Author Archives

Mazama Retreat, Day 6

The pileated woodpecker struck first. The fiery red streak across the top of its head stood in sharp contrast to the muted yellow of an alder grove as it hunted carpenter ants up a 15-foot snag. A golden eagle rose from the slope below the road to Tiffany Mountain, 20 feet away as it lifted […]

Mazama Retreat, Day 5

Deeply personal writing, especially about suffering, challenges  the best writers. Other people played roles and even the most objective reporting can’t fully capture all points of view. I’m far from the best writer, and I have enough journalism experience to know how hard it is to get a simple news story right. In the past […]

Mazama Retreat, Day 3

Today marks the 15th anniversary of my son Andrew’s death. Once it was clear the end was near, I made it my mission to help him prepare. Very quickly he let me know there wasn’t much I could tell him. I figured out I should turn myself around, and walk beside him. I don’t know […]

Mazama Retreat, Day 2

Yesterday, I mentioned sleep. This particular week, I need lots of it. I fell into bed last night around 10:30 and woke up just after 8. The first thing I did (after taking care of Jessie), I sat down to write. Just whatever. I opened my journal, picked up a pen, and started writing. About […]

Mazama Retreat Day 1, Part 2

With some improvisation, my Pappardelle al Ragu di Cinghiale came together and proved delicious. All natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free pork; organic carrots, onion, celery and Italian parsley; house-grown organic garlic, rosemary and thyme; organic whole wheat flour and tomato paste; Scarpetta’s Fricco Rosso Tuscan blend; Costco’s pecorino romano, and fresh pappardelle. I think I’m going […]

Mazama Retreat, Day 1

Ever since my son died, in 2001, I’ve gone on retreat the last week of October. The 26th marks the anniversary of Andrew’s death. Cancer. He was 16. I come to Mazama, just outside North Cascades National Park, at the head of the beautiful Methow Valley. Just me and my lab, Jessie. We get easy […]

Orange Milk?

Having been involved with the national rollout of Smartfood, a brand built on white cheddar cheese (who ever heard of orange milk?), I cracked up when I spotted this billboard in Seattle.

On Hold

On June 30, I suspended work on my second novel, working title Lidija. I’ve just posted the opening scene. As they say in the business world, I ran out of runway, and for the foreseeable future, I will be back in that business world. For more information about my business activities, please visit my LinkedIn […]

Andrew Visits

Andrew provided the fourth miracle at St. Leo. The day of remembrance for bereaved parents fell during my week there. At 7 pm, I borrowed a votive candle from the church and took out my photo of Andrew. I lit the candle and once again a crazy idea grabbed me and I, well, I started […]

One Man to Another

At St. Leo Abbey, Father David showed me the way to the third miracle. I resisted letting go, equating it with abandonment. The moment my firstborn landed in my hands, I vowed I would never leave him. My father abandoned me, and I can imagine nothing more shameful. When I finished my story, Father David […]