Measuring facial symmetry in cleft lip kids and everyday people.

How the heck did Dr. Coe manage to visualize the tangle of my oral tissue and muscle when he sewed me—Humpty Dumpty— back together?  As I wrote in my memoir, Cleft Heart: chasing normal,            "With final form and functionality in mind, Dr. Coe set about joining the two sides of my face. The union had to be exactly right so that when the scars contracted, they would   not notch the red vermillion of my lip or distort the area between my lip and nose. ...All this had to be figured out fast, … [Read more...]

Time to buy Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal.

Gentle Reader,  As they say in radio, we've got to go to a commercial break now and then to pay the rent and keep the lights on. Since I'm not used to being a shameless promoter, I'll list some comments readers have used for Cleft Heart. They come in large part from Amazon review headings:“A Powerful and Moving Memoir”“Awesome book about overcoming obstacles”“Felt like I lived it”"Unless allowed a 6th star, I cannot recommend it more highly”“And ‘David slew his Goliaths.’ ”Artful rendition of … [Read more...]

After cleft lip and palate surgeries, what happens?

Have you read about the cleft lip kid in Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal yet?If not, order the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble now.Artful rendition of book cover.The inspiring story of a young man with a cleft lip and palate.You can read more about the book at the Facebook Fan Page for it.Also, see photos of the characters in Cleft Heart here. You can learn more about these real people in the book . . . and in the sequel that's in the outline stage currently.Please consider giving a copy of … [Read more...]

Yale to showcase Cleft Heart

I'm excited to announce that Yale University will exhibit Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal in Sterling Memorial Library. The book will be featured in the Memorabilia Room of the library starting May 28, 2015. The exhibit will run through the summer into September. Sterling Memorial Library and Cleft Heart. The library is a fitting location for an exhibition since five chapters of the book deal with my life in Trumbull College, the residence hall that abuts Sterling.  The exhibit represents a … [Read more...]

Things are looking up for site & Cleft Heart.

Can't complain about millions of site visitors. Just yesterday, my dog*  and I were thrilled to learn some stats about this website ( As of May 1, 2015, over 125,000 readers have visited the website and blog (126,000 to be exact) since it's inception in February of 2013. They're responsible for over 2 million page views. In fact, exactly 2,195, 700 pages or blogs have been viewed—hopefully read. Cleft Heart. This is great news, and I'm cheered by the interest generated by … [Read more...]

Possible origin of “Cleft Heart” & other hearty phrases——a Valentine treat.

In honor of Valentine's Day, we'll look at eight phrases containing the word "heart." Most of this fun-with-phrases is due to the hard work of word sleuths at Thank you kind souls for this . . . and the ongoing service you provide, esp to book authors. If you break someone’s heart, you cause them great disappointment or sorrow. This often occurs in the realm of love, though heartbreak is not exclusive to romantic endeavors. This expression has been describing sorrow and … [Read more...]

“Heroes, villains and fools” paintings: at Orinda Books this month.

Visitors to my website probably remember the elongated paintings that grace the left margins of most pages. The subjects of the paintings—in keeping with one of the themes of the website—are various American heroes, villains and fools. I intentionally chose well-known personages who force people to take sides since one person's hero is often another's villain . . . or fool. I've  explained all this in a prior post which I've reprinted below.* In my memoir, Cleft Heart, I identify among other … [Read more...]