All images © Tim Keller unless otherwise noted



Jack Keller, Pacific Palisades CA - grill master



            Jack Keller

      February 26, 1928 -
     December 20, 2016









December 8, 2016    Passing It On

Cordero Behrman

I received a request last February from my editor at The Chronicle-News, Cathy Moser, wondering whether I might mentor a promising young writer who lives far up Colorado's Highway of Legends and attends Primero School. His teacher, Ruth Stodghill, a TCN contributor, was looking for more advanced help for him. I said sure, then spent several months exchanging emails with Cordero Behrman. (Photo at left courtesy Primero Yearbook.) He sent me his stories and I sent commentaries and suggestions. We both enjoyed the process. I sent him two books--Stephen King's On Writing, and the indispensible The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Cord devoured them, sending me notes in return, a teacher's ideal student. His writing remained as prolific as ever but now grew in skills and maturity. Cord's greatest strength is his endless imagination, followed closely by his ambition.

The Gathering, by O'redroc (Cordero Behrman)

Before his senior year began this fall, Cord published his first book of stories, titled The Gathering, illustrated by his friend Jay Riggins. Cord is publishing under the pen name of O'redroc, his name spelled backwards. Containing five stories (41 pages) of fantasy, science fiction, and impressive control, the book is available online for less than five dollars. Last week, Ruth contributed a front page TCN feature on the book, including Cord's thanks to the many people that have helped him. I appreciated his gracious thanks to "Tim Keller, for apprenticing me and helping me see what a writer sees." (When Cord sent me a copy of his book, he inscribed it, "To Tim, for giving me the words but not the order they go in." How cool is that.) Cord lives way up a rural road on the southern base of the Spanish Peaks. He hopes to study creative writing at Princeton University. Whatever his promising future holds, I'm confident that it will include lots of impressively creative writing. Good road, Cord.




December 6, 2016    Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud, Maxwell New Mexico 2016

Christina and I were honored yesterday to judge Maxwell School's first-ever Poetry Out Loud competition, directed by wunderkind teacher Kelly Jones (presenting awards at left). Congratulations to middle school winner Alexi Hoy and high school winner Daimon Sisneros. Daimon will represent Maxwell at the state finals in St. Francis Auditorium on the Santa Fe Plaza March 12. Maxwell's twelve competitors in the poetry recitation contest amounted to 10% of the entire K-12 student body, and 5% of the entire population of the village of Maxwell. Impressive!




November 10, 2016    Twangin' on the Whammy Bar

Peter Burg's Skateboarding's First Wave soundtrack album

Finally, my best friend Peter Burg has released a CD album of the 25 surf guitar instrumentals he wrote and produced for the film Skateboarding's First Wave. The film grew from my 2013 Palisadian-Post feature of the same title, and Peter's music began here in my house, too, as we watched 50-year-old footage of our Palisades Skateboard Team and decided that Peter should write new tunes to offer to our PST teammate, Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Don Burgess, for his film. Peter tells the rest of the story in his album's liner notes. , which I enjoyed editing for him last month.

Peter Burg, Rustic Canyon, 2014, by Tim Keller

Peter and I rode Amtrak's Southwest Chief to LA in July 2014 for the PST reunion and filming, when I took his portrait at my dad's place in Rustic Canyon (right). Seven of Peter's new songs made it into Skateboarding's First Wave, which debuts on Showtime next month. I've had all 25 songs in my iTunes for two years and it's one of my favorite albums. I've been after Peter to release a CD and it's finally happened. Click the CD cover above to see the great titles, and click here to read and see much more on my dedicated Skateboarding's First Wave webpage, which has now surpassed 5000 unique viewers. Scroll down and you'll find Peter's 2010 history of skateboarding in Pacific Palisades, which partially inspired my 2013 feature. (Scroll up for my feature and lots of updates and photos.) Order a CD directly from Peter via instructions in the liner notes. Enjoy!




November 8, 2016    Wondering Where's Winter

Mid-November elm tree branches that should be bare by now Elm leaves still on tree when they should be bare in northern New Mexico November

Lying on my back on the lush green front lawn while the new kitten builds experience and courage exploring outdoors, I pull my new iphone 7 out to photograph all the leaves still on the big tall elm trees overhead. It's warm in the sun, low 60s, and I'm wearing a t-shirt. My south-facing second-floor studio looms directly above, where I spend mornings writing, processing my photographs, and building this website. Normally we've had our first snow by now--often on Halloween--and the trees have shed their leaves which now blanket the lawn.

Not this year. I'm still hiking five miles almost every afternoon, usually in Climax Canyon or one of two routes in Sugarite Canyon, often wearing a t-shirt. We've had no snow yet and the overnight lows are just now reaching a light freeze. As much as I'm enjoying the delay of winter, I can't help but think...this ain't right.




October 31, 2016    Walks in the Woods

Hiking in Sugarite Canyon State Park, Raton, New Mexico, by Tim Keller

I created at the end of 2008 to showcase my photography, which, one year after purchasing my first Nikon camera, had started appearing in magazines and newspapers. Almost immediately, the publications started asking me for articles to accompany my photo projects and I quickly found myself a published writer. No sooner did I launch my photography website than I started this adjunct arts website,, to include my writings, my music, and anything else creative that didn't fit well in the photography website. The two websites are nested together and interlinked (navigating via the left menu), and for almost eight years I've posted regular blogs on both sides, photography and arts, averaging once a week on each side.

Hiking in Sugarite Canyon State Park, Raton NM, by Tim Keller

The two websites have grown at a relatively even pace, mainly because I've kept up a feverish writing pace across all those years. Lately, though, I've let up on the throttle to enjoy my newfound "retirement mentality." As a result, the writing has slacked off--it requires a lot of hustle and hassle with editors and footwork--while the photography has continued to be active, mainly because the photography website brings in steady work all by itself, no hustle or hassle. Thus, my photography blog has been as busy as ever these past two months, whereas this, my arts blog, has been relatively thin.

Bartlett Mesa hiking above Raton, New Mexico, by Tim Keller

What have I been doing instead? Well, playing music, growing and harvesting the best garden of my life, reading several books each month, and hiking five miles almost every afternoon. The photo pair at the top is grabbed from my Instagram account, where I posted the two iPhone photos from a hike in Sugarite Canyon this month. Below those is another phone photo of the same view taken exactly a year ago, and at left my phone photo of a hike across the top of Bartlett Mesa, which stands immediately behind our house at the northeast town limits of Raton. (Last week Christina and I traded in our four-year-old iPhone 5's for the new iPhone 7, and I'm looking forward to seeing whether my new hiking camera is improved as markedly as the phone's impressive screen display.) With winter's arrival imminent, mountain hiking will yield to ranch roads and a gym, while time gained may turn back to writing. We'll just have to see what my retirement mentality yields over the approaching months.






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