July 4th, 1975

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“Why does it have to be a pyramid?” I asked my dad. “Because, that’s how the air gets in-between the briquettes.” You should have seen this thing. Stacked with such precision and purpose; it was a monument to Egyptian engineering. Even Pharaoh would have approved. “Is that important?” I questioned. “Yeah, it’s the air that creates the fire.” “I thought the charcoal makes the fire,” I said with a shred of know-it-all confidence that only a 13-year old could muster. “No, the air makes the fire; you can’t have fire without air. The charcoal catches fire and then it burns down, but it retains the heat so then you can cook whatever you’re cooking.” “What … [Read more...]

In Gratitude

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More often than not, here’s how it worked. I would write a single sentence. Upon completing that sentence I would read it. Then stare at it. Then, I would delete it. I would then rewrite the sentence. After rewriting it I would read it again. After several more minutes of staring at the sentence I would begin writing a second sentence. I would then read the second sentence - and delete the second sentence. And the first sentence. Then, I would stare at the space where the two sentences briefly resided for several minutes, before attempting to write the first sentence again. That’s pretty much how it went. I have not altered that description in any way to make it … [Read more...]

My Good Guy

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My dad died thirty-two years ago. My heart says that number can’t be right; the math says otherwise. I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately, especially since Hounded came out. My love for dogs can be traced directly to his love for them, well, one dog in particular. Hounded begins with the memory of my dad bringing home our first dog, King, who was tied up and abandoned in a dilapidated bodega in one of New York’s worst neighborhoods. The degree of love he felt for that dog was rivaled only by the anger he felt for the person that left this beautiful animal to die a slow, painful death. The fact is, if it was a cat that was left in that store I’m fairly confident … [Read more...]

She is the one

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There are many pieces of advice for writers that have been passed down over time. One that has always stuck with me is the notion of writing for just one person. The reasoning behind it is that it’s far less daunting a task to write with a single person in mind versus a potential audience of thousands – or millions! You’re supposed to imagine a person that you think would adore the book that you’re writing which, in my case, would be a reader who loves Dachshunds, self-deprecating humor, snarky sarcasm and an overall negative perspective on life. Oh, trust me – they’re out there! But, I also wanted a reader who would take their time, savoring every word, and not someone … [Read more...]

Out From Under

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Some mornings I don’t feel like getting out from under the covers. Wait! That’s a lie. Most mornings I don’t feel like getting out from under the covers. It’s all just become so draining. The news of the day is an inexhaustible loop of man’s inhumanity against his fellow man. Television is nothing but contests and confrontation. Prices continue to rise, our political system is a joke and my house is doing an Oscar-caliber impression of the Titanic. Yes, please, I’ll take the dark, cocoon-like folds of my comforter to the harsh realities of the world any day. Of course, that behavior is nothing new to Molly. As many of you already know, Dachshunds were bred to aid … [Read more...]