Monthly Archives: May 2010

An Act of Literature

Last weekend, I made a near-fatal mistake on Nathan’s Bransford’s Forums. A writer had asked for advice, wondering if his or her opening excerpt would hook the reader. The idea was a good one, I offered, but suggested that the writer needed to spend more time with the craft of writing. I felt bad for […]

Posted in Writing | 7 Comments

The Roots of Violence:

The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles. — Mahatma Gandhi

Posted in Politics, Social Justice, Sustainability | Leave a comment

I Want Some of Whatever Sarah Palin Is Smoking

Commenting on the Gulf debacle, former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to have forgetten her “Drill, Baby, Drill” cheerleading of 2008, or that some circumstantial evidence has implicated Dick Darth Cheney for a potential role in this horrible crime against nature. Palin seems to have forgotten that her husband worked for British Petroleum for 18 […]

Posted in Politics, Sustainability | 2 Comments

Port Royal, Nova Scotia

The nail as status symbol? Yes, in New France. As my fingers traced Port Royal’s rough doors, I was feeling this community’s social strata. Here, artisans lived communally, doors bound by a smattering of metal. The gentlemen’s quarters — larger, private dwellings — have entrances punctuated by large nails. The door that feels like Braille’s […]

Posted in Food & Wine, Life, Nova Scotia, Writing | Leave a comment

Bread & Molasses

I had lunch with Robert MacNeil* in the early 1990s just after Doubleday published Burden of Desire, his first novel. You might have thought that after years of telling stories — on major news networks, on the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, and in a series of nonfiction bestsellers — writing a novel would be child’s play. But […]

Posted in Author, Author, Books, Writing | 3 Comments

The Scholar Seeks, The Artist Finds

In Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, beauty begets beauty. This tiny fishing community — the southern heart of Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coastline — surprises many people. Barely 2,300 souls call this historic harbor town home, so you would be forgiven for thinking that not much happens here. But you’d be wrong. In all of North America, only […]

Posted in Art, Nova Scotia | 4 Comments

My Father’s Eyes

I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was a teenager, watching my father take a proud-looking buck from the roof of his car. “How could you kill such a lovely animal,” I asked, my voice taking on my know-it-all edge, I’m sure. But the old man didn’t lose a beat. “I’ve had to […]

Posted in Family, Life | 18 Comments

25 Questions With Author Stephen Parrish

Stephen Parrish • The Tavernier Stones Remember that kid in the old neighborhood who managed to get along with everyone? It didn’t matter who — the tough kids, the rich kids, the nerds, the jocks, the stoners. Somehow he or she found a way to befriend each one of them, and somehow that guy made […]

Posted in 25 Questions, Author, Author, Books, Publishing Industry | 11 Comments

Electron Boy Saves Seattle

A Seattle Times story about one of the most elaborate Make A Wish Foundation storylines ever mounted, involving hundreds of volunteers. It began with a call from Spider-Man to the mild-mannered Erik Martin, just 13. Pulling off a wish like this one required a big story, and a lot of heart. And so, with a […]

Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Omnivore’s 100, Part IV

If you’re just joining me… About 18 months ago, the following meme made its way around the Internet’s food blogs, and I thought it would be fun to revive it. I believe that it originated at Very Good Taste. It’s just one person’s list of foods that every foodie should try. I spent 10 years […]

Posted in Food & Wine, Life | 1 Comment