It has taken five years, but we have arrived: to the place where my skill as a writer meets the story. To the place where the book gets more space than my paid gigs, or my obligations. To a place of spirit, and of deep faith. Welcome to The Year of the Book. A lot has happened since my last update. I taught myself how to write a book proposal. Sent it…. Read More

“It was not a bad highway, as highways go—long and flat and lined with evergreens and small houses—but it was a far cry from the serenely wooded trails of my imagination. Yet, Highway E75 was what I had. On my map of Finland it was a red line, pointing straight north. My head ached from the smell of exhaust and the roar of semi trucks. Curious faces peered at me from the… Read More

“These are people who live close to God, their god, the river. They bathe in her, scoop her up in containers to make coffee, drink her down. They skin ptarmigan and watch her current run red, then clear. They rake her bottom with their shovels, feed her through a sluice, collect her finest, densest soil in their pans, bottle up and pocket her gold. Each turn of the shovel sounds like ehkä…. Read More

3/14/18 I’m standing in the meadow, soles of my feet slowly freezing, wishing the body did not have limits. My eyes will never be wide enough to catch this sky, the shimmering veil of green falling like slow stars on my head. My mouth is no good either; what? what? is all I can say, all I can ever say when I am struck with wonder. I clutch my heart. I do… Read More

The Sami woman named Leena looked me up and down. I was wearing the warmest clothes I own—a ski jacket, snow pants, my best gloves and boots. Underneath all that I had heavy long underwear, a down vest, and my thickest fleece. I live in Maine now, I thought when I packed my bag last week to return above the Arctic Circle. This will be enough. “No.” Leena lit a cigarette and raised… Read More

Once a year, when I’m out climbing a mountain or sitting by a river, I write myself a letter. When I’m finished, I fold it up and mark it with a (stern, brightly-colored) note that says something like READ AFTER 9/16/16! Then, I hide it away in my house for my future self to find. When I do find these notes again, they astound me. Yesterday, my heart got wrecked by love. I found an… Read More

I don’t usually do this.  Share things straight out of my journal, that is.  But this year when I began my masters in Creative Writing at Stonecoast MFA to help me craft Finding Petronella into a full-length book, I met a woman named Rose.  Rose had a boy she called her son who died on tour in Afghanistan.  He’d volunteered to take another man’s seat in a mission, and his vehicle was blown apart.  She was… Read More

In the the middle of a pond on my friend Ami’s gold claim in Lemmenjoki National Park, there is a floating armchair.  The water, which may be warm during the summer, begins to drop down toward freezing come September.  What, you may be asking, could possibly motivate me to sit naked with a local newspaper in my hands in a floating armchair in the middle of a freezing pond?  There is only one thing. She is a… Read More

Today’s Finding Petronella Kickstarter Update (Or: A Long-Awaited Update on the Status of Things) Tuesday, June 16th 2015 – somewhere around 11:30am Hello, Friend. The power is out at the Lake, and it’s raining. All the things that make life more complicated – cell phones, home phones, unanswered emails and things I feel I should be doing, facebook, internet black holes of jazzy titles designed to capture our waning attention spans (and cat… Read More

Today, March 20th 2015, is the Vernal Equinox.  The day and night are equal. But from here on out, the day wins.  Light wins.  Love wins. I have felt so afraid lately.  Afraid of losing: love, freedom, the very way I know how to be alive.  I probably got too comfortable because I forgot losing all that, painful as it is, is not always a bad thing.  Those who walk our path next to us… Read More