Boatload of Dreamers

Today is my eldest son, Nathan’s birthday and this year, we have a lot to celebrate. He just sold his first screenplay out in Los Angeles. Yep, Hollywood, the real deal -- writer, director, agents, lawyers, “my people will call your people,” that kind of screenplay. Sounds glamorous, right? Of course it does. And while it touched off a flurry of coast-to-coast woo-hoo texts among our little family that could, with every imaginable emoji following behind it, (my three … [Read more...]

Sisters in Ink

The young woman in the ladies room was washing her armpits with a damp paper towel. She tossed it in the trash, then waved her hand in front of the sensor, twice. Double load. She tore it off, ran warm water over the paper, wrung it out, and swabbed her underarms again. Helluva time for your deodorant to fail. By the time I came out of the stall, she had put her houndstooth blazer back on and was reapplying her lipstick. Confidence restored. It’s been a long time … [Read more...]

Jet Fighters or National Parks – You Make the Call

How could I have been so disdainful? Almost hateful. Normally, I’d just gun it, all 427 miles, like being forced to sit through a PowerPoint before you get the free steak dinner from the timeshare pitchman. Who could blame me? I’m spoiled. My life has been rooted in some stunning landscapes. They don’t call New Mexico the “Land of Enchantment” for nothing. I have lived in Albuquerque, Lake Tahoe, Key West, San Francisco and Virginia Beach. Coastal Carolina? Oh, … [Read more...]

Cue the Puppies

Behold the gatekeepers. The Slice Literary Writers’ Conference I attended in Brooklyn last weekend proved to be an eye opener. It was a privilege honestly, to see and hear first-hand from the real deal in this moving target we call publishing. I refer to them as gatekeepers, not to be churlish, but simply to acknowledge that the agents, editors, publishers and publicists, sitting on panels with their names on poster board table tents in front of them, constituted a … [Read more...]

Be a Badass

Sunrise, August 27, 2014, eastbound U.S. Highway 70, 83MPH en route to Indianapolis and I am a fucking race car driver. It was the music. I was jammin’ out to Crossroads, full blast. Full blast and feeling fine for no apparent reason.  Hell, I was on my way to a video shoot, with four hours on the road, coming and going. But with the sun coming up over church steeples and countless rows of corn flashing by at the speed of, well, 83MPH, and Clapton blaring from my … [Read more...]

Grab Ahold

I fell down in the middle of the street in Brooklyn one time. Broad daylight, busy intersection. I’m clumsy that way. Okay, I was looking at my phone and I tripped. Down goes Whatley. Fell hard on my knees, elbows, chin, my cell phone bounced off the asphalt and scittered away, further into the street. “Mamí, Mamí,” a man standing in the doorway of a corner grocery comes running to help me up. “Mamí, are you okay?” He reaches down with muscular arms. I grab ahold.  He … [Read more...]