An odd Christmas present, for sure, and rarer still, a book, but my sister’s gift of “The Looming Tower,” by Lawrence Wright (a 2007 Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller) was captivating from the get-go. The book’s subtitle—“Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11”—pretty much provides the broad brushstrokes, and although much of the material is now familiar,… Continue Reading


I must confess that I’m a slow reader, not special-ed slow mind you, and my comprehension is fine (I’m particularly baffled how, way back when, I scored higher on the Math side of the SAT), but I generally plod along at a rate of 2 minutes for your standard, dense page full (think “Moby Dick”)… Continue Reading


When the evening news broadcast offers little of interest, my wife and I, as is often our habit during dinner, turn our attention to reading and writing. Last night she asked, “What should I read now?” Having just finished “A Sense of an Ending” (read on my recommendation), and enjoying it as I knew she… Continue Reading


The spot stood out a short distance right of center whenever that space was white or projected with only light color. It was only a few inches oval (the exact size hard to determine given the immensity of the screen) and could’ve resulted from a lousy tear repair, or, more likely, a hunk of now… Continue Reading

Barnes & Franzen

I must admit I was late to the Julian Barnes and Jonathan Franzen reading experience. I’d purchased “The Corrections” years ago, but it sat idly—on a musty, basement bookshelf no less—until the release of “Freedom” motivated me to catch up. And I loved it! Who could resist getting caught in Franzen’s web of inner exploration,… Continue Reading


Every year as advertisements hurtle us all into the “holiday spirit,” I’m painfully reminded of one of my greatest frustrations, one that easily overshadows even my bulging file of short story rejections: Flavored Vodka How did I miss that one? And not just me, but my brother as well—we were particularly well positioned to get… Continue Reading

The Shape of Things

We’ve all sat through writer’s variations on the classic “story arc”—my favorite simplification being the idea: Get your protagonist up a tree, throw rocks at him, then bring him down. But here comes an old clip of Kurt Vonnegut doing what he does best; namely, he offers a new twist on an old concept, and,… Continue Reading

Ink & Paper

They’d finished a minor landscaping project in our backyard the day before the great October blizzard hit, but the crew confirmed that they would be back to complete another project before too long. I’m sure folks from less foliage encased lands must’ve watched the news reports with varying degrees of humor and disdain: “My god,… Continue Reading


I need to read more poetry… Don’t we all? On a rainy day, taking shelter at the Met, my wife and I visited the exhibit: “Stieglitz and His Artists.” Long a fan of O’Keeffe, Steichen, Marin, and Dove, the works were especially enthralling, but I wasn’t prepared for seeing Charles Demuth’s “I Saw the Figure… Continue Reading


Let’s face it: for a writer (aspiring or accomplished), a blog may be the perfect antidote for that most insidious of shared addictions—procrastination! We’ve all heard the advice: “Turn off the Internet” when writing. Yeah, right. How often have you found yourself rereading emails, checking your favorite newsfeed, or even reviewing the movie times for… Continue Reading