Monday, September 15, 2008

Interview with Patti Digh, "Life is a Verb"

Two great events are occurring this month:

  1. The theme of "Citizen publisher" is being explored at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog
  2. Patti Digh is celebrating the publication of Life is a Verb

How cool is it that they are related?

Patti Digh, the wonderful writer of 37 Days, found her intention with the unfortunate passing of her step-father. That intention, leaving a legacy for her daughters, sparked the essays of 37 Days and has also spawned a book, Life is a Verb. I believe this is one of the better examples of defining your intention, focusing your attention, and developing a community.

I was very fortunate to spending some time talking with Patti recently. Over the course of a couple of phone calls I managed to obtain a good recording of our conversation. A couple? Yes, there was some learning involved. I needed to figure out the configuration settings for the software I was using.

The first time, it kept stopping after 2 minutes. The free version only allows two minutes of a recording but I had upgraded to the paid version. Alas, I also needed to restart the application. It was not smart enough to know it had already obtained the license key.

The second time, the conversation proceeded smoothly. Patti and I had a wonderful talk. As I exported the file to an MP3, the synchronization of our two voices got messed up. It sounded like we were stepping on each others voices eager to get our words in. This was far from reality. I couldn't publish this. It did not do justice to our conversation! Into the FAQ section, I delved only to find that in my eagerness to not miss a single word of our conversation, I had started recording too early. You needed to start recording during the conversation so it could learn and synchronize the voices. Duh!

The third time was the charm, Now with practice for our questions and answers, the conversation began yet again and this time, with some minor exceptions, our voices were recorded and play back appropriately. In those spots where the overlap occurs, I think the real discussion still comes through.

Note: there is one part where I calculate it would 8 years to do all the 37 days exercises. That is a miscalculation. It is really just over 3 years, still a long time but not quite so long as recorded.

How many connections do Patti and I have? There are quite a few.

  • Her stepfather passed away at 53. My mother was the same age when she passed away in 1983.
  • Patti has two daughters. So do I.
  • She writes haiku book reviews. This was one of the inspirations for my own development of sherku.
  • Patti's stepfather passed away on October 24, 2003. Is it just a coincidence that October 24th is my wife's birthday?
We did not even get time to discuss some of these in our conversation. There will be other conversations and time to explore our connections.

So without further ado, please click to listen to Patti and I as she talks about her writing on 37 Days, how Life as a Verb came to be, and what the future holds.

I hope you enjoy the conversation!


A recorded phone conversation with Patti Digh, author of 37 Days and her new book, "Life is a Verb". There are some minor synchronization issues but hopefully these will not detract from the overall discussion. We were not stepping on each other as we talked, the recording occaisionally makes it appear that way.

Time: 30 minutes, 42 seconds

MP3 File


The musical intro and closing highlights Jon Schmidt from the PodSafe Music Network where he has made available Game Day, one of his Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music pieces. I choose this particular piece to help provide a Scottish background to the conversation. One of Patti's wishes is for a Scottish accent. :-)


  1. Steve--thanks for your efforts (and, of course, for Patti's generous offer of her time) in getting this interview posted!

    I've listened to all the interviews she has done, and it is a joy to hear one which was a bit more casual in nature.

    Love that intro/closing piano piece, too!

  2. Rick, I am glad you enjoyed the conversation. It was as if we had been together for ever, it felt so comfortable. And we have in a way been reading and writing for several years. Someday Patti and I'll meet in person.

    How about that piano? Wasn't that great!