My Daughter, The Writer


On our way home one evening, I asked my eight year old daughter if she planned on participating in a local writing contest. She had not heard about it, so I explained that she could write a poem or a short story. Thoughtfully, she said, “A poem, like Dr. Seuss? Red fish, blue fish?” I agreed that yes, Dr. Seuss wrote poetry. Then she asked a very important question. “What makes something a story?”

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Bibliomania and Time to Read


Not enough time to read. I’ve complained about this since I first learned to read. Lots of people have the same complaint, throughout history. And still, I receive those daily newsletters in my email inbox, with lists, absolutely lists of new books coming out. Amazon gives me those sneak peek of the first few pages and almost nine times out of ten, I’m hooked. I want to read it now, must read it now!

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The Fence


I can make my dad angry at any time, just by bringing up “the fence”.  We moved to this mountain when I was around two years old. And I must have driven my mother crazy by wandering off into the woods that surrounded us on all four sides, except for my Grandmother’s house a quarter mile away. My dad says that they couldn’t really afford the fence, but decided to build one around the yard anyway. In their usual fashion, Mom

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The Art Form of Obituaries



A friend and work colleague of my dad recently passed away after a long battle of cancer.  He was a name I heard often while growing up as my dad would come home and regale us with something that the man had said or did.  So, even though I had not seen or heard about the man in many, many years, I read through his obituary with a certain measure of nostalgia and sadness for his family. Then, one line of the obituary jumped out at me: “Several great nieces and nephews along with farm dog and companion Otis also survive.”

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The Blessing of Writers’ Groups


This spring, I began a writers’ group. Over the past few years, I have hosted some writing workshops in our culturally starved community. Plus, for my book group, I cheat by recommending books by authors who I know, then bring them in to lead the book discussion. So, without having planned on it, I have become one of the first people to come to mind in our area when you think writing and books. If I die tomorrow, I think that’s a beautiful thought to have in my obituary. And so, several of the local writers (and some writer-want-to-be) asked if we would ever put together a writers’ group.

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The Mind-Body Conspiracy



Running has to be one of the dumbest things in the world to do, particularly if no one is chasing you. With that being said, I’ve tried every morning for the last several mornings to dutifully get up and instead of enjoying my morning cup of tea on the front porch, watching the fog dissipate and the sun rise, I have pulled on my sneakers, done some minor stretching, and hit the gravel road. It has become abundantly clear to me that my mind and my body are in cahoots and it has nothing at all to do with what I want.

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NaNoWriMo – the 5K


On one hand, it seems silly to participate in a month long attempt to bang out as many words as possible in the attempt to finish a novel, good or bad, just get the words on paper and worry about the editing later. For you newbies, I’m referring to NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, which traditionally occurs in November with a preview event in July: On the other hand, the tantalizing dream of hauling that niggling idea in the back of your mind onto the page, then shaping and forming the characters, watching as they become people separate from you with their own foibles and conflicts, and then dragging the entire weary mass finally, limping and screeching in protest, over the finish line. It’s an intoxicating idea to which no wine can compare.

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