Saturday, June 24, 2017

Weekend Zen, June 24-25

Most humans are never fully present in the now,
because unconsciously they believe that the next
moment must be more important than this one. But 
then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.

~ Eckhart Tolle

Friday, June 23, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, June 23

Getting what you want is not nearly 
as important as giving what you have.

~ Tom Krause

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Daily Zen - Thursday, June 22

Pure love is a willingness to give without 
a thought of receiving anything in return.

~ Peace Pilgrim

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, June 21

Do whatever it takes — meditate, exercise, pray, 
read, write, listen to music, whatever you find that 
works — to ignite your awareness daily. You will create and contribute to life as you have never contributed before.

~ Neale Donald Walsch

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Daily Zen - Tuesday, June 20

It is a simple matter of what you will do when the chips
are down, my friend. When the fat lady is singing. When 
the walls are falling in, and the sky is dark, and the ground
is rumbling. In that moment our actions will define us.

~ Zadie Smith

Monday, June 19, 2017

Daily Zen - Monday, June 19

The person who makes a success of living
is the one who sees his goal steadily and
aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.

~ Cecil B. DeMille

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Weekend Zen, June 17-18

I've learned that people 
will forget what you said, 
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.

~ Maya Angelou

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, June 14

Grief and loss and suffering, even depression 
and spiritual crisis, the dark nights of the soul 
only worsen when we try to ignore or deny 
or avoid them. The healing journey begins when we 
turn toward them and learn how to work with them.

~ Jack Kornfield

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Daily Zen - Tuesday, June 13

Remember you don't meditate to 
"get" anything, but to get "rid" of things. 
We do it not with desire but with letting go.
If you "want" anything, you won't find it. 

~ Ajahn Chah

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pulse - We Will Not Let Hate Win

Today marks the one year anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016, a man walked into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and unleashed a barrage of gunfire from a SIG Sauer semi-automatic rifle and a Glock semi-automatic pistol. Forty-nine people were murdered, as they hid and ran and fell to the floor.

For the last year, I have wanted to write about that unthinkably tragic night at Pulse, but I have never known what it was I really wanted to say. All these months later, just this morning in fact, I finally realized what's behind my lingering compulsion to in some way document the events of that night --- I simply need to make sense of it. Upon further reflection, I also recognized the ongoing impossibility of that task. No matter how badly we need to, we simply cannot make sense of the inherently senseless. And so I can say only this: one year later I think often about those who were killed and injured, I still imagine the horror they endured and the courage they showed, I still regret the unimaginable pain their friends and families must feel, and like so many others, whenever I think of Pulse, I still sting and burn and rage. 

I hope you will take a moment today to look at the faces and read the names of those who were killed that night. We will not let hate win.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Daily Zen - Monday, June 12

Finding your passion isn't just about careers
and money. It's about finding your authentic self.
The one you've buried beneath other people's needs.

~ Kristin Hannah

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Weekend Zen, June 10-11

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly
and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your 
inner peace for anything whatsoever, 
even if your whole world seems upset.

~ Saint Francis de Sales

Friday, June 9, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, June 9

Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high.
Then life seems almost enchanted after all.

~ Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Daily Zen - Thursday, June 8

Don't despair if your heart has been through
 a lot of trauma. Sometimes, that's how
 beautiful hearts are remade:
they are shattered first.

~ Yasmin Mogahed

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, June 7

For me, living is the same thing as dying,
and loving is the same thing as losing, and this
does not make me a madwoman; I believe it can
make me better at living, and better at loving,
and, just possibly, better at seeing.

~ Sally Mann

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Daily Zen - Tuesday, June 6

If wrinkles must be written on our brows,
let them not be written upon the heart. 
The spirit should never grow old.

~ James A. Garfield

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Weekend Zen, June 3-4

This moment is not life waiting to happen, 
goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken,
connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting
to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt,
enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. 
Nothing is waiting. This is it. This moment is life.

~ Jeff Foster

Friday, June 2, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, June 2

Only those who will risk going too far
can possibly find out how far one can go.

~ T.S. Eliot

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Daily Zen - Thursday, June 1

Clouds come from time to time — and bring
 a chance to rest from looking at the moon.

~ Bashō

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, May 31

How often do we tell our own life story? 
How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? 
And the longer life goes on, 
the fewer are those around us to challenge our account, 
to remind us that our life is not our life, 
merely the story we have told about our life. 
Told to others, but —mainly— to ourselves.

~ Julian Barnes

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Digging In To Solid Ground

Photo: Hawaii, courtesy of
Kathy Montgomery
A month has passed since the release of my debut novel, Solid Ground. I've had some incredible conversations with friends, both old and new, about the book, the writing process, and my journey to getting published. Some of my thoughts about such things were captured in a series of posts I wrote in the weeks before the book's release.

