April 18, 2024

Heracleitus: A Philosopher for Today

One of the more well-known philosophers of Greek antiquity was Heracleitus. What is not so well known is his profound influence on Western thought through the […]
April 4, 2024

Excerpt from “Ivan’s Corner” Newsletter

… In these newsletters, I will bring up unusual elements of the writing craft and my encounters with them…. Having read Dark of the Earth several times, I […]
March 21, 2024

Data, Information, and Knowledge Continued

One of my favorite thought exercises is to take the information and knowledge from one area of study and see how it might apply to another. […]
March 7, 2024

Data, Information, and Knowledge

A datum is a single fact. The word derives from the Latin dare, which means to give. In a sense, a datum is a given. When […]
February 22, 2024

Niccolò Paganini

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) was one of the most celebrated violinists (and guitarists) of the 19th century and the first real violin virtuoso of international fame. How […]
February 8, 2024


If one reads almost any news feed these days, one can’t help but notice that contempt is much more prevalent than it was before, and that […]
January 25, 2024

Growing Old

In case you might think that growing old is merely an inevitable winding down, creaking of joints, and being awash with ailments, the following is a […]
January 12, 2024

The End

I have just typed “THE END” to the third novel of my Eye of the Moon series, Dark of the Earth. Eventually, the series will contain […]
January 4, 2024


In what is now Switzerland, at some point in the year 1493, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim was born. Later, he was known simply as […]
December 28, 2023

The Tao Te Ching

In Western culture, the Tao Te Ching is thought to be more about the individual than the state, but that is not the case. Like The […]
December 24, 2023

Images and Impressions: A Gift

Happy holidays! We have put together a gift for you: English Spanish
December 21, 2023

The Gift of Transcendence

One of the themes that weaves its way through Dark of the Earth, my third novel of the Rhinebeck Quartet, is transcendence. Transcendence is “existence or […]
December 11, 2023

The Law of Reversed Effort

“The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. “Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those […]
December 7, 2023

Edith Wharton

There are writers I like to read, and writers I like to read about. There are writers I study to learn how they did what they […]
November 30, 2023

Introducing the “Eye of the Moon” Series

Smith-Obolensky Media created a presentation of the Eye of the Moon series you may enjoy. I am deep in writing the third. Stay tuned!
November 22, 2023

Thoughts on the Miami Book Fair

We just finished exhibiting at the Miami Book Fair. It was a three-day nonstop event, Friday through Sunday from ten in the morning to seven at […]
November 16, 2023

Cover Reveal: Dark of the Earth

Presenting the cover of the third novel, Dark of the Earth!
November 9, 2023

New Track

Someone once said that the past never changes. This isn’t wrong but neither is it entirely correct. For many, the past is a record of failed […]
October 26, 2023

BookTrib Interview

BookTrib recently interviewed me: In Ivan Obolensky’s award-winning American Gothic novel, Eye of the Moon, two estranged friends are reunited only to discover a gruesome mystery. Set in […]
October 19, 2023

BookTrib Book Review: Eye of the Moon

BookTrib posted a book review last week I wanted to share with you: Hidden Rooms & Ancient Curses Abound in Gothic Mystery Reminiscent of “Clue” Contributor: Sherri […]
October 5, 2023

C. S. Lewis

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while […]
September 28, 2023


Do you like reading quotes? I like reading quotes. Occasionally I find myself reading through several. Those that stick in my mind have a certain insouciance, […]
September 21, 2023

Sources and Sinks

A sink, to an engineer, is a body or process that acts to absorb or remove energy from a system. A water drain is an example. […]
September 14, 2023

Are You Sitting Down?

One of the most profound revolutions in human history occurred well before agriculture. It was the period when humankind transitioned from nomadic to sedentary. More precisely, […]
September 7, 2023

Channeling the Inner Tortoise

I have two observations about growing old (older, if that’s easier to bear.). The first is that “exceptions to the rule” are far more numerous than […]
August 31, 2023

Three Books

At the end of H.G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine, the protagonist returns to the current world, recounts his story, and leaves, taking three books with […]
August 24, 2023

Secret Sauce

There is a lot of talk that AI will surpass humans and then supplant us. This is possible given the calculating ability of a supercomputer, but […]
August 17, 2023

Feathered Quill Interview with Kathy Stickles

I had another excellent interview with Kathy Stickles from Feathered Quill, this time about Shadow of the Son. She really enjoyed both books, and her enthusiasm […]
August 10, 2023

Meet Me Halfway

I came across an interesting hack the other day. Granted the need for it may never be in your future, but I’m always one to look […]
August 3, 2023

The “Leap of Faith”

Søren Kierkegaard was a nineteenth century Danish philosopher and theologian, who wanted to deepen our inward relationship with God by emphasizing individual existence. In so doing, […]
July 27, 2023


