How to prepare for a crisis

First, you get a phone call. A police officer is on the other end. She explains your son went head-over-heels off his bicycle and is in the hospital. He lost consciousness briefly and is beat up. His friend, with whom he was biking, is with him and will call soon. […]

How to prepare for a crisis

Writing as pain

Writing as pain and art

I would like to point out the obvious by saying we should use different writing styles for different assignments. A novel by a master will be more majestic than a press release or directions to assemble a bicycle. Here’s an example of a description of city light seen through a […]

A fashionable writing lesson

While watching “What Not to Wear,” a reality TV show that helps women figure out how to dress more fashionably, the female host said that one contestant had the “boringest” wardrobe ever. My 15-year-old daughter asked, “Is that a real word?” My heart leapt with happiness. I lecture my kids […]


Deadline, thou art my muse

There are plenty of elements that comprise creativity, but sometimes the most important one is the inspiration created by a deadline. The professional writer’s gift is that we know that if we just sit down to write, we can push through and come up with something that is, at the […]

Forest bathing by any other name is not as sweet

When I became aware of the new trend of Forest Bathing, I had only one question: What is it? Friends explained that it is the practice of walking in a region of trees while inhaling the essence of nature. Of great value, according to adherents, are the essential oils exhaled […]

Forest bathing


Why I write

I have promised myself I will start blogging again. For a while I was busy and even when I had time to write for myself, I spent it doing other things, like mowing the lawn. The lawn is looking good now and I have realized that even when I am […]

Face your fears – and the editorial board

ELECTION DAY Even those of us who love our jobs dread some tasks that we can’t avoid. For many politicians, it’s the interview with the local newspaper’s editorial board. The horror is over for at least another two years, but I imagine a lot of candidates will relive the scene […]

Baseball and life: A happy medium

I happen to be a fan of the San Francisco Giants, who happen to have won three of the last five World Series. But since my team is not in the playoffs this year, and I live in Metsland, I’m rooting for the New Yorkers. I’m generous that way. Also, […]

How to write for women

During a conversation with a group of writers, artists and other creative types one of the participants asked if I could handle a specific assignment. Can you write for women?” she asked. I answered with an enthusiastic “Yes!” The one other guy in the group literally harrumphed. “There’s no writing […]

tricky language

Plan for tricky language, or prepare to be misunderstood

A university is a wonderful place to work if you like the energy of young people and smart coworkers. The excitement that the combination creates sometimes also creates misunderstandings of intent, centered on the use of language. Complicating the situation, colleges and universities are often at the forefront of trends […]