Passion and Compassion month continues with a writer I cannot get enough of. He’s a soft-spoken author and musician whom I call “Maestro.” One of the true measures of a man (in my books, pun intended) is that he should not take himself too seriously. Well…Larry definitely does not. His self-deprecating humor, as you will see from his video will have you in stitches.
Passionate and knowledgeable about music, he also performs live and plays guitar exquisitely. It’s just another wonderful reason to know him, and I’d highly recommend you subscribe to his YouTube channel.
For all of Larry’s accomplishments, he’s an incredibly charming man with a kind smile who’s always willing to share a joke. It’s my greatest pleasure to welcome the passion and humor of Larry Enright.
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Four Years From Home
Tom Ryan — firstborn of five children in a large, Irish Catholic family, smart and acerbic, a cheat and a bully — calls himself the future king of the Ryans. There are other opinions. His mother calls him a holy terror. Mrs. Ioli calls the police on him. His father says that had Trouble been a saint, that would have been Tom’s middle name. But his parents, neighbors, peers, and siblings all must bow down before him or suffer the consequences. Just ask the Christmas turkey leftovers he buried in the side yard.
Harry, the youngest Ryan, was the shining star of the family. Bright, sensitive, and caring, he was protected by parental radar, called by God and Grandma Ryan to the priesthood, and was in Tom’s eyes, a brown-nosing little punk who had become a threat to his kingdom and the primary target of his search and destroy missions.
Then Harry changed. He abandoned his vocation and quit the church, and when he left for college, he left for good. He never called. He rarely wrote. His picture disappeared from the mantle. It was as if he had ceased to exist and his shining star had been but a passing comet. The enemy had retreated and Tom’s war was over.
Four Years from Home begins on Christmas 1972 during Harry’s senior year at college. The Ryan family has gathered without Harry for another bittersweet holiday celebration. When an unexpected and unwelcome gift arrives, the family demands answers and Tom Ryan, bully cum laude, must make a reluctant journey of discovery and self-discovery into a mystery that can only end in tragedy.
Written by the son of Irish Catholic immigrants, Four Years from Home redefines brotherly love in the darkly humorous and often poignant actions of its principal skeptic, Tom Ryan.
Larry Enright (1949- ) was born to Irish Catholic second-generation immigrants and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After college, he moved to the Philadelphia area where for the past 40 years he has filled his life with many careers including teacher, musician, computer programmer, researcher, and writer. He has written three novels. Four Years from Home (2010) is his first published work.
His current work includes a weekly free serial novel called A King in a Court of Fools that can be read online, listened to, or downloaded to any Kindle or Nook-compatible e-reader. Following the final episode in three weeks, this novel will become an ebook and paperback, so enjoy it now while it’s still free!
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Inside Larry Enright’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Interesting idea, but not possible. “Perfect” and “happiness” are meaningful only by conceptual polarity, that is, we form our concept of them by comparison to their opposite. Thus, if you eliminated all imperfection and unhappiness, one thing would be no more perfect than another, and nothing would be any more happy or sad than another. Reasonable facsimiles of perfect happiness are a great cup of coffee, the best Pad Thai in the world, listening to a soft rain, watching clouds roll past an infinite sky, and a well-turned phrase.
What turns you on creatively? See point (1). I like to think. I get myself in trouble that way, but it keeps me going.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Let me finish the interview and do a word count. I’ll let you know then.
What quality do you most admire in a man? The ability to put up with women.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? The ability to put up with men.
What is your greatest regret? I regret that I gave up so easily on my music career. When I was younger I was far more technically proficient than now, but I lacked the will, self-confidence, and the drive to make it happen. I wanted it, but wanted it handed to me. Now that I am of a different mindset, my talent is only a shadow of what it was.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? There is nothing already past that I would change. If I did, I would no longer be me. I would be someone else. We are the sum of our experience and the spirit behind it. As much as I regret it, I would not even change what I spoke of in point (6). This is not to say that I do not work constantly to change the future. The “me” in the future is a world of possibilities and is the only thing I can justifiably hope to control or alter.
What is your greatest fear? Asphyxiphobia.
Which living person do you most admire? Tough question, no answer. Sorry, admiration is not something I do much. Too bad you didn’t ask me about envy. You’ll always have better luck when you mention any of the seven deadly sins.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Acting sounds like fun. It would take a lot of make-up, though, and they probably have a tight budget for that.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? I would come back as the Earth. I have a good talk with the human race and kick some serious people butt if they didn’t listen.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I believe that is yet to come. Everything ‘til now has been a warm-up.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? I’ve never thought about this, but now that you mention it, I have a hard time with people who show others no respect as human beings. Or, as Kant said, “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” His categorical imperative was to treat people as ends, not as means to an end. If this makes no sense, think “Golden Rule.” That will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
What is your greatest extravagance? I buy Starbucks at the grocery store instead of store brand. I go to the movies when I should be watching them on the TV, and I paint my rooms with non-VOC, soy-based paint.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Live. Not just “live.” Live.
What is your present state of mind? I am in a fey mood.
What are some of your favorite curse words? I was a passenger in the car, teaching my sons to drive. My younger son was at the wheel. He came to a four-way stop, waited his turn, and started off. The guy at the stop sign to our left decided not to wait his turn and rolled into the intersection in front of us. My feeble brain told my gaping mouth to yell two things. “Stop!” and “S**t!” The personal editor who resides somewhere in that thick skull of mine, efficiently trimmed that down to the single word “Shot!” and that has become my favorite curse word.
What is your motto? Finis.
Connect with Larry
Thank you Larry for being a wonderful guest and putting up with me (as I had to with you). 😉 I invite all readers to leave the Maestro a comment. He’s as sweet as he looks.