any way the wind blows…

leeward - any way the wind blows…

Writers… READ and WRITE everyday

That’s the common advice and very useful.

So what am I writing? Recently just responses and cover letters in the pursuit of gainful employment. I’m feeling like I’ve been on a month-long essay exam. I would rather be writing for an employer and writing entertaining — if only for myself — blog posts. Alas, the search for a paying gig continues on.

What am I reading? Aside from having a new obsession with Twitter? Check out @pourmecoffee on Twitter, I love that handle, its perfect. In fact, I’m a bit envious that I didn’t think of it.

A fascinating life

In 2010-11 Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln, which I’ve interrupted lately for O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln and Shelby Foote’s The Civil War. I have also read recently White’s A. Lincoln. The Sandberg series was on our shelves when I was a child, one of Dad’s collection. The five volume set that was Mr. Sandberg’s life’s work can be intimidating. It has an honored place in my library. I’ve paused temporarily before the 2nd volume of Sandberg’s war years to get a little more context of the civil war in my mind. Hence the jumping around. Shelby Foote’s work is cited frequently in the History Channel’s series The Civil War. (If you ignore the reality shows about truckers and pickers, the History Channel is still quality TV.)

(When I started that preceding paragraph I was thinking to myself — I need topics. Hard to write about nothing! Rereading that paragraph, I see a dozen or more blog posts to work on.  O’Reilly’s book is a NY Times Bestseller, I can at least add my review to that conversation.)

“Well, I can’t think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow” – Scarlett O’Hara.

It turns out, we live in the old south near the little rail junction that became the site of two major battles.  The first occurred early in the war, both sides felt it would be over in one decisive battle.  They would fight for honor and glory and then all go back to their daily lives the next week. Folks packed picnic baskets and rode out from Washington in their Sunday finest to watch the battle.  Those folks were nearly trampled by the Union Army scurrying back up Centreville Road in headlong, disorganized retreat. Interestingly, this traffic jam is recreated every day as the battlefield is encroached by the main route for Virginia Commuters to DC.

A favorite gift in the Brown library is the fully remastered DVD collection of the North and South miniseries. The one with young Patrick Swayze. There are several scenes of the Battle of Bull Run (or First Manassas if you are a southerner) of the fine carriages and ladies and gentlemen out for an afternoon drive. This production is beautiful; the costumes are exquisite. It’s a must see, again.

Other varied interests

In case you think I am consumed by the Civil War and 150 year old politics — much more interesting than 2011 politics, I will say — I’ve also been reading this fall,  The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, Thirteen Fatal Errors Managers Make and How You Can Avoid Them by W. Steven Brown (for about the 41st read).

Also, reading (have read in last 90 days) a long list of true crime books. That’s an odd hobby, I know. If I missed following an investigation and trial live someone will write a book and then I can catch up. I can usually match the plot of Law & Order or Criminal Minds episodes to the real crime or crimes that informed the story. That’s an odd hobby, I know. Kind of a morbid fascination. Funny though, how many folks share my obsession. I have a couple of ideas to wrap up the Komisarjevsky trial and the Cheshire Home invasion case there are many subtle lessons in that story.


Alright, thanks for letting me brainstorm now it’s back to the job search…


I welcome comments, suggestions, a job interview… anything. I’ll get the coffee brewing.


Follows:   @CivilWarTrust, @PFFPetit the Petit Family Foundation,     and for football:  @MikeKlis – The Denver Post, @ShannonSharpe – needs no introduction Bronco fans