Salmon gathering


I had a dream in the early hours this morning – an Earth Day dream.

Near my office—we’re somewhere northern—closer to the Arctic Circle.

Salmon gathering,

next to my friend’s office window,

in the river that ran clear past by the office building—

under a train bridge,

parallel to a turning train line.

Stood with my kids while we visited.

All so amazed!

Took out cameras to video the salmon run.

People are in with the salmon.

All so amazed!

Train comes by—whooshes through the salmon.

I’m on the train:

video still rolling,

young folks in bucket seats laughing and chatting and

So amazed!

About the salmon they’ve just trailed through.

The power is in the train,

with the kids;

the power isn’t with the salmon.

The salmon’s power transferred to the young kids on the train.

We’re sitting in the laps of the young kids who are holding the salmon-power.



p.s. This Earth Day, we are celebrating a birthday with a sleepover of young salmon-power-holders. Not marching. Just celebrating.



What we do: a daily rituals list for preteens

I wrote this for my own family as we get ready to go back to school this fall, and thought I’d share. Might be helpful to one of you out there!

Smile! It’s going to be a great day.
Stretch when you wake up.
Think of a happy word for the day.
Take long, slow deep breaths.
Pull up your bed covers as you get out of bed.
Did you have any dreams you would like to share?
Eat breakfast together, sitting down.
Dressing rituals: deodorant, shoe powder, teeth.
Give everyone a hug before you go.
Look at the sky! Feel the ground beneath your feet.
Have a great day!
How was today?
Share a happy thought from the day.
Help each other to find solutions.
What homework do you have?
Empty your backpack entirely, put things where they go.
Rec time: relax, run, bike, read, build. Computer time on weekends.
Find your homework spot and line yourself up with what you need to do.
Find something fun within the homework or your approach to it.
Take trampoline or jumping jack breaks.
Collect tomorrow’s books and papers.
Any forms to be signed by a parent?
What are we having for dinner?
Be a sous-chef and make some fun choices with the food.
Get creative with food flavors and combinations.
Did you like the food?
What would you do differently next time?
Help to clean up: it’s faster and more time for fun together.
Make what you want for lunch tomorrow and put in fridge.
Toss any laundry in the machine. Bedsheets on weekends.
Play an after dinner game at the table:

a word or card game if we’re having a busy night.

Before Bed
Think about what you enjoyed today.
Think about how you want tomorrow to be!
Give everyone a hug before you sleep.
Take a glass of water with you.
Cleaning rituals: teeth, shower.
Set out tomorrow’s clothes.
Quiet your mind from the day’s chatter.
Take some long, slow deep breaths.
Think of 5 happy thoughts.
Have a great sleep!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Feel free to share and modify to suit your family!


Seven (Groups of) Questions for JK Rowling


I’ve been on a binge of watching any and all interviews with author JK – Jo – Rowling on YouTube. Why? Hard to say. Of all the writing projects I have in the works* it is the children’s story that engages my interest most at this time. Perhaps that’s why. I watched these interviews with JK Rowling and then I couldn’t stop – like eating popcorn. Or chocolate. A lovely milk chocolate, maybe the kind with crispy rice bits inside. Or dried raspberry. Yes, with dried raspberry.

It began on her birthday, celebrated in the media, and picked up on my me. I wrote to her on Twitter to wish her a happy birthday and to say a big thank you for keeping my kids distracted while I write. I ought also thank authors Rick Riordan and Dan Gutman while at it. I owe these authors a great deal of appreciation and if I ever meet them in person, I will thank them for the many hours of entertainment they’ve given my family.

Authors are amazing in their responsiveness. I like writing to and with authors, and find they often take the time to write back. Given her volume of mail and being the focus of world-wide attention, I would be unsurprised if JK Rowling were not to respond. I’m not dissuaded. I have my questions lined up and ready. As a writer, my questions are specific and targeted to my own interests, rather than for a general audience.

If I was given the chance to ask JK Rowling anything, this is what I would and will ask:

  1. I’ve heard your novels require very little editing. Is that true, and if so, what processes do you take in writing that lead to that? Would you say you self-edit? What does that look and feel like?
  2. What influence has being a teacher had on your work? What is your favorite anecdote from your teaching years?
  3. Are there some things that simply cannot be written – or that cannot be written well? That defy words or our own language? Would you try, and have you?
  4. Have you had any of your translated novels written back into English, to see the effect of translation? What do you think of the translation process? Are your translations true to your original work? Do authors have to let that go, much like with movie adaptations?
  5. To what degree do you daydream, and is it a daily preoccupation?What about night-dreams? Do you analyze dreams? Do you nap?
  6. Do you believe in archetypes? Collective consciousness, or unconscious connectedness? These elements seem to come through in your work. Where does that come from in your own work and process – do you map it out, or does it flow without preplanning?
  7. You articulate the rush of writing – the deliciousness of being 2/3 of the way through writing a novel, with a clear path ahead and a full day to write – as being the best feeling. Thank you for that. Do you think most writers or creatives feel that way? Are we wired to love that, to look for that feeling, or can it be learned?

Is the search for this feeling the essential passion that drives a writer, even more so than having a story to tell?

These are my questions. If you, readers, could ask JK Rowling any questions, what would you ask?


* That is to say, I have one novel being edited, one in research, and a children’s story loosely forming on a notepad. All touch on themes of environmentalism and how we live, how we interact with our surroundings, and what fires us up creatively. Although she does not present herself as an “environmental author,” I think JK Rowling is that. Atmospheric, to be sure.

Appreciating the little things, that become the big things


It’s been a busy stretch lately with a focus on the house. Completed my green building continuing education credits today online (I’m a LEED-AP BD+C*), with one kid home sick from school. I appreciate the balance of both architectural building interests and family attention. Lining up all the elements of life.

What are you appreciative of in your life today?


*LEED-AP BD+C =  Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional with a Building Design and Construction focus

Be the Dream


It’s Martin Luther King Junior Day here in the US. I watched this classic MLK clip with my children today:

His words still resonate. Are relevant. Authenticity rolls off his tongue. Inspired, we moved into the present, in search of new and current interpretations. That led us to this:

Be the dream. Hold everyone you meet in an image of their full potential. Share the love!