The Devil Is In the Cell Phone

Dear Readers:
I’ve been a fan of Stephen L. Carter, Yale Professor, author, columnist, for a long time. Out of pure luck, his column titled Depressed by politics? Put down the phone.  was in today’s Charlotte Observer.
In today’s Hubbell Pew I wrote:
“He (Carter) says that he defines civility in one of his books “as the sum of the sacrifices we make for the sake of living together.” Then he goes on to say “if we expect better from our officeholders…we have to demand better from ourselves.” Finally he he pinpoints the devil and suggests that we lift our noses away from our cellphones and say hello to someone on the street or at a minimum enjoy the view. When we look into the eyes of a stranger and say hello, when we take a moment on the way into the office to admire the blooming flowers, we take that wonderful first step away from self and toward a broader and more expansive view of the world. Maybe, just maybe, a connected society is not so connected after all, and in order to connect, we must disconnect from time to time.”
On the political front, Carter’s article caused me to think about the struggle many are having today about how to react the current administration and its policies. I cannot fault anyone in this struggle and the choices they are making, except if the reaction is violent, but Carter highlights my struggle. I understand the fear, the pain, and the concerns, but I worry that disruption and obstruction only escalate the lack of civility that so dominates our nation’s discourse. I worry that tactics currently used by opponent’s to the administration may come back to haunt and bite the next Democratic President and may lead to the destruction of the institutions that provide checks and balances.
I’m reminded that my mother used to ask me, “if your friends jump off a bridge, are you going to follow?”  And I caution my friend’s that as Carter reminds us, “If we expect better from our officeholders… we have to demand better from ourselves.” In every action of opposition, we must ask ourselves what lessons are we teaching our children, and what are the long term consequences of our actions. It is not sufficient to simply say, “But, they did it first!”
I don’t have answers right now, but I do have concerns. Let me hear from you, post a comment, and let’s start a discussion.
Upcoming Events: I am excited about my next speaking event at the Charleston Library Society in late March. If you live in the Charleston area I hope you will come by and visit. At events like these I get so much feedback on my books and almost every time I make new friends or catch up with old friends, or both.
Social Media: People ask am I on Facebook or Twitter. For the longest time I resisted but in these days and times it’s the cost of being an author trying to let people know about your books. I have an author page on Facebook, please go to and like it if you do. I also have a Twitter account that I hope you will follow. I try to regularly post on both about my books and my meditations at The Hubbell Pew although on occasion I stray onto other topics.
Books: The award-winning Jack Patterson Thrillers, including my latest, A Game of Inches are available for birthdays, thank you gifts, and just to be nice presents. Autographed copies are available at my website, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are selling hard copies and eVersions, and local independent bookstores either have them in stock or can get books from my publisher, Beaufort Books. If your favorite bookstore has run out, ask them to order you a copy today.I  heard a good story the other day about A Game of Inches. One of my daughter’s girlfriends was reading the novel and carried it with her into a bar where she was meeting some friends. She told my daughter that if she was single, she’d carry to book everywhere. Apparently, about five guys came up to her asking about the book. I never thought of A Game of Inches as a pick up tool. 

Speaking Engagements: In March, I speak at The Charleston Library Society, and the American Association of University Women in April. I also have three book club events in the early spring. Details to follow soon. If you would like me to address your book club, organization or institution contact me at [email protected].

When Men Betray Book CoverA Favor To Ask. After you read A Game of Inches and if you enjoyed it like so many who are saying “this one is the best of the three” please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Powell’s, or Goodreads website even if all you do is award it five stars.

A second way to help is to drop by your local bookstore and suggest they carry all three of the award-winning Jack Patterson Thrillers: When Men BetrayGinger Snaps, and A Game of Inches.

Most importantly, tell your friends, your book club, and your business organization what many are writing — that it is a “must read” and “one of the top summer reads.”

Charitable Organizations. I donated twenty books to the Charlotte Library so promising Pages could read my book. If your organization is having a silent auction or needs a door prize please let me know. I heard this last week that the three book series autographed went for $300 at a silent auction. I always set aside a number of my books for charitable events.

Until my next post all the very best and don’t forget to order and then review A Game of InchesWebb

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