Sunday, July 3, 2022

A PAIL of EELS

They bump together, thin as weeds, almost translucent, holding onto each other like subway riders underwater.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Abraham

There's a young rabbit in our front yard who has the face of Abraham Lincoln.

SNAIL

So I go back and forth all day, back and forth drawing lines on the ground the way a snail will do when it runs on worries and I grow accustomed to the rocks and lilies on the path.

A WALRUS

I have never seen a walrus in the field. I’m sure the thought never crossed my mind before. Yesterday, it would have been a complete surprise to me if I saw one, but now I’m prepared…I feel like I’m just waiting to see a walrus.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

june

MORE than a CAR

An orange cat stands in the middle of the road watching me. I get closer, its tail goes clockwork. I tell it to get out of the road and sure enough a car appears. The cat is surprised, jumps, turns low and finds the curb in a hurry. This is how a tiger would look in someone’s driveway. I can’t resist stopping and call the cat over. Just like a tiger, it’s wary. Funny, now it decides to look both ways for danger. I guess I’m more than 40 miles per hour and wheels. I scratch its neck and around its ear before I leave.

History of All Ears

A couple weeks ago I finished reading John Lurie’s book, The History of Bones. Lots of bright dinosaur memories. I especially liked when he was learning saxophone on the hill at night, with the motorcycle circles and the witch.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Bestiaries

"A medieval belief in the existence of fabulous animals was commonplace, indeed almost universal. These were drawn and described in books called bestiaries"

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

COWS

It came as a great surprise when it was discovered that cows can fly. We put a man on the moon, but they can put a cow over it.

Monday, June 27, 2022

WONDERLAND

I still have dreamlike memory of seeing gondolas over Seattle. It’s been my wish for a long time that there will be a string of them going up and down Sehome Hill. Imagine the views of the trees and rooftops and the bay. Windmills turn on the water’s edge. We’re up where the ravens see the world. Out the window, the other way, you can see the distant snowcapped mountains. Why can’t the future be a wonderland? If we can picture it, it’s real somewhere.

The ORANGE

At 3 o’clock today I’ll be eating an orange. That’s the big news in the office today. A Herald reporter will be calling me at ten past the hour to get my reaction.

The JOB RECOMMENDATION

A girl at Old Main held the door open for me and I said, “Thanks. You should work at the Hilton.”

Old Books

Found this old receipt in my copy of 'The Grapes of Wrath.' (I also bought 'Sweet Thursday' and a Heller novel that day). One of my favorite bookstores was Old Books, in Brunswick, Maine. It had a great street entrance up rickety, creaking wooden steps to a slanted hallway on the second floor. There was a frightening dentist office to the left! Old Books was at the end of hall on the right. A cardboard painted sign. I remember the feeling walking in there. The lady at the checkout desk. There was a big Marx Brothers poster. I've written about the store a few times in my own books, most recently in my soon-to-be-published college novel.

Friday, June 24, 2022

YARN

Sehome Hill is steeper today. Whoever lives beneath the ferns and trees has turned in their sleep like someone under a blanket. I’m climbing an arm up to a shoulder along the yarn of this breathing forest.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

diplodocumentary

diplodocus

Found this July 9, 2001 calendar page in my office desk. Apparently I had scheduled a dinosaur.

The MOTH ARRIVES

I let the moth back into the office. It had been waiting on the door. Its wings were crisp from spending all night crowding around a ceiling lightbulb. It tumbled ahead of me, charting somewhere to land.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A Big Hand

Early yesterday morning, I turned on the TV during The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, just in time to hear a policeman say, "I can't shoot a hand!"

KITTY HAWK

She looked at the ceiling in the office and asked me, “Are those fans new?” I told her no, they’ve been here for years, the Wright Brothers installed them, that’s how old they are. Taken from the wings of their flying machine after it crashed in Kitty Hawk.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

EELGRASS

In the Meadows River, the sound of an outboard motor. The boat carves through the channels, little islands, some no more than shoals, poke from the water. Coming up is Monkey Island. They chatter in the pine and how they like to swing and throw mussel shells. The shallows are a field of eelgrass. The motor stops. The hush as the hull rushes over the weeds and skates up the stones onto land.

Friday, June 17, 2022

The RABBIT WATCHERS

They stand in the field, a big group of them, all ages, holding binoculars and cameras. The guide leads them closer to a thicket and that’s where they spot their first rabbit. Ears poke above the weeds. The excitement flutters. Then someone points, “Look! There’s another!”

