On Writing, Nuns, and Rains

Mr. Larson dies.

I wrote yesterday how, in writing out a little bit of the third chapter of “THOD,” a character appeared. A grandfatherly-type, a Richard Kiley sort.

Mr. Larson.

He’s a neighbor. A boy rides his bicycle past his house nearly every day. He tends to flowers in his front yard. He lived through the Great Depression, he married late, he and his wife never had children. He retired to this small town.

When he appeared on the notebook paper yesterday, I saw his whole history. And I knew instantly how — and where — his story ended.

I thought, at the time, that he would appear for at least two chapters. But no, he dies at the end of the third chapter, which spans about a year and a half.

I couldn’t write that last night, the scene where the death happens. I know how it happens. I know why it happens. It’s the fickle hand of fate.

Tonight, I think. Tonight I’ll write this.

I don’t want to. But it’s the story, and it needs to be told.


I wonder if rain will hold off today. It’s like Baltimore has turned into Seattle.


I had a strange dream last night. It involved nuns.

I’m hazy on the details. I know this. The nuns were evil. They changed my long-distance carrier. And the nuns were downright evil.

The dream ended with me putting the fear of god into one of the nuns, a Sister Assumpta or somesuch. She’d messed up my telephones!

Evil nuns.


I think Melody Gardot’s new album, My One And Only Thrill may be the loveliest album I have ever heard.

I don’t even know how to describe it.

It reminds me vaguely of Norah Jones’ first album, but Melody’s voice is far more captivating.

Absolutely worthwhile.

ETA: When I got home, I dug through back issues of MOJO. It was either the latest issue or the last, I thought, where I read a glowing review of Gardot’s My One and Only Thrill.

And it was in issue #185, with the cover story on The Who’s The Who Sell Out. Four stars. And a separate one-page profile of the singer.

It’s really just a lovely album to listen to.

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