PIE by Joyce Maynard

(From FEED ME, edited by Harriet Brown, Ballantine Books) The diagnosis reached me on Mother’s Day of 1989: My sixty- six year old mother was suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. They told us she had only weeks to live. Within twenty four hours, I had left my husband and our three young children to […]

Jane Friedman ~ To Succeed at Your Art, Know How to Play Well in Business

In my early days as an acquisitions editor for F+W Media, I found this quote by David M. Ogilvy: “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented […]

A Birdbath's Welcome : Short Story by Jennifer Kerr

The birdbath extended from my front porch like the graceful curve of a ballerina’s arm. When I moved into the house, almost two years ago, I saw it as welcoming, the polite gesture of after you from a kind hostess. At the time, I had no idea that this wide flat bowl, perched on a […]

David Corbett ~ The Fortieth Day, then The Forty-First

Spread your ashes yesterday at Bolinas, where you wanted. The date was my choice: the fortieth day after your death. I selected it for the lore: Buddhist souls, they say, leave the earth and continue on into the circle of transmigration. For Christians, it’s the day Jesus ascended. Seemed as good a time as any […]

David Corbett ~ Excerpts from the Author's Note on Blood of Paradise

I conceived Blood of Paradise after reading Philoctetes, a spare and relatively obscure drama by Sophocles. In the original, an oracle advises the Greeks that victory over the Trojans is impossible without the bow of Herakles. Unfortunately, it’s in the hands of Philoctetes, whom the Greeks abandoned on a barren island ten years earlier, when […]

Stand Up To Cancer

By Renee Comer Miller I wasn’t going to watch it. My sister actually worked the phone lines. I, on the other hand, was pretty uninterested. Maybe I just didn’t want to hear. Maybe I’m done with it. Maybe I hate it so much I want to turn it off. But cancer won’t turn off. Instead […]

All That You Are ~ Erin Kennedy

written by Guest Author: Erin Kennedy “What else do you do?” He says it with such condescension that I think of slicing his ashy skin and bleeding the arrogance from him. I know what he’s asking. He is giving me the opportunity to detail the achievements of my life, to justify my existence before serving […]

Barry C. Hessenius ~ Arts and Business Working Together? Small Steps Toward that Goal

The National Arts Policy Roundtable is a project of Americans for the Arts and Robert Redford’s The Sundance Preserve. It is an annual meeting of an ‘A’ list group of people from various sectors – arts, business, government, civic, academia, etc., to talk in relatively general terms about very big issues. This year’s focus was […]

Michael Larsen ~ Books Can Still Change the World

The right book will change the world. A book that changes the United States will change the world. And such a book is more likely to originate in the San Francisco Bay Area than anywhere else. The natural beauty of the Bay Area, however parched; the wealth and diversity of its people, places, processes, and […]

Amy Flanigan ~ Mothers and Daughters

1. I am nine or ten years old, standing in the hallway and picking at the door jamb with my thumbnail when I tell my mother that when I grow up, I want to work in the car factory where my father works. “I want to make Jeeps, just like Dad does,” I say. My […]