This is my newly stacked cache of firewood, illuminated by the light of the morning after:


All of the wood used to heat my small writer’s “shack” is hand-cut. Most of it is junk wood that is eschewed by everybody else. Following walks with the dog, I often arrive home dragging a branch that previously littered the street as detritus. In my poverty I find myself scavenging for every last scrap of wood that can be found in the neighborhood. I continually find great inspiration and meaning through not only enduring, but rather enjoying humble circumstances. Being home now, jettisoned by a corporation like a spent rocket abandoned from a space shuttle, I may need twice as much fuel to get me through a winter of writing. The manual labor involved is worthwhile and character-building.

Here’s what I have to look forward to this winter:


Experiences away from the desk and computer are essential to provide fuel and inspiration for combustion in the mind. Additionally, an active body is a boon to the creative process. It’s also critical to actively nourish friendships, rather than allowing them to wither away.

Here are some glimpses into a day recently enjoyed with friends on a casual eight-mile hike offering astounding views of Bean and Bear Lakes on the Superior Hiking Trail in northern Minnesota. Quality time and shared experiences are crucial to any friendship, and ultimately to continued productivity while later being comfortably ensconced in solitude. Silence and solitude, and the wellspring of creativity within, are most successful when all areas of life are allowed to thrive. Mind, body, and soul are best nourished by a well-rounded diet. Existing in community, a God-given need, promotes growth in all areas….


I found great amusement in Keith being afforded continued views of the “office” where he puts in 10-to-12-hour shifts all week. Here he points out the #184 Conveyor at the processing plant that produces taconite for shipment around the world:


Friends that nap together, stay together (tongue in cheek, but we did enjoy two of these!). This sunny slope out of the wind was impossible to resist….



Can anybody help Ryan find his missing contact lens?



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