reading storytelling

It’s a Sad Day for the Arts

It's a Sad Day for the Arts

It’s a sad day for the arts.

Larry McMurty has passed. He wrote Lonesome Dove. That was his most famous book, but he wrote lots and lots of other books including Horseman Pass By, Leaving Cheyanne and The Last Picture Show. Lonesome Dove was by far my favorite McMurtry Book. I just love the love/hate friendship between Woodrow and Gus. I may have to re-read that book to honor McMurtry’s passing.

Beverly Cleary has passed. She wrote an enormous collection of children’s books. Her most famous is the Ramona The Pest series which included Ramona and Beezus and Henry and Ribsy. She also wrote the Ralph Mouse series and Ellen Tebbits. I read every single book she wrote when I was a kid. She had the rare ability to capture the true spirit of a child in her stories. Beverly Cleary will be missed, but her books will live on because they are timeless.

Jessica Walter has passed. She had a prolific acting career, but I will remember her best as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. She was a very lovely lady, so I’m sure she had a lot of fun playing such a self-absorbed sourpuss of a character. I’m going to have to re-watch Arrested Development and pay special attention to her character because her quotes are scathing gems.

Dr. Seuss said once, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

It’s a sad day for the arts.

But I’m smiling because it happened.

humor lifestyle reading

My Inciting Incident

My Inciting Incident


Day Whatever of the quarantine.

The grown son has been flicking fruit stickers willy-nilly around the kitchen.

This may very well be my Inciting Incident…

lifestyle reading

Season One of True Detective

Season One of True Detective


I just finished Season One of True Detective.

It wasn’t really a cop show.

It wasn’t really about a cold case.

It wasn’t really about what might have happened all those years ago.

That was just the vehicle to tell the story.

The real story was about sin and redemption.

And grief.

And enduring friendship.

I can’t wait to start Season Two.

humor lifestyle reading

I Watched The Bachelor

I watched The Bachelor


I did it.

I watched The Bachelor.

Everyone is talking about it, so I had to see what’s going on.

The guy who is starring this season is from my hometown.

So it’s got that going for it.

I only lasted about three minutes.

I couldn’t take any more.


I feel violated.

And dirty.

All I can think of is the quote from Billy Madison, “…everyone in this room now dumber for having listened to you…”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bleach my eyeballs.

And my ears.

And my soul.

lifestyle reading

On This Day in History

on this day in history


On this day in history…

On January 29, 1845, The Raven was first published.

It’s my favorite Poe story.

Quoth The Raven, “Nevermore.”

humor lifestyle reading

Mulled Wine

mulled wine

I had never had mulled wine before.

It’s the drink that Clarence the angel ordered in It’s A Wonderful Life.

In the movie, Nick the bartender got annoyed.

So of course I had to try the mulled wine.

I had to see what was so annoying about this drink.

It turns out that mulled wine is simply hot sangria.

Not bad, Clarence, not bad.

Nick needs to chill.

lifestyle reading

Lone Star Film Festival

Lone Star Film Festival


The Lone Star Film Festival has wrapped up.

It was such an exciting weekend.

I saw lots of amazing movies and met some very interesting people.

Netflix vs The World won Best Documentary.

Cowboys won Audience Choice.

The Bird Catcher won Best of Fest.

I’m so glad I got to be involved with this amazing event!

lifestyle reading writing

Writing on an Unfamiliar Topic

writing on an unfamiliar topic


Writers often ask if they can write on an unfamiliar topic.

“Do I have to limit myself to writing what I know?”

The answer is NO.

Writing is creative.

Stretch your mind and write on any topic you choose.

But be careful.

Your manuscript might get passed if your story doesn’t make sense.

I recently read a manuscript where the main character was a painter.

The author wrote about chiaroscuro.

But she clearly didn’t understand the notion of this artistic concept.

And she didn’t even spell it right.

I read another manuscript with Jewish characters.

But this author clearly didn’t understand Yiddish slang.

Words like “kvetch,” “schlock,” and “schmutz” were used completely out of context.

I started to binge-watch a popular Netflix series, but I had to quit.

The main character’s backstory is that he was a baseball phenom in high school.

However, there was a batting cage scene with the actor in a ridiculous batting stance.

A phenom should know how to position himself at the plate.

How in the world did this scene pass a technical edit?

I quit watching the show.

I quit watching that actor.

I’ll never get that goofy batting stance image out of my head.

The bottom line is that it’s OK to write about an unfamiliar topic.

But do your research.

Or your manuscript will get passed.

Or worse, it will get produced, and then it will become a laughingstock.

lifestyle reading writing

I Binge-Watched Fleabag

I binge-watched Fleabag


I binge-watched Fleabag on Amazon Prime.

It won a bunch of Emmys so I had to check it out.


What a fabulous example of amazing script writing.

It’s gritty and off-color.

And very, very funny.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

I’ll just say that the fourth-wall element was incredible.

And it wrapped up beautifully with that wave at the end.

This story has a little bit of everything.

Comedy, grief, guilt, guinea pigs, love, acceptance, sin and redemption.

And some theft.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge not only starred in the series, she wrote it too.

Now I have to stalk her and check out all of her work.

humor lifestyle reading



I am a minimalist.

With hoarding tendencies.

When we moved last year, I got rid of 50% of my stuff.

It was very liberating.

Lately I have noticed that some stuff is starting to build up again.

Specifically, shoes and books.

The shoes are easily explained.

I hate shoes.

And they hate me back.

Ever the optimist, I keep looking for that one, elusive, comfortable pair of shoes.

Sometimes I think I have found it.

However, I have an entire closet full of pinchy shoes that prove otherwise.

Every one of them hurts.

I’m still looking…

The books are another story altogether.

I can blow through several books a week.

That adds up to a lot of clutter.

I have started to read e-books to cut back on the piles of stuff.

Somehow, though, the books continue to stack up.

My bookcases are all full.

Now the books are piling up on tables and in corners.

I need more shelves.

I have no idea how this is happening.

And that’s the story I’m sticking with.