Where I Come From 2024

The Pineywoods Manifesto: Be Kinder than Necessary

This is another chapter from our upcoming book, The Pineywoods Manifesto. Be Kind.   Kindness: a language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.   Always be kinder than necessary. It’s a trait that both blesses the receiver and the giver. It leaves both with a spring in their step. All of my life, I’ve been the recipient …

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The Pineywoods Manifesto: You’re not Define by …

A word from Curt My summer project is a small book entitled The Pineywoods Manifesto. It’s for my four grandsons and is my attempt to pass on the qualities and values of my home area of western Louisiana. Also, at our website, you can currently download for free a copy of my first novel, The Wayfaring Stranger. Click here for …

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The Pineywoods Manifesto: Be Amazed

  My goals at this season of my life: Stay Curious. Be Amazed. Share Remarkable Stories   “God is working in 10,000 ways around you, and you may be aware of two or three of them.” -John Piper As a Pineywoods Man, I’m committed to a lifetime of curiosity.  To be a lifetime learner.  To walk up to strangers, introduce …

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The Pineywoods Manifesto: Don’t Carry a Lazy Man’s Load

In today’s Creekbank StoryLetter: A new story from The Pineywoods Manifesto. A Big Rattler. Thanks for helping us on our September Africa Trip. Get a free download of our most popular novel, The Wayfaring Stranger. Readers are enjoying As the Crow Flies. Do you have your copy? We haven’t forgotten about our next novel, 1918: No Man’s Land Louisiana. We’re …

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The Pineywoods Manifesto: A grounded view on death

    A word from Curt I’m blogging a new non-fiction project entitled, The Pineywoods Manifesto: Field Notes on the Full Life. Although I’m writing it primarily for my four grandsons, I’m also thinking about the values and qualities we cherish in the part of western Louisiana we call “The Pineywoods.” Today’s lesson chapter involved a grounded worldview on something …

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The Pineywoods Manifesto: An Enduring Lesson on Anger

Pa’s Enduring Lesson on Anger They’ve both been gone for nearly half a century. I was seven and ten, respectively when my paternal great-grandparents died. We called them Pa and Doten, and they were center of our family’s solar system. They each left an enduring lesson that still reverberates in my heart. As I pass each of these two brief …

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The Pineywoods Manifesto: Think First, Then Shoot

Rule 1: Think first, then shoot. Rule 2: If in doubt, don’t shoot.   A Word from Curt I’m writing a short book for my four grandsons entitled, A Pineywoods Manifesto: Field Notes on the Full Life contains brief stories and insights I wish to pass on to them. They are blessed with strong fathers who are already modeling these qualities …

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Pineywoods Rule: Always Remember Where You Came From

A word from Curt This is another chapter in my upcoming e-book, A Pineywoods Manifesto. It’s a collection of anecdotes and lessons for my four grandsons. Today’s story will be part of a speech I’ve giving Tuesday night to the 150 Honor Graduates in my home parish of Beauregard. My short talk will consist of three parts: Remember where you …

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‘Buried Hams’ A favorite story told by my cousin, Harold Iles, Sr.

The best part of writing about Pineywoods Louisiana is how my books open the door for others to tell me their stories. Most of my historical fiction comes from actual stories told by my friends, both old and new. This is especially true with A Spent Bullet, my 1941 Louisiana Maneuvers book. My cousin, Harold Iles, who was a Sugartown …

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Storms don’t create Character; they reveal it.

  Storms don’t create character; they reveal it. We saw that in the good folks of Texas and Louisiana as neighbors and strangers helped each other.         The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline, for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and …

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The 5 Million Dollar Lie

combine with Joseph’s brothers and their 20 year lie Some are saying it cost him $10 million dollars in endorsements. The lower estimate is that Ryan Lochte’s string of lies cost him at least $5 million in future earnings and endorsements. $5 million or $10 million lost.  That’s a pile of regret. And it all goes back to a drunken …

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A Tall Pine Knot Pile: Thoughts on Earthly Treasure

Dry Creek’s finest and biggest pine knot pile in the yard of my friends, Mark and Kari Miller. The following is a short sad story on how I lost my own pile. Earthly treasures, pine knot piles, and 401 (K) accountsx All of a sudden, the February wind picked up and turned out of the south. Instantly what had been …

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How to Bury a Country Man

  One of my young pastor friends called as he prepared for his first funeral.  This is simply insight I’ve gained from others as well as the experience and privilege of helping folks as they walk through the shadow of death. How to Bury a Country Man “The thing about common sense is that it ain’t common, Son.” –Erik Pederson …

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The Juxtaposition of “who owns this land.”

Ignore that fancy word. Juxtapositon. It simply means comparing and contrasting. How is an orange like an apple?  How is it different. It’s a big part of how my mind works as I take three steps daily: Being curious Being Amazed. Being Moved to tell a story.     Many times my stories are about these amazing things and how they …

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