Header pic by Mark Gunther
Greens’ essay contest. You can read four excellent essays.
If you are in despair about the state of our world…
Bob’s writing showcase
Bob’s helpful psychology site
Bob’s environmental web site
Archives of Bobbing Around
Interesting people featuring on Bobbing Around
Entertaining you (mostly) elsewhere
There used to be a very useful list of categories to the right, near the top of this page. In their wisdom WordPress have removed the possibility, perhaps to induce me to move from the free version. So, now you’ll find the category list right at the bottom of this page, with the comment slot directly above it.
This is me, having a chat with a kookaburra. Really, he was after the grubs my wood splitting exposed, but pretended to enjoy our conversation. Birds are among my favourite people on this planet.
I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that now threatens us with extinction, and replacing a culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
Ella lived next door to me for over a year, and as you can see, adopted me as a grandfather.
So far, I have retired 5 times as:
- Research scientist
- Builder’s labourer
- A Director of my professional association
I am still going strong as a storyteller, writer and editor. To date, I have 19 published books. Five of them have won awards.
The link in the previous paragraph is to a list of the currently available titles. Each has a link to its page at my writing showcase, where you can read an extract, a few sample reviews, and buy the book.
If you send me proof of purchase of any of my books, anywhere, in any format, you have qualified for a second title, free. Emailing me a review qualifies as proof of purchase, and I’ll even publish the review in the next issue of my newsletter.
Also, I do professional editing for a number of small, independent publishers and a steady stream of writers pre-submission.
What genre do I write in? Rather than a square peg in a round hole, I am a fractal-shaped peg that makes its own hole, so my writing doesn’t fit in genres. My main aim is to entertain, but as with every other writer, my belief system underlies everything I write.
What is that?
Read my essay, How to change the world.
I have been publishing my newsletter Bobbing Around since mid-2000, and now I am continuing it here. The archives of the many past issues are listed at the original Bobbing Around. You can look at a few recent issues by clicking on the “Bobbing Around” link in the right column on this page. You can subscribe, but the easiest way is to follow this blog.
Although I retired from my psychological counselling practice in 2013, I have an ongoing project of pro bono answers to cries for help. People, mostly but not exclusively young, send me one or two emails of desperation every month. Also, I am one of the volunteers answering such posts at Queendom, and also in a group at Quora devoted to suicide prevention.
Some issues keep recurring, and rather than repeating myself, I am collecting related ones with an explanation, so they are readily available for people suffering from that issue.
The first one is Answers to self-assessed sexual abusers.
Even more frequent is the terrible problem of being tortured by obsessive thoughts of committing murder. As we know, all too many people give in to such urges, but those who contact me have resisted, and want the obsession to go away. Here are links to 21 such q&a exchanges.
There is a reason that murder urges are so common. Read an extract from my book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide about the work of John B. Calhoun, which provides a perfect explanation.
A third project is the serialisation of From Depression to Contentment at the online journal Recovering the Self
The first instalment is here: the entire first chapter.
And here is the second part: introducing first aid, which is what I now call the 7 magic bullets.
And here is the first magic bullet: healthy eating.
If you are in despair about the state of our world…
Here is one of my posts on this issue.
A lady sent me a letter of despair at the way global society is committing suicide. Here is my answer to her.
On the same topic, it’s worth reading my correspondence with a young woman who was in despair about the end of humanity.
More recently, my nephew Helmand and his wife Skye sent me a long and thoughtful email about environmental despair. You can read our exchange.
Also relevant is and extract from my novel Ascending Spiral which shows what we must do, and why there is no need for despair.
I have been an environmental activist since 1972, because I had young children, and wanted a good future for them. Now, I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and work for at least some chance of survival for them.
This theme is a constant in my monthly newsletter, Bobbing Around. Also, here are a few relevant posts:
How to change the world
4 r-s of sustainable use
How to predict disaster
Too hot? Too cold?
