Ray’s Return from Texas

Ray is arriving in just a few minutes after driving all the way from Texas so, needless to say, this will be short. I will be glad when he is home safely. These cross-country trips with only one driver are a bit worrisome since I know that on our cross-countries, I am usually the primary…

My First Uber Experience

I tried Uber for the first time yesterday. I had to go pick up a U-Haul truck in far east Hollywood and since Ray was out of town, I realized I had to figure out a way to get there. I hitched a ride with a friend with whom I was having coffee to Santa…

With a Little Help from “TED”

I watched a Ted Talk yesterday that my daughter Rachael recommended. I realized when I was watching it that though it was entitled, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek, the information could be applied to my approach to writing my novel. The gist of Sinek’s talk is that successful companies like Apple start…

Sweetness Amid Sorrow

Twenty-nine years ago today, I was crossing the hall from the bathroom to the bedroom at my friend Patricia Butler’s house in Austin when I heard the distressed voice of a news commentator on television as he reacted to the unexpected explosion of the space shuttle Challenger less than two minutes into its launch. I…

A Quick and Delicious Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I made this soup last night and it is something that can be whipped up in no time. The key is to have this secret ingredient available: This concentrated chicken broth takes just a few minutes to prepare and is always delicious. The recipe goes like this: Saute in 2 tablespoons of olive oil: 2 cloves…

Behind the Scenes at Church Last Sunday

I woke up with a start in the middle of the night before my debut last Sunday as sub-deacon at St Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood. I had gone through a training on Saturday evening after the Vigil mass with the Master of Ceremony, Efrain Cisneros, who was kind enough to stay late to help me…

Sub-Deacon at St. Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood

Today was the first day I made my debut as sub-deacon at St. Thomas the Apostle in Hollywood. When serving as a sub-deacon, I act as one of the sacred ministers of the church. I consider this a great honor. I have worked in almost every other position at the altar before being allowed to serve as…

Repost: A New Publication from Query Letter to Acceptance

Here was my query letter: Dear Editor, Below is an essay on the perils of self-doubt as a writer, the major writers who admit to this same doubt, and the resolve to keep going in spite of those nagging negative thoughts. I am a current Pushcart nominee for a flash fiction story published in the…

Tired, but Happy

I am very tired. We’ve been working hard for the past three days on an estate in a multi-million dollar condo in a posh Wilshire-corridor building near Westwood. The home owner association dues are $4000/month if that gives you a clearer picture. Anyway, we’ve been rushing to get all the art, antiques and collectibles packed…

A “Nice” Rejection Letter for An Odd Story

I received this last night from the editor of Thrice Publishing. Dear Helen, Thanks for sending “The Mustache: A Social Experiment”. I’m going to pass on this one Helen, but am honored by the opportunity to see work of merit. Sometimes it only comes down to the direction we’re taking at the moment, more than…