Thursday, June 18, 2009


Later the homeless kid Ben told us how Ian Kearney fell
from the Kearney Music School’s balcony. At ten to eight
on a rainy and muffled Philadelphia night, a week after
Thanksgiving. Cars sizzled around Rittenhouse Square. The
light posts on the square had red and green plastic Christmas
fuzzy stuff wrapped around them. The door above Ben
opened, and Ian’s short and spindly frame appeared on the
balcony. Ian looked around as if expecting someone. He bent
over the railing, groaned and released a stream of vomit. Ben,
standing below, jumped to his right just in time. Ian wiped
his mouth. Ben followed Ian’s gaze and saw a tall man on the
corner. He was wearing a handlebar moustache.

A New Kind of Autobiography

Why do autobiographies all look the same? They start with childhood and try to find reasons why the person ended up the way they did and they never can because no one really knows and besides like Kierkegaard says, you live your live forward but understand it backwards, so you're always coming up with rationalizations for everything not explanations.

What am I to autobiographize about? Yes, I inhabited a space on this earth for a bunch of years, but what is that space about. It's so tall, so wide, and so deep. That's me. I've gotten taller and shorter and fatter and thinner over time. I'll probably keep it up until I die and then become just a bunch of stuff.

So, you can tell what I am as well as I can. I've cranked up Mahler on the stereo and decided that my life is the connections between all the people I have known and all the things I have done. You'll have to figure out what those connections mean, you'll get no help from me. I'll just tell you what I did and whom I know and I may sometimes hazard a guess but how am I really to know.

So here's a new kind of autobiography. I'm in here somewhere but who knows. Maybe I should call it my autoblogiography. That's it. I'm writing my autoblogiography.


Ian Kearney, the director of the Kearney Music School, an elite musical training school in Philadelphia, dies after a fall from a balcony during a recital. World-famous cellist, Henry Harrier, recently forced from the faculty, returns to investigate Ian's death when his prized former student is arrested. Henry shows through his brilliant and single-minded pursuit of the truth that, as usual, they have it all wrong. This Sherlock Holmes-type mystery leads the reader through the world of classical music and lays bare the conflicts which dominate the lives of talented adolescents when placed under the pressure of studying for a demanding, stressful, and often elusive career as a classical music performer. Henry Harrier is part John Le Carre's George Smiley, part Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes, and part Orlando Cole the beloved teacher, renowned chamber musician, and until his own retirement, the premier cellist of the Curtis Institute.

Author Profile:

Tim was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on January 30, 1946. In 1951 he moved with his family to Schenectady, New York, where he lived through high school. He attended Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, from 1964 to 1968. He graduated in 1968 with a B.A. in history and philosophy. He received his Ph. D. in history in U.S. history in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison after spending 2.5 years in the U. S. Army. Most of his army service was completed in Wuerzburg, Germany, from 1969-1971. In 1972 he returned to Madison to complete his doctoral study. His dissertation, Those Who Moved; Internal Migrants in American 1607-1840, combined the statistical analysis of genealogical and biographical data with the study of traditional literary diaries, letters, and journals.

Tim was a market and survey research consultant from 1983 to 2000 and a smoking cessation researcher from 2000 to 2003. His consulting practice focused primarily on conducting community health needs assessment. He authored hundreds of market research reports and published a number of his assessments in Community Health Needs Assessment published by McGraw Hill in 1996 and in a revised volume published in 1999. In 2000 he joined the staff of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he conducted smoking cessation research. He published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and spoke at national smoking cessation conferences.

In 2003 he moved to Philadelphia and earned his real estate license. He now practices real estate, works on publishing his novels, and studies and teaches entrepreneurship.Tim has written a dozen novel-length stories, a volume of short stories, and about a 3-foot stack of pages poetry. He is currently working on earning his 4th million in real estate sales, publishing his novels, and working on an entrepreneurish handbook as a support for his students.

Tim is a trained violist and an experienced string quartet player. He is an avid listener to classical music and regularly attends classical music concerts. He has two grown children by his first wife and a stepdaughter with his second wife. He likes to cook, read, write, entertain, develop relationships, and help other people. Formerly Tim used to travel frequently. He doesn't so much anymore. Now he regards the combination of real estate practice, writing and publishing, and the teaching and studying of entrepreneurship as enough of a trip.