In this comedy/drama, based very, very loosely on my own experiences, a middle-aged father of three named Doug Kaplan appears to have it all. An attractive and supportive wife, three healthy boys, and a successful career. He doesn’t shy away from his responsibilities as a father or as a son to his aging parents, and he is valued and respected at work. However, all his life he has been plagued by the accusation that he does suffer from one significant character flaw, a subtle but substantial penchant for being selfish, a flaw to which he is largely oblivious.
Sorry isn’t Enough
I remember this as if it was yesterday. I was sitting in my 11th grade Earth Science class, and I was seated next to one of my best friends, Jimmy B. Any teacher that allowed Jimmy and I to sit together, did so at their own risk. We were, in essence, each other’s bad influence. We never did anything too destructive, but we both found each other patently hysterical, and we were of the shared belief that it would have been a shame to keep our gift for mirth hidden from our classmates who otherwise were going to be sitting through one of Mr. Goodstone’s endless lectures dealing with the “Mohs’ Scale of Hardness.”
To his credit, Mr. Goodstone seemed to keep Jimmy and I under wraps for the most part through the occasional stern redirection, or his mellow and laid-back approach. However, he could become agitated and lose his cool with the best of them, and since he wasn’t a bad guy per se, you didn’t really wish to be on the receiving end of one of his eruptions. On one particular day, a day of no particular note, a student by the name of Tom P. decided to get up in the middle of class during whatever Mr. Goodstone was warbling about in the front of the room and threw out a piece of paper. Tom was far more of a buffoon than Jimmy or I, and he went for the “big splash,” as opposed to the quick snide or stupid remark that Jimmy and I excelled in. Not satisfied with simply getting up and throwing the piece of paper away, Tom stood up, threw his paper across the room, sank the shot and yelled, “Doctor ‘J’ shoots from downtown he scores aaaaahhhhhh!!!!”
It was at this point that Tom, who had completely interrupted whatever it was that Mr. Goodstone was teaching us about, looked at the obviously perturbed and offended science teacher and said in a quiet and somewhat reflective manner, “Sorry.” before reclaiming his seat, and believing he had doused whatever flames of rage Mr. Goodstone might be feeling. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Mr. Goodstone, yelling at a level that here-to-fore he hadn’t used in our classroom, screamed, “No! You’re not sorry, sorry is just something you were taught to say when you did something so unbelievably rude and disrespectful, that you felt you could get away with it by just saying that you’re sorry.” Tom, in the same calm manner then responded somewhat predictably, “Okay, then I’m not sorry.” Mr. Goodstone seemed actually okay with this since he felt he had at least imparted some sort of lesson on Tom P., if such a thing could have actually been accomplished.
It is this idea of forgiveness without regret or remorse that is central to the core of what makes the protagonist in my story Blind Spot, Doug Kaplan, a figure that can be maddingly hard to like. He is a good man who basically lives his life the right way, but he has his flaws, one of which is selfishness. This selfish streak has brought him to the precipice of losing everything if he can’t overcome this self-centered attitude that throughout most of his life, he largely has been blind to.
I am grateful to Fiona Ingram for this opportunity to promote my first novel, Blind Spot, I believe many authors have found the attempts to get published somewhat frustrating since so much of the emphasis in publishing, as well as in acquiring an agent revolve around topics that have become popular amongst the younger and social media driven crowd. I believe that Blind Spot will appeal to those who know what it is to be married, have children, establish themselves in their career, tending to aging parents, and then trying to balance it all. These are the challenges that everyone will find themselves dealing with at one time or another, and the saga of Doug Kaplan will feel very familiar to most readers.
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