I am part of an informal group of skiing enthusiasts. We meet once a year for four days, all at US venues in the west with challenging terrain for the serious skiers and nice hotels for the less dedicated. We all went to Yale and graduated in 1966, so if you do the math you will find that all of us have long since become eligible for social security, but none of us admit to taking the money. We also eat and drink and brag about our health and our children and our jobs. It used to be the reverse order, which is why I never go to reunions where there’s no physical activity and lots more bragging. But time changes things, and now at these annual gatherings there is, as one classmate beautifully put it, “less show of plumage.” Continue reading
Suppose that you are a ruthless drug lord, even a diminutive one, running a completely illegal billion dollar a year commercial operation that sources drugs in central America, processes them, and then arranges to smuggle them across the border to the apparently infinite US market. Since everything that you do in your business is outside the law, you have to live by a different set of business practices—you have to intimidate, harm or kill people who let you down, who try to compete with you, who violate agreements with you or fail to act as promised. No taking them to civil court and suing for specific performance. No use of the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Continue reading
It seems a bit strange, I will admit, to sit here writing about water shortages and droughts and rationing while my roof is leaking in two places, into a carefully positioned large blue bucket and a smaller yellow one. And the news is full of forecasts of the coming torrents of rain that El Niño will bring us — not that we’ve seen very much of it yet here in San Diego. Continue reading
I love the Wall Street Journal, I really do. I read it every day, all the sections. It’s really the only “national” newspaper we have that isn’t a joke. The New York Times is still too local and doesn’t have enough business news, plus it wears its politics not only on its sleeve, but on both sleeves and on its shirtfront as well. USA Today qualifies in the “joke” category. The Washington Post is a mere ghost of its former self. And I read the Wall Street Journal because by and large the articles are pretty factual and don’t seem biased, at least on the surface. Continue reading
Let’s first make two simplifying assumptions: first, you have, through personal responsibility or choosing the right work situation or just darn good luck, accumulated sufficient financial resources to continue to do the things and live in the style that you lived in the day before you retired. You’re not suddenly wealthy or suddenly poverty stricken. If you are suddenly wealthy, then stop reading this and good luck to you, you fortunate SOB. Send me your contact information. Continue reading
When I was in high school in Alexandria, Virginia, the football players were gods. It didn’t matter that the football team was terrible. It didn’t matter that we had the stupidest name for a football team ever. The school was “George Washington High School,” and thus our teams were named, unfortunately, the Presidents. Even more unfortunately, this was shortened during cheers to “Prexies.” No one was quite sure what a “prexie” was — a small pretzel, perhaps? Evidence of skin disease? But no matter, to be on the varsity football team and get a big, hulky letter jacket to wear around the school was really cool. By the way, none of the other sports got jackets like these.
Much has been written, a good deal of it on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune and some even in the review section of the New York Times about California’s four-year drought, the shortages it will cause, and what to do about it. Much of it is not particularly sensible. But they’re only reporting what the policy makers have determined. Continue reading
International business is a hot topic today. After an unsuccessful attempt six year ago, Coke is even making another stab at an acquisition in China, this time a maker of juices with interesting flavors like walnut, red bean, and oats. But making and selling a product or providing services in a market outside the U.S. can be especially challenging. Continue reading
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.
While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.
Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list.
Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.
Tess was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing:
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
When I was seven years old. I was an avid reader as a kid, and by age seven was already writing my own stories.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
Figuring out how to tie together all the scenes I’ve already written into a coherent climax and resolution. I often don’t know who the villain is until I’m about 2/3 through the first draft.
What piece of your writing portfolio are you most proud of?
How has writing changed your perspective on other things?
I pay attention to stories all around me. I think it’s made me more curious about a whole range of topics. When I travel, I open my eyes and ears to the odd and peculiar or unexplainable, all the little details that make me think: “What if…?”
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on book #12 in the “Rizzoli & Isles” crime series.
For readers who are unfamiliar with your books, what title would you recommend they read first?
If they’re interested in crime novels, then I recommend they start with THE SURGEON, as it’s #1 in the Rizzoli & Isles series. If they’re interested in history, then I recommend BONE GARDEN.
RF Hemphill is a former CEO of a multi-billion dollar global electric power and distribution company and is the author of Dust Tea, Dingoes & Dragons: Adventures in Culture, Cuisine & Commerce from a Globe-Trekking Executive.