have so unjustly maligned.

I would like to join those who are thanking you for telling your story. Both for its apparent honesty and also for its clarity, which Is everything I would expect, or at least hope-for, from someone with your professional commitments.

In other words: well-told and well-lived!

As a bi-sexual octogenarian (having happily lived two decades with a straight woman followed by two decades with a gay man), I recognize many of the perspectives, attractions, behaviors, fears and joys that you describe in your own life.

One small difference I would probably point out if we were, say, having a coffee…

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Sunrise 11 Feb 2021. Photo by DWC.

Seven Memorable Moments

Jonathan, I hope you will also do a 're-reading' of Billy's grandson Tullian Tchividjian to whom you first called my attention, which caused me to google his image only to find a dozen or so mouth watering pictures of him. LOL (Sorry to be disrespectful to our evangelical brother.)

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Paterson’s Curse — growing out of control at Tuggeranong, Australia. Beautiful? (Photo by Scotty Imhoff)

Many people seem to have the strange view that if a flowering plant is sufficiently beautiful then it surely cannot be a noxious invasive weed that should be ruthlessly rooted out wherever encountered. For example, my online friend and penpal Ronald Flores-Gunkle (whose photography and fiction I greatly admire) has taken this position in a number of recent Medium posts.

See link below to a post with which my frequent Medium editors Dennett (“Weeds and Wildflowers”) and James Finn (“Prism and Pen”) evidently strongly concur. Well, my friends, may I beg to differ on this subject of weeds. …

David Wade Chambers

PhD SM Harvard — words and pictures

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