Divided

I was leaving Pine Level, driving toward Selma one morning when I saw this tree: A hardwood splayed into a painfully widespread “Y” by a utility crew in a bucket truck. I get why it was trimmed. It was a preemptive strike, to protect utility lines before the hurricane. And indeed, Florence unleashed devastation on eastern... Continue Reading →

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Shredding papers

  Brrr. I am penned in by snow, ice and brutal cold in rural eastern North Carolina, so my winter-bound tasks, besides writing, are two things: 1) death cleaning and 2) tax prep. Death cleaning is the current popular term for “don’t leave a mess for your children.” That means organizing, simplifying and downsizing. In... Continue Reading →

Virtual Camping for Writers

I live in a rural area in North Carolina; networking with writers involves driving to the next two larger towns or even the next county. So, for the month of July, I joined Camp NaNoWriMo, a virtual writing community that encourages writing 50,000 words in 31 days. The venture is sponsored by the same folks... Continue Reading →

Bathtub Books

These days, I reduce, reuse and recycle books. I reduce by avoiding Amazon.com. If I can’t find a book I want at a local independently-owned bookstore, I think twice about the purchase. I reuse by giving away autographed books by local authors as auction items or door prizes at fundraisers. I borrow and return books... Continue Reading →

Preparing to Vote

I love voting. There’s something about walking into a polling place and showing my voter registration card, reciting my name and address and then going into a private space to cast my vote that is life affirming. Yes, I have this freedom. Yes, I have this voice. Yes, as a woman, I have this right.... Continue Reading →

On Being a Literary Citizen

When my friend Barbara Presnell invited me to The North Carolina Writers Conference on July 29-30 in Greensboro, I didn’t want to go. I was still wallowing in rejections. How could I hold my head up among an assembly of the state’s leading writers, editors, publishers, educators and literary professionals? I forced myself to go,... Continue Reading →

My Julii Horribilis (My Horrible July)

July brought computer problems, a coup d’etat for my old printer, and more writer rejections. Three of them in one day. Stop! This, on top of the other rejections I’ve gotten for my writing since January 2016. I’ve been depressed for days. I even yelled at teenagers for throwing a soccer ball against a neighbor’s... Continue Reading →

Obstacles to Writing

I returned from the Looking Glass Rock Writers Conference with several goals in mind for this month: • Revise my short story • Select one short story and three poems to submit to a literary magazine • Read Marjorie Hudson’s short story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas Then my new computer crashed. Josh at... Continue Reading →

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