I've received notice that I am on the short-list for this year's prestigious Val Wood Prize for my short story, 'Mr. Miller.' I am over the hill with excitement. The submission call was for 'feel good' stories. Jess Federle, of my 'Lima' group, had told me about the contest, for which she thought Mr Miller … Continue reading The Val Wood Prize
Dina Towbin wrote this great piece about the writers reading event in Lima this month. I got to read one of my short stories. It was fun!
There were snakes in that river. That’s why we were never to go there alone. I never saw a snake, but I knew they were there. Our mothers said so. We had just moved to our new town in June. We would have moved earlier but Mom said we had to wait for the end … Continue reading River Stories
I think this story comes from the desire not just to become a front porch person, but also to become a "southern writer." That isn't to say that I would become a southerner. I still don't really like sweet iced tea. I think my New England memoir style comes from being a New Englander yearning to be a Southern writer.
For some time now I’ve been confused over my obsession with southern writers. I get all conflicted trying to figure out if I want to be a New Englander writing in the South, or a Southerner writing about New England. Sometimes I can’t figure out if my story is about characters from my New England … Continue reading Southern Writer from New England
This video about the author Ernest Gann has many scenes from "my island" - San Juan Island in Washington state, where I lived for many years. A prolific author and artist, Gann always followed his passions - flying, boats, jumping out of an airplane in his 70's. Gann wrote numerous top selling books, including "Fate … Continue reading One of the Famous Authors from “My Island”
A Hundred Years Ago - or so it seems, although by the date on the front page, I see that it was actually 27 years past - I wrote this article about what was then my life. Sometimes I think I really miss that life. Well, maybe not that life, but certain parts of it. … Continue reading My Island Life
This photo article was published a while back. It was a fun research project walking around my neighborhood taking photos of amazing old houses. ABOVE - THE CUPOLA. The iconic image of the district of Magdalena del Mar will soon disappear. Well perhaps not totally disappear, but certainly from my vantage point a few blocks away and … Continue reading My Town
And try not to sound so damned yankee! Not the typical advice from a law professor perhaps, but she hadn’t asked for advice on interpreting some obscure community property ruling. Her need on this sweltering Mississippi afternoon was for advice on how to talk to the judge who would rule on her punishment for the … Continue reading Southern Accents
I am probably passionate about too many different things. It often feels like my brain is composed of a large bag of marbles, and someone has dropped them on a hard surface, causing all of them to pop, jump and scatter about, making it tough to focus on any one particular topic. I truly admire people who are so passionate about one particular subject that they zone in on it to the exclusion of everything else...
Have you ever had the opportunity to experience total solitude for a week? Time to focus on your writing and exist in a world where it's not even necessary to block the rest of the world out because for that chunk of time, the rest of the world doesn't exist in your life? I had this experience for the first time recently when I attended a retreat at the Ricardo Palma House...
“You took the bus? Weren’t you the only non-native person riding?” Isabel is shocked to learn that the observer rides busses. The look of concern, if not outright horror, on her face makes it clear that this is one thing about the city which she has never learned. “I could have sent my driver for you. Weren’t you afraid of being robbed?” Robbed. On a crowded bus. It could happen, she thinks, remembering the young man who insisted on vacating his seat for her. The man jumping on and off busses all day to earn enough cash to survive. The old lady bending with the weight of her huge shopping bags as she climbed the steps to board. It could happen...
My New England stories are based on my memories of growing up in a small New England town. The stories, and the memories, are so much a part of me that I don't always know which parts are something I experienced and which parts live in the imagination of my mind or the shared past … Continue reading Stories Remembered