Published March 15th, 2017 by

I knew Winston Churchill was a painter, but only recently heard of his essay, Painting As A Pastime. Former President George W. Bush credited this little book with both his deliverance from “sitting on the couch, eating potato chips” in retirement and awakening in him a newfound passion for art and painting. I thought I’d read the essay online, but The Estate of Winston S. Churchill has a tight hold on the former British Prime Minister’s massive collection of writings and correspondence.

I read the reviews and found this gem on Amazon.com “used” — it was actually new and I picked it up for about the price of a sugary, dairy-based corporate coffee drink.… Read the rest “Winston Churchill On Painting — And, Life”

Published January 12th, 2017 by

I’m a new artist and had this conversation with Denise the other day: “My drawing skills are horrible and I’m so impatient that I’m not really observing my subjects at all. After I get going, the process slows me down and I begin seeing everything I missed.” Denise, as she typically does, listened patiently to my exposed inner thoughts and acknowledged my concerns. Then, she continued with her reading. This is a “conversation” we’ve had at least five times over the past couple of months and it was just this last Monday I engaged in the self-flagellation one more time.

On the way home from Bodega Bay on Tuesday, we stopped at the Goodwill in Auburn,  I picked this book up for a song and began reading it last night.… Read the rest “New Artist”

Published November 11th, 2015 by

I have to concur with the writer, that “racking up mile after mile is difficult, mind-expanding, and hypnotic—just like putting words down on a page.” But, it’s also energizing and freeing to be out on the road, around town or through the woods, working out ideas and problems, step by step, mile by mile.

Freedom, consciousness, and wildness: Running offers writers escape with purpose. When confronted with “structural problems” in her writing as the result of a “long, snarled, frustrating and sometimes despairing morning of work,” Joyce Carol Oates would ease her writing blocks with afternoon runs. For Oates and many other writers, running is process and proves especially useful for the type of cloistered, intensive work they do.

Read the rest “Why Do So Many Writers Love to Run?”
Published May 12th, 2015 by

I don’t recall memorizing, reciting or reading Robert Frost’s poems in school, while growing up in Southern California. That may seem unusual for anyone my age or older, because he was the nation’s poet laureate and all the rage in the early ’60s. He wrote a poem for John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, which bound him inextricably to the times and events that many baby-boomers cling to as their coming of age.

I had, in the words of one Richard Baxter biographer, a defective and desultory education. I think it was more my fault than any deficiencies in the educational system or my teachers.… Read the rest “Robert Frost Took Me Down A Road I’d Never Travelled”

Published May 8th, 2008 by

 

redesign2It took nearly twenty years, but my short biography of Richard Baxter is in publication and you can get your hands on a copy of it on at Lewis and Roth, using PayPal, VISA© or MasterCard. It’s only $9.95 and a nominal charge for shipping and handling, so how can you go wrong? Most of my sales have been by money order or personal check and you can find that order form right here.

“Who’s Richard Baxter?” you ask.

The well-known Christian author and authority on the Puritans, J.I. Packer, called him “incomparable” in his zeal and abilities, as well as “…the most outstanding pastor, evangelist and writer on practical and devotional themes that Puritanism produced.”

His detractors called him Scribbling Dick, because he published over 140 works during his lifetime, all the while thinking he would be killed or die by the next Spring.… Read the rest “Buy This Book”

Published May 31st, 2006 by
Published May 1st, 2006 by
Published November 14th, 2005 by

Bo Surf – Version 2Okay, I’ve had a bunch of people ask me what I’d like to see under the Christmas tree this year… so, here’s the wishlist. This list is over at amazon.com and they have some cool stuff, but don’t feel like you have to shop there. You are welcome to locate the little treasures anywhere you like and if you’re feeling particularly generous, go ahead and upgrade the electronic items. I’m not picky either — these treasures may be pre-owned.

Update 2016: We have this Chanticleer CD now. Now, if you move down the list, you will see Chanticleer’s We Sing Christmas — another splendid choral collection.Read the rest “I Wish…”