More Fiction on the Way

Dear readers, writers, artists and fellow humans,
I’m working up a second collection of short stories, firing back up on my novel and submitting some other pros and poetry in the coming months. In the meantime, I invite you to read my first collection, the Brunt on Amazon. if you like dark quirk, ghost stories, satire andThe Brunt Cover animal revenge then these 6 stories are right up your figurative alley. Thanks as always for your support, your feedback and your own imaginative contributions to the world.


Pope Francis, Protector of Mother Nature: May He Work a Miracle With Climate Change

I really cannot believe that there isn’t more thunder in liberal circles with Pope Francis’s recent public statements on #climatechange.

Do any of you remember what it was like when Benedict or Paul opened their mouths?  It was always a “brace yourself for a draconian throwback from the 15th Century” kinda moment.

But #PopeFrancis seems to be the rare bird, not just in the church but in the world, who is taking the Jesus model seriously.  He’s not all “home school this and Original Sin that” he’s more like, “forgive everyone” and “please feel free to breast feed your babies in church”.

A little more than a week ago,  Pope Francis announced that he will “issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions,” regarding climate change, according to the UK Guardian. His goal is to rally unified support for action at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015. Encyclics are a high priority declaration that get handed directly down the ranks worldwide.

Now, I realize that for those of us on the left, this is the kind of declaration we have all been waiting for from a global figure, but his constituency may not feel this way.

But here is the beauty of his argument: Pope Francis is approaching this from a human rights perspective, a slant that leverages the sense of charity and justice that the #Catholic Church is famous for.  The Pentagon recently published a report on climate change and how it is directly related to destabilization in certain regions of the world. The nature of the conversation is changing, linking environmental and social justice together more closely. His Holiness is speaking in bigger terms, and with eloquence: “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,”

Could someone with this much clout make such a persuasive, human-centric case that he could sway the populace?

I want us all to set aside our informed cynicism about the state of the planet for a second and imagine one person could mobilize world leaders and such a significant portion of the global population that we could radically alter the current path of humanity.  Just sit with that for a second.

The Catholic Church is arguably the oldest corporation in history, and while I understand why religious people would veer away from that label, that descriptor actually works in the context of economics.  It has the oldest, longest running message, the biggest target audience, the most capital with which to enact rapid, massive change and a CEO with considerable decision-making power.  In ancient Rome, there were mostly terrible emperors who wallowed in food and sex, but even in there, a few good guys pushed civilization forward, building libraries and aqueducts.

I’m really hopeful for the first time in a long time that we can engender a collective ideological shift; history says it has happened before.  Maybe this sweet man who has said nothing but peace-making things since he became the Pope will say to the world, come on now, the science says yes, let’s clean it up.  Maybe half his church leaves him, and then all the liberal-leaning christians will move in to support that path, who knows?

Saint Francis is the guardian of the animals, the protector of nature.  He was a symbol of man’s responsibility to his world.  In his prayer he says, “Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”  Pope Francis is seeing the disconnect we are experiencing with nature and with our neighbors as the same thing.  May he do his best to heal it and may his flock listen.


Norm Shriever’s Article on Huffington Post about Therapeutic Yoga

Thank you Norm, for shining a light on the beautiful work the Yoga Seed Collective is doing for all the bodies in the community. It is truly come as you are.  I’m really proud to be part of it.

Teaching Yoga at Sutter Center for Psychiatry through the Yoga Seed Collective

I am lucky enough to be one of the teachers in on the ground floor of a project that provides #yoga to the patients at Sutter Center for Psychiatry.  It has been an enormous challenge and a third eye-opening experience.  The #YogaSeedCollective, the non-profit that organizes the outreach effort, is a quietly powerful force in the community, offering classes at the local prisons, drug rehabilitation centers and now at Sutter.  Getting involved with this community of hardworking, no-nonsense yogis is one of the best things that has happened to me since arriving in #Sacramento.  I feel inexpressible gratitude to them, on my own behalf and on behalf of all the people they serve.  

I wrote a short piece about my experience at Sutter, you can read it here in the Yoga Seed’s Outreach update:

Also, I want to say, of my own volition, how impressed I am with Sutter’s facility.  The dedication and level of understanding I see every day with the staff is awe inspiring.  I recently lost someone in my life to suicide, and while that person was not part of this community, I wonder if his situation would have changed had he access to care like Sutter provides.  If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, I would strongly urge you to seek help and based on my limited experience, I would not hesitate to recommend SCP.  (I have not been paid or am in any way affiliated with Sutter; I am an independent contractor through the Yoga Seed.)

To visit Sutter’s website, vist:

#mentalhealth #mentalillness #psychiatry