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Creative & How-To's FMRL

The Graduate: Writing in degrees

Until this week, the only thing Rodney Dangerfield and I had in common was a penchant for one-liners and general anxiety about our respectability. Then we both went “back to school.” His experience was fictional—apart from the cameo by a real-life Kurt Vonnegut—and arrived in the local cineplex as the movie Back to School. My back-to-school…

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Culture

My Life as a Dog

Bow-wow It’s been said that there are dog people and cat people. I’m neither. I’m barely a people person. This is ironic since people occasionally comment upon my natural leadership abilities and become disappointed when I don’t pass the Kool-Aid. I have been known, however, to share the wine, and if you’re seeking a Jim…

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Creative & How-To's

Write is Might: Voice of a (de)Generation

Like every other writer I know, I’m the voice of my generation. Apparently, my voice just isn’t loud enough to overcome our collective screams of desperation. That said, I feel obligated to continue trying, partly because I have the rare privilege of being a writer with a day job, which is being a writer—but with some…

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Culture

Earth’s Fast Rotation is the New Spin Cycle

As the world turns Even though it’s over, 2020 is still getting worse. Case in point, scientists have discovered that, due to a variety of circumstances, the Earth apparently spun on its axis at an increased rate last year. Yes, our collective merry-go-round is going faster—hang on tight. Though the increased speed added up to…

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Culture

The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn: It’s Not Over Yet

“The darkest hour is just before dawn.” Like many Gen Xers, I was introduced to this concept in a Mamas and Papas lyric crackling away on an FM station on a Volvo car radio. It was the ’70s, and the aftermath of Watergate and the war in Viet Nam hung pungently in the air like…

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Creative & How-To's

Writing in Cafes

Remember writing in cafes? My own obsession began with Christine’s Cafe in Petaluma in the mid-’80s but quickly metastasized into San Anselmo’s Cafe Nuvo and finally into San Francisco’s North Beach. This is where my cohorts and I vainly searched for traces of the Beats, who, by the early ’90s, were so heavily productized and…