Smiling in the Dark

Summer came and went this year -- I survived The Dog Days of Self-Doubt, after walking away like a big horse from yet a second job inside two years at a time when other people are begging for work. I did it to finish this little thang called a book. The fam and I eeeked by on a dramatically reduced budget and bounty from our victory garden in the backyard. Lots of  bruschetta this summer with the abundant basil and tomatoes. I won’t hold it against the squash for … [Read more...]

What Writers Dream Of

Friday was a bittersweet day. The arrival of the first box of books, like real, live books, y'all, was due at my publisher's office any minute.  She told me she'd call the minute the shipment arrived. I tried not to think about it. I tried to remain focused on the pressing matters at hand, finalizing the last few tweaks on a video project for a corporate client:  prison nurses -- the irony is just too rich sometimes. Of course the other thing that really had me … [Read more...]

Bobbie’s Gone

It's taken several days to be able to write a single word about my friend Bobbie Lautenschlager. That devil cancer got her.  Fast, too. She was diagnosed with lung cancer early last spring, never smoked a cigarette in her life. She left us on August 18th. She was only sixty-eight. She leaves behind her husband John and her grown kids, David and Katy and five grandchildren. The last time I saw her was in the hospital at St. Anthony's, where she was determinedly scrolling … [Read more...]

A Legacy of Strength

A friend of mine asked his eight-year-old son last night, "what did you learn in school today?" Multiplication is looming large, with it being third grade and all. He told his dad, "We learned about carrying the pig today." The immediate assumption, of course, was that this was some clever invention of an enterprising teacher who was hoping that a visual reference might help the mathematical concept of carrying numbers stick. Au contraire. No math lesson here, it was … [Read more...]

Cathedral of the Quarter-mile

The school buses rattled  past the dogs and me this past week when we were out on our morning walk. Annoying traffic. Pooty little kids. I've been cranky. What's wrong with me?  Oh yeah, maybe it's because I was getting ready to birth a book. I've been pregnant for twelve months and I damned near had a blood clot in my leg from sitting for hours,  my butt boring a hole through the chair, staring at tracked changes for like the sixth time inside two weeks. Be careful what … [Read more...]

They Don’t Cotton To Takin’ Pitchers of the Barn

It's Day 24 of our little trek, and I'm in Douglasville, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, staying with my niece and her family. Libby's getting another dose of country living, with her southern canine cousins, both females. There were a few raised hackles at first, reminded me of the woman who pulled up behind me at the Hope Mills General Store, in appropriately named, Hope Mills, VA. By the time that brief stopover was through, I was hoping to get out of there alive. … [Read more...]