Why do things happen the way they do? Broadly, there are two prevailing schools of thought: One point of view is that what we see and […]
July 20, 2023

Winning and Losing

What’s to be done? I’m not stupid. Likely, I think I’m smarter than I really am, which would be typical. The question I have is: am […]
July 13, 2023


In my third novel, one of the characters says to Percy: “I don’t dislike you, Percy. I just don’t like you, and I’ll tell you why. […]
July 6, 2023


According to Bowker’s Books in Print, there were 2,714,409 new books printed in English in 2015. Given that this extraordinary number represents only one year’s publication […]
June 29, 2023


I once had a governess tell me a piece of profound wisdom couched as an admonition. I was looking at a giant slice of cake when […]
June 22, 2023

The Book Life

A life is like a book. Are we hardcovers, paperbacks, or eBooks? Speaking for myself, I’d rather be a hardcover. The dust jacket has a splash […]
June 15, 2023

Feathered Quill Interview with Ivan

I had a delightful interview with Feathered Quill, below: Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Kathy Stickles is talking with Ivan Obolensky, author of Eye of the Moon. […]
June 8, 2023

Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549)

Boccaccio was not the only Renaissance writer to author a collection of stories using a “frame narrative”: an overarching story that allowed a group of individuals […]
June 1, 2023


Swimming is a skill I learned when I was little. I could swim after a fashion. Mostly it was taught to prevent drowning. Later as a […]
May 25, 2023

Studying to Learn

Many people dislike mathematics, sad but true. I can’t say I blame them. It has taken me an extraordinary amount of mental work and persistence to […]
May 11, 2023


Announcement: the unabridged audiobook version of Eye of the Moon is coming soon. Beginnings are sometimes difficult. The audiobook project began some years ago. Originally, I […]
May 4, 2023

Managing Artificial Intelligence

There are many articles and news pieces about Artificial Intelligence (AI) these days. Some say that AI is the apocalypse in digital form. Others say that […]
April 27, 2023

The Invisible

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” There is personal writing and […]
April 20, 2023


When I was growing up, I often heard the saying: “Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought it back” *. Frankly, I found the satisfaction part rather […]
April 13, 2023

Do You Feel Lucky?

Luck is defined as success or failure brought about by chance rather than our actions. Some people appear to have all the luck. Others don’t. Certainly, […]
April 6, 2023

Gone Fishing

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu (c. 500 BCE) writes: “The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then […]
March 30, 2023


Sometimes my mind gets complicated, and my thoughts grow overly complex. When that happens, I recall a portion of an article I wrote: “Imagine Nature coming […]
March 23, 2023


At this point of the year, the equinox (literally, equal night) occurs. The spring, or vernal, equinox takes place in March in the Northern Hemisphere and […]
March 16, 2023

The Queen of the Night

A year ago, a friend gave Mary Jo and me a plant. It was called the Queen of the Night (epiphyllum oxypetalum), and she said it […]
March 9, 2023

You Are Not Alone

Have you wondered why we’re living in a somewhat crazy world? I’d like to posit three reasons that make some sense to me. These are long-term […]
March 1, 2023

The Paradox of Great Art

I sometimes wonder how much of what we think is truly our own thoughts—how much is actually instinct or genetic predisposition? How much is the result […]
February 23, 2023

Thoughts Over a Cup of Coffee

The physicist Max Planck said, “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part […]
February 16, 2023


While flipping through an anthology of military writings, I came across a selection by Marcel Proust. Yes, the novelist. In the passage, Proust has a question […]
February 9, 2023

The Middle

Part of the novel-writing process, at least for me, is sporadic periods of angst, irritability, and rampant self-doubt that starts when I reach the middle. Often, […]
February 2, 2023

The Mind-Killer

Frank Herbert wrote the novel, Dune, in 1965. Sales were dismal after its release, and critics didn’t take to it either. The publisher, Chilton Books, eventually […]
January 26, 2023

Dialogue as Action

Most of our lives are not spent in life-and-death struggles, epic moments of triumph or defeat, but in talking to or with others. Because it’s so […]
January 12, 2023

Science and Intuition

One of the foundations of science has been the concept of Cause and Effect. Science isolates the precise causes of specific effects through observation. Out of […]
January 5, 2023

The Many Faces of Joy

Joy has many nuances. There is the joy of standing and looking out on the land, seeing the greenery of nature, the blue of the sky, […]
December 29, 2022

A New Year’s Message from the Under World

The most unacknowledged virtue of living in the southern hemisphere, particularly in the South Cone*, is that the year begins and ends in summer. Who would […]
December 22, 2022


Since many people have commented on my recent albums of photographs, here are a few ideas that I’ve found to be helpful in taking them. My […]
December 15, 2022

The Solstices

The winter solstice is approaching and falls on the 21st of December in the Northern Hemisphere. It is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere where the 21st […]
December 8, 2022

