I write a daily blog called One Mind Snapping at tinywhitebox.com. Manchester InkLink is now publishing a weekly piece drawn from these, and I figured you might want to know a bit about me. If not, I won’t be crushed, although I will be surprised. Hurt, even. But not crushed. At the bottom are links to the five most popular posts so far.
I live, along with my heterosexual four-legged male life partner, Sam, in a very comfortable if not spacious 72-square-foot box on the Canadian border. (I’m aware that first sentence raises way more questions than it answers – it’s what’s known as a hook, a writing device I’m not good at.) Sam’s gender is, I guess, immaterial because he’s a combination boxer and black lab, and his sexual identity is also moot because of an operation he underwent as a pup. The Tiny White Box we live in is a converted motorcycle trailer that’s six-feet wide and 12-feet long. Inside is a bed for one-and-a-half (sorry, Sam), a coffee pot, a couple lamps, heat, a microwave and, most important, refuge from the rest of the world for me to write.
The box is located on the grounds of a nonprofit called Warriors@45 North, a great organization that offers veterans a retreat from life and a chance to hunt, fish, ride ATVs and snowmobiles, all at no expense. For 35 to 40 weeks a year, though, the property, in Pittsburg, about 10 miles from the Canadian border, is unused, except for me and Sam. Every day we hike four to 10 miles, Sam chases birds and I write.
Until a few months ago, I was director of a place called Liberty House in Manchester, a temporary housing program for formerly homeless veterans. If you Google “Keith Howard Liberty House” you can read of some of my adventures there. Since I used to be a drunken homeless veteran, it was a good fit for Liberty House and for me. After 10 years of sobriety and living off the streets, and five years of running Liberty House, though, I knew it was time to move along. We’d increased the public awareness and the budget of the place so much, I knew it needed a saner and more conventional leader than I could ever be, a leader who consolidates success instead of immediately looking for the next hill to gaze over. I gave them nine months to choose my successor, and made plans.
My first novel, On Account of Because, was published in July, and once I was done with the afternoon of public-relations excitement that attends every first-time novel publication, I got ready to move here to contemplate, hike, lead free writing retreats for veterans, and write a memoir and a couple more novels. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Five Most Popular Pieces (so far)
- There is No God but that Doesn’t Stop Him from Working http://wp.me/p8SkS0-6D
- “Now She Can Watch Me All the Time”–A eulogy (with jokes) for my mom http://wp.me/p8SkS0-74
- A Patriotic Rant with a Twist: A Veteran’s View of the Anthem . http://wp.me/p8SkS0-7i
- If You Don’t Want to Think, Don’t Read This . http://wp.me/p8SkS0-7p
- Doing Time in Waukesha–A Prisoners Story . http://wp.me/p8SkS0-7t
About the author: Keith Howard used to be a homeless drunk veteran. Then he got sober and, eventually, became director of Liberty House in Manchester, a housing program for formerly homeless veterans. There, he had a number of well-publicized experiences – walking away from federal funds in order to keep Liberty House clean and sober, a contretemps with a presidential candidate and a $100,000 donation, a year spent living in a converted cargo trailer in Raymond. Today, he lives in a six-by 12-foot trailer in Pittsburg, NH, a few miles from the Canadian border with his dog, Sam. There, Howard maintains tinywhitebox.com, his website, works on a memoir, and a couple of novels while plotting the next phase of his improbable life.