Arts & Style

Rubbing shoulders with celebrity

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Feinstein, who sings classics from the Great American Songbook by such composers and lyricists as Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter in concert and shares information about these musical legends on his shows on PBS and NPR. Feinstein grew up in Ohio in the 1960s and ‘70s, the same as me, and shared how he came to be listening to the greats of another era while I tuned my tangerine-colored Panasonic radio to a station that played a perpetual loop of the Rolling Stones, Eagles and Jackson Five.

Some operating instructions for grandparents

Back in 1993, one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, published a witty, self-deprecating journal about her son’s first year. Called Operating Instructions, it chronicled her joyful, exhausting days as a single parent with her baby Sam.

The sound of music

I grew up in a house where the soundtrack of daily life was Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven played on the kitchen radio tuned to the classical music station. While my tastes as a teen ran more to the Rolling Stones and Cat Stevens, today my car radio is often tuned to the classical music on WETA, and my iPod contains Bach, along with Bruce Springstein.

What do you have to say?

From two brothers reuniting to co-author a novel to a former newspaper publisher recounting her career during the turbulent ‘60s, budding authors have been finding it easier to break into print over the last decade. While it’s harder than ever to make it out of the “slush pile” in traditional publishing houses these days, a revolution in self-publishing means that with a relatively small investment, authors can share their carefully crafted words with the world at large.