About Me

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Los Angeles, CA, United States
I am a writer, photographer and musician living in Los Angeles. In the last few years, new written work--numerous plays, screenplays, and two novels--have demonstrated this to be the most productive period of my life. The journal I have also kept for thirty-five years has, of late, become a personal sounding board for my thoughts on peace and the state of the world...about which I remain hopelessly optimistic! My writing here will be in tandem to video "Peace Talks" I have recorded, and which will be released throughout 2011. You're welcome to visit my website, the "Studio 5" link, to see my photographs. As a classically-trained pianist, I have been composing music all my life. Two guitar re-mixes of piano music are attached here, as well as several music videos, including "Consider Peace" the title track of an up-coming CD. Balancing writing, photography and music has been a long and challenging path...not to be recommended! Yet this very Aries diversity reflects an enthusiasm for the modern world of which I feel very much a part.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The score: 99 to 1

For a writer, there are few things as daunting as a blank page.  Its like getting into a car knowing you have to go somewhere, but like a bad dream, you don’t know where it is you have to be.  And the clock is ticking! (Why is time always running out?)  In fact, life’s moments are just racing by as one faces the void--a very luminous one on a 27” Mac--whose quiet force stares back with the assurance that it is a much better brain than you...and you damn well know it!
The diarist Anais Nin, who was a huge influence early on (when I lived in London in the 70s), said she could never not find something to write about.  As one looks out--more through screens than windows--at the fast-changing world, it is hard, particularly as a writer, not to add one's two cents.  Indeed, having nothing to say would almost disqualify one from the Writer’s Club.  

(A literary agent I met defined a highly prolific, but as-yet unpublished writer as merely “busy” as opposed to “working”.  So who IS a writer?...But I digress.)
Lately, the big world beyond my cyber window-screen has seemed particularly daunting.  The geo-political changes alone, to say nothing of the tectonic ones, are so big; so world-shattering--literally--that one hardly knows where to begin to address what is going on.  The polarization on every front--extremists to the right of me; extremists to the left of me!--are pointing to each their own doomsday scenario.  And against all logic and the voice in our hearts, too many have been convinced that maintaining wars and rich bankers equals freedom...belief's that clearly are not taking us to where we say we want to go.  
Then these words:  “Start with a one inch picture frame.”  That’s the best writing advice I was ever given.  Begin with the smallest detail, then pull back.  Don’t start globally; there’ll be no end to the description required.  Start with one, not one hundred.
Which brings me to my point (yes, a point, after all!).  We’re still 99 percent "We the People" vs. the 1 percent who own almost everything and keep nearly all profits.  (A fact, by the way, not some left-leaning jargon.)  One-man-one-vote is still our ultimate political power.  A one inch picture frame may not seem like it reveals very much; but collectively...well, that may be our last hope to create a global landscape that includes everyone.  What democracy that's left resides in our humble vote, and it remains our ultimate power.  Let's use it before they, the one percent, start spinning that against us, too.  Unthinkable, maybe...but can't you see them trying?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Is it life or just distraction?

What with house guests, business-building, Spring cleaning, the earthquake and tsunami (watched, eerily, live on TV); the continually riveting news in the Middle East, and turning sixty, all within the month of March, I just haven’t had the focus to write here.
My third novel, at about the halfway point, seems to be on hiatus, and I fear for its future.  All the months of piano practice gaining finger strength leading up to my early December recording session has largely been lost (though not the confidence gained, thank goodness).  Even my computer got a virus, so I’m working, uncharacteristically, on my 27" Mac, a daunting machine which continues to whoop my ass, as I wait for my dear PC’s return from the hospital.
But April is upon us, a sunny Spring indeed here in L.A., and I’m ready to go round again.  Because it’s all about cycles.  Little cycles--the routines of each day; and the ever-larger ones that ripple out all around us, the results of our action (sometimes our inaction!), within the context of a rapidly changing world.
And what a world!  Hopeless optimist that I am, I see each day as a symbol of Life’s eternal, rejuvenating fertility...perhaps another term for God’s forgiveness.  Considering how often we, as a race, have f’d things up, the days keep coming, world without end, literally!  Another opportunity to “get it right”.  And if that ain't love, I don't know what is!   
So, one tries to forgive one’s self for the little lapses.  Either that or blow our brains out, which, again, we might have done long ago had Life’s unfolding days and years not  proved there IS another chance.  So many opportunities for change, in fact, that we finally realize we even have a choice as to how we want to proceed.   
In changing, perhaps fearful times, how DO we proceed?  “Our minds derail us with logic that is supported by fear,” so said an Oracle.  We can test our inner guidance system by asking, “Does this feel like love?” or “Does this make me afraid?”  People who are afraid of change will always revert to fear-mongering, be it political tyranny, or some other teaching that conditions “salvation” on the  subjugation of our heart’s voice; a voice that only speaks the language of love and unity.   
Like the earth seen from space, that Voice knows no national boundaries.  That Voice reflects our innate unity like a loving promise.  As times get shaky; with change afoot on so many levels (as we grow up as a race!) I believe we’ll be best served acting out of love which unifies instead of fear which divides.  Have the “old ways” served us?  Would we be in the precarious state we’re in if they had?  Is the trajectory of our collective actions taking us to where we say we want to go?
Change is the very definition of Life’s Process, and make no mistake, life will go on whether we like it or not.  So, what is a change--an action--we can trust?  “Does this feel like love?”