Author Archive

Lester Atwell: A fine old gentleman

When I first heard the name Lester Atwell, I was sure I knew it from somewhere, and that he had to be famous. I was wrong. I had gotten him confused with Hollywood’s Golden Ag... read more...


O. Henry. Oh, Hero.

I am a writer. That is what I am. That is what I do. If an examination were performed on my soul, instead of hearing a heartbeat, a stethoscope would quickly detect the click... read more...


A race of Gods

Last week, I was driving in the rain from Oregon into Washington State along a road that I’ll call the “Terror Mountain Pass.” Trailing in the wake of water-spitting eighte... read more...


Forgotten Bookmarks – A Valentine to used books

When I titled this column, I considered employing a more sophisticated word than “used” to describe the dear, dusty, musty and cherished volumes that, like treasure seekers wi... read more...


Stagestruck: Two Peters and a Crime

Peter Lovesey, British crime novelist and winner of every writing award imaginable, has created an exceptional namesake in the character of Peter Diamond, Chief Superintendent... read more...


Selma and Fred. Oh, Boy!

So there I was, sitting at home on my computer, minding my own business, when I got a terse email from my brother-in-law. It said, “Don’t worry. We’re all right, but look at ... read more...


Oh, Canada!

My sister just called to remind me that “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” is coming up. That date, which marks the Armistice at the end of World Wa... read more...


In Praise of Denial. In Honor of Ghita.

GHITA REUBEN OLIT George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937. He was a handsome, brilliant, charismatic composer who wrote everything from “Embraceable You,” to “Porgy and Bess” t... read more...


Bye-bye, Borders ...

I got the saddest letter a few weeks ago from Mike Edwards, the CEO of Borders, notifying me (and 1.8 million customers) that his mighty giant of a bookstore was going out of ... read more...


The Old Movie Star – A Fantasy

What follows is a transcript of a conversation that might have happened. Once. Or that probably will happen. Eventually. It takes places in the laundry room of a retirement ... read more...


Contraband

It is late at night. Your body is screaming, “I need it. I have to have it. I’ll do anything to get it.” You check the billfold of your wallet: Five dollars. Not enough.... read more...


So you want to ...

Do you want to write a book or choreograph a ballet? Can you envision your name in lights on a marquee over a theater on Broadway? Can you hear violins floating up the scale... read more...


The Valiant Ones – Dedicated to my mother

They are no longer young. They saw middle age receding in their rear view mirror many years ago. They are an army of old ladies. Their hair is silver and perfectly coiffe... read more...


Review; Atlas Shrugged: The Movie, Part I

I’ll start at the end, after the credits begin to scroll down the screen. When the lights in the theater are coming back on, and we know that the movie is over. I looked at my... read more...


The Red Red Robin

My bird feeder is a banquet of visual delight. I sit at my desk, try to write a sentence, and am continually interrupted because a new little guy has popped onto a perch to de... read more...



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