Dionysus and the Thyrsus

The above fell into the garden the other day. It reminded me of a thyrsus. The thyrsus has a long history in Ancient Greece. It was […]
November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

According to American Etiquette and Rules of Politeness, published in 1883 and written by Mr. Walter R. Houghton, when you receive a favor and wish to […]
November 17, 2022

Some Thoughts on Love

Kakuzo Okakura wrote: “We have an old saying in Japan that a woman cannot love a man who is truly vain, for there is no crevice […]
November 10, 2022

Revisiting an Interview with Lou Diamond

In 2020 I had an interview with Lou Diamond, host of ThriveLOUD. In this quote, I reference “state space”. Most people have agendas… they focus on […]
October 27, 2022

Point of View

To act or not act? To be, or not be? To have or not have? I’ve found myself often enough wondering what to do. To be […]
October 20, 2022

Death: A Montage

Dr. Trevor Campbell, a medical doctor who specializes in pain, asked that we record a discussion about death. We called it: The Anatomy of Death – […]
October 13, 2022

Booth Tarkington

Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) is a relatively unknown author today which is odd considering he is one of only three writers to have won the Pulitzer Prize […]
October 6, 2022

Thoth, Thamos, and Truth

Thoth was an Ancient Egyptian deity who served as the scribe of the gods and was said to have invented writing and hieroglyphics. He was the […]
September 28, 2022


One of the interesting things our brain does is process the world in color. Color is not something inherent in the world. We create the colors […]
September 22, 2022

More, or Less

Sometimes when we write, we have to cut out the bits that don’t forward the story. This is editing. David Mamet said that he had a […]
September 8, 2022


Few can say what is on their mind. If they could, they would say it, only the number of times we don’t is far more than […]
September 1, 2022

Aristocratic Life in Pre-Revolutionary Russia (1917)

According to my grandfather, Serge Obolensky, and contrary to popular belief, aristocratic life in Russia under the Czar was not a life of luxury. One sees […]
August 25, 2022


If I am asked what champagne I would like to drink, I will answer, “Cristal”. Cristal is mentioned many times in my novels. Malcom Ault in […]
August 18, 2022

Living with the Paradoxical

A paradox is defined as a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement, or a proposition, which when investigated may prove to be nonetheless well founded. It is […]
July 22, 2022

Obscurity, Anonymity, and Privacy

Bob Dylan said in an interview in March 1978 for Playboy Magazine: “People have one great blessing—obscurity—and not many people are thankful for it. Everybody is […]
July 14, 2022

Smith-Obolensky Media: 4 books in 4 years

We have been busy! From 2018 to 2022, Smith-Obolensky Media has published four books: Eye of the Moon and Shadow of the Son, and their Latin […]
July 1, 2022

On the Spot with Ivan Obolensky

I’ve done many interviews regarding conversations. I particularly liked this one. It was with the Reverend R. David Jones on WGRC. Here is an excerpt: “Whatever […]
June 16, 2022


Professionalism, acting to a high standard of conduct and proficiency, has inherent in its meaning the idea of quality. Its meaning comes from the word profess, […]
June 11, 2022

My Translator Team

I would like to give a special and warm thanks to Germán González Correa for his excellent translation, Constanza Padilla for her editing skills, and to […]
June 2, 2022

The Breaking Down of Trust

Trust is defined as the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed. It is […]
May 6, 2022


Most people think that stress is the result of crisis, but that is not always the case. Waiting and boredom are key stressors that are often […]
May 4, 2022

Meet Percy’s Mother: Mary

In Shadow of the Son, Mary makes a last-minute visit to Rhinebeck. An excerpt from Percy’s initial impressions: She was dressed in a dark business suit […]
April 28, 2022

The Anatomy of Hope

The universe tends toward complexity, not simplicity. This is counterintuitive but nonetheless true. The reason can be found in how energy behaves. Energy prefers to be […]
April 21, 2022

Borrowing Trouble

I was reading Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery. This is a book I’ve read more than once, and one I highly recommend for […]
April 6, 2022

Advice to Writers

Knowledge is the most democratic of substances. Birth, prior learning, experience, reputation, wealth, or circumstance count for nothing. Its acquisition must always be deliberately and consciously […]
March 9, 2022

Looking Up

How many times a day do we look up? Chances are we’re looking down at our phones, and it is there that our attention remains. What […]
March 3, 2022

Some Thoughts on Music and Math

I’ve heard that musicians tend to be good mathematicians, and mathematicians tend to be good musicians. Likely this is true. Stephen Sondheim said that he was […]
February 1, 2022

Are People Reading Less?

