Welcome to 2008. If you chose this book it was for one of four reasons:

1) You’ve been following the blog at and wanted it either better organized or with some added material.

2) You’ve read the other volumes and want to see how it ends (sorry about that one, since I don’t plan on the story ending for awhile…and someone else will have to write the last entry.)

3) You’ve heard of me for some reason (seminars and lectures, classes for writers or my print books, “Meditations on Violence” and “Facing Violence”) or

4) You were intrigued by the cover.

The cover was designed by my lovely and talented wife from two pictures I took in Baghdad. What you see is an unaltered photo of a dust storm. It really looks that orange, like a bad 1960’s science fiction movie set on Mars. The medallion is some graffiti from the Rusafa Prison complex. It translates “Allah is the Lord of Heaven and Earth.” Arabic calligraphy is very beautiful.

Full disclosure: Most of what is in this volume is available free on the blog. I’ve added some new material, including a previously unpublished essay, “Where the Journey Ends” to make it worthwhile.

Nod to Dave 01JAN2008

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