Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: November 2010


Christmas, trains, snow, peace, seasonal suck

‘Christmasness’ is just a silly word I made up for this post title.
I have successfully made it through another Thanksgiving and will now wade through
the infinite complexity of Christmas with all its meaningless verve and endless commercial fluff.
For me, this is a season that has lost all meaning.
I have automatically tuned out the Carpenter’s ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’ and Nat King Cole’s ‘Christmas Song’,
not because I don’t like chestnuts on an open fire but because these days the sentiment means very little to me these days in terms of spirit.
I’m not the first person to say that this holiday has gone commercial but it has
and I have a tough time participating.
That’s just me.
My fountain pens are loaded with some amazing inks and I will just write my way though the holidays.
It will not only calm me down but may take some of the Grinch out of me by the 24th.
Look for a post on Christmas Day.
Until then,
I wish all of you peace and multiple moments of crystal blue silence amidst
the [unnecessary and] perpetual seasonal noise.



ps. wanted to tag this post, “Dear Santa, I’ve been a very bad boy this year. 5 tons of coal should do,
but it seemed a bit long . . .

Happy Thanksgiving

Be safe, be well, be happy [@Thanksgiving]


The Memory Palace

Now and then someone comes into your life and changes it.
They improve and inspire it, smoothing out the rough edges and pushing you towards
your own personal creative and artistic dreams.
For me, the writer, I have been blessed to have met Mira Bartok, a gifted artist, musician and writer.
How we met is a long story and not fodder for this particular post.
Mira has a memoir coming out this January [1.11.11] called, The Memory Palace‘,
a story about growing up with a gifted, incredibly talented but schizophrenic mother.
I was honored that Mira sent me an ARC [advanced reader copy] of the book
which I devoured in less than a week.
Mira’s words and images took me on a journey I won’t soon forget.
For me, the memoir confirmed the idea and thought that, ‘Love conquers all.’
I refuse to give anything away except to say that this book literally took my breath away.
It’s about love and forgiveness, music and art, memory and the present tense, home and the homeless.
This book changed the way I feel about the many panhandlers I walk by every day in Boston,
a city filled with sad stories and sadder characters.
Watch the promo trailer and please, please, please leave a comment.
If you could pass the Youtube link on to several friends, I would be forever grateful.
When someone does something wonderful for my writing and creative life, I need to return the favor.
This book is incredible, as is Mira . . .
[and her husband, my dear friend and multi-talented colleague Doug Plavin]
just watch . . .


My wife would never consider this particular name for a daughter of ours.
For some reason I love it.
Check out this performance by Sting.
Although he may be a prick, the boy can seriously sing.
His vocal range makes me want to kill him.
Not much in the way of substance here but wanted to let people know that
I am still alive. [and writing]


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