What do you do when there’s nothing left but the Author’s Note and a couple of contests you’re afraid to enter and you didn’t expect to be here for another six months?

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My first instinct is that I am not, in fact, really “here,” by which I mean that I am only fooling myself that what I’ve written is anything even close to a completed manuscript, that actually I’ve been delusional all along as I’ve published–with a publisher and by myself–these 250-300 page books and told myself […]

Rediscovering Southern Women in the Mirror

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      Today, in my corner of southeastern Virginia, I woke to snow. For this coastal city, it is a more than respectable accumulation, actually close to the predicted 8-12″ I was sure wouldn’t come. In answer to a question from a friend on St. Simons Island, off the coast of Georgia, I said, […]

My Name is Emily Cade Ainsworth: A Life Remembered and Imagined

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            “When I refer to Aunt Cade’s ‘big house downtown,’ I am talking about a house that, to my child’s eyes, was a castle. It had turrets and towers and lots of slanting roofs, and it was dark, looming over the street, completely shadowed by the big trees that surrounded […]

Thanksgiving 2017. Gingko trees, a small boy, a dog, another year.

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On November 25 2016, one year ago, I published a blog that began with a line from W.S. Merwin’s poem, “Thanks.” The blog was about Thanksgiving, two cousins, a few gingko trees, family. It was two goodbyes, one, to my cousin, Edie, who had just died that September, and another to my daughter-in-law’s father, also […]

Looking for Lydia; Finding Life

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                 I’ll introduce my friend and guest blogger, Molly Roper Jenkins, with a couple of stories–especially appropriate since we met because I could not find any stories about Lydia Roper.   First, I think “phone enquiry” is a rather refined description of the circumstances of our first contact. […]

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

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Having completed two novels, an accomplishment so amazing to me that I still don’t quite understand how it happened, I must have gotten cocky. For decades, my cousins and I have repeated our mantra, “Someone should really write a novel about this family!”  That eventually became an exhortation aimed directly at me, “You really should write […]

“We still won’t do jack shit. That’s us” Jon Stewart 2015

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“477 Days. 521 Mass Shootings. Zero Action From Congress.” BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD OCT. 2, 2017 “June 12 2016 A gunman opens fire in an Orlando nightclub, leaving 49 dead and many wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history – until Sunday.”  This lead editorial in The New York Times consists […]

Writing: Old Weezie

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  “They say Old Weezie’s been reading palms out of her run-down shack for a hundred years or more and, although I have to question the accuracy of that hundred years, still Old Weezie sure looks older than dirt, which was one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings.” And that was as far as I got […]