All is quiet. Both sons, sound asleep. Dad enters and taps the top bunk. Top: Why are you waking me? Dad: Shhh. You'll wake your brother. Bottom: Zzzzz.... Top: Why are you waking me? It's Saturday. Bottom: Zzzzz.... Dad: You have land training. Top: Uhhhhhhh... Dad: [brightly] I'm making eggs and toast. Bottom Bunk: Toast?!
That's two Key Lime Pies. A bowl of fresh cranberry sauce. And a big smile just thinking about eating it all. Thanksgiving for decades has been a blend of the traditional and the tropical. From celebrating at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Malawi ('96) to floating in the pool with a turkey on the raft … Continue reading Tart on Thanksgiving
The novelist is exhausted. Whole worlds suggest themselves to her but that is all. The worlds do not appear. They do not come ready-made. They do not exist. They require focus and time and attention. The worlds must be pulled forth. Forged. The novelist is exhausted. Characters whisper in his ear and run through caverns … Continue reading Everyday Life
Pleased to share some new non-fiction of mine up at American Diplomacy. I pictured myself in a Peace Corps-issue hammock on an island somewhere, or crossing high glaciers in the glaring Himalayan sun. Then the recruiter called and offered Malawi. Pointless to remind her what I'd written where the application asked my preference: 'Anywhere but Africa.' … Continue reading Uncle Sam, Matchmaker
The word PEACE stretches out in silver letters beneath the lighted garland on our mantel. Tomorrow we’ll build a fire there and friends will gather round for warmth and cheer. The shortest day of the year has come and gone, & our side of the world now turns toward light. Will the light show our … Continue reading Peace & Light on Christmas Eve
The six year old appears bedside in the dark, wants to know if he can go downstairs and write. “I’ll get up and write with you.” He’s written a war story called The Attack of the Red Army. It’s three chapters long. In chapter one Sam and Jacob are enjoying the last bit of summer … Continue reading Gratitude: Pie with Beer
I don't plan on writing porn any time soon. Probably never. But this article from today's New York Times Magazine, about the life of one prolific pornographer, had me thinking about what I write and how I write it. The piece helped me calibrate the struggle against my greatest bane: The lack of time. I'm a career man with a job … Continue reading To Bleed or Not to Bleed–(the Writer’s Question)