Take Flight

Outside my front window birds soar and swoop and dive. Not just once or twice a day but again and again and again. Pelicans glide into view in arrow-tight formations. Seagulls burst skyward, wings pumping against the wind. Crows chide and ravens rave as they skim the waves. What drives this constant motion? Dogs, sometimes….

Morning Breaks

I took this photo outside the window of my tiny home (AKA RV) early this morning. I live in a small tree-encircled park within an Ashland neighborhood, just a few blocks from Main Street and the quaint downtown area. Deer outside my window are a common sight. I find it both beautiful and tragic. Beautiful…

My Writing Lair

I love seeing pics of the surroundings in which the writers whose work I love create their works. It’s energizing for some reason. So I thought, hmmm…why not take a snapshot of my own writing space? I did, and the pic you see is the result. When I step back and look at it, my…

Media Blues

Do you ever feel like your mind has become a wasteland filled with countless identical grains of sand? These days, mine often does. I know why: it’s the morning news. Since last November I have let the crazoids featured in the day’s news dominate my mornings. I used to read books. Now I read whatever…

Why Sketching Matters

One of my wonderful writers shared with me something picture book author Candy Fleming told her: to keep in mind that most of what we write will be crap. Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron also remind us to feel free to write the worst garbage in the world, especially first thing every day. What I…

New Year’s Tangent

We wake up this morning to a new year. Will today be just another day? This year just another year? Will we succumb to the humdrum routine of modern life with its whirl of spirit-numbing lights and noise? Or will we live this year fully awake to the wonders around us? I don’t know about…

Cozy Up and Write

The shortest day of the year has come and gone, yet outside my window rain still falls. Whether it’s snow or cold or drizzle, winter has a way of keeping us inside for a season. Why does nature require this fallow time? Why can’t the sun shine and the air blow warm on bare skin…

At Rainbow’s End

If you squint and look closely you’ll see a rainbow arching behind Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge in this photo. It blazed across the sky after one of those December deluges that leaves your pants soaked to the knees–even though you’re carrying an umbrella which has probably turned inside out anyway. Rainbows are like finished stories. You’ve…

Chai and Chi

One of the most interesting parts of working in caf├ęs is the opportunity to overhear conversations. This afternoon, the background “music” for my pot of eggnog chai (total yum!) was a Portlander who was fretting over how badly his “chi” was affecting his ability to grow his business. If he could just get his chi…

Former Chautauquan Wins National Book Award

There’s no news quite as wonderful is learning that one of our writing “peeps” has grabbed the brass ring. Kathryn Erskine, who attended the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua as well as taking part in at least one Founders Workshop at Boyds Mills just won the National Book Award in the children’s category for…