Happy New Year, Nowruz

This past weekend was Nowruz, the New Year according to the lunar calendar that Iran follows. In my book, Cloud of Witnesses, Hassan explains the idea of Nowruz to Roland who likens it to spring cleaning, a time to clear away the old and prepare for the new. “According to the Muslim calendar this is... Continue Reading →

Record Everything

So here I am for twenty minutes—the amount of time I can concentrate these days. I spend most of my time being distracted, touching my face, trying not to touch my face, or else washing my hands. A lot of time is wasted on mortality. Mine and the people I love. Charting the course of... Continue Reading →

Little Women

Little Women I recently told a group I was having a potluck with that I was going to see Little Women. One of the guys said I love that movie. Now, for a couple of reasons, I knew he was confused. Brien is the kind of guy that watches the Bears and roots for the... Continue Reading →

Trying Times in Iran

We are again hearing chants of "Death to America." History repeating--though the circumstances are different this time around. My book, Cloud of Witnesses, portrays the growing relationship between two outsiders: Roland the hillbilly and Hassan the foreign kid, both new to Athens Middle School. When I began writing this book (years ago, I must confess)... Continue Reading →

Children’s Book Title Suddenly Relevant

There has been an uptick of interest in southeast Ohio because of Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow’s viral speech. In his acceptance speech he mentioned his hometown and the poverty affecting that part of Ohio, where, as he mentioned, students often go to bed hungry. Cloud of Witnesses recently released by Golden Alley Press is... Continue Reading →

Can the U.S. and Iran be friends?

A few months ago I wrote about the 40-year anniversary of the Iranian Revolution where the US Embassy in Tehran was overrun and hostages were taken. This was a bad point in Iran-America relations, and they have not improved much since then. On both sides there is great distrust. In my novel, Cloud of Witnesses,... Continue Reading →

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