According to the latest research, books are still selling, more authors are publishing, and more books are available than ever before, but fewer books are being […]
January 13, 2022

Selected Q&A from Interview with Otraparte

Selected parts of the interview are available to read in English and Spanish. You can check out all of my interviews to date on my Interviews […]
January 6, 2022

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Many are familiar with the phrase: “Truth is stranger than fiction…” but are unfamiliar with what follows, or who wrote it. The full quote is:  “Truth […]
December 31, 2021

New Year Thoughts

The New Year usually brings about in all of us reflections on the past and contemplations of the future. In Shadow of the Son, Percy states […]
December 23, 2021

New Interviews

I’ve been featured on Book Reader Magazine and I have a new profile on All Author, where you can see questions and answers under the Ask […]
December 16, 2021

What Makes a Good Story?

When all is said and done, a good story engages. It will seep effortlessly into the mind and speak to us directly. To do that successfully, […]
December 9, 2021


The more I write the more I am convinced that stories are the essential building blocks from which our lives are constructed. Our lives are made […]
December 2, 2021

Stephen Sondheim

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I spent time watching Stephen Sondheim interviews. I must admit that I was not overly familiar with his work. I am more […]
November 24, 2021


Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; or the readiness to show appreciation for, and to return kindness. To show appreciation for something, one […]
November 15, 2021


I took six years of Latin in Grammar and High School. Even in the 1970s, Latin was considered a useless subject, but for a subject that […]
September 1, 2021

Peter Anthony Holder

Peter Anthony Holder loves to connect with people and has made a career out of having conversations with those from all walks of life. His job […]
August 19, 2021


I thought I would give you an update on my world. I’ve been off doing things other than writing for the last month and a half. […]
June 21, 2021

Shadow of the Son Launches Today!

Excerpt from Shadow of the Son: From my first visit, the house had projected an aura of mystery and a brooding watchfulness. Deep currents moved beneath […]
June 17, 2021

And then there were two!

A video message for you:
May 19, 2021

Readers’ Favorite: 5 stars review

Bizarre events transpire when an uninvited guest crashes a cozy weekend in the thrilling paranormal novel, Shadow of the Son by Ivan Obolensky. Percy is still […]
April 8, 2021

Shadow of the Son

The sequel to Eye of the Moon is revealed as Shadow of the Son! You will be delighted to know that the house party guests—and some […]
April 2, 2021

From the archives: Interview

I am reposting an interview I did with Christina Hamlett three years ago, shortly after launching Eye of the Moon. In that interview, I was asked […]
March 23, 2021

Meet the Team: Germán and Constanza of El ojo de la luna

The process of translating Eye of the Moon into Latin American Spanish (El ojo de la luna) involved the work of several people. In this post […]
March 18, 2021

Big Questions

What is the one physical quantity that can be measured more accurately and precisely than any other and yet can’t be defined in a way that […]
February 25, 2021

The Stormy Moon

The night sky before or just after a storm is one of my favorite moments. The clouds whip across the sky as the moon peeks out […]
February 2, 2021

Update to Sequel of Eye of the Moon

You will be happy to know that the first draft of the sequel will be finished very soon. This is good news for me, too. Of […]
December 30, 2020

Endings are Hard

Endings are hard because an ending, even that of a book, a work, or a year, doesn’t mean that everything stops. An ending is usually the […]
November 19, 2020

The Rhinebeck House of Eye of the Moon

This photograph is of the actual house in Rhinebeck I summered at. It was called Marienruh. I never called it by that name. To me, it […]
October 31, 2020

Interview with Peter Anthony Holder

I am honored to be a return guest on The Stuph File Program, hosted by Peter Anthony Holder. The entire episode can be found on his […]
October 29, 2020

El ojo de la luna available internationally

We now have the Latin American Spanish website finalized for El ojo de la luna, including the page directing where the novel is sold across the […]
October 14, 2020

El ojo de la luna

The first Latin American Spanish literary translation of Eye of the Moon, El ojo de la luna, is being printed in Colombia and distributed internationally via […]
September 24, 2020

The First Day of Spring

In the South Cone, Spring begins in September rather than in March. Having lived in the North so long, it takes some getting used to. North […]
September 10, 2020

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia, as it is known in Uruguay, is a city on the Rio de la Plata that runs between Uruguay and Argentina. The city, like Uruguay, […]
August 27, 2020

Golden Days

We rarely recognize golden days when we are living them. Good can only be evaluated by what we consider bad, and bad by what we consider […]
August 20, 2020

Five Things I Learned from Len Deighton

Len Deighton is my favorite living writer. I have read and reread the nine novels beginning with Berlin Game and ending with Charity of his triple […]
August 12, 2020

On David Hockney

I consider David Hockney one of the world’s finest artists. Born in Britain, he moved to Los Angeles. He currently lives in France. The subject of […]
July 15, 2020

Political Insider #110: Interview with Bill Ballenger

My interview with Bill Ballenger on The Political Insider #110 is posted, from the 10 minute to 29 minute mark. It was delightful to talk with […]
July 7, 2020

