WELCOME

 
 

I try to pay attention. To look closely, carefully, intently. To see what’s right in front of me. Truly to be right where I am.

And then? To chuckle & otherwise enjoy, to appreciate, to learn & grow, to act better, to exist more fittingly.

And then? To create beautiful things (writings, talks, performances, conversations, and more) that help me appreciate it better -- maybe others, too.

Persistent ideas, trajectories, puzzles, beauties, and more emerge: perspective, self-awareness, mind-power, conversational dynamics, language mysteries, mis-communication & other messes, unseen realities, dream-living, the “extraordinary ordinary”, creativity, distance, decency, ones & manies…

But, through it all, the basic fact of paying (better) attention emerges. The fundamental power of “examination” invites consideration. The “examined life” whispers its worth.

So, it’s a cognitive venture, focused on what an ordinary someone can do with an ordinary mind through an ordinary life. This means that it’s an available power, tool, resource, whatever, for quite a large number of us ordinary folks. Yes, we’re invited to make friends with our own minds, and then--.

It can, however, stretch quite far above and below and otherwise beyond the cognitive-ordinary.

It’s certainly a creative, an educational, an elevational thing...

And it’s Socratic, although Plato & Plotinus & Nietzsche & so many others have increasingly inspirational presence on this count -- but, for simplicity’s sake, let’s attribute it to Socrates of ancient Athens…

Socrates would, I think, agree that it’s extraordinary how what’s so ancient can be so presently new, especially when it manifests in such ordinary spaces as the grocery store, or in front of a refrigerator, or in a shower, or on a front porch, or inside a car, or at the bar, or anywhere else we ordinarily find ourselves day to day, night to night…

If this sounds like too much of a commitment to be worth your time and energy, consider: a little bit of examination can go a very long way. One close, careful, intent look at one thing just might lead to a whole lot more -- and often, I have found, does.

Anyway, take a look for yourself and… see where your own particular genius leads you?

And maybe me, too?

Welcome.

 

 
 

 

 
  NEWS & EVENTS  
 

March 25, 2017
"Mississippi Writes Original (MWO): One-Act Plays"

A night of original drama produced & presented by the Bay St. Louis (MS) Little Theatre
Deadline for submissions: September 10, 2016
For event details, see: http://www.bsllt.org/mwo/
For more info, contact Event Coordinator (D.W./Dr. Doug) at MWO.bsllt@gmail.com

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016
"FINISHED!"

(A workshop for writers who want & need to finish)
6:00 – 9:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

For more info & to register: http://themaryc.org/?event=finished-a-workshop-for-writers-who-want-need-to-finish

 

October 9-14, 2016
"Break-a-Leg! An Inspirational Workshop-Introduction to Theatrical Performance"

6:30 – 9:30 pm - A Hartford/CEE program hosted by Bay St. Louis (MS) Little Theatre
Reserve your place at BAL.IntroWorkshop@gmail.com
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/BAL.IntoWorkshop/

 

Thursday, September 15, 2016
"How to Have Conversations Like Socrates"

6:00 – 9:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
For more info & to register: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html

 

June 2016
"Dreaming While Awake: 108 Mind-Opening Cases of Being Half-Asleep in Our (Extraordinary) Ordinary Living"

Volume III of the “Extraordinary Ordinary” series (now available in booklet-form)

 

Thursday, May 26, 2016
"Nothing Less than Extraordinary!"

6:00 – 9:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Registration deadline: May 19th -- for more info, see: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016
"FINISHED!"

(A workshop for writers who want & need to finish)
6:00 – 9:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Registration deadline: May 12th -- for more info, see: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html

 

Saturday, May 14, 2016
"How to Have Conversations Like Socrates"

12:00 – 3:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Registration deadline: May 7th -- for more info, see: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html

 

Thursday, April 28, 2016
"Nothing Less than Extraordinary!"

6:00 – 9:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Registration deadline: April 21st -- for more info, see: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html

 

Thursday, April 21, 2016
"FINISHED!"

