Tag Archives: Essays

His Fourth Death (Accompanied by a Little Blue Guitar)

February 19, 2013

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It was his fourth fourth death. Not that he was counting. But he thought about it later. ‘Keep yourself in the room,’ some oracle of wise practice — was it the Zen Hospice Project? — had said. How did you do that?

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Second thoughts on a second term

January 19, 2013

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So, I am headed to D.C. tomorrow to witness for the second time the swearing in of a man I am still very glad is our president. A slideshow of his first inauguration on the occasion of Obama’s second.

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The Last Man in the Woods

January 1, 2013

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I think if I did not have the woods to get off to I might be a madman. I know that sounds an exaggeration. But there comes a time when nothing else will do and if nothing else would do, could I do without?

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Announcing National ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’

October 31, 2012

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Writers need deadlines. Writers need motivation. Writers need a sharp kick in the keister to get up from the sofa where you’ve been hypnotized by a “Big Bang Theory” marathon. Hence, the need for ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’ Join today.

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The Personal and Political Politics of Taking a Facebook Fast

August 26, 2012

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Friends, frenemies, followers: What happens when you announce you are taking a Facebook Fast? A lively exchange on the politics, both personal and national, of turning off Facebook for awhile.

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Thinking About the Future While Pondering the Past

August 18, 2012

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Yet another article on the Next New Thing in Web Publishing sends me fleeing a century into the past, in search of some verities on a southern Italian hillside.

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In the Hills of Joseph, Part 5: Notes from the Empty Quarter

July 20, 2012

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Leaving the Oregonian Rivendell of the Fishtrap writers workshop experience, a vast wasteland presents itself, full of cattle drives out of the 19th century, bearded wanderers on bicycle and the dry tang of the Empty Quarter.

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In the Hills of Joseph, Part 4: “Passing the Buck”

July 18, 2012

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A session with writer Luis Alberto Urea delivers live-action magic realism as deer be chillin’ on the Fishtrap lawn and the chortling stream invites you to sit down and write in Joseph, Oregon.

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In the Hills of Joseph, Part 1: The Windswept Soul

July 15, 2012

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So, since my friends will ask, and family, too, what was it like, I fire up the MacBook Pro and sit down with a one-third glass of dark-red wine and set to put some words upon the screen. | A pictorial essay from the Zumwalt Prairie, Joseph, Oregon.

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Notes on trying to be a confessional writer

April 27, 2012

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I have never counted myself among the cadre of brave or bold writers writers or singer-songwriters when it comes to personal revelation under my own name.

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Monastery Nights: All Is Not Lost, After All

January 17, 2012

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All I want to do is sit in the angled sun that pierces through the trees. I want to write something about today’s lunch at the monastery, which was personal in more ways than one.

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The Future of this Wild Place is Up For Grabs

January 7, 2012

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“The future of this wild place, and indeed of this wild state, is up for grabs. Hope still exists for this bioregion. Not the distant hope of the future, but hope in the moment, hope now …”

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Monastery Nights: Just Breathe It

November 27, 2011

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I hear a harp playing. A lovely harp-tastic chord strummed over and over again. Have I died in the night? Is there indeed an angelic host, a Top 40 Angelic Harp Band, which greets you at the gates of Heaven?

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How Do You Say Goodbye? Part 2

November 8, 2011

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There’s nothing special about this tale of a parent with Alzheimer’s except that, being a writer, I have the chance to write about my mother dying. A thousand other families reading this are going through the same anguished motions.

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You ‘Liked’ me! You really ‘Liked’ me!!

August 17, 2011

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The insidious addictive distraction of always checking your email, updating your status, seeking to be ‘Liked’ and not getting around to your novel.

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How to Get Young Folk to West Virginia? No Foolin’ Around

May 30, 2011

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Attract young people to West Virginia? Sure, says today’s Blogalachia commentary, but what kind? “Get the most hard-core world-changers we can. No one needs self-absorbed “what’s in it for me” types right now …”

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‘Why My Hand Sometimes Shakes’: A Personal Tale

May 13, 2011

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“My tic used to infuriate my old boyfriend. The first time he hurt me was, perhaps not coincidentally, the first time my hand shook this way.”

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Part 2: Surviving the Great West Virginia Flood of 1985

May 11, 2011

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“As we awoke on the morning of November 5, 1985, none of us could imagine the changes that were being wrought upon our world …”

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Surviving the Great West Virginia Flood of 1985

May 10, 2011

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“November 4, 1985, may just be another day to most of you,” writes Matthew Burns, “but it will forever be imprinted in my psyche as the day that defined my life.”

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