This wisdom courtesy of one of Portland’s many yarnbombers. It made me think of this good long essay that I’ve been musing on by the poet David Biespiel: Follow Your Strengths, Manage Your Weaknesses, And Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up … Keep reading

Sit with the discomfort.

Often during yoga, the teacher will talk about “sighing something away” or “letting something go” when we’re in the midst of a challenging pose. And I have no trouble thinking of something I’d like to not be worrying about. But … Keep reading

My skeletal familiar

I have a new companion in my writing room these days.   This is “Failing Sparrow,” named for the street near where artist Matt Hall found it. (He took the above photo as well; click it to go to his Tumblr.) … Keep reading

Production and consumption

So I’m trying this thing, “Don’t Break The Chain,” which is impossible not to instantly connect to the ominous warnings accompanying the eponymous letters. But this time I really don’t want to break it, because the concept is that every day … Keep reading


Usually I try to give myself a day after retreat to adjust. That wasn’t possible this year. After I got home, I did take a walk and watch a tremendous sunset (see above) that my phone unsurprisingly failed to render … Keep reading

Saying no

A while back I wrote a post called Saying No and Saying Yes, about how hard it is to turn down invitations, whether they’re social or professional. I turned another one down this past week. It made me think again … Keep reading

What you don’t see

In the eleven (!) years since my first book was published, I’ve become more reticent about blogging about my work in progress. Deadlines shift. Publishing dates change. Difficult events erupt and occupy all mental bandwidth. I never want to be in … Keep reading

No empty trips

No empty trips. A casual search suggests that this advice has its origins in the restaurant industry. Save time by consolidating. When you’re bringing the drinks for table two, if you’ve got room on the tray, get the calamari to table … Keep reading


I’m indebted to the artist who put this up in my neighborhood. The gritted teeth, the grim expression — it’s like that, yeah. You want your writing to process, like with Pomp and Circumstance and fancy outfits. But sometimes what … Keep reading


I’ve spent a lot of time lately attempting to form beneficial habits, hence the small flurry of cooking and gym-related posts. And I’ve been realizing that when you do something a lot, the activity, whatever it is, begins to fit … Keep reading