A Writer's Life

Living Creatively

My Zeus


For fifteen and a half years you were funny, loving, and a loyal companion. I will miss you!


Hunting Spirit Animals


Soon to be published:

Hunting Spirit Animals is a prime reading location. Don’t miss this hunt for a killer. It will help if you know the victims’ spirit animal, but no matter because your tour guide Xenia O’Donnell is a young art teacher who can draw visions no one else sees. Forget her Crazy White Bird moniker. She’s awakened from her year-long dream walk and has acquired a teenaged sidekick whose antics keep her focused. Though Treaty Raven is, by all accounts, the bane of any teacher’s existence as well as being the chief suspect. Look away from the murder of Pink Flamingo, so named because they stand on one leg and wait to be shot. Concentrate instead on the milestones mapped by Native myths. In addition, you may want to get in touch with your spirit animal or cleanse during a Sweat. Bring your historical baggage and watch preconceptions disintegrate, replaced with a respectful, sometimes excruciatingly painful, appreciation of Pacific Northwest tribal culture. It will cost you laughter, drum beat thrills, and an aha moment at the end. But the memories of this special Hunting Spirit Animals journey will be priceless.




Three people told me not to say, “I am sorry” yesterday
when all I did was state, trying to communicate,
my feelings without filter, my shout
of defiance unspoken, stifled, a token
spent when truth is polluted sin,
emotions judged negative, no way to live
a happy, happy, happy life devoid of strife –
in other words – dead, not feeling at all, unsaid
sentiment no one wants, transposed, unheard taunts
thrown away whenever I say,
“I feel guilty, sad, lonely, or bad.”

Give me life, please, without bliss,
freedom to express truth, without duress,
be it undesired, not happy, even tired –
let me speak, unmasked, the truth I seek.

me as clown



Trying to Understand

handHolding out an empty hand
which twists into a fist
held high to the heavens
is the powerlessness felt
by too many people
who forget we are one species
and that hands should be held
together, by all humans
regardless of intellect
or gender or perfect bodies
or skin of unmatched color
because Ignorance is blind
to facts or truth, even lies,
controlling a fist held high
until, lowered, it hurts
others, but mostly itself
since hands are meant
to touch another’s heart
to feel it’s beat of life
and to wipe away a tear.

Your Consequences


Didn’t vote for Hillary?
Fine. It’s your right – for now –
because these rights and more
like them will soon disappear.
So, now I ask you –
do you take responsibility?
For it is on you now.
Didn’t vote or
voted for another
means it is your fault,
no doubt about it
you have fed hatred’s fire
as surely as a blacksmith
forging the shoes that fit.
I blame you.
Now take responsibility
when the needy cry at your feet
and take responsibility
when rights no longer exist.
It is all on you.
Live with it – if you can.



It will not be alright. It will not be OK.
We may not survive this reality
when the glass is broken, not half empty or full.
Wide awake consequences tear my heart out,
whittled down as shame covers me in a shroud,
head bent low, lower to avoid the sight of those
dreaming of power at the expense of others
who tell the truth about a life lived
fully conscious, today, and stand to face
the powerful who would be king.
Some will fight again, but me, I am a statue –
a stone forged by optimism and hope
now melted away. No, it will not be OK.


Print Out

Shadows flatten and spreadghost tree11

when sun shines white –

sharp two dimension,

flat, black outlines

beg the question:

is a soul three dimensional

printed out in 3-D form

when soul’s design is

transcribed in code?


In the corner huddled Kindness, shivering in fear
as Anticipation laughed and joked with Prurient Interest
while their friend Sarcasm donned a Humor disguise,
laughing at Hope, as though bedding Prestige
was not a sin. Soon Judgement announced
the arrival of pure Hatred, newly divorced from Emotion
after losing custody of Empathy and Sympathy
only because Prejudice had no room in its tiny heart. They
wait, wait, waited for the master to arrive, the final judge
and jury –invited by ancient Cruelty, a life-long friend
to Ambivalence because how else could people watch
the ashes rise from crematoriums or allow sterilization
and capital punishment and violent, hurtful word sports?
Surprise left the room, no longer relevant when
everyone realized the room’s walls were papered with
dried human flesh and floored by bone fragment tiles.
Today’s caterer would be Hope, but no one, not even
Kindness took a bite as Fear’s junk food dominated.
“Come one, come all,” cried Ignorance “and watch the
collective mob we’ve created rule at last!”

Dumbing It Down






It takes courage to use the right word, not the simplest,
The three syllable one with a twelfth grade readability
Referenced in a dusty old dictionary or new Thesaurus
Captured outside the familiarity box with nuanced meaning
Because, truth be known, compromise is not possible
When writing inside strict young adult guidelines
Created by publishers to prove shorter attention spans
Matter more than increased vocabulary or just the right word
Used in just the right context in a layered, subtle tome
No one trusts to give to young adults who read more than
Adventure comics, avatar profiles and celebrity obits.