Update from the writers’ group

One of the authors in our local writing group, whose identity will not be revealed, recently chopped off the tip of his protagonist’s index finger.

At a key juncture in the story-to-come, I strongly believe the protagonist should hold the severed tip of his index finger in his good hand, point it at someone while also gesturing with the damaged finger, and say, “J’accuse.”

Agree or no?

Visas for sale

There’s an interesting story in today’s Washington Post (May 7) about the EB-5 visa program. According to the report, the program is being used to attract foreign investors into high-end U.S. real estate projects.

Think Kushner. Think Trump.

The sister of the First Son-in-Law apparently this weekend was in Beijing pitching a new Kushner luxury project to wealthy Chinese investors with this statement: “Invest $500,00 and immigrate to the United States.”

Raise your hand if you think real estate developers should be peddling legal residence in the U.S. as a perk, if not the thing actually being sold, to foreigners who may or may not have accumulated their wealth in legitimate, much less ethical, ways.

Mr. Kushner, a government employee, has reportedly separated himself from the real estate project being pitched.

A better approach might be to allow individual U.S. citizens to sell their own legal right to be here to whomever they choose, rather than allow speculators to sell what they don’t actually own.

Attentive readers, writers and editors will also note the classic misuse of “immigrate” in the pitch. A wealthy foreigner would be purchasing the right to emigrate to the U.S. and once here would be considered an immigrant.



Is there such a thing as a bad Saturday? After a bunch of years testing this hypothesis, I am nearing the conclusion that there is not. And that’s taking into account the six or seven years I spent working in a casino, which meant Saturday was always a work day.

How did this Saturday stack up? I was a little groggy in the morning but got in some quality time with the new fiction project. Our town had its annual parade, which once again made me ask why I am still here. Then some errands, coping with weekend traffic, and more wondering about whether my dues are, in fact, fully paid in this burg-o-village.

Then, some yard work. Which always takes me back to who I used to be, a teenager with visions of sugarplums in his head, pushing lawnmowers for one Man or another, usually fantasizing about girls. The wife made a fine goulash of leftovers, which we ate on the front porch, saying howdy to neighbors and gradually I figured out that the other scent I was picking up on the wind was the weed killer I’d spread on our fragile lawn just an hour or so ago. Which took me back again.

So all in, a decent Saturday, which is to say a better day than any spent at work — even if you happen to work on Saturdays.

I don’t understand what all the fuss about Sundays is about.

Award for AutoFlick!

AutoFlick has won a silver Ben Franklin award.
The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book was announced April 7 by the Independent Book Publishers Association at its annual conference in Portland, OR.
I was thrilled to be at the award banquet, which was to say the least, a deeply validating event. The Publishing University 2017 conference was hugely informational. Thanks to the IBPA and the awards competition judges.