Tuesday, April 8, 2014

National Poetry Month: W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden

Young men late in the night
Toss on their beds,
Their pillows do not comfort
Their uneasy heads,
The lot that decides their fate
Is cast to-morrow,
One must depart and face
Danger and sorrow.

Look in your heart and see
There lies the answer,
Though the heart like a clever
Conjuror or dancer,
Deceive you with many
A curious sleight,
And motives like stowaways
Are found too late.

He shall again his peace
Feel his heart harden,
Envy the heavy birds
At home in the garden,
For walk he must the empty
Selfish journey,
Between the needless risk
And the endless safety.

Clouds and lions stand
Before him dangerous,
And the hostility of dreams.
Then let him honor us,
Lest he should be ashamed
In the hour of crisis
And the valley of corrosion
Tarnish his brightness.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tabloids from Space

From David Marsh and Paul Marsh, via archive.org:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Swedish Marines

I LOVE all these military men using their free time to put together show numbers.  It's like the whole world has gone Bollywood.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Thursday, October 17, 2013

I used to admire Wikileaks, even though I've always been bothered by the built-in unfairness. It is much easier to get and disseminate confidential information in a democracy or quasi-democacy than it is in a totalitarian state (or quasi-dictatorship), so we end up learning much about western governments and corporations and precious little about what's going on elsewhere.  And lately, I've come to think that Julian Assange is just another guy who wants to be king.

Monday, September 9, 2013

You are one lucky son of a bitch...

I wrote this piece for Mas Context, a magazine that explores a different theme every issue, generally through the prism of art and architecture. The theme for this issue was "Improbability."  It has its roots in a Sputnik bit I wrote in one of the Robin books.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013


Bit by bit I am getting all my stuff converted and put up for e-readers. This is the latest.  These days, I have so little free time between dog walks and rewrites, it may be another year before I get the next thing pulled together and online. It makes me miss, a little, the days when I had undiagnosed Grave's Disease and could go for 30-40 hours without sleep, writing like a maniac. Those days are gone. Back to work.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Thanks for tagging me, Taffy. Read about Taffy’s work in progress here.

What is the working title of your book?
Last Girl Standing, very much a working title. The story evolved into something very different than I originally envisioned and this title doesn't work as well now. 

What genre does your book come under?
Bollywood crime comedy. (I hear it's the next big trend in crime fiction, so watch for us on the NYT bestseller list.)

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea come from for the WIP?
I was robbed in a strange, nonviolent crime near Mumbai airport, which led to a feud with a criminal gang, with whom I kinda fell in love.

They were delightful. They had all sorts of disguises! Ballsy. Stones like weather balloons, these guys.  Truly, they were a gift from the universe, as was the mildly corrupt, but mostly well-intentioned, cop who got caught in the middle.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Our heroine, outsourced to India, gets drawn into a feud with petty criminals, leading to a byzantine murder mystery in Bollywood.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Six months.  The rewriting is a bitch, always, but it was a real bitch for the last year because I got distracted by a dog who made me rescue her and write a book about her, which I just finished. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has my favorite chase scene so far, some of my favorite characters, as well as a mouthwatering survey of Mumbai street food.  A recurring character dies though. Sad.

Bonus Questions from TPAC:

What is your character's worst habit?
Vodka and vengeance (tied), both of which she has given up at the start of this episode. This vow will be sorely tested in the course of the book.

What is your favorite sandwich?
Pastrami on good rye with hot mustard and a proper deli pickle on the side.
If you have questions of your own, feel free to ask them in the comments. 

Read another Next Big Thing, by the funniest guy I know. "Afropuffs are the antennae of the universe."