Winter Stories

Dearest Friends and Readers,

It was about two winters ago, two winters ago? Christ it feels like it was a lot longer than that. Two winters ago when I subjected my loyal readers to the strangely well-received concept of paying for my stories. As opposed to receiving them here, for free. I loved you all more than ever for wanting a book. For ponying up a stupid amount of money to read stuff I wrote. But, you know, once you unleash that beast, there’s really no turning back; it’s all your fault. Plus, I have a LOT to write about. So, well, here goes.

When I wrote The Accidental Pastor (now out of circulation, so hold on to your copies. I’m hoping you might be able to sell them at a five or ten-cent profit after I die) I was mostly reflecting on some of the weird and unexpected events that had led me to carrying a card in my wallet that identifies me as a licensed pastor. It’s good for basically nothing; it won’t get me a prime parking spot at a concert; it won’t get me out of a speeding ticket. I don’t even get special access to the secret areas of the hospital. Recently I tried to play the pastor card at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort so I could park in the skier parking lot and run into Starbucks to grab a coffee before our service at the chapel.

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“I’m sorry, Miss, if I let everyone who told me that park in this lot, it’d be full before 10.”

”Everyone is telling you they’re a pastor about to do a service at the chapel?” I asked, incredulously and also a little pissed-off that I, A PASTOR, WASN’T GETTING MY WAY!

“No,” the poor guy answered, “Everyone wants to run into Starbucks for 5 minutes.”

Right, of course. No one wants to be a pastor, I already knew this. And no one can live without a double venti caramel pumpkin no-fat triple backflip doesn’t even remotely resemble coffee Sunday morning beverage, either.

It does however, that little card, signify that I continue to live a life filled to the brim with great stories and gorgeous imagery.

And I continue to want nothing more than to capture those things to share with you.

You’ve all been very brave and kind and generous to stay on this carnival ride with me for these last many years. A lot has changed. And a lot of change is coming soon. The pile of change is about to grow. Kind of like a bunch of dirty laundry, only more fun.

Instead of a book this time around I’m creating a publication … a journal. A quarterly. Each season I’m going to create a thing that holds my stories and photographs. And the plan is that each one will be unique. I have this incredibly hairbrained idea (Harebrained? Will someone please look that up?) that I’m going to make each journal by hand, using a traditional Japanese bookbinding method that my friend, Gail Grow, taught me when I was a teaching assistant in her second grade classroom in 1991, I think. I know this sounds truly absurd, but I have to try. I’m tired of what I would call the Kinfolkization of magazines and journals these days. Everything is so dang cool that it’s not cool anymore. Everything is so hip, so edgy, so important that, well, I’m getting tired just talking about it.

I’m going to write stories and take pictures and I’m going to publish a magazine book-like thing four times a year. It won’t have a fancy name, but when you have it you will be holding something very beautiful in your hands, made here in Vermont by my hands.

In the coming weeks my life is going to be like a little snow globe. You can shake it and see sweet little things happening: snow falling and people smiling. Probably kids crying, too, but we’ll try to stay focused on the snow and the glitter. I am going to be traveling to interesting places. And while I’m there I’m going to be meeting new people, trying new things and taking notes and photographs. I will need your love and support. Please subscribe to my new enterprise.

The first issue will be delivered to you in mid-February and will include stories of me floating in the Dead Sea and being (re) baptised in the Jordan. Stories of me sitting fireside on chilly January nights, missing my boys. Stories of the Christmas tree falling down and a four year old kid thinking “Vermont” is “Gourmont” without a clue as to how real and funny that is. I’ll be going to Kansas and Lake Placid and Charleston and wherever disaster strikes, not that I wish disaster upon any of us, but I look forward to being there for Heart to Heart with my pencil and camera.

I find stories everywhere, as most of you know; they are the gold in our lives and the glue that binds us together. And I am honored, always, to share them with you. Humbled beyond belief that you read them. Thank you, for coming along, in my pocket, on this good and beautiful ride called Life.

You can subscribe here. And yes, there absolutely will be a surprise inside every edition and you won’t have to dump out a whole box of cereal to get to it.

Love and warmest blessings,
M.