Off-Duty Angel: A Few Thoughts on Easter

I heard this somewhere. It stuck. I think about it often, especially at Easter. I think it's true.The story goes like so... … [Read more...]

How to Get “Let It Go” Out of Your Head: The Hadestown Cure

Symptoms of a devastating epidemic struck my coworker Julia yesterday. She slumped forward on her desk, pressed her hands against her ears, and groaned, “Oh, it’s still in my head. It’s been there for days. It just keeps going and going and it won’t stop.”This mysterious and severe affliction has swept across America and around the world. Parents are the population that suffers most. … [Read more...]

Looking Elsewhere: MFA Adventures, April Foolishness, and More

From April Fool's antics to coming attractions, this installment of "Looking Elsewhere" is loaded with goodness.Please forgive the slow-down in posts lately: I have just returned from ten days on Whidbey Island. It wasn't a vacation. It was the third of five residencies that are the main events of my adventure in Seattle Pacific University's MFA in Creative Writing program. Ten days of reading, writing, and relationships filled me with inspiration for new writing endeavors. The busy schedule … [Read more...]

Smelly Soapbox

I used some hand soap today that smelled powerfully of fresh watermelon.And I got to thinking about what a simple trick it plays on the mind: "I'm smelling something that makes me think of sweet fresh fruit, so this soap must have made my hands very clean and thoroughly sanitized!" … [Read more...]

Song of the Sea (2014): A Conversation With Animator and Author Ken Priebe

Your next favorite animated movie and one of 2014's most glorious motion pictures — Song of the Sea — is now available on Amazon Instant, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes, and Google Play. It's also out now on blu-ray and DVD.In 2010, The Secret of Kells arrived like the first animated movie from heaven itself.  It was so different — so unique in its style, in its storytelling, even in its voice work — that I did not immediately appreciate its greatness. But over the next two years, I watched it again a … [Read more...]

3 Jeffs & the Truth: Foxcatcher

In Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, on an overcast but warm March morning, three Jeffs sat down at Miro Tea to discuss and debate the first of three recent films they had seen, and to sip their favorite special brews — a Hibiscus Mint Julep, a Fireside Hot Chocolate, and a Hemingway. … [Read more...]

Taylor Swift, Nirvana, Andrew Peterson, and Bob Dylan All Appear in This Headline

Imagine that your favorite band tries on a new sound, or a new look.Imagine that fans are not happy, and they complain about it.Imagine that the band decides to push back... in song.It's happened before. It's happened quite frequently, actually. Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan, The Decemberists, and U2 have all answered their fans and critics in song.  … [Read more...]

Are Christians “David”? Is Hollywood “Goliath”?

In today's episode of Sadly, This is Not a Satire... Check out this website promoting David and Goliath, a movie that hopes to attract audiences by condemning "Hollywood" as the Enemy of God. Note, I put "Hollywood" in quotes. Because... who exactly is this looming, powerful giant? I'm not going to post the David and Goliath trailer here: I want you to see the movie's web page and trailer with your own two eyes... … [Read more...]

An Hour of Wisdom and Storytelling with Joe Henry

Joe Henry, who recorded my favorite record of 2014 (Invisible Hour), was the guest on the latest installment of the excellent podcast On Being, with Krista Tippett.He shared a lot of wisdom about the art of songwriting and about the life of an artist. I was frequently moved and inspired, wishing I could reach for a pen (I was driving as I listened).In a late stretch of the show, he spoke about how easy it is to feel small and invisible as an artist. He said, "I'm ashamed to think, in my e … [Read more...]

Soundtrack for a Day Job: Great Songs About Hard Times

Songs about this day-job, bill-paying struggle are a dime a dozen — or, rather about $16.99 a dozen in this economy. … [Read more...]