Empathy . . .

—From CB— In our newest novel—just finished the 7th draft—a person observes that it’s hard to have empathy with someone who stinks. This thought haunts me, perhaps in part because lots of characters in my plays & novels tend to stink. Of course we love the lovable...

Unmaker . . .

—From EF— I don’t want my head to explode. Limiting time on the web isn’t helping, because the lunacy is expanding daily on an exponential basis. I am seeing an army of women with long blonde hair curled fetchingly over their shoulders in identical hairdos...

Choice . . .

—From CB— My days are mostly predictable. Starting with the first light of dawn, I make my first decision: whether or not to reach over the edge of the bed and put on my sleep mask. Do I start the day ignoring the light through my clenched lids, or do I snake out my...

Is Sleep Weird?

—From EF— I am startled to realize that I think sleep is really weird. Like most of those kindly described as “elders” I have a nonmonogamous relationship to sleep: we get together in fits and starts. The impending election is finally no longer impending,...

Fear . . .

—From CB— Writing the day before the election, it’s not easy to ignore it, yet there’s no great joy in chewing cud. I’ll compromise in saying something about fear. Right now we’re doing the final edit and layout of a new novel MASKS for January publication. It follows...

Shelter in Place . . .

—From EF— Shelter in place. What if this is the rest of my life? I do have one person who is fully huggable skin to skin, and he’s my beloved. I have an active garden that is still squeezing out ripe tomatoes and succulent peppers and crisp colorful chard, and...

Doing No Harm . . .

—From CB— I’m in the periodic limbo stretch. Just finished stages of multiple projects—6th draft of a new novel, interior layout on another ready for publication, billionth rewrite of a short story (well, start with a title like “William Blake at Starbucks” and see...

Silent Presence . . .

—From EF— Our son Eli came to visit today. I’m not sure if we’ve been together at all since the virus moved in. There might have been a time early on when we sat distanced with masks in his apartment in the Mission, but I’m not sure. What I do know...

Salt Point / / /

—From CB— Sunday we opted out. For the day, at least. No news, no email, not even plucking a weed from the vast half acre of our existence. The wars will go on, people will shoot each other, the President will go to the can, major criminals will enjoy a cook-out, but...

Gated!

—From EF— Our cats are quarantined. Maybe not the right word. (Segregated? Gerrymandered? Red-lined?) Whatever, our bedroom is upstairs and we don’t want them bouncing on our bed. Unfortunately, in our house there was no door to the stairway, so when we got...