Week 32: Giss

In Malcolm Gladwell's enjoyable read, Blink, he builds a case for how to "thin-slice" situations. By honing our abilities to focus on small, but important, things, we can make quick and correct judgments. We have words to describe this particular gift of reading deeply into the narrowest slivers of experience. Basketball players have "court sense". … Continue reading Week 32: Giss

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Week 31: Keep On

I don't have much to say. I'm starting a new job. I'm managing the homeschooling of our four daughters. I'm trying to be strong for a husband frustrated with his life in the world. His little brother committed suicide a few days ago. We are all stunned. It can't be true. Where did Lil' John … Continue reading Week 31: Keep On

Week 30: Things I Know

Today, I found a crumpled piece of paper at the bottom of my briefcase. This is what it said. Things I know: * I am a writer * I am a reader * I have committed publicly to complete a novel * I love sports * I teach because it pays Things I don't know: … Continue reading Week 30: Things I Know

Week 29: An Alphabet of Grace

Martyrdom is out of style today -- at least in relationships. Sacrifice is often spun as dysfunction and accepting abuse. The key to sacrifice is having a self to lay down. Without possession of a self, sacrifice becomes oppression. Think of Lord Farquad in Shrek saying: Some of you may die, but it's a sacrifice … Continue reading Week 29: An Alphabet of Grace

Week 28: A Pipe Smoke

We don't have a single "clean freak" in the family. Some of us have always had a high tolerance for "messy"; some of us have learned over time that "messy" isn't worth stressing about. That would be me. I grew up with my mother and life with Shirley is a very clean life. She cleans … Continue reading Week 28: A Pipe Smoke

Week 27: A Few Forces Below

Over the years, I found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. A simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write. Norman Mailer.

Week 26: Sacred Rituals

Last week, Paul baptized the girls in the Deschutes River. Friends and family witnessed the sacred proclamations made by our daughters. Rituals, when done right, help us tap into our imaginations. They help our minds and hearts to leap beyond our abilities. Sacred bonds and sacred vows invite the supernatural to enliven our lives with … Continue reading Week 26: Sacred Rituals

Week 25: Sacred Idleness

Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness - the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected. George MacDonald. This week we gained access to a third car which freed my schedule up considerably. Elsa, with her sisters in tow, can now follow her busy schedule … Continue reading Week 25: Sacred Idleness

Week 24: More on One-Liners for Life

A few weeks ago, I said I would publish my one-liner for life. A one-liner for a novel is a quick summary. So many people ask, "What is your novel about?" It's important to answer that question in a sentence. For instance, The sole son of one feuding Verona family falls in love with the … Continue reading Week 24: More on One-Liners for Life

Week 23: Forever is Composed of Nows

A few days ago, Dagne watched a duckling hatch. All night it labored to emerge from the egg, worrying at a small hole it made near the fat end. According to Dagne, he burst out on the world as a wet, floppy mess, much like we all do. By the time I arrived home and … Continue reading Week 23: Forever is Composed of Nows