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Why is Spike smiling so broadly (and dressed so sharply?)


He’s  proud of the “Viking Long Table” he built and designed for The Family Handyman magazine. You can find all the step-by-step directions on how to build it in the April 2018 issue of the magazine.


It’s based on the table he built his own backyard several years ago; upon which he and Kat have hosted many a fine feast (mostly revolving around pizza!) Info on how to build the benches and other great stuff can be found on the magazine’s website at


DETAIL YOUR DIGS with Men’s Health (& Spike)

Sandwiched between “Lust Lessons” by Augesten Burroughs and “Run your Best 5 K” in the April 2017 edition of Men’s Health, you’ll find the latest piece I wrote for them—”Detail Your Digs.” It’s more about house health than men’s health—but lots of great spring house prep information for everyone. Complete with fun illustration (like the shark in the pool and pizza on the roof.) And no, that’s not me on the cover. Check it out.COVERSPREADBY LINE

BRICKMANIA!! (LEGO heaven)—& great fundraiser for EVOLVE Adoption a

I have the  honor of being involved in a unique upcoming fundraising event to help support EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services. I’ll be the MC for their BRICKMANIA event, Saturday, Oct. 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. You’ll find more information at Shot 2016-08-29 at 9.47.51 AM

The theme is “building families.” There will be craft beer-tasting, tacos from Chowgirls, silent auction, live auction, LEGO building competitions, raffles and a short, but sweet, program where (in 5 minutes or less) I’m going to build something that’s in tune with the “building families” theme. They’re still looking for sponsors and auction items, so contact them if you’re interested. Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 9.48.15 AM

The venue is Brickmania Toyworks in NE Minneapolis. The place consists of 10,000 sq. ft. of outrageous, gargantuan, million-piece building, battleships and unusual objects. So come, laugh, drink, eat, build and GIVE!!

Spike’s February events (something for everyone)

I’ll be doing some out-of-the-ordinary presentations and events in February and invite you all to come on down (or over or up).
* On Feb. 6th; 9:00 a.m. (1205-93rd Av W) I’ll be presenting at the Duluth Turner Guild’s meeting. I’ll be telling tall tales from “A Splintered History of Wood.” Open to any and all.smiling copy
* On Feb. 18th I’ll be at Magers and Quinn Bookstore in Minneapolis talking about “Cabin Lessons,” along with Elliott Foster, author of the fine book, “Whispering Pines: Tales from a Northwood Cabin.” More info at
WHISPERING pines cover
* Feb. 19th-21st I’ll be at the Lake Home and Cabin Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center, along with good friends and authors Dale Mulfinger and Theresa Marone. We’ll be talking about building and designing cabins, maple syruping and lots of other Minnesota things. More info at

Cabin Lessons—A Nail by Nail Tale

Cabin Lessons—A Nail by Nail Tale

So Spread the word and come take a gander

TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL-this Saturday, fun & free

The Twin Cities Book Festival is happening this Saturday (10-5)  at the FIne Arts Building at the Minnesota Fairgrounds. Dozens of speakers including Susan Cheever, Lin Enger, Amy Klobuchar, and Faith Sullivan. I’ll be there all day jawing about non-fiction writing, PLUS I’ll be building 7 pieces of furniture—along with attendees— for a writer’s studio. There are two stages plus pavilions and presentations for children, tweens and teens. Great deals on new and used books, authors signing stuff, and it’s FREE. For more info visit

Twin Cities Book Festival—Oct. 17th—fun, free and Spike will be there jawing and building

Twin Cities Book Festival—Oct. 17th—fun, free and Spike will be there jawing and building

UPCOMING APPEARANCES (pretty eclectic stuff!)

Here’s a list of my upcoming appearances and speaking gigs. A pretty eclectic lineup; everything from The Mother Earth News Fair to The Heartland Fal Fourm to the Twin Cities Book Festival to (huh?) a style show.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.06.44 AM


Spike will be doing a presentation at the Two Harbor Library Thursday, July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. What’ll he be doing? Talking a little bit about the wonders of wood, building a Leopold Bench (someone is going to wind up with it) and talking about Cabin Lessons— and the highs and lows involved in building a cabin, family and book. He may even be showing off his wood cowboy hat. All are invited so come on down

Pleasant Hills Llibrary presentation, July 21st, 6-7 pm.

This is the Leopold Bench we’ll be building!!!

Cabin Lessons (Storey Publishing) available May 5, 2015

Spike speaks and Zach leaves the crowd “breathless”

Had the joy and privilege of doing a father-son book event at the Book Shelf bookstore in Winona last week I talked about “Cabin Lessons” and Zach talked about “The Breathe Book” and conducted a 4 minute “breathe—inar.” We had a blast, the audience had a blast, it was a blast.

Spike and Zach with their books at The Book Shelf in Winona

Spike and Zach with their books at The Book Shelf in Winona



Spike will be doing a couple more “Cabin Lessons” presentations this week. Come on down and bring some friends.

* Tonight (June 22nd) at 7:00 he’ll be at Dragonfly Books in Decorah, Iowa talking about the highs and lows of building a cabin (and then writing about it)

* Tomorrow night (June 23rd) at 7:00 he’ll be at The Book Shelf in Winona talking about Cabin Lessons and will be joined by son, Zachary, who will discuss his “BREATHE” book (and conduct a breathing session!) http://www.bookshelfwinona.comzach and spike cropped

CABIN LESSONS interview with Spike; Star Tribune

Interview in the Monday, May 25th,  edition of the Minneapolis Star  Tribune. Jolly well done Laurie Hertzel. And thank you.

May 25th issue Minneapolis Star Tribune

May 25th issue Minneapolis Star Tribune