Bumbastories’ Semi-Monthly Weekend Magazine

Bumbastories’ Semi-Monthly Weekend Magazine presents its Annual Special Edition

Table of Contents

The Compulsion to Write : a psychological analysis (from the back of the bus)

Another Essay About the Compulsion to Write (but written this time from the train)

Another Essay about the Compulsion to Write (Yikes! It really is a compulsion)

An original song by Bumba about the great American city of New Orleans

A Scoop from roving reporter George Packard

A Book Review: a Science book (Oh no, not again!)

Another song (Oh no, not again!) **************************** THE


As I sat on the #20 Wilshire bus I felt the urge to write. Well, not exactly an urge. It’s more like a reflex. The bus image does that to me. Don’t worry, I didn’t make a mess. Ah, but how to explain my life-long fascination, nay, the emotional bond I share with buses and other forms of mass transportation? Any explanation would surely involve a long-winded “train of thought” as well as a pointless exploration of unconscious commuter lines, so let’s just forget about it. What was I saying? Yes… As I sat on the bus I wrote. I scribbled. I put stuff on the paper. Like most writers, I was confident that if I could only keep on writing, eventually something of some value would emerge. “Just keep writing,” I told myself. (This unfounded and irrational belief in the inevitable appearance of the the Muse is the writer’s version of the “gambler’s fallacy”). All the same, just the physical act of taking pen to paper, the act of forming letters on a page, composing words and thoughts (even playing on a computer screen if you like) is somehow calming, reassuring, and comforting. However, it’s definitely a compulsion. I looked up and noticed for the first time that there were other passengers on the bus. I looked out at the window. We were moving on a river of cars, and trucks, other buses. Wilshire Blvd was alive in its way. But while I was writing I hadn’t given any notice to Wilshire Bl. – or anything else. I had blocked everything out except for the paper and the pencil, and my writing, this scribbling, this reflecting on my own thoughts, this somewhat elevated form of monkey chatter. Writing is a compulsion for some (for most of us, if you’re still reading): writing serves to remove us from the world, from reality. It keeps us “busy”. My elderly cousin calls gambling “her therapist”. Everybody has their “therapist”. Maybe I’ll write something about that…….. ***********************************


Here’s a song to the City of New Orleans, so fabled in song. What need, you ask, is there for yet another New Orleans song? None I can think of off hand. Anyhow I’m still working on this song about New Orleans, and it’s almost complete. It has that weird throw-in of a slow minor chord section, and I wonder if that works. Anyhoo.

Well, I never been to New Orleans They tell me it’s the land of dreams Gonna get down to New Orleans someday I’m gonna come in on that Mississippi Queen Prettiest darn boat you ain’t never did see Gonna come into New Orleans in the morning Oh, the rains came falling down Oh, the rains came falling down And then the levee didn’t hold On that awful day Still I’m goin on back to New Orleans Gonna walk down Basin St Gonna hear that music, gonna shuffle my feet, When I get down to New Orleans th****************************************************************************************************


George Packard, roving reporter for Bumbastories Magazine, roved the streets of Los Angeles  looking for a scoop, a Breaking News story. George was hungry. Hungry for a scoop…….. “Oh, oh. I can see this comin’. George Packard, lazy slug that he is, is going to ride to the beach looking for a scoop. We’ll ride all around innocent little streets and alleys, metaphorically speaking, anyway, etc. etc…. And at the end of the report you show some photo like this one” images-5 It was nothing at all like that. Please, crazy voice in my head, please let me continue. “Do you promise that George Packard’s journalistic scoop is not going to be some ice cream cone?” Of course. I promise. It was …. “And it’s not going to be soft-serve ice cream either? imagesDefiniely not! It was Carvel! “I tell ya Bumba, that takes the cake!” Actually all I had was a cone. Chocolate. But they do make ice cream cakes of course. Carvels is famous for their cakes. But, like I said, all I had was a cone. Carvel’s, which used to be a great and noble New York institution, has a store in LA. Hey, the ice cream is still great! ***************************************

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret of the Universe, Revelations in Science by Isaac Asimov images-3  Another fine, fine collection of essays by the incredible Asimov. The Secret of Life, perhaps a trifle presumptuous of a book title, is simply the title of one of the essays in this charming little volume, It’s a particularly interesting essay that opens, like most the others, with a light, personal anecdote and then coyly proceeds to explicate some complicated matter (or non-matter in this case) of physics. All the essays have Asimov’s personal stamp: a dry sense of humor and a deep and sincere desire to share his knowledge with others. All the essays are written with ease and masterful grace. In this collection, written in 1990, Asimov covers the Solar System, the Outer Universe, and concludes with several pieces on nuclear fusion, chemistry, and human evolution. The breadth of the man’s knowledge continues to amaze. Naturally, Asimov is most expert in the physical sciences, but his erudition extends into mythology, religion, politics, and nearly everything else under the sun (which would bring us back to astronomy I suppose). Best known for his science fiction, Asimov also wrote hundreds of science books. What a prodigious author! He wrote about 500 books! Truly a masterful writer, he had the essay down pat. To conclude: if you like science, and/or you wished you knew a bit more about science, especially astronomy, and/or you just like being entertained by clear and lucid prose, then give this book a try. *************************************


A song to conclude this week’s semi-annual Bumbastories Weekend Magazine. It’s This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, performed by yours truly last week, and you better sing along.

Have a good week!

6 thoughts on “Bumbastories’ Semi-Monthly Weekend Magazine

    1. Yikes! By the way, I hope you are not offended by my choice of the name Chester Knowles for my One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles books. I only met you now and I wrote the book twenty years ago. I must admit Knowles, as well as Chester, are names that clicked for me right away. 😀

      1. If Beyonce isn’t offended then neither am I. My husband, Tim Knowles, is an author, too. And Image seen Knowles, as well as Harvey (my maiden name), countless times in novels. Both as sympathetic characters and as evil ones. You’ll have to guess which one I am.

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