Travel through time

You travel to London and then New York.  You do all these meetings and you also meet with friends and you also sleep and miss the dog and miss your family and the press and the goings on in California which are so numerous.  There’s a confusing cluster of work that makes you wonder about the point of it all. What is the point of it all? Other art forms are simpler, you think.  Dancing, theater, music, opera, people appreciate these in droves and flocks.  Then there are books.  The authors. The writers. The scribblers need.  The writers need.  I’m going home to Los Angeles for one day and then Portland.  Briefly. More writers.  It’s raining in Portland.

Published in: on March 27, 2019 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Labrynth, David Ulin


I read the whole book last night; it’s a fast read, a love letter to San Francisco, and a conversation with the subject of memory so deeply in explored in Fates and Furies.  As a lover of the Bay Area, I loved the walking of the streets, the slowing of time.  I loved the fact that the man realizes so slowly what the woman is after.  Women get this stuff much more quickly.  I would have sat down and first thought, “The bitch is out to get you,” but he’s stunned by the alcohol and out of place and knowledge rises slowly as intoxication without actually giving him a place for process.  We grow from experience that we bounce to and fro.  Playing ball alone is poor sport, and our protagonist can’t sort the narrative alone even tossing the ball with the story’s other main character, the city of San Francisco, his shadow lover.  I liked this small story, the flavor of its unwinding like a first kiss.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  


We saw the movie Glass last night.  I like M. Night; most of his movies make me think for months.  I loved The Village which made me think a lot about the cult/farm where I grew up.  You could leave, but most people didn’t.  Antiobiotics and other forms of medicine were unknown to us.

I liked The Village, and I really loved Lady in the Water although I know I was in the minority there.  I loved the mystery and myth of it.

But this movie, Glass, is another story.  The existential question is what happens to those who are unusual?  Unusually bad or unusually good, it doesn’t matter.  Do not step out of line. Do not have special powers or special abilities.  Do not stand tall. Do not stand with your head in the air.

That’s one way of thinking about the movie.  Another way of looking at it is that evil is worth celebrating.  But that’s not what I think is going on.

I think M. Night is trying to get us to think about how we reward those who are different.  James McAvoy’’s acting is a thing of sheer amazement.  It’s breathtaking.

I keep thinking about the movie.  The wages of being different.  They will come for you.

Published in: on February 16, 2019 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

We create for ourselves a refuge.

Finished The Woman Upstairs, a strange book about cruelty among women.  To make art, any act of cruelty is okay.  To make art, it’s okay to pretend to be friends with someone and just screw with them. I liked the book because Claire Messud is a good writer; she’s reliably good. It’s all so unhappy.

Travel makes you skip days. Last week Winter Institute in Albuquerque.  Wednesday San Diego, and then New York where it will be cold.

We create for ourselves a refuge.  In today’s indie publishing world, I need a refuge.

Published in: on January 27, 2019 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Mexico

Winter Institute is an adventure.  The first day we drove in a snowstorm to Santa Fe for lunch with a writer and to visit bookstores. Then the rep picks began and now Erica Jong is here.  We had a wonderful dinner tonight and I look forward to her signing and party tomorrow.

Published in: on January 24, 2019 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Edited till one in the morning

Good night!

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Breathing Gratitude

What we do on our day off: Two hour walk with dog, breakfast,

editing, dinner party for four of us. Small and comfortable.

What I do previous days: Slather in bed with a migraine.

I take the hard stuff of the press badly and bundle up with pain like having a banshee as my nursemaid.

Then friends call and I start to breathe again.

So today, ready for the walking, the dogs, the editing I do on weekends.

Tomorrow my son goes back to Vietnam and it will feel like the party is ending.

Why people want to be rock stars? No division between party/work/life.

Why people want retirement? You can sleep in.

Why people want a lover? So they won’t be lonely.

And I’m not lonely, not with family, friends or dogs.

And if someone says, and they do, that I don’t deserve all this?

They are right. Love is a gift and I have gratitude for the gift of love.

Published in: on January 13, 2019 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dear Elizabeth Warren,


Americans are a great group of folks.  We like to have fun; we like barbecues and hot dogs, baseball and music.  We love our country.  We love all the different people in this country.  We are diverse; we are strong and we have compassion for our neighbors.  We help in natural disasters.  We work hard and we play hard.

One of the things we share with the late great Aretha Franklin is that we want respect and we give respect.  We want the respect of world leaders.  We believe in the dignity of all human people. We need a president who respects women, children, people of all religions, and people of all walks of life.

This is the time, and this is the place for heroes.  Not another time. Now.  Each of us is a hero in our own life, capable of embracing and showing kindness and compassion to people different than ourselves.  We can be our own best selves.   We are a people open to change, to answering the largeness of our country with our largeness of heart. The presidency of Elizabeth Warren will be a time of heroes.  That’s all of us here in America.

Our open hearts expect great things of you Elizabeth Warren,


Kate Gale

Published in: on October 14, 2018 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Feeling the blue

After Frankfurt, I feel a bit of a buzz of thought, of ideas.  The stomp of feet.  The many meetings stacked up on each other like pancakes.  I can’t swarm past them.  I eat a little yoghurt in the morning, join the swarm.  It was warm all the time in Frankfurt, no need for coats, scarves or gloves.  My umbrella unused.  The stories:


There’s a smart one in every family, and this protagonist was not that one.


There are only two stories.  A stranger shows up in a town. Things change. A man leaves town.  His life changes.


Ah yes, but what about that other story? A woman leaves home taking her child. She finds another country.


A child leaves home.  She isn’t really a child, but she feels like a child.

All these stories heaped up around me in the warm Frankfurt air.


I am finding my way back to Los Angeles now via Heathrow.

The morning is slipping away.

Published in: on October 14, 2018 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

London wet

When I woke this morning, I didn’t know where I was.  Half awake, I wandered down for coffee and realized that I was in London. It rained all day and I walked the park with my umbrella.  The swans and ducks love the rain.  I walked through the scramble of wet leaves and got my butterfly shoes wet, ate Lebanese food and read. Off to Frankfurt tomorrow where the weather is a little better.  The time change makes me feel sort of scooped out, but even scooped, I love the wet London.  I could walk in London a long ways and never get tired.  My feet were cold though.  Freezing.  I don’t have boots. Bootless I wandered through London and loved the green of it.

Published in: on October 6, 2018 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment