Watching a bigger authoritarian bully hurling missiles at and rampaging through the streets of a smaller democratic neighbor is difficult to do. I can neither look away nor really do anything. I know many of you on here feel the same way.
There seems to be a misunderstanding among younger people about the nature of friendship and how friendships arise.
A year ago today - October 12, 2015 - my novelist uncle (and my godfather) died. Incredibly, my mother would follow her brother on October 26. It has not been a "good year." But my recent personal "trials" had actually begun a year and some earlier: on February 2, 2014. On that day we were … Continue reading “Like jazz on a summer’s day”
The other day I mentioned that my niece - who's 18 - has started university this week in Belfast. (She's at Queen's.) It's her first extended time away from home without her parents around. I believe her previous "separation" record was when she was 15: she had flown with us - uncle and aunt - … Continue reading That 9:30 Lecture
The Voice of America radio and web site is about the closest you will find to an "official" media voice of the government of the United States. I like to visit it regularly - just to see what my government is thinking publicly. (Now, now, let's not be overly cynical about public v. private for … Continue reading For 2016: Let’s Resolve To Listen And Learn
Today, this blog is in "Hala mania" hangover mode. If you missed the party, it was not something that happens here very often. Thanks to my interviewing Lebanese journalist Hala Feghaly on Monday, through yesterday I'd been inundated with new visitors, mostly from Lebanon. Yes, yes, yes, I know they came by for her, so … Continue reading Our Old School Chums
I stumbled on two thoughtful recent Guardian pieces on internet friendships. They seemed worth sharing for a Saturday post. The first: "How do you tell who's a real friend and who's just a ‘Friend’ on the internet?": ....Being eliminated from a friend’s life used to mean ignored phone calls and mutual, public recriminations to third … Continue reading The Difference Between “Friends” And, Uh, “Friends”
Following on from yesterday, some "insider" info. If you've been stopping by since February, you may know. They were not idle words: I am going to do it. She will have her own page among the front matter: The cameo appearance has made it into the tale as well. I've left everything I could on … Continue reading In Her Memory
In an early post - when I had so few popping by, I suppose I was posting then mostly to myself 😉 - I had written that I did not really feel lonely or isolated while writing. In other jobs, I had long been used to working without close supervision. I had also often worked … Continue reading “How was your day, dear?” (I Wish I Could Tell You)
While walking our dog a few days ago, I had a "brainstorm": in the sequel, in London (some of it is taking place in Britain), I would give our deceased friend Kam a literary cameo. I don't know yet if it will make the final book, but here's part of the early draft (click to … Continue reading A Small Tribute
In the car yesterday, my wife and I drifted again into reflecting on how we still find it impossible to believe Kam is gone. If you're a regular visitor, you may know our friend had died suddenly back on February 2, and that her loss has gutted us. She had only turned 45 in November. … Continue reading Women And Men As “Just Friends?”
Yesterday morning we were told our girlfriend's ashes will be scattered on March 10. Busy with other things in recent weeks, I had forced her death (mostly) to one side, trying not to think about it. Suddenly, it had all come rushing back. So, virtually out of the gate, I was depressed and in a … Continue reading It’s A Nightmare
By several months ago, I had pretty much framed the plot-line for the sequel to Passports. There had been some tinkering too since then, of course. Overall, though, I had been gradually "filling in" that frame, and working towards that final target. The death February 2 of our lovely friend, Kam, stopped me in my … Continue reading A Chapter Is Born
I'd like to thank all of you who read the previous post about our friend Kam, and liked it. We heard yesterday evening post-funeral from her younger sister, in London. She wrote they had given Kam "quite a send off" (her exact words). She also noted she didn't know half of the people among the … Continue reading “Quite A Send Off”
Today was Kam's funeral, at 11am, in London. Since we couldn't be there to say goodbye, I'm sure you'll indulge me as I scrawl a few additional, utterly inadequate words about her on here..... We knew Kam for almost 20 years. Suddenly, at just 45 years of age, she is gone. She died eight days … Continue reading Some Farewell Thoughts