Month: December 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear friends,

It was a great year on The Fox Trails! I quit smoking, published a book, made a pilgrimage to a sacred place, and survived the 3,000 mile bicycle journey into the west. I couldn’t have done these things without your love and support. Even your doubt and worries are appreciated. My resolution for 2015 is to work twice as smart, and I aim to publish two books 🙂

Be safe tonight and I hope the coming year is blessed with learning and love.

Cheers to the new year and happy trails!


new year

What Happened to Kerouac? The Beat Goes On…

Dear Friends,

Beats, Beatniks, Hippies, Yippies, and yup…yuppies. Maybe the yup, yes-sir mentality of conformity led to that name..

The Beat Generation rose up and questioned everything. They questioned the postwar consumerism of the 50’s and they opposed the conventional structures of a materialistic society. They brought the freshness of postmodern art to the masses and they pushed the limits of censorship. I admire the Beats for that, especially Kerouac. His love for nature and travel was spiritual and pure. His strange patriotism, his wish for recognition, his love for his mother, his awkwardness around women, his drunkenness, his sensitivity, his loneliness, his dedication, and his poetry…I can relate.

Some friends undoubtedly read On the Road, some didn’t. Some of the people that I consider to be the best of friends, have yet to read The Fox Trails –maybe never will and I understand. But who out there really understands Kerouac, or the Beats for that matter? The Beat Generation inspired the Hippie Movement of the 60’s and the wonderful leaps that we made in social equality and civil rights. Those who protested for peace and justice, they made it possible for people like me to wear long hair and speak freely like I do today. Yet even now, we still struggle with the same issues. We’re very separated, violent people ruthlessly competing, and I yearn for a compassionate community, conscious and intellectual. I feel so alone.

Not that you’re not. There is a wonderfully hip community of musicians in Minneapolis that I totally dig. I love them, and I will return one day. But I had to go moan for man. I had to go moan, go groan, go roll my bones, alone.

What Happened to Kerouac? The Beat Goes On, tells the story of Jack and the Beat Generation. In the deluxe edition, you’ll see a conference with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Paul Krassner, and Abbie Hoffman. They debate the question: Was the Beat Generation a cultural movement of the social kind, or the political?

We live in amazing times. I was born in 1981, the year when MTV started broadcasting on television and IBM released the first personal computer. Technology really changed everything. It’s hard to separate the social and the political nowadays. I believe that race and sex will no longer divide the living, if I evolve my ego and see you all as family, plants and animals alike. I believe that competition and greed will no longer dominate the economy, if I slow my consumption and focus my consciousness on refining the worldview. Can you dig that? Will you do that with me? Can we do it together?

I gave away my possessions and a successful life in the city, to live the way I do.

I march to my own drum, and I bet you think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am, but the Beat goes on,,,


Book Two

Dear friends,

Reporting live from Georgia, writing from my grandfather’s house.

A wonderful house it is, filled with a lifetime’s worth of accumulations and character, only seen behind the doors of America’s retired citizens. The gas fireplace burns a clean flame contained below a mantle adorned with steins of every kind, lined up next to hand-carved figurines of Cowboys and Indians and different dogs and what-nots arranged in no particular order alongside Mayan spacemen and Aztec warriors in feathered-bird headdresses accompanied by stone pyramids and random statues of Elvis. This bathroom has a seashell/ocean theme in baby blues with creamy pinks and I wander on to see shelves with old tube radios and antique record players with hundreds of 33’s and dust-covered vinyl just waiting to be explored. I see knickknacks galore and paintings with intricate-wood frames on every wall in every room with abundant fake plants in huge vases and a collection of tarnished-silver spoons, one from each state and some from countries that I’ve yet to travel to. Reporters babble the horrible news on multiple televisions and I’ve never seen so many lamps under one roof. A variety of ceiling fans spin around, at least two for each dog and I open a closet filled with vintage dresses, ballroom gowns, and old clothes protected in plastic. The mysterious guest room has the masks of the Mardi Gras Parade hanging on the walls, and the vanity mirror and the headboard on the bed are both draped in beads. Strange joker-like dolls with painted faces stare at me with their porcelain-Chinese eyes and they taunt me and haunt me like the ghost of New Orleans. I see ancient furniture with skeleton-key locks on drawers with gargoyle-brass handles, candles never burned and old chairs not meant to be sat upon. A fancy dining room table sits there, lonely in the main room and hungry for attention. The kitchen has empty wine bottle decorations and odd-shaped glass jugs stuffed with garlic and peppers in a fall cornucopia of colors, filled with oils and spices, vinegars not meant to be tasted. I open a cupboard door and a coffee cup falls out and shatters on the marble counter top and grandpa says, “Easy does it.” More mugs are stacked inside though, next to the never-ending rows of glasses, a dozen-dozen maybe and I figure, why not put these to use. So I fix a drink and clean the mess, but I do wonder about these things.

I have one mug. It traveled with me all the way from Minnesota and it functions as a bowl to eat from and a cup to drink from. I have one spoon, and it cuts just as well as it scoops. When I’m done with these things, I wash them and they serve me well. I have one pair of pants -my old trusty black jeans. There’s a pair of shorts and two or three shirts in my collection with socks and underwear of course. Likewise, I wash these items and use them without a want or a need for more. I haven’t had the room for more and now that I do have a room, I still see no need to fill that space because I’m happy with what I have.  

I complain about Walmart and not wanting to work a job that I don’t believe in and I moan and groan about our country’s over-consumption and the greediness of a capitalistic society -never satisfied and always wanting bigger-better-more-more-more. I’m now better acquainted with my grandparent’s home and the “stuff” that they’ve collected over the years and I do wonder about these things but I see this and all of the above to be totally normal. This is the American Dream, to have what you wish for. What I want and what I value happens to be different. To live simply is what I wish for and I’m fine with not being normal.

I feel like a curious child in this house with so much to explore. Not many people in their 30’s have the chance to spend quality time with their grandparents and there is much to learn here. I’ll earn my keep and lend a hand around the house. My needs for food and shelter are taken care of and I’m grateful to be in a safe place where I can be creative.

*an unedited excerpt, copy/pasted from the recent writing*

**I need a hyphen expert**

Some days I sit down and type 5,000 words and the manuscript for Book 2 should be ready for editing in about a month. I’m excited about the content that I’m creating and it’s the perfect prelude for the finale. When I wake up in the morning, I’m immediately thinking about writing. During the afternoon when I’m not at the keyboard, I’m either napping or reading. I fall asleep at night and dream about writing. I had a dream last night actually. I saw The Fox Trails trilogy on a bookshelf. Three books -one red, one white, and one blue, but in the opposite order. The American Dream, a little backwards and upside down but if you do a headstand…

I’m going back in. Where ever you are and where ever you’re going..

Happy Trails,