Kevin

It was a sunny day in the year 2000 when I drove down to the Federal Detention Center at Seatac to pick up my old friend Kevin. He was getting out of prison, where he had been for helping friends water pot plants. No weapons, acts of violence, or priors of any kind had been involved. There were just an awful lot of tiny little root systems in the baby beds plus a nice collection of mature plants that added up to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. He was 40 years old when he was arrested on January 13, 1992. Read more about Kevin

Selling Yourself

I can't say I've followed Debra Winger's career very closely - I didn't even know she was an anti-fracking activist - but watching her Up Late with Alec Baldwin on MSNBC the other night, I bonded. I loved the moment when she realized she had left a green hair tie on her wrist. I empathized with her incoherent babbling - I could certainly top her at that. But she really got me when she, quite coherently, said that she only wanted to work with people who wanted to work with her. She had stopped trying to sell herself.

You've gotta sell yourself. Read more about Selling Yourself

Hangin' Up Those Dancin' Shoes.

I was always a dancer. No, not that kind of dancer. Not up on my toes. Not floating through the air. Not even high-kicking it back in the chorus line. I was a Dead dancer. You may have seen the bumper sticker here and there: "Work like you don't need the money, Dance like nobody's watching, Love like you've never been hurt." That second one - that's what I loved about Dead shows. Everybody danced like nobody was watching. So did I. Read more about Hangin' Up Those Dancin' Shoes.

The Rainy Season

It's raining this morning. I'm glad.

I'm glad because yesterday was the autumnal equinox and, although the real rains aren't scheduled to return until October 30th, this one will do until the real thing comes along.

Maybe it's because I've lived in Seattle so long that I've gone native, but I think it's deeper than that. I came out here from Wisconsin, where we had winter. I loved winter, but here I've had to settle for the long dark and the rains. I've grown to love them too. Read more about The Rainy Season

The Good Old Days

A favorite history professor of mine once opened a class asking if any of us wished we lived in another century, a more romantic century perhaps, before steam engines and interstate highways, when the world was fresh and green. He, himself, he told us, had no such wishes. Read more about The Good Old Days

Writing Ghosts

The picture on the book cover at the upper right was taken in 2005, on a tiny cross-country road in England, not far from Bodiam Castle. I was taking a shortcut off the main road from Hastings, had just driven through a village the size of a postage stamp, past a thatched cottage with a Thomas Kincaid flower garden, and came to a halt here, right in the middle of the road.

"I'm in Hobbiton," I thought. "Down the rabbit hole and through the wardrobe. The England of my imagination still exists. And here it is!" If you want to know where stories come from, visit the land that imagined them. Read more about Writing Ghosts

Heroes

A long time ago, I took a summer course in something, I don't remember what, but it sounded interesting at the time. On the very first day, the professor started a discussion about heroes. Who were our heroes? And why? Read more about Heroes