Miller Time

Expansion

UNITED STATES—The greatest influence Gabriel Garcia Marquez had over me was to open my eyes to the computer. This elder writer sung hosannas to the machine that allowed him to feel like a child again and to write as many as 45 pages in one session. It was Carolyn Kellogg who gave me the definitive push, she had a...

Race Card

UNITED STATES—Even with the rain, the streets are seething, something is on edge in people and a little precipitation isn't making a dent. On a recent rainy night, I took my dog, DeVille, who is kind of an insurance policy against madness and outbreaks of insanity commonplace in Hollywood out, but tonight his magic powers were a little off. I...

Travelmania

UNITED STATES—There are the two neighbors on either side of my house who suffer travelmania. There is the couple who went to Tokyo on the right side and, on the left, lives the couple who went to Dubai. That was just the last of a necklace of exotic destinations that are all a blur, Paris, Hawaii, Lisbon, Australia, Chile. The...

Endurance

UNITED STATES—I often have an itch to contact some who lived at Estrella Ave. But they have invariably fallen off the face of the earth. Like Ron Leaf. Ron was about the best guy who ever was, very nice and shy and regular with the rent. He was so regular. From the start Ron rubbed me the right way, he...

Lawrence Brown

UNITED STATES—I was on the porch when a man came walking down the street and stopped to look at the front of the house. It was Lawrence, right on time. I met him that morning on the patch of sunlit earth in front that wasn’t doing so hot sprouting the grass seed I’d scattered. Unlike leagues of other prospective...

Collaboration

UNITED STATES—The writer-director Everett Lewis called me up a week or so later and said he had read my screenplay. He said it was basically a mess, but his terms were much more genteel. Within that mess he saw the germ of something real in its treatment of Satan worshiping teens. I had touched on something that was truly...

Deducting Cafe Society

UNITED STATES—Can the expenses incurred by a writer working at a café be written off on taxes? You bet if it qualifies as a business meeting, then it will qualify as a tax deductible expense. This is the first year I’ve been getting receipts for my ritual morning expresso. Let me tell you evasion is the mother of tax evasion....

Christmas In The Hood

UNITED STATES—The owner of the store had moaned and whined about the neighborhood before the shooting. The porch homies affected his business as well as mine. He moaned and whined about it more afterward. “Oh the gunshots and the graffiti,” the Korean said, “they keep me awake at night!” The bags under his eyes deepened, and his skin tended to...

Bedside (11)

UNITED STATES—"She always says, 'How long are you staying?' And then it's, 'when are you going?' And then: 'After you're going I'm going to cry.' And then it's, 'When are you coming back?'" "She's awful needy," says Davy. "I'm there for a 10-minute visit and she says, 'Are you going to spend the night?'" "She wanted me to get the job....

A Miracle On 42nd St.

UNITED STATES—Out came the shotgun from behind the door. The old artist stood at the threshold and extended the barrel. His hand trembled. Gil Talbott steadied his hand just as he’d steadied it to chisel the newest statue that crouched in his garret on the top floor of DeVille Manor. This statue was a sandstone Christmas tree and, beside...
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