March Hits & Misses (a recap)

Well March is in the books and it was a bit of a slump vs. previous months in terms of my blog readership. I’m not sure if January and February were unusually good, or if March was unusually poor, but for March I was down in views by more than half vs. February.

Here is a recap of the top three posts and the worst performer (based on number of views) for March.

No. 1: Monty’s Never Have I Ever (2-part series)

The Stats: 35 views for top post (70+ views for all posts in the series)

The Gist: This was my first foray into running a blog quiz and as the name says it was based on the ‘never have I ever game’. In reality it was just an excuse for me to give away one of my books (and clock in a sale), but what’s wrong with that?

The Take-away: This was fun! Some of the responses from the participating players really made me laugh. AND you got to learn a whole lot more about the weird things I’ve done in my life all for a dollar. If you missed it, it’s worth a read.

No. 2: The Silver Lining (2-part series)

The Stats: 19 views for top post (28 views for all posts in the series)

The Gist: I introduced a new poem format and invited others to give it a try (and tried myself).

The Take-away: I really like the idea behind this forum. It was a bit disappointing to not have any takers to join in, but the silver lining poem I wrote was really powerful to me and I’m going to keep this form in my repertoire moving forward.

No. 3: #AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal

The Stats: 21 views

The Gist: This post introduced the theme for April’s #AtoZChallenge which is “Seriously Silly Poetry”.

The Take-Away: This is my first year taking part of this challenge and I’m really excited by the theme. I’m hoping that the challenge aspect may bring in some new readers (and introduce me to some new cool blogs). The first post is now up here!

The Flop: The Long March Ends

The Stats: 5 views (and I think one of them might have been mine)

The Gist: A brilliant title (apparently wasted).

The Take-away: Ouch. I really thought this title had a hook. Oh well.

Be well,


January Hits & Misses (#bloganuary recap)

Well #bloganuary has come to an end and while I’m grateful that this event helped bring me over to the WordPress platform and significantly increased the level of my engagement with the blogging community, I’m also VERY happy to see it’s conclusion. I made the best of it and I will give the benefit of the doubt to the WordPress team for having the best of intentions, but some of these prompts were a pretty rough. As a relative newbie to the blogging world I applied my fresh energy to the challenge and tried my best to create some interesting content. Here is a recap of the top three posts from the series, and the worst performer (based on number of views).

No. 1: Living Courageously

The Stats: 32 views

The Prompt: What does it mean to live boldly?

Analysis: This one required some research to get started, which is a different from most of my writing as I tend to write from what I (think) I know. The result was a poetic list that feels right.

No. 2: I Don’t Feel Strong

The Stats: 29 views

The Prompt: Write about what makes you feel strong.

Analysis: This was my favorite post of the series by far. I had no idea where I was going to go with it when I started. I just knew I didn’t feel strong. The result is a bit of poetic prose that really resonates for me.

No. 3 (tie): Sun, Happiness, Coffee, Writing & Gratitude

The Stats: 26 views

The Prompt: What are five things you’re grateful for today?

Analysis: This one just flowed naturally (which I was grateful for)

No. 3 (tie): Past Present Future

The Stats: 26 views

The Prompt: If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?

Analysis: [Spoiler] There’s no time like the present.

The Flop (No. 31): Road Trip!

The Stats: 2 views

The Prompt: What is a road trip you would love to take?

My Response: This was a five-for-one so you all missed a great deal. My only guess as to why this one performed so poorly is that it was very early and I hadn’t established an audience yet (but I can’t explain why it outperformed the first post of the series). *shrug*

Be well,


Words Matter

29th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: How are you changing the world?

One word at a time.

“Polaris” – originally published in Thirteen Words

Be well,


Dear Father,

23rd post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: Interview a fictional character.

I’m stretching this prompt a bit, but this is what I feel like sharing today. In many ways, the Father in this poem is fictional. The creation of a young boy trying to make sense of a situation that didn’t make any sense. Originally written last year.

Dear Father,

Dear Father, is it true? Did you leave to be free of me?

I come from you. Are you ashamed? Do I spoil your good name?

I’m sorry I’m not worthy.

Dear Father, are you listening? What should I do?

Your blood runs within me. Tarnished by my stupidity.

Should I slice it free? Will you answer me?

Dear Father, where are you? Are you a reality?

Or are you just an origin story? A false memory?

Something to make sense of life biologically?

Dear Father, your silence is my answer.

I know what I must do now. I’ll let you be.

This feels right. I see the light beckoning me.

Dear Father, please forgive me.

I promise I tried my best. Honestly.

I’m sorry. I am not worthy.

Be well,


Serenity, Courage, Wisdom

22nd post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: What is your favorite quote and why?

