Tuesday, December 4, 2012
I also wanted to let you know that if you are in need of The Niederbipp Trilogy books for gifts for Christmas, they can be picked up here at my studio or at nearly every Costco in Utah or on Amazon.com.
I hope to see you this weekend at the open house here at the studio. 1150 East 800 South in SLC. I have been busy making stuff for the show. Come and see.
The open house will continue this Saturday and next (December 8, 15) from 10am -5pm at 1150 East 800 South in SLC. Tell your friends and come and take a tour of Niederbipp!
We wondered if anyone would be interested in touring the house since so many people have come through on the past two open houses in May and last December, but we had more people come through on Saturday than we have ever had before. Apparently people are telling their friends. Thank you. The more the merrier. If, however, you wan to avoid the crowd, the studio will be open all week. I had a dozen people stop by today and many more will be coming tomorrow. Just give me a call and come on over. 801-883-0146. IF you want to see the house, Lynnette says come on Saturday. She is busy making more candy after selling out in the first hour on Saturday.
I hope to see you sooner rather than later. You are going to love the new book, Borrowing Fire, and I think the heart rocks are holding out. I spent the summer collecting them in anticipation of these open houses. Every book purchased during the month of December from my studio will receive a free heart rock with the book. Come and get em, they're going fast.
I have been up late making pots to try and fill in the holes left after Saturday's open house. I hope to see you soon.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Just as I was leaving the church, I got a phone call. It was my printer. The cover of the book needed to be approved for printing. Some may see all of this as coincidental. I can't. Somewhere, there is a grand plan for all of this. I am grateful to be a player in this vast game of life.
Like the books in the Niederbipp Trilogy, "Borrowing Fire" is a book filled with hope. There is humor and elements of spirituality and philosophy, but it is a fun read. I was reading it to my kids the other night and after about a half hour, my son Isaac said, "Dad, this book is way better than your first one." I think everyone who has read this new book have enjoyed it at least as well as the Niederbipp books and many have said they liked this one even better.
Beginning next week, Borrowing Fire will be available for pre-order on Amazon.com. I will post a link as soon as it is available. During the holiday season and for the foreseeable future, the book will only be available from my studio and Amazon. Don't ask me why. I am trying to think up something smart, but nothing is coming to me.
So that's it for tonight, I will posting more soon. I need to finish my newsletter so it can get out by next week. If you would like to receive a copy via email, please click here, firstname.lastname@example.org and say "add me to your list."
I can't wait to share the new book with you. You're going to love it!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Next week on October 18th, I will be at the SLC Costco from 2-5pm and October 19th at the Bountiful Costco from 2-5. October 26th, I will be a the Sandy Costco from 2-5.
I will not have my new book with me at that time as layout and design for Borrowing Fire has begun, but the book will not be complete and available until Dec 1. These book signings are only for the first three books in the Niederbipp Trilogy. If you need an extra copy for gifts for Christmas, come to Costco. Or if you just want to stop by and graze on the free samples, I would be happy to see you.
I came out to studio a two weeks ago and started my work in the clay again after some weeks of spending all my time writing. For several weeks I had been thinking about what I thought would be my next book, but on the day I began working in the studio again, another idea for a book opened in my head and I had to get a notebook and write down the new ideas that came to me. After trying to avoid it because of the work I need to get done in the the studio, I am beginning today with my the new book. The title will likely be "The Ten Jewels." I won't say what it is about or when to expect it, but today will be the first day to work on it. I hope after Christmas to be able to dedicate a lot of time to the project.
I am working on developing more faith. I am trying to remember to consider the lilies. Looking back on my life, I see the hand of God over and over again as answers have come and my needs and wants have been provided for. But sometimes, at the crossroads, it is hard for me to let go and believe. I have learned again and again that God rarely wants what we're naturally willing to give Him. He wants our best—the best of who and what we are. He doesn't want our weaknesses; He wants our strengths, our talents, our desires, our very best. It would be so much easier to give Him something other than my talent and time with pottery. Pottery, after all, has been my passion. It has provided for me and my family for more than seventeen years. It is the best of who I am and what I have chosen to do with my time. It is hard to imagine giving up that passion when it's what I know the best, especially when I am making the best work of my life. But I know I cannot dedicate my time to writing the books I feel compelled to write and continue to make pottery like I have in the past and like I have been trying very recently to do again. I have so many ideas I may never get to in pottery. I will likely lose all sorts of potential sales to galleries and individuals—I suppose I already have, but somehow it will be worth it. I have been reminded that I need to leave my nets and do something more. And when I remember the lilies, I know I have nothing to fear. God has always taken care of my and my family, even when I couldn't see how it would happen. Sorry about the personal thoughts, but I didn't know where else to write it and it needed to come out somewhere where I would be accountable for it.
I will write again soon. For now, I need to get writing.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Rewriting the Eulogy For a Boy Named Wolf.
