The Instruction Writer’s Problem

(Silverdale, Washington; August 8, 2020) – We trust instructions to carry us through a project in a logical, step-by-step fashion, eschewing any use of magic. I don’t know about you, but my parents sent me to conventional schools for muggles, not academies for young wizards. Finding this trust misplaced is another universal human experience. Quite … Continue reading The Instruction Writer’s Problem

The Writer’s Craft – The Journey of a Million Words

(Silverdale, Washington; August 6, 2020) – My oldest nephew wrote me in January to ask how I write so easily. He’s 15, and is trying to write the first in a series of adventures stories. He wanted to know how I come up with my stories, such as Proud Lion, the first of the “Accidental … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – The Journey of a Million Words

Sometimes You Have to Risk

That was said to me by one of the wisest young women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The year was 1997. I was in Tallahassee, Florida, barely making ends meet after a series of economic downturns and bad policies kept killing every job I held. I got downsized on average every nine … Continue reading Sometimes You Have to Risk

The Writer’s Craft – A Real Character

(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 6, 2019) – There is a moment in the Disney version of Pinocchio in which the titular character characters declares, “I’m a real boy!” The moment marks his transformation from being an enchanted wooden puppet to a flesh-and-blood human being. The whole story of Pinocchio is, effectively, of an inanimate object being … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – A Real Character

Mental Health: Into the Volcano

(Silverdale, Washington; Jun. 23, 2019) – I debated for a long time whether this column should go under “Travel” or “Mental Health,” but the mental health analogy won out. However, that does not alter the fact that, last Saturday (June 15) I accidentally hiked right into an active volcano’s crater. I know, I know—you’re wondering … Continue reading Mental Health: Into the Volcano

Mental Health: Where I Have Been

(Silverdale, Washington; Jun. 9, 2019) – I’m back. I was able to finish the Grand Tour properly and a bit early (all 50 states, and a bit of Canada, from Nov. 2017 – Oct. 2018). But I had to lop off a lot of stops in order to see all 50 and get home in … Continue reading Mental Health: Where I Have Been

Travel Log: The Loneliest Place on Earth

(Port Ludlow, Washington; Sept. 4, 2018) - I know what it's like to feel alone—the kind of alone that crushes the spirit, forces the mind into a numbing panic, and sucks the oxygen from the soul. I am one of those people who sometimes suffers a horrible feeling of being alone even when I'm in … Continue reading Travel Log: The Loneliest Place on Earth

Travel Log: Meeting Adam

(Port Ludlow, Washington. Sept. 4, 2018) – A confluence of events and problems ranging from a very ambitious travel schedule between Montana and Washington State, and the loss of Internet connectivity temporarily in Washington, has put me behind in my columns. But I’m back! Meeting colorful and incredible characters is one of my favorite experiences … Continue reading Travel Log: Meeting Adam

Travel Log: A Plainly Great Education

(Miles Creek, Montana; Aug. 18, 2018) – Montana is on fire. Glacier National Park is burning, so Montana joins California, Idaho, and Canada in the wildfire club of 2018. These fires are sending a nasty haze all the way east to Minnesota (where I was yesterday). Today I did get some clear skies early on, … Continue reading Travel Log: A Plainly Great Education