Ben’s Franklins

Micro-fiction channeling moments of truth. Walking the forests of the Shenandoah National Park last week, I thought about how I'd pass the days and weeks and months as a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail. One exercise I settled on for keeping sane step after step was to craft a 100-word story each day out there. … Continue reading Ben’s Franklins

Live on, Scarlet Tanager

The Scarlet Tanager mostly hangs out in the upper canopy, making it a rare sighting for hikers in the Shenandoah National Park. This one visited us in the lower canopy, hunting insects for his mate or flashing his red plumage to make her love him. Mohan later rendered it in pen and color pencil. It … Continue reading Live on, Scarlet Tanager

Speaking of Tone-Lōc

I haven't thought about Tone-Lōc in years, but I woke up on Friday eager write about him. The next day, a horse called Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby. It so happens I’m also studying synchronicity right now. Here in Mumbai we’re living through our own Tone-Lōc moment, a sort of Tone-Lōc-down. It’s déjà vu … Continue reading Speaking of Tone-Lōc

Poe’s Pigeon: “Poop Galore”

My son asks how my satire of The Raven is coming along. It’s stalled, I say, and explain the problem. The first seven stanzas, more than a third of the poem, have nothing to do with the bird. Yet the inspiration to write this satire flaps all around me, every day, unavoidable reminders of their own absurdity: … Continue reading Poe’s Pigeon: “Poop Galore”

The United States Department of State

Referred to as the State Department, State, and DOS, the U.S. Department of State has recently been called by an unfitting new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing it called “deep state department” glances off as a meaningless jab. I’ve long inured myself against the public bluster. What concerns me more is the … Continue reading The United States Department of State

The Great Iskander!

Favored by Alexander the Great, named for its inventor Iskender Efendi, five simple ingredients make this dish go POP. The flavor prunes the back of your tongue and sends it down your throat. Such creamy tang! The Chicken Iskender, my favorite dish, it must be shared with family. But, they are vegetarian…. What to do? Make … Continue reading The Great Iskander!

A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Will sustained isolation lead to a baby boom or a novel boom? Long before COVID-19, the most recent novel coronavirus to come along, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel called A Novel. As is usually the case in the life of a novelist, however, I ran into a few problems right off … Continue reading A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Phenomenal Women

On International Women’s Day, I’m thinking about all the phenomenal women I admire around the world, including the nameless, faceless, toiling women who sow and reap the corn they’ll dry and grind into the flour they’ll pound and cook to feed their families in between their hours at the river beating clothes against the stones … Continue reading Phenomenal Women

COVID, or Covfefe?

Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?

When I’m Not Writing

This is what I write about when I'm not writing: Stuff I read The ice in my drink vs the bell around my cat's neck Titles of books I'd like to write The news Rage at the universe when the universe applies its whims inexorably against my wishes Politics Things I think are funny but … Continue reading When I’m Not Writing