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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Daily Zen - Monday, May 1



Remember, happiness doesn't depend
on who you are or what you have;
it depends solely on what you think.

~ Dale Carnegie