I live in a part of Northern California where acacia trees grow. Actually, they do more than grow. They explode for the entire month of February. Right now, their leaves are changing from an indistinct green to a hazy olive. … Continue reading February Soon Enough
Mr. Silberman, my seventh grade math teacher, took me aside one day and asked, “What do we need to do to light a fire under you, Robert?” It was a good question, one that I have been trying to answer … Continue reading The Secret of Fire
As you might have guessed from the photo, this is a story about underwear. However, let me begin by telling you not about underwear but the writer’s life, which is a solitary one. As a writer, I spend a lot … Continue reading A Pocketful of Miracles
This week as I met with a major insurance company in New York, I thought of the joke about the German encyclopedia where all of the verbs are in the last volume. It’s a linguist’s joke. Big hit at Goethe conferences. The point is that everything comes together at the end. The punch line, that is. The punch line in negotiations is being able to walk away. But you have to mean it. You can’t bluff. You have to be able to leave the table without having accomplished anything. When I was selling cars (yet another Nine Lives story–I’ve got … Continue reading Do the Walk
This week someone referred to me as “calm and collected.” I think she meant that I am deliberate and even tempered. Either that, or she was describing a new deodorant. In any case, I’ll take it as a compliment. The … Continue reading What, Me Worry?