Fly America, Call the Philippines (pt II)

When your official government itinerary on U.S.-flag contract carrier United Airlines is thrown into disarray because of concerns about flying over Iranian air space... ...and the United agents can't confirm the final leg of your trip (which includes traveling on Air Canada, Germany's Lufthansa, and Air India) for 24 hours... ...so that after two hours on … Continue reading Fly America, Call the Philippines (pt II)

A Trail in Two Countries

Years ago I traveled the sands of Saudi Arabia, stopping along the way to tour the  old camel train forts. I visited these caravanserai along the Hejaz Railway, the line targeted by T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. My journeys between 2003-05 took me north from Jeddah through … Continue reading A Trail in Two Countries

Operation Sheltering Sky

Rajasthan is desert country, 70% of the state---India's largest---an arid mix of scrub and sand. We trekked by camel into the Thar Desert about 50 km outside Jaisalmer. Abdullah led our beasts on foot, their names Simon, Paulos, and---inexplicably---Johnny No. 1. Toward sunset we reached the Sam Dunes. The wind died down and we made … Continue reading Operation Sheltering Sky

“The Whites…”

An ugly and violent upward trend divides us along ethnic lines today. In order to stay sane in the face of this spreading and dangerous hate, one need only look to Walter Sobchak, the right-wing nut job Vietnam vet (and convert to Judaism!) from The Big Lebowski... https://youtu.be/dQbpx5Be5rI His utter disdain for his own dirty … Continue reading “The Whites…”

Maneater

This review just slays it. Jason Overdorf hunts with a sharp pen and takes down Dane Huckelbridge's narrative about what would seem a brutally interesting topic. And he doesn't stop there. He spills ink like blood all over the slain author's enablers: "He is not without accomplices in this crime against the English language, either. … Continue reading Maneater

Bless Their (little) Hearts

It would be easy to give in to rage over this image in the NRA's official organ, The American Rifleman. It would be natural and normal to descend into name-calling against them. But that's exactly what the NRA wants, isn't it? Emotional contagion. Rather than express my disgust at this callous provocation to violence, I'll … Continue reading Bless Their (little) Hearts

Sez the Man with No Lips

I have too much to say about this experience, so I'll just pop it up here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvIQ6eEYegY&feature=youtu.be A few days ago I sat down to chat with Matt Whiteside and only recently looked at the results. He's a sharp guy with a great heart and an ambitious idea: help other writers. He's fun and funny … Continue reading Sez the Man with No Lips

First Lit Mag Layout in the Books

Last week I took on the role of layout designer for a community literary magazine. It was a satisfying experience with a few lessons learned. The Job The challenge included formatting and organizing 120 pages of photos, art, poetry, and prose fiction and nonfiction between 50 and 1,500 words, in three languages and three different … Continue reading First Lit Mag Layout in the Books

Happy Publication Day!

Happy Publication Day to all the contributors at the American School of Bombay! Over 80 students, parents, teachers, and staff added their voice to the first issue of ASB Musings --- a collection of reflections of the world through our eyes --- to make it a spellbinding repository of poetry, short fiction, memoir, photographs, journalism, and … Continue reading Happy Publication Day!

Lit Mag Guy

End of last year  I offered to help produce a school literary magazine, figuring I might be useful editing the 80 or so submissions. Yesterday I learned the organizers really need someone to pull the issue together, format it, give it that polished look. Why'd they turn to me? My inexperience coupled with their tight … Continue reading Lit Mag Guy