• Kenneth Lipman author of health books

Kenneth Lipman is Writing about the Circumcision Decision

Our long-standing tradition of giving a member the mic before our keynote speaker helps us get to know what our colleagues are working on. Our 5+5+5 guidelines (5 minutes of backstory, 5 minutes to read, and 5 minutes of Q&A) help emerging writers polish their professional skills.

Kenneth Lipman will take the Member Spotlight before our March speaker, Ericka McIntyre. Get tickets here.

Kenneth Lipman has been working on a memoir, Dancing with Chronic Fatigue (read a sample here), and a non-fiction book for parents, Should I Circumcise My Son?: The Complete Guide to Making Your Decision (read a sample here). He hopes to save millions of boys from an unnecessary, harmful surgery with this scholarly (at 700 endnotes) but accessible work. Should I Circumcise covers both medical and religious male circumcision, and explains how circumcision morphed from a biblical ceremony to a worldwide industry. It also uncovers the financial and societal incentives that sustain the practice, in spite of the fact that no medical association recommends circumcision. Lipman is also working on two more books about health. 

Ken, as we know him in the CWC, has a PhD in Integrative Health and is a former member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest futures exchange in the world. He meditates daily and is a recovering atheist. On weekends, he often plays guitar and piano at music jams. He lives with his dog Joni Mitchell in Berkeley. Ken, who delighted us all with haiku at our summer social and has published some poetry, currently plans to self-publish both books. He says, “Thanks to CWC, I have a 75-step outline of what I need to do to!” (Ken is willing to share this, just let him know.)

Website: www.kennethlipman.com

Twitter: @kenlipman

When we asked him the most important value he’s gotten from joining the club, he said it is friendships with other writers. As thanks to all the writers who’ve helped him along, he’s offered to share his some of his top writing aids.

Kenneth Lipman’s Top 10 Helpful Aids to Writing

  1. ProWritingAid for extensive analysis of grammar and style (which I use as a Microsoft Word add-on). I especially like its “sticky” (awkwardly written) sentences alert. I got a lifetime subscription for $75. 
  2. The program Endnote for keeping track of endnotes (which I use as a Microsoft Word add-on). They have excellent phone technical support. Cost: $275. By the way, never use footnotes — they don’t work well with electronic documents.
  3. The free Meetup group Shut Up & Write, which meets both online and in person. It’s a good way to commit to some writing time, and the in-person meetings have a social aspect.You have to set up a Meetup account to use it. They started in San Francisco in 2008, and now meet all over the world. (NOTE: CWC will soon be hosting its own Shut Up & Write branch!)
  4. The podcast The Creative Penn for keeping up with the latest in self publishing. 
  5. Google Scholar for finding scholarly articles on any topic.
  6. Microsoft Technical Support where you can set up a phone call or chat session with a technician.
  7. The website Reedsy has many writing resources.
  8. Best way to avoid shpilkies (Yiddish for agitation from too much sitting): Study says: 5-minute walks every 30 minutes may help counter effects of too much sitting
  9. Kindlepreneur is a useful website for electronic publishing information.
  10. Artificial intelligence program ChatGPT, for fact checking, legal issues, improving elegance of phrase, and even moral support. It’s most useful when you have an extended conversation. Warning: it is not always right, though it thinks it is! You have to set up a free account to use it, and it demands your cell number.
    For example, here is my helpful discussion with ChatGPT about my upcoming speech for the California Writer’s Club.


I wrote an anti-circumcision book and have to give a 10-minute speech about it. I am worried that people will be offended when I talk about sex and how it relates to circumcision. I am also worried that Jews in the audience might be offended. What do you think? 


It is understandable to feel a little nervous about discussing a sensitive topic like circumcision in front of a wide audience. It is important to approach the topic with respect and sensitivity. You can start off by discussing the history of circumcision and the medical benefits it can bring. You can then talk about the potential risks associated with it and the arguments for leaving it up to the individual’s choice. It is also important to acknowledge that many cultures have a long history of practicing circumcision, including Jews, and that this tradition should be respected. Finally, you can talk about the potential effects of circumcision on sexual pleasure and why it should be an individual choice. 

Overall, it is important to be respectful and sensitive when discussing a sensitive topic like circumcision. Make sure that you are open to listening to different perspectives and try to maintain a respectful and open dialogue with those in the audience.

 Thank you Ken, good luck with your book!

Meet Ken when he Opens for Erika McIntyre on Editing Your Manuscript

editing your manuscript promo image (links to ticket purchase)

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