Why Bo Diddley Was Wrong about Book Covers: Druid Talk, Cato Maior, and Shakespearean Splinters

I am often asked about the descriptions of the natural world in my novels. Folks seem to like how I… “bring such places to life.” I avoid stating the obvious – that landscapes are already quite alive without any help from me; I’m just glad my writing doesn’t ki
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Crumpling Paper with Frank Gehry: Legos, Turntables, and Novel Building(s)

Wherein I answer the question always asked… Back in my days at Parsons School of Design, the faculty would play a little game when reviewing applications for admission to the architecture school. The first faculty reviewer who came across an applicant’s Personal Statement
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Lincoln Lincoln, BoBincoln, Bananafana FoFincoln: Name Games, Proust’s Echo, & The Medieval Thing

By now, some of you have begun wading through the stream of dramatis personae in The Door-Man. I appreciate it…and hope that you manage to keep your footing in the current. It is not easy when the characters drift across three generations; when they come to the surface in c
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Shape-Shifting at the Museum of Natural History: Rough Writers, The Timeliness of Cymbals, and Bad Homophones

Ok, I’m having my usual bit of fun here with disconnected facts. The “Bad Homophones” bit was a teaser, a bait and switch kind of thing…although I’ll bet any non-English-language-speaker misses the bait and still gets hooked by the swerving meanings of ou
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Ideating in Central Park: Fuel Tanks, Flotsam, and Hot Sparks at 141.8 feet

Saul Bellow once said: “People don’t realize how much they are in the grip of ideas. We live among ideas much more than we live in nature.“ I say: Well, yes and no… Few would deny that we spend a great deal of time inside our heads (see Lyle Lovett in&
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Tai chi in the Valley of Dry Bones: Compound Lexemes, Hyphens, and Metal Hinges

Bones play a significant role in The Door-Man. No spoiler there; they show up in the first paragraph of the novel: It was shortly after the peculiar discovery at the Central Park Reservoir that I began dreaming about the men in my family again. About bones. That said, the story g
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Who’s your Daddy?: Cack-Handed Genealogies, Seashells, and Right-Angled Lines

Reflecting on the titles of Charles Darwin’s most famous books, Origin of the Species and The Descent of Man, the narrator in The Door-Man is drawn into a reverie about their inferences for the Tree of Life. He imagines the first book as celebrating the
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Making Things Up: Facts, Fiction, and Unlikeliness*

As I inaugurate a new period of ruminating on things (see Rumination 31 for the early history…or Rumination 15 for a screed about ‘things’) and writing them up, I return to an observation by the protagonist Dr. Tom More in Walker Percy’s novel, The Thanatos Syn
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Flirting in Science Class: Boys, Bunsen Burners, and Bad Thought Experiments

It is with not inconsiderable risk that a fellow chooses to weigh in on the Tim Hunt faux pas, but it was the following article from The Guardian that caught my attention and emboldened me. It was not that I too attended a “single-sex school in the 1960’s” as Hunt’s wife, the immunolo
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Now, Don’t Get Me Wrong: Truth, Hidden Agendas, and Subway Phatics

Yesterday afternoon in the subway, I overheard one fellow say to another, “Well, you know me, I…“ Why is it that when I hear phrases like this – phrases intended to make doubly sure that the listener knows who one is and/or what they’re up to – my reaction is t
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