On Literature and Poetry

Literature

Science explores the construction of the world. Literature is about the meaning of the finished construction. We read to explore the meaning of our lives in this created world, particularly about the people in it and their place within the frame of our own experience. We seldom look outside the frame; most often we gaze into our navels. When we do look outside, at the sky, for example, we are often awe-struck, and silent. Only marvelous writers can react to that spacious mystery. I…


The Death Cafe

Two cups of steaming coffee The Death Cafe

My friend said, “Death Café? Can’t they call it something else?”

I said, ”That’s the point. Nobody talks about death.”

... Read at Blog of Trinity Presbyterian Church (USA) Hendersonville, NC


New Story Live! The Angel Baby

Angel wings

Dear Readers,

See my story, "The Angel Baby". in the latest issue of the online publication, Avant[appl]achia. 

 


Publication in Avalon Literary Review in November

Storm coming over the Blue Ridge

I am pleased to announce that my short story, "The Old Bear", will be published in mid-November in The Avalon Literary Review. I first read this at the Appalachian Writer's Workshop at Hindman Settlement School in July, just before the 2022 Kentucky flood. Please order the journal in paper or digital form from http://www.avalonliteraryreview.com/index.html. 


The Flood at Hindman Settlement School, Kentucky 2022

Hindman Settlement School 7.29.2022

When the Water Came

Before the water, we had a bedazzled Techno Contra Dance. At Open Mic I read “The Old Bear.” We had a lively Trivia challenge. I had my critique in the workshop. I ate tomato pie, washed dishes, and snapped beans on the porch. We were bound together, creative, and learning. We were Hindman.

During the water, I sat next to the petite poet who exuded such peace that the therapy dog sought her comfort. In the glare of the emergency lights, I became the watcher. I saw the…


Transplant at Home

Garden   Transplant at Home

Even a weed, ripped from the ground, holds on to its native clod of earth, even a replanted bush needs to cling to its original soil. In my movement across this land, I have carried the rolling grasses of civil war battlefields, the swinging kudzu, the cattails swaying in the slow muddy Mississippi, and the cool blue-green leaves at the top of the old blackgum. Those shimmering grasses, the cattails, and kudzu, the dancing leaves of the black gum and yellow…


Headed for the Beach?

Beach

So many of us will head for the beach soon to escape the “humuggity” of July and August. Maybe you’ve seen The 14 Beaches You Must Visit in Southern Living or you have your favorite. 

Did you know that July 1- 7 is Clean Beaches Week? July 4th is the most littered day at the beach? You can help by remembering to “leave no trace” or participate in a beach cleanup. Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, and food…


For Those Who Choose Flight

Deer Running

    My heartbeat is so strong my scalp tingles. Breathing accelerates. A deep breath does not settle, it just catches in my throat. My mind scatters like a scared cat on a waxed floor. I try to sit still but my hand opens and closes in spasms. All this results from words. Even when they are fiction. Even when the words are removed, sitting on a page; even when there is no volume of voice to scream them. Even when they are not curses or condemnations. Even when I know my answer to the questions, my…


Shakespeare at the Airport

Airplane wing in air

After reading Shakespeare with high schoolers long ago, I tried to explain the “big ideas”.

“Love and War are the twin siblings of Passion,” I announced from my college-educated heights. The smooth faces of my students reflected their puzzlement at my earnest pronouncement. They were too young, I thought, although, at the time, I too was young. How could I explain that the softer sister, Love, could be as cruel as her brother…


Finding Joy

Sextant

What joy have you found lately? The bookstore, Books and Beans in Little Switzerland brought me joy with books, art, and eclectic items. I even found a sextant!

I was so pleased to have my story "Wherever You Go" that was Honorable Mention for the Betts Fiction Prize be nominated for the O. Henry and the PushCart Prizes by the wonderful folks at the North Carolina Literary Review. Such wonderful company to keep with Rose Himber Howse and Molly Sentell Haile. Thanks Margaret Bauer, NCLR editor and…