My Answer: The serenity prayer because…

“17” originally published in Monty’s Very Short Shorts

Be well,


Past Present Future

21st post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?

Ah. A classic topic in the ol’ game of imagination. Time travel! In some ways, I kinda selected a version of time travel as my super power in the previous question (Slo-Mo Man), but let’s explore this a little further from another angle or two.

To the Past…

The past is full of memories. Some comforting. Some regrettable. If I go back in time, either to my own timeline of before my birth, I have the opportunity to change the future for better or worse. While there are many things I wish were better in this world, I do not want to risk changing the course of my life. It’s how I got to be who I am. I’ve worked very hard to overcome my challenges – some imposed by others and many imposed by myself. I finally like myself (mostly) and I love my life and the people in it. So, despite the temptation, I’ll pass on the past.

To the Future…

Ah, this is something that I’ve flirted with so many times in my life. It’s the escapist’s dream. Fast forward through a boring school day. Skip past the heartbreak year after a painful breakup. Or jump all the way to life’s finale for the ultimate release. Even these days, when I’m trying to embrace the present, I can find myself fantasizing about retirement during a particularly annoying zoom meeting at work. But to skip ahead is to miss all the presents in between. I don’t want to miss a moment. A chance to share a laugh with my kids. A hug with my wife. An interesting introspection with my mom. A hot coffee or cold beer with a friend. So, its a firm no on fast forwarding to the future for me.

To the Present…

You might be wondering exactly how “time-traveling” to the present would work. Isn’t it just NOT time-traveling at all? Well, I’d argue that while my body is always in the present, my mind is not. My mind is often reliving the past or fantasizing about the future. While this isn’t inherently bad, it tends to be a negative place for me. Either a place of regret, guilt, and resentment. Or a place of unhealthy escapism that leans toward suicidal ideation. So, my choice is to time-travel to the present. It’s the one version of this fantasy that I can actually work on to achieve.

When Time Stills















Be well,


A Photo of a Photo

20th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?

Um, “ever”??? Let’s get reasonable. How about my favorite photo that I have on my phone’s camera roll? I mean it’s not reasonable to expect me to remember all the photos from my very first manual camera till now. That would be over four decades. But, if I’m honest, most of those photos will have my thumb in the corner so probably not legitimate candidates. So let’s see, I’ll be back after doing some browsing and trying to remember which photos I personally took.

Ah, that was quick, actually. Here is a digital photo of a physical photo that I took back in Nagoya, Japan in 1995 of the girl I had fallen for the moment I met her. When I look at this photo I feel the excited energy of falling in love all over again. Ah, to be 22 again.

Four months after this photo was taken we were married and we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last year.

“Intoxicated” – originally published in Monty’s Very Short Shorts

Be well,


The Night Train

19th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: Write something mysterious.

Well, this is quite the turn. Write something mysterious, huh? No query. Not even a polite “please”. Just a matter of fact statement to write…something…mysterious. Challenge accepted!

The Night Train

It was after midnight. A bit foggy. Like my memory of this night over 40 years ago. Or perhaps it was a dark clear night with no moon? As I said my memory is foggy. But despite the lack of certainty on some of the specifics, this is a true story.

We were sitting in the car, parked at the Brattleboro, Vermont train station lot situated tightly between the long since closed station building and the rails. We were awaiting the arrival of Amtrak’s Montrealer – traveling painfully slowly from New York City to Montreal due to the poor track conditions. The only passenger train serving our rural community. I was 8 or 9 years old. My older brother, about 12, was on the train, which was running late as always.

It was cold and dark. Just a single dim lamp lighting the parking lot. Mom was sitting next to me in the driver’s seat. A shiver came over me as we sat there. Not from the cold (the car was running with the heat on), but from a sudden vision. I knew (not thought, knew!) that the next car that arrived in the lot was going to fall off the sharp edge of the parking lot and onto the tracks. I didn’t just have the feeling…I told my Mom what I was so sure I knew was going to happen. She didn’t say anything as far as I recall, but she listened and still remembers that night and my prediction.

So when the next car came crawling in we watched it carefully. It was a small passenger car. And, as I’m sure you already suspect, it slid off the parking lot surface and hung over the edge onto the tracks. Exactly as I had predicted. There was a moment of excited panic across the lot as some folks rushed over to the stranded vehicle. The train was already late so it could arrive at anytime with its loud horn and slow rumble. But the night was still silent, and the car was light enough to be lifted to safety by the group of burly Vermonters. And all was well.

I can rationalize this “premonition” as just being a logical fear due to the narrow driving lane between the parked cars and the tracks and the dim light of the night. But, I’m inclined to think I saw the future. Why not? It makes for a cooler story.

