New look! Got tired of the old one and I know it’s harder to read white words on a black background. I like to change things up now and then.

My annotation of Paul Harding’s TINKERS is up at Annotation Nation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about narcissism and writers, especially since the Mailer Colony. Reviews of his widow’s memoir, A TICKET TO THE CIRCUS mention “the book does little to dispel the image of Mailer as a narcissistic hothead with redeeming streaks of cuddliness and charm…”   Jesse Kornbluth wrote, “Despite his fabled, self-conscious narcissism and his hefty ego, Mailer was in some ways not a conventionally autobiographical novelist, though he was certainly an autobiographical journalist.” (I’m currently reading MENTOR: A MEMOIR and Grimes has a passing encounter with Mailer too. He’s everywhere!) Rona Fernandez writes about this subject and we both have heard from Chitra Divakaruni that it’s possible to be a good person and a good writer. Necessary even. Not that Mailer was a bad person. He wasn’t and he was very generous to young writers. Anyway, I agree with Fernadez’ conclusion that most writers aren’t narcissistic. I would add that you can’t be because part of the job description is being able to imagine other people in all their glorious imperfection.

mental toughness

Dani Shapiro has a few thoughts on what it takes to keep going as a writer.

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints! Second half of the SuperBowl was pretty good. I am about to go into football withdrawals – at least there is still the Combine (Feb 24 – Mar 2) and the Draft (April 22-24) to look forward to.

Another rainy day in L.A. Just had a thunderstorm and hail move through. Another good day to write. What’s your excuse again? Yeah, thought so,  get to work! Athletes have something to teach us about mental toughness and how to keep going when it gets hard.