Around the World Without Leaving My Blog – 2016

My year in blogging – in color.   

The following is a cloud I created containing all of the countries from which someone viewed my blog during the last year. Larger fonts represent nations with more numerous visits, smaller fonts represent those with less. Outside of the expected visits from my own U.S.A, totals leaned toward Northern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. Many newcomers arrived, including Lithuania, Guyana and Morocco.

As always, my thanks to every visitor, near and far.

 

                                                     Morocco

                                         United Kingdom

     Finland  Romania  Japan  Turkey

                                    Australia   Philippines   Germany   Netherlands    Vietnam        Japan

                                                            Canada

                 United States

                       South Korea  Poland  Nepal  Spain

       Russia   New Zealand

                                           India

                                Sweden   Guyana   Singapore   Lithuania   Ukraine

                   France  Czech Republic  South Africa  Italy

     Slovakia  Thailand  Austria  Ireland

                                                                           Croatia   Kenya

214 Extracted Words – The Tease – December 2016

December 2016

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a short story.

 

The lift rumbled forward once again. A newbie tripped trying to make the last ride, he figures. Graphite tinted clouds curl over the divide to the north. A good blow is coming for sure. Perhaps more rain than snow. He’s managed to stay dry, buttoning up the hilltop restaurant for the season’s end. Getting soaked now, just before driving home, would be annoying. With the old Land Cruiser’s weak defrost, he’d be wiping the windshield all the way back to Lolo.

The lift passes by an intermediate tower, bounding over its sheaves, vibrating his molars. After two decades of riding up in the morning and down in the afternoon, he knows those bumps like puddles in his driveway. Another season over, another year until he gets where he’s going, wherever that is. One thing he knows, flipping burgers at sixty-five hundred feet isn’t going to cut it much longer. He’s been telling himself that for twenty years, so it must be true.

He pulls his hat to his sideburns and his bearded chin to his chest. Dropping over the next cliff is a run called the Witch’s Broom, a black diamond rockslide that is more elevator shaft than ski slope. And it’s always windy. When the sleet comes, it’s like opening a freezer door.

 

 

Happy Lille Julaften

91 Extracted Words – The Tease – November 2016

November 2016

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a non-fiction piece.

Under murky skies, on a labyrinth of trails laced between boulders, bogs and the West Branch of the Little Spokane River, one can explore the DNR land southeast of Horseshoe Lake. In Autumn, tamaracks light the way, flaunting their acid-yellow diversity against a chalkboard of evergreens. Cross paths with white-tailed deer or dusky grouse, thumping their escape through the misty forest. Discover a beaver pond, complete with lodge, built by the flat-tailed woodland engineers.

 

 

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 16th, 2016.

Breath

 

 

mountain wind pauses

silent dark boreal sighs –

Earth breathes in then out

 

 

 

view original prompt here

 

 

 

A Man, a Dog and a Trail – What’s a Little Rain Between Friends?

The record breaking precipitation hasn’t kept us off the mountain. What’s a little rain between friends?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UMMM …. About last night …

Keep calm and carry on.

As many of you know, my blog has followers and visitors from over 50 different countries, so I address my friends, both foreign and domestic, it’s going to be all right. Yes, I’m disappointed in last night’s results, but I wasn’t real happy with my choices in the first place. (Frankly, I think that is how most people feel today.) Trump garnered less than 50% of the votes of less than 60% of Americans, a political victory yes, but hardly a binding of hearts and souls with America. Winning an election in this country is not the same as pushing through an agenda. It is the first step, but only the first step in a long and torturous process. In fact, the slow pace of our democracy is part of what fuels the frustration that enables demagogues like Trump to win political elections in the first place. But as I said, elections are not the same as policies, law or action.

On the international stage, consider two points. First, the most powerful nation on Earth just performed a very peaceful transition of power. No small accomplishment in this age. Secondly, in regards to the Middle East, yes we are concerned with ISIS, but the American people have also had a belly full of war in the last 15 years, and Trump’s actual policy statements (aside from the bravado) don’t signal a huge change in involvement there.

On the domestic side, Trump has made many promises about cleaning up Washington. If he succeeds, well, more power to him. He continues to amaze, so I won’t bet against it. But if he fails, then most of his more robust agenda (such as repealing the ACA and deporting millions of immigrants) will not be possible. Bottom line: a plan to attack Congress and lobbyists might get you elected, but it won’t get much legislation passed.

My hope is that he chooses to bite off some small victories first. I would hope he could rally enough votes in Congress for clean water infrastructure, child-care subsidies, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and perhaps even term limits. (Yes, he has pledged to act quickly on all these points). Then even if he loses his political clout, at least we will have gained something for all our angst and embarrassment.

My bet is still on the American people. He is our employee now. It’s our job to keep reminding him of that.