Our boys under the tree

The Men They Will Become


Life isn’t measured in minutes, but in moments.

One of my fondest memories is the day I became a father—it was a defining moment. A moment when joy, exhilaration, a crying baby, an exhausted mother, ...

Letters from Joe Koenick

The Pen & the Palette


Last year I wrote about “The Lost Art of Letter Writing.”
Today, this newsletter has a new twist.


As I grow older, I’m finding significant value in mementos—things I’ve had for years—but ...

Dad and Mark, Karen and David

The Light in My Father's Eyes


This is one of my favorite photos of my father. Why? Is it because of the smile on his face? The joy in that smile? That he is clowning with a relative out of the frame? Or because this is a ...

Karen's Car Accident and in Hospital

When There is No Miracle


You’re not supposed to think about these things on your wedding day—especially during the ceremony. But the thought flittered through my mind, anyway. What would I do if I prematurely lost the woman ...

Christmas Ideals resized for my website

Who is Standing Behind You?


HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope you enjoyed the holiday, time with your family, and time to rest. I have enjoyed resting and a short hiatus from writing this newsletter. I now look forward to writing more ...

A Christmas Memory

Minor Characters, Major Roles


I just finished reading Richard Paul Evans’ latest Christmas book, A Christmas Memory. It is the twenty-fifth book I have read from this author who has written forty-three consecutive New York Times ...

Journal and Laptop

Feeling the Words You Write


For years, I have been talking about pausing—stepping back—to see things more clearly. Sometimes the aerial view surpasses the close-up. 

This was most meaningful to me when I was a full-time ...

Guitar by Jacek Dylag

The Magic of Music


MUSIC. It adds a sweetness to life. We sing along with it, tap our feet to it, work out to it, and let it rock us to sleep. Experts say it has the potential to lighten our mood, reduce anxiety, ...

Man daydreaming

The Value of Daydreaming


When was the last time you daydreamed? 

Remember, as kids, we would occasionally be “caught daydreaming,” as if it were a negative thing—instead of what it really is—a creative exercise or simply ...

Man in tree platform

The Art of Noticing


A year ago, I read a blog by this name. It intrigued me. Especially since most of my life, I’ve attempted to live “slow enough” to notice things. To truly notice them--like having an aerial view of ...

Signing contracts with Andy and Cyle

What To Do When Dreams Come True


We all have dreams. Recently, I wrote to you in this newsletter about chasing your dreams. (See below.) I had a dream come true last week. I signed a contract from a literary agent who wanted to ...

Man reading by a lake

Cure for the Common Life


As a writer, I’m also a reader. You can’t be the former without the latter. They work together. And, I often read near a body of water so I can sit back and take in the sights and sounds of my ...