It’s Live!

October 20th, 2022 → 6:06 am

“Life’s uncertain voyage.” — Timon of Athens

My narrative memoir about life’s uncertain voyage is live! You can now get your copy of Seeking Forgiveness in one bound product, instead of chapter by chapter off the BeforeFergusonBeyondFerguson website. It has been quite a journey; from living, to writing, to editing, to publishing, to promoting this story. Phew! I am eternally thankful to everyone who has helped me and supported me along the way. To good storytelling, wonderful people, and a life filled with family and love!

Filed under: Books I'm Reading & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

Social Impact Authors

October 12th, 2022 → 5:45 am

“My good will is great, though the gift is small.” — Pericles

I was recently honored as a Social Impact Author by Authority Magazine. It really touched me. All authors are motivated to write by some internal drive, the genesis of which varies per person, but for me one of the main drivers is to highlight and share diverse perspectives on the world. If, through storytelling, we can increase our understanding and awareness of alternative life experiences, how can this not help bind us together? How can it not help smooth the wrinkles, and mend the tears, in society’s common tapestry? But most importantly, Michelle Obama, if you’re reading this, lunch is on me!

Filed under: Literature/Theatre/Art & Other & Self/My Life

Nobel Prize: Annie Ernaux

October 7th, 2022 → 7:32 am

“I do see the very book indeed,
Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself.” — Richard II

The 2022 Nobel Prize in literature was just announced, and it was given to an author I admire, and who writes a lot like I do. Her books are slim, to the point, and often loosely fictionalized memoirs. She writes what is called ‘autofiction,’ but to my great disappointment, this category is not always recognized in the industry. Often, when you go to bookstores or literary websites with drop down menus, autofiction isn’t even listed. I once quizzed a literary agent about autofiction, and she didn’t even know what it was! There are a number of famous authors that write autofiction – Rachel Cusk immediately comes to mind – so I don’t understand why the category is so illusive in official industry categorizations. But I love it, I write it, and I wish there were more of it, so congratulations to Annie Ernaux, and to everyone who writes autofiction!

Filed under: Literature/Theatre/Art

The Letter Z

September 28th, 2022 → 9:50 am

“Thou whoreson zed,
thou unnecessary letter!” — King Lear

Apparently the 26 character alphabet wasn’t always so. Over time certain letters have been added, others dropped. What I find particularly interesting is that we still see vestiges of these changes in contemporary language usage. The letter Z (or zed in British English), for example, wasn’t always a part of the Latin alphabet, which is why we see so few words that use it today! Shakespeare found z’s relative scarcity to be an insult – yet another rather unique Shakespearean putdown!

Filed under: Literature/Theatre/Art

Author Interviews

September 2nd, 2022 → 6:19 am

“The eye sees not itself
But by reflection, by some other things.” — Julius Caesar

Another author interview with me was published today. I always find reading such pieces fascinating. I can remember giving the interview, of course, and answering some of the questions, but when I read what is actually written up I’m often thinking, was that me?

I believe the surprise is a combination of what the journalist chose to actually put in the published piece, and, selective memory of what I said only days before, but either way, reading about myself in published articles is always part fascinating, part frightening, and 100% enlightening.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

The Proof is Here

August 9th, 2022 → 9:53 am

“Hear my soul speak:
The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service.” — Tempest

Seeking Forgiveness is a love letter to my son. And the proof of it arrived in the mail yesterday. Exciting!!

Filed under: Blog & Books I'm Reading & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

The Coloured Shakespeare

July 30th, 2018 → 6:51 am

     “I spy entertainment in her:  she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation.” 

    – Merry Wives of Windsor

My third novel is at last complete.  It is even more controversial than my last one, but it was important for me to see it through.  I leave it as a legacy for my son, whose own remarkable life was the novel’s inspiration.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

England – Part II

July 25th, 2018 → 5:21 am

“This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed and famous for their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home
For Christian service and true chivalry
As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s son.
This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
That England that was wont to conquer others
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.” — Richard II

This is the second half of the description of England in Richard II, and it is rank with anti-Semitism, disappointment, and contempt.  England is great and blessed, feared and exalted, but also, in hock, prejudiced, and shameful.  We all have two sides.  Good and bad, ying and yang.  England does too.  Heck, Shakespeare himself did.  We all do.  It behooves us to face this truth sometimes, and not be selective about it.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians

England – Part I

July 23rd, 2018 → 6:19 am

“This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for her self
Against infection and the hand of war.
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in a silver sea
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” — Richard II

I just finished watching Season 2 of The Crown.  It ends with this famous quote describing England.  And most commentators that use the quote today end it there.  But the passage itself in Richard II does not end there.  It continues along a darker vein.  Presenting only the first half of this description is selective, inappropriate even, as it presents only a shining image of England.  But – like most things in life – there is another side.  I’ll quote that other side in my next post…

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians

ShakeDic: bull pizzle

July 7th, 2018 → 7:39 am

    “Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s tongue, you bull’s pizzle, you stock-fish!” – Henry IV, Part I

The first reviews are in of Tom Hanks as Falstaff, and apparently they are glowing!  Of particular note are his insults, including “bull’s pizzle” said with a mouthful of spit and invective.  Sure wish I could see this up on the stage for myself.

“bull’s pizzle,” by the way, is a 16th century flogging instrument made from a bull’s penis

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art