The blog has been crickets lately, I know. The onset of Spring has found us occupied with a myriad of new activities, mainly projects at the new homestead and (un)school activities with the kids. My work on the website has taken a backseat over the past month.
If you’ve been following my social media posts recently, you’ve noticed I’ve been playing around with a new medium. I created a YouTube channel for Screams from the Trees and started uploading short goofy videos in March.
Since my last post about the helicopter flight over Royal Gorge, I’ve put out several videos:
I’ve much to learn and a gigaton of practice to do, but I’m absolutely thrilled to have the time to finally play with this medium. In the future you can expect more videos from me, and less writing.
I fell into writing when I was young because I couldn’t afford a videocamera. There were a few times in high school I got my hands on a VHS camera and recorded some funny skits with my best buddy Jason, along with some stop-motion shorts starring my Rambo action figure. But I didn’t have access to the videocamera for long, which leads me to believe it belonged to one of my mother’s husbands. No matter what my financial situation was I could always get my hands on pen and paper. So, writing it became.
I love storytelling. I think visually. My writing process is essentially transcribing the movie I see in my mind. And one of the tenets of storytelling is: Show, Don’t Tell.
Well, I’ve been telling stories all my life.
But fact is, most of the people audience to my stories don’t believe they’re true. Hell, it took my best friend Ethan four years till he believed any of my many ramblings. It was because I started showing him the pictures. I have the proof.
So I’m done telling y’all my stories. I’m gonna show ‘em.
Which leads me to another change regarding Screams from the Trees. I changed the slogan. I finished updating everything this morning.
Screams from the Trees is no longer attempting to improve all the dads out there. It’s just a vehicle to tell my story about becoming a better dad, and ultimately a better human being.
I can’t save everybody, I can only save myself. Truth is, I’ve always made artistic choices that compromised my own development, in an effort to improve the development of others. For instance, I started a publishing business focused on publishing the work of other writers, photographers, and artists at a time when I should have been focusing on getting my own work published and advancing my own career as an artist.
Same thing occurred with Screams from the Trees. My original focus was going to be other dads. But I could tell the constant refrain here was going to be my personal experience of becoming a better dad. So why pretend it’s anything else?
I’ve been a lot of things in life. Lived in many places, worked in many more, visited more than that. I’ve been interpreted in the strangest ways and misunderstood at best. I’ve won and lost, loved and hated, I’ve hurt and been hurt, I’ve been to the mountaintop and I’ve hit rock bottom. My old Army buddy Folkerts called me “The Real Forrest Gump.” But certainly all of my many victories and failures and touches with celebrity and slums have created who I am today, and who I want to be tomorrow.
I’m constantly evolving.
Much like Screams from the Trees.
So. This is me. Here’s how I got here. Here’s where I’m going. Here’s my story.
Welcome to My Crazy Journey to Becoming a Better Dad.