Category Archive for 'Books'

The Critical Mass

I read the Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Nov. 25 The coffee is a simple, winter-morning Colombian. First music of the day: Jazz drummer Paul Motian’s Flux and Change. Today’s Times is a particularly good one. Winter is descending on refugees in Lebanon, many of whom fled next-door Syria, ripped by […]

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The Critical Mass

The old battering ram bitches about literature Most writers will tell you this: The toughest scene to write is a sex scene. I didn’t have to go there with Chasing the Wind, the non-fiction book that I wrote about a 93-year-old sailor. And I’m not getting too deep into the subject with the other non-fiction […]

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The Critical Mass

Happy 96th birthday, Ernie Coleman Ernie Coleman turned 96 on Wednesday. I stopped by his house, where he was drinking a glass of Merlot. It was not his first. He offered me one, of course. Ernie’s the hero – I don’t use that word lightly – of my book, Chasing the Wind: The Humble, Epic […]

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The Critical Mass

A tragic anniversary, and the promise I didn’t keep Attention shoppers. The monthly First Friday’s coming up, when the local galleries and studios here in Rochester throw open their doors to the public and show off what the local artisans have been working on. Over at the artist colony at the Hungerford Building at East […]

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The Critical Mass

The planet Mercury is too damn hot for writers Three hours isn’t long, after you’ve spent two years wrestling and cajoling a project into shape. It had been two years since I first sat down with an old sailor – Ernie Coleman was 93 at the time – talking about his life, then taking his […]

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The Critical Mass

Finally: It’s my first book, “Chasing the Wind” People – Mom, that’s you – have been asking me, “When are you gonna write a book?” OK, I’ve got one. It’s probably not what most folks familiar with my writing were expecting. That novel of an evil jazz band in a dystopian world is half finished. […]

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The Critical Mass

My literary gulag I spent nine days in the South Florida and Caribbean sun with the Nazi empire. This was two summers ago, when I selected The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich as my vacation reading. You stop feeling self-conscious about strolling around a cruise ship while holding a book with a giant […]

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The Critical Mass

A Gideon Bible for our left-wing guests Hurricane Irene had passed through just 24 hours earlier, leaving little noticeable damage. So we settled in for five days at our rented house on a Delaware beach. This was two weeks ago. The beach lends itself to slow. I watched a couple of sunrises. I cooked a […]

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The Critical Mass

Known Unknowns Go Rogue During a visit to one of the local corporate bookstores on Monday evening, I walked past a display of recent right-wing book  releases. Ignoring the groans of revisionist history, finger pointing and pure bullshit emanating from the pages, I noticed an interesting new trend: Leading conservatives are embracing the words of their critics, and wearing them as […]

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The Critical Mass

I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Oct. 31 This morning’s coffee was imported from Mexico, which you may interpret as a statement on immigration policy if you wish. First music of the day, the Debussy opera Pelleas et Melisande. It’s in French. The dog is chewing on a rawhide […]

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