Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jack Walters and Toyland at the Madison Public Library Today

We've had a good spell of writers appearing from the woodwork in Madison.  Eve Fisher, Eric Johnson, Jack Walters, and Ben Jones have all been acknowledged for their contributions to mystery and history in the past few weeks, and the attention continues tonight as Jack Walters discusses his book Toyland and how to get a novel from the inside to the outside.  Starts at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Long Long Winter

The winter this year seems to drag along like an old blanket.  It makes me think of the Robert Bly poems about the winter and cold, one of the few poets who approaches the effect of winter on the psyche.
Our winters in South Dakota require a changed mind about how a person lives his life, still retaining a connection to the patterns and seasons of nature and the cycle of death and rebirth.  It's NOT always sunny in South Dakota.  Sometimes, it's damn cold, and the wind blows, and we huddle against it.  That takes some work, and planning.  One day, you might be planning to get outside, take your skis, get in a little exercise, and enjoy the sunlight.  After all, it's the weekend!
But that morning the wind is hurling last week's snow through the air, and an outing loses its savor.
We learn to roll with those disappointments.  We recognize that we are small, we need warmth, and we sometimes need to bow to the seasons and protect the heat our bodies make.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Farewell Wave to David Bowie

In 1975, after graduation from high school and joining the Army, I ended the year being shipped off to Germany (West Germany in those days before the wall fell).  Music was at the background of much that I did then, whether it was on the radio or played through some other form.
In Germany it was the thing to have a good stereo to play music on, and I quickly began to set up a stereo that reproduced good sound.
On that stereo in 1975 and 1976, there were three albums that got a lot of play.  They were Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run album, The Four Seasons album Who Loves You, and David Bowie's Station to Station.
One of my favorite songs on that album was "TVC15."  What did it mean?  I didn't know, but that song always got me jumping, feeling better, made me want to dance and move.  See if it works for you!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One More Marathon

Let's just say the resting up from a marathon has continued beyond what was necessary.  I've been essentially lackadaisical in my return to running.  Two days after the marathon in the Twin Cities (3:59:02, thank you very much), I got out and did a few miles with the pooch, but since then . . . nada much.

But I'll come around again, and maybe once again I'll toe the line as in this photo from the Star Tribune.  Dillon Dwyer and I are visible just above the start banner to the left, him in a black shirt, to my right (your left) and me in a green shirt with a white hat.  Both of us appear to be looking down.  Anyway, that's us.

It was a beautiful day for a run there, and I enjoyed the heck out of the entire event.  I ran smooth and easy enough, with little niggling things that didn't amount to much in the way of sore legs, tender feet, and all.  Carrying some extra pounds was no help.  But that's the way she goes, right?

We'll see about next year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Change is in the Air

There's no time like the fall.  Early fall, when the leaves still hang greenly from their treelimbs.  When each day grows shorter so sunset comes nudging up against the end of the day like a puppy who loves you more each night.  When morning too comes later and later, night expanding so darkness seems as though it might swallow the day.  It is the end of things.  It is the winding up of the season, the end of growth and the reminder that all things come to a close.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

D and J Do Europe

The wife and I recently spent about five weeks in Europe.  Want to read about it?  Check out our travel blog here.
We had a great time, visiting seven countries (and setting foot in a couple more), tasting the fare, drinking the local stuff, and hob-knobbing with the natives.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kent Meyers and "The Quietest Place in the Universe"

Congratulations to my fellow writer and long-time friend Kent Meyers, who teaches at Black Hills State University and has written several novels and other books. His essay, "The Quietest Place in the Universe," appears in the new issue of Harper's magazine. It's an amazing piece that wrestles with the complex issues of astrophysics and renders them poetic and compelling. Kudos Kent!

Kent Meyers (photo by Kent's wife Zindie Meyers)
My sense of Kent's writing goes as far back as seeing him reluctantly draw from the bottom of an office desk drawer his first publication--a poem in a book of poems collected by one of those "poetry contests" that profit from selling the collection to the proud recipients of letters of approval.  

I've seen Kent struggle through writing essays, stories, poems and trying to publish even romance stories of the sort you might read in Woman's Day.  But his persistence paid off, slowly, incrementally, until, suddenly, in 1998 and 1999, he had two books in print--The Witness of Combines, a collection of essays that he wrote over a period of 20 years or more, and The River Warren, a novel that describes horrific acts in a small town.  He hasn't looked back.  

Since then he has continued his writing and teaching career, winning awards and publishing consistently.  Congratulations to Kent.