If all goes as we plan, it will be available on December 1.
I am excited about this one. Everyone who has read it likes this one even more than the Niederbipp Trilogy. I am really happy about that. It is hard to start something new after so many of you have expressed strong feelings about the Isaac books. It is nice to be moving on to the next story, and I have already begun working on the next book after this one. This is hard for me to believe as I never in a million years imagined I would write even one book. I will be writing more about it in the coming months as we prepare for its release, but it is exciting to be moving on to the next step.
I should mention that I received word last week that Costco will be selling the Niederbipp Trilogy again starting this month in Utah. I am not sure if they will be in all of the stores, but I know for sure at the Bountiful, Murray, Sandy and Lehi stores. I will be signing a few times this month and next and will post those dates tomorrow or the next day. If you want to spread Niederbipp this Christmas season, you are always welcome to come and pick them up from me at the studio, or if it's more convenient, your local Costco might have them too. Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope to see you on or after Dec 1 to show off the next book!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
This book has been a lot of fun. I have shared it with a few close friends and they all like it even better than the Niederbipp trilogy, which is humbling and exciting. I will be posting more in the coming weeks as we continue to make progress, but I just wanted to send this out and say we are getting very close now and I am really excited to share this with you. It has been an inspiring experience to write this book and I think this will be a book you will want to share with everyone you know and love. It would be a great Christmas Gift, but a fine gift for all occasions, filled with lessons of life, hope, love and grace.
Look for more information coming soon, but plan on attending the book launch, December 1, 8 and 15th. Each of these dates will correspond with my annual Christmas Studio Sale and , back by popular demand, our house tour, where we will open our home to anyone who wants to see what we have done. We remodeled last year, adding on to our home and finishing it with 500 square feet of hand made tiles. Most of this was completed last year, but I am still working on projects and hope to have it all wrapped up in the next two months.
Thanks for you patience.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
We spent the morning at a pancake breakfast at the church, which, for the past 10 years has been followed by a water fight. It is kind of an unusual water fight as the line is generally drawn between my self and my posse of two or three brave souls who wield our water-filled fire extinguishers against the rest of the kids in the neighborhood who are all poor-sports and gang up on the kids who look more like adults—namely us. It was awesome. There is something utterly refreshing about a water fight, especially in July, and today was all that.
We spent the afternoon with family on the Weber River, floating on anything that floats from Hennefer to Taggart, or about 7 miles as the crow flies. For the most part, it was also a refreshing experience, but for the first time in my life, I found myself feeling that it is hard to share a river. It was a strange mix of folks on the river today. Most of them were under thirty, had at least one visible tattoo, had at least one visible piercing, had at least one visible beer in their hand and were very visibly drunk. I found myself wondering if it was a frat party as at least 80% of the folks on the river fit this description. Am I getting old? Is it wrong for me to be offended by the exercise of free speech that leaves my children and myself feeling violated, like we were recreating in a polluted river. And lets face it, it was polluted heavily today. With the majority of the folks drinking beer as they floated down the river, I didn't see even one person carrying a tote bag for their empty cans. Instead, those cans went into the river I love.
I have floated this river a few times before, and in those cases, I had the river mostly to myself. It was beautiful. Birds of prey were soaring overhead, deer danced on the banks, trout played in the water. But when you have a gazillion people on the river, the magic of that place cannot be seen. It's hard to share a river with those who don't appreciate it the same way I do. I missed the solitude. I missed the silence. I missed the magic. We had a wonderful time despite the distractions, and we will certainly go again, but next time, I hope those who share the river with me might be more sober, more considerate, more thoughtful.
Have you ever come across a Sprite can or a Coke can in the wilderness? I haven't. But since the time I was a child, I have picked up and packed out hundreds of beer cans left by insensitive travelers who must have been enjoying themselves so much that they forgot that we share the wilderness with everyone, and most of us like not finding other people's garbage in the places we love the most.
I know it's not my river. I know people have every right to dress the way they do and express themselves the way they want, but tonight I am appalled by the growing disrespect and degradation of society. It is hard to share a river with those who don't care for it and love it and respect it enough to leave it better than they found it.
I don't know, maybe I have been reading too much Terry Tempest Williams.
On a positive note, I have been writing—abundantly—and I plan to have the next book done in December, just in time for Christmas.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I was excited to get back to writing as soon as the Mother's Day Open House was over. We had nearly a thousand people go through out home over the weekend and I was bushed after that. My kiln had some problems during the final firing before the open house which resulted in part of the door melting and leaving it very difficult to open. I spent a day and a half making the necessary repairs and then dedicated the rest of the week to writing. Or so I thought. Writing, at least for me requires several consecutive hours of relative silence. Sometimes that is difficult to find. Okay, so maybe that is always difficult to find. I realized I am out of practice and the magic doesn't always happen exactly when I want or need it to happen. I made some progress, but it was slow. It is a little better this week, but if I am not distracted by people dropping by or phone calls, I am distracted by the fact that I have an art festival coming up in a month and I need to replenish my supply of pots. I am behind on orders, too. And I don't care that I'm behind on orders which is both liberating and disappointing. I am distracted--maybe that is the best way to put it. Distracted, feeling like I have returned to my nets after knowing I am supposed to be doing something else. Faith is tough, at least for me, and patience is even harder.