Bedside Reading’s Authors that Thrive Podcast with Lou Diamond

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Lou Diamond for his podcast series in collaboration with Bedside Reading®, Authors that Thrive.
July 1, 2020

Stepping Out

The Rufous Hornero (furnarius rufus) is Argentina’s national bird. They build oven-shaped nests of clay and vegetation. Its English name is the “Red Ovenbird”. They are […]
June 24, 2020

The Teenage Years

When times are uncertain the best one can do is be optimistic and have a sense of humor. One must also take the long view. Such […]
June 17, 2020

Review: The Good Shepherd

I read The Good Shepherd and gave it five stars. Here is my review on Goodreads: There are a few books by C. S. Forester that […]
June 10, 2020

Early Morning Fog

The weather at this time of year reminds me of the poem by
June 3, 2020


One of the ways we learn is to observe. Infants do that a lot. They look around. What are they doing in their cute little heads? […]
May 27, 2020

Shifting Perspectives

How we think changes the world we see. Let us take two diametrically opposite views of the world. The first is the causal view. For example, […]
May 18, 2020

Eye of the Moon Now Part of the Bedside Reading Family

Eye of the Moon was selected for the Bedside Reading program and featured in their newsletter this month.
May 13, 2020

Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

I read A Gentleman in Moscow and gave it five stars. Here is my review on Goodreads: A Gentleman in Moscow begins in 1922 with the […]
May 6, 2020

Changing States

If one finds oneself in trouble, beset by problems from every side, and filled with doubts and uncertainties, it is nonetheless possible to do something about […]
April 22, 2020

Five Things I Learned from Stephen King

Stephen King and I have an uneasy relationship, even though I’ve never met him. Would he be the same person I imagine him to be, if […]
April 16, 2020


Those who live in the Northern Hemisphere see the moon right side up. In the Southern Hemisphere, the moon looks upside down. It is a matter […]
April 8, 2020


Giovanni Boccaccio was born in 1313, grew up in Florence, and died in 1375. He survived the Great Plague that struck Florence in 1348 and began […]
April 2, 2020


The subject of viruses has been on many people’s minds of late and with good reason. Because some viruses can be deadly, one might wish to […]
March 25, 2020

Pinniped Contemplations in Semi-isolation

Do you feel like a seal? I do. I’m not sure which one I am in the picture. I haven’t decided, but I’m in there somewhere. […]
March 18, 2020

Five Things I Learned from Raymond Chandler

Things are rarely simple. Raymond Chandler is one of my favorite authors. About every five years, I will re-read all that he wrote, starting with a […]
March 12, 2020

Two Sides

I used to ride horses. One thing I learned was that you had to train “both sides” of a horse. Their brains are bicameral (two hemispheres) […]
March 5, 2020

Will it Help?

One of the definitions of judgement is the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. Judgment is formed from experience. Mistakes are regrettable, […]
February 27, 2020

Look but DON’T Touch

Allow me to introduce you to Megalopyge Urens. It is common in Montevideo during the months of January, February, and March. A 1936 edition of Revista […]
February 20, 2020

Five Things I Learned from Barbara Tuchman

Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989) won a Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for The Guns of August, her account of the start of WWI. Described by the press in […]
February 13, 2020


Is the world ending anytime soon? Judging from the news, all does not look well going forward. Do you know the feeling? To get a sense […]
February 6, 2020

Five Things I Learned from Writing

Not in any particular order. Clarity is more important than substance. To a reader, substance is paramount, but not to a writer. A writer takes what […]
January 31, 2020

Returning to “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age”

I had the honor of returning to the radio program, “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age” with Roy Richards. (My first interview was in October […]
January 30, 2020

The Rambla

This road/pedestrian walkway runs along the edge of Montevideo. It stretches for 13.7  miles along the water’s edge. It is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world. […]
January 23, 2020

Five Things I Learned from Neil Gaiman

This is the beginning of a new series of blog posts. I have learned much from many people and from numerous personal experiences over the years […]
January 16, 2020

Water Lily

There is a lot of water in Uruguay and with it comes water lilies. Their technical name is nymphaeaceae. Monet created a series of paintings called […]
January 9, 2020

Interview with Intrinsic Motivation

Last year, I did an interview with Hamza Davis of Intrinsic Motivation: A Homies Perspective. It was titled: Who Are The One Percenters – Myths About […]
January 2, 2020

Wind and Water

These are the two defining elements of Uruguay. It is no wonder that the Uruguayan flag is light blue and white with a sun.
December 30, 2019

Our Wish

Another year closes, and another begins. What will the future bring? Good things, we hope. Should your burdens be great, don’t remain downhearted. “Will it help?” […]
December 26, 2019

Cabo Polonio

Cabo Polonio is one of Uruguay’s wildest areas. The seas can turn chaotic and treacherous. How many ships have wrecked off this coast? More than a […]
December 19, 2019


