All He Has Taught Me

April 22nd, 2018 → 6:44 am

“Look thou character.  
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged courage.  Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear’t that th’opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man…
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”  – Hamlet

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday sometime this week (we don’t actually know the exact day), and in the interest of saluting the bard, I’m quoting some of his pithiest advice. There are some really good nuggets in there. Hard to pick a favorite, but… today maybe it’s… ‘Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.’

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Other

Small Talk

April 14th, 2018 → 6:44 am

“Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons,
and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping houses,
and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-colored taffeta,
I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous
to demand the time of the day.”  – Henry IV, Part I

This quote reminded me of my mother, who was famously bad at small talk. A woman in an elevator once said to my mother, “Nice weather we’re having.” To which she replied, “I find that insignificant.” Ah, my mother… A flawed but fierce woman, whom I miss terribly….

[Note: “leaping houses” refers to brothels, and “dials” to sundials]

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

White Privilege

April 7th, 2018 → 6:19 am

“Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee!  Thou art translated.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I just finished reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.  It’s a good book.  Well written, compelling.  Yes, it’s also uncomfortable at times (for me particularly, the section on white feminism), but it presents the kind of discussion the world needs to be having today.  I am so very grateful my black son has Barack Obama to look up to, and Wakanda to dream about, and a mixed community that is (relatively) welcoming.  But it’s no use denying that racism still exists, and we need more people to read more books like Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

Filed under: Blog

Utter Depravity

March 27th, 2018 → 6:43 am

“Murder most foul.” – Hamlet

I don’t know why, but I was shocked to read about the murder of an 85 year old Holocaust survivor in France yesterday.  To have survived the Holocaust, and all its barbarity, to then be stabbed 11 times and lit on fire in your old age?  Wow.  And some say anti-Semitism isn’t a concern.  Just, wow.

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

March for Our Lives

March 25th, 2018 → 6:24 am

“Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so.” – Richard II

I am so proud of our youth today.  They are strong, they are intelligent, and they are not giving up.  They are exactly what this country needs.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

My Son

March 19th, 2018 → 5:22 am

“He wears the rose
of youth upon him.”  – Antony and Cleopatra

I took my seven year old son to college yesterday.  We just needed to stop by my office so I could get something I’d left behind, but my son entered one of the empty classrooms and began strutting in front of the chalkboard, imitating his elementary school teacher.  “Who can tell me the difference between NON-fiction and fiction?  Anyone?”  We played teacher for over an hour.  It was so adorable.  Maybe my son will go into education himself one day!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Pi Day

March 14th, 2018 → 5:43 am

“I must have saffron to colour the warden pies; mace; dates, none–
that’s out of my note; nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that
I may beg; four pound of prunes, and as many of raisins o’th’ sun.”  – Winter’s Tale

Happy Pi Day!  It’s difficult to find Shakespeare quotes about math, so I decided to go with literal pies.  A pie a day is about as good as pi every day.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Stoneman Douglas Student Activists

February 28th, 2018 → 5:40 am

King Lear:  “So young and so untender?”

Cordelia:  “So young, my lord, and true.”  – King Lear

A year into the Trump presidency I still find it hard to read the newspaper and follow the latest political shenanigans.  But the recent activism of the Stoneman Douglas surviving students is giving me hope.  Untender, in your face, and speaking the truth.  That’s exactly what this country needs.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Writing & Editing, Editing & Writing

February 18th, 2018 → 6:27 am

“A sentence is but a cheveril glove to a good wit.” – Twelfth Night

I’m busy waking early every morning, editing draft 5 of my latest novel.  I just reworked the opening scene to one of the middle chapters.  It feels good, I think things flows better now.  But crafting the perfect sentence is hard!  I can agonize over it for hours!  Writing is most definitely an art.  As difficult and messy as I imagine working cheveril was for Shakespeare’s father.  But when done right, a sentence’s beauty can take your breath away.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Westward Ho!

February 12th, 2018 → 6:46 am

“Then westward ho!
Grace and good disposition attend your ladyship!” – Twelfth Night

‘Westward ho!’ was the cry of Thames watermen to attract westward bound passengers from London to Westminster.  The phrase sounds so American to me, however.  Westward ho, young man!  Go West and make something of yourself!

I am not headed out West today, but I did finally return to my latest novel.  Opened the dust-caked notes and began the long awaited edit of Draft #5.  I purposely give myself space between drafts so as to let the material appear fresh again, but sometimes it’s hard.  I’ve been wanting to get back to this for weeks now.  I’m so excited!!

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life