“The Painter”

Once underway, the children usually gathered on the roof, or the bow deck, although one of them was required at some point to be on painter duty. The Paula towed their small, flat-bottomed, square front dingy, and the towline was called the painter. Painter duty involved making certain that if the Paula slowed for any reason, that the painter was hauled in a commensurate manner, thus avoiding it becoming entangled in the Paula’s propeller, which was under the boat, connected to the inboard engine. This would be a very bad thing to allow to happen, and therefore it rarely did, though it had happened to everyone at one time or another. How could it not?

Holding Court

I didn’t want to fall in love with a hometown boy. Even worse, a hometown ex-varsity tennis player who knew the intricate rivalries of the Orange County high schools.


Zeus’ father Cronus ruled the Titans until Zeus overthrew him. My great-grandfather’s father ruled his farm in Poland until a bull killed him, leaving my great-grandfather to step in at eight years old.

August Blue by Deborah Levy

A perfect summer read: We are introduced to a woman on holiday in Athens who will soon be off to the Greek island of Paros. A character “finding herself” on such a glamorous vacation is a familiar trope. But Levy does not disappoint. Her plot line veers off  immediately into surreal territory.

Never More Beautiful and Glistening – Novel Excerpt

To the shiny bars, darkly lit clubs, and noisy restaurants of the extending neighborhoods, by which I mean primarily, at first, to the Lodestar Bar in East Hollywood, the Epoch Club in Echo Park, and the silver restaurants in Santa Monica for brunch and late dinners. Then out on the city streets to visit friends who lived on 25th near Douglas Park or Pico Boulevard near Santa Monica College. I’d drive up the coast to the sandy stretch of Zuma Beach, to the curved seclusion of Paradise Cove in Malibu, or to Santa Barbara via the northern lanes for enchiladas on State Street and to Encinitas via the southern for walks at the Yogananda hermitage. I’d stream through the ravines of Malibu Canyon or down upon the more deeply curving and shadowy two-lane highway through Topanga Canyon. Sometimes, I’d travel over to Griffith Park for a hike up the dusty trail to the top of Mount Hollywood. Later, I’d step out of my truck and onto the white sidewalks and then under the banners at LACMA and into the museum itself for glimpses of a sculpture portraying Parvati, a portrait by Hockney, or an enigmatic canvas of Jasper Johns, then taste the hot brewed coffee at C+M, the LACMA café. I’d drive my red truck under the green traffic lights to the corner of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards where stood the Hammer Museum, solidly built, seemingly built out of thick lines – cake layers, really – of black and white stone, for a weekend cultural event. Departing from another parking lot, I’d take the tram uphill to the terraced garden at the Getty Museum, to the multiplex of its galleries, and then walk across the stoned patios that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.  I’d breeze across town to Third Street for breakfast at Joan’s on Third or to Soquel for sushi in the evening, looking out at the people on the street through the big windows inside...