Answer to a neighbour: CO2 is good for us?
Sunspot activity and climate
Essential education about methane
Toward a sustainable lifestyle
What are the most important aspects to pay attention to that relate to sustainability?
We can’t remove enough CO2
Kate Marvel post on climate change
There IS no global warming?
Is global warming ever going to stop?
I didn’t decide to be a Buddhist, but as a young man, I found out, almost by accident, that my belief system is in accordance with the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. I am a “secular Buddhist:” follow no ritual, but do my imperfect best to live by this philosophy. Actually, although this is NOT a religion, its implications for living are the same as those of all the great religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
All of us will be better people by understanding the Buddha’s message, regardless of our religious beliefs, or lack of them. If interested, read the following:
Are we God’s puppets?
Buddhism for Christians
Don Lubov’s posts
A band-aid: Buddhist equanimity
Buddhist equanimity is USEFUL
2021 in Bob’s computer: Buddhist philosophy for Rhobin
I is a paradox
Reincarnation. This is an extract from my book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide.
Second Vipassana retreat
Where do souls of population explosion come from?
The truth of sacred writings
Interesting people featuring on Bobbing Around
From time to time, certain people inspire me to the point of wanting to feature them and publicise what they have to offer, or to spread their message, or to learn from them.
Here is the list from the last few years, newest first.
Creativity is the nectar of the gods, by Don Lubov
An Australian Head of State by David Feith
: Grassroots Manifesto, by Don Lubov
Don Lubov’s third guest post is Spirituality Manifesto Due to go live on 6 July.
A peaceful proposal is the second of what I hope will be a long and enduring series of guest posts from Don Lubov. If you check the list of categories at the bottom of the page, you’ll find his name there (you are guaranteed not to find it if you don’t look).
Fellow Australian Green, Duncan Dean, sent me an essay for a guest post, A common prosperity for planet Earth.
Don Lubov’s 6-step path to inner peace is age-old wisdom in six simple steps that will lead you to a good path.
Maison Collawn interviewed me on his podcast, and impressed me with his spiritual maturity. He is “just a kid” with unusual ways of having fun, but also, he has dedicated his life to being of benefit. You can read his answers to a few questions, and, like me, you may learn a few things new to you.
A dying lady’s wisdom
I have chosen to consider the last words of my dear friend, Esther Simons, as a guest post, so they stay permanently accessible.
Yvonne Rowan on the second American Civil War
Jeanne Gassman devotes her blog and Facebook page to regularly posting contests and publishing opportunities. This benefits other writers, and also contest organisers. Since I approve of this attitude, I interviewed her.
Daralyse Lyons runs a podcast featuring connection and understanding between everyone, regardless of differences. She has interviewed hundreds of people who have experienced discrimination, disdain and abuse for a very varied collection of reasons. She has written a book based on her show. I found her work so inspiring that I just had to interview her. You will enjoy my chat with this marvellous young lady.
Shannon Sullivan is passionate about the same things I am: a world of decency that has a chance to survive. She has found herself a job where she can advance this cause. She has written an upbeat article about 10 ways of giving presents that make our planet a better place.
Out of the blue, Carolyn Howard-Johnson sent me a guest post titled Let’s Stop Saying, “I Don’t Like Poetry”.
You will find her words entertaining whether you like poetry or not.
Penny Fenner is a Buddhist psychologist, and one of my friends from before my retirement. She has has given me permission to share a post with you: Accepting the Unacceptable
Michael Amos is a publisher with a difference. He approached me to review a book his company, Sleepy Lion Publishing, had launched. This already surprised me: usually publishers leave that up to the author. I checked out his company, and am impressed. My interview with him will impress you too.
Here is a lady with no pretensions, nothing to sell or preach about; just an intelligent, thoughtful person who does her best to work for a better world. She and I “met” because we both make occasional comments on essays at The Conversation. Please meet Georgina Byrnes, Farmer, and be inspired.
