Two Reasons I Wrote Outlier Heart

I realize now I had two ambitions in mind when I wrote this essay collection. 1. Was to make my choices to be and live as an immortalist somehow accessible to people in general. Why did this catch my eye? (a pretty girl).  How has it changed me so far? (Total transformation). And what did I have to face in the process? (A hell of a lot.)

I followed a path that family, friends and acquaintances couldn’t relate to. Even now, many of them just sort of accept that I’m doing this weird thing they can’t understand. I’m not sure I could or have quite explained myself. I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t taken the journey can really understand. But as a literary initiative, I’ve challenged myself to recall and organize moments, feelings and insights that have brought me here in terms that are readily accessible to anyone. You don’t have to  be an immortalist to follow the story. No matter what you may make of it.

2. Is to make my living with Bernadeane more accessible or at least show some of the road that got us here. As I say in one of the essays, Significant Other, we are like astronauts on the moon; if anyone else out there is doing what we are – we don’t know about them. That’s a strange and challenging experience. Neither of us can sleepwalk through it.

I’ve recently received a couple emails from people who are not immortalists to tell me they enjoyed Outlier Heart, and what they got out of it. That makes me feel like at one level or another, I’ve pulled it off.

You can order the book here:

Outlier Heart Sample 07

Outlier Heart: What do you call a non-fiction essay collection most might consider fiction?

Outlier Heart Sample 07

What do you call a non-fiction essay collection most might consider fiction?

I felt that I had several good titles to choose from among the various essays that make up my new  collection Outlier Heart: Essays From My Life as an Immortalist. These included Significant Other, which I think speaks to the strangeness of being an immortalist today; and In the Name of Not Repeating, which expresses a macro motivation of mine for being an immortalist — yes I want to live, but also, I want to exit the the repetitive cycle that is mortality (if you know how the story ends, how different can it really be? Answer: not that different).

In the end, I landed on Outlier Heart, the title of another essay, originally published in Eclectica, that is meaningful to me for a couple reasons. One, I think the role of heart and feeling is often, strangely, left out of the immortality conversation, and I’ve found it to be central. While science and technology is driving the legitimacy of the conversation today, it  takes a hell of a lot of heart, by scientists, activists, entrepreneurs, and yes, artists, to take this stand, that aging is a disease to be cured, and furthermore that we will, and are, doing it.

This is a heart that I doubt non-immortalists have experienced, because the passion isn’t rooted in any familiar human relationship, but in the unknown of a future without an end. I’d call that an Outlier Heart.

The title is also significant to me because of what I went through to get it. I remember writing the essay and working to name this thing I was trying to name, in myself, that had swept me past the bounds of my religion, my family, my generation, my gender, and I just didn’t know what to call it. I’d come up against such barriers of blankness in the past, and I had run from them, considering it an impossibility to articulate something so real to me but so foreign to most if not all readers.

But this time I didn’t run. This time I stood in the blankness and I stood in it, requiring of myself to find a way through. It marked a pivot point in my writing. No longer would I back off when the subject matter got too personal and the reading audience seemed too distant. I accepted that this, in fact, was the gig, and started to build the writing muscles I needed to traverse that gap.

You can order Outlier Heart here:


Outlier Heart cover: the right way to get a tattoo

Outlier Heart Sample 07


Tattoo procrastination time can pass more quickly than you think. It seems like just a few years ago when I came up with this great idea for a tattoo with a Tree of Life growing out of a heart, and the banner Outlier Heart, which is the title of an essay of mine. I haven’t had the chance to get my arm inked just yet. (When I even bring up the subject of the tattoo to Bernie, she just says “whatever,” but she’ll see …)

But when I started working with Portland-based artist Gigi Little on the cover for my essay collection, Outlier Heart, to be published in a couple weeks by IFERS Press, I knew what I wanted — it was that tattoo idea.

I brought the concept to Gigi and she has been artful and diligent in bringing it into being, at least as a book cover. She also writes detailed emails to make her thought process and my choices very clear to both of us. The original tattoo, in my mind that is, is not exactly the one you see here. Along the way, we made some significant changes in the overall shape of the image, from circular to more vertical, and that banner went away,  but I quite like where we’ve ended up.

It’s much easier to make revisions in the digital than in the fleshly, people. Which I think is a validation of my approach to getting tattooed. 1. Have the idea for the tattoo. 2. Don’t get it. 3. Write and publish several nonfiction essays, many highly personal. 4. Find a publisher for the collection. 5. Create the book cover using your tattoo idea. 6. Then get the tattoo. Makes sense to me.

You can order Outlier Heart here:

Bully Love — Poems by Patricia Murphy hit home

I got to read an affecting collection of poems by Patricia Murphy called Bully Love. I don’t read poetry regularly, so I had a bit of trepidation. Would access be offered? Would I hate every minute of it? I’m a highly fucking literate guy, but still. Poetry is even more personal than theater. The opportunities for being put off are abundant. But I wasn’t put off, I was pulled to.

