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Here it is, almost three weeks in to 2016 and besides IWSG Wednesday, this is my first post of the year. Well, there’s a reason (several really) for that, but what the heck, how about we move forward (okay, and look back a little bit.)


I fished once in December and then got out again today. So thankful for time on the river. Nothing soothes my soul like time on the water. Always changing, always perfect.

December was a cruel mistress in many ways. Major life stresses decided to hold hands and descend upon us. We are still picking up some of the pieces and look forward to settling down a bit.

IMG_1032 As busy as this little fella was in building this monstrosity of a dam, I too, feel like I’ve been busy as ever, but have seen very little result of my efforts. Too much, too often, maybe. But if this guy can do it, so can I.


I’ve begun several, yes several, new projects. Here’s one: http://www.thewaterholdsnoscars.com/

and another (right here on this site): https://deankmiller.com/kbco-studio-c-vol-27-valentines-day-writing-contest/

Oh, and another: https://deankmiller.com/ncw-poetry-book-submissions/ for local NCW members only.


2016 has started off as the year of celebrity die-offs. Tragic indeed, but let’s not forget, amazing, but not famous, people pass away every day. Don’t measure someone’s value in this life by how “popular” they were, or how much money they made. Consider this fine soul:  http://obits.oregonlive.com/obituaries/oregon/obituary.aspx?n=evelyn-hannevig&pid=177348618


The writing rejections continue to pour into my email inbox. Frustrating, certainly, but evidence that I keep putting work out there for consideration.  A couple of cool things though: 1) The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories Of Rivers & Rejuvenation continues to reach readers. 2) Taco John’s Restaurants in the area raised a huge amount of money for Platter Rivers Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing in December. Thanks so much! 3) I have a poem which placed in a competition and will be part of book due out in February.


On Sunday last, I attended a workshop in Ft. Collins, CO hosted by FTC Poet Laureate Aby Kaupang. I got there early (time change I didn’t know about) but decided to stay and see what was going to happen. Aby had a great project lined up for us, which I, of course, was unprepared for. As it ended up, I read one of my own poems to the following audience: 5 MFA’s, one Phd., and of course Poet Laureate Aby. Um, wow. How can I be so blessed? A great evening went too fast and there’s more to come. I’ll spout about this and more writerly stuff in a later post.


A job change ended nearly 28 of air traffic control duties a couple of weeks ago. I’m still working for the FAA, but will be working with incoming and developing controllers to give them the best chance for  certification and a successful and safe career in the FAA keeping the skies safe for ya’ll. Hard to believe there’s a moratorium on writing about FAA stuff for a year or two after one retires, which I have not. The juicy stories will have to wait a while. I miss the chatter on frequency but look forward to a regular sleep pattern and less stress in my work life. I tip my hat to my colleagues over the years that made this a great career for me. You are an amazing group of professionals and I am proud to have call you friends.


Finally, for today at least, I’ve begun painting. Wow…after an art career in school (one class: a grade of C with the only A project being the abstract drawing) my wife and I are going to painting sessions (wine included.) This is such a great release of energy and stress and an education in patience, self-acceptance, and creativity, that I can’t wait until we go again. I’ll be painting twice more in January. Here’s my first two works:





Okay, so a little “third-grade-ish” but’s it’s a start.

Here’s to more creative greatness in 2016.

Share your early year success and dreams in comments below!