The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

What story will YOU read next?


Some places in this world don’t even mark them.  Some people have no idea on which day they were born.

In some places on this earth, life spins out on a thin thread

and can so easily


In some places it’s crazy to make plans.  In some places the stories that get told most often are stories of endurance and acceptance and staying still.

I wonder what difference it makes to our innards that we are people who read and hear and tell those other stories.

Human against nature.

Human against human.

Human against society.

Human against self.

What does it mean that in the most oppressive places on this earth, people still and always find ways to mock the fierce and powerful, to sing the songs and tell the stories of survival?

How many awful things have you practiced surviving as you imagined yourself into the skin of another human being?

How brave have you been?

How have you stretched as you felt all the things there are to feel in this world?

What stories do you tell yourself over and over?

Are they stories of toughness and hope?

My year of travels is wrapping up and spooling down.  This evening, I’m looking out over the lights of Detroit, that struggling city, and tomorrow I’ll get to have tea with families who come to the public library to hear about Lanie’s journeys.

Then Birmingham.

Then North Dakota (again).

Then Oklahoma.

Then it’s time to figure out how to move to Portland, a place I haven’t lived since I was two years old.

I hope at the end of every year I can think back and know that I did a thing or two to spread the stories.

1 thought on “What story will YOU read next?”

  1. A couple of hours ago I heard Brian Doyle speak at the Ooligan writers workshops at PSU. He was most insistant about stories needing to be told. When you get to Oregon you and he should get together, I’m thinking. At the very least you seem to me to be on the same track.

    But I guess that is the writers’ track…


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