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A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru

Here’s what I’ve been up to. The new book, published by Llewellyn, will be available in November, 2013. Not so long now!

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Itinerant Blogger

I thought to myself…I should update my blog.  I wonder how long it’s been.

August 2012.  Many many months.  Far  too many.

It seems I am an itinerant blogger.  I think about blogging often, but, as we have seen, I do not blog much at all. 

So I won’t guarantee this spurt will last.  No promises, here.  But I’d like to blog more often than I currently do.  Let us see what happens.

Block and Tackle

Block and Tackle

Neil Gaiman

Before I decided to discuss Key West, even before I knew what I was doing blogging in the first place, I spoke of Neil Gaiman.  I used one of his microfiction pieces in a class I offered; the notes for it can be found below, in 2008.

In any event, I have followed Neil Gaiman for years.  He is an imaginative author, but that’s easy to say about any author, really.  We’re a breed, writers, and imagination is one of our key tools.  Imagination and revision, the top two.  Neil Gaiman’s short stories rise and fall like tides, his novels draw you in, and his poems…well, his poems are auditory and visceral all at once.

But don’t just believe me.  Here, listen to the man himself.  He is reading his poem, “Instructions.”

Key West is divided into two main areas.  We always spent our time in the Old Down district, and I heartily recommend staying there.  A number of excellent bread and breakfast style inns are available within walking distance to the heart of Old Town.  In fact, walking or renting a bicycle are the two best options for exploring.

Butterfly Close-UpLocated at 1316 Duval Street, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a must-see attraction.  It starts with an informative self-led tour, and then the magic happens.  You step into a sealed foyer and then are passed through into the conservatory.  Butterflies flitter and soar everywhere.  There are numerous species, and the convervatory is laid out like a garden, its paths curving along streams, through tropical plant life, and over small decorative bridges.  Benches are set out along the way where one can simply stop, sit, and observe.  I cannot adequately describe the sense of serenity pervading the conservatory.  I can say that a person can spend as much time as they like in the conservatory right up until closing time.  Spend time there – it is a quiet, relaxing space and should not be rushed through.

KW Rooster

Another of Key West’s proud denizens. The roosters and chickens freely range the island, and will strut right up to an outdoor dining table, straight as you please, and eye you until food is forthcoming.

For Starters

In all honesty, I am not certain how this blog will develop. As I said before, I am initially using this as a means of learning WordPress. Where I’ll go from there remains to be seen. But, for starters, I think I will talk a bit about Key West.

Key West is the southernmost of the islands known as the “Florida Keys,” more technically the Straits of Florida. It is only about four miles long and two miles wide, and is around 90 miles from Cuba. Key West is perhaps best known as a home for Ernest Hemingway, and Tennessee Williams was known to visit it from time to time, as well. Several Presidents made it a vacation spot, including Presidents Harry Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.

None of these items accounts for the beauty of the island, its westerly views, or the random livestock – mostly chickens and roosters – and polydactyl cats – mostly descended from Hemingway’s first cat, Snowball. Key West is quirky, easy to get to and remarkably difficult to leave.