Literature-wise, I cut my teeth on plays. My father was an avid amateur actor in the San Francisco Bay area, and I grew up reading him his lines. By the time I was sixteen, I had read a ton of popular plays from the 1950’s through early 1970’s. From there I read Chekhov, Ibsen, Odets, Ionesco, Albee, Miller, Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil–and, always and forever, Neil Simon. And Shakespeare for my next three thousand lifetimes, which won’t be nearly enough time to appreciate half of that other-worldly genius. [Read more…]
Remember yesterday, when I said that today I’d write about my thrilling foray into the wonderfully wacky world of straw bale gardening?
I did that because to me every day now is Wedmontuefrisathursunday. [Read more…]
Not to brag or anything, but I was a carbo-scarfing, chronically napping, antisocial television addict way before that was cool.
I was born to be that way, is why. And I mean that literally. [Read more…]
From Chapter 12 (“Devil’s Grip”) of Everywhere She’s Not:
David started maneuvering his way off the bed. He’d be a monkey’s uncle, he thought, if he was going to let Kate see him looking like an actual monkey’s uncle.
With more wobbling than he would have preferred, he made it into the bathroom. With his hands on the sink counter for support, he stared at himself in the mirror.
“Yep,” he said. “That’s my face.” [Read more…]
Thirty years ago I was a student at Cal State University at Bakersfield, CA. where I met Dr. Kim Flachmann, English prof extraordinaire, and head of the college’s writing program.
One of the first things I did when my novel “Everywhere She’s Not” was out was send Dr. Flachmann a copy of it, because . . . she’s awesome, and I’ve never stopped being grateful for everything she helped me learn about writing.
She has also remained, I know, an uncompromising critic. So . . . I knew I’d also be letting myself in for that, but whatever. I still wanted her to read the novel, because of course.
Here’s the letter Dr. Flachmann wrote me a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t particularly eager to share it, because it was a private email. But I asked her if I could, and she said yes, absolutely and of course, so . . . here’s what she wrote me:
I just finished Everywhere She’s Not, and I’m sitting on the couch with tears running down my face. It is absolutely sensational. I love the content; I love the form; I love your voice as a writer. One of the many ways I respond to books as I read them is to rewrite sentences, think of changes I would make, and add missing words or images. One of the many reasons I love this book is because I wouldn’t change a word of it. You always say what I expected or something better. Your word choice is masterful. Your tone is masterful. Your story is masterful. And your mind is the most masterful of all. I can’t imagine unraveling this entire story the way you did, and creating it is a work of genius.
It took the virus to give me time to finish it, and I loved every word of it.