Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

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

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Titles for World Book Day

Re-posting these titles I wish I could find on Amazon, with a few more. Happy reading, writing, and whatever else it is you do with your books. The Novel Is Dead---A Murder Mystery   The Novel Is Dead. Long Live the Novel: An Arthurian Legend   The Attorney for the Attorney Representing the Client’s Attorney---A … Continue reading Titles for World Book Day

This Is Why We Write

Why We Write We write not to be read. We write not because we have something to say, but because something must be said and needs our attention. We write to put down the tracks of our thought and, through this process, clarify our intent, to give form and understanding to our own inscrutable intuition. … Continue reading This Is Why We Write

The Portable Art

Unlike the stuff we writers produce, art and music seem to make no demands of those who encounter it. The artist puts it out there---hangs it on the wall, pours it through speakers---and the public responds. They see it. They hear it. They get on with their day, likely the better for having encountered these … Continue reading The Portable Art

Apostrophe

Crank the Zappa. For reasons I'd rather not say, my first writing task of the morning: confirm that Dunkin' Donuts uses an apostrophe at the end of its informal gerund. It does. Now, to St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast.

From Blogs to Books

I surprised a colleague yesterday with the news that his book would be published today. Ironically the title of the work is Answer Coming Soon. The author, Dan Whitman, believes his books should be left behind on commercial airlines for the next passenger to come along and read. That humble disposition toward his work is exactly what makes his … Continue reading From Blogs to Books

Writing Prompts, Spellcheck, and Academic Advice

There are many, many reasons not to read Flash Fiction Funny while riding public transportation. The first and perhaps best reason is Taylor Mali’s The the Impotence of Proofreading, which will leave you bent over double and wheezing for breath, the workaday passengers all around contemplating the emergency brake at the back of the train. … Continue reading Writing Prompts, Spellcheck, and Academic Advice

Oh My God, Look at Her Butt

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

B.A. East

Novelist Foreign Service Officer Returned Peace Corps Volunteer B.A. East taught English Lit and Composition in Malawi as a Peace Corps Volunteer, at Brooklyn College Academy in New York, and at the American School of Asuncion in Paraguay. Later he joined the State Department's Foreign Service, taking assignments in Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua, Ghana, Mexico, and … Continue reading B.A. East

Short Stories from the School for Damaged Children

Deep oppression pervades Brian Booker’s collection of seven stories Are You Here for What I’m Here For? (Bellevue Literary Press, 2016). The mood is confining, suffocating, maddening, the writing evocative of a heart pulsing beneath the floorboards of a cabin far from anywhere. Booker awakens---allays---awakens---allays---and awakens again profound tensions: Something is wrong. Everything is ok. But something is … Continue reading Short Stories from the School for Damaged Children