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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

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Another One Bites the Dust

All in one Mumbai day we enjoyed these musical interludes. At Malabar Hill we toured the Hanging Garden (The Cure, Pornography, 1982). It doesn’t hang so much as stand upon a series of reservoirs that hold—depending on who you ask—30 or 90 or 300 million gallons of water. The garden’s benches and clocks and topiary fill the paths, … Continue reading Another One Bites the Dust

Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

From the start, we know what crime lands ‘Cool Hand’ Luke on the county chain gang: cutting the heads off parking meters. He’s sent up for decapitation of authority, and all that follows bears the symbolic weight of his crime. Ted Prokash gives it to us another way. Napawaupee County Blues (Expat Press, 2018) describes life … Continue reading Fiction Review—Napawaupee County Blues

Mumbai Physics

I could be anywhere. Low in this cab the wall of traffic rises above and around me, looks the same and moves the same as it would in any other part of the city, dense and fixed. Rickshaws motorcycles Eicher lorries Uber sedans Suzuki Marutis Hyundais busses—including double decker busses—mopeds bicycles pedestrians  vendors traffic cops … Continue reading Mumbai Physics

The Sunday Straphanger

We hopped a train at Bandra Junction toward the old Victoria Station, now called Shivaji Terminus, ten stops away. The tidy compartment carried just a handful of passengers scattered about on a few padded benches. Overhead the silver handles shook as the train departed. I offered the window seat to my boys. Turns out it … Continue reading The Sunday Straphanger

Elevatorwala

Mumbai has a wallah for everything, no task too big or small. Outside my 14th-story flat, one of four elevatorwalas pushes the button that takes us to the street and back again. The other night we ate our first dinner at a Parsi restaurant called---this is all one word---Sodabottleopenerwala. It’s a chain. Derived in part … Continue reading Elevatorwala

Transit Post—Frankfurt

Just so I have a post from Germany. We have a decent layover in Frankfurt, and although it's zero three hundred at my point of origin---hence the cobwebs in my head---it's 9:35 here and past noon at our final destination. Normal workaday hours to write and post! Marginally related to all this, I've been tracking … Continue reading Transit Post—Frankfurt

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

Early Monsoon

We always knew the monsoon would greet our arrival in Mumbai this Thursday. We never expected heavy rains to be part of our departure from DC. Yesterday the area received 4 inches of rain, equal to about 40 days of wet weather for this time of year for DC. July commonly sees 3.75". What better … Continue reading Early Monsoon

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