Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings

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Blog of the Week

This pleasant surprise came across my desk yesterday. A blogger at The Skeptical Bureaucrat writes: I picked up some nice items at the AAFSW* book fair last week, and one of them was this quirky novel Two Pumps for the Body Man, which the author describes as a soft-boiled diplomatic noir... The story is a … Continue reading Blog of the Week

The Foreign Service v Zach Galifianakis

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) included this discussion of  Two Pumps for the Body Man in their new Digital Exclusives series. Unlike the great Between Two Ferns, the AFSA studio had only one bamboo to offer. Lean budget times, I guess. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9x6SVKdYqg AFSA writes: Foreign Service Officer Ben East brings to the table a satirical … Continue reading The Foreign Service v Zach Galifianakis

Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

Thanksgiving. The most American day of the year. More American, perhaps, than the Fourth of July. Throw in a hyperbolically American venue---Texas stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys---and you've got Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (also now in theaters). For the heroes of Bravo squad, barnstorming the U.S. on a brief victory tour to rile up … Continue reading Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

What Would You Do About Bad Journalism?

I never thought I’d say this: Sarah Palin is right. “What would you do, if elected president, about Aleppo,” can only be described as Gotcha Journalism. The question is particularly egregious in a conversation like the one between Gary Johnson and Mike Barnicle on MSNBC. The two were talking about domestic politics, the role of … Continue reading What Would You Do About Bad Journalism?

A Wry Ode to Clusterf***ing

Joyless House posted this generous review of Two Pumps for the Body Man. See what else they're reviewing with a click on the image. "...Two Pumps is a page-turner, baby, and it takes some real balls to satirize the great Christian crusade of our times." Two Pumps is set in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi … Continue reading A Wry Ode to Clusterf***ing

The first readers

It's almost twenty years since I first shared my fiction beyond the confines of family or classroom. I found three trusted readers during the months of pre-service training as a Peace Corps Volunteer. What else to do on the dusty plains of Central Malawi beneath the boiling sun, the cloudless sky? I wrote my first novel. I wrote … Continue reading The first readers

Marine Security Guards at 70

The Marine Security Guard program this week celebrated 70 years protecting U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Happy Fourth of July to the Ambassadors in Blue. Two books covering their service, one non-fiction, the other fiction: Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard... recounts the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. … Continue reading Marine Security Guards at 70

Diplomatic Security

This trailer from the film America's Diplomats shows how our diplomatic security personnel train for the worst case scenario---from protests and threats to bombings and outright assaults on our missions overseas. Their storied bureau turned 100 this year. https://youtu.be/-QTzTP9vZRk Learn more about the daily grind of our DS personnel in Two Pumps for the Body … Continue reading Diplomatic Security

Free Pumps!

One week left in the Goodreads giveaway of Two Pumps for the Body Man. Follow the link at left to win a copy. Book reviewers can contact me directly for an electronic copy. The Second World War Had Catch-22. The War on Terror Has 2 Pumps. Jeff Mutton walks the diplomatic beat protecting American officials in Saudi Arabia. An expert with guns and … Continue reading Free Pumps!