Insects and spiders are different in every part of the world. In Uruguay there are many that I haven’t seen before, like a white and red […]
December 12, 2019


Akrasia is “the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgement through weakness of will.” –Oxford. Some might call it ‘having a moment’. […]
November 27, 2019

On David Mamet

One of my favorite writers is David Mamet. He is a fascinating source of inspiration. (See his Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and […]
November 14, 2019

Compromise and Cooperation

Learning to compromise is one of the hardest lessons. Often compromise is viewed as weakness. The outbreak of the Civil War in the Unites States (1861) […]
October 30, 2019

Halloween Revisited

Behind seemingly innocuous celebrations are profound concepts, peculiar histories, and perhaps disturbing ideas that seem to have a life of their own. In many cases, they […]
October 24, 2019

Radio Interview with Roy Richards

This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Roy Richards on his radio show, “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age”, about the Conversation Crisis. http://webtalkradio.net/Shows/MiddleAgeCanBeYourBestAge/mac102119.mp3 […]
October 17, 2019

Huntington Flower

I love the colors and the washed-out background.
October 10, 2019


The start of a new day in Uruguay. Dawn is a hopeful time. Yesterday is done, and the future beckons. The photograph was taken with a […]
October 3, 2019

Birds on a Rock

Cormorants sit on a single rock surrounded by ocean. The play of light on the gray of the sea gives the photo its magic.
September 26, 2019

Small Wonders

This photograph is so typical of the wonders found in Colombia. Not only are the colors bright and different, but the campesino on the small horse […]
September 19, 2019


The coastline of Uruguay faces toward the Southern Ocean and the continent of Antarctica. The wind from the sea is relentless.    
September 12, 2019


This was shot with a 500 mm catadioptric or mirror lens. It was a bright, windy day. The slightly out-of-focus sparkles of water and grasses in […]
September 5, 2019

The South Cone

This photograph is of a clear Uruguayan morning. I can feel the time of day just from the colors. There are so many shades of blue, […]
August 29, 2019


Although I like eye-catching photographs, the ones that go up on my screen saver tend to be calmer and more subdued. This is one that I […]
August 21, 2019

The Virgin of the Shepherds

Several years ago, Mary Jo and I visited this shrine in Colombia on the spur of the moment. A few days later I found out that my […]
August 15, 2019


This photograph was taken in Cambria after a storm. The grays and muted silvers have washed out the colors. The texture is like rippled metal, and […]
July 9, 2019

Fiction and Lies

Earlier this year I was privileged to be interviewed by Peter Anthony Holder. He recently sent me an email after reading my novel, Eye of the […]
May 2, 2019

Reading in the Modern World

I read for two reasons. I love stories, and second, I am curious about most everything. Many people have asked me how I manage to read […]
April 25, 2019


Definition: Gothic Adjective. 3. of or relating to a style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent […]
April 18, 2019

Fleeting Genius: Rory McEwen

Sometimes people enter our lives, and we note there is something extraordinary about them. When that happens when we are very young, we rarely realize the […]
April 11, 2019


I am writing the sequel to Eye of the Moon and am a tenth of the way through, or maybe not. That milestone is subject to […]
April 4, 2019

The Woman of the Snow: Alexandra David-Néel

“Suffering raises up those souls that are truly great; it is only small souls that are made mean-spirited by it.” –Alexandra David-Néel. There are many footnote […]
March 28, 2019

Where Does Self End, and Everything Else Begin?

This is an odd question, but trying to answer it leads to interesting ideas and concepts. To begin, a system could be defined as any group […]
March 21, 2019

A Very Short History of Literacy…

…in England, and a Possible Prescription for Insomnia Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. In Victorian England of 1820, the general literacy […]
March 14, 2019


We all want to be satisfied with our lives, but achieving that state can be difficult because life never allows us to reach a high point […]
March 5, 2019


Time is something of which we are all aware. Over the years, time seems to accelerate. Whether this is a perceptual illusion, the result of living […]
February 24, 2019

The Age of Anxiety

We live in an “age of anxiety”. The term is not new. It was coined by the English writer and poet, W. H. Auden, and was […]
February 18, 2019

Radio Interview on The Stuph File Program

Peter Anthony Holder was kind enough to invite me on his show, The Stuph File Program. He had some pointed questions about the One Percent, always […]
February 15, 2019

It’s About Control

Whoever controls the story controls the action. As a writer, it’s what I do, but I got to thinking and realized this concept can be applied […]
February 9, 2019

Eye of the Moon Wins Second Place!

Eye of the Moon has won the Silver/2nd Place award in the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards for the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Horror category! JUDGES’ COMMENTS:  – The cover […]
January 29, 2019

Six Books

Here are six books that changed my view of the world. These are not in any particular order of influence. Each one worked its magic in […]
January 24, 2019

Writing Is My Business

When I look out to sea, where the horizon meets the sky, I’ve wondered what would happen if I sailed in that direction. What would I […]
January 16, 2019

Happy What?