Makesh Karuppiah was born in India, but got his Ph.D. in environmental science in the USA. We “met” on Quora, where we both answer environmental questions. He liked my answers, so checked out How to change the world. It was such an exact parallel to his philosophy that he has written a guest post for Bobbing Around A path from achievement to satisfaction. He chose to have it go live on Sunday, 27th October, because that day is the Diwali Light Festival. Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness.
My interview with Canadian writer, Melanie Robertson-King
Joey Garcia has many impressive achievements and also gave interesting answers to my questions. She has improved the educational system of a country, and guided many a person through heartbreak, to emerge as a better person.
Here is my interview with Dr Ian Ellis-Jones. I found Ian’s blog when researching my just-published book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide. If you want to improve your understanding on a wide range of issues, you just can’t go past his blog. His long, thoughtful answers to my questions will force to you to think.
Keith Manos won my free book edit contest. The reason will show you how you can make use of whatever resources you have in a creative way.
Jan Trezise was a school principal, and has organised an amazing project: kids from her high school have interviewed refugees from East Timor who had settled in Australia during the terrible times in Timor. The resulting prose and poetry reports form the book From Timor Leste to Australia. Reading this book inspired me so much that I just had to interview Jan.
Skye Taylor is one of my fellow authors who regularly participate in Rhobin’s Rounds. I interviewed her because of the remarkable similarities in our philosophy and world view, despite the huge differences in our writing. One of the fascinating things is her time as a volunteer in Tonga.
Cheryl Holloway is an African-American lady with remarkable achievements. One of her ongoing activities is to help the careers of other writers, and she hosted me at her blog. I just had to return the favour, and you’ll find her fascinating.
Rajat Mitra is an author in India. I wanted to interview him after reviewing his book, because his attitude of loving acceptance as the way of overcoming hate resonated with me. You will love him.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson about the review. Carolyn is an award-winning poet and writing instructor, and a high-selling writer of “how-to” books for writers. She is an inspiration, because her way of advancing her causes is to help others with theirs.
Cynthia Sue Larson is a physicist with an interest in apparently paranormal events. She uses quantum mechanics to offer an explanation.
Erin Ireland wrote a powerful book about domestic abuse, and has helpful advice to women on how to predict it, and how to protect themselves.
Michael Michalko on how to be creative. Michael has now stopped his regular, intriguing posts about many aspects of creativity, but my conversation with him is still fascinating. Reading what he says will help you to become more creative.
Joan Edwards on how to make a blog popular. In a matter of 4 years, she has built it up to more than 102,176 unique visits, and 176 subscribers.
Entertaining you (mostly) elsewhere
Many kind people have invited guest posts from me, or interviewed me on their blog or website. I make a point of giving fresh, new answers to at least some of the questions. Each of these people is unique and creative, so they often surprise me with a question or two. Even if not, I do my best to surprise them with my answer.
Here are links to those that are still active in their original location. When that’s no longer the case, I reproduce the interview here, at Bobbing Around, so you can still hopefully enjoy my performance.
Currently, I am publicising my most recent books:
- Maraglindi: Guardian spirit
- Lifting the Gloom: Antidepressant writings
- From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide
- Sleeper, Awake
- Hit and Run
Therefore, I’ve have had such guest appearances in many places. More are coming, so please keep an eye on this spot.
Again, most recent is on the top.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the Purple Political Podcast. Radell and I discussed trivial matters such as what life is about, and how we can save all complex life on Earth.
Instant reality building: a guest post at Sleepy Lion Publishing.
I have started a new project. From now, early August, 2022, until approximately a long time give or take a little, every two weeks I will have a component of my book, From Depression to Contentment in the wonderful online journal Recovering the Self.
Chapter 1 is now here.
Michael Amos, publisher of Sleepy Lion Publishing, has featured my post for writers about quoted thoughts.
