Armoring. . .

—From CB— I’ve never had occasion for self-analysis. Not that I haven’t done it: as a writer, both of comedy and otherwise, you’re constantly looking for material. Whether it’s a TV weatherman shopping for a new personality (Song Stories, 1974) or an investment broker...

Working It Off. . .

—From EF— Back in 1985 I had a long span of steel-gray depression enclosing my head like a vise. It didn’t make any sense, but then, depression never does. There were so many things to celebrate. Our theatre company had just been chosen (one of only ten in the...

Death. . .

—From CB— We’re all going to die. It can’t be avoided. Jump ahead a hundred years, and we’ll all (pretty much) be dead. Maybe a few survivors, hooked up with tubes, in wheelchairs and walkers, waiting out a few more years, but otherwise that’s it. That was your life....

Louis. . .

—From EF— Our puppets, the creatures of Conrad’s imagination and skilled hands, are now on display at the Occidental Center for the Arts (3850 Doris Mitchell Ct., Occidental), each one has a price tag set by OCA, which will keep all the proceeds to support its...

A Fall. . .

A Fall  In college, I played a string of old men. This was largely due to my voice, deep and full. I had no notion how to play an old man, though now I could do a pretty good job—I’m 82, for chrissake. I could even forget my lines. The greatest challenge, though, is...

Dogpatch. . .

—From EF— The tax forms went to the post office yesterday and today I can breathe better. My life has not been beset by allergies, but they’re beginning to introduce themselves, most notably with a little tingle in the nose when I wake. I can deal with it. I...

Villains. . .

—From CB— How do you know a villain? Really know him? That came up in a writers’ group I’m part of. A woman was blocked on rendering her villain believable. Most genre fiction requires a villain, of course, so it’s not a dumb question. But villians have to use the...

MEMOIR. . .

—From EF— I’m late. I’ve been dithering and finding myself stymied for five days about what I should have written and posted on last Sunday. My mind has been grey goop and nothing attractive has floundered to the surface. So in an attempt to do a...

Lost. . .

—From CB— Tuesday I got very lost. I was coming back from a hostel near Pt. Reyes, an odd little town on the coast, and had a map TO but not a map FROM. To give this some context: To stay sane, Elizabeth and I, some years ago, adopted the practice of once-a-month each...

West. . .

From EF— I’ve had “Thunder Road” and “Fast Car” playing in rotation in my ears. They’ve set me to thinking about our own “Outta Here” times. Both of the biggies were heading west for California, in 1963 and again in...