A Scene From: “Term Limit”

Continuing in my effort to tempt you to buy my short story collection, MATTERS FAMILIAR, or—if you’re not feeling especially extravagant—a single, digital copy of the featured story which, I’m confident, will turn your head in time. Today’s excerpt is from “Term Limit,” a tale that borrows from my own checkered past–up to a point. John …

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A Scene From: “The Jewel of Genoa”

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Today, I begin a feature in which I tempt you to buy my short story collection, MATTERS FAMILIAR, or—if you’re not feeling especially extravagant—a single, digital copy of the featured story which, I’m confident, will turn your head in time. Today’s excerpt is from “The Jewel of Genoa,” my first and still most favorite story.  …

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Jeanne Robertson: Dee-lightful

As advertised, G. and I took in Jeanne Robertson’s show at Three Stages Folsom Sunday night. The woman did not disappoint. The centerpiece of her current round of appearances is the adventure in which she sent her husband, “Left Brain,” to the grocery store to get the ingredients necessary for her to rebuild her supply …

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Jeanne Robertson & “Left Brain”

Busy Sunday night? No?  If you’re: Above the 18-39 demographic; Married (or in a committed relationship–in the legal, state-of-mind sense of that word); and (Optional) empty-nesters–because it is, after all, a school night, Consider joining us at Three Stages in Folsom to enjoy the incredibly funny and skillful story-telling of Jeanne Robertson for two hours. …

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Free Story–“TAPPED”

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TAPPED was my contribution to a writers’ group exercise based on the submission rules for Round Eight of National Public Radio’s “Three Minute Fiction,” concluded April 23, 2012. Rules: 600 words or fewer; Not “inappropriate;” Had to incorporate this sentence: “She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the …

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Free Story–“SHAMBLES”

SHAMBLES was my entry in Round Six of National Public Radio’s “Three Minute Fiction,” concluded April 3, 2012.   Rules: 600 words or fewer; Not “inappropriate;” One character had to tell a joke, and one character had to cry. In retrospect, being a grandparent made it much, much easier to come up with a joke that might …

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Support “Your Mother!”

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  If you didn’t “Listen to Your Mother” last night at the Crest Theater, you missed it. Listen to Your Mother is a national effort to “give Mother’s Day a microphone” by staging local, live readings of original essays for, by, and about motherhood that are recorded and shared afterward via social media.  Thanks to …

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Counsel Stedman Responds

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To my fellow Goodreads members: Hope you followed my prompt and took the chance to ask M. L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans–the Indie Book of the Year this year–a question last Friday. I did: Q:  Congratulations, Ms. Stedman, on an extraordinary work. Like you, I am an attorney trying to reinvent myself …

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Free Story–“QUINCY”

QUINCY was my contribution to Round Five of  National Public Radio’s “Three Minute Fiction,” concluded November 14, 2010—and my first formal entry, which has since become either a habit or a convenient means of externally-applied discipline. Rules: 600 words or fewer; Not “inappropriate;”  Had to begin with “Some people swore that the house was haunted;” …

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The Sun’s Trial Offer–Mental Decongestant

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If you don’t already know how I feel about The Sun magazine, read this. Simply put, The Sun is: Topical; Progressive, in a wholly human, unapologetic, but politically nonpartisan way; Comfortable and superb in its prose, poetry, and images; Non-profit and tax-exempt, is its publication company; and Ad-free, and therefore dependent upon the kindness of …

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Goodreads: M. L. Stedman Q & A

Earlier this year, I read, enjoyed, and reviewed M. L. Stedman‘s breakout novel, The Light Between Oceans.  (It was a selection of the CapRadio Reads book club.) For those of you who are already Goodreads members–or are thinking about joining–they’re hosting an exclusive, one-day-only discussion group this Friday, May 10, in which Ms. Stedman will …

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Thank You, Capital Public Radio!

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A heart-felt “Thank You!” to our CapRadio Reads book club monitor, Vicki Lorini, for the VIP treatment we members received at last night’s launch party in Davis for John Lescroart‘s latest offering, The Ophelia Cut.  Gratitude also goes to Donna Apidone, Mr. L himself and the rest of the Cap Radio team for a lively …

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Free Story–“JUMPERS”

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JUMPERS was my contribution to Round Seven of National Public Radio’s “Three Minute Fiction,” concluded November 12, 2011. Rules: 600 words or fewer; not “inappropriate;” and one character had to come to town and one character had to leave town. Given the year and time period for that particular round, my inspiration came from the …

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Free Story–“ME—MOLLY”

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“ME—MOLLY” was my entry in National Public Radio’s Round Ten of their occasional feature, “Three Minute Fiction,” concluded March 9. (They invite listeners to submit original stories that are 600 or fewer words in length, not “inappropriate,” and which conform to a challenge decided upon by that round’s author-judge.) In this case, novelist Mona Simpson …

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Dr. Barry: “If I Wasn’t a Pharmacist, I Would Have Been a…”

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Today, Dr. Barry Pascal recounts the story of how the sight of Mickey Spillane’s obituary transported him into a brief, parallel career in another dimension.  (It’s not clear from his account who had to wipe up the drool off the pharmacy counter.)  You can find Barry‘s humorous works for sale here.—EGF   If I Wasn’t …

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Tom Diaz & I—My NRA Experience

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Picking up from Tuesday’s post, Tom Diaz & I—The 94th & 103rd Congresses, and Now By far, the strongest impressions left on me by the whole experience came from our interactions with representatives of the NRA and their allies: This is not your father’s organization.  The chief counsel and I were invited to visit the …

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The Man Who Rode the Comet

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One Hundred thirteen years ago last Sunday, America’s Shakespeare—Samuel Langhorne Clemens, writing and lecturing as the more familiar “Mark Twain“–left this mortal coil as Halley’s Comet approached, just as he’d come in 77 years earlier. If you haven’t already done so, treat yourself to his two-volume Autobiography, a treasure trove representing over 8,000 documents.  It’s the …

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Tom Diaz & I—The 94th & 103rd Congresses, and Now

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After I’d read, mostly agreed with, and reviewed Tom Diaz’ The Last Gun (see last Friday’s post), I was curious about his background beneath the usual book blurbs, so I scratched a little deeper. Turns out we had similar upbringings and nearly-identical policy experiences at the national level, where the issue of gun violence is …

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