Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nous Sommes Charlie

I loved Charlie Hebdo, read it during my many sojourns in France, found it disrespectful, mocking, and hilarious; at its best exhilarating, at its worst scurrilous, but always doing the vital job of preserving the "Liberté" part of "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité." 

So, from the land of Voltaire, Daumier, and Molière, CH taught the world a lesson in courage and freedom of speech. 

RIP, those heroes. More cartoons, please.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy (Science-Fiction) New Year

One of those self-explanatory posts. Farewell to the old year, which was a good one in many respects, memorable in my family for unions and reunions. Here's hoping the new one is at least as good. 

But: 2015?? Impossible. Pure sci-fi. No year after about 1998 has seemed entirely believable to me. 

Anyway, best to all readers of this blog. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

On Writing, and Winning Against Insurmountable Odds

God, how bored I get with talk about writers, writing, endless gabbing about themselves, about writing, about what it all means, about how to write, how to worship the appropriately gendered or sexualized bestselling genius, how to overcome writer's block, how to balance two jobs and a career as a midlist novelist, how to channel your ideal disputant, how to honestly convey political opinions, how to teach would-be writers how to become writers, how to....gag. So, now I'm a taxi driver and writer, instead of just a writer. Feels somehow more ... authentic? Nah. I'll drop it in a New York second, soon as I pay off my debts.

Case in point of the afore-mentioned gabbing of the literati: The New York Times's idea of hitting it big "against the odds" is the success enjoyed by Anthony Doerr with his new novel All The Light We Cannot See, which, thanks to the predictable efforts of Doerr's major publisher and agent, has become a NYT bestseller. It's a fine novel, and fair play to him. But here's the point: What are "the odds" against which Doerr has so heroically prevailed? Why, those of being 41 years old; the author of four well-reviewed books; and the winner of (caps mine, for emphasis) "AROUND 20 LITERARY AWARDS AND HONORS." Such a miracle, for him to overcome those handicaps. (More here.)

Next time we'll examine a case of really winning against the odds. Stay chewned. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Merry Christmas! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad! Boze Narodzenie! с рождеством! Etc.!

Remember the reason for the season. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas then

At Christmas, snow-blanketed mountains, the French and Swiss Jura, loomed above the house I grew up in, and they still dominate my dreams of winter.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

How long, O Lord....?

It's been too long since I saw this view, essentially unchanged since Canaletto's day. Far too long. 

The Killoyle Trilogy Cover Gallery

Three novels, three languages, twelve covers. And counting.