I wrote this poem after visiting a photo exhibit at Mexic-Arte Museum in downtown Austin. Maria from Monterey It’s not terribly far, as a bird flies, from Monterey to Laredo Young Maria’s journey was wingless She moved at night, her thirst unsatisfied Coyotes and owls shared their star-lit canyons When she slept she had bad […]

Noise Makers (Two for One, Today Only) The Circus is no longer kid-friendly What’s all this clankity clank? Who dares to rattle the cage? Why are all the clowns on stage? We can’t see the lion eat his tamer Downward we spiral into the Dungeons of Deceit Unfree people in patriots purgatory Shall we cry […]

We were in the second row Tuesday night for “Julius Caesar” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. The play, directed by Shana Cooper, is both timely and powerful. This modern production is also highly inventive. The ancient tale is set in contemporary times, with urban decay on full display—the walls are literally decomposing as the […]

President Obama’s speech in Selma, Alabama on Saturday—commemorating the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”—was a major moment in his presidency, and a reminder to all how far we have come as a nation in 50 years. The context and setting of the speech helped to amplify the power of the President’s words, which ring poetic […]

“Information without context strikes the mind but peters out before the heart.” -Sarah Smarsh Creative nonfiction is a form I find myself increasingly drawn to. In the hands of a great essayist, we see a real writer struggle with real life. Sarah Smarsh, for instance. She is a Kansas-born journalist, public speaker and educator, and […]

“What do you do?” It’s the age-old question that is always lurking, waiting to be asked at the next industry conference, cocktail party, and/or random encounter on an airplane. In one way, the question is innocent and a genuine attempt to understand more about you. On the other hand, it’s a moment of truth where […]

“People love to talk. They love to slander you if you have any substance.” -Mattie Ross Mike Kline, my friend since freshman year at F&M, was in Portland with his family last August. Over Italian food and later over coffee at Albina Press, we spoke of President Obama’s performance in the White House, Portland’s strange […]

Jerry Garcia was born 72 years ago this week. Garcia brought millions of people together—people who are now married, or best friends or co-workers, and he introduced even more people to a life of beauty and music. In order to “Keep on Shinin’,” (as Jerry would have us do) let’s take a few moments to […]

America needs more poets and more lovers of poetry. I am prepared to do my part as a citizen, and as a writer and reader of verse. Post by Oregon Poet Laureate.   The clever display of the poem fragment above is from Paulann Petersen, Oregon’s Poet Laureate. Interestingly, in this Art Beat Oregon segment […]

Last year I began to actively seek out new places to publish my writing. As someone who has invested heavily in the development of my own sites, I felt it was important to break out of any traps of my own making. To this end, here are three new pieces of writing (not published on […]

Digital disrupts all in its wake. Even our language is not safe. Consider the word “content.” It’s a word I have adopted to clarify my professional specialty. In April 2006, I was promoted from senior copywriter to content director at BFG Communications in Hilton Head. I was head of my own department, the content department, […]

Chris Brogan has unleashed a meme, or narrative construct, that helps sum up what you want to work on, change or improve in the coming year. My friend, Dian Crawford, is participating in #mythreewords. Her three words are “Velocity, Simplicity and Laughter.” I had to consider my three words for a bit, but eventually landed […]

It took me eight years, but I finally did purchase and read every word of Phil Lesh’s autobiography, Searching for the Sound. I am glad I did, as Phil offers us his humanity and his immense mind with this telling. It’s also the only first person account of the formation of Grateful Dead by a […]

In Spring of 1977, The Paris Review, published an interview with Kurt Vonnegut. The interview is a composite of four question and answer sessions with the writer, and edited by Vonnegut himself. Therefore, what he has to say in this “interview” is not as off-the-cuff as it might seem. Rather, it’s intentional, as most text-based […]

Ray Bradbury is spectacular. His mind is immense and his advice for other writers is both generous and magnificent. In 2001, Bradbury spoke at the Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University. He was 80 years old at the time. Today is he 91. During this talk, he says, […]

“Instrumental in traveling is the participation in it, the belief in progress, the witnessing of passage.” – Dave Eggers Dave Eggers’ first novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity, is a travel journal with a lot of internal gyrations, a.k.a. dialogue from the narrator, whose mind “hovers and churns.” I just finished reading the 400-page book […]

Digital Book World is running an interview with Seth Godin, author of several best selling business books, including Unleashing the Ideavirus, The Bootstrapper’s Bible, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, Poke the Box, and more. Here’s a slice of the interview, where Godin advises writers to walk way from their financial expectations. Q. Many authors […]

For a Gentile, Scott Carrier knows a lot about Mormons, having lived most of his 50-plus years in Salt Lake City. Carrier’s new book is titled Prisoner of Zion, which interestingly is something he’s perfectly willing (and happy) to be. The place does have a magnetic pull, no question about it. His book of stories […]