A Tic Is Not A Style

I don't know what it is, but I've observed a natural tic in my writing lately. I wish I could call it a style, but it isn't. It isn't something pretty. It's a tic. If I had a tendency to do something that made my writing stand out---Raymond Carver, T.C. Boyle, Zora Neale Hurston---it would be … Continue reading A Tic Is Not A Style

When Researching Aliens

Best to look at the problem from the other side. Not aliens on earth---earthlings in space! By far the most memorable version of Space Oddity for me is the one recorded by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield during his long sojourn aboard the International Space Station. The lyrics are somewhat different from the original, and so … Continue reading When Researching Aliens

The London Embassy

What to read this week? Paul Theroux’s The London Embassy, of course! This day in history U.S. diplomacy with England took over a new location. Our landmark perch in Grosvenor Square is no more. I visited the location once---an aside to the controversy going on right now, and one that makes this move feel deeply … Continue reading The London Embassy

Writing Regimen: the Five-Two

The rhythm is familiar. Rhythm and familiarity make the work sublime. It can also be a grind but I'll get to that. I've got the bit in my mouth on my latest novel (I, Fisheye) for a little over a month now. December was the swirl of possibilities, the slow whittling or careful nurturing of … Continue reading Writing Regimen: the Five-Two

Tales from St. Bart’s

A short short for today's WordPress daily prompt. An earlier study in religious culture at St. Bart's, Confirmation, was published in 2015 at Citron Review. Love Thy Neighbor The Alsups file in behind Dan Sloane. Sloane knows it from the smell of Carol Alsup’s perfume. The Mass passes for Sloane in a dreamy reverie of … Continue reading Tales from St. Bart’s

Mexico Time

We are waiting on a shuttle from the Cancun airport (CUN) to Puerto Morelos, half an hour south. The driver checks on some paperwork after shoving a couple dozen suitcases into the rear. Sweating in the sun, he reviews his clipboard, makes a call, consults his coworkers dressed in matching tropical shirts. The Americans behind … Continue reading Mexico Time

Tactical Pens vs. Writers’ Block

As the growing scarcity of my trusty silver Parker Jotters drives up the price, I've been eyeing these tactical pens to replace them. For those who've used them---a few questions: Which do you like best? Does the ballpoint provide smooth action across the page? Does the ink hold fast, or does it smudge and blur? … Continue reading Tactical Pens vs. Writers’ Block

Moleskine in Paris

In preparation for travel to Paris this week I found myself cracking open the last of my black Moleskin Cahier 5x8.25" notebooks. Normally this brings satisfaction as I add yet another 80 bound pages of journaling to what has become 40+ such notebooks over the last dozen years. With departure impending, however, I felt more … Continue reading Moleskine in Paris

When Publishing Was Hard

I tailor-made an essay for an in-house blog last month. Labored over 500 words and thought it a shoe-in. But they passed. The rejection would've stung if I thought the piece was lousy. This was for a blog, but the rejection didn't hurt: I don't submit rubbish, though I may write it. I knew the piece … Continue reading When Publishing Was Hard

House of Cards, Sleight of Hand –Ed.

I re-read this old post in light of today's widely reported allegations against Kevin Spacey. Now I know why the opening credits are so creepy. Think the opening credits for House of Cards is just some anodyne tour around the nation’s capital? Not so. One minute into the 90 second clip the camera pans desolate … Continue reading House of Cards, Sleight of Hand –Ed.