it’s a dirty job

Today I’m posting over at about a simple, but dirty job.

If you haven’t been over to Hip Diggs, I encourage you to come take a look.  If you or someone you know has knowledge about homeownership, real estate, home loans, home improvement, or anything else “homey,” I offer an open invitation to contribute to the blog and the discussion.

Sometimes home ownership is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  Come on over to  Home is the journey.

writing: a road to discovery

photo“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.”
- Robert Frost 

This is something I love about writing.  It’s a journey.  It’s discovery.  Robert Frost’s quote is directed at poetry and I agree 100%.  As you know, I write a lot of poetry.  But I believe that writing in general has this same mysterious quality.

Even as a Master’s student I thought I knew exactly where my thesis on Woody Guthrie would lead, but I really didn’t discover the end until I got there.

Writing is a journey.  Each time we sit down to write we start out on an unexplored trail.  We might follow that trail or we may veer off onto another trail.  But we never know exactly where any trail will lead.

I can write a post about the same topic twice and wind up with completely different perspectives and takeaways.  It’s awesome.  So if you want some true adventure in life, keep writing.  You’ll discover new territory each day.

Have you discovered the adventure of writing?

cascade mountain skyline

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Here’s the fourth song from my book A Train Called Forgiveness.  In this song, the main character, Andy Burden, a.k.a., me, is revisiting his first love.  Andy was the child victim of a cult and was socially inept after his escape, unable to tell his first love how he felt.  It’s a beautiful but sad song with an angry bridge.  Listen!


Recalling the nights ‘neath the bright neon lights

In the city that lies by the sound

Out on the docks with the one that I loved

Together we tore up the town

Now as I roll along, I wonder, where is she now?

Where is she now?

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die with me

Life is beautiful, each breath a gift,

along this path seeking the one

who will not only live by my side,

taking in each wondrous moment,

sharing every dream and bearing

every heartache together,

but will also lay down by my side

and die with me.


To the one who will die with me:

When you are old.

When your eyes begin to fade

and your feet begin to falter.

When your breath becomes labored

and your heart begins to slow.

When the beauty of heaven

surpasses the beauty of this life,

I will lay down and die with you.

the gift of a getaway: when was your last vacation?

2013-09-07 11.38.34When I was a kid we used to go camping each summer.  I remember the place well, Mighty Joe Campground in New Hampshire, like it was yesterday.  I have great memories of camping, hiking, swimming, and sitting by the campfire at night.

In my early adult years, I went for a long stretch without taking many vacations.  But after my daughter Annie was born in 2005, I decided to get back into the habit of taking regular vacations.  Vacations are great for everybody, but especially us writerly type.  Here’s why:

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slowly grow the circle and simply share: the power of maxims

Over the years I’ve come up with a few maxims to guide me through certain areas of my life.  A maxim is a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct.

A few years ago I decided to pay off all my debt.  Although I’ve since found myself back in the American conundrum of owing, I have two maxims that have helped me along the way:

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music to write by

One of my favorite bands in recent history is The Avett Brothers.  They’re a great acoustic-driven band from North Carolina.  They defy genre.  Although this song sounds like traditional folk/country/bluegrass, many of their songs have pop, rock, and punk influences as well.  One of the last times I spent with my dad was when he and Annie and I went to an Avett Brother’s show at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.  Great memories.

I often listen to music for inspiration or when I write.  The Avett Brothers are in my top ten artists to write by.

Do you listen to music when you write?  If so, what would you recommend as music to write by?

writing, why you should trust the process: kari scare

unnamedToday’s post is a guest post by Kari Scare.  Learn more about Kari, her writing, and her blog at the bottom of the post:

Trust the Process

A Successful Process

While teaching developmental writing at a community college years ago, almost every student came into the class full of fear. Most hated writing, having experienced nothing but failure at it.

On the first day of class, I simply said to my students, “Trust the process. If you do, you will become better writers.”

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come on over to

I’m posting over at my other site today.  Today’s post discusses an important aspect of being a homeowner: Buyer beware!

In particular, I’m looking at furnace scams. They are plenty of scammers out there.  Unfortunately, it happened to me.  I don’t want it to happen to you.  To read more about these scams visit

Have a great journey home.

moments of slow surrender

I wrote a title so I now must surrender to the spirit

that blesses my heart with poetry.  Sometimes

we want too much control.  That’s no way to write

a poem.

Poetry, as life, comes in moments of slow surrender.

Let go of your preconceived notions, your expectations

of where the poem should go.  Just write, let it flow.

Let go of your fruitless attempts to control every

aspect of your life.  Just live, here and now.

Surrender to the Power that gave you life,

to the One that dies each day in your place,