A Milepost

I delivered my first eulogy this week. I would much prefer to have my uncle and godfather back among the living, in good health, but the sequence of life events leads in one direction. If you knew Charles Johnson and were not able to attend his memorial service, I invite you to read his eulogy.

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A Stable Society

“There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil is more stable than one rooted in pavements.”
– Aldo Leopold

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Poem Published

This week I was pleased to see my poem Science, Fiction published in “Dark Matter: A Journal of Speculative Writing.” Check out my Poetry page for a link to the journal. My poem appears on page 47 — which coincidentally is my age at the time of publication. But I digress.

If you browse through the journal, I suspect you will find some of the works to be more speculative than others. My poem is speculative, but rational. It is the result of wondering about the degree of creativity that may be possible in mathematical equations. We are familiar with fiction in the written word; does mathematics offer fictional representation as well? In other words, does every logical formula provide a factual representation of reality, or can a formula make perfect logical sense, yet represent a complete fabrication? Think of what Hamlet told Horatio: “There is more in heaven and earth than in all your philosophy.” Surely we encounter limitations and shortcomings in all our representative languages that we can’t even know. Our best guesses fall short. Sometimes they are wrong, in which case they are well-meaning fiction. As we know from literature, fiction can be very informative, but it’s still fiction. Does mathematics offer fiction? I think it must. This poem is one way of saying so.

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Departed Hero

Although I have thought about writing quite a bit in recent months and actually written a little, none of the finished work has landed here. Yesterday, however, a true hero left us. Amid the many fallen “heroes” of sports and political fame, Neil Armstrong was a man of great integrity and discipline. He was a man of stature, and his one small step inspired a generation of us to dream of flying long before popular movies glorified the space program or naval aviation. Neil Armstrong was a hero. He was certainly one of mine. Please see my poem Armstrong, a small tribute to a modest giant of American history.

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E-Book Update

I am very pleased that my e-book novella is now available for the Nook as well as the Kindle. It is also available for Nook and Kindle apps on other devices.

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Tsali Trails

A new memoir piece, Tsali, describes a mountain biking trip Debbie and I took in western North Carolina in the summer of 2011. It is set in a recreation area adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains that is rich in history, though the history is not always evident. Christopher Camuto describes the region well in his excellent book Another Country: Journeying Toward the Cherokee Mountains. Ron Rash also describes the area in his novel Serena, and Charles Frazier mentions the historic figure for whom the modern recreation area is named in his author’s note  to Thirteen Moons, as incidents involving the historic figure served as the basis for an episode in the novel. I hope this post and my brief essay might lead you to one of those writers, or to the Tsali Recreation Area itself. If you go, enjoy the ride.

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My Novella

On Independence Day I independently published my novella, How I Know, on Amazon for the Kindle. I welcome comments on the e-book, and will post details here if a print version becomes available. Many thanks to all who read drafts of the story at various stages in its development!

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Family Trips

Family trips in late 2010 resulted in some poems that capture lasting memories. For me, poems like these are like pictures in an album. See links to “This Time” and “Tree in the Cemetery” on the Poetry tab. Special thanks to my good friend, fellow poet, and honest critic Larry Dishon for his help with revisions on “This Time.”

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End of School

The end of the school year meant the end of the only year that all three of our kids will ever be in the same school. The activities of the day gave me an opportunity to reflect on events and to write a new poem. Check out “Setting Up” on the Poetry page.

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Children in Hospitals

I learned this week that the child of some old friends had to undergo major reconstructive surgery.  While sharing my thoughts and well-wishes with his parents, memories came rushing back of the scary week our daughter spent in a pediatric intensive care unit with septic shock from bacterial tracheitis.  She recovered, thank goodness.  After she was well, I wrote down some of my thoughts about the experience of having a child in the hospital.  Some of what resulted appears at the “Hospital Poems” link on the Poetry page.

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