Northern Exposure Meets James Herriot – Episode 7

THE HUMILITY OF A SHEPHERD Whoever said animals can’t talk was rather unobservant. Yes, they don’t use words. Instead they use actions that tell you as plainly as any direct-speaking human being that you are really acting like an ass. When that’s coming from a border collie, there’s no question you’ve been told. __________________________________   From the Bible’s presentation of those who watched...

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It Always Comes Down to an Individual

Last night Adrienne and I went walking. It was a running night, but I didn’t feel like running, so we walked. Having seen the movie, Lincoln, the day before, we started our discourse with that. I began to share how awed I was at the complexity of those times. No history book presentation or history teacher had ever brought that home to me. And what I saw of Lincoln that I’d never been privy to before, thanks to Daniel...

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An Uncommon Love Story

I have suggested the notion before that the stories about where novels come from can be at least as interesting as the novels themselves. It was true for Suffer the Little Children and even more so for my latest work, a trilogy entitled Accidents of Birth. This trilogy was spawned through a character that was born from my need and a Mary Oliver poem. I was once again in one of those places we call darkness, where connection seems so tenuous and...

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Northern Exposure Meets James Herriot – Episode 6

LAMB DANCING Our dream of farming at the lake came to a grinding halt in late fall of 1980. Word had it the provincial government had decided to expropriate all the land on the west shore of Pigeon Lake and do so for a song. We had just finished building a workshop and buying all the building materials for the house we planned to build in the spring, but there was no time to mourn. We acted quickly and sold to a realtor for enough money to buy...

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Valentines 2013

To my dear Bert… I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: If I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled bodies of the logs, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were like little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me.   with thanks to Pablo Neruda who was...

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Northern Exposure Meets James Herriot – Episode 5

The Second Big Bang When I moved to the farm, I figured most of our amusement in that isolated community would come from the antics of the livestock, animals being such curious and uninhibited creatures. In the end, I would have to admit that ratio, between animals and people, for both glorious and inane acts, was about fifty-fifty. Our movie theater was fifty-five miles away, the local tavern forty, so the responsibility for entertaining...

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And What of Your Backyard

I have lived in small towns. I have lived in wilderness. I have lived in huge cities. Presently I call a small urban community of little cheek to jowl houses and preoccupied people, home. But whether it is couch grass finding that one wide crack in an endless ribbon of pavement, a total surround of forest, or a small backyard particularly inviting to birds, we are never abandoned by nature nor out of reach of its constant invitation – be here,...

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My Blogs

When I first realized that part of treating self-publishing as a business and myself as a publisher/promoter was that I needed to blog, I thought, No problem. I’ve been writing non-fiction and journalistic articles most of my life. But, and this was a big “but,” what on earth would I write about now. I despise cocktail conversation. I’ve never been chatty. I don’t follow current events or have a circle of friends...

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