“God doesn’t answer humanity’s cry for justice with a legal brief, He answers by sending Christ to suffer with us.”

from The Loudest Silence is Found in ‘A Hidden Life’ by Hannah M. Langdon on Medium

Church of St. Valentin in Seis am Schlern, scene of ‘A Hidden Life’ — photo by Birne1967

Reading this sentence for the first time was an interesting experience. On Saturday morning without enough coffee, I wasn’t prepared for a discussion on life as we face it.

The quote comes from deep in the article by Hannah M Langdon. The first half of the quote seemed intended as sardonic, as if “well, don’t expect a human argument from your deity, dude.” And…


Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

The headline read: I Just Rejected 90% of Writer Submissions for the Same Reason — Don’t let correctness issues get in the way by Pamala Hazelton

From Oxford English Dictionary:

“Just: Exactly, precisely; verily, actually; closely: cf. even adv. Qualifying a preposition, adverb, or adverbial phrase; or an adjective, pronoun, or noun. Of place or position. just at, in, over (etc.) The very, just to, right up to, even to, as far as to; just to the, to the very.

Your headline, ma’am, makes for awkward phrasing. Try: “I just rejected one more,” or “I have rejected 90 %,” or…


Brood X, or the Great Eastern Brood — photo by Pmjacoby, 2004

Layla the husky headed out last night on her midnight patrol ‘n pee, the last of the evening, stuck her head in the azaleas and came out munching with that sideways chewing that dogs use to put their back molars to work. Which is but a forewarning of what’s coming. Layla is a fussy eater, but she savors a crispy snack when she hears one.

After living through this swarm seventeen years earlier with Maddie, our previous husky, I am writing to offer advice for those living in the mid-Atlantic: Brood X is climbing out once again. If you think…


“Tell me the truth.” Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

“The next time I buy a jacket, I don’t want sexism and homophobia woven into the fabric.”

from The Sexist Distinction Between ‘Style’ and ‘Fashion’ by Richard Thompson Ford

Serious writers know to keep a keen eye on social trends if they expect to stay relevant in the 24-hour news cycle — meaning mainly how fast the trends cycle through. And nothing’s hotter at the moment than anything about the putting down of womankind, though in the fashion world, there are equal opportunity offenders.

The other day I began an important piece for Southern Living about designing kitchens in the…


Sean on Ben Bulben — photo by William E Evans, © 1991

Dear Sean –

Let me begin with this: how could I have ever competed with an enormous replica of the Millennium Falcon and all those Star Wars figurines?

Along with the other presents your mother packed around the Christmas tree, stacked on chairs, on the sofa, the table. A townhouse living room jammed with her presents until moving about was near to impossible. Only the clothes gifts were mine.

A well-kept secret pact between you and your mother? Perhaps on her part, it was. When your brother came along, she showered Ryan the same.

This need to overwhelm you guys…


One of Hannah Langdon’s articles, What a Vietnamese Survivor’s Story Showed me About Womanhood, triggered a memory about a special Vietnamese woman — and the man she stood beside while going through hell. The story follows.

I first met Le at the gym — I met my wife D there, too, but this story’s not about her. I’m calling her Le, though it’s not her given Vietnamese name. Le worked the desk part-time at the Skyline Health Club checking the gym rats in and out, always with a smile. Eighteen, already charming and self-possessed, in one of our first conversations…


Edited photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

We just can’t continue pointing fingers at each other’s genitals — so to speak.

It’s become burdensome, blaming one another’s privates for any number of today’s social ills. The far right wing males (far out, man) are complaining about feminists thinking they have balls — do they ‘think’ they have balls or just ‘act’ like it? And the stretched-too-thin lefties complaining Trump supporters want to castrate them for forcing them to pee with “others” watching. I’m too busy trying to hit the toilet to notice. And the non-binary and the transgender, they’re really complicating things.

Non-binary sounds like a term…


Jeff Bezos at Amazon Spheres Grand Opening in Seattle — photo by Seattle City Councilhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlecitycouncil/39074799225/

We in the DC area could kiss your shiny, little head for saving the Washington Post from itself. You did us all a solid.

And now that you’re out on the dating circuit again, you’re looking damn studly, I must say — however, I need a serious favor: can you tell the WaPo gang to lose the Sunday plastic grab bag of ads? All that printer’s ink isn’t helping the environment.

Seems that back when you were busy selling used paperbacks, well before you joined the mosh pit here in new Rome, the management team leading our only local rag…


The subject applies to more than writing code.

If one begins a piece with clarity as the goal, it's surprising how much you notice-and embarrassing when you realize how far you missed what you were aiming at.


This was a test, right? To see how many authors you knew that we knew--that we knew you knew--you know? Clapping anyway.

Bill Evans

A practicing writer and architect, he is now squandering hours making a mess from writing.

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