Vernon’s Advice Heeded at Long Last

Back in 2002 my cousin Max was thinking about buying a travel website called GoNOMAD and he asked me what I thought and I repeated some advice my friend Vernon had given me a short while before: “Be bold. Strong unseen forces will work in your favor.”

I thought at the time it was Jung, but it turns out it was someone else, I can’t remember who. I guess I should ask Vernon to clear that up.

It’s a variation of the words Julius Caesar spoke to a boatman who carried him across the Adriatic through Pompey’s naval blockade: “Be bold and fear nothing, for the destiny of Caesar rides with you tonight.”

Max decided to go for it with GoNOMAD and the rest, as they say, is history.

In that spirit I decided to buy a domain name,, to begin to realize a vision that has been pestering me for many years: a literary journal for the medical profession.

I have run (free) writing groups for many years, and in my work at GoNOMAD, I’ve had the chance to work with many writers at many different skill levels. Some writers first published on our site have gone on to write for the New York Times and the Atlantic Monthly.

I like to feel I’m carrying on the work of my grandmother’s cousin Edmund ‘Bunny’ Wilson, who brought us F. Scott Fitzgerald, E(a)rnest Hemingway, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and so many others. I love helping people tell good stories.

Do you know someone in the medical profession with a story to tell? Tell them to email me.

There will be articles about the history of medicine and historical features like “Repairing Wounded Gladiators” and “A Doctor in Homespun” and tests of readers’ diagnostic skills drawn from history and literature: “What Caused the Plague at Athens?” “What Caused The Death of Ivan Ilych?

I really can’t say this is a bold move on my part, since I have been contemplating it for so long, and since it doesn’t cost that much to buy a domain name, but for me it’s bold because it means investing a lot of creative energy.

But it dawned on me, while watching a documentary about the Mandelbrot Set, that every web page is a magazine, a little infinity. And that got me thinking.

I’ve seen so many high-tech slow-loading websites with all kinds of bells and whistles, and I’m actually grateful for that because it makes such a contrast with minimalist, quick-loading pages that don’t waste you time or your attention. The Google home page is the classic example. In fact it’s paradigmatic!

The paradigm I’m going to use for the Caduceus Journal will be something like the DjoserUSA website. Is that cool, or what?