Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Open Letter to Men Who Don't Wash Their Hands in the Public Bathroom

An Open Letter to Men Who Don't Wash Their Hands in the Public Bathroom

I know this is nothing compared to a roadside bomb, campus shootings or the health care fiasco, but why don't you stop for thirty lousy seconds to wet your hands with water? Perhaps you are hungry for some finger food? Perhaps you long to hold hands with your girlfriend? Or maybe you are giving out those leaflets outside, advertising antibacterial hand-cream and are running back to do your duty?

Perhaps you think that the human body is resilient enough to kill your germs? Maybe you are a terrorist on the path of biological warfare? Perchance you think that shutting down the water flow on the faucet will make your hands dirty again, so why bother? But the automatic faucets seem to make no difference. Perhaps you want to make a statement: real man cares less.

I would ask you why, but what if you flip me the bird? I am not afraid of you, but I prefer clean, proud birds soaring in the wind, over the filthy, flightless ones. Does that mean I am a chicken who rejects a stand on the public health issue out of fear? How do the foreign men behave? Is there a difference between the Old and the New Europe?

I hope that women wash their hands after the toilet. Why else do they spend more time in their bathrooms than men do? With that comforting thought, I open the door of a public toilet, wrapping it with the paper towel first. I am ready to hold hands with my wife. Will she finger-feed me a snack now?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A social experiment on Quechup

I set a Quechup profile out of curiosity. My profile is absolutely bland: no picture, no name, no info except for gender. Now,I get daily messages from beautiful young woman. The messages are a fine mixture of vapor, atrocious grammar and flirt. Such as:

"Hello there howz you? Have a good one"

And the folks at Quechup want me to pay so I would be able to reply to this onslaught. Howz that? Hellooooo :o)

P.S. I set up my age at 69 and my height in the profile at 4 feet.

Monday, June 22, 2009

An interview in a Russian magazine

A Moscow magazine «/Иные берега/» (Other Coasts) did an interview with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sex discrimination

Why can a Russian actress play a Russian woman (Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace) but an American actor has to play a Russian man (Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2)? Sex discrimination!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What my barber said about book sales

He said: "Why do they come to Barnes and Noble, read the books, but don't buy them? Imagine they come to my shop to read the newspapers instead of taking a haircut? I'd kick them out." There is some hairy wisdom in this saying.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Russian deal for my novel

I've got a Russian deal for my novel My Life at First Try. It should be published in Moscow within a year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On exposition

People ask me if there is room in a flash fiction story for exposition.

In skillful hands, exposition might be arousing. However, if you mean "discourse or an example of it designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand," then there is little room for that in a flash.

Think a postage stamp. The price and the picture and a bit of glue and nothing else, yet it does carry your thoughts from point A to point B.


Bad reviews hurt, even if they are unfair. The Library Journal said about my novel:

"The novel reads more like a family blog and offers few tangible rewards."

Though I had about a dozen other good reviews from the places like People Magazine, Kirkus Review, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and was featured in Ingram's Advance, it still hurts.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I am rejecting

I am rejecting submissions to Vestal Review on Saturday night. Am I that mean?