Blog Posts

  • How Writing Others’ Stories is Writing a Better Me
    Last Thursday driving east to where home used to be, my mind swelled with stories.  It always does, but they used to be about me.  This time in the eight hours from Pickens, SC to Hampton, VA, I was bursting with ideas from three interviews in the days prior.  Evan, Sue, Chris.  When I visit, I’ve got so many friends and family to see that I couch surf from home to home, no desk in sight.  Those had been vacations.  Now, I’m a writer.  Where would these people’s stories come to life?
  • Summer Shift: When Teacher Becomes Storyteller
    On Friday, I woke up a teacher for the last time in the foreseeable future.  My classroom is now boxed in my carport storage, an easy fit.  The question was what to do with my rolling teacher desk.  My principal called it the Cadillac of carts, I called it my classroom on wheels, and my students called it fidget toy one-stop-shopping. I unpacked it in the carport, put the screws back in, looked around at the sea of green and blue country, heard the birds, felt the breeze, and realized I’d unlocked the greatest writing real estate.
  • The Lessons I Learned at Alternative School
    For ten months, I’ve chanted it every day with my kids at alternative school, our mantra: “This is my life.  This is my story. I will love it or regret it based on my daily choices.”  The first recitation alone didn’t change me, but repetition worked it into my DNA. Our choices, love or regret them, write our stories. Could all our pensive meanderings for how to live a better life really boil down to something so simple?
  • I Used to Be
    Originally posted on Writer's Growth:
    I used to be a writer and a poet and a novelist. And a singer. And an actress. And a media tech. And a computer repair geek. I used to be a little sister and a big sister, a babysitter, a housekeeper, a business owner, a gardener, a receptionist…
  • Pain Management
    We avoid pain, but its presence tells us something is wrong.  I knew I needed a root canal and two trigger thumb surgeries this month.  After each procedure, the affected areas remained numb for hours, and I was told to avoid use until that wore off; absent pain, I could cause further damage.  Is the same true for emotional pain, and if so, do our human efforts to numb and avoid it actually damage us more?
  • When You’re Not a Mother
    Originally posted on Writer's Growth:
    I love my mother, but not Mother’s Day. ?It comes every year.? I can set my biological watch by it.? Like the incremental changes in my garden that happen while I’m not looking, my dislike of the holiday that began as a small seed years ago now has deep…
  • For the Love of Laurels
    If I Were a Peony was the first of my analogical musings.  During a Sunday afternoon meandering the South Carolina Botanical Gardens with Mama Sue, some flora is worth further consideration further, and so is some counsel that was not your garden variety.
  • And He’ll Do It Again
    Originally posted on Writer's Growth:
    It’s the first night in a week I haven’t been up on the surgical floor at Sentara tracking my brother’s progress.? I feel the need to just be still.? The air in the evening calm after the afternoon lightning storm rekindles a creative fire dormant in these days spent…
  • Not a Typical Tuesday
    Today’s not a typical Tuesday nor Teacher’s Day.  I’m having the third of four hand surgeries in fifteen months.  Typing and crocheting likely got me here, and I hope I’m able to get back to both quickly.  Last year, it was bilateral carpal tunnel.  This month, it’s bilateral trigger thumb.  My doctor will fix the … Continue reading Not a Typical Tuesday
  • Just Another Midlife Crisis
    The reminder email comes every day: “You have a new document that requires your signature.”  It’s my teaching contract for next year.  I’m not signing it.  After 16 years in the classroom, I’m taking a sabbatical.  The reminders were annoying last week, cluttering up my work inbox, but this week I found they only strengthened … Continue reading Just Another Midlife Crisis
  • My Dreams are Chasing Puerto Rico
    I keep waking up in Pickens, South Carolina, but my dreams are still in this tropical town on Puerto Rico’s west coast.  It’s such a hidden gem that I won’t give up the name so quickly, but I’ll take you there in stories and photos; it’s like stepping into my desktop background, all sandy surf … Continue reading My Dreams are Chasing Puerto Rico
  • Pursuits, People, and Poetry
    Spring break screams three things to me: find a beach, declutter, and grow something.  Tomorrow, I fly to Puerto Rico with my brother.  Tonight, I write to declutter and grow on my back patio in South Carolina. Forty and single.  Restless and… ready?
  • Words Aren’t Wasted on Tragedy
    Tragedy.  It’s not just the play genre of Julius Caesar that my students are studying in English class.  There are three children in Nashville who will never read Shakespeare after a senseless shooting at a Christian school.  We may prefer the comedies, but what do we do when life’s writing tragedies all around us? Cry?  Pray?  Question?  Read, write, talk about it?  Grief is unique…
  • Death on St. Patrick’s Day
    St. Patrick is said to have died March 17th over 1500 years ago. Was it expected?  It wasn’t when my mother’s mother died on the same date fifty-one years ago.  It wasn’t when my friend died on St. Patrick’s Day just past.  I’ve never believed in luck, but for me, it’s a day that marks loss instead…