Visit Your Local Bookstore During The Dog Days

An August garden in Texas can be a discouraging place. My cucumbers played out about a week ago, so I removed the vines and dismantled the trellis. The tomatoes are on their last gasp, since container-tomatoes (in my experience) don’t last as long, and now mine have 6-10 hangers-on surrounded by vines that look tired.…

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Bloomsday

Today is June 16, a day when literary geeks all over the world celebrate the life and work of James Joyce, focusing particularly on his masterpiece, Ulysses, which takes place in a single day, June 16, 1904, and whose hero is Leopold Bloom. On this day, I tip my cap to Joyce, who was a…

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There’s Always A Story

This is a photo of one of my garden boxes. It’s Spring here in Texas, and despite our once-in-a generation freeze in February, Spring generally comes early and allows for early planting of vegetables. This box contains radishes and turnips, and there’s an identical second box that is currently holding lettuce and arugula. Later, these…

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Whose Story is it Now?

“A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public eye with his pants down.” ― Edna St. Vincent Millay Launch week for a new novel is an exciting time. Friends and followers send good wishes, the marketing campaign heats up, and now that I’ve finally landed a publisher, I’ve learned how they really kick into…

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What’s Kept Me Going

These are tough times for everyone. I’m in healthcare, so I see the impact of the disease on the population and I see (and feel) the impact on the healthcare system and its caregivers. I’ve struggled with my own mental health, and now that I’ve bid good riddance to 2020, I’ve spent some time thinking…

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A Big Story Completed

In my youth, nearly every boy I knew had his sports heroes. Happily, now nearly every girls does too, but not so much back then. I sure had mine, and the image on the left now completes my gallery of my personal heroes in the three major sports of my childhood era: football, baseball, and…

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Another Bow To The Pandemic

We’ve all made concessions in our lives to adapt to this awful, strange pandemic that we now just call COVID. As I’ve said before, I recognize how lucky I am to have a job that hasn’t been taken away or restricted, and that provides me an opportunity to do meaningful work. Now, though, my publisher…

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Becoming A Member: What I’ve Learned

Last fall, I did something I never expected to do. At the kind invitation of a former colleague and valued friend (who is one of our band’s biggest fans), I joined a book club. It is a diverse collection of experienced men who gather at one member’s house monthly for a lunch, a drink, and…

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New Acquaintances from 2019

Another year, come and gone. They do go faster these days, but every year I look back and marvel at the new literary acquaintances I’ve made. This year, there were several, the best of which is Amor Towles. The author of one of the best novels I’ve read in years, A Gentleman in Moscow, his…

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Focus On The Story

In a couple of weeks, I’ll once again be in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the University of Virginia speaking to a group of highly-motivated students who want to be doctors. What I’ll tell them will have very little to do with biology and science, although we will talk a bit about that. Mostly, I’ll be telling…

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