Life’s too short to read dull writing.

That’s Dixie Swanson’s take on reading and writing. As a self-admitted book-aholic, she should know. “I don’t write literary fiction. I write stories with a beginning, a middle and an end people can live with. ”

Dixie_Swanson_AuthorWith a wealth of life experiences, Dixie writes knowledgeably about a variety of things. Always intrigued by a challenge, she decided to go to medical school with a toddler in tow. Once established as a pediatrician, she took on the job of being a working television health reporter in a major market. A bit bored, she took demanding writing classes at Rice University. Then came the big challenge.

At age 45, Systemic Lupus rather rudely ended her careers. She entered the half-lit world of the chronically ill. Alone. The stairs in her condo looked like Mt. Everest. If she got out once a day, it was a victory. The only thing she could do was read. When lupus threatened her vision, she “read” audio books.

Slowly the medicines kicked in. She distracted herself from her pain by writing stories and sticking them in a drawer. She met and married the love of her life at 54. “He didn’t mind that I slept 14 hours a day – it gave him time for golf.”

Dixie needed a new challenge. She decided she wanted to write a best-selling novel. Why not? She’d attended the University of Texas at Austin where the library was 27 stories tall. She wrote several books, but nothing met her standards until she thought up “The Accidental President,” based in part on a job she had in college with a confidante of a sitting President.

“Sure, it’s a tall tale. It’s a fable, almost a fairy tale, to drive home civics lessons,” Dixie says. Ever the optimist, she believes our political problems have non-partisan solutions.

“’We the People’ are the most powerful words in America. Whatever 315 million of us want, we can have,” Dixie says. “If you don’t believe that, you don’t have a handle on what makes this nation unique.”


6 Comments on “Who Is Dixie Swanson?”

  1. Hi, I read your comment about Karzai in today’s Times and I have one comment. Before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 1996 the country was the #1 world supplier of raw opium for the heroin market. Within a year, the Taliban had eradicted the growth of Opium Poppy and Afghanistan fell to virtually zero in growing this crop. Fundamentalist Conservative Islamic Ideology is opposed to drugs, so they wiped it out, along with other “no’s”. It stands today as the most effective drug control policy in the world.
    As a PhD in Political Science, I will look for your books at the library, e-reader or buy one or two for upcoming summer reading! Thank you.


    The weekend Journal ‘”Ed” added more complexity – needless to say this is the modus operandi and be it Mr K in Ohio or the WSJ opinion, once you start down this River Styx be ine pro or con they are not coming back upstream – ever. Just pick your choice of Dante’s 9 circles.

    One must of being mired in a quamire of complexity festooned with more green shaded practioners than those certified in the healing arts. Here in VT – 20 years ago we started wrestling with Single Payer. The 8,000 lb in the closet was pricing and implementation … we were promised an answer this year. Now we are told it will be ’17. The 25th anniversary!

    My understanding is that enrollment in the “Roach Motel” takes Medicaid eligibility to 3xs poverty level – I can’t find a chart. Let us say that VT is at 2xs – In ’10 total Medicaid $1.294B – We paid 30% $378M. Now my understanding is that if we go with the “Program” @ 3xs Uncle Sam will pick up 100% and 90% in 3 years.
    Does this only apply to the variation between 2xs & 3xs or does it apply to the full program [3xs]? No question
    you need a magic divining rod and a PHD in dousing to secure a shot glass of H2O. But, of course that is the intent.

    Did you catch up with the TIME issue [March 3?] dedicated to Health Care – DEPRESSING! In a way it is all farcical – How are they going to pay for it???. In February they had to borrow $250B to keep the lights on!


    Jim Mulligan
    Barre, VT

    1. Very well said. As someone who started in health care at the age of 23, billing has always been Byzantine at best and Machiavellian at worst. I can go to 6 hotels in 6 countries in 6 nights and when I get home, my Amex bill is right. You can go tot he ER, wait six hours, and you will get a bill in six months that is wrong.

      One way to do healthcare coverage is to pay out of pocket with “debit card” synced with your SSN. Once you have spent “x”, say $5,000 a year of covered services (no book jobs), then the feds pick up the tab.

      The real growth in health care costs are front office costs for billing and compliance issues. The downside is that there are only 24 hours in a day and wouldn’t you prefer your doctor spent time reading journals than dealing with insurance, Medicare and compliancs hassles? I would.

      I know several physicians who have gone to cash on the barrelhead and they are so much happier. They can do what they do best: take care of patients.


  3. A friend sent your article knowing it would be of interest to me . I also have SLE . I was diagnosed at age 17 , next year I will celebrate my 40th year as a Lupus survivor and my 8th year post kidney transplant ! Yeah us !!! I hope to see and hear more from you , Kathy

  4. Yes, congratulations are in order. Gotta love those kidneys.

    Thanks for reading and more is coming your way. Hopefully, I’ll be more timely in getting to comments. Tech problems.


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