Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area.

- Nadine Gordimer



I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.

- Steven Wright



Penn State Gymnast

Botanical #2
Botanical Kiss












It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

- Henry David Thoreau














































    My Interests:

    I am blessed to have such varied interests. My attention to them moves in cycles: at times I give extreme attention to one of the interests and then totally neglect it, while other times I involve myself with a variety at the same time. Doors of creative thinking seem to open and close at will. One day's intense writing session might be followed by a weeklong absence of activity. Nonetheless, all of these interests are part of my story.

    Photography - I started out in high school with a 35mm camera and eventually a darkroom in the basement. I became a professional photographer while in the Navy. My personal photography was black & white, large format outdoor photography. I stopped pursuing this hobby somewhere in the middle of my marriage. The day of digital photography is upon us and I have been slow to convert. But finally, after a way too long hiatus, I have a digital camera that meets my photographic needs. Film and digital are not the same finding me compelled to work with both.

    Writing - As a person who had no interest in English & Grammar classes, I am surprised that I enjoy writing as an adult. While I find it very challenging, I enjoy the challenge. My first approach to creative writing as an adult was poetry. Poetry was a way to express in words what my shyness kept me from saying out loud. I rarely attempt to write poetry these days, perhaps because I am no longer so shy and can express my thoughts in a variety of other ways. As I was creating this website I came across some old archives in which a few early poems were saved. A few examples are posted under My Poetry.

    Somewhere along the way I came up with the notion that I needed to get something that I have written published. Considering my formative educational years and my then lack of any enthusiasm to write anything, this notion seems rather ungrounded. I have written about 3/5 of four different books over the past ten years, so it seems that what I may ultimately get to publish is how NOT to complete your writing project, although I believe that book HAS already been published! I do belive that this year will be the year to finally finish a writing project!

    Art Interests - I find that I enjoy the art (painting and sculpture) that was created between the Early and High Renaissance through the Impressionism and the Post-Impressionism movements the most. Living rather close to Washington, DC, I have easy access to three wonderful collections of art from these periods; The National Gallery of Art, The National Portrait Gallery, and the Phillips Collection. A visit to any of these three will refresh my soul. When I can't manage to be there I have a few books to turn to for viewing pleasure, but it is not nearly as wonderful as standing in front of the actual art. If I were to pick a favorite it would be Vincent van Gogh, followed by Degas and Vermeer. My favorite painting is Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

    Music Interests - Beyond the music that I grew up with, classic rock, and adult contemporary, I grew into a strong liking of classical music. I consider myself a simple classical listener; enjoying the music which I describe as most easy to enjoy. The cello and the violin are soothing instruments. Mozart tops my list of classical composers that includes Bach, Vivaldi, Shubert, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin; the typical top composers. Vivaldi's Four Seasons could be my favorite classic music, but many other are so close in comparison one should not have to choose, and I don't. The piece of music I feel is the most beautiful of all the great music written is from Puccini's Madame Butterfly, Un Bel Di (One Fine Day). For me it is the most moving piece of music ever written and performed.

    Hiking & Backpacking - Living in MD places me close to the Appalachian Trail. I enjoy day hikes, and miss actual backpacking (multiple days hiking, sleeping by the trail). My hiking and backpacking practice is that of being what is called an ultra-lightweight hiker. My pack, tent, sleeping bag, clothes, accessories, and food for a week weigh in at around 12 pounds. Being ultra-lightweight allows for you to hike easier since you are carrying less. Carrying less means you also eat less, which helps you to carry still less.

    AT Logo The AT is a hiking trail, enjoyed by an estimated 4 million people each year. It is within a day's drive of 2/3rds of the U.S. population. People of all ages and abilities enjoy short walks, day hikes, and long-distance backpacking journeys. It offers a variety of opportunities for viewing spectacular scenery, for exploring, for adventure, for exercise, for nature study, and for renewal.

    The AT is managed cooperatively by the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), volunteers from 30 local AT Clubs, the USDA Forest Service, and other public land-managing agencies. Within this partnership, thousands of volunteers do much of the work each year to keep the Trail open for all to enjoy. The Trail is on more than 75 different federal and state forests and park lands.

    Visit them at www.appalachiantrail.org.

    ATC Logo

    Advocacy - It is good to recognize and support the efforts of others trying to make the world a better place for all. Of the many organizations out there striving to do good, I personally am drawn to those that support the interests of children. Below are the links to my three favorite organizations. If you are not actively supporting some cause for the good of all, please consider the below organizations or take the time to research and discover for yourself a connection that is meaningful to you and act upon it.

    Save The Children Logo
    Dave Thomas Foundation