John Otterbacher
Author, Speaker and Adventurer

“Nothing Special” Blog

John and his wife

The books that have taught me how to write have also taken me out on the road to speak. The speaking and writing have happily conspired to put me in contact with many terrific people, more than I can keep up with.

This blog is my attempt to be in contact while still protecting time with Barbara and the kids, some nourishing solitude, and time to write.

I am calling it “Nothing Special” because I have no illusions of having anything particularly profound to say. Days in a life and hunches about living, along with some excerpts from What Remains and Sailing Grace.

Awards for Sailing Grace

Best New Non-Fiction Book, National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, Best Book Awards, USA Book News Winner, Michigan Notable Book Awards

Article about John

Blog Categories

View of a lake from the woods

While You Can

Excerpt 3 from What Remains: It’s moving up on ten o’clock. Time to get on my way if I’m going.   I clean up the kitchen and pull on a boot, lace it up and pull on the other.  

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an empty two-lane road surrounded by grassy hills under a mostly-sunny blue sky

A Motorcycle Ride

Excerpt 1 from What Remains: At a weekly get together, I tell friends I will be away for a while.   “Three, four weeks, a motorcycle ride. Get reacquainted with backroad America.”   Several glasses stop short of open mouths.

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Image of "What Remains" a memoir of an old man on the road book cover

Description of “What Remains”

What Remains is a latter-day road book, travel in the extreme – old man, old motorcycle, thousands of miles of old broken roads. Mountains and deserts and small town America, three hundred potholed miles at a time. Off-center characters in

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Mindfulness / The Spiritual Adventure


“They’ve summoned up a thundercloud, And they’re going to hear from me.” Leonard Cohen Tuesday.

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Image of a dog looking out of a window
Mindfulness / The Spiritual Adventure


I doubt you know you are a dog, Finnegan. No mind for it, no time. No regret or rumination about this unearned life of privilege – kibble morning and night, a late afternoon hour in the woods. Nor it’s certain

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