Eleanor in the Snow

My rendition of Eleanor Rigby.  A fitting mood for this quiet, snowy day in Virginia.

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Two Forces


Between two forces—one pulling us toward the person we are destined to be, the other toward the person we long to become—lies a liminal space of infinite possibilities. A place of continuingly coming into being, where words, faith, intention, and love merge. A place where longing and bliss caress each other. I struggle to exist in that space without the forces tearing me apart.

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The Girl From Far Away


Was it dreams or prayers that brought her?
Magic filled October skies
The train arrived with
The girl from far away.

Flesh and bone and spirit melded
Youth with its ecstatic flame
And talks I’d have with
The girl from far away.

“You are angry with yourself
You need to smile at your life.”
The lessons learned from
The girl from far away.

Our time never was for certain.
Each breath was a miracle
The train rolled off with
The girl from far away.

Now with work and wife and home
Sometimes I sit all alone
My thoughts reach out for
The girl from far away.

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The Vermont Adventure – last day




Pictured above are the quaint pine forest behind my residence hall, College Hall in the rain, and the organ in the chapel, where many of our lectures and readings take place. It is also where the graduation ceremony took place today.

This final day of residnecy was emotional, primarily for the graduates but also for the first-semester students. There are many traditions at this school, and all of us in the first semester were pleasantly surprised by another in our honor. These traditions are very personal; therefore, they are not appropriate for social media. Suffice it to say that if you decide to attend this wonderful college, you will always cherish the learning, the faculty, and the traditions. It is no exaggeration that my decision to finally attend VCFA has been one of the best in my life.
Hooray to the graduates, the second, third, and fourth semester students, and to my dear first-semester friends.

We will return in January!

P.S. I was able to creep into the Gary Library late last night and gain access to the Special Collections vault. Right there, alone on a small oak table, was the dreaded book used by some nefarious student to conjure the beast that was inhabiting the tower of College Hall. With the aid of a few night time accomplices, I was able to translate the ancient writings and speak the invocation that contained the abominable creature, which will live out the rest of its days deep beneath the fountain in front of College Hall.

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The Vermont Adventure – day ten

No picture tonight.  This was our last long day of lectures, workshops, and readings.  Most of the students are discussing their study plans for the next six months, reflecting on their experiences during the residency, and sharing their joy about being part of the finest children’s lit program around. We are preparing to miss  each other, but we know the friendships made here will keep us charged and inspired for many years to come.

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The Vermont Adventure – day nine


Pictured above is Noble Hall, where we have readings, gatherings, and some faculty meetings. It is also the faculty residence hall.

The weather was beautiful again today, and it helped rejuvenate many of us after a high-energy party last night. There is so much to be thankful for at this school. And everyone voices their appreciation. It is not often that a person can make a hundred new friends in just ten days.

Even though there are still a couple of workshops and several lectures and readings the next two days, there is a sense of decompression, that the hardest work is behind us and that we are all close to the end of our brief summer together. The goal now is to maintain the energy, excitement, and magic when we all return home to our jobs and families and prepare for the assignments we have to submit over the next several months.

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The Vermont Adventure – day eight


Pictured above is the room where I and ten other students workshop our pieces with William Alexander and Sharon Darrow. Yes, it is powerful.


This was without reservation the most beautiful day in Montpelier so far; it was cool with low humidity.

It has been said on blogs that VCFA is the Harvard of children’s and YA literature. I have to say that only a fool would argue. The faculty is second to none, and every single day is edifying.

Well, off to a dance party.

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