Roy’s Sunday Letter for December 10, 2023

  • Beth and I attended a reception for Texas Wesleyan’s publication of ARIES, an annual university journal. As an alumnus, I am honored to have my writing selected for their January ARIES publication. One challenge of aging, for me, is taking risks. The acceptance of my writing encourages me to seek similar publications and possible submissions. I am grateful that young minds find something of value in my words!

** We now purchase environmentally friendly clothes washing 3 X 5 sheets,160 per box. Our friends, Debbie and Charles got us on this path. Amazing how a tiny sheet can really clean your clothes. I now regret seeing the long shelves of clothes detergent in plastic tubs, each to soon be in your landfill for years to come. Is it time for you to join us, and so many others, in promoting a healthy environment?

  • Pew Research interviewed 11,000 individuals about “Being Spiritual or Being Religious.” 22% identified as spiritual but not religious; 10% identified as religious but not spiritual; 21% did not identify as spiritual or religious. Also, the decline in participation in religious affiliations continues.

A recent audio interview made an impact on me. The quote, “My life will not be defined by who I excluded, but who in my life I have included, learned from, and shared life.”

** Dani Shapiro shaped her book “Still Writing” around 40+ topics. Examples she named were Ambition, Rhythm, Habit, and Breaking the Rules. If you were writing your own book, what topic headings would you include?

I received a beautiful hand-crafted coffee cup from Beth. The mission of ZPOTS, in Vermont, is “Creating world peace one cup at a time.” ZPOTS reminds me of a home improvement show, “Bargain Block, a show dedicated to improving Detroit neighborhoods by adding rehabbed homes “One home at a time.”

  • The Best of My Week was listening to a Podcast with Anderson Cooper, CNN broadcaster. His podcast, “All There Is,” explores grief, people who have died, people left behind, and how we can live with loss and love. His father died when he was 10. Carter, his brother by gun suicide at 22, his mother in 2017. This is the second year for Anderson to do podcasts about grief. His first episode this season has a wonderful interview of Francis Weller author of “The Wild Edge of Sorrow.” Together we learn the power of telling stories, of the pain of missing someone, and the healing that can come from grief shared with others.

Beth and I hope you, your family and friends, are being touched by the goodness of this season. Being connected, whether near or far, so important. Each of you add to our lives and we hope in some way we add to yours as well.

Roy & Beth

Next Sunday, the 17th, I will write Encouraging words about calendars and issues of time.


  1. Frank Long on December 10, 2023 at 8:29 am

    A whirlwind of emotions. Proud of you for your publications in books, letters, TWU magazine and your observations about life, the happy celebrations, the sad reminders of loss, and the great hope for a bright future. Thanks, Roy.

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 11:38 am

      You have summed me up and writings well. I stumble and mumble more than create but keep at it. Beth is 1st reader and makes clear what I do not.
      What would we do, who would we be without our partners???? The Anderson Cooper podcasts both insight and reaching audience in new ways. Always with appreciation to you both. Roy

  2. Cinda Calderon Hitchcock on December 10, 2023 at 8:54 am

    My chapter topics: Memories, People I Have Loved, People Who Loved Me.

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 11:40 am

      Great topics. She would write 2 or 3 pages about each topic. All about the writing life and how family, agents, calendars, and more find their place and role in her life. Excellent fiction and life writer. Best to all down south….again, wonderful topics. Roy

  3. FRANK JOHNSON on December 10, 2023 at 9:16 am

    Packed! Great topics and all of great value. Congratulations on your latest publication. Look forward to seeing the publication and bragging about a Star of Wonders! You touch people! Keep it going. Join Cheryl and me at Uncle Julio’s on Saturday at 5pm and then join us at the Turtle Creek Chorale concert. Invite your friends!

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 11:33 am

      I make small, simple notes during the week and then pull together to draft. Beth is 1st reader, alwaays improving and making clear what I do not. You could do take out at Uncle Julio’s and join us on Pershiing…..Actualllyl, we are planning to come your way on 16th…..also possible Turtle Creek. You both special to us. Roy

  4. Linda M on December 10, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Hope. Resiliency. Fortitude. Love. Healing. Spirit.

    Would be some of the the topics I would explore.

    Couldn’t imagine a more beautiful time than the one I just recently spent with you and Beth.

    X/O Linda M

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 11:27 am

      Appreciate your topics, especially Resiliency.
      The days, the food, the words with you were easy moments. Memories on memory.
      If my help writing to po box does not arrive I will remail to ADW address or home.

  5. Debbie Gardner on December 10, 2023 at 10:54 am

    Thanks so much Roy for the “ journals” we received. We will write our stories and have a great conversation soon. I look forward to our next discussion. You always have “food for thought”. Charles and Debbie

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 11:23 am

      The notebooks were a follow-up to shared words at First Friday. Sometimes there can be right nudge at the right itme…..I/we learn from you and along with you we 4 stumble toward the light and right path. I am one, so I am told by someone nearby, I am one wo takes patience. I would add the word forgiveness. A friend in Santa Fe told me I am “one of those who always shows up.” Together we stumlble and fumlble for the right path…..We do so together. Roy

  6. Roger on December 10, 2023 at 11:05 am

    Have a wonderful holiday season and an excellent 2024!

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 11:18 am

      and the same and more with your family, whether near or far…..walking the path together….Roy

  7. David Yeomans on December 10, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    Your description of he interview with Anderson Cooper had an impact on me. I have known at least seven close friends or relatives of close friends who have fallen victim to suicide. Notice I didn’t say “committed,” since most times it was because of circumstances beyond their control or their capacity to make rational decisions. I can only imagine the grief, remorse and guilt of the surviving loved ones (“If only I had . . . “). I imagine that a good part of the comforting process is sharing with others the feelings about one’s loss, and of course, telling stories.

    • Roy Bowen on December 11, 2023 at 10:57 am

      A surviving father held his hand up to his face.
      He said no matter the help available, his son stopped seeing a future, his future.
      A well remembered moment at Hope & Healing Place, Amarillo.
      Our world does not, will pause for a death or much else.
      The choice of suicide family or peer leaves so many questions and doubts.
      Lets keep talking…..Roy

  8. Owen Kunkle on December 10, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    Spiritual and/or Religious: Spiritual and not religious: 22% Religious and not spiritual: 10% Not either: 21% Adding up the %s, I get 53%. Does that mean that the other 47% are both Spiritual and Religious? I doubt it, but that’s what I would claim and I think many more, like Richard Rohr, for example.

    • Roy Bowen on December 11, 2023 at 10:50 am

      I had the same wondering. But, the numbers were those reported
      Others may have said don’t care, never mind.
      Mainline groups not making headway in ongoing losses.
      I read on report, Christianity Today I think, where leaders were quoted: We are afraid to change; we are afraid not to change.”
      You both be special……Roy

      • Roy Bowen on December 17, 2023 at 5:14 pm

        I visited in a table of 8 with Rector of local congregation. He has said often the church needs and desires younger members. BUT, as I responded, “You have not changed your structure to attract younger families/individuals. Why would anyone under 55 attend?” If you are too scared to shift, then do not tell me you want something different.”
        A challenging topic. Let’s have coffee or burger and talk. Roy

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