I used to compete in triathlons and the occasional marathon and half marathon. I loved the training more than the actual competitions. I would feel confident […]
December 27, 2018

Attention Spans

Suppose you were asked to handle 300 emails a day as part of a job. If there are twelve work-hours available, then you would have to spend […]
December 19, 2018

More from the Tao

I thought I would post a passage from the Tao Te Ching. This quote is from Stephen Mitchell’s excellent translation. “29 Do you want to improve […]
December 13, 2018

Good Things

A mantra is an utterance that is considered to have spiritual power. The word comes from Sanskrit, and literally means “instrument of thought”. A mantra is […]
December 6, 2018

Guest Post on Writing and Living

Author Melanie Ansley invited me to her blog where I share “5 Things Writing Taught Me About Living and Living Taught Me About Writing”. I hope […]
November 28, 2018

A Gift

Hermès, the French high fashion supplier of luxury goods, was originally established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a bridle and harness shop in Paris. What set […]
November 22, 2018

That’s Nice

I gave a book reading at Books & Books in Coral Gables the other day. Before I got to the reading itself, I spoke to the […]
November 14, 2018

Showing Up

In an article called “So, You Want to Change the World?“, I discussed homeostasis, and the fact that change moves in jerky, rather than smooth, increments. […]
November 8, 2018

The Farmer

We all have heard the Chinese story of the farmer: “Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many […]
October 31, 2018

The Origin of Halloween

There are several explanations as to where the celebration known as Halloween came from, such as the Celtic festival, Samhain, that marked the beginning of the […]
October 25, 2018


Ghosts have been part of the human experience for as long as stories have been recounted. They have been recorded in one form or another by […]
October 11, 2018

Alice II

According to my grandfather, Serge Obolensky, Alice was an expert in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Toward the end of her life, he wrote that she had gotten herself […]
October 4, 2018


Many readers have wanted to know more about Alice in Eye of the Moon. Alice in the novel was inspired by my grandmother, Ava Alice Muriel […]
September 25, 2018

The Interval Between Two Worlds

The Bardo Thodol is part of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Nyingma means “ancient” in Tibetan. Bardo Thodol translated into English is “Liberation through hearing […]
September 19, 2018

Complexity into Simplicity

When I was in High School, I was often given writing assignments to analyze poems and novels to find the author’s hidden meanings. I thought this […]
September 13, 2018


In Eye of the Moon, Alice wrote in her diary:      To those that come after:      If you are reading this, I am dead.      […]
September 1, 2018

Gold Medal Winner: Readers’ Favorite Book Awards

I am thrilled to share with you that Eye of the Moon won the Gold Medal for “Fiction: Intrigue” in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards! […]
August 30, 2018

Radio Head

I have been doing radio interviews lately, and I really enjoy doing them. It is hard for an author to simply announce that he has written […]
August 14, 2018


Contrary to what many people think, genius isn’t necessarily about being born intelligent, although that is a factor. Real genius requires more. According to Professor Michael […]
August 7, 2018


Patience is defined as the capacity to accept (or tolerate) delay, trouble, or suffering, without upset. Suffering and annoyance are very old concepts, and both have […]
August 1, 2018

Feeling Is Believing

One of the questions I struggled to answer as a writer is what happens if I become really successful? How do I handle being well-known, and […]
July 24, 2018

The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Egyptian Book of the Dead features prominently in Eye of the Moon. The ancient Egyptians believed that the afterlife was just like the Egypt of […]
July 17, 2018

Crows and Us

Crows and ravens are members of the Corvidae family, which includes crows, ravens, rooks, jays, and magpies to name a few. The common raven, Corvus corvax, […]
July 10, 2018

Interview with Melanie Ansley

Melanie Ansley‘s book, Theo and the Forbidden Language,  recently won Best “Young Adult” at the IndieReader Discovery Awards. Melanie is an award- winning Film/TV producer, has written […]
July 5, 2018

Interview: VoyageLA

I was recently interviewed by VoyageLA. The site includes many stories of inspiring locals, influencers, and fun things to do in LA.   Today we’d like […]
June 28, 2018

Fear and Courage

Fear and courage are emotions that have shaped my life in many ways. I am less fearful now, and that is a blessing. Whether that shift […]
June 22, 2018

Goddesses and Eye of the Moon

Egyptian mythology developed over a period of 3,000 years. This is an extraordinary amount of time when compared to the 600-year life span of the modern […]
June 7, 2018

First award: “Best First Book (Fiction)” in the IRDAs!