(A workshop for writers who want & need to finish)
6:00 – 9:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

egistration deadline: April 14th -- for more info, see: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html

 

Saturday, April 9, 2016
"How to Have Conversations Like Socrates"

12:00 – 3:00 pm - The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Registration deadline: April 2nd -- for more info, see: http://themaryc.org/Classes/Index.html


November 2015
IN PERSPECTIVES: Celebration - Introductory An Exploration
A 189-page celebration-exploration puzzle of perspective, perspective on perspective, and perspective within perspectives, through story, dialogue, skits, plays, and (depending on your own perspective) much more (now available in booklet-form)

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
THANK YOU!
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in "Part Deux" of the Autumn '15 "Extraordinary Ordinary" Tour! Louie, Ken & Kim, J9 & Bill, and Dave & Debbie -- you are the hosts with the mosts! Further thanks to Marty (Wolfman Sr.!), who showed extraordinary thoughtfulness in arranging his birthday in timely fashion. Cheerfully reluctant thanks to the ridiculously talented Molly & Katie & Isabel of Crossville, TN! Additional thanks to Willie & son Jason of Providence, SC, for helping D.W. overcome a dead battery and make his way to New Bern with yet another mind-opening moment to be thankful for...

 

Monday, November 2, 2015
"Readings"
7 pm - House Presentation (Private Event)
Crossville, TN 38571

 

Sunday, November 1, 2015
"Nothing Less than Extraordinary!"
3 - 5 pm - House Presentation (Private Event)
Ijamsville, MD 21754

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
"Nothing Less than Extraordinary!"
7:30 pm - Wolfy's Pub
12 Sidney Lane, Bellingham, MA 02019

Contact D.W. at hartford.dw@gmail.com for details

 

Monday, October 26, 2015
"How to Have Conversations Like Socrates"
7 pm - Star Chaser / Maya D
101 Howell Rd., New Bern, NC 28562

Contact D.W. at hartford.dw@gmail.com for details

 

Monday, September 28, 2015
"Nothing Less than Extraordinary!"
7:00 - 8:30 pm - Cumberland County Classical Co-Op Association
3824 Tabor Loop, Crossville, TN 38571

Many thanks to organizer Janine Gray (and the entire Gray family) and to all the participants for a fabulous
workshop-experience! Can't wait to return for more...

 

Thursday, September 24, 2015
"How to Have Conversations Like Socrates"

7:00 – 10:00 pm - Athens Philosophers Forum
Oconee River Campground, Greensboro, GA 30642
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=10553&actid=29

Thanks to philosopher-organizer Jim Filler and to the participants for this "classically delightful" Socrates-event. Oconee served quite well as a surrogate Piraeus!

 

September 2015
Mind-Opening Moments: 216 of Life’s Oft-Overlooked Ordinary Spaces for Seeking and Finding Extraordinary Insight and Improvement
Volume II of the "Extraordinary Ordinary" Series (now available in booklet-form)


Saturday, August 29, 2015
KATRINA MEMORIES Book Launch
5:00 - 7:00 pm - Chateau Blessey (Biloxi, MS)
To order: http://www.gcwriters.org/anthology2015.html

 

June 2015
Maddening, Mysterious, and Marvelously Mind-Opening MESSES: 162 Mess-Communications (and More) to Improve Our Talk, Our Thought, Our Relationships, and Even Ourselves
Volume I of the "Extraordinary Ordinary" Series (now available in booklet-form)

 

 
 

 

 
  PRESENTATIONS, ETC.  
 

"FINISHED!"
For Writers Who Want & Need to Finish
60-minute presentation/180-minute workshop

Nothing Less Than Extraordinary! An Introduction to the Mind-Opening
Messes & Moments of (Extra)Ordinary Life

75/90/180-minute interactive workshops

“Hey, Wake Up! Your Eyes Weren’t-- Or, Were They?”
Learning from Ordinary Dream-Living

75/90-minute interactive workshops

How to Have Conversations Like Socrates:
Classical Conversational Habits that Elevate

75/90/180-minute interactive workshops

Why… Write?
60-minute(+) interactive presentation on the significance of writing for
"ordinary" persons

Why… Create?
60-minute(+) interactive presentation on the significance of creativity for
"ordinary" persons

Word Time!
90-minute interactive celebration-presentation on the "word": words, phrases, sayings, passages, poetry, novels, narratives, stories, and more, that give meaning -- and how!

