Photographing a Very Nearly Almost Total Eclipse

Even 200 miles from the path of totality, the solar eclipse was all anyone could talk about this week in Washington. In the mad scramble for special viewing glasses and the endless debates over whether it was worth it to brave the slog of traffic heading south, I found myself in my office’s parking lotContinue reading “Photographing a Very Nearly Almost Total Eclipse”

My Solo Writing Retreat to the Island of Inspiration

It was a dark winter’s night when I drove onto the ferry from Point Defiance to Tahlequah. I was off to nearby Vashon Island for a day-and-a-half solo writing retreat to start my novel. On the short trip from Tacoma to Vashon, I tried not to think too much about the enormous task I wasContinue reading “My Solo Writing Retreat to the Island of Inspiration”

The Light and the Dark

Today is the shortest day of the year. It is the time of the year when darkness seems to close in around us. Its hard to feel motivated to do anything when the rain is pouring outside and the sun fades in the afternoon. The cold drives us into the cramped indoor where we finallyContinue reading “The Light and the Dark”

For Your Consideration

Today’s wired world makes it easier than ever for writers to publish their work online. But the rise of Internet publishing, blogging and ebooks endangers the time-honored tradition of the printed review. Independent journals everywhere are struggling to survive — and so is a platform for launching the careers of emerging writers. But it doesn’tContinue reading “For Your Consideration”

The Life and Death of a Tomato

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero For most of my life, I’ve lived in the desert, where what grows is sparse and inedible. Pine trees cling to the thin layer of rocky, volcanic soil. My family tried to grow a small garden in a barrel thatContinue reading “The Life and Death of a Tomato”

The Writer Pops The Question. The Engineer Says “Yes.”

This weekend, a carefully orchestrated plan came together and I emerged forever changed. It started with an innocent pancake breakfast and a walk on the beach at low tide. Then, I asked my girlfriend, Stephanie, to marry me. I did it the old fashioned way, with a ring. People have given rings to symbolize theirContinue reading “The Writer Pops The Question. The Engineer Says “Yes.””

In Which I Become a Big-Time Published Writer

I have exciting news — I have a published short story out on the Interwebs. It’s called “The Observable Universe” and you can read it right now on Creative Colloquy. It feels great to have my writing reach a larger audience, like hitting a grand slam while eating a pizza; like I’ve climbed to theContinue reading “In Which I Become a Big-Time Published Writer”

Let’s Change the Narrative About Mass Shootings in America

We need to do something about gun violence. This week, a student opened fire in a high school outside of Portland, Oregon, killing one student and injuring a teacher. It would be shocking enough if the Oregon tragedy was an isolated outburst of violence, but it isn’t. It’s the fourth multiple shooting in the UnitedContinue reading “Let’s Change the Narrative About Mass Shootings in America”

Sleeping Giant

Today, the ridge overlooking the snow-covered northern face of Mount St. Helens is dotted with small brush, lichen and wild grass. Chipmunks dart between the rocks. Tourists take photos to post later on their Facebook profiles. But 34 years ago, the place where I stand was buried by a boiling mudslide, smothered by pumice andContinue reading “Sleeping Giant”

Seeing The World Through a Smaller Screen

This weekend, my girlfriend and I settled into our balcony seats at the historic Neptune Theatre in Seattle’s University District for a concert. As the blue and purple houselights dimmed and the band took the stage, a hundred smartphones were borne aloft to capture the moment. It was easy to excuse the first time. TheContinue reading “Seeing The World Through a Smaller Screen”