Servicio Por Favor

Category: Inspiration

I settled into the dental hygienist chair. Aimee greeted me. “How are book sales going?”

“Great,” I answered flattered that she remembered I was in author mode, appearing at book signings with Cliff Simon for “Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge,” which was six months into its publication.

Clipping a paper bib around my neck, and sticking a mirror into my mouth so she could get a look at my gums, she said, “Excellent. I see a big improvement.”

I relaxed. I didn’t want to get a failing grade, and I certainly didn’t want to lose my teeth.

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Synchronicity

Category: Inspiration

Many of the paintings I own have circles, which symbolize numerous ideas: no beginning, no end; a centering in the midst of chaos. A large abstract canvas in my collection is entitled “Portals and Pathways,” by Michael Moon. I had seen it hung horizontally in a Melrose Avenue gallery , but I wanted to hang it vertically. When the artist came to my house to install it I asked him if he would mind my turning it on its side. He said, “No, I painted it so that it would be pleasing to the eye either way.” It’s been hanging in my living room cattycorner to another large oil painting, “After Monet’s Water Lilies,” by Sigrid Burton, a New York artist, originally from Pasadena who studied at Bennington with Helen Frankenthaler (one of my favorite artists known for her vibrant color field.)

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Personal Aspects of the Writing Life

Category: Inspiration

Many years ago before I proclaimed myself to be a writer, I worked for a mortgage banking company in Boston – our offices were on the top floor of what had been a grainery in Faneuil Hall, across the street from the Sanborn Fish Market. My boss was a sailor and the office was decorated with ships’ clocks, Spode china, and models of Boston whalers.  I was hired on the basis of my prior position as an editor of economics and business textbooks at what was then Houghton Miffllin.  Initially I was in charge of writing offering memoranda for potential lenders (banks, pension funds, insurance companies and the like).

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