One of my global tribe of grandchildren has progressed from self-bashing, and asked how to go about it. You can read my answer, How do I learn to love myself as a guest post at Loving Healing Press.
Please visit Wibble to read my brief post, Who is winning the war in Ukraine?
Here is my second guest post at Wibble. This time, it’s instruction for writers on using “Styles” in Microsoft Word.
Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin has a weekly show on Los Angeles Talk Radio. I was her guest for the second time — at 4 a.m. at my place, mind you, talking about positive psychology. If you don’t want to look at my pretty face, here is an audio-only version.
Colin Reynolds, also known as Pendantry, is a youngster in Britain, who actually invited me to his Zoom 60th birthday. He is now publishing occasional guest posts from me on his blog, Wibble. Here is the first one, on how to stay comfortable in any temperature regime: Too hot? Too cold?
Many people have a death phobia. Margaret Meloni is not one of them. As a Buddhist, she is confident that death is merely a transformation, and indeed she talks about major life transitions as a death and rebirth: moving from one phase to another. We had a half-hour conversation last December, and it has now gone live. In the email notifying me of this, she wrote: “Today I edited our discussion from December. It made me smile now, just as it did then. Thank you so much for sharing your time and your wisdom.”
J. M. Tropello runs the popular Mustard Seed Sentinel blog, and she has honoured me by publishing a short chapter from my work in progress, If you have lost a loved one. This is “The Power of NOW,” basic instruction in how to put peace into your heart through mindfulness meditation.
Two decent, intelligent young men interviewed me on The Scuttlebutt Podcast. We covered trivial subjects like the meaning of life and why you are on earth, explored the concept of reincarnation, and how to cope with living in an insane world, but all this was set in a framework of fun.
New grandson interviews me. He is Maison Collawn, who is passionate about Buddhism. While the content of our interview is great, the audio quality is not, but I think you will find the effort of listening worthwhile.
Amy Metz is the author of humorous western detective stories, and I admire the symbiosis of genres. As a public service, she posts author interviews, and here you can read my answers to make you laugh and think at the same time. You know, sweet-and-sour hot chilli?
Mary Tod’s blog is one of the most important centres of historical fiction. She has asked me deep and thought-provoking questions about Maraglindi, which has provoked me into giving hopefully thought-provoking and even more hopefully, entertaining answers.
Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin is an eating disorders specialist — and inspiration. She says, food and weight issues are not a problem but a symptom, and she is right. On 11 am PST 17th November, she grilled me on toast on her popular show on LA Radio. That was 6 am Thursday 18th my time, so needed to splurge on chocolates and coffee so I wouldn’t fall asleep during the show.
I’ve had a wonderful interview with Professor Claudia Monacelli. Our chat went live on 11 November. Here it is on Spotify.
Kevy Michaels has invited a guest post from me. After looking around his blog, I sent him a 2800 word essay with the title, Are we God’s puppets?
Writers Exchange e-publishing is the publisher of Hit and Run. They have interviewed me, and have generously included material relevant to many of my other books as well. Appropriately, the interview is labelled “Bob Rich, Author and Environmental Warrior.”
4th of April is the anniversary of the occasion when the self-declaredly glorious Red Army of the Soviet Union liberated (and colonised) all of Hungary in 1945. To unknowingly celebrate this occasion, Diane Bator has featured me on her blog. Diane is one of my fellow Rhobin’s Round Robin conspirators. She enjoys being of benefit, so regularly interviews other authors at her blog, and I am delighted to be her latest guest.
Kim Robinson has a project: collecting statements about the effects of COVID-19 on people. Here is my contribution.
Sandra Warren reviewed Hit and Run, and became intrigued about the origins of the story. So, she sent me a list of questions, and I did my best to entertain with my answers. See if I can give you a few laughs, as well as perhaps leading you to see the world differently.
