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

Advertisements

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

Reader Wanted

Today I finished my fifth novel. Tomorrow, it will be a gift for my son on his eighth birthday. I await the sense of release, the great pocket of freedom that opens up when a large file is deleted. Last December a man walked into the SweetLife Cafe wearing nothing at all but his socks. … Continue reading Reader Wanted

Rhymes with Fake Gnus

1.       Fake shoes. Also called flip-flops. 2.       Fake brews. Non-alcoholic beer. Avoid at all cost. 3.       Fake dues. No payment required. 4.       Fake flues. Actually, you feel quite good but call in sick. 5.       Fake ruse. This is the same thing as telling the truth. 6.       Fake rues. Actually, you don’t care. 7.       Fake poos. Better smelling than the real thing. 8.       Fake … Continue reading Rhymes with Fake Gnus

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

Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Tom Wolfe's passing takes me back to undergrad years and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff, but it was Acid Test---published 50 years ago---that made Tom Wolfe electric. We were studying Ken Kesey under Barry Leeds and there was never enough to go around. Cuckoo's Nest … Continue reading Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Turns Ten. Turns Us In.

The kid set us up, big time. He gets a bat and balls and batting glove, bowling and pizza and chocolate cake, and this is how he repays us? All week long we put little signs around the house noting his tenth birthday. Ten of them to be exact. Or, make that 12 or 13, … Continue reading Turns Ten. Turns Us In.

Introducing: Cowboy Herold

Sharing his thoughts on a fresh draft of my novel in progress, the contract illustrator proclaims: This whole thing is, like, so hilarious! Best of all, the 4th grader can barely utter consecutive syllables without breaking into fits of hysterics as he tries to describe the characters. His cheeks stretch too wide for speech at … Continue reading Introducing: Cowboy Herold

How We Write

Writing is physical. Writing is athletic. Writing requires the same discipline of a dedicated athlete in pursuit of peak performance. I note this, not to be repetitive, but as a corollary to my series on Little League and the trajectory of sports in life for me. These things are one and the same: the first … Continue reading How We Write

This Is Why We Write

Why We Write We write not to be read. We write not because we have something to say, but because something must be said and needs our attention. We write to put down the tracks of our thought and, through this process, clarify our intent, to give form and understanding to our own inscrutable intuition. … Continue reading This Is Why We Write