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Showing posts from March, 2018

Guns And Rose'

A couple of nights ago I was part of a reoccurring event called Jesus and Wine. It is a monthly event at the Spring City Wine House in downtown Waukesha. It is the sister event to Jesus and Beer that is held at Bernie's Taproom in Waukesha on the second Tuesday of every month.

Both of these events are intended to open up the dialog to people who are curious about the life of Jesus. I say it in such a broad context because it is attended by everyone from the dechurched, to active church attenders, to people who question God's purpose in their life and our world, to those how have been wounded by the church or other Christians. It is all of these types of people and everything in between.

It has been termed Pub Theology and is a form of that. There is a part of me that likes it just because it is held in such a non-traditional place. Oh, and I like beer, too. The thought is that we are all adults and capable of having a social drink or two while discussing heady topics with peop…

Coffee And A Dragon

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This afternoon I had coffee with a Vietnam Veteran. Bob Goswitz served a year overseas in the 196th infantry division in 1971. I consider it an honor to sit with someone of my generation who served in a war that marked my first exposure to military conflict. I was only 10 years old when he served, but I remember watching the news at night and seeing snippets of guys in combat. People have said that the Vietnam War was the first war that kind of came into peoples' living rooms. Well, Bob lived it and was fortunate to be among those who made it back home.

I have an elevated respect for the men and women who served that war. It was a war that should have never happened, certainly not to the level it went. The soldier who returned were never treated as the heroes they were, a travesty in my opinion. It was a contentious time in our country with civil and racial unrest at levels never seen before and the debate about the war was a large part of it.

Anyway, Bob has written a book titled…

A Rundown

Some random thoughts from my stream of consciousness.
My son is a freshman at UW Madison and he and a friend have a radio show from 12:00 to 1:00 PM on Thursdays on WSUM. They do a good job bantering back and forth. My wife and I both listen to it in part because it helps us feel like he's in our living room again. The show is centered around recent news events and then they slide into taking questions from listeners. It is fun to hear their thoughts and ideas and he says it is a nice diversion from the stress of classes. Here's the Link.I was talking to a friend tonight who is a roofer. I've always admired guys who do that kind of work because it's such a hard job. He says he has that "falling off the roof" dream every so often. I just thought that was kind of interesting. (Coming from a guy who is terrified of heights.) In the past week two friends have told me they lost co-workers to death and that they were "around their age." This is just a litt…

Showing Off The (Portland) House

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As part of my book promotion, I run a giveaway contest that encourages people to send me photos of themselves with my book, The Portland House. I had a lot of fun with the same contest for Dirty Shirt, so thought I would do it again with this book. The prize for a couple of randomly drawn winners is a signed copy of the book.

Social media has made people much more willing to share photos of themselves, so doing it with the prospect of maybe winning something garnered some creative photos.
Quite possibly the most creative one was by Jody Morris, who owns a goat farm in Upstate New York. She showed that goats are more intelligent than we give credit for. Here's one of her goat pictures.
Then, there were a fair number of people posting pictures from warm places. Florida, California and Mexico were a few of the favorites. As hard as it was to know that they were somewhere I wanted to be, it was still great to see that they were reading my book on a beach somewhere.
Pets were a new twist…

Stepping Off The Board

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This past Friday marked the end of my two year term on the Wisconsin Land Information Association's board of directors. WLIA is a statewide organization that works to advance Land Records modernization and distribution. Basically it's about 850 geospatial and GIS geeks.

The association organizes three gatherings a year, one annual conference and two regional meetings. In past years I always attended the annual conference but rarely made the regionals. I was a member of WLIA for 20 years before I finally ran for a position the board. It always seemed like a daunting commitment and one that I was hesitant to take on.

Now, having served on it for two years, I can only say it was an incredibly rewarding experience. I wish I had gotten involved earlier. Oh sure, I did some peripheral things, sitting on a committee here and there, but it was only when I got on the board that I was able to meet some peers that I would maybe have never gotten to know. I'm not one to go outside my …

Another One In The Books

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Last night was my Saint Paul bookstore debut at Subtext Books in downtown. I have been trying to get a St. Paul reading/signing gig for quite some time and was finally able to get into Subtext. The city of Saint Paul is the setting for the book, so it was a sort of homecoming for both of us.

When I arrived, I thought I had everything under control, but as the place slowly filled up, my nerves ratcheted up a bit. As much as I do this whole public appearance gig, I still get jittery from time to time and this was no different. I thought I'd be better in the company of family and friends, but it may have made it even a little more nerve wracking.

I started with an introduction which fed right into the readings. I typically do three readings per appearance. The three stories give the readers a feel for the book. In this case, I did two humorous stories and one more serious heartfelt one. The first was a little rough, but I managed to power through it and the other two and came away fe…

A Spring Jog

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My alter-ego writer/author/poet life is busier than usual lately. Couple this with a day job that has taken on a new urgency since my boss retired, and well let's just say that life has gone from a casual winter stroll to a healthy spring jog. I barely have time to change shoes here, but I'll try and run down a little of what's going on from a writer/author of sub-atomic micro fame.
 I will be in my hometown, Saint Paul, Minnesota this coming Saturday for a reading/signing for The Portland House. The event will be held at Subtext Books in downtown. I am told that my event is competing with Lucky Palooza, so if you come, the best parking option is the parking ramp across the street (Lawson Ramp) or try and find metered parking. I am hoping turnout is door-busting, mostly because I want this place to remember me for future events. So, please come, bring a friend and buy a book. Note: Following the event there will be a social gathering at The Spot Bar a ten minute drive away.…

Shape Shifting A Book

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An interview with Carrie Newberry author of Pick Your Teeth With My Bones
As most of you know, I am part of a writing community at AllWriters' Workplace and Workshop. This has brought me exposure to a number of gifted writers, poets and authors. Carrie Newberry is one of the authors I met at a writing retreat. She has written a book titled Pick Your Teeth With My Bones, which might have one of the coolest covers I've seen in a while. I interviewed her to help you get a feel for what writers think and feel during the writing process.

Tell me a little about how you got into writing. Was it a lifelong love or more recent?  

Lifelong, definitely. When I was a kid, I loved to play pretend, to tell myself stories and pretend I was a character in those stories. Writing lets me play pretend as an adult.

Do you write longhand or computer? Why?  

Computer.  I do most of my writing on weekends in marathon sessions.  If I wrote longhand, my hand would give out long before my imagination did.