The Non-Business Plan

Fellow blogger and author C.S. Boyack found the right word to describe what many might otherwise call a New Year's resolution (he wisely disavows the concept). Rather, Boyack puts forward a 'business plan' for the year ahead---which platforms he'll look to and why, beta readers and critique groups, ideas for the next narrative, etc. With … Continue reading The Non-Business Plan

The Dharma Bums of Bolton Notch

Earlier this week I climbed Pidurangala, a high cliff overlooking the forests around Sigiriya's ancient ruins in central Sri Lanka. Painted numbers on a rough board indicated the climb would rise 628 steps, uneven and rough-hewn from wet stone. I counted hundreds more than that before reaching the Buddha in repose, just below the summit. … Continue reading The Dharma Bums of Bolton Notch

Idling through the Shut Down

Revisiting publication credits to stimulate and inspire 2019 projects. I'd like to make it a year of broader platforms with more non-fiction. The days ahead, if the Grinches in DC keep Grinching, might provide both the means and the need to fulfill that prospect. Non-fiction The Card from Kabul---The Foreign Service Journal May 2018 Transition Brief … Continue reading Idling through the Shut Down

Today’s Coffee…

...mightier than the sword. Terminal 1D Indira Gandhi International Airport ert Dehra Dun in the foothills of the Himalayas. #amwriting #amtraveling #Diwali       ##

Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings

Peace Corps, the Musical

Five years ago, I flirted with writing a musical based on ‘the generic Peace Corps experience.’ I tabled the idea quickly. The unique nature of volunteer service set abundant hurdles. Peace Corps Africa and Peace Corps Latin America are different beasts. The organization’s six decades presented another problem. We’d moved from the era of ‘Drop … Continue reading Peace Corps, the Musical

Twinkle for Gents—A Close Shave

I ask around about haircuts. Authoritative Mumbai sources say: Twinkle for Gents. Five weeks into our stay, haircuts are essential. But am I to test Twinkle for Gents? I take a 2 and 3 across the sides and top. My sons buzz down to 4 and 5. Not haircuts, so much as a few quick strokes … Continue reading Twinkle for Gents—A Close Shave

What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

Writers write. This simple premise covers everything I need to know about our craft. The axiom provides all the cover I need to shut out the world and pretend I fulfill my purpose merely by sitting down with a few trusty instruments. A Parker Jotter. A Moleskine Cahier. A keyboard, perhaps. But the platitude, it … Continue reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

Always

Puzzled that I’d spend my time doing this, people will ask, ‘How long have you been writing?’ Part accusation, part sincere inquiry, it deserves consideration. The truest answer I have—and it’s not a wise guy answer—is always. I say ‘truest’ because of the stages leading up to my present output: two published novels; two mid-grade … Continue reading Always

Elevatorwala

Mumbai has a wallah for everything, no task too big or small. Outside my 14th-story flat, one of four elevatorwalas pushes the button that takes us to the street and back again. The other night we ate our first dinner at a Parsi restaurant called---this is all one word---Sodabottleopenerwala. It’s a chain. Derived in part … Continue reading Elevatorwala