November News

Here are a few quick updates on what my life is about these days.

1. Grading papers

After finishing writing The Art of Heart, it was time to catch up on grading. I spent most of the Thanksgiving break reviewing a draft of my students’ final papers and recording an average of 10 minutes of commentary and suggestions for revision. I spent over half an hour on each paper, and with nearly 100 students…by the time I finished that – getting nearly all of them done within a week – my brain came within seconds of exploding.

Since then I took a “break” and have been grading simple assignments, then began again on other papers, also simpler than their finals. I think I will live, but probably have two more long days of grading left to catch up, which sometimes I can barely stand (I need a real break!), and then their final papers start coming in. I’ll have two weeks to finish those, and I don’t have to provide feedback, so some balance will be restored to the force.

2. New camera.

I needed something to shoot better video than my camcorders, so I got it. I’m excited to start cranking out all kinds of material in the near future, and you’ll see some of it here. You’ll see more of it at The University of Life and elsewhere.

The primary goals are to: A. provide a ton of beautiful, inspiring, insightful material to make the world a better place, and B. drive traffic to my sites that will hopefully result in more book sales. That’s how I justify the time and expense of doing what I always wanted to do most.

One idea is this: take cool photos and caption them with snippets of poetry and such. For example:

“I am the river, you are the sky. Travelers may dip their cup as I flow past, but only you see the whole of me. Every time you shine on me, I lose tiny shards of self that rise through the air to meet you; and you – when you look down at me, you only see yourself.” – Shaun Roundy


No, I didn’t take that photo, that’s by Kacper Kowalski. I haven’t taken one yet. I want to make the first one good. It’s like getting a new credit card, how I always tried to buy a book to break it in.

3. Books

I made four figures from book sales again this month, thanks largely to my Christmas books and Search and Rescue book. It’s a start. I’m through writing for the moment – too much else to do – and will wait to decide on my next project until it settles in naturally. 

4. Depression

Is lifting. It must be nearly gone now, compared to what it has been. Twice in the last week, I woke up happy. It was no fun and took wayyyyy too long to pass, but it will leave me much better than it found me. Maybe depression is all about effecting deep change, and sometimes it just takes time to extract all the old knives and poison, or persuade us to slow down and let go, or rearrange our deepest perceptions and sense of self, or whatever’s going on inside. Maybe depression’s not such a bad thing after all – but don’t expect anyone in the middle of it to accept that.

5. Neighbors & friends

I’ve been feeling grateful lately for good neighbors and a few friends who love me and I love them back. Thanks, y’all! xoxo

6. Morocco

I still want to move to Africa next spring. Last night I found the town where I should live. Awrir. There’s a nice beginner surf break right there and it’s not far from the tallest mountain in the Atlas range that I need to climb. I’ll work toward that goal and see what happens.


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