In search of distraction from my low mood, and the month of foul headlines that created it, I turn to the library of familiar books recently arrived to the shelves of our Mumbai flat. Narratives on writing by V.S. Naipaul catch my eye. The author's self-indulgence aside, he shares my way of thinking when it comes to … Continue reading The Story Belongs to All
Writers write. This simple premise covers everything I need to know about our craft. The axiom provides all the cover I need to shut out the world and pretend I fulfill my purpose merely by sitting down with a few trusty instruments. A Parker Jotter. A Moleskine Cahier. A keyboard, perhaps. But the platitude, it … Continue reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing
Tom Wolfe's passing takes me back to undergrad years and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff, but it was Acid Test---published 50 years ago---that made Tom Wolfe electric. We were studying Ken Kesey under Barry Leeds and there was never enough to go around. Cuckoo's Nest … Continue reading Tom Wolfe,1930–2018
In preparation for travel to Paris this week I found myself cracking open the last of my black Moleskin Cahier 5x8.25" notebooks. Normally this brings satisfaction as I add yet another 80 bound pages of journaling to what has become 40+ such notebooks over the last dozen years. With departure impending, however, I felt more … Continue reading Moleskine in Paris
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoDh_gHDvkk Will Sing win a Golden Globe or other award this season? I hope so. The soundtrack brought out memories of David Bowie (Under Pressure), Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah), and George Michael. That, and its an inspiring story about overcoming obstacles to realize artistic passions. So even if on the surface the only thing your kids … Continue reading Oh My God, Look at Her Butt
As described at Medium, Amazon’s brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle sounds like the kind of place where books themselves are mere wallpaper. “The Seattle store features a perimeter lined with packed bookshelves. However, the center (and heart) of the store has been given over completely to digital products… John Mutter — editor of the bookstore-industry newsletter Shelf-Awareness — recently spent 45 minutes observing … Continue reading Zapped!
Peace Corps Worldwide carried the following review of Karl Luntta's Swimming from SUNY press. One thing is certain for foreigners at work in much of Africa: the proverbs can be as colorful as they are vague, utilitarian as they are vexing. The truth can emerge—or remain obscured—with a single phrase. Truth, in these proverbs, lies in the … Continue reading Short Fiction–Swimming
Taking a break from producing fiction? A couple of reads that offer ridiculous, pathetic, sad, witty, funny--fun--looks at the fiction-writer's life include The Visiting Writer, a short story from Matthew Vollmer's collection Gateway to Paradise, and Chris Belden's novel, Shriver. The Visiting Writer delivers us into the world of literary aspiration, a lament on the lack of success, a self examination, … Continue reading Writers at Rest