Overstory: Zero, 2nd edition Release

I am releasing a special revised and expanded edition of my critically acclaimed award-winning essay collection, Overstory: Zero, Real Life in Timber Country. I touched-up a few of the original pieces, cut one altogether and added ten new essays written between 1996 and 2013. This 2nd edition has the same look as the original but runs about 100 pages longer with the new material. It is available now on Kindle and Nook. I’m in the process of placing it with Apple ibooks and there will be a 340 page trade paperback on the market November 1st 2014. The e-book versions sell for $9.99 and the paperback will go for $15.95.OverStoryZero-FrontCover_525x800

Kindle Page

Nook Page





The main thing is to have a big breakfast. It’s not any easy thing to do at 4 AM, but it is essential because lunch won’t come for another seven or eight hours and there’s four or more hours of grueling work to do before you can sit down and open up your lunch box. Continue reading

Of Time and the Gyppo

The look and feel of the wood got to me. Funny how that works, how a rough-sawn pecky cedar 1×12 in your hands can conjure up memories, put you for a moment right back where you were fifteen years and more years ago. I paused for a moment, holding the board but awash in the ghost smells of sawdust, gasoline, motor oil, rusting iron and damp cotton Lone Star work gloves. My sixteen-year-old son and my nephew, eighteen, stood looking at me. Continue reading

Counting Heads

The first thing I had to do was to abandon the speech we’d rehearsed, which, if I recall it correctly, began with something like: “Hello, my name is (your name). I am an enumerator with the United States Department of Commerce (display your badge) and we are conducting the 1990 census in your neighborhood. With your permission, I would like to ask you a few questions regarding your household.” Continue reading

The Milkshed

A guti Kuhe deckt alle Armut zue.

A good cow hides all poverty.

–Alsatian proverb

It’s dark out, wet and cold December. There are no stars, just a fine mist of rain, Oregon dew, settling on the pasture, dripping from the barn roof. The first signs of the solstice sun will be just beginning to show soon. But not yet, not until after the milking. For now, there is only this shadowless gray world, not quite darkness, not quite light.

If you pause on your way, between the house and the barn, milk buckets in hand, you can be lost for a moment, unsure of time, unsure of where you are walking, here in the silently drifting mist between earth and sky, between waking and dreaming, the past and the future. Continue reading