Publications
Why I'm Saying No to Self-Publishing Print E-mail
Essays and Memoirs

TS SF 2019 Izanami 2

(Zero Readers March 31, 2024)

I’ve been on a journey the past five years that some writers who come tantalizingly close to publication know all too well. From 2018-2022, I worked on a novel, paid thousands to a professional editor, another thousand for a lawyer’s opinion of my legal liability, and landed a big-time agent whose name will be familiar to most authors in Southern California. As I went, I cut a seven-hundred-page monster down to four-hundred with solid guidance from the New York editor and the all-star agent. They read long drafts, suggested sizeable changes, pushed me to drop characters and deepen scenes, and commended my rewrites. I treasured the agent’s encouragement and tenacity, in particular.

Read more...
 
Pretending Public Space Is Private (After Rebecca Solnit) Print E-mail
Articles

digital divide 3(Times of San Diego March 3, 2024)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how public spaces (trolleys, airports, music venues) no longer feel public, but temporarily accommodate people (us) who isolate and seem wholly removed from even looking at others—a club whose members are linked via their disconnection. Weird, I know. As if bus riders and plane passengers are hiding some secret (drug runners or deadbeat dads) or else feel guilty for a cultural misstep they’ll be canceled for.

Read more...
 
Pretending Public Space Is Private (After Rebecca Solnit) Print E-mail
Criticism

digital divide 3(Times of San Diego March 3, 2024)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how public spaces (trolleys, airports, music venues) no longer feel public, but temporarily accommodate people (us) who isolate and seem wholly removed from even looking at others—a club whose members are linked via their disconnection. Weird, I know. As if bus riders and plane passengers are hiding some secret (drug runners or deadbeat dads) or else feel guilty for a cultural misstep they’ll be canceled for.

Read more...
 
Review: Bestseller Reparations: On "American Fiction" Print E-mail
Criticism

american fiction jeffrey wright(Quilette January 24, 2024)

On January 23rd, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Cord Jefferson’s debut film, American Fiction, has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jefferson’s film certainly merits the acclaim—American Fiction is a cinematic treasure, scarily original in its depth and chutzpah. But if the race-conscious Academy decides to reward the film’s black cast and writer-director in the name of diversity, it will be a satisfying irony—one of the film’s many pleasures is the intelligence and wit with which it injects its impudence into our culture’s prevailing racial sensibilities.

Read more...
 
Very Good Boys & Girls Print E-mail
San Diego Reader

20240110(San Diego Reader January 10, 2024)

It’s an evening in early October, and Charli King, co-founder of Pawsitive Teams, is opening a new class for dog owners, canines in tow, who aspire to help people in need. That need is great — society is rife with both anxiety and trauma, and people need comfort: people in hospitals, assisted-living homes, airports, rehab centers, even college campuses during finals week. “Comfort” here means reduced blood pressure, reduced heart rate, reduced stress. That’s comfort that dogs can provide, but in order to fill that basic therapeutic role, those dogs must be trained by volunteers to the point where they can demonstrate fundamental skills with strangers and always, always display a calm demeanor.

Read more...
 
Time During the Holidays Print E-mail
Articles

123 1(Times of San Diego January 6, 2024)

The other day an estate lawyer said to my partner and me that the older we get, the faster time goes. Psychologically, that’s so. But in what sense is this “psychology” true? Is it because we geezers have more to do in less time, and we’re worried we’ll run out of what we assume is our due, a squishy estimate at best? I think it means we’ve put off the unpleasant things, too busy reading and seeing friends and petting the cat, though we will, it’s in the bag, run out of time — and soon — to jump rope or climb ladders. Just as well.

When young, time is “on our side.” But as long as we have some left, isn’t it on our side as well? I have as much time as I have left, and it matters only to me what I do with it. Still, life is no help with its persistent pounding away, a disco score of measured pulses whether we recognize them as such or not. We get our share, our due, so speeding the plow or taking the siesta is purely a choice. It’s not time that moves at varying rates but our awareness — blithely, fastidiously — of its tick-tock.

Read more...
 
Review: Riding to Nowhere in Public. On "Americosis" by Sam Forster Print E-mail
Criticism

Americosis(The American Spectator January 2, 2024)

One of poststructuralism’s simplest dictums — if you can say any French literary theory seeks simplicity — speaks to why the world and our experience of it is not organized with binary oppositions, gender inherency, or the like, say, good and evil, man vs. nature. Life is just too fluid, too random. The philosopher elites didn’t invent rhetoric to systemize argument. Rather, rhetoric arose to handle the tensions of daily exchange, involving a lot of haggling and fisticuffs. Indeed, neither the material nor the spiritual realms exist as pre-planned no matter how much categorizing we insist they answer to. Sometimes our lives stumble on a purpose, which, the stumbling, is the point — purpose is not intrinsic. I was reminded of this poststructural axiom often while reading Sam Forster’s Americosis.

Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 52