Category Archives: writing life

From the SFWC

This past weekend at the 19th San Francisco Writers Conference, I had an incredibly productive and enriching experience! The conference was respite from the difficult reality of the post storm disaster affecting my family and home. Reconnecting with professional contacts and networking with others in the industry is crucial and I’d let too many other things distract me since the Before Times. I was able to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and add to my network of professionals of the industry. I decided on a new writing project while there, wrote the pitch on Saturday morning and by that night’s Gala and Open Mic, I’d reworked and revised, received feedback from the ever gracious Michael Larsen and Katherine Sands, and been the lucky random person in the room during David Henry Sterry’s Keynote to receive feedback in front of the everyone attending! 

I came empty handed to SWFC#19 without manuscript, proposal notes or a planned pitch to make. As one SFWC tribemate remarked, I entered the conference “shellshocked”  from current circumstances. By Sunday, I understood the validity of that observation. By then, after three days of workshops, discussions, and fellowship, and having written, revised, revised, revised and delivered a poem at Open Mic, I felt more like myself for the first time this year. Writing is my core, it feeds my soul. There’s been a drought. I’m back at the well.

Returning home with only one backpack full of new books to read, I’ve already registered for the 2024 conference. If you’ve never been to the San Francisco Writers Conference – make 2024 the year you attend. Register early, the price goes up numerous times throughout the year. Monday morning, I felt renewed energy and enthusiasm, have regained motivation and focus as I engage with my 2023 writing goals. Now the work begins!

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San Francisco Writers Conference 2023

I last attended the San Francisco Writers Conference in the Before Times. Then, Covid hit and there was no conference for a while. All told, I think its been six or eight years or so since I gathered with my writerly community. I’ll be there for the duration this weekend, taking a much needed break from my family’s disaster recovery while my wife holds the fort with a weekend full of boxing, washing, and trash hauling from our storm impacted house. I hope to run into old and new members of the story telling tribe.

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Our House no longer Home

Go Fund Me

Since December 31st, we’ve been out of our home. We’ll be displaced for 6 – 12 months while repairs and restoration from the water and mold damage the storms caused. Our insurance denied coverage, FEMA came through with a very small amount and we’re looking at the entire inside of the house being scraped to the studs. Please consider a donation, every and any amount makes a difference as we work on our disaster recovery. We’ve lost most everything we had in the house due to the water, damp, and mold. If you can also elevate the reach of our Go Fund Me, that too makes a big difference. Thank you for your help.

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The Northern California winter storms devastated our home, which is currently uninhabitable. We’re unable to live in the house due to wet and damp conditions. Insurance declined coverage. Our county isn’t included in the Federal disaster declaration. Looking for assistance is a full time job in itself, and we’ve been following referrals with no joy.

Over the next month, I’ll be overhauling this website and will be positing updates as well as bringing back some favorites, fixing links and new and interesting content. In the meantime, we’ve a Go Fund Me that friends set up for us to ease the pain of losing pretty much everything in the house and a boat load of repairs to do. Please contribute if you can. Sharing the link is also a big help, so please share it far and wide! Thank you.

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More than two years since I posted. Life happens. Most everything on the site warrants updating. Slowly, I’ll get to it. I’ve not done much writing and am slowly getting back to that too. More to follow.

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Time Flies When Living Life

Summer is right around the corner, the deer are eating my garden, and darkness is lifting. Graduate school takes a toll – I mean, it is quite the time sink! The work is interesting and challenging. No new writing projects, but then, I have plenty of in-process projects to continue in between literature reviews, research, and assessments for Sport Psychology.  Enjoy your spring – I know I am!

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Update October 2017

Still writing, though I’ve begun a new graduate program in Sport PsychologyVAH head shotTwo projects I continue to work include updating the poetry book Literal: Defining Moments to reflect post election issues, and ready my MFA thesis (essays regarding my 33 year career including wars, peace enforcement, cold war, war on terror, and the era of persistent conflict ) for submission to an agent. The anthology writing projects are currently closed, and I may reopen them at a later date.

Postings here on the site will be occasional. Watch for an update regarding the Emerging Writer Prize coming soon.

Write On!


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Get Your Copy! Literal: Defining Moments

This summer I wrote a poem that my workshop mates called a call to action! I was encouraged to publish it and since there was not time to send it to to any publishers, in the centuries old tradition of poets before me – I’ve self-published it. This being the age of the independent author, I went with a reputable indie publishing company. Only to be come up against technical obstacles.  So the actual bound book and eBook files will be late. But thanks to a conversation with an old friend from high school, I’m sending the chapbook into the wild as a PDF. This particular version has a copyright notation that allows the PDF file to be shared.  Share widely. Literal: Defining Moments.

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New Chap Book – Literal: Defining Moments

literal-ebook-2A new book is coming out very soon. LITERAL: Defining Moments is my first chap book. The poem Literal is a language poem, following the meaning of words and creating a trail for the reader to follow. How often do we use words without thought to actual meaning?

It’s a political poem, because poets have a responsibility to bring the forth what doesn’t work in our world and our society. A deeply personal work, it is one I could not fail to create and keep true to what is integral to the fabric of who I am, an individual of integrity.

The book will be out soon in all the usual distributors. As soon as pre-sale is open, I’ll post it and I do encourage you to at least go read the pre-sale page, that will help boost inventory before the book is on sale in the retail venues.

I wrote this poem while participating in the Napa Valley Writers Conference this summer.

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The juju is back.

Returned last night from AWP 2016. I’ll just say up front, I signed up for #AWP16 last spring, long before my year of horror erupted. I was invited on two panels, and both were accepted. Once the tribulations of this year from hell began, I pretty much forgot about AWP. Before I knew it, I had a week to get ready. I almost flaked and didn’t go. Things are still pretty tough even though moving a little forward.

I’m glad I didn’t flake.

The two panels were well put together and well received. I thought we’d be the only veterans panels and I was so wrong on that. A dozen or so veteran oriented panels and readings. I met some outstanding military writers, veterans and spouses.

More than that, I came to the realization that the more than a decade of procrastination on my book, the collection of memoir essays about my military service has been in part due to the muzzle of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that I was subjected to for all but the last year of my career.

A big ol’  crack in that OD green/BDU/ACU camouflage Berlin wall closet was struck during #AWP16.

I’m coming out from under my rock. I’ve got my mojo back on. The juju is back. The ones who shall not be named be damned with their piddlyshitasshat meddling in my family’s life. If need be, I’m going back to da Nile so I can get my creativity back in play.

That said, sent in my application to the Napa Valley Writers Conference today. (Priority admission deadline 23:59 tonight!). Wrote a book review today. Check it out.

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