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February 4, 2022

Sal’s Gin and Grits

Opening scene; ext shot, Sal’s Gin and Grits. This is a dingy building on an urban street, windows heavily barred and with thick blinds blocking any view of the interior. A door of re-enforced steel is locked. Surveillance cameras cover the sidewalk.

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November 17, 2021

Tom Phillips Changed My Life

The summer I turned 19, in 1966, Martin Luther King came to Chicago to support the local Civil Rights movement in their fight for open housing, and for access to jobs. The Presbytery of Chicago supported this mission, and asked for college students volunteers, who would be embedded in the neighborhoods, and assist in any way asked of them.

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August 3, 2021

Girl, Interrupting

Andromeda came into this world with a few impediments to the happy life most parents want for their daughters. She had a cleft lip and a wall eye. And her parents gave her a weird name. Who knows why?

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July 26, 2021

Remembrance of People Past

Over the weekend, I submitted what I hope will be the final version of my 23rd novel. The working title is Double Dirty, but I’ve struggled so much with this novel that I’ve been calling it Ugly Baby.

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April 1, 2021

Dead Land now in paperback

Dead Land is now available in paperback at your favorite bookstore. I’ll be signing copies at Women and Children First, so if you want a personalized edition, please contact them by April 6 at 5 pm.

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November 5, 2019

Love And Other Crimes

In June, I’ll be publishing 14 of my short stories, under the title Love and Other Crimes. Some of these stories are new, some have already been published. Some feature V.I., some are standalone. Two – “Wildcat” and “Death on the Edge” – were published only as ebooks and so now will be available in print for the first time.

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May 12, 2019

On Losing and on Being Lost

I am grateful to Anna Freud for writing the essay, “On Losing and on Being Lost.” She’s writing about grief, and the way it manifests itself in our behavior. During WWII she ran the Hampstead War Nurseries, which cared for children who had been orphaned or otherwise left on their own by the war.

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May 11, 2019

Remarks on Receiving the Fuller Award, 9 May 2019

A few years ago, I saw the Oriental Institute exhibit on the history of writing. I felt a sense of awe as I saw myself, one small person, one small voice, connected to a chain of storytellers that stretches almost 6000 years into the past. Buffalo, elk and wolves roamed widely here when the ancient Sumerians made the spoken word visible.

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March 11, 2019

All about the Benjamins

When Rep Ilhan Omar quoted Puff Daddy’s song, I had to have it explained to me – I tend to be clueless aboout pop culture and didn’t realize that it was a reference to the hundred-dollar bill. But I did, sadly, know the trope.

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January 13, 2019

Do-Overs

I replay my past with anguish over my failures – my biggest – my hot temper which bubbles over when I suffer a narcissistic wound. Every time it happened I was ashamed in the aftermath, vowed not to do it again. In time I learned some patience, some cooling off before reacting, but never enough.

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