The Writer’s Multilane Highway

“We will always have more to discover, more to invent, more to understand and that’s much closer to art and literature than any science.” Daniel Tammet, an English writer.

And why is that? There are a host of different ways an auditorium filled with poets could poetically describe an experience.

And there are a plethora of choices for writers. With multiple edits an author writing prose can invent or modify many scenes, characters, beginnings and endings. He or she can write a story that can be understood several different ways. The author can pen entirely new ways to express, for instance, the beauty of a sunset over a magnificent body of water.

The options to the the writer are wide open, thank God

The Examined Life

Look for a long time at what pleases you, and a longer time at what pains you.” Collette, the 20th-century, French novelist who wrote Gigi.

Do we ever know ourselves? Observing what pleases you can help. Noting what bothers you can be eye-opening.

Perhaps the behavior that bothers you was a behavior that annoyed you from a parent throughout your childhood. Maybe it’s an unpleasant behavior he or she modeled for you and you’ve developed the same bad habit.

Unpleasant stuff to consider. Uphill. I couldn’t make any progress without God’s grace.

The Doing

“He who desires nothing, hopes for nothing, and is afraid of nothing, cannot be an artist.” Anton Chekhov, 19th century Russian dramatist.

Desires, hopes and fears? They touch me and compel me to write blogs, memoirs and fiction in God’s hands.

I can almost carry a tune. My drawings haven’t changed since I was 12, probably have gotten worse.

By the grace of God, I so enjoy the writing and others like you enjoy the reading. Thank God for sweet favors.


“I am told that I talk in shorthand and then smudge it.” JRR Tolkien, renowned author of Lord of the Rings.

I live with the same problem. Give me some time to write and edit. Then you will find clarity and concise English.

But let me relate away from that keyboard and you might not be sure I am speaking English. I was better at the spoken word at 15 than I am at 77. So much for growth.


“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” Lewis Carroll, who gave us Alice in Wonderland.

Yes, it is good for my soul to help others in need. I think it’s true for all of us.

We are born demanding  and self-centered, but in maturing we generally point ever more outside ourselves. That was the beauty of a work-life in healthcare.

Here in my anectdotage I have the privilege of writing for you. What a delight. Thank you


“Writing is the supreme solace.” Somerset Maughan, English author of Of Human Bondage.

I wouldn’t go that far. To me the supreme solace can be found in following our dear Lord.

But there is solace in doing something so totally engaging as writing. It is deeply creative.

Originality is something we all need in our lives. Additionally, writing is a gift to others and time well spent.

How important are writers to earthlings? Amazon started with the sale of books.


I am looking out the rear second-floor window of our home office southward. The bright winter sun is glistening off the slightly wind-blown, green needles of a twenty-five-year-old pine.

We have been here 28 years. I can recall when that tree, along with several others, was planted on a small hill south of our property. A few months short of 78, I find the vibrant light and green pine needles lighten my day physically and spiritually.

It’s God’s handiwork. He has given purpose to our marriage and our lives. He continues to paint beautiful images 150 feet beyond that window. It is enchanting.

Your Music

“Many people,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, “die with all their music in them.” He was a 20th century American jurist and legal scholar.

I can’t even imagine how large a number that might be in the 21st century, but I plan not to die that way. I have blogged and published memoirs and novels for about seven years.

Although a relatively quiet person, I have had lots of stories to tell and blogs I hope have spoken to you. To have not done so would have turned my retirement into a parched land much to my regret.

Sing your song. It is likely at the very least your family is eager to listen.

The Gift of Travel

“The value of life deepens incalculably with the privileges of travel.”Nathaniel Parker Willis, 19th century American author.

It has been true of my experience, especially trips abroad. For some reason when I have traveled eastward across the Atlantic from the states there has always been a stop in Zurich, if only briefly. I have loved that city since I first visited in 1968, it’s beauty and it’s hospitality.

Many of the memories from the trips, particularly Jerusalem are indelible. The art, the antiquity and my strong sense for the presence of God made that city unforgettable for me.

Finally appreciating how much we are all alike and how much we differ deepened my appreciation for this wonderful gift of travel. It’s all good. Thank God I have been able to make the trips.


“It’s not easy to subdue the overweening ego in order to free the adventuresome soul.” Parker J. Palmer, American author.

Oh, those mixed motives. We all possess the mixture. How does the dark side affect our loved ones? Badly.

My journey is to help my lesser self diminish and optimize my better self in the hands of God in this era of the selfie. I need to grow old gracefully despite my hearing becoming worse, my joint mobility eroding, and the number of my brain cells diminishing.

Of one thing, I am certain. I can’t do it without the Lord’s help. To the extent I can follow Him, I think even my old age will have that adventuresome quality of which Mr. Palmer speaks.