I've collected and re-published links to those articles below, just in case you missed one, didn't have time to read them, or simply didn't give a shit - but now you do.

Thanks for taking time to dig into Solid Ground. 
(I mean, really, I slaved over the manuscript off and on for over a decade, so clicking a link or two is the least that you can do.)

An Excerpt from Solid Ground
This, as you probably guessed from the title, is an excerpt from the book.

Note: In each of the articles below, there is an "Excerpt" and "Synopsis" section at the start of the post. Feel free to scroll past those sections to get to the juicy stuff.

Author Interview
In this post, I share details about my writing process, the sucky part of naming characters, writers I'd love to interview if I had my own talk show, a sneak peek at my second novel, and more.

Music, Mood, and Words
A short post on how I feel that art begets art, as well as links to some of the music I listened to as I wrote Solid Ground.

Getting Here
Growing up, making a living, chasing a dream - how I became a published writer in just 50 short years!

Write Where You Are
An extrovert's uncomfortable sabbatical.... my month alone and unplugged in a cabin in the redwoods of Northern California.

Harlan: The Character Who Just Showed Up
I'm not someone who believes characters magically appear in an author's imagination, but this one did. Those of you who have already read the book will especially enjoy this post.

Thanks for reading!

Jeff's novel, Solid Ground, can be purchased in print and ebook from Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, and other places where fine fiction is sold.

Weekend Zen, May 27-28

Adopt the pace of nature.
Her secret is patience.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 26, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, May 26

There is a moment, a cusp, when the 
sum of gathered experience is worn down
by the details of living. We are never 
so wise as when we live in this moment.

~ Paul Kalanithi

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily Zen - Tuesday, May 23

A garden is always a series of losses
set against a few triumphs, like life itself.

~ May Sarton

Monday, May 22, 2017

Daily Zen - Monday, May 22

Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need
at every moment. This includes every mosquito,
every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness,
every loss, every moment of joy or depression,
every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath.
Every moment is the guru.

~ Charlotte Joko Beck

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Weekend Zen, May 20-21

We must gain our strength and our values from self-growth 
and self-discovery. That is what we have to do. 
We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art—
we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.

~ Anais Nin

Friday, May 19, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, May 19

I beg you to have patience with everything 
unresolved in your heart and try to
love the questions themselves...
Don't search for the answers, 
which could not be given to you now...
the point is to live everything. 
Live the questions now. 

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, May 17

When you find peace within yourself, 
you become the kind of person
who can live at peace with others.

~ Peace Pilgrim

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Daily Zen - Monday, May 15

Every day has a unique gift tucked away within 
the minutes and hours, a chance to see something
from a new perspective, to learn and grow...
the possibility to create something great.

~ Robin Pickens

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Weekend Zen, May 13-14

The simple act of being completely attentive
and present to another person is an act of love,
and it fosters unshakeable well-being.

~ Sharon Salzberg

Friday, May 12, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, May 12

What you leave behind is not 
what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others.

~ Pericles

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Daily Zen - Thursday, May 11

Compassion is the movement of concern and kindness
in response to the difficulty of any living being.
Compassion arises when you allow your heart
to be touched by the pain and need of another.

~ Ram Dass

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, May 10

The average human being looks without seeing,
listens without hearing, touches without feeling,
eats without tasting....and talks without thinking.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Daily Zen - Tuesday, May 9

The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds 
to other people is that they trigger confusion in us
that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.

To the degree that we look clearly
 and compassionately at ourselves,
we feel confident and fearless 
about looking into someone else's eyes.

~ Pema Chodron

Monday, May 8, 2017

Daily Zen - Monday, May 8

You are never given a dream without also 
being given the power to make it come true.

~ Richard Bach

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weekend Zen, May 6-7

That's it, I guess. 
Just go on living, 
whether you feel like it or not.

~ Anton Chekhov

Friday, May 5, 2017

Daily Zen - Friday, May 5

I exist as I am, that is enough. 
If no other in the world be aware, I sit content.
And if each and all be aware, I sit content.

~ Walt Whitman

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Daily Zen - Thursday, May 4

I do not care at all if you are male or female, 
young or old, fat or thin, tall or short.
I do not care what you call yourself or how you dress. 
I do not care what language you speak or what you 
make important in your life. I am only interested
 in your heart, in your love, in your compassion.

~ Michael Kewley

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Daily Zen - Wednesday, May 3

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

~ Lao Tzu

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Daily Zen - Tuesday, May 2

Where do you seek the spiritual?
You seek the spiritual in every ordinary thing
that you do every day. Sweeping the floor, watering
the vegetables, and washing the dishes become holy and
sacred if mindfulness is there. With mindfulness and
concentration, everything becomes spiritual.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh