Archive for Uncategorized

What Goes Around…

On August 1, 1999 Robert Gottlieb, the esteemed editor-in-chief at Simon and Schuster, reviewed Speaking of Diaghilev in the New York Times Book Review. The book is John Drummond’s definitive biography of Serge Diaghilev, the famous/infamous ballet impresario. Gottlieb is best known as the editor for Toni Morrison, Joseph Heller, Nora Ephron, John LeCarre and Robert Caro–but he was also a lifelong balletomane and wrote frequently on the subject.

So, why am I telling you this?

Because last week when I was feeling overwhelmed and reflecting on both the good and bad news associated with moving a household, I noticed a yellowed corner of newsprint sticking out of a book in our new bookcase. The book was Speaking of Diaghilev and the clipping was Gottlieb’s review. read more

Do the Right Thing…

I haven’t been here – on the page – since early January. It’s the longest break I’ve taken in 15 years. There are several reasons. M and I sold our condo and moved from the edge of Lake Washington to an apartment overlooking Puget Sound. Moving is not for the lazy or the weak. 

The University of Washington has a life events scale that rates the impact and stress of certain changes—the death of a parent, sibling or spouse, a serious medical problem, etc. Moving, it turns out, is near the top of the scale. Now I know why.  read more

Breaking News: Trump Dies of Covid-19*

Year-end is always about fresh starts, reflection and speculation. Since I’m writing a novel, my imagination is probably more active than at other times and less grounded in reality.

The novel’s plot features a number of ghosts who return to advise and haunt the living characters. One of the ghosts is Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States who, in my creative rendering of the past, present and future dies of Covid-19 in the White House residence on October 10, 2020.

In real life, he reported that he and Melania had tested positive for the virus on October 2nd, and later that day he was airlifted to Walter Reed Hospital. On October 4th he left the hospital briefly to wave to supporters before returning to WR for further treatment. On the 5th, against the advice of his doctors, he returned to the White House, struggled up the steps of the South Portico and dramatically ripped the surgical mask from his face, telling the crowd below not to be afraid of the virus. read more

Biden, Gaza and 2024…

The 2024 presidential race is already underway, and I am deeply concerned. Ron DeSantis, Nicky Haley, Tim Scott, Robert Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, Joe Biden… and Trump. The list sounds like the next round of Dancing with the Stars hopefuls.

Where is the candidate to inspire us? Where is the one with real leadership skills who might be able pull the divided country together?

I’m emotionally torn these days, the way so many are — feeling strong affection and appreciation for Joe Biden and yet feeling gripped simultaneously by a pounding fear that a Biden-led party will lose next year and lead to a Trumpian Götterdämmerung. Like many Americans, I’ve found myself having The Conversation over and over again, with friends, sources and people who work in Democratic politics: whether Biden is the best candidate to defeat Trump, his chances of winning, if there’s some better course.David Brooks, (New York Times) read more

Why Can’t I Embrace Biden?

It looks like the post-pandemic economy is on its way to a soft landing. Inflation is cooling. Unemployment is at historic lows. The cost of prescription drugs is lower. NATO is stronger. The Infrastructure Bill is creating jobs. Crumbling roads, bridges and rail lines are being repaired.

So why can’t I be enthusiastic about Joe Biden. He’s the architect of these positive changes, and I applaud them. Why can’t I embrace the persona? Why does it feel like he’s stalled out? With these accomplishments, how is it that he finds himself in a dead heat with a disgraced, twice-impeached, thrice-indicted, grifting criminal in the 2024 race for the presidency? It’s a mystery. read more