Okay, guys. There are so many degrees of spooky. There is silly spooky fun, much of it tasteless. Well, actually this one tasted pretty darn good! So did these guys, but you know what I mean. In the real world, mildly spooky is a vicious ATM that eats your cash card five minutes after landing […]
Monthly Archives: September 2018
The Mistery of Life
One of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been is Switzerland, and not just because of the high altitude.
How can someplace be so wild and rugged…
…and yet so tidy and tame and settled?
You can take an escalator to the top of the mountain…
…and just when you think you’re alone in the most remote place in the world…
…you stumble upon a chalet where you can buy a cup of Ovaltine.
Or you hear cowbells and realize you are not alone after all.
When you’re looking straight up at the sky, where no mountain ought to be–surprise!–you realize it’s just playing peek-a-boo from behind the clouds.
We went for a hike, but the landscape seemed so domestic that we felt we should really call it a stroll.
We stopped to make a friend or two along the way.
And belted out the words to The Sound of Music because…why not?
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Jack Shit: Just Say Yes
Now, more than ever…
When my daughter Bea was a little girl, she found a seed in a seedless Satsuma, and planted it in a tiny pot on our kitchen windowsill. She kept the soil moist and, to our delight, a tiny Satsuma tree sprouted. We nearly lost hope when the little tree was infested with insects, but it hung on. Through the years, we tried everything we could think of to bring it back to health. We washed it with dish soap to get rid of the bugs, and transplanted it to a bigger pot. We tried covering the soil with plastic wrap, to keep the bugs away from the leaves. In desperation, we trimmed it down to almost nothing, but it came back–and so did the bugs. I half hoped it would die, just to be done with it.
Last summer I set it out on the deck, like a fish thrown…
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Through the Looking Glass
Yes, now more than ever…
January has been a busy month for storytelling– dusting off old stories, rehearsing new ones, attending to related business correspondence. Last week I was pressed for time, polishing a story for its public debut, when I heard a little thump. I peeked through the French doors onto the deck. A tiny olive gray creature, scarcely bigger than a hummingbird, lay stunned and shivering where it fell after flying into the glass.
It was a male Golden-crowned Kinglet, with a bright orange and gold crown. They favor coniferous forest; this one was likely nesting in the grove of cedar, hemlock, and Douglas Fir in our backyard. Kinglets are monogamous, and raise two broods each season. As soon as the first nestlings can fly, Mama Bird lays another batch. While she protects the new eggs, Papa feeds up to ten fledglings until they can take care of themselves. Good Daddy!
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Dandelions and Other Foreigners — Writing Between the Lines
A friend said to Hodja Nasruddin, “Look at all these dandelions! I’ve tried pulling them, poisoning them, starving them, digging them out by the root. Nothing works. I am at my wit’s end!” “That’s a shame,” said the Hodja. “They are not a problem for me.” “Really? Please tell me your secret, my friend!” “It […]
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Beam Me Out of the Closet, Scotty!
Okay, true confession. Only a handful of you know my closet is crammed with Star Trek gadgets like my Borg Cube piggy bank, my Star Trek sound effects keychain, and plastic pointed ears. By the age of sixteen I had attended my first Star Trek Convention, and knew every classic Trek episode by name and by heart. When I left for college, Star Trek stayed home. Then life, career, and family caught up with me.
But Star Trek left its mark. As a kid I watched a lot of junk on TV, hardly noticing the difference between good and bad writing. Well, that’s not quite true. I knew all the writing on Gilligan’s Island stank, but watched it anyway. I was fourteen when I noticed that the Star Trek reruns I was watching ran the gamut in quality. Most were fine, some shone brilliantly and others fell flat. I began…
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