Let’s Liberate?! Why the Classical Liberal Arts and Sciences Are Worth Celebrating -- and Cultivating
60-minute performance-presentation on the educational power of “classical” education

Readings
60/90-minute interactive presentation of selected readings from various works

 
 

 

 
  PUBLICATIONS  
 

“Crowing”: inspirational essay - “Oxford So & So” (Oxford, MS) - Sept/Oct 2016 issue

“Conference at Night”: a dramatic one-act play (based on Edward Hopper’s painting of the same name) - March 19, 2016 (3 performances) - ARTS ALIVE Festival (Bay St. Louis, MS) - co-written with Cheryl Grace

“Angels from the Mud: The Wilsons, The Shireys, and Hurricane
Katrina’s Lasting Legacy of Hope”
- Katrina Memories: Stories from “The Storm”
July ’15 - Doctor’s Dreams (Gulfport, MS) - with Stanley Hastings

“Join the Club?”: non-fiction short - “The Magnolia Quarterly”
Summer ‘14 - Gulf Coast Writers Association (Mississippi)

“Collected Plays, Volume I: One-Acts”: self-published collection of 18 distinct one-act plays - diverse settings, themes, etc.
Jan ‘14

“Collected Plays, Volume II: Extended One-Acts & Multiple Acts”: self-published collection of 10 distinct extended or multi-act plays - diverse settings, themes, etc.
Jan ‘14

“Weather or Not”: snapshot - “The Magnolia Quarterly”
Winter ‘13-‘14 - Gulf Coast Writers Association (Mississippi)

“Impasse-ible”: interlude - “The Magnolia Quarterly”
Winter ‘13-‘14 - Gulf Coast Writers Association (Mississippi)

“One Hand or the Other” and “Understandings”: shorts - “The Magnolia Quarterly” Fall ‘13 - Gulf Coast Writers Association (Mississippi)

“Labor Day: Early or Not” and “Labor Day: Too Much Work”: snapshots - www.lyricalpens.com - October ‘13

 
 

 

 
  EXCERPTS  
 

Follow this link to D.W.’s blog.

 
     
 

 

 
 

BIO

 
    Born in Chicago and raised in America’s suburban Midwest, D.W. has sojourned throughout the States as an adult, with significant stops in New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and most recently the Magnolia State, while also living overseas (Belgium, Italy) on two separate occasions. A life-long educator with increasing proclivity to respond to the Muses’ calls, he taught Religious Studies and Philosophy to college students for over a decade before arriving on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in 2013.  
 

Presently working as an Education Consultant and teaching online from home, he remains a devotee of the classical Humanities, particularly of Philosophy -- with a special nod to Plato and Neoplatonism. His creative energies find occasional expression through music and theatre, yet they focus primarily upon creative-educational stories, plays & skits, screenplays, dialogues, and more, along with “presentation-performances” in diverse settings. Various sources and themes drive D.W.’s projects, but he is fundamentally committed to drawing attention to the extraordinary learning-opportunities afforded us in, by, and through our ordinary experiences -- and other remarkable features of a Socratic-style “examined life”.

 
 

The “penformance-name” of Dr. Douglas Witt Hadley, “D.W. Hartford” honors the person and legacy of Dr. Ellis Ford Hartford (1905-1980). A Kentucky gentleman, lover of Nature (with particular fondness for Macintosh apples), U.K. basketball fanatic, career-educator, scholar, writer, and poet dedicated to creating, educating, and elevating, perhaps especially through his position in the Education Department at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Hartford’s example inspired D.W.’s own commitment to an educational career. D.W.’s decisive turn towards Socratic examination, “the extraordinary ordinary”, and creative-elevational writing emerged especially through deeper encounters with the legacy of “Grandad” during his odyssey through North America in 2012-2013, the philosophical travel-memoir of which is still in progress.

   
 

 

"Let's make friends with our own minds... and more of ourselves."

 

 
  CONTACT  

For bookings, publications information, consulting services,
and other inquiries, send an email to…
hartford.dw@gmail.com

website by Paul R.