into the woods

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Sometimes, it’s essential to get away.

For my second retreat at Pointers Ridge,

I again bunked in the Writer’s Cabin.

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Though I had planned to write fiction,

I ended up writing an essay.

Not here …


but here …


…  because I craved space for the unexpected.

The gift, this time, was not inspiration …

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but clarity.


I was welcomed.



I was without time.


I wrote late into the night,


but drank the sunrise as well.


Things didn’t go as planned. I drove to town for

emergency car repairs and <sigh> for work.

I was occasionally lazy. I took naps.

I made a mess.


But in the mornings, the river kept pushing

the fog to the sky in smoky columns, which makes

more sense than some things in the world.


Great writers have penned inspirations about

solitude and nature and time. I brought none

of those writers with me.


Instead, I taped the words of

Hunter S. Thompson

above my laptop as I wrote:

“Buy the ticket. Take the ride.”





when in doubt, hire a muse



I woke up today in a ridiculously chipper mood, but not wanting to work, like … ever again. Maybe the long winter is making me punchy, but I really just felt compelled to take the rest of the year off. Problem is, it’s February. Taking the year off isn’t really an option.

I goofed off for a few minutes (read: hours) and still couldn’t seem to focus. Finally, I had reached my threshold for shame (surprisingly high, I admit) and I decided I had to do something—anything—to force myself to get down to the business of being a writer.

So,  I hired a muse.

Here she is:


Cute, yes?

And now, writing seems so much more … colorful.



Also the muse has little pokey spikes sticking out of her, which I find just menacing enough to force my right-brain into compliance. At my house, we call this her cactus suit.

Some days we all need a cactus suit. For protection. For motivation.

I am happy to report that things are moving along much more responsibly now. I highly recommend every creative type hire a muse. Particularly one who can give you little puncture wounds whenever you slip off into hapless daydreams …

ouch! … oh, thank you … 

Back to work …



a day in the life

Oliver Jeffers is an amazing artist, and kids everywhere love his video. This is pretty much how writers spend their days. Telling stories, checking things off lists, hunting down lunch. Not a bad way to make a life, yes?

I’m really lucky I get to do what I love for a living. I feel a sort of a sense of responsibility to enjoy that as much as I can.

~Oliver Jeffers

on writing


writing is about seeing, long before it is about writing

seeing is about pausing

pausing, about trusting

trusting, living



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