“There was an old lady…”

When I was a child in Montgomery, Alabama, during the very early sixties, I can remember certain areas around town that spent much of the year buried under a green and hairy shroud that covered telephone poles, buildings, billboards, trees, parked cars, slow-moving pedestrians: the dreaded kudzu. Continue reading

Through the Eyes of a Child.

Today I’m doing something a little different, in recognition of Memorial Day: I’m inviting a guest to speak to my readers. My mother was a child living at Hickam Field on the Hawaiian island of Oahu when it was bombed by Japanese planes on December 7, 1941. Needless to say, she remembers the occasion well, and has offered to write about it here. I’ve added a few sidebar notes for historical context, and edited very slightly for length, but otherwise, these are her own words. Enjoy! Continue reading

In the Eye of the Beholder.

I’ve recently been browsing through various online resources for artists — how-to’s, advice about materials, online portfolios, etc. — and I’ve noticed something that disturbs me: When did “Learn How to Draw” come to mean “Learn How to Draw Natalie Portman in Star Wars Makeup”? Continue reading

The View from the Tower.

I often read novels by Latin-American authors in the original Spanish.

I know, I know: at least part of the reason for doing it is just to be able to make statements like that — we all carve out these nuggets of self-esteem where we can find them — but the fact remains that some stars really do shine brighter in the universes that gave them birth. Continue reading

The Name of the Rose

Years ago, while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my partner and I made the acquaintance of a gentleman who was considered throughout the neighborhood to be a gardener of some skill. When we finally received an invitation to venture past the ten-foot privacy fencing into his little slice of paradise, we jumped at the chance to see what a Florida garden was supposed to look like. Continue reading