Cats and Dogs. . .

—From EF— I once wrote a song called “Black Dog.” No, that’s not quite right, it came rolling out without invitation one day when we were about to leave for a long tour right after having done another long tour. I spent three days cooking and doing...

Empathy. . .

—From CB— How do you teach it? You can’t. You can only model it. It’s easiest to feel empathy with the clown. First off, we know he’s there to entertain us. His cigarettes fall out of the pack, he tries to pick them up and his hat falls off. He makes to fetch his hat...

Book Fair. . .

—From EF— I’ve been looking forward to the Bay Area Book Fair, an annual spring event where we’ve rented an exhibit table a couple of times in the past. Very few indie folks like us make big bucks, but it’s still a sweet event and I was happy to be...

Fifth Draft. . .

—From CB— I wrote earlier that I’d started a novel based on the King David story. It’s a few months later, and I’m working on the fifth draft, middle of chapter 6. Once starting rewrites, they tend to go on and on. Meantime, I’ve read two King David novels. One, by...

Rant Advisory. . .

—From EF— I was bullied pretty consistently all through elementary school and junior high, then by high school kids had other things to think about and so did I. Nowadays that old feeling is creeping back. I was amazed at how hard I cringed at seeing multiple versions...

Chance. . .

—From CB— This afternoon Elizabeth let me know that Edward Gibbon the historian stood only 4 ft. 8 in. But for a string of circumstances, I would have never known this. I suppose it began when I decided to apply for Northwestern rather than Harvard, as my English...

Tax Forms and Turkey Necks…

—From EF— I made a major booboo and missed a deadline. Personal income tax returns are due April 15th, and until 2015 that was true for partnership returns too. Then the IRS moved the partnership due date up to March 15th, because the income from the partnership is...

Surprise. . .

—From CB— In the film MEPHISTO, the lead character—a prominent German actor during the Nazi era—speaks of the element of surprise in acting. Apart from the core issues the movie raises, I’ve been thinking about that speech in relation to all forms of storytelling. The...

Logjam. . .

—From EF— I’ve finally busted out of a major slump, with Tuesday being the champ. I was spinning my wheels on current memoir writing and hadn’t even been able to let the job of writing the blog flash before my eyes for more than a nanosecond. FB tells me...

It Passes. . .

—From CB— I don’t like losing stuff. A trip back to Chicago resulted in seeing my decrepit freshman dorm—an old house labeled the “economy dorm”—replaced by a Burger King, though I was reunited with my freshman good buddy Michael. Not long after, I got word he died....