32-instagram 32-goodreads 32-twitter

boys-front-cover600x900

mrsb front cover 600x900

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 - cover

Dinner from the G.D.A.M.

An Excerpt from the book "Boys" by Scott Semegran

We sat across from each other in the small living room of my small apartment, on the floor around my beat-up coffee table, piles of coins and dollar bills on top, two tall boys of beer on ratty paper coasters from the restaurant there too, counting our tips. It was not a good night for tips but the quantity of coins and bills looked deceiving in their unorganized state, looked like we had a lot more money than we actually had. We enjoyed the optical illusion, briefly. We smiled as we pushed the piles of coins and bills around in front of us then raised our cans of beer to toast.

"To Pasta Warehouse," I said.

"To Pasta Warehouse!" my friend Alfonso said.

"Cheers!"

"No, say it the Mexican way. When you toast, say 'Salud!'"

"SALUD!"

We touched our cans together then gulped the cheap beers, crushing the cans when we were through, tossing the cans to the side on the floor, returning to organize the coins and bills, hoping to make rent. We were an odd looking pair of friends. I was lanky and short and white. Alfonso was massive and tall and Hispanic. But what we lacked in commonality of outward appearance was made up by similar character traits of kindness, empathy, and extreme loyalty. We were good young men and good friends to each other.

Continue Reading

The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood by Scott Semegran

The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood

mrsb_front_cover_500pxOn his way to New York to celebrate his impending literary success, Simon Burchwood is the prototypical American careerist. But a quick detour to Montgomery, Alabama to visit a childhood friend sends Simon on a bizarre journey, challenging his hopes and dreams of becoming a famous writer. This is a character study that delves into the psyche of a man who desperately tries to redefine himself.

Is Simon pompous? Yes. A jerk? Yes. Will you like him? Absolutely! "The book is told entirely from Simon’s viewpoint. Simon is not a very likable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it’s pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertent, oblivious jerk... you will learn Simon’s views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud... A very good novel that was humorous throughout." 4 and 1/2 Stars - Red Adept Reviews

Read an excerpt here and here.

Reviews for The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood:

Accolades for The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood:

RetailereBookPaperback
Amazon $2.99 $14.99
Barnes & Noble $2.99 $14.99
Apple $2.99  
Kobo $2.99  
Google Play $2.99  
Smashwords $2.99  
Scribd - $8.99/month Link  
Oyster - $9.95/month Link  
CreateSpace   $14.99

Paperback Info

ISBN: 978-0615753355

Copyright: © 2008 Scott Semegran

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Printed: 200 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, cream paper, black and white ink, full-color cover with matte finish

Publisher: Mutt Press

Category: Fiction / Literary

Continue Reading

Mr. Grieves #170

Mr Grieves #170

Buy the Mr. Grieves Book at Amazon.com! amazon

To read more Mr. Grieves comic strips, go here.

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.

ssb front cover

mg front cover