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Spotted: The Discreet Charms and Mona Lotts

23 Jun


Mona Lotts, Rehoboth's premier female illusionist, getting for Friday night's show at the Blue Moon.

Mona Lotts, Rehoboth’s premier female illusionist, getting for Friday night’s show at the Blue Moon.

Essays: How Writers Spend Their Days

19 Jun

My friend Maggie Powell in Asheville, NC, turned me onto this blog of essays by writers describing how they spend their typical day. Its interesting to see how they each in their own way carve out time to write. Its interesting and inspiring and definitely worth a read.

Rehoboth Beach Reads Writer’s Contest

5 Jun

I want to draw your attention to a new short story writing contest sponsored by Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and run by Cat and Mouse Press in Lewes, DE.  You don’t have to live in Rehoboth to enter.  You just need to like the beach and tell a good story.  I’m pleased to be one of the judges for the contest.  Deadline is July 1, so get writing.

On Being a Revolutionary

25 Apr

You know, I’ve always wanted to be a revolutionary.  In high school, I drove a yellow Ford Fiesta while my chums drove trucks and souped-up muscle cars.  I was one of the first of my friends to come out of the closet.  And I turned my back on the legal profession to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector way before nonprofits were trendy.  Of course, that all happened thirty some years ago.  More recently, I suppose my opposition to overhead lighting and granite countertops might be considered eccentric if not revolutionary.  That said, I’m delighted to hear the self publishing field called revolutionary and self publishers revolutionaries who are bucking the system.  Check out the article in the Huffington Post.


2012 Was the Year of Self Publishing

1 Jan

The Christian Science Monitor has declared 2012 as the year of self publishing.  Why?  Mainly because influential NY Times books critic Michiko Kakutani chose a self-published title as one of her favorite books of the year.  Here’s the link to the story.

Kakutani didn’t review my book, but many publications, radio stations, and blogs did give thumbs up to The Discreet Charms of a Bourgeois Beach Town in 2012, and for that I’m quite grateful.  Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings.


A Proper Table Set at DE Press Association Holiday Luncheon

8 Dec


The Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich

24 Oct

Yesterday’s NY Times Dining section online featured a story on the Peanut Butter and Pickle (PB&P) sandwich.  Dwight Garner, a literary critic married to a cookbook writer, asked a variety of food writers what they thought about this simple sandwich combination. The bottom line is they didn’t.  Seems it is very much an underground taste.  “Cult” is how Garner describes this sandwich, which started showing up at lunch counters during the 1930s and in cookbooks of the 1940s.

Too bad he didn’t ask my opinion.  I’m a big fan of the peanut butter and sweet pickle tea sandwich, as those who attended my book launch party in Washington can attest.  I learned about this combination from Helen, an elderly and old-school caterer to Wilmington, Delaware’s “upper crust.”  She specialized in fine, but unpretentious, tea sandwiches, including peanut butter and sweet pickle.

Mr. Garner uses Claussen bread and butter pickles and Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter for his sandwiches, but appears to be agnostic when it comes to the bread.  I’m picky when it comes to bread, preferring Pepperidge Farm small white cocktail slices with the crusts cut off.   Like Mr. Garner, I use Smucker’s peanut butter too, but favor Mt. Holly Sweet Midget pickles from North Carolina, which I hand slice and then press gently into the peanut butter.  Once prepared, I hand press the sandwich and then cut on the diagonal.  Of all the sandwiches prepared for my book party, the PB&P tea sandwiches went first.

Mr. Garner may be right in that the PB&P sandwich might never go mainstream.  But it is tasty…

I Should Write That Down

27 Sep

One of the fun benefits in writing this book is the many interesting conversations I get to have with people about Rehoboth.  Just the other night at a swank cocktail party in “The Acres,” I met a gentleman who has been coming to Rehoboth since he was a boy, even before WWII.  During the war, he remembers DUKW amphibious vehicles – called Ducks – in Rehoboth.

Ducks were produced by GM and the name came from their naming protocols.  “D” indicated a vehicle designed in 1942.  “U” meant utility.  “K” meant front wheel drive.  “W” meant two powered rear axles.  Today they’re often used to give tours in waterfront cities like Boston and Washington, DC.

He remembers soldiers driving the ducks around in order to try and get a reading on how many miles per gallon they could get.  He also recalls how the soldiers referred to one as “Sicily,” a foreshadowing of where the Ducks were first used, in the 1942 invasion of Sicily. They were also used in Normandy.  Kind of interesting.

A Little Whipped Cream Vodka to Start Off The Day

23 Aug

Thanks to Bruce Elliott, host of WILM 1450 AM News/Talk Radio for recommending  The Discreet Charms of a Bourgeois Beach Town to his listeners and for giving me the opportunity to talk about beauty pageants, whipped cream vodka, and drag queens on his popular morning drive show.  Readers will know what stories I’m referring to…Here’s the Interview with Rich Barnett