Back to Happy: a review

A nd now for something totally different . . . Actress Connie Bowman has written a wonderful new book. Flowing from the unfathomable grief of the loss of her first child, Meghan, to a congenital heart and lung condition at age six, it is a story filled with insight,...

Lies and Damned Lies

I have listened with weary amazement to conservative pundits crying “Liar, liar! Pants on fire!” in the wake of revelations about the Jonathan Gruber video. Gruber is the MIT economics professor who was paid by the Obama administration in 2009 to help...

Cape Horn: A Short Story

Ibrahim shook his head and laughed. He was too smart for him. He would not take the dare. He was already three shots of rum in, and the fourth might be the end of him. “No, it’s your turn, he said, “unless you’re afraid, that is.” The...

Money and the Muse’s Underwear

I was at a writer’s conference in Charleston, recently, where I had the pleasure of paying a great deal of money to listen to another interminable speech about the ongoing revolution in the publishing industry. Book publishing, it seems, has been revolting and...

The Coming Thermal Inversion in Publishing

What will fundamentally change the publishing industry is not the rise of self-publishing or e-books but the rise of the non-reader. One of my many useless theories about the future of mankind is that the publishing industry as we know it today won’t exist...

The Deal

O ver a crackly cell phone connection this afternoon in an Atlanta Bread Company cafe in Charleston, amid whirring blenders and grinding ice machines, I could hear just enough of the three-way conference call with producer Diane Isaacs and editor Kiffer Brown to know...

Tinseltown Dreams

W ell, it’s officially unofficial.  The call from the west coast came today at 3:29 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time: The Prodigal is in play for a Hollywood movie deal and being shopped around by a Real Live Producer. Of course, that little bit of news and $4.25 will...

17 Days Alone At Sea

I n May of this year, for a little diversion (and to deliver a new boat to my new home), I decided to sail to Bermuda. I set out from Annapolis and was headed ultimately to Charleston, a voyage of some 1500 miles.  I was alone aboard Prodigal, a thirty-foot ketch...

The Morning of Our Hope

T oday is Easter, the highest, holiest day of the church year. Across the world, hundreds of millions of Christians will enter a sanctuary and recite a profession of faith that begins with the words, “We believe.” This is the start of the creed named after...

The Night of Our Despair

A curious figure of Anglican liturgy who has always caught my eye is the verger.  He is that somber fellow who comes into church ahead of the priest in the processional, dressed in black and carrying a rather severe looking baton capped with an equally unyielding,...