Thursday, June 16, 2022

23 WORDS

A tiny red bug crawls over my knee. It’s amazing that something so easily unseen could turn into the star of twenty-three words.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

The SNAIL SHEPHERD

I have a second job, picking up snails. I didn’t need to apply or interview, and it has no set hours or pay. All I have to do is watch where I’m going and make sure I don’t step on anyone.

Monday, June 6, 2022

perfecto

floral diagram

A floral diagram is the graphic representation of a flower structure. This is the one for the buttercup:

Friday, June 3, 2022

tough choice

Thursday, June 2, 2022

dishwashing liquid

When asked what he plans to do this weekend, Good Deed Rain's editor replied, "I need to buy some more dishwashing liquid."

starring Barbara Stanwyck

Here's the start of one of the stories from Mrs. Magnusson and Friends. I wrote it as a 1940s movie starring Barbara Stanwyck.

The SHUTTER

As I was walking past a tree, a bit of it fell off before me. Nothing so big as a branch or broad leaf, it was small, only an inch, and landed without a sound. I thought about it and turned around and went back to get it. Here it is in my hand. A tiny square of soft bark like a postage stamp. All mossy on one side, I search for letters on it, something a centipede might have written before it shut the window up there and realized the shutter had fallen off.

Magnusson Invitation

You are cordially invited to meet Mrs. Magnusson and Friends on June 10, publication date. Book available from Amazon or your local Waffle House.

more blue spots

which reminds me of one of my favorite books Put Me in the Zoo

blue spots

I.K Dairo and the Blue Spot Band!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Every Different Song

On top of Sehome Hill I sit at the controls of a radio station. Listen. To the east you can hear the steady current of traffic on I-5. Imagine that's a mountain river. I turn that down and dial up the sound of birds. Every different song tells me what's going on.

The Portland Parakeet Club

Oh yes, many moons ago in Portland I went into a cafĂ© that had a new jukebox. They were all excited about it and asking people to bring in records to stock it. The next day I brought them the “Parakeet Training Record.” The girl at the counter was not enthused, in fact I don’t think it ever made it to the turntable, locked to the spindle, with the sound of a dime falling in and the crackling rush of a needle. That fate didn’t even occur to me—I was imagining the Portland Parakeet Club that would soon form, meeting once a week, gathered around the jukebox, everyone with a talkative little bird wearing a mortarboard hat.

college calendar

A relic from my first month at college! (Don't forget the library tour!) This will be appearing in the next Good Deed Rain book, a novel about college. Stay tuned for more about that.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

out the window of our old Grant St. house

13 Chapters

13 Chapters of MRS. MAGNUSSON & FRIENDS

Miss Nelson!

page from Miss Nelson is Missing!

the best of friends

It’s funny, on Friday I stopped at the library and got Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall. To my surprise I realized there is a similarity between Miss Nelson and Mrs. Magnusson, the star of the latest Good Deed Rain book. I think they would be the best of friends.

Friday, May 27, 2022

A 1989 PBS Series

The new Good Deed Rain book is on the way!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sehome Hill

Birds sing in waves the same way the breeze moves the flowers. The air is alive. Bees ring a rhododendron. There’s an alligator flopped in the path. I’m pretending it isn’t a broken log. I’m pretending the world in the woods on Sehome Hill is a dream. A junco comes to visit where I sit and whispers, then it laughs and flies away.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

buttercups

monk

meditation

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Sehome Hill

I went to top of Sehome Hill and sat on a rock and I heard a train of geese getting louder. Then I saw them in the leaves and they flew past at exactly my height. I picked up a marble snail and moved it off the trail. This weird bowery squirrel jittered and had a fit right in front of me. It looked like it was possessed by something so I took a different path. Watched a bumblebee an inch off the ground slowly come up to my shoe. Lots of birds singing. I passed a girl who might have been a robot. I went into Old Main to tear a scrap of paper off the bulletin board so I could write this down.

6 Million Dollars

It wasn’t that he had six million dollars, that’s what it cost to put him back together. Actually, he was quite poor. He had one tracksuit to wear and he lived above a garage in an alley. He barely got by on his government pension and when it rained he got a cramp in that bionic leg.

too long in the jungle

electric unicycle

What’s new with Good Deed Rain? Well, I have new 4 books stacked up and waiting for covers so they can be published. However, need help with confoundingly cryptic Photoshop to make the cover templates…Slowly learning how to ride that electric unicycle…Meanwhile, started writing a new novel which will be starring some familiar characters, a flying dog, and also a deity.