That being said, I am more excited about this story than I have ever been. I know all writers draw on their personal experiences, but I am a little surprised by how autobiographical this book is becoming. Some of it involves dark pieces of history from my younger years and family drama that is still going on. It has made me pensive and moody and somedays has made me want to avoid delving deeper. And yet I know I need to plow on. I feel strongly that this book will help others, offer hope and grace and love, and give people courage to plow forward. I am still hoping to have the book ready for Christmas, but if I don't make some substantial progress in the next few months, I will have to postpone it again. I hate to do that.
I am not sure why other people write, but I will tell you honestly that I write because I have to--because the voices won't leave me alone--because the story haunts me until I let it out. It is never easy. It seems to always be expensive, and it takes way longer than I think it should.
So, I am off to write. I fed my fears by making pots this morning. Now I can feed my faith, by writing.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Mother's Day Studio Open House and Home Tour
10am-5pm each day
1150 East 800 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Strange headline, I know, but that's almost exactly what happened. She was not my mom and in actuality, it was not summer camp. She is Lynnette's mom, my mother-in-law and on Thursday we received a call from the Neighborhood House letting us know that after requiring three staff members to assist her in getting out of the bathroom, she is no longer welcome.
Eleven years ago, my mother-in-law as diagnosed with dementia. This is a little bit like that radio program I used to stay up late on Sunday nights and listen to--Doctor Demento, but really there are very few similarities. That was eleven years ago. She is now 70 years old and is in the severe stages of Alzheimer's. My father-in-law is still working a few days a week, so the Neighborhood House recently became the summer camp we needed and began relying on for life to carry on in some semblance of normal. But lately, finding the right balance of medication is proving to be very difficult. She is either very sleepy or very agitated, bordering on aggressive. Sometimes that border is non-existant. What a tragedy. This has got to be the most cruel ways to die--for all who are involved. Lynnette is amazing with her. I find that I normally have to walk away. It is kind of like dealing with a belligerent 180 pound toddler without the ability to reason and still enough muscles to throw her weight around when she gets upset. I know she is without control of this situation, but the thing I really hate about it is that we are, too. We can try different things, but few of them have any effect. I like to fix things--recognize problems and do all I can to try and come up with a remedy. There does not seem to be one here that is acceptable to all involved parties. It is heartbreaking and frustrating and cruel. Our children are already starting to be afraid of her and she has brought both of them to tears with her outbursts. We know this is beyond her control to control herself, but it barely lessens the reality of the sting.
My father-in-law is not interested in assisted living. He wants to keep her out of that for as long as possible, which means as long as he is breathing. And there really isn't money available even if such an option were allowed. Many of those facilities charge upwards of $200/day. That is a good way to go broke fast. So, we try to do what we can. Lynnette has cared for her mom several days in the past few weeks. It makes it difficult to get anything done around the house. I guess my emotions range from sadness to frustration to helplessness. It just seems like we should have a few more good years with her mom--as a mom, than who knows how long with someone who looks like her mom, but really isn’t. Life is never fair, but we are doing our best to keep our chins up and smile and learn what we can, and take one step at a time. Any suggestions?
In the meantime, I am still plowing on with the next book. I had a minor breakthrough this week with the story after a couple of weeks of spinning my wheels without gaining traction. I am feeling a lot of self-imposed pressure. I know those of you who have read my other books have some expectation as well. I hope to be able to make some good progress in the coming week. Wish me luck. I need it.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I guess I can still say that, right? I would like to report that writing has been going well, that I have made awesome progress and that I will have the book done next week. But I can't . This has been a difficult book to write. I would think I am about 1oo pages into it. I would be going faster, but I have been distracted by work in the studio and a flaring case of ADD that usually hits me this time of year as I think about shows and pottery and all the crazy things that life is. I have tried to make pottery in the mornings and write in the afternoons, but that has not worked well because just as I am getting into the groove, the kids come home. I have also been working through a series of self-doubts. Nothing serious, just the same old thing where I find myself wondering what in the world I am going to be when I grow up. And maybe it doesn't matter. That is a long way off. I guess I just feel like a slacker, which is really weird because I am working my tail off, staying up late, getting up and to work early, but I can never seem to accomplish all that I need to, no matter how hard I try. I have a hard time sleeping during episodes like this because the crazy dreams come, and so I wake up having not really slept and the madness become deeper. The weather has left me gloomy and the pottery has been a distraction--there is always something.