M. John Fayhee

Writer, Editor, Bullshitter, Mountain Gazette Resurrector

"When in Rome, Do as the Romanians"

Burned by Toast »

Burned by Toast

  Every morning, I burn my toast. Every damned morning of my life. I do not burn my toast intentionally. Quite the contrary. I would love to start my day by biting into an unburned piece of toast, butter tantalizingly seeping into the porous surface rather than sliding in one slowly melting blob across the […]

Taking notes

Taking notes »

What my notes look like.   At the behest of my agent, who apparently believes there are a few tricks of the nonfiction trade I could apply to my own wayward transcriptive musings (stuff like not needing to include every single adjective in the English language in every single sentence (as well as avoiding excessive […]
Lay Me Down

Lay Me Down »

The Georgia Street house, 35 years after the fact “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Angels watch me through the night, And wake me with the morning light.” — “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” a much-revised prayer, the earliest form of which was penned […]
Guest appearance on The Trail Show podcast

Guest appearance on The Trail Show podcast »

Two weeks ago, I was a guest on The Trail Show podcast, recorded in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. I was just informed that the show is now live and, should you find yourself with gobs of free time, I would humbly advise a listen. The discussion of Mexico’s Copper Canyon — overwhelmed as usual with my […]
Sinking Fast: Or: The one time I almost came to believe there just might actually be an almighty celestial entity

Sinking Fast: Or: The one time I almost came to believe there just might actually be an almighty celestial entity »

Part One   “Oh god forgive my mind when I come home.” — Brandi Carlile, “Wherever Is Your Heart I Call Home”   It was dead smack in the temporal epicenter of yet another of my many not-exactly-making-any-positive-headway periods. I was once again simultaneously treading water and spinning wheels — a resident in good stead […]

Misdirection »

Note: This first appeared on the Mountain Gazette website a couple years ago. I have resurrected it because the subject of cairn-building has recently been discussed in the venerable pages of the High Country News. Off to the north of a trail I have hiked, biked, skied and snowshoed more times than I can remember […]
Cover Letters

Cover Letters »

  Maybe a decade ago, when my tenure at the magazine I had long edited was clearly headed down the shitter, I started, out of quiet desperation, regularly eyeballing a help-wanted website called journalismjobs.com. I am a creature of habit; once I start doing something, I usually continue until there is an overt reason to […]

Still »

Part One: Cosmic eddy It is a small window when time meets action in New Mexico’s Gila Country. During monsoon season, the diminutive creek next to which I am walking — a regular tromping haunt — flows high, muddy and loud. Upstream campgrounds are often closed due to flash flood concerns. Soon enough, though, as […]

Discordance »

“What I must do is to take life on its lowest level, gather my soul together, and stand what fate sends.” — John Cowper Powys, “Maiden Castle”   Part I: Head-bangers’ ball at Applebee’s   It is a question I almost always pose to motel clerks after a long day on the road, when, because […]
Linguistic contractions

Linguistic contractions »

It was the kind of country store that used to dot America’s rural landscape back in the days before automobile mania became so epidemic that people started driving all the way to town just for a quart of milk or a pack of smokes. These dusty, musty and creaky-floored emporiums of the sometimes absurd purveyed […]

Forethought »

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” — Arnold Palmer Among my greatest accomplishments is the fact that I never had the slightest interest in taking up golf. And it’s not as though opportunity has not knocked. I worked for a couple summers running the very modest tennis program in Grand Lake, Colorado, a mountain […]
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