Author Archive

Angels on the Internet

There are all sorts of hypotheses about what happens to us after we die. Some believe that, like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we become befuddled angels on a quest t... read more...


Reality reversal for a steamy summer day

On this hot summer afternoon, when I should be doing somersaults in a swimming pool, eating picnic potato salad, and bracing myself for a night of fireworks exploding against ... read more...


9/11 Memorial – A befitting salute

The 9/11 Memorial is sad. It is solemn. It is beautiful, perhaps in the way that dark clouds on a stormy day are beautiful. It is brilliantly conceived. And looming above it, ... read more...


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...



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