Free Gift for Joining NRA. Or Not.

The crazies at NRA can't, but I can do better than a black and yellow duffel bag. Club Patchworks---free paperback with every subscription!

What Next?

Think of all the time and effort that goes into writing a novel. Then think about this reaction when you get to the end: "So what?" Or this: "What next?" So what? What next? That can be what it feels like to finish writing a novel. I guess there was the one time I finished … Continue reading What Next?

Foreign Service, Under Covers

DC-area writers, consider stopping by the American Foreign Service Association for this year's book market featuring a talk on writing and publishing from 25-year veteran literary agent and editor Deborah Grosvenor. Two dozen Foreign Service-affiliated authors will also be there with their latest work. Find out what publishers are looking for when it comes to writing … Continue reading Foreign Service, Under Covers

Accessorize Against the NRA

If you aren't following The Nib you're missing out! Yesterday they featured a slate by cartoonist Jeremy Nguyen featuring new defenses against flying bullets. Because, you know, our elected officials certainly won't help. Check it out.

The Annapolis Bookstore

A short block from Maryland's historic State House, down a white brick street narrow with specialty shops, The Annapolis Bookstore is exactly what a bookstore ought to be: jammed with literature, old and new, on shelves that climb from creaking wood floor to high plaster ceiling. Close with the antiquated must of well-turned pages, yet … Continue reading The Annapolis Bookstore

Buckle Up!

I watched in suspended horror and fascination as the single-engine Socata bobbed and wobbled just 50 yards from our windshield on the way out to Annapolis tonight. We had a good 15 seconds to watch it fly just above oncoming traffic to our left -- put it at 40 or 50 feet over those cars … Continue reading Buckle Up!

Swamp Talk

Mental Deviants & Gun Nuts

A dozen years ago when I worked in Saudi Arabia, the government had a habit of referring to domestic terrorists as 'deranged' and calling them 'mental deviants.' We mocked the Saudis mercilessly for it. The Royals were denying reality. They failed to acknowledge and confront the extremist forces at loose in the Kingdom, extremist views … Continue reading Mental Deviants & Gun Nuts

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.

Walden in Africa & Other Diplomatic Readings

Among the 53 titles compiled in this Month's Foreign Service Journal is Dan Whitman's Answer Coming Soon. Whatever else it provides to those who read it, Answer undeniably will provide this: a reflection on the power of books. The power is especially profound for those who spend their lives in places where electricity can be spotty … Continue reading Walden in Africa & Other Diplomatic Readings