It’s a particular pleasure to read my home, greater Phoenix, rendered in her verses, supporting my long-held theory that this is in fact a place, rather than just a lesser facsimile of Southern California or the locale that came after Chicago. The easier aspect of this is the adventure of seeing the Sonoran Desert she shares with us in moving detail.  The more challenging part is where we live — car, city, suburb – something like the poetics of air-conditioning.

Like most of us, she’s from somewhere else, Ohio, but been here long enough to reckon with this place in its own right, as well as how it contrasts to where she came from, which is often voiced by her father, who like my father, seems overly aware of our weather. I think he can’t quite grasp the place, and her in it. Her Arizona is a disruptor, which I well understand, a place that is not just different where I came from, but apart from it.

I also like the fact that her poems have a sense, no matter how subtle, of ending. I think poetry is dangly enough in its line breaks and open-ended metaphors sprouting metaphors without leaving us dangling at the end, and Murphy doesn’t. In fact, her endings tend to rush at you, and if anything, arrive sooner than you’d like. Which is saying something.

You can order the collection here:


Drinking from the Air included in Transhumanist Handbook

It’s great to have my essay Drinking from the Air selected for inclusion in the Transhumanist Handbook by editor Newton Lee. This book includes many of the heavy-hitters of Transhumanism, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

The list of contributors includes:

Ojochogwu Abdul, University of Lagos
Maria Entraigues Abramson, SENS Research Foundation
Michele Adelson-Gavrieli, Artificial Intelligence Incubators & Sounds of the Heart
David Aguilar, UIC Barcelona – Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
Sarah Ahamed, India Future Society
Chris T. Armstrong, Transhumanist Author
Kyrtin Atreides, The Foundation
Joe Bardin, Relativity Writing
Barış Bayram, Yeditepe University
Lincoln Cannon, Mormon Transhumanist Association
Kali Carrigan, University of Amsterdam
Didier Coeurnelle, AFT-Technoprog and Heales
Keith Comito, Life Extension Advocacy Foundation (LEAF) &
Dr. José Luis Cordeiro, Humanity+, Spain
Francesco Albert Bosco Cortese, Biogerontology Research Foundation
Mark Crowther, IT Consultant
Dinorah Delfin, United States Transhumanist Party
Sylvester Geldtmeijer, Transhumanist Writer
Federico De Gonzalez-Soler, Zerozed
Dr. Scott H. Hawley, Belmont University
Henrique Jorge, ETER9
David J Kelley, Artificial General Intelligence Inc.
Martin van der Kroon, United States Transhumanist Party
Carmen Fowler LaBerge, Faith Radio Network
Inessa Lee, California Transhumanist Party
Newton Lee, California Transhumanist Party & Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships
Rich Lee, Biohacker & Cyborgasmics
Kate Levchuk, KateGoesTech
Rob Lubow, Botcopy
Eugene Lukyanov, Biohacker
Palak Madan, India Future Society
Dr. Julia Mossbridge, Mossbridge Institute & Loving AI
B.J. Murphy, United States Transhumanist Party
Blaire Ostler, Mormon Transhumanist Association
Liz Parrish, BioViva USA Inc
Ira S Pastor, Bioquark Inc.
Dr. Ted Peters, Graduate Theological Union
Micah Redding, Christian Transhumanist Association
Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Writer and Producer
Judith Reeves-Stevens, Writer and Producer
Dr. Michael R. Rose, University of California Irvine
Grant A. Rutledge, University of California Irvine
Giovanni Santostasi, Northwestern University
Dr. Anca I. Selariu, BioViva USA Inc
Nicole Shadowen, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
Vineeta Sharma, The Transhumanist
Avinash Kumar Singh, University of Technology Sydney
Calem John Smith, Zerozed
Dr. Jonathan Squyres, GlobalNewWorld
Dr. Ilia Stambler, Bar Ilan University
R. Nicholas Starr, California Transhumanist Party
Jakub Stefaniak, University of Oxford
Amanda Stoel, DIY Futurist
Gennady Stolyarov II, United States Transhumanist Party
Dr. Andjelka (Angie) Stones, NorthCentral University
Joshua Marshall Strahan, Lipscomb University
Melanie Swan, Purdue University & Institute for Blockchain Studies
Dr. Mariana Todorova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Janez Trobevšek, Zerozed
Stephen Valadez, Transhumanist Author
Dr. Natasha Vita-More, Humanity+ & University of Advancing Technology
Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson, Singularity University
Augusta L. Wellington, Psychoanalyst
Dr. Sophie Wennerscheid, Ghent University
David Wood, Delta Wisdom
Daniel Yeluashvili, San Francisco State University
Jeffrey A. Zilahy, Transhumanist Consultant

Year end roundup 2018

This year I had short plays performed by:

  • KMC Onstage, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Theatre Artists Studio
  • Space 55
  • Herberger Lunchtime Theater

Had a rough but useful staged reading of Infinity Mirror, by La Jolla Theatre Ensemble.

Published an important essay, In the Name of Not Repeating, in Eclectica, which helps set up the essay collection and was given spotlight status by the journal.

Published poems in Voices Israel.

Did a lot of writing on essays, plays and a screenplay now ready for circulation.