American Tabloid*

In one quick blow The AP updates James Ellroy’s 1950’s noir as contemporary political sleaze. National Enquirer hid damaging Trump stories in a safe WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump... Tabloid … Continue reading American Tabloid*

Advertisements

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

Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

From the start, we know what crime lands ‘Cool Hand’ Luke on the county chain gang: cutting the heads off parking meters. He’s sent up for decapitation of authority, and all that follows bears the symbolic weight of his crime. Ted Prokash gives it to us another way. Napawaupee County Blues (Expat Press, 2018) describes life … Continue reading Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

Posting from a New Home

After five years posting from DC, BenEastBooks moves on to Mumbai. Expect the same focus on craft and reviewing serious books by independent authors. Expect new writing invigorated by travel and adventure. Expect postings flavored with the exotic, the ancient, the extraordinary, and the very new. I welcome contributions, requests for reviews, and sensible observations. When … Continue reading Posting from a New Home

Maximum City

We are neither here nor there. The carpets are up and the curios down. The boys are packed and shipped off south for a week with Naniji. A week from tomorrow the packers arrive. They'll invade for 3 or 4 days to box up several categories of shipment: 700 lbs of air freight; 7k lbs … Continue reading Maximum City

Can He also Ride a Porcupine?

Two weeks ago (yes...) I visited my son's second grade class. I read to them from my current work in progress, a novel soon to be presented IHO Mohan's eighth birthday. Before I finished the hands were up and all the mouths were saying 'Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!' They had plans for my principal foil, a … Continue reading Can He also Ride a Porcupine?

Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa

Without telling us the punchlines, Dutch researchers announced this week the discovery of four dirty jokes papered over in Anne Frank’s diary. I taught the diary as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi two decades ago, curious from the start why it was on the curriculum. My students faced a lifetime of grinding poverty, endemic … Continue reading Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa

Answer Coming Soon

When I feel ornery about the state of world affairs, I turn to Dan Whitman for a cure. Because he gifted me a large stack of his books, he doesn’t always know this. Whitman’s essays reflect on wide-ranging issues for the foreign affairs professional. They cut across decades (mostly post World War II) and continents … Continue reading Answer Coming Soon

When Writing Is Going Well…

To learn how today's funniest flash nonfiction writers answer a few simple questions, check the news feed over at Woodhall Press. Fiction or Nonfiction? Is it harder to write funny or sad? Long form or short form? Poetry or prose? Boxers or kickboxers? Piece that you read and said Wish I’d thought of that? Cloned … Continue reading When Writing Is Going Well…

Finite Jests

There’s nothing pithy in the title ‘Before We Break for Lunch, Let Me Repeat Everything Already Said at This Meeting At Least Twice.’ And that's exactly the point. By sticking its finger in the eye of brevity, this piece at the tail end of Flash Nonfiction Funny captures everything that’s beautiful and funny and sad … Continue reading Finite Jests