My Mother’s Many Hats

(A guest blog by Barbara Leavy’s son Steven Widom about growing up while his mother was becoming a scholar and writer. Playing guitar for Peter and Mom.)     When I was a little boy in the early 60s I witnessed my Mother work towards her PhD in English. We lived in an apartment light on [...] Read More →

Running Over the Goat

I, Donis, usually post on the 27th of every month. For the first time since I began writing for this blog three years ago, I totally forgot about last month. I didn’t even think about it until three or four days afterwards. My latest book, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, came out in June [...] Read More →

I is Literary.

The title of today’s post should be read in the politically incorrect dialect of the politically incorrect cartoon character Br’er Bear in the politically incorrect film, Song of The South (Walt Disney, 1946). Some might think it foolhardy of me to raise such a sensitive subject, but as a “literary” person—more on that later—I get [...] Read More →

Remaining True to Type

by Mary Reed I learnt to type on a handsome green Imperial 66 manual typewriter during a two-year secretarial course at an Oxfordshire business college. However, it’s odds on not everyone skilled in the art practiced touch typing in the same fashion as myself and classmates by a process involving what suggested to me at [...] Read More →


A terrible thing happened to a close relative a few weeks ago, which led him to say he had lived the worse day of his life.  But before I explain, I have to say it would be impossible to meet a more gentle person.  Or a more prudent one.  I doubt if he has ever [...] Read More →


Once, as I prepared to sign a book for a customer at an indie shop, the woman smiled and said, Some day, I’m going to write a book I put down my pen and returned the smile. You’re reminding me of a story. This is that story.

Worth A Thousand Words

It’s one of my favorite pieces of writerly advice: Raymond Chandler’s observation that when things slow down, bring in a man with a gun. Which is not surprising. It’s an iconic image, a man with a weapon, layered with all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle signals. It represents competence and authority, danger and masculine control. [...] Read More →

Stop Me Before I Quote Again

  Who doesn’t enjoy paging through books of quotations? It’s easy reading, you don’t have to worry about following a plot, you can convince yourself that you’re studying something profound, you can pick it up and put it down easily, and often it makes you laugh out loud. What’s there not to like about collections [...] Read More →

What I Don’t Wish

I read quite a lot, mostly novels, which is what I most love to write. So when the thought came that of all the books I’ve read, even masterpieces and others that exhibit wit, style, plotting, or wisdom I admire and may consider beyond my ability, I have never thought anything like: I wish I [...] Read More →