Happy holidays? Why the secularism movement doesn’t go nearly far enough

If you haven't heard, Starbucks hates Christmas, or more specifically, they hate just the Jesus part of Christmas. The "insanity" (as The Atlantic puts it) over the Starbucks Christmas cup controversy was, to me, not that surprising. It was inevitable that, at some point in the next few weeks, some rant somewhere would go viral … Continue reading Happy holidays? Why the secularism movement doesn’t go nearly far enough

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Killer cat needs to be dealt with — one way or another

As most of you probably know by now, we lost almost a dozen sheep this weekend in an apparent cougar attack on our property. A neighbor and I found them Saturday morning, and you can read all the gruesome details in a column I wrote for the Woodburn Independent this week. Rather than rehashing all … Continue reading Killer cat needs to be dealt with — one way or another

‘If there is one story that should go viral … it is this one’

A cool new review of my novel, "Reoriented," has been published by a literary magazine called InD'Tale. I don't know much about them, but the reviewer sure seemed to like my book, for which I'm extremely grateful. Here's an excerpt: If you believe in love, you will read this book. Whether a reader has strong … Continue reading ‘If there is one story that should go viral … it is this one’

The little things that just don’t make any sense

As a news reporter, my instincts have been finely tuned for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, much like the strings of a Stradivarius or the soundboard of a Steinway grand piano. This unique skill serves me well in my profession, of course, but in my private life, it is often a hindrance more than a help. … Continue reading The little things that just don’t make any sense

The lunacy of a nation: Reflections on gun violence in the U.S.

On June 10, Emilio Hoffman, a 14-year-old student at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore., was transformed, from a good-hearted kid with his life ahead of him to a statistic. He was an athlete, a soccer coach, a people pleaser, a brother, a son. He had a girlfriend, and he loved to make people laugh. … Continue reading The lunacy of a nation: Reflections on gun violence in the U.S.

Memorial Day: It’s about giving honor where it’s due

Growing up, I was a generation removed from the military. My dad’s dad fought for the Army in the Korean War; my maternal grandfather (who died before I was born) also served in the Army, as a doctor, during World War II. Donald Francke was an Army sergeant, serving four years during the Korean conflict … Continue reading Memorial Day: It’s about giving honor where it’s due

‘Reoriented’ preview: Meet D.J. Martinez, on the worst night of his life

"I grew up believing in God, and I never questioned whether or not he loved me. Until I realized I was gay." — D.J. Martinez, "Reoriented" Meet D.J. Martinez, the protagonist of my forthcoming novel (which is being released one month from today!), on the worst night of his life. What follows is the first … Continue reading ‘Reoriented’ preview: Meet D.J. Martinez, on the worst night of his life