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A Westport Legend: iIlustrator and writer Len Fisher

This morning I had the privilege to meet Len Fisher, one of Westport’s significant artists. Len’s a Renaissance man: author, painter, designer, and illustrator. He’s prolific to boot! He’s written a number of his own books and illustrated at least 260 for other authors.

Fisher’s work won countless awards including a Pulitzer for painting, the Christopher Medal for illustration, the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and the New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books Award.

I met with Len to learn more about Westport writers.

My Year as a Clown takes place in the fictional town of Putnam’s Landing, the very same PL that Westport writer, Max Shulman wrote about in Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!. PL was modeled on the Westport of the 1950’s. Chuck Morgan, of course, lives in the PL of 2003, where trees fall faster than in the Amazon because of the McMansion craze.

2008 Cockenoe Moonrise by Leonard Everett Fisher

Although I’d done research about Westport for specific aspects of the book, now that the novel is done, I wanted to know more about what happened back in the day.  Over the next few months I’ll be interviewing people who have … Read the rest

A whole new world opened up . . .

I traded in my Blackberry Torch for the HTC One X on the Android Platform this week and it has rocked my world.  4g is like going from dial-up to DSL, it’s a game changer.

Of course I’d been reading about it, but until this ‘information access’ is in your hands and on the go, you don’t really understand.  I thought the Blackberry Torch gave me what I needed. Email was fabulous. Apps were limited, but at least I had the MLB 12, providing the Philly radio broadcast of every game this season.

But I must admit, the video highlights were painful to access. When I was with friends and we needed to know the start of a movie or the phone number of the local Chinese take-out, those with iPhones had the answer before I’d even typed in a search.

Not anymore.

I wanted the 5, but I couldn’t wait because I’d lost my phone.  I was offered a deal on the 4, and I considered it because I wanted to be part of the cool crowd, but when I looked at the Samsung and HTC, I opted to stand rather than sit with Apple.

I’m sure there are … Read the rest

Philly Festival Benefit for Sierra Club


On a chilly Saturday I had the honor to play a half-hour set at the Philly benefit for the Sierra Club. Lots of great singer songwriters were on the bill during the day, some great bands played in the evening. I’ll post more details later in the week.

 … Read the rest

Thanks for Visiting

When I set out in 1998 to make a midcareer change, Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule was still a decade away from being published in his book Outliers. Perhaps if I’d known what was required to acquire the skills to write well I never would have walked away from the comfortable corporate lifestyle.

I’d always fancied myself an artist, but never had the courage to pursue it. I ended up in the music business. Working with artists, I thought I understood their challenges. But until you put yourself on the line, you don’t have any idea what it’s really like to be that exposed.

Many people are drawn to the idea of the writing life—fishing with Castro, running with the bulls in Pamplona, hanging out like Hemingway in Key West drinking until dawn. I too was drawn to this idea, but I soon discovered writing is damn hard. No doubt Hemingway was gifted, but clearly, he also worked his ass off.

To be frank, I had no clue what it took to be a writer and I wandered down many dead ends. And yet not a single step was wasted. Each one ultimately brought me to this very moment.… Read the rest