Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Missoula, Montana

Missoula, Montana

Last summer I was fortunate enough to spend the Forth of July in Montana with my extended family. It was the first time I was able to see so many members of my family in a single place since I was a child. It may have been the last time. Since that family reunion, my life has been moving forward at an accelerated rate. I drove across the country and settled down in Boston where I am pursuing my life long passion of writing. I work and attend graduate school full time. I’ve started a life with my amazing girlfriend and I have began working on my first novel. There are times in life when you move so far forward in such short periods that you effectively redefine yourself. This picture was taken only seven months ago, but it feels like eternity. I was waiting for fireworks to explode over Missoula, Montana with my family by my side. I haven’t stopped moving forward since that day.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Home



For as long as I can remember I have had an obsession with fascinating doors. Front doors are especially wonderful. They are the entrance into a wholly personal world. The world of an individual, a  family, a truly unique story.  The front door to a home is like the cover of a great book; in looking at it, you can’t help but wonder what is inside.  This is not my front door, but sometimes I wish it was. Sometimes I wish this was the beginning of my story, the front cover on my home.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind The Gap

I believe that the ebook revolution has the potential of throwing the world into a period of enlightenment. I hope for and foresee increased literacy rates, wide spread and cheap access to information, and the honorable application of knowledge. The world is shrinking and it is because of advancements in communications. Literature is, and always has been, the most sacred form of communication. The fact that a teacher in Minnesota can publish a book that can be printed in Canada, read online by a mother in Hong Kong, and then translated for a student in Buenos Aires in a matter of hours is a phenomenon. It is also a phenomenon that will become increasingly prevalent as technology continues to advance. These are the types of miraculous trends I hope to see more of in the future of book publishing, trends that are only just now beginning to appear on most people’s radar. Self-publishing will explode. Equal access to information will prevail. Education will become less restricted. International borders will blur. Life will be good.

Or, my optimism is completely rooted in my personal philosophies regarding the unhindered access to and honorable application of knowledge, and I’m actually blind to the truth. Perhaps, in reality, the book publishing industry is doomed to crumple under economic pressures and quietly place creativity in a warehouse in a desert somewhere. Maybe independent booksellers and used bookstores will fade entirely into the past. Book publishers will wither and congregate under the single title “Not Amazon,” and Amazon itself will morph into an evil empire complete with drones. Textbooks will be issued through government sanctioned computer mainframes. Advertisements and videos will be embedded into the classics. Digital rights management will put traceable leashes on all literature and books will cease to be possessions. Your ability to read will be dictated by a “Terms of Agreement” contract. Your library will be repossessed if you break the rules and life will suck.

Oh, wait… never mind. We will still have paper books and those are nice. We will be okay.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique


2012 Matthew Branch – From The Ashes

While working as a wild land firefighter I came across a bunch of small purple wildflowers high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while on assignment. The forest around them was devastated. These flowers alone survived the heat of the fire because they were so small and close to the ground. I found them growing in small patches, completely surrounded by ash. In a totally burnt and barren landscape, they were truly unique.