Like Camelot – Only Way Better

I had a dream the other night about baseball. I was at the plate, wielding a green bat. I was determined to get a hit, but went down swinging. For some reason the last strike was a big disappointment to me. I woke up at that point, disturbed that I hadn’t been able to get a piece of the ball. I had taken a huge cut at it. I really wanted to knock it out of the park. Continue reading

What I’m Working On – The Geezer Screed

tentative book cover

Click on the image for more – including sample scene

Work in Progress

Look for it this summer.

Meanwhile – a little teaser to whet your appetite!

So this is what I’ve got going on at my house. Not fully formed yet, but gathering steam in my head. Click the cover image for a detailed description and a sample scene. Fill out a form to get on my mailing list while you’re at it. (Over at the top of the right hand side-bar) That way you’ll get progress updates and new developments as they happen. It will be a lot like living at my place, but you never have to see me in my underwear.

Taking Up Golf after Sixty

Soothe the Soul and Vex the Intellect

Oh dear! I seem to have shanked one into Lord Vader’s BMW.

I’ve spent most of my life avoiding golf. I’ve never been very sports-minded, probably because neither of my parents were. Mom thought sports were trivial, and Dad carried a pronounced and physically limiting limp, the result of being struck by anti-aircraft flak in the belly of a B-17 during World War II. My best, and perhaps only, sporting triumph was a fluke home-run during a pick-up softball game on the last day of 8th grade. As to golf, the prospect of chasing little balls around in an electric cart with a bunch of yahoos in gay-palette pants and silly shoes didn’t hold a lot of appeal for me. Continue reading

Stupifyin’ Jones and the Improbable Ascent of Donald Trump

Al Capp’s iconic Stupefyin’ Jones from Lil Abner

Writing Fiction in Post-Truth America

The soul of my creativity, such as it is, has been thoroughly stupified, and not in a good way, by the election of Donald Trump to the office of president of the United States. I’m serious. I don’t know why. I haven’t accomplished a damn thing since November 9th. Every day is the same. Walk and feed the dog. Make a delicious espresso beverage. Turn on the computer. Click on the daily news feed. There is Donald Trump’s gigantic orange visage mocking everything I believe in. Fuck me!

Trump’s election is an embarrassment to the nation I love. It’s not enough that he is an idiot, an unsophisticated lout with the diplomatic sensibilities of a skinhead and the verbal skills of a learning-disabled third grader. He is a liar to boot. In fact, he is a liar of monumental proportions in a ‘post truth’ society.

I don’t know how this happened. I’ve been reading everyone else’s idea of how it happened, and I’m convinced they don’t know either. It’s certainly not Trump’s fault. He’s an idiot. It’s not Hillary Clinton’s fault. She’s too smart to be sucked into Trump’s game. I guess you could say that no one called him out on his bullshit, but a lot of people really did, and it didn’t seem to matter. Continue reading

Book Review – From A to Zoe

From A to ZoeFrom A to Zoe by Marie-Jo Fortis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this little book. It lacks pretension. It’s self-aware without being self-absorbed—artsy without the fartsy. It’s beautiful with a healthy dose of the real—like Mona Lisa with a gap-tooth grin or The Birth of Venus with a mastectomy scar.

Zoe Zimmerman is a modern girl, a writer trying to slip the bonds of her small-town past in the middle of a seedy Manhattan that just doesn’t give a damn, except sporadically, and then just enough to keep our girl plodding on. I’ve known Zoes in my life. Mostly I try to avoid them. They are, in the parlance of my adopted Southland, hot messes. They are hard to live with, but easy to love. They are too interesting for their own good. Continue reading

Book Review: Dispatches by Michael Herr

DispatchesDispatches by Michael Herr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this and two other books about the U.S. experience in Vietnam by way of research for a novel I am writing. I was looking for firsthand experience of slogging through the muck, both physical and figurative, to execute the failed strategies of our involvement. Dispatches delivers on all fronts.

War is not just hell. It is a ridiculous one fueled by its own kind of stupidity: “When the commander heard that [we were correspondents,] he wanted to throw a spontaneous operation for us, crank up his whole brigade and get some people killed. We had to get out on the next chopper to keep him from going ahead with it, amazing what some of them would do for a little ink.” Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: A Falling Body by Anders Kermod

A Falling BodyA Falling Body by Anders Kermod
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an objective review.

A Falling Body is the story of a young Englishwoman, Andrea Williams, who agrees to a technological implant which allows wealthy, aged, and infirm businessman, Claude LeGrande, near total access to her thoughts, sensory experiences, and emotions. The arrangement quickly veers from Andrea’s expectations, and she finds herself over her head in dangerous waters. It becomes evident that LeGrande can not only read her thoughts and anticipate her moves, he also has the power to influence her circumstances from outside. She struggles to extricate herself, in vain it seems, as events confine her options to an increasingly limited range of possibilities. Continue reading

Homeless and Unsheltered Living in Their Cars in Fairfax, VA

Mercedes Beater CarWhy is ‘Get a Job’ not a useful thing to say to a homeless person? If you don’t already know the answer, you are part of the problem.

Homeless and unsheltered folk are resourceful, and they work hard at maintaining some semblance of dignity and self reliance. If you think it’s easy, you’re mistaken. If you think not working is some kind of picnic, you are deluded.

Here’s a pretty good look at what it’s like in Fairfax County, VA – one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S.

My homeless characters in A Cup of Pending have it better than these plucky Virginians living in their cars, but my story is funny, even when it makes a point. The Washington Post article is reality. It is the point. It’s one of the points of Cuppa. It’s not very funny.