For some time now I’ve been confused over my obsession with southern writers. I get all conflicted trying to figure out if I want to be a New Englander writing in the South, or a Southerner writing about New England. Sometimes I can’t figure out if my story is about characters from my New England … Continue reading Southern Writer from New England
This video about the author Ernest Gann has many scenes from "my island" - San Juan Island in Washington state, where I lived for many years. A prolific author and artist, Gann always followed his passions - flying, boats, jumping out of an airplane in his 70's. Gann wrote numerous top selling books, including "Fate … Continue reading One of the Famous Authors from “My Island”
I have days when I feel thoroughly confused by the rhetoric and fears thrown around on the subject of immigration. I hear that we need to reduce immigration to the US because immigrants take the good jobs away from Americans. So we should disallow highly educated immigrants who are skilled and qualified to fill the … Continue reading Immigration & (IL)logic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrzz-sibpv0 I'm thinking that every time that I wake up feeling pissed or depressed or horrified about the latest loss of life from war, forced migration, generalized hatred, environmental disasters, gun violence, the general condition of the world, the latest hateful tirade from the president of my country or something else threatening to mess up … Continue reading Bitty & Beau’s
A Hundred Years Ago - or so it seems, although by the date on the front page, I see that it was actually 27 years past - I wrote this article about what was then my life. Sometimes I think I really miss that life. Well, maybe not that life, but certain parts of it. … Continue reading My Island Life
This photo article was published a while back. It was a fun research project walking around my neighborhood taking photos of amazing old houses. ABOVE - THE CUPOLA. The iconic image of the district of Magdalena del Mar will soon disappear. Well perhaps not totally disappear, but certainly from my vantage point a few blocks away and … Continue reading My Town
And try not to sound so damned yankee! Not the typical advice from a law professor perhaps, but she hadn’t asked for advice on interpreting some obscure community property ruling. Her need on this sweltering Mississippi afternoon was for advice on how to talk to the judge who would rule on her punishment for the … Continue reading Southern Accents
Brain-washing, the Ugly American, Sushi, Growing Up & Out of Ego-Mania. And more, but that's for another day.
Do we really need to remove the monuments honoring confederate "heroes?" Or do we need to use them to illuminate our history as it actually was, in a search for truth and understanding of our real past? President Trump has claimed that removing these statues represents the changing of history. But of course you can't change … Continue reading Don’t Mess with My History
I am probably passionate about too many different things. It often feels like my brain is composed of a large bag of marbles, and someone has dropped them on a hard surface, causing all of them to pop, jump and scatter about, making it tough to focus on any one particular topic. I truly admire people who are so passionate about one particular subject that they zone in on it to the exclusion of everything else...
Have you ever had the opportunity to experience total solitude for a week? Time to focus on your writing and exist in a world where it's not even necessary to block the rest of the world out because for that chunk of time, the rest of the world doesn't exist in your life? I had this experience for the first time recently when I attended a retreat at the Ricardo Palma House...
Having grown up being taught about the "American Dream," it's hard to wrap my arms around the reality of 41 million people living in poverty in my country. This UN observer, having investigated other countries in the past, now visits communities in the US where people have no income, no access to bathrooms, no place to sleep and no hope.
The UN's Philip Alston's "fact-finding mission into the richest nation the world has ever known has led him to investigate the tragedy at its core: the 41 million people who officially live in poverty."
“My role is to hold governments to account,” he said. “If the US administration doesn’t want to talk about the right to housing, healthcare or food, then there are still basic human rights standards that have to be met. It’s my job to point that out.”
“You took the bus? Weren’t you the only non-native person riding?” Isabel is shocked to learn that the observer rides busses. The look of concern, if not outright horror, on her face makes it clear that this is one thing about the city which she has never learned. “I could have sent my driver for you. Weren’t you afraid of being robbed?” Robbed. On a crowded bus. It could happen, she thinks, remembering the young man who insisted on vacating his seat for her. The man jumping on and off busses all day to earn enough cash to survive. The old lady bending with the weight of her huge shopping bags as she climbed the steps to board. It could happen...
My New England stories are based on my memories of growing up in a small New England town. The stories, and the memories, are so much a part of me that I don't always know which parts are something I experienced and which parts live in the imagination of my mind or the shared past … Continue reading Stories Remembered
This is the ultimate in anti-consumerism and I'm absolutely fascinated by the whole idea. I don't know how many times I've had something I wanted to give away but had no idea where to give it or who to give it to. I'm going to have to investigate whether there is such an organization … Continue reading Buy Nothing
Living with an artist often means hearing comments that may not make sense to a “normal” person. When we first moved to Peru, it surprised me that no one seemed to know what an aguacate was. Everywhere else we had been in the Spanish speaking world, the mighty avocado was called “aguacate.” After 3 months … Continue reading Zippers on Palta – or never pass up an experience just because you don’t know what it is