New Book! All Roads Lead to Dockweiler

I mentioned a few posts ago about a book announcement and I am excited to relay that the day has finally come to launch the project! It's called All Roads Lead to Dockweiler: Devotions from the Ocean in the City of Angels, and it was one of the most fun things I've ever written. 

Here is the story.

I used to blog quite a bit about surfing. In fact, my first paid writing gig was to blog for, where my job was to make board storage interesting enough to read about. True to form, I wasn't content writing "Top 5 Surf Racks" and "Best Surfboard Rack for Shortboards" pieces (though I certainly wrote my share), so I always tried to tell stories alongside the content, incorporating truth and comedy with the important information. The exercise was fun, and at the time (2013-2014), surfing had become a full-blown passion of mine. 

In fact, I was having so much fun writing about surfing and all of the stories and ideas that went along with it that I decided to start my own blog, mixing surfing and spirituality, as well as fun videos (some of which I also produced for -- see below). I bought, learned WordPress, started drawing up logos and got to work!

An early sketch of my mountains and waves logo, plus my tagline.

The blog was fun and I wrote a ton of content, but it never quite took off like I wanted it to (I guess surfers are having too much fun outside to read blogs), so it sort of morphed into just writing about whatever I felt inclined to write about, which at that time was often pursuing passions (like surfing and music) within the realm of parenting. Also about this time I felt called into writing and recording more music, which of course also made its way onto my website. I had always imagined my solo music being made under the moniker of Yonder Breaks, so it was a natural fit to share everything in this one place. 

While all of this was happening, we decided to move back to Charleston, SC, where I grew up. It was at this bookend of my life in Los Angeles that I thought it would be a good idea to compile all of the blogs I had written about surfing into some sort of book, reformatting them, reorganizing them into a cohesive story and also writing new pieces. As I wrote earlier, it was the most fun I've ever had writing and became incredibly cathartic for me, as I had moved to a place far away from so many of the good friends we had made in Los Angeles (many who surfed), and my new (old) home was a trek from the beach and had way worse waves even when I did have time to go. It was actually a really difficult season of life for me and the family, but this book was a real joy to work on in the midst of it.

However, at the end of what I felt like was a good story, I had no idea what to do with it! The book was part practical surfing advice, much of which was specific to Los Angeles, part anecdotes centered around surfing, and part devotional. Oh yeah, and I had an album's worth of songs that fit many of the pieces, so I wanted to record that to release alongside the book as well. But not knowing where it all fit, I shelved the project and started working on some other things: music, books and screenplays, while also continuing to blog.

A rare shot from a rare day in Folly Beach, SC. (Photo by Sean Powers)

Fast forward to four years later and we had moved back to Los Angeles. I was still blogging quite a bit, reaching my 300th blog during this season, and had continued investing heavily into the music. The pandemic was in full force when I decided to dig up this old surf book and see what I should do with it. I began rewriting ("writing is rewriting," as they say) and eventually pitched the idea to my friend Peter Harmon who had his own publishing imprint, High Dive Publishing. He knew music had become my main focus and so he told me he would only do a book with me if music was involved, and although I have other book/album combo projects, this one was the most developed. Not expecting much (Peter isn't a surfer), I sent off the manuscript.

As you can guess, I wouldn't be writing all of this unless Peter really liked the book, which I was elated to find he did! He gave some direction in further editing, encouraging me to lean more into the devotional aspect of the content, and we decided to collaborate on All Roads Lead to Dockweiler. More work, more editing, and here we are, launching our presale/crowdfunding campaign, which is the point of this post: to encourage you to contribute to seeing this project come to life!

It's a really fun and insightful little book, with something to gleam for surfers and non-surfers alike. An earlier subtitle called it a portrait of love, learning and letting go, framed by surfing in Los Angeles, which isn't as catchy as what we landed on, but is a good description of what you'll find. So please consider preordering the book, which is a huge help to us in printing correct quantities and getting the final design, layout, etc. finished. There are fun perks available and you'll also get an early download of "Golden Coast Summertime," the title track from the accompanying album, produced by my good friend Noel Molenda (who produced "Two Palm Trees").

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your support!