I got my first royalty check this week. It was for $0.00. The fact that my book hasn’t come out yet probably had something to do with it. Good to know at least that MSU Press’s accounts payable department has my name in their system.


  • Putting shingles on a roof is more physical than doing email
  • I’m not 20 anymore, or 30, or 40, etc.
  • Visualizing that the roof is finished doesn’t actually get it finished
  • You can’t trust the weather service
  • Thank god for good friends
  • There’s nothing you can’t do with teamwork and chocolate chip cookies

My Phantom Opera Background

I have never written much about my opera background. That, of course, is because I don’t have one. The first opera I ever heard from start to finish was Tommy, lying on the couch in the dorm with my head between two speakers as my friend Bobbi told me to do. (Yes, stoned—that was a prerequisite.)

But now Carrie is studying opera and already singing professionally, Emily has resumed music lessons with a tilt toward opera, and I’m hearing it all the time. And enjoying it.

So it gives me great pleasure to invite you all—in particular those of you in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas—to join Emily and me in cheering on Carrie and the rest of the cast at one or more performances of Phantom, the upcoming opera by Maury Yeston (lyrics) and Arthur Kopit (book). Emily and I will be there for the first Saturday performance (August 7) and one or two more. Hope to see you there.

This production of Phantom is based on Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera, but, according to the promotional material, is more operetta-like in style than Lloyd Webber’s. “This version reflects the 1890s period, and seeks to project a French atmosphere to reflect its Parisian setting. Its story offers a deeper exploration of the phantom’s past and his relationship with Gérard Carrière, the head of the Opera House.”

Here’s the information you need to know:

Show dates:

  • August 6th  @ 8pm
  • August 7th  @ 8pm
  • August 8th  @ 2pm
  • August 12th @ 10am
  • August 13th @ 10am & 8pm
  • August 14th @ 8pm
  • August 15th @ 2pm

Location: Village Theater, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton, MI 48187

Rating: all ages

Tickets: $17 / Adults, $13 / Seniors & Youth. Special “$$$ saver” for two 10am performances: “$5 or more” donation

 For more information, call 734 394 5300 #3 or visit