My quietest literary child

In Hollywood, sequels are nearly always cynical attempts to cash in on the popularity of a hit movie. Studio executives light a joss stick in front of vintage 007 poster and offer up prayers that they can turn one success into a profitable franchise. The business plan...

Holding DOC in my hands

In her wonderful book on writing, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott describes the undramatic way that a new book comes into the world. When her first book was published, she recalls, she expected her publisher to arrange for a Blue Angels fly-by over her house, or at least...

Aussies in Space

There’s a throw-away  joke in The Sparrow when Jimmy Quinn tells Sofia Mendes, “I’m not wasting your time telling you funny stories. You have to know about stuff like this, or your program is going to claim it’s found intelligent life on Mars....

Holy Relic Cake

This morning, a librarian contacted me about a fund raising campaign to build a new library in Jefferson, Oregon. They are collecting recipes for a cookbook called Authors and Appetites. I knew immediately which recipe I would submit. Frances Gugeler (GOO-gler) was...