Mike Munisov calls it a book review, but he actually interviewed me on Zoom to write a very complimentary summary of our chat, focusing on climate anxiety. As he noted, I have several resources to help you cope with that, and it is central to my book, From Depression to Contentment.
In December last year, Dr Paul Mason interviewed me on his video show, “Idioms of Normality.” The episode has now gone live, and I think you will enjoy our chat.
I have been reorganising the lists of reviews for my three most recent books, which meant a temporary barrage of posts. Carolyn Howard-Johnson responded by setting me a task: to write a guest post for her New Book Review site on how I get my reviews. If I say so myself, I gave an entertaining answer, but I want to know what YOU think of it. So, comments are open until 8th November, one week after the publication of the November issue of Bobbing Around. I will randomly select one commenter, who will have earned either a free edit of 3000 words if an author, or a free copy of any of my books otherwise.
You can enjoy THREE entirely different interviews when I had the honour to be featured on the Luck-It Network, which runs out of Singapore.
The first one, on 17th April, 2020, was basically about my role as Professional Grandfather, and gave a laugh to quite a few people.
The second, released on the 1st of May, compared my attitudes at 21 with me now. This one is more thought-provoking, so you are forbidden to read it unless you can think. (If you can’t think, how are you reading this?)
The third focused on my writing. If you are writer, or would like to be one, you may benefit from reading about a journey. If you are a reader, you will find it interesting. If you are not a reader, GO AWAY!
Dr Nina Savelle-Rocklin is a food-addiction expert, and her work will be of major benefit to anyone struggling with eating problems. She has kindly posted a short extract from From Depression to Contentment to her blog. This is the section on how to use guided imagery to put peace into your heart. She has titled it How To Stay Calm When You’re Anxious About Coronavirus (or anything else!). Please go over there, leave a comment (as I always say, that’s better than taking it with you!), and spread the word to people who need it.
More recently, she has read my script 10 minutes into her 1 hour regular podcast. The whole show will be useful to you if you are struggling with food-related issues, or indeed any addictive behaviour, but if you like, you can find the right spot and have her talk peace into your heart.
I’ve spent an hour talking with Lana Reid, producing a half-hour podcast for her radio show, “The Male Perspective.” During our preparatory email exchanges, and then during our chat, it became clear that we are very much kindred spirits. She is too old to be an honorary grandchild, but I’ll happily adopt her as a daughter. Our conversation was enjoyable to both, and I’ll guarantee, you will find it entertaining. The podcast went live on 27th November, 2019. It is now available, wherever you are.
The delightful Aimee Cabo interviewed me on her radio show “Love is the Cure,” with her husband, Dr. Boris Nikolov also making the occasional comment. The topic was “difficult kids.” I am supremely qualified to discuss this topic, having been the naughtiest kid in the world.
Also, leading kids with terrible behaviour to a good life is the theme of my novel, Hit and Run.
You can listen to our chat either at
I have talked with Bob Pessemier about how mature men can avoid the trap of depression and enjoy a life of contentment, at As We Get Older. Unlike the Authors Show interview below, this one is permanently available.
On Tuesday 23rd July, but only for 24 hours from midnight to midnight, US Eastern time, my radio interview on the Authors Show was audible. Since I can’t afford their exorbitant fees for more, I have posted the questions, and my script for the answers.
If I say so myself, I gave entertaining answers to Melanie Robertson-King in this interview.
Years ago, I edited a book for a nice man. To my surprise, I was notified on the 2nd of January, 2019, that he’d commented on an interview in 2014. This was soon after the publication of Ascending Spiral. Fiona McVie asked questions that allowed me full rein to be outrageous. I’d forgotten about this interview, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You might, too.
Christmas eve, 2018, I was notified that Modern History Press, the publisher of Ascending Spiral, has published a guest post for writers: Dialogue Basics. If you’re learning the writing trade, it will be of benefit to you. And if you are an experienced writer, I’d appreciate your comments. Did I get it right? Do you disagree with anything I’ve written there?
