My Speech for the DNC

I wasn't surprised to learn the DNC would go with President Obama instead of me last night. And in some ways I'm glad they did. It was an awesome speech about our great Republic. Bravo. Had I been given the chance to let my own voice ring out in Philadelphia, this is what I would have … Continue reading My Speech for the DNC

this is what i do when… #3

Papa, Pirates, & Pork Booty In Episode 3 of "this is what i do when i should be..." we explore Michigan's Upper Peninsula, not far from Hemingway's boyhood haunt of Walloon Lake near Petoskey. Other side of Mackinac Bridge in Lake Huron lie Les Chenaux Islands, where we were graciously hosted by Nina Abnee, daughters Louise … Continue reading this is what i do when… #3

This is what i do when i should be… 2

Welcome to the second installment of "This is what i do when i should be..." This week the author's family gathers in the kitchen to answer fan mail from Mysuru (Mysore) in India and from both coasts here in the U.S. Mohan describes our podcasting layout while Vikram talks about his diorama of The Indian in the Cupboard. At minute … Continue reading This is what i do when i should be… 2

The first readers

It's almost twenty years since I first shared my fiction beyond the confines of family or classroom. I found three trusted readers during the months of pre-service training as a Peace Corps Volunteer. What else to do on the dusty plains of Central Malawi beneath the boiling sun, the cloudless sky? I wrote my first novel. I wrote … Continue reading The first readers

A Baseball Story at the Break

Among other things Guts has been a political story, a Mother's Day story, a Father's Day story, and a Fourth of July story. Today it's a baseball story again. If you're not watching the MLB All-Stars fireworks tonight---or looking for something to read during the commercial breaks between innings---have a look at Guts. This was my … Continue reading A Baseball Story at the Break

This is what i do when i should be…

Books & News launches its maiden podcast "This is what i do when i should be...", 15 minutes of banter about books, writing, and other stuff. This week Ben, Vikram, and Mohan discuss Roald Dahl's Matilda in anticipation of a trip to the cinema to see The BFG and a future discussion of that book's … Continue reading This is what i do when i should be…

The Big Zero

The latest from Don DeLillo subjects readers to suffocation in a plotless environment hosting flat characters who live out an endless procession of questions about life, death, and the consequences in between. That is Zero-K. Whether or not the flattened nature of this enterprise is intentional—to emphasize confinement, restriction, joylessness, life as a movement toward death—the result is … Continue reading The Big Zero

Nats Park Blues

What’s this discomfort I feel? What is it about watching the Nats play at home this year? Why do I squirm in my chair? Delta. It’s those coveted front-row seats behind home plate, the ones reserved for the rich and well-connected, the splurgers and the lucky. This year, however, gratitude replaces envy. I’d much rather … Continue reading Nats Park Blues

Fireworks in the Kingdom

News sources are reporting three suicide attacks in different cities around Saudi Arabia during the last 24 hours, just as Ramadan comes to an end in the Kingdom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EgZ-gpdx3I An explosion in the Eastern Province targeted Shiites at a mosque in Quatif. There appear to be no injuries or deaths other than that of the suicide bomber. An explosion outside one of … Continue reading Fireworks in the Kingdom

Marine Security Guards at 70

The Marine Security Guard program this week celebrated 70 years protecting U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Happy Fourth of July to the Ambassadors in Blue. Two books covering their service, one non-fiction, the other fiction: Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard... recounts the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. … Continue reading Marine Security Guards at 70