Hope you enjoyed that little true story.

Unrelated, but in the spirit of “mysterious”, here is a bonus illustrated poem.

“The Poetess” – originally published in Monty’ Very Short Shorts

Be well,


To Be (Read) or Not to Be (Read)

18th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: What book is next on your reading list?

I’ve been a bit slow on reading ever since I took up writing. I find myself more often putting my energy into creating and it leaves less time and energy for my original and beloved pastime of casual reading. Growing-up and all through my student years I was a ferocious reader and it was torturous when I moved overseas in my early 20’s and lost access to books. Now, with e-books, it’s so much better and I do love the fact that I have access to virtually any book that I desire. While I may not be reading as much these days, I’m still reading. Here is my current reads in progress and what’s up next.

My Current Kindle Library

Younger Next Year – Henry S. Lodge & Chris Crowley (currently reading @82%)

This book was recommended to me by a recently acquired friend who is about a decade ahead of me and just retired. He is in great physical and mental shape and he suggested this book to me as it was transformational for him.

I’ll admit that I struggled significantly when starting this book due to one of the author’s (Chris Crowley) voice. Although the books title doesn’t include any indication that it’s directed toward men (and much of the scientific content is relevant to both women and men), the author is clearly directing his message toward men. I found this a bit off putting, personally, but based on the strong recommendation I decided to push through.

The other author’s writing, Dr. Henry S. Lodge, is much more accessible to me (although it’s scientific content may be a challenge for non-scientist types). I love science so his content really works for me and I found it very compelling.

In a nutshell, this book lays out the science for why physical exercise and social engagement is fundamental to our holistic health and can allow us to live our lives vibrantly into our retirement years. It also provides some very practical advice on how to start.

As a overweight middle-aged man looking to retire in about a decade this book’s message has resonated strongly with me and I would recommend it to other’s like me (including women if you can get over the overly macho writing of the 2nd author).

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence – Esther Perel (currently reading @19%)

Another recommendation, this one coming from my therapist. I’m not sure if admitting this shares too much information about me, but *shrug*.

I don’t have too much to say about this book. I’m unlikely to continue to read it further. Not because it doesn’t provide a valuable message and insights. It does. It explores the areas of passion and sex within a committed marriage. However, it is very repetitive and not sure if I’ve much more to gain for the effort required to finish the book.

How Al-Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics (currently reading @8%)

Another recommendation! I had no idea that my reading list had completely shifted from self-identified pleasure reading to more self-help recommendations. While I appreciate life-long learning, I do think I need to find something to read for pure fun.

This books title says it all and let’s just say that I qualify from multiple perspectives and I will definitely continue to read.

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi (TBR)

This is highly reviewed memoir of a neurosurgeon contemplating the meaning of life. I’m writing my own memoir and if I recall correctly I came across this title while I was researching memoirs for inspiration. While I don’t consider my blog as a place I will do too much book reviewing, I will see if I’m inspired by this book and share my thoughts as they come up.

Be well,


Slo-Mo Man

17th post for #bloganuary (a WordPress event)

The Prompt: What is a superpower you’d love to have?

When I saw this prompt come in I was a bit confused as I thought we already had this one earlier in the month. Turns out I had written a post on a very similar theme last December. I had to laugh when I realized. Since that was posted on my old blog site, I figure I can repurpose it here. It’s still 100% valid. Enjoy!

Slo-Mo Man

Originally Posted: 20 December 2021 on

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Super strength? Invisibility? X-ray vision? How many times have you played this game of imagination growing up? More than I can count, for me. I’ve answered differently throughout the years. Weighing the pros and cons of each choice.  Debating the finer points with whomever would listen.

My youngest fantasy was to fly. I dreamed both day an night about flying away. An escape in more ways then one. X-ray vision was a favorite during puberty, but it always required some special fine tuning to avoid very disturbing results. I spent many a night trying my way to think that one through. Oh, the not so innocent innocence of pre-internet pubescence. Later in life, I would discuss the same question with my kids. No matter what I chose they always had an argument as to why I was wrong. They made some pretty good points.

I’m not exactly sure how I came to consider this question again this morning. It was a meandering thought process with a murky beginning and the final conclusion that from now on my super power is going slow. When the world is spinning out of control and life gets unruly, I take it slow. 

Here’s the logic: When I slow down, life slows down too. In fact, life slows down exponentially in relation to the pace I live it. By going slow, the world around me pauses. Suddenly time gets vertical. Urgency, with all of its stresses, fades away. Life becomes calm. I transform from impatient to compassionate. From insensitive to kind. From selfish to giving. The slow me is grateful. The slow me is my best self. 

I’m Slo-Mo Man!

Be well,