October 4 was my 75-and-two-thirds birthday. To celebrate the occasion, I visited Damilola Ogunremi in Nigeria. This nice young woman asked me some challenging questions, and even taught me something.
TA Sullivan and I have become friends, and she is also my teacher on deep philosophical matters. Our interview is completely different. While my books are mentioned, they are almost incidental to the issues we discuss. Be amused and challenged, and please leave a comment. (After all, it’s no good, taking it with you. Isn’t English a wonderful language?)
In my interview with Lisa Haselton, I managed to say new things, surprising myself.
Rita Chapman has hosted me at her blog on the 2nd of September. Our chat was there for only a week, so I have reposted the interview. She gave me serious opportunities for humorous answers.
Wendy Laing interviewed me in August. She had some formatting problems, like her platform not recognising HTML for a paragraph break, but the content is fine.
Joan Edwards has me on her popular blog, though you’ve missed out on the chance of a free book by commenting before 13th August, 2018.
Lynda Dickson runs the Books Direct blog and we had an interesting conversation.
JQ Rose asked a lot of W questions, and what do you know, I even answered one more than she asked.
Mary Tod runs a prominent and often-visited blog devoted to historical fiction. She has interviewed several well-known historical writers, and did me the honour of also welcoming me. After she got my answers, she decided to read Anikó: The stranger who loved me.
Cheryl Holloway focused on Guardian Angel, because Hit and Run wasn’t published yet.
However, I am delighted to let you know, her second interview focused on Hit and Run.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson had fun posting my tongue-in-the-cheek essay on a bio that will get your book read.
Norm Goldman runs the highly popular writing site Bookpleasures. I feel honoured that he interviewed me, and I think you’ll enjoy our questions and answers.
I joined an organisation that advanced electronic books in 1999. Its name, EPIC, cycled through several expansions. Its best activity was an international award for electronic books, and my work won several, and was shortlisted at other times. Sadly, though, EPIC’s success killed it, and the organisation ceased to exist in early 2018. However, here is an interview that featured on their blog late in 2017.
Margaret Carter doesn’t have a blog or website, but a Yahoo group for her faithful fans. She posted an interview with me there, and I have made it accessible here.
I have been a volunteer counsellor at Queendom for many years. Recently, I discovered that there is an associated blog. Deb, the wonderful lady running it, asked so many questions that we had to post the interview in two parts. Both are fun, and can stand on their own.
And as you may have guessed, here is the second part.
I don’t write children’s books, but that’s Bonnie Ferrante’s special interest. So, that’s what I talked about on her blog. It was well received by authors and readers of kids’ books.
Beverley Bateman wanted to know about heroes, so that’s what I wrote about on her blog.
Rita Chapman has interviewed me once before, and when she replaced me there, I made sure it didn’t disappear. What I wrote made her laugh…
The Mountain Journal featured an interview with me in 2010. I’ve re-read it, and am surprised at how relevant it is to today’s stuffed-up world.
Greg Foyster is a journalist who cycled around Australia, gathering material for his book. I was one of the many people he interviewed.
When Ascending Spiral was published in 2013, a lady contacted me. She’d loved it, but didn’t want to write a review. She wanted to interview me, but had no web site of her own. So, we did the interview at Bobbing Around.
As always, I enjoy your blog. Perhaps, it is because great minds think alike or just that we share a love of words, children and a yen to leave the world a better place. I have a book signing scheduled in October for my new children’s book, “What Happened to Chester?” One of the hardest things for me to do, in the words of a friend, is to be a “unapologetic self-promoter.” So my new line is: If not me, who will? Just a note to thank you for being an excellent example of the power that writers have–to share their own gift, to empower others and find the humor in both!
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I have read your professional grandfather’s story and religious beliefs, and from time to time learn from people and your love for the environment and much more which inspired me so much. Thanks for some thoughts and education.
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Thanks for the visit and comment. I am here to serve.