This is a story of a bookstore. It's a story of a bookstore that was baked from scratch, with not a lot of ingredients, by a lot of people who'd never baked a bookstore before, trying a method that, if not unprecedented, certainly is uncommon. The bookstore is This House of Books, in the town where I live, Billings, Montana. Its name is a nod to perhaps the most famous work of perhaps the most famous Montana author, Ivan Doig. What we call it is one of my favorite things abou
“Write what you know” – Mark Twain. This advice is frequently given to aspiring authors. It was given to me years ago and I decided to give it a try. At first I worried that what I knew was not necessarily the stuff of great literature, at least that’s what I thought, until I pared down a couple of Shakespeare plays and examined their plot lines. (This is the kind of thing you do on a Saturday night when you live in Stratford-upon-Avon, have two small children, no social life
How many presidents can you name? The diner I go to, and for years, sit and write in, has place-mats with all the presidents on them, and the lobby wall has all pictures of all the former commanders in chiefs in frames that go up to the ceiling. The owner is a man who immigrated from Greece way back when. As a naturalized citizen, he became enamored with the notion and the idea of a president. A citizen, not royalty or a theocrat being elected by the governed. Tom liked me be
Although I consider myself an animal lover, I absolutely adore dogs. I’m not really sure why, but I’ve always felt a deep connection to the canine species. Granted, there have been a few times when I’ve experienced fear caused by our four-legged friends—most taking place on my paper route. For the most part, though, dogs and I hit it off very well. From my earliest memories, my family has always had a dog or two we adopted as family (never just pets). Most have been mutts, mi
Sometimes I wonder if the advancing of age and a leaning toward old-fashioned values are a hindrance to relevancy in our contemporary workplace. Then I remember who taught me the most about workplace navigation in the early years of my professional career. It was bosses and colleagues advancing in age and leaning toward old-fashioned values. I don’t think a bit of traditional thinking about the nature of workplace relationships is incompatible with rapid innovation, agile thi
I know. It’s been a while. I’ve missed you too. “So what happened?” I hear you ask. “Where have you been these last few years? What have you been up to?” Well, it’s been quite the journey. I daresay there may have been warning signs in my earlier posts because it was during the writing of Letter From Paris that I developed a rare syndrome. A therapist may have considered it a personality disorder. I prefer to think of it as a need for reinvention upon reaching a certain age.