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Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

Did the reclusive J.D. Salinger keep writing about the Glass family even after he last published? Perhaps it sustained him, at times was even a purgative. I knew people who criticized him for cashing in then going all Greta Garbo—I vant to be alone—but it never bothered me.  Sometimes you gotta do what you can to maintain the internal peace. (more…)

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I encountered an old friend recently. Our re-acquaintance came about through this blog. Ms. Maria del Mar found my post on Salinger’s  Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters (Roof Beam, to us) which I had ended with a note on the odd wedding gift at the end of the story, wondering why anyone might send cigar ash.  She commented that it is explained in the next novella of that collection, Seymour — an Introduction.

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A very long time ago, so long ago we listened to music on vinyl and people still used typewriters, I had a very good writing instructor at City College of San Francisco. He was a published writer, and was very good about the nuts and bolts of writing: grammatical, thematic, plot development, all of it. He also didn’t hesitate to critique what he felt didn’t work, which didn’t endear him to some of the more sensitive students. (more…)

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 We saw a good movie over Christmas. Strong cast. Interesting plot. Gorgeous sets. And one of the best things about the experience was that I was well-prepared, before going in, for the worst of it.  (more…)

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Emma

 Have you ever felt like you were headed down the road in one direction only to see a number of signs luring you a different way?

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Mrs. Ombud enjoyed the new Star Trek movie, and I’m glad I saw it. (more…)

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I’m pretty omni-movirous, meaning I like a variety of movies, so long as they’re moderately plausible and the stories are well told. There are not many genres I avoid, really — given that I want a good plot and don’t want to suspend disbelief like a hangman working overtime. So when we put Water in our Netflix queue, I’m sure the review looked good to me, but the reality, when I sat down to watch it, was different.

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“I don’t care if people think differently about me because I’m black,” Lou said, half-turned on his barstool to face Murphy. “Hell, I don’t even care if they like me. They don’t have to like me.”

Murphy chuckled uneasily as the bar went quiet. Karen and Cindy had been talking but now looked over, and Emil who had been musing quietly looked up. Only Ron moved, methodically ringing up a charge and making change, but you had a sense he remained deliberate to maintain a certain calm.
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The lean, 30ish man stood on the corner, scanning the street as if looking for something familiar, as the wind whipped long blond hair in his face. Shaking his head, a bemused smile pulled a corner of his thin mouth up toward his left ear as he read the street signs. Evening commuters brushed past him as if he were a signpost or a news kiosk, oblivious to his banner headline: Where did it go? He had been away from the Financial District for years and now, after accepting a job offer, was looking for a place to celebrate. He walked around the corner, spotting an alleyway and heading for it.
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It was Thursday shortly after 5 PM, and Ron had just finished restocking the coolers; he was ready for the evening crowd. He stopped to re-fill his coffeecup, noting the place was already half full, and took a moment to scan the customers dispersed along the bar.

Jim Garvin, the only regular in so far, had arrived early and met someone. The first thing that Ron noticed about her now was her high cheekbones. She sat erect, shoulders back, proud, with clear green eyes that watched Garvin sidelong. Crinkled skin at the back of her hands and the wrinkles on her neck and face gave her maturity, accented by silver jewelry with gaudy clear stones over her purple khaftan, which gave her a well-traveled air, rich in experience, discriminating yet vulnerable.
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