Storyteller at large

A Blog by Author J.R. White

To Frighten, Amuse, Entertain and Enthrall.

Creative Outlets: The Live Edge Sink

The grizzled old sawyer looked down at the rough-cut slab at his feet. “Dang,” he muttered. “I didn’t want you to find that one.”

I had spent the morning at a private lumberyard secreted on an old homestead in the middle of Gainesville, Florida. The property was a riot of live-edge slabs and planks. The lumber was mostly cedar and cypress, stacked under the eaves and into the rooms of the old farmhouse. I had been crawling through the piles in the back rooms – my ears tuned for the menacing hum of wasps – as I looked for the perfect piece.

All of this started because my wife got me a damn cookbook. [Read More]

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Creative Outlets: The Axe

Since the pandemic, I’ve been trying to get into the woods more. This led me to reconnect with some of the old outdoorsman skills that I hadn’t had a chance to use since childhood. And that led me to… UK based bushcraft videos on Youtube…. which led to – you know what, the details of this particular rabbit-hole aren’t important.

What is important, is that now I needed an axe.

And of course, I couldn’t just buy one. Where’s the fun in that? So the obvious answer was to start digging through barns and scrap-heaps until I found what I wanted. [Read More]

Creative Outlets: The Kuksa

Here in the intermittent series of “Creative Outlet” posts, I hope to share some non-writing projects and adventures with you, and I hope they inspire your own.

For this project, I decided I wanted to make a Kuksa, which is a traditional wooden cup most associated with the Sami peoples of northern Scandinavia. Like all handmade things, they come in a wide array of styles and what’s considered ‘traditional’ varies by region.

This will mostly be a photo-essay on how I did mine. I enjoyed the process, and I love the final product (despite its many deviations from ‘tradition’, which I’ll address below).

Let’s check it out. [Read More]

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but every last one of us does it. That’s why the cover is there, and it’s why a great cover is so important. It’s your first chance to make an impression on potential readers, convey the uniqueness of your work, and establish expectations – so you’d better get it right!

     Here’s how I did it, and at the end I’ll list some advice based on my experience and the learning curve I encountered.

     For my the cover of my first book, I knew I needed to make a statement…. [Read More]