End of Life

T and I have been discussing for years what to do if one of us dies before the other. It’s really a question of “when” more than “if” honestly, though we could both be killed in a car crash or a freak zamboni accident. We discussed this back and forth for more than decade after…

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

I was thinking the other day about signed books. I’ve collected autographs now and again, and one of the best ways to do that with authors is to have them sign your copy of one of their books. First of all, it shows you’re supporting them by having purchased one of their books in the…

Cruel and Unusual

For many writers – myself included – self-promotion is a necessary evil. In the fiction world, publishers won’t spend a nickel to help sell the book you wrote — unless you happen to be Stephen King or Charlaine Harris – so it falls to the author to promote his or her work. It’s kind of…

Once Upon a Time at the DMV…

All the best stories start with “Once upon a time…” Once upon a time, I got a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It seems my current driver’s license is due to expire in a couple of months–on my birthday, conveniently–so I had to get a new one. Being the sort of person that…

Death Comes to Call

A friend of mine just died today. She was recently diagnosed with a Glioblastoma – a type of aggressive brain cancer. I now have three friends and acquaintances who have passed from this particular form of cancer in recent memory, when I can’t recall even having heard of it before the first one was diagnosed.…

Not So Great News

Local friends may have noticed that I haven’t been very upbeat recently. I went to the doctor last month. I’ve already had my annual check-up several months ago; this visit was relating to a specific issue that has cropped up in the last month or two. I’ve been trying to keep it under wraps, but…

Disappointing Zombies

I went to see the latest Jim Jarmusch film, “The Dead Don’t Die” recently. To be honest, zombies aren’t really my thing. However, I was highly impressed with Jarmusch’s moody, dream-like vampire film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and wanted to see what he could do with the mindless undead. I had been thoroughly captivated by…

Monarchs of the Garden

Last autumn, I tried to sow a tiny patch of ground outside our condo with a few milkweed seeds. I was rewarded this spring by finding a bunch of milkweed plants growing in that patch of ground. They started sprouting before we left on our trip to Venice, and by the time we got back…