Monday, December 8, 2014


…Hey, Monday, how’re you doing?

…Tonight I’m a featured writer/reader at The Hugo House in Capitol Hill.  I have fifteen minutes to read and I hope I don’t screw it up.
I won’t screw it up.
Anyway, I don’t think I will.
I’ll practice a lot today.
It’s mostly about not letting people down, and with that comes a bit of pressure.
Writers are supposed to read.  That’s how they broaden their audiences.  Me, I don’t really like reading.  There was a time when I did, but that was a few years ago.

…I once interviewed a favorite writer of mine named Kim Chinquee and when I asked her the stupid obligatory question, “Why do you write,” she answered, “Why does anyone do anything?” which I thought was a great answer, an answer I find myself thinking about a lot all the time.
Yes, why doesn’t anyone do anything?

…My grandmother in-law, who was really more like my biological grandmother, died on Thanksgiving.  She lived to be almost 99 years old.  (I think I might have mentioned this already.)  The other day I found myself thinking about her, how she was left widowed with three boys to raise during the depression.
So I wrote this for Grandma Faythe:


I didn’t make this up—
Death is all around us,
the husks of lives withered to dust,
one lone black-and-white photo of a widowed bride
with three boys to raise
a reminder of how fickle fate can be,
God or good-on-you, who really knows ?
Ninety-nine years on the planet,
all of those days and months and minutes
collected now in a shiny urn,
ash to be strewn as requested
in a park where the squeal of children lifts skyward
while we sit around tables
recalling the quiet strength of a lioness,
the steely resolve of a woman who bent the world her way
despite catastrophe or folly,
whose name was aptly symbolic,
portending what we would be left with after her passing:
belief without evidence;
confidence, trust and
assurance of brighter days ahead.

…Here are a few things I like to start the week off:

“You give people a lot of knives and forks, they’ve gotta cut something.” Bob Dylan

“Poverty taught me not to worry about money.” Michael Caine

”When we are mindful of every nuance of our natural world, we finally get the picture: that we are only given one dazzling moment of life here on Earth, and we must stand before that reality both humbled and elevated, subject to every law of our universe and grateful for our brief but intrinsic participation with it.” Eustace Conway

“To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world.  If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort.  This is one of the things that discipline and training is about.”  James Clavell

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