After six months of COVID and social distancing, staring at the same four walls of my newly rearranged and then re-cluttered home office, I’ve learned how lucky I am to live in a place where wilderness is a short drive away. We all need our “panic hole,” as Jim Harrison termed it…a wild space insideContinue reading “Place & Story & COVID”
Maggie is the best trail dog because when you’re in the woods with her she wanders with a specific sense of aimlessness that is instructive for writers. For a dog, a walk in the woods is high art. She follows the twin muses of her nose and curiosity. She engages in prolonged tangents during headlongContinue reading “What my dog teaches me about writing”
I never planned to go to Japan. It wasn’t an accident, just somebody else’s idea. That somebody else was my daughter. I’m in the fortunate position of writing and making films and media for a living. And sometimes I get to travel to wonderful places and tell stories about interesting people. I fall in loveContinue reading “To Japan”
I sometimes hesitate to admit that I miss the Wall, that I feel a longing for something so awful. But back then you knew where you stood. There was a double wall of concrete with razor wire and mines in the middle, and on one side stood the good guys, bad guys on the other.Continue reading “What I miss about the Wall”
Few artists have produced work that feels as urgently American to me in the way that Santiago Uceda’s does.
It’s hard to say where stories come from. It’s a sort of archaeological game that we tend to play if we’ve ever taken a literature class and made the wildly speculative assumption that such origins exist. The online journal Failbetter.com published my novella @SharkGirl79 earlier today, so I guess if there’s a moment to spendContinue reading “Searching for Shark Girl”
The final post in the series, here are tips for running a Steeple Chase Exercise on your writing in the real world.
In this post we’ll break the Steeple Chase Exercise into its respective parts and show how its playful qualities are the perfect match for literary dilettantes.
I’m going to share the best thing I learned in graduate school. It’s an exercise called the Steeple Chase and and it’s tailor-made for dilettantes.
Over the course of this project I will dig into the details of dilettantism and how useful it is for artists…
I’m a writer and a filmmaker. I can say that now without visibly cringing and with only a minor internal flareup of the old imposter syndrome…
I expected to travel to Bangladesh to portray stories of climate victims. I expected to see a graphic illustration of a nation that is dealing with climate change problems that they had no hand in creating. I expected to see frustration and maybe even righteous fury. But instead, I found hope, grit and determination. WhenContinue reading “Hope and resilience in Bangladesh”
Do films actually matter? I spend a lot of time wringing my hands over this question, especially since I’ve committed so much of my life to making them. A recent trip to Colombia to screen our latest film provided some answers.
Michael Shannon is an actor known for his talent for playing complex and often malevolent characters, so it was interesting to consider his response when he was…
“Make no little plans,” or so they say. This is your guide to spending three days in Chicago, featuring pizza, blues and architecture.
Star Wars, spotted owls and showing a science documentary about anthropogenic change in the heart of timber country.
The Iraq War, the Sixth Extinction and the lightning bolt that allowed me to appreciate contemporary art.
Two films that I co-directed/produced will premiere in 2018
Giving the gift of flavor in Burgundy
Viewing the eclipse seventy miles off of the Oregon Coast: thoughts on hype, denial, climate change and whatever remaining hope we have to make things right.