Dear Women – The first in a series of posts on women I used to know

  How funny it is to suddenly remember someone you’ve not thought of for decades!  There I was, having dinner in front of the television (a nightly affair), when someone I worked with back in the Seventies crossed my mind.  Her name was Virginia Farrell.  We worked in the lingerie department of a small clothing […]

Writing is Hard Work. So is Reviewing

    I hear a lot about bad writing these days.  Bad writing is what the surge in self-publishing has created.  Without gatekeepers, anyone can be a published author; anyone can throw his hat in the ring alongside Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.  Anyone can publish.  I won’t get into the trouble that self-publishing can cause […]

Review of Nostalgia, a novel by Dennis McFarland

  Dennis McFarland’s novel, Nostalgia, is an elegant, tortuous journey into the darkest corners of the human soul.  The year is 1864.  America is torn by its bloody Civil War.  Young Summerfield Hayes, of Brooklyn, New York, alone in the world with his older sister, Sarah, since the tragic death of their parents in an […]

Talking Yourself Through It

My good friend and writing colleague, Nina Lorraine, has been having a hard time lately.  She’s down in the dumps, uninspired, looking for a way forward.  My heart went out to her, and I tried to give her some words of advice, consolation, at the very least, a helping hand. Before I continue, I think […]

“Sam and Suki”

    Sam was a large girl, big-boned, her mother would say.  Others called her heavy-set.  And some just called her fat.  Insults were Sam’s lot.  Her name made it so easy.  Sam crams spam and jam.  She could go by Samantha, but that felt worse that the jiggle of her flesh every time she moved.  […]

The Year in Review – A Look Back at 2013

          2013 was very good to me.  I brought out a new book, learned a lot about how to use social media, and finished my novel, What is Found, What is Lost, which will be published by She Writes Press late in 2014.  I had some individual short stories published, too.  […]

“Smoke”

SMOKE   Ten years ago you got four, maybe five fires a season, but that month alone there’d been ten.  Global warming was to blame.  Some insect had moved north and killed off the Douglas fir. When lightning struck, those dead trees burned right away.  A healthy, living tree was harder to ignite. Most fires […]

The Honest Writer: Is a self-published book as worthy as a traditionally published one?

  Recently, author Jonathan Franzen told The Guardian just what he thought of Amazon and what it’s done to both writers and book publishing.  Suffice it to say, he wasn’t flattering.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, is “decimating literary culture in favor of the yakkers and tweeters and braggers.”  Serious writers are being undermined, Franzen says.  […]

The Honest Writer: Nancy Hill’s “It Could Have Happened”

  It Could Have Happened, by Nancy Hill is a gorgeous collection of short stories, each inspired by equally gorgeous black and white photographs, taken by the author herself.  Consider these, as the book’s subtitle says, fairy-tales for grownups.  Love lost, love found, fortunes gained, fortunes lost, evil parents, evil children, women full of joy […]