Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back on the Grid

I’ve been off the grid for a few weeks because of vacation and family health emergencies. But I’ll be updating the site a bit more regularly going forward.


Kill “Sorry” and “Besides”

A tip for playwrights and screenwriters:Eliminate “sorry” and “besides” from your vocabularies. Too often I’m watching something — even a prestige production by a writer I respect — Character X will be savaging Character Y and then when the monologue is complete will add “sorry” or “besides” completely robbing the emotional power of what came before and destroying the stakes of the scene. If you are going to go to an emotionally dangerous place that might alter the relationship of your characters, you have to own it. Don’t shy away from it. Good writing is about letting your characters grow in unpredictable ways and not remain static. So, banish these two escape hatches from your work.

A Plea at Semester’s End: A Poem

The semester has been rough,
The semester has been tough,
The semester has been disastrous,
Still and all,
Read the damn syllabus.

There has been snow, wind and rain to vex,
We’ve even had the occasional polar vortex,
The weather all around has been miserablus
Still and all,
Read the damn syllabus.

You’ve had papers, quizzes, and tests,
You’ve had to attend the lectures of guests
You’re overwhelmed by Shakespeare and calculus,
Still and all,
Read the damn syllabus.

Fear of disease has made you psycho
Fending off measles, mumps, and mono.
There is always the danger of syphilus.
Still and all,
Read the damn syllabus.

Questions you have are many — it’s true.
Your confusion about requirements have made you blue.
But you are literate and hopefully a genius
So by all that is holy
Read the damn syllabus!

“For what is lost is lost for all / As when the snow fed lakes” — Will Morgan

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Cicero

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.” John Steinbeck

First Post! (gulp)

I feel a little like Danny Glover in all of those Lethal Weapons films: “I’m too old for this shit.” I won’t bore you with the usual rant of a 40-something about all of this new-fangled social media. But rather than rail against the technological change, I have decided instead to embrace it and make it my own. I want to use it to discuss what I care about, which may seem quaint in the age of FB and Twitter and Tumblr and yes blogs: great writing. Maybe that will be a film or a play, a television show or a film. Maybe it will be high brow or low brow. One day I might engage in the more ethereal of critical theory, and the next I might dive into the visceral emotions of a piece. I hope to always be honest. I hope to have a high intellectual standard, but not pretentious. Smart doesn’t have to be dull. I hope to provoke conversation — even disagreement, as long as it is polite and respectful. I hope to inspire, even in a small way. I have my personal loves, as the title of this site indicates. There’ll be more Kerouac and Joyce than Austen and Hardy. So welcome. As a parting thought, I recently rediscovered this little gem by Whitman: “Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” Good night.