Striving for a Better Life: The Story Of One of My Students

I am working with one young man, Fong, who is a Vietnamese American whose parents stowed away in a cargo ship to escape the brutal Communist regime in Vietnam in the late 1980’s. They were granted political asylum in the U.S. and are citizens. Fong is a UCLA graduate and is applying to medical school….

College Essay Central

This has been a heavy college essay day. I had three students for two hours each and three students (triplets) for an hour and a half meeting with their parents at Mel’s Diner. (They are from Florida and have been visiting colleges in CA). Lots of good discussion and writing going on, I must say….

A Bit of a Ramble

I am just wrapping up a day that included four hours of students plus a visit to see a friend with a new baby and a morning filled with eBay work. Yikes. Tired. Oh, I forgot. My online class started today too. I am not complaining. Every part of today was easy and rewarding and…

Back in LA After a Stop in Sierra Madre

We are back in LA tonight. The house is warm, but now the windows are all open and the fans on. Plus, we have turned on the air conditioner in the bedroom. Already the night air is¬†cooling down the house, which has been closed up for the past 15 days. I drove both days of…

A Few Thoughts and A Tentative HBO Recommendation

I am here in Texas, sitting in the room we call “the green room” because it has green floral wallpaper and a deep green ceiling, and I am struck with how odd “time” can be. Once I get here to this house, whether it is 6 weeks or 6 months, after only a few hours,…

A Special Gift: To Serve in Brit and Mark’s Wedding

I had the privilege to serve today as subdeacon at the wedding of two of our beloved parishioners, Brit Bjurstrom and Mark Frazier, at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Hollywood. This was my first time to perform my duties as subdeacon at a wedding and it meant that I served at the altar with…

Prompt: When Do I Feel Most Free?

When do I feel most free? Ah, I know. When I write fiction. Nothing matches the sense of freedom I feel when I settle into a comfortable chair with either my laptop or notebook and pen, and write a random sentence or fragment of dialogue with no idea¬†where it will take me. From there, the…

The Room Where I Write

The room I am sitting in has a red Persian rug, a brown leather couch, a green brocade wing back chair (plus ottoman), a green Morris chair (plus ottoman), a cane back rocking chair, an art deco blondish coffee table and a low oak table upon which rests our television set. The curtains (which are…

Coping with Troubles

The past few days have been filled with an unexpected batch of complications in several areas of my life, ranging from severe health problems for a couple of friends to very bad news about a couple of friends to very bad relations between a couple of friends. Also, there are stressors occurring in two unexpected…

On Staring Down A Blank Page

I am sitting with a student while she writes so I have a few minutes to write my blog. (She and I will edit her writing once she is finished.) That brings me to the question of what shall I write about tonight? Finding a topic for writing is one of the toughest parts of…