What I’m Listening To When I Write

Lately, I listen to Yo Yo Ma playing “Appalachia Waltz” every time I sit down to write. It’s a conditioned response; I listen to this and I am where I need to be. I prefer this to Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” which I had to listen to while writing a particular chapter of…

Continue Reading »

Trying to listen…

I keep dreaming that people are talking to me and I can not hear them. They speak softly, or only move their lips, or I do my best to listen to instructions and someone behind me begins banging on a sheet of tin, in the throes of a construction project. I wake up wondering what…

Continue Reading »

Salt, Tequila, Lime, or my 2nd family

In my second family, we have all known each other since we were mean, or shy, or running from our parents. In my second family, we are grown and know each other’s parents by their first names. We know their mishegas, because it’s alarmingly sometimes like ours is now ( and sometimes we saw it…

Continue Reading »

How and Why Meditation Works

Meditation works because we name our emotions and address them. We live in the moment when we meditate, and train ourselves to make living in the moment – being present, as the shrinks say, being mindful, as yogis say – part of our regular experience. Live Science says so . All this in line with…

Continue Reading »

The Trance State

I think it’s John Gardner who talks about writing as a dream state. Robert Olen Butler does, too. E.L. Doctorow has said that writing a novel is (and I paraphrase here) like driving at night and only seeing as far as your headlights. This image is helpful to me. I have been called a “three…

Continue Reading »

Where…

… this novel takes place. Take this road far enough, and you’ll be at the cusp of the twentieth century. Isn’t it beautiful? Northwest Georgia, not far from northeast Alabama. Or Southern Tennessee. The Place: Collard Valley, Georgia (Cedartown), looking approximately south/southeast from the site of the home of The Magnetic Girl. Late afternoon. March….

Continue Reading »

Over-the-top meat consumption

M’s birthday dinner = extravagant eating of meat (for him) and extravagant eating of salad (for me.) Okay, there was cheesecake, too. And smoked salmon, because I really still eat fish. (Shhh.) Meat on long sticks delivered by men in gaucho pants. Wretched excess in Buckhead, where we never go due to an insistence on…

Continue Reading »

Nice people write nice notes!

Thanks, Monkeybicycle for the props ! Thanks, Southern Womens Writing Conference at Berry College for the friendly howdy !