What is mine to do?

God Holds You offers a chronicle of hope. As we entered the Pandemic Wilderness in March 2020, progressive Lutheran pastor Sarah Scherschligt began publishing daily reflections about adapting to the new constraints. Written with her congregation in mind, these real-time posts transcend the self and her faith community to form a relatable narrative that is both … Continue reading What is mine to do?

JFK: i come here tonight to go to bed

I come here tonight to go to bed... I also come here tonight to ask you… to ask you to join in the effort.

A writer in residence

I've taken on a surprising new assignment. I have a nice official title, but what it boils down to really is writer in residence. And what is this residence? I report to a cozy white cottage behind a row of heirloom corn off the beaten paths traversing the expansive training grounds of our nation’s foreign … Continue reading A writer in residence

The United States Department of State

Referred to as the State Department, State, and DOS, the U.S. Department of State has recently been called by an unfitting new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing it called “deep state department” glances off as a meaningless jab. I’ve long inured myself against the public bluster. What concerns me more is the … Continue reading The United States Department of State

Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings

Peace Corps, the Musical

Five years ago, I flirted with writing a musical based on ‘the generic Peace Corps experience.’ I tabled the idea quickly. The unique nature of volunteer service set abundant hurdles. Peace Corps Africa and Peace Corps Latin America are different beasts. The organization’s six decades presented another problem. We’d moved from the era of ‘Drop … Continue reading Peace Corps, the Musical

Review–Memoir from Paraguay

Latest review posted at Peace Corps Worldwide, home for Peace Corps-affiliated writers who publish stories from around the world. Mark Salvatore  writes simple, declarative sentences. His Peace Corps memoir, Shade of the Paraiso, is stripped to fact and detail, observation and truth. Even its replication of time — passing slowly at first, building inexorably over months, … Continue reading Review–Memoir from Paraguay

Deception for My Valentine

I have a naughty streak on Valentines. My favorite transgression, 15 years ago, duped my old lady into having dinner with me. That was just before she became my old lady. Valentines fell on Friday that year. I was pretty eager to reserve her company, but didn’t want to wreck a good friendship over something … Continue reading Deception for My Valentine

May the Bird of Paradise Rest in Your Armpit

The man with the 70's hangover---big stache, wide lapels, swooping toupee---assigned to teach my fifth grade class regularly heaped this wish upon us: 'May the bird of paradise rest in your armpit.' What this meant, and why it should happen to us, was never made clear. It was only, mysteriously, repeated. This was a 1982-83, … Continue reading May the Bird of Paradise Rest in Your Armpit

The Portable Art

Unlike the stuff we writers produce, art and music seem to make no demands of those who encounter it. The artist puts it out there---hangs it on the wall, pours it through speakers---and the public responds. They see it. They hear it. They get on with their day, likely the better for having encountered these … Continue reading The Portable Art