Saturday, January 31, 2015


A road trip is a portal that almost always leads to the unexpected, especially when you spontaneously alter an itinerary or roll with a "wrong" turn.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn't exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn't belong there.

5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


The amulet for safe travel.

When Raidho is combined with Algiz, the result is a powerful bind rune for protection.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I was in a boutique called Elu, the upper village, Montecito.

Ellen DeGeneres was standing nearby.

I tried these shades on.  They seemed perfect for road trips.  

"What do you think?" I asked Ellen.

"Go for it," she replied.

So I did.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Pocket notebook, journal, and folio.

Mont Blanc Hemingway ballpoint, purchased at Bertram's Inkwell, White Flint Mall, Rockville, Maryland, 1992.

I've carried this pen almost everywhere for over twenty years.  Almost lost it twice.  It's been chipped, cracked, and once lost its clip, but always restored by Mont Blanc.

A pocket notebook for notes on-the-fly, a journal for detailed scribbling over morning coffee, and a folio for writing longhand.

Nothing beats a good pen and paper.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


1. A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.
2. The episodes of a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help develop it.
3. The personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others.
4. The personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there.
5. When the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject in hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say.
6. The personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable.
Little rules:

7. An author should say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.
8. Use the right word, not its second cousin.
9. Eschew surplusage.
10. Not omit necessary details.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Leica C, carried in a Scully leather pouch with a spare battery.

(Belt and silver buckle from Billy Martin's, New York City, summer of '89.)

The best camera is the one you always carry.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Cracked windshield (lower right).

Probably happened on the gravel road to Bodie.

Insured by Geico, efficient and fast service, home-call, only $25 deductible.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


A Celtic silver cross, precisely 21 grams, the weight of every human soul, 
coupled with an evil eye, carried by my Armenian grandmother for very many years.

And grillin' in the rain.


Every new place is a portal to somewhere.

Even Lone Pine:  a step back in time, say, the 1950s, when life was good and TV westerns entertained the nation...

Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

When I was eight years young, I would-a killed for a set-up like this.

The Lone Ranger's actual garb.

Most of them were filmed right here, in the Alabama Hills...



Saturday, January 10, 2015


A helping hand.

"More Pop Goes the Weasel, Papa!"


Decent wine by the glass, friendly locals, and a pretty barkeep.


Got there just after the sun set behind Mammoth Mountain.  It left this glow in its wake.

Would have ordered elk for dinner, but Ry Guy OD'd on fresh mountain air and fell asleep.

Already looking forward to a rebound.


Photo:  Claire Eringer


The Side Door.  A heavenly aroma of sautéed caramelized onions.


Liv in natural habitat

They didn't even have a garage sale, just left everything behind.

A spirit streak?

Friday, January 9, 2015