Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

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Have you ever had a dream where . . .

Have you ever had a dream where . . .

Greetings from the New Orleans International Airport! Have you ever had a dream where you stand up in an auditorium to give a speech and have no idea what you are going to say? I had close to that today at South Louisiana Community College. I was booked to present back-to-back performances of “Around the […]

Goldfrapp in Seattle

Goldfrapp in Seattle

Marty’s photo of the day #2315: Deb and I are back from seeing Goldfrapp in Seattle. I have a concert DVD of the band performing in front of a huge crowd in London and have seen numerous other videos of them in large concert situations. Seeing them in a nightclub was an entirely different experience. […]

Happy Birthday Joan Jett!

Happy Birthday Joan Jett!

Marty’s photo of the day #2314: Happy birthday Joan Jett! September 22 and September 23 are memorable days for birthdays. Today is Joan Jett’s birthday, and tomorrow is Deb Essen’s and Bruce Springsteen’s birthday. My wife is a lot younger than Bruce. She’s also younger than Joan, but just how much, we’ll keep a secret. […]

Collide interview with author Marty Essen

Collide interview with author Marty Essen

Streaming services, such as Pandora and Spotify have made life difficult for all but the biggest acts in the music industry. The CD-buying public has become the song-streaming public, with artists making a quarter of a penny or less per streamed song. But streaming services do provide one advantage over the days when artists needed […]

My new novel is coming along great!

My new novel is coming along great!

Yay! I just finished the first draft of my new novel. My two previous books were nonfiction, so this is my first attempt at fiction. I started the book right after Christmas, with the goal of having the first draft done by the end of May. It’s amazing how much easier it is to write […]

The tools of a professional writer

The tools of a professional writer

Want to be a professional writer? First you must have the tools of the trade: the Chicago Manual of Style, a laptop computer (mine has backlit keys, so I can write at night by candlelight), lots of coffee, and a red writing chair. In my case, this is actually my second red writing chair, as […]

Savoring the Obama Presidency. A 50-year list of best-to-worst presidents.

Savoring the Obama Presidency. A 50-year list of best-to-worst presidents.

Although diehard Republicans despise Barack Obama, many of us are savoring the last five months of his presidency. It didn’t quite hit me what a good president he’s been, until I stumped three people critical of his policies with this simple question: “Name one president better than Obama during the last 50 years.” That led […]

Trump’s insanity free fall

Trump’s insanity free fall

Donald Trump is obviously now in an insanity free fall. As former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough reported this morning, Trump repeatedly asked a foreign policy advisor “Why can’t we use nukes?” And as another adviser said, “The problem is that Trump watches TV every minute that he isn’t actually on his phone, either talking or […]

Roaring Lion Fire at Night

Roaring Lion Fire at Night

Marty’s photo of the day #1865: Yesterday afternoon, Deb and I went to see the new Star Trek movie in Hamilton, MT (a little south of where we live). As we were pulling up to the movie theater, Deb pointed out some light smoke on the mountain. While we watched the movie, the fire exploded! […]

Roaring Lion Fire

Roaring Lion Fire

Deb and I went to see the new Star Trek movie today in Hamilton, MT (a little south of where we live). As we were pulling up to the movie theater, Deb pointed out some light smoke on the mountain. While we watched the movie, the fire exploded into this! Deb and I have lived […]

Dancing on the Edge

Dancing on the Edge

Marty’s photo of the day #1863: You are looking at a painting based on my “Zebras at Sunset” photo. A few months ago Arturo Chávez, a well-known, award-winning painter from Taos, New Mexico, asked permission to use my photo for a painting. I, of course, was honored and immediately said yes. Yesterday Arturo sent me […]

President Obama: Savoring his last six months in office

President Obama: Savoring his last six months in office

Marty’s photo of the day #1862: As I watched President Obama’s speech last night, I couldn’t help thinking: “He’s the Democrat’s Reagan.” The big difference, of course, is that the Republican version of Ronald Reagan’s history is, shall we say, mostly fiction. In fact, we are still dealing with the severe damage done to our […]

MSNBC: It’s okay to cheer for the home team

MSNBC: It’s okay to cheer for the home team

Marty’s photo of the day #1861: I absolutely loved Bill Clinton’s speech last night! It was funny and full of great personal stories. I especially loved the story about Hillary on her knees, lining Chelsea’s dresser drawers with paper, when they dropped her off at her college dorm for the first time—and Chelsea telling her […]

The difference between Democrats and Republicans

The difference between Democrats and Republicans

When Al Gore was cheated out of the presidency, he gracefully accepted defeat, as he believed a prolonged fight would have ripped our country apart. When Barack Obama became president, he could have easily had George W. Bush and Dick Cheney prosecuted for war crimes. He didn’t do so, because not only did he believe […]

How many must die in a mass shooting before Americans act?

How many must die in a mass shooting before Americans act?

In 1996, when a gunman killed 35 people and wounded 23 more (the Port Arthur Massacre), Australians got pissed and said enough is enough. The Australian government then enacted tough gun laws and instituted a gun buyback program. It worked, as Australia has not experienced a mass shooting since. And overall, Aussies continue to be […]

Trump voters have sided with hate

Trump voters have sided with hate

Now that the Associated Press has determined that Donald Trump has won enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination, I wish to say this to Trump voters: Between now and Election Day I’m going to insult the hell out of you. Donald Trump built his candidacy on bigotry, misogyny, and incivility. And the common thread […]

Martyman has a girlfriend!

Martyman has a girlfriend!

Marty’s photo of the day #1792: Martyman has a girlfriend! Marias the Mermaid is Deb’s latest creation for her Swatch Critter line. She makes all Swatch Critters solely out of four-inch squares, woven on a Zoom Loom. You can buy Deb’s Swatch Critter kits, nationwide, at stores including The Woolery, The Interweave Store, Bountiful, and […]

Checking in on the Great Horned Owl Family

Checking in on the Great Horned Owl Family

If you follow my posts, you know that I have been keeping an eye on a mother great horned owl and her three chicks. Today, when I checked in on them, two of the babies were lying on the branch with only one sitting up. I immediately thought the two other babies were dead. I […]

Marty Essen wins National Indie Excellence Award for Nature

Marty Essen wins National Indie Excellence Award for Nature

My first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, won six national awards. So naturally, I entered my new book, Endangered Edens, in some contests as well. Because Cool Creatures, Hot Planet won awards so easily, I was a bit cocky, thinking Endangered Edens would do the same thing. When the results of the first two contests […]

My Missoulian Guest Column

My Missoulian Guest Column

Here’s my guest column in today’s Missoulian newspaper. http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/republicans-can-t-be-concerned-about-environment/article_1b304f15-99c2-5641-8832-374cb3e9eace.html

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