“I’ll tell you how fiction works, but first let me tell you how I found it out.”

Cathleen got a library card, and I got one, too, this so we can each besmirch our own reputations. To celebrate my first library card in years, I checked out a book called “How Fiction Works” by James Wood. Accordingly, … Continue reading
Nov. 16, 2017, 6:54 p.m.

All I want for my birthday is undying impact. Will you get it for me, please?

Give the Gift of Willie: For less than a buck, you can give someone you love a glimpse of a better way to dance.I have so much to talk about, and no one at all to talk to. I wear … Continue reading
Nov. 15, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

Which first lady would you trust to drive a tent stake into Vladimir Putin’s skull?

Of all the first ladies of my lifetime, I like Melania Trump best – elegant dignified silence. And of all of the women in public life right now, she’s the one who seems most to embody Yael, too, the wife … Continue reading
Nov. 10, 2017, 2:32 p.m.

Fresh Willie: Bedtime stories for your inner child from The Mall of Misfit Families.

Hope is family. Family is hope.That’s why trains go in circles.Brother Willie has been writing choo-choo train stories for 22 months now. The first collection of them publishes today. It’s called “Traindancing: Bedtime stories for your inner child from The … Continue reading
Nov. 2, 2017, 2:20 p.m.

#ThriversEd: Because anyone can be a Dutch Uncle, people are kids, too.

I’m with the Jesuits: There is no answer better than another question, and children never tire of well-aimed inquiries.Photo by: Bev SykesThe world we live in is not just underfathered – it’s underchildered, too. Much of what I have to … Continue reading
Oct. 24, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

Deconstructing Madelyn Nguyen: The art we need is the art of of redemption.

The art we need is not violence disguised as valor, not vengeance masked as purity. The art we need is the art of goodness, the art of redemption. Poetry is leadership, but it ought to be leading you someplace you truly … Continue reading
Oct. 23, 2017, 2:45 p.m.

You’re like who? Who’s like you? Who in the world actually agrees with you?

My friend James Pruitt fingered this news photo, source unknown to me, and this is my subsequent crop of the image – cropping to the action that matters to me. You see the Rockwell right away, of course, and the … Continue reading
Oct. 22, 2017, 5:07 p.m.

A match made in the heavens and a love for all the ages: Why Madelyn Nguyen’s always gonna win.

Madelyn Nguyen sat very still for a long time, a finger by her mouth, her eyes aimed nowhere, lost in thought. She said, “It sounds kind of like the neutron stars.” Forty-five months old.A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie story Thursday, October 19, 2017 “Tell … Continue reading
Oct. 20, 2017, 2:04 p.m.

Humanizing the Harvey Weinstein saga, thus to find redemption – and #MyKindOfBenedy – everywhere.

There but for the grace of fortune go you.The headline isn’t even a challenge: I did it Saturday. I left most of the work on Harvey’s desk, but I showed you how the man can still be lovable and human, … Continue reading
Oct. 17, 2017, 5:50 p.m.

Driving the conversation: Here’s to better days for The Movie Mogul.

“Here’s to better days! All aboard!”A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie story Saturday, October 14, 2017 “Here’s to better days.” I said that to The Movie Mogul. It seemed like the thing to do. He was shocked, to say the truth. It … Continue reading
Oct. 14, 2017, 4:57 p.m.

Las Vegas redeems who? Meet Pastor Trey Coyle, televangelism’s only nerd bible-thumper.

Flip around the TV dial. Early morning, Sunday morning, your local religious-broadcasting affiliate, cable channels. Try to find another nerd televangelist. There are nerd Baptists and nerd Catholics, sitting behind desks and reading from books. But a nerd bible-thumper is … Continue reading
Oct. 11, 2017, 3:04 p.m.

A Las Vegas redemption? See it when TV’s Pastor Trey Coyle takes on Sarno’s Ghost – at Caesars Palace!

“Is there anything else people can do at casinos – besides, you know, winning?”I was working on a farce set in Las Vegas when the town got shot up. It’s a Willie story, a #MyKindOfBenedy called “Las Vegas Redemption: Pastor Trey … Continue reading
Oct. 9, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

The practical ontology of mourning undead poets: Which Tom Petty song sings loudest from you?

“Don’t let it kill you, baby.Don’t let it get to you.Don’t let it kill you, baby.Don’t let it get to you.I’ll be your bleedin’ heart.I’ll be your cryin’ fool.Don’t let this go too far.Don’t let it get to you…”Photo by: … Continue reading
Oct. 4, 2017, 4:59 p.m.

#LasVegasShooting: Looking for the backstory behind the Massacre at Mandalay Bay.

So here’s a theory of the crime for Sunday night’s Massacre at Mandalay Bay. No, that’s over-stating things. What I have is less a theory than a backstory, a way of explaining how this could have happened. This is all … Continue reading
Oct. 3, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

This is Vegas: Working up the courage to take in the most gawk-worthy spectacle on earth.

I bought my wife a gift, that’s what happened. Huge, momentous story, right? This is the Willie world: I don’t go to your church. If you want twelve dead bodies a page, with the bad guys flossing their teeth with … Continue reading
Oct. 2, 2017, 1:05 p.m.

Who really put the paradise in Las Vegas? Don’t ask…

CityCenter is the perfection of Paradise, and the Aria is the perfection of perfection, everything that any casino hotel resort could be if it were conceived by a genius and built to his exacting demands — price no object.Extracted from … Continue reading
Oct. 1, 2017, 2:04 p.m.

Liar’s Poker: You can’t win in Vegas – or anywhere – until you know what you’re playing for.

“You want to win. I could be more circumspect, but I’m trying to be respectful of your time. You want the win, and this is how Poker tournaments get decided at the end, by chop. If you insist we go … Continue reading
Sept. 28, 2017, 2:35 p.m.

Surfing The Deuce with Sarno’s Ghost.

Want to hear some juicy Vegas gossip? The Grace on the left had a boob-job.Extracted from the Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie book Losing Slowly, available at I have great ideas. You have money. We should trade. A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie … Continue reading
Sept. 26, 2017, 2:52 p.m.

RIP #NFL. Meanwhile, on @Netflix: See fathers validating daughters in a #MyKindOfBenedy double-feature.

If Sheldon Cooper and Holden Caulfield ever fought over a girl, Carrie Pilby would be the prize.Q: Why should an NFL team hire Colin Kaepernick? A: Because he hasn’t alienated all the fans yet. Q: Why would NFL players go … Continue reading
Sept. 24, 2017, 3:49 p.m.

The Desperation Waltz.

“Life isn’t about what you can’t know and can’t do. It’s about what you can know and can do. I couldn’t know my children would be taken from me so young, both at once, but I knew they’d die someday. … Continue reading
Sept. 23, 2017, 1:07 p.m.