Writing, Fighting Fire, and Your Pal, Jerry

Dear Readers: I just read a review about my memoir, Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire, which I quote as it appears: If you are going to read memoirs about fire fighters, here are the two you must start with: Young Men and Fire by Norman McLean and Ahead of the Flaming …

We Were the Young Americans

We get the news of celebrities dying on a steady basis. After all celebrity culture has been around long enough and has grown large enough to sustain a steady stream of faces into the In Memoriam slide show at any given award show in any given field. The curious thing is not all celebrity deaths …

Strangers Who Write Me

Today I got an email from a stranger. No not a spam email trying to sell me timeshares or a phishing email to help some poor Nigerian claim an inheritance, but a person who had read Andrea Mason’s review of my book, Ahead of the Flaming Front in High Country News. She sought out my …

Portrait of an Artist as a Single Dad – Look at the Light!

I awoke. The light streamed slantwise through louvre style blinds across the double bed for one. Groggy and reaching for the iPhone, I knock over the wine glass. It falls and hits the carpet with the thump of a cat paw. At night, I have a glass of wine or a bottle of beer or …

Writer Walking and Gawking

Observation, it has been observed, is a key element in being a writer (just think any artist when I say writer). Indeed some say to live a fulfilling and joyful life a person must be able to live in the moment. It’s hard to escape the moment when you are savoring it no matter what …

Learning to Write and Jack Kent Cooke

I’ve always wanted to be writer. Or more precisely, a storyteller. When my first daughter was born I was in my mid-thirties. I worked as a firefighter/forestry worker still going through the motions of writing stories and poems and getting some published, but realized how inadequate it was. I had bought into the notion that …

Getting Tweaked and Finding your Category

Who me? Not but three days ago I didn’t know how to check Amazon’s rating system and then Social Media Advisor Christy Hovey alerted me that my memoir, Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire was listed at #97 in like books. I was excited as all get out to be in the …

Process and being lost in the desert.

So I’m writing on this new project and I am cranking out pages and words like you wouldn’t believe. I mean this thing has been inside me for thirty years waiting to get out, while I’ve been keeping it tamped down and smoldering like a star with excessive gravity. Scene after scene falls by the …

Writing What I Don't Know

My greatest misconception about being a writer when I was growing up was that writers needed to go out and have experiences. I was captivated by Joseph Conrad having been a sailor, Melville having been a whaler, Twain a miner and riverboat pilot, plus Hemingway, and London to name a few. I went out to …