Happy New Year

“A Pint” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

      by M.A.H. Hinton

out with the old
in with the new

forget what you think you know
begin anew

blessings on your labors
blessings on your rest

may 2018 be your best

Words I Am Banning from My Life

“Galway” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

Hoping to have a more healthy and productive 2018, and “inspired” by the alleged attempt to ban certain words at the CDC by the present administration, I am coming up with my own list of words that I am banning from this blog, or any of my social media platforms for the year 2018.

This includes not using them AND doing my best to figure out how to hide/delete any post, story, or tweet that uses them.

If we all did so, I believe we would have a more just, equitable, and sane world than we currently do.

  • Donald Trump
  • Fox News (and all employees thereof)
  • Paul Ryan
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Fake News
  • Roy Moore
  • Steve Bannon
  • NRA
  • 2nd Amendment
  • National Anthem
  • GOP
  • Hilary Clinton
  • New York Yankees

I’ll let you know how the experiment goes.


New Year

“Tools of the Trade” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

The coldest holiday season in generations has descended upon the North Country. It is the kind of cold that get inside the bones of a house and touches everything.

2017 is coming to a close. We survived a year of Trump by the skin of our teeth. But as a country, as culture we are greatly diminished. It will take years to undo the damage already done. But in my heart I am afraid the damage is too consequential, too permanent.

Each year, I make a list of goals. Things I want to accomplish in the year ahead in: writing, reading, being healthy, this blog, etc.

I can honestly say the process is helpful. I look back on my 2016 goals and see that I accomplished or at least tried to accomplish many of the things I set out to do last year. But whether I achieved a goal or not is not the point. Having something to work toward and having a process and plan to accomplish it is.

2017 is almost in the books. 2018 is a blank page yet to be written. May it be a fruitful time for you and yours.



Blogging in December

“My 1946 Smith-Corona Super-Speed” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

December has arrived in the North Country. Not with the usual cold and snow this year. But warm and mild. We know the other proverbial shoe will drop, but for now we enjoy days of light jackets and sweatshirts.

My second-story office where I write has two large windows that look over our backyard and the dozen other backyards on our suburban block. On summer mornings it is light enough outside to enjoy the view of trees and birds. In winter, it is too dark for that until it is almost time to go to work.

Out of habit, even on weekends, I am usually up between 5:00 and 5:30 and sitting at my desk with my coffee trying my best to write.

I am not sure how it is for other writers, but for me this is my favorite time of day. I have a quiet mind, feel appreciative of all that I have been given, and have hope. For one burdened by nature and genetics with depression, morning tides of hope are a precious gift.

On my desk is a typewriter, a college-lined journal, and a computer. Three ways for me to write, depending on my mood or current inclination.

Also on my desk are the silly and meaningful things that I have collected as talismans and memories over the years: a rock from Sedona, Arizona and one from where the Brule River empties into Lake Superior; a shell from Padre Island; an “antique” picture of my brother Paul and I dressed as outlaws taken in Virginia City, Montana, 35 years ago; a shadow box with patches from the few countries I have visited; action figures of captains Kirk and Picard; a Zippy the Pinhead coffee mug filled with pencils, pens, and a pair of scissors; a ceramic Charlie Russell coaster; my coffee cup; and a rotating stack of books that I am currently working through. Everything I need to write.

Some mornings the writing is easier than other mornings. On the days when it is more difficult I usually end up working on this blog or tweaking some poems.

My silent times here are usually because my other writing projects are going well. Or because I feel I have “extra” time to work on ClimbingSky.

December has arrived. Tomorrow is the first day of Advent.



“Writing Life” (by m.a.h. hinton)

A year ago, I made a decision to do something with decades worth of poems scattered in computer files and old journals. Instead of letting them just gather dust, or be lost, or thrown away as I had been doing for 30 years, I decided to try sending them out.

In the last year, the following publishers have done me the honor of publishing my work. I thank them all.

Published in Last 12 Months


Writing can be a lonely habit. Some writers join writer’s groups or go to workshops or get MFAs. I have chosen to do it in a more solitary way.

There are advantages and disadvantages to trying to write in the way that was chosen for me. I say “chosen for me” because my I am not a by nature a joiner. I could not have done it any other way. I am most comfortable when by myself or with just a few others at a time from my small group of friends and family members.

The advantage is that I think I have developed a style of writing that works for me. The disadvantage is that I will always be blind and deaf to what I cannot see or hear. I am an audience of one. Everything I write is limited by and only as good as that flawed and imperfect audience of one can see or hear.

This blog, as irregular as it is, is the one outlet I have for trying things out. That is why I want to thank those of you who stop by here every now and then. Please know that I appreciate it very much.