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I Wrote My Own Obit

I was sitting in the morning sun in my living room recently when I started to think about what people would say at my funeral. I began putting together a playlist in my head of Foo Fighter songs that ...

Hanshan – A Cold Mountain Companion

In Sensai Kaz and Peter Levitt’s book, The Complete Cold Mountain, (Shambhala, 2018), the legendary hermit poet, Hanshan, or, Cold Mountain, as he is often referred to, is an elusive character, but a ...

Masque of the Red Death

IT WAS MY FIRST HALLOWEEN PARTY  in college, and although it wasn’t my first introduction to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, it was the first time I felt the full impact of a Gothic horror story. ...

My Writing Wolf

Last night was the 2014 NM-AZ Book Awards Banquet when the finalists gathered to find out who won in dozens of categories. My first book, “Dizzy Sushi” was in the nonfiction category and I felt ...

Frozen Placenta

I was almost finished defrosting the refrigerator when I stuck my nose in the freezer and a rotting smell hit me. I moved the ice cube trays out of the way and saw two large plastic bags in the back. ...

Two Women, Two Films: “Arrival” and “Jackie”

I watched two movies with women protagonists this weekend. The films couldn’t have been more different, but each in its own way, was a discerning moving portrait. Both women are asked to do the ...

Which Nosferatu Should I Watch?

Does clarity make Gothic horror more horrible? Yes, it does. That’s why you’ll want to watch the infamous “Nosferatu” (1922) Kino Restored version. Otherwise, those toothy fangs will just make you ...

Concerning Hobbits

When Bilbo leaves his home in the Shire and doesn’t immediately mourn the fact that he forgot his pocket handkerchief, I was concerned that the new rendition of Tolkien’s simple, yet masterful story, ...

Twelve Angry Women

What if “12 Angry Men” was “12 Angry Women?” Twelve different women on a jury for a murder trial in Chicago, and the accused was a man—just a man. One woman has tickets to the Lyric Opera and hopes to ...

The Missing Art of Story

It’s hard to stop myself from looking at this year’s lineup of Oscar nominations for best film and not put them into a Blake Snyder type of list: American Dude with an FBI problem Tom Hanks Dude with ...