An Amish Vampire

There’s an inside joke among writers that if you want to get a book contract in today’s market you need to write a book about an Amish Vampire. Now I’m wondering if maybe it’s not a joke. Y’all have probably heard this a year ago but I heard it for the first time today. What [Read More…]

The Spiritual Discipline of Reading

I couldn’t tell if he was making a confession or if he was bragging. The man looked up from the computer screen from where he was surfing the net and announced very matter-of-factly, “I manage this bookstore but I don’t read.” Why would you tell that to an author? I try my best to be gracious to [Read More…]

On the spot news coverage

As somebody who spent 10 years as a street reporter I love this clip. But for all the fun it provides, there is a very serious statement in here about the way in which news is handled and distributed these days. Perhaps there is also commentary here about the ways in which our critical thinking skills are [Read More…]

NPR & Fox News:Two Sides of the Same Redneck Family

  Bleech! I never thought I’d be saying this – I agree with Newt Gingrich. Calling NPR’s firing of Juan Williams “total censorship”, Newt suggested that Congress ought to consider cutting off NPR’s money. Juan Williams had been a popular news analyst for public radio. Popular, that is, until NPR decided otherwise and canned his [Read More…]

Q&A with Billy Coffey

  Before he became a novelist, Billy Coffey was a blogger. Before that he was a ballplayer. There are glimpses of Billy in Peter Boyd, the main character in Coffey’s debut novel — Snow Day.  Peter Boyd has a wife, two kids, a mortgage, and a car payment. Fortunately for him he also has a job. But [Read More…]

The Story Swap

I wish one of you would volunteer to come be my personal assistant. If you could only see my office right now. It’s been a busy week and promises to get even more so. I will be speaking at Santiam Christian on Saturday in honor of The Redhead. This is a benefit fundraiser. I am [Read More…]

My Boyfriend is a Rock Star

We enforce the Don’t Ask -Don’t Tell rule around this household. But did I mention yet that Tim is ASB advisor at the high school or that this is Homecoming Week? Tuesday Morning: Tim walks into the bedroom in camo gear. Tim: Do I look like a jungle terrorist? Me: Mmm…no. Terrorists don’t wear camo [Read More…]

Family Feuding

  The casket was sky blue with shiny new chrome. Her house had been painted blue, back when she was well enough to live it in on her own. Oh. There were things she couldn’t do anymore, not like she used to do. She couldn’t keep up with the watering in the summers. The dry land areas [Read More…]

Tribute to a friend

 I never knew Kitty Wells personally. What I know of her I learned mostly through her granddaughter Kathie Bennett, and through visiting with a handful of others folks who could recall her. While there is very little evidence of it in the photo of the lovely, and seemingly demure Miss Kitty hanging in the Calhoun [Read More…]

That Dark Cloud

I have put off writing about this because I know how you people are, you’ll freak out and start worrying. And frankly, I don’t want to worry you; I only want to alert you. I wasn’t going to write it at all but I saw something on a friend’s Facebook post tonight that alarmed me. I call this [Read More…]

Lombardi: Thoughts on Leadership

Standing before the crowd gathered at Kennewick’s First Presbyterian Church, Vince Lombardi Jr. recited the following poem by D. H Groberg: “Quit, give up, you’re beaten” They shout at you and plead “There’s just too much against you This time you can’t succeed”. And as I start to hang my head In front of failures [Read More…]

Jonah: Myth or Fact

I have a question for you. When you read the story of Jonah, how do you read it? Do you read it like you do a factual newspaper article, marveling over how big a fish that had to be and wondering what Jonah did in the belly of that fish for several days?  Or do [Read More…]

She came hoping

She sat on the floor, leaning against the floor-to-ceiling windows of the arena, scooping out an avocado with a plastic spoon and feeding bits of it to her young daughter. I was reading a book, personal space boundaries drawn. It was her daughter who crossed  those boundaries first. The one-year old eased up alongside me [Read More…]

Do you know the God of Dr. William Petit?

A Connecticut jury found Steven Hayes, 47, guilty this week of the 2007 murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. Hayes, a career criminal, was convicted on 16 of the 17 charges against him. He faces the death penalty for his part in the kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murders. [Read More…]

A more open world?

In 1998 when I was working as a reporter in Oregon I wrote a story about the rising trend toward younger, more violent criminal offenders. “We’ve been warned that we are going to be dealing with a whole generation of kids without a conscience,” said Maj. Larry Rowan, the county jailer. ” The basic stuff we were all born [Read More…]