Author Archives: Jeff

Improvisation

I’ve been playing guitar off and on since the 70s. I’ve learned enough to play electric blues and blues/rock at the amateur intermediate level, but I’ve had no success improvising beyond mixing various rhythm guitar riffs. Recently I’ve realized I … Continue reading

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Lifesaving Poems

As Anthony Wilson tells in The most popular lifesaving poems, he pivoted his blog several years ago to the afore mentioned topic. Mary Oliver’s The Journey tops the list. They all are worth reading. Naomi Shihab Nye’s The Art of … Continue reading

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Author Mission Statement

How (And Why) to Create an Author Mission Statement is a guest column on the Writer Unboxed blog. It’s a five step process to getting clear about the goal of your writing: What you write (e.g., poems, essays, novels)? Who … Continue reading

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Links to YouTube

Some but not all of my links to YouTube are being forbidden. I’ve tried logging out and trying again. Those are also forbidden. I have not found a way around this. I’ve unlinked all affected links. Hopefully, if you want … Continue reading

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COVID-19: Lament and Anger

Up until recently, the only serious COVID-19 cases I knew of were friends’ relatives I had never met. That changed about a week ago. Last year a good friend, in fact our emergency contact here in Austin, took a bad … Continue reading

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View from Above

Several decades ago, probably not long after the Blue Marble photo of the Earth from the Moon was taken in 1972, I read a Science Fiction story about the effect of that experience on astronauts. The people in the story … Continue reading

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In It for the Long Haul

When COVID-19 first reached Austin, TX and we were asked to wear masks, most of what I saw was disposable masks. Now most places I go require masks and most of them are washable cloth masks. People expect to be … Continue reading

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King of West Campus

Austin is full of ideas, music, creatives, and food trucks. There are various ethnicities (e.g. tacos, Venezuelan, Jamaican), hybrids (Korean-Mexican), and none of the above. JP’s Pancake Company is one of the latter. Or maybe one of the hybrids, his … Continue reading

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John McPhee on Writing and the Relationship Between Artistic Originality and Self-Doubt

Impostor Syndrome is an occupational hazard of any creative endeavor. John McPhee’s discussion of the problem and its solution (taken from his book Draft No. 4) on Brain Pickings both nailed the problem and its solution. Read it and bookmark … Continue reading

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One Kind Favor

This song was written and recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson with just him and his guitar in the late 1920s. It has been covered numerous times. The original arrangement doesn’t do full justice to the creepiness of the lyrics. Jerry … Continue reading

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