Retreating with Nabby

Nabs, in her favorite spot. In 2010, we took our first trip into the Boundary Waters with kids in tow. Two years prior, we ventured in for our honeymoon, and resolved to somehow figure a way to get all the kids into the wilderness with us. Spoiler Alert: Careful readers will note that the Annual... Continue Reading →

An old friend new

I love Annie Dillard. Non-Fiction, anyway. I can't speak to her fiction. But her NF is brilliant.It's interesting to me how I can forget things so easily. I was in the middle of An American Childhood when it had to go back to the library many months ago, and I never did get it back. Plum... Continue Reading →

Retreat… complete

It’s day five of my five-day writing retreat, and I am winding down my time here in this Northwoods cottage with some of my writer buds. Two hours and counting, if you should want to keep track. The place we have this year is great. Spacious, warm, clean, and cozy. I don't have a lot... Continue Reading →


I have long been a devotee of J.I. Rodale’s Synonym Finder, the Colossus of the thesaurus world, a reference mutant juiced up on creative steroids. Rodale, known more for his organic living evangelism, was apparently also a lover of words and the palaces that are built on them, and for that we should all be... Continue Reading →

Christmas Letter

In an effort to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well in the dregs of February, I have saved the posting of this year's letter until now. I'm certain you can see the wisdom of this approach. It can be read here if you're in need of a late winter's pick-me-up. Chagrined, KJ

Understanding me

It was one of those few and far-between epiphanies. The forehead-to-palm moments. In Quiet, Susan Cain was pontificating on the need for solitude in concentration and creation. The basic need for peace and quiet when embarking upon any creative  - or deep thinking - process. She wasn't writing about writing, per se, but she did quote a... Continue Reading →


That retreat, that last post about the seedlings needing tending, they both ushered in something I've never previously managed. Something I've never really even tried. Not for fear. Well, maybe a little for fear. But mostly because I have some very specific priorities, and while writing ranks pretty high on the list, it does not... Continue Reading →

Mission Accomplished

And the starvation was effective. Somehow, by some miracle of January, I was able to break hard, frozen ground at my retreat, and push forward into a new project. There was a seed before, but the thing just would not develop. Compost is faithful, however, in heating things up. The manure of starvation and the fertile... Continue Reading →

Startings over

I'm cold. I've been cold all day. Give me one day of decent temperatures out there and the return me to single digits and I have completely softened. It's been snowing for a few days and once again the lines are soft and clean. The bird seed and rabbit leavings have another fresh slate on... Continue Reading →

Writers’ Postbox: Episode 9

Book Review: The Canon I wrote a quick review of my latest read, but I wanted to expand a little more about the actual writing of the book for this week's Postbox. Here is the original review, from Goodreads: The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier My rating:... Continue Reading →

Writers’ Postbox: Episode 8

It's NaNoWriMo? Are you writing yet? For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, or NOVEMBER. Millions of people join together in the common goal of completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Sounds impossible? Not so, my friend.  Some years ago, friends talked me into giving NaNo a whack. I mostly did... Continue Reading →


It has been said that tough things, painful things, are grist for the writing mill. Recently, friend of mine threw that one out there second-hand—the roll of her eyes and snort of derision reaching through the email screen. She offered it up to a mutual writing buddy, in case they might draw any more comfort... Continue Reading →


Language. It is intrinsically valuable and, used correctly, purely beautiful. Words have the power to break and the power to heal. My tongue, as James says, ... is a fire... [it] sets on fire the course of history. ~ James 3:6-10 How much more powerful is the written word? Easier to tame, yes, but just... Continue Reading →

Write Every Day… Maybe.

Butt in chair, fingers tickling keyboard. That's the prescription, right? It is fairly imperative, if you desire to be a writer, to write, but I read an article recently that made me question the mantra and its power in my life. Since my own writing has been hovering somewhere between squeamish and nonexistent, I though... Continue Reading →

First Article Submission

I just hit send, submitting my first opinion article to a local magazine.  And I'm only sweating a tiny little bit.  Who knows if it will ever see print, but I am pretty excited to have even tried, so I'll take that as a win. Thanks to you, dear blog readers, for your likes and... Continue Reading →

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