Just saw “The Equalizer”, a terrific action flick, starring the inimitable Denzel Washington.Forbes-on-line predicts it will top the box-office this week. As I was leaving, a lady (probably in her 80’s), caught my eye and nodded. “Great movie,” she said. “Denzel’s still got it,” I remarked, to which she said “He’s HOT!”

As a writer, I pondered this question: what qualities give a character appeal across-generations, genders, and races? It’s a critical issue as we craft our own literary heroes and strive to attract broader audiences.Here is my answer: the protagonist that is wildly handsome, brave, and INTELLIGENT, still rings the bells of female and male audiences. Please share your opinions on this topic. After all, we would all love to top the box office.

Discretion Before Profit

I’m not a complainer–not really. But MUST advertisers fill the airways with pitches for erectile dysfunction (trendily repackaged as ED), female sanitary products, catheters, canes and the like? And must these canny purveyors of merchandise always do so at DINNER time? I’ve learned to accept ads for funerals (final expenses, if you please), even though they typically suggest that the inconsiderate sod (usually a husband) saddled his poor family with disposing of him when the GOVERNMENT should pay. I mourn the demise of propriety and mystique–too much candor may be damaging to my health.


This morning I spent 90 minutes chatting with a delightful ‘woman of a certain age’ at our dog training class. This sprightly lady discussed philology, Alexander Hamilton and the impact of Abigail Adams on the American Revolution. When we lamented the defeat of the recent ballot initiative on assisted suicide, she shrugged and said. “it’s easy enough to get what you need when the time comes.”
Imagine my surprise when she told me she was ninety years old, and not as sharp as she used to be!