Eye of the Moon won the “Best First Book” in the fiction category of the 2018 IndieReader Discovery Awards (IRDAs). I received the award at BookCon in […]
May 30, 2018


The last time I was in the town of Rhinebeck was so long ago, I have no memory of it. The other day, I visited and […]
May 22, 2018

Travels by Michael Crichton

When one thinks of Michael Crichton one thinks of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Rising Sun, or maybe Sphere. He created them all and many other […]
May 10, 2018

A Giant Among Men

  Part of the story of Eye of the Moon must contain something about my grandfather. When I was a teenager, I would go out on […]
May 3, 2018

Thoughts on Writing

One of the more difficult books to understand, and yet one of the most enlightening on the theater is David Mamet’s small volume, Three Uses of […]
April 19, 2018

Notes on an Address by Joe Satriani

Some years ago, I went to a commencement at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. By some miracle, the speaker was none other than Joe Satriani, […]
April 12, 2018


Have you ever made a decision that was not only completely out of character but completely brain-dead? Like the time you were offered a genuine Rothko […]
April 6, 2018

Library Reading

I did my first book reading as an author on March 28th at the Glendale Central Library, Arts & Culture. I have been to a few […]
March 29, 2018

An Interview with Nadene of Totally Addicted to Reading.

Nadene is an avid reader who shares her passion on both her blog and her Totally Addicted to Reading website. She was kind enough to host […]
March 22, 2018

Interview with Libby Fischer Hellmann

Libby Fischer Hellmann has written fifteen mystery novels, won numerous awards, and been nominated for many more. She and I met in Tucson at the Southern California […]
March 15, 2018


This weekend I participated in my first book festival as a member of the Southern California Mystery Writers of America at their booth at the Tucson […]
March 14, 2018

Review of Eye of the Moon by Athena Schaffer

Hereditary Witch and current High Priestess of the Sherwood Wiccan Coven, as well as an accomplished journalist, artist, and fellow author, Athena Schaffer reviewed Eye of […]
March 8, 2018

Julie Davide Reviews Eye of the Moon

Today on Julie’s Bookshelf, Julie Davide posted her review of Eye of the Moon, as well as a synopsis, short excerpt and other goodies. We were […]
February 28, 2018

Interview on You Read It Here First

I was recently interviewed by Christina Hamlett for You Read It Here First. The interview in full: For readers who enjoy strong female characters, supernatural elements, […]
February 23, 2018

Interview with Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball runs compulsivereader.com, a website based in Australia. She is a literary force in her own right and anyone who hosts a website devoted to […]
February 15, 2018

Interview with Author Matt Coyle

I became familiar with Matt Coyle when I found out that he and I would be sharing a Southern California Mystery Writers of America booth at […]
February 9, 2018

How Dark Is Today?

In a guest post I wrote for Elizabeth A. White last week, I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in history. It reads: “Our earth is […]
January 25, 2018

Tea and a Honda

It has been said that to become a cultured person one should study the Japanese tea ceremony. Nothing is allowed to be rushed, and there are […]
January 18, 2018

Uncle Eddie

I thought I would write something on a lighter note, given the last post. When I was growing up, I met many notable people. Unfortunately for […]
January 12, 2018

What’s in a Name?

A number of readers have asked me how I was able to write Eye of the Moon. It is one of those questions that can be […]
January 4, 2018

The Character of “Character”

Usage of the word “character” in the English language has been steadily declining since the turn of the 20th century. (See Google analytics of “character” mentions.) […]
December 28, 2017

Ancient Wisdom from the Tao Te Ching

If I don’t know what to do, I often grab my well-worn copy of the Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell translation) and open it at random. […]
December 22, 2017

The Time Traveler’s Question

Here is a short (fiction) story I wrote for you for the holidays. It is not related to Eye of the Moon whatsoever, though it is […]
December 15, 2017


We all make assumptions and sometimes they trip us up. It is a theme that runs through Eye of the Moon. We assume that people are […]
November 22, 2017

Adventures with the Real Robert the Bruce

At the beginning of Eye of the Moon, Johnny Dodge blames his troubles on Robert the Bruce. Percy asks whether he is referring to the Scottish […]
November 9, 2017

Interview with Tom Hyman, Part 2

Continued from Part 1 Who is your favorite author/writer and why? No favorites. There are a lot of authors I like or have liked or admired […]
November 2, 2017

Interview with Tom Hyman, Part I

Tom Hyman was my first writing mentor and my main editor for Eye of the Moon. He guided me through many aspects of the journey from […]
October 19, 2017

Writing as Directing

I like plays. I enjoy them because they are the closest thing I know to live storytelling. A play creates an intimacy between playwright, actor, and […]
October 12, 2017

Interview with Author Nick Thacker

I interviewed professional author, Nick Thacker, who delivers nonfiction and fiction with equal aplomb. Being a full-time writer in today’s world is not easy, but Nick […]
September 12, 2017

Why I Wrote Eye of the Moon

I grew up in an environment that was decidedly different from the majority of my peers. There were cooks, maids, butlers, and chauffeurs. Both my parents […]