We went looking for a village of witches. We passed a man with a machete. A donkey. A sign said go back this is an active volcano but nobody went back. People put up signs that said viva el revolultion which we could read even though our Spanish is bad. Masks hung on walls, on … More The Village of Witches
I didn’t spend my Julia Child week sipping mint juleps, but I did have fun. Last month writer Karen Karbo made a request. Karen’s book Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life has just come out. She was looking for bloggers to choose one of Julia Child’s axioms, to apply it for a week and … More My Julia Child Week, not all mint juleps, but still.
March 26, from Charleston, SC I’m eavesdropping on the people at the next table. The woman is telling the man the name of her five pets: Otis, Milo, Lucky, Fritz, Lola. At first I thought she was being interviewed for a job. Now I wonder if this is what an iHarmony type date sounds like. … More Sacred Heart
Indries Shah says we have forgotten how to listen to stories. Do you remember reading stories as a child? I want to read like that again, like nothing else matters. I grew up near a small woods in Greenville, South Carolina. I played there everyday, almost always alone. That was before everyone was afraid and … More sinner
I was reading about lyric essays. I think my essays are lyric essays and not just because they are disorganized. I only learned the term when I went back to school. People do things and don’t even know those things have names, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t know what we’re doing. I kept … More taught by nuns
At a reading at Eastern Oregon University, someone in the audience asked what books I read as a child, but I wouldn’t answer. I could only think: Gone with the Wind, three times, and how could I explain that? I read Gone with the Wind and I read, accidentally, what I think must have been … More and then she became a Communist
Someone in the audience pointed out that I have a theme of shame in my novels. Do I? My readers are sometimes much more observant than me. Well. I do think shame and guilt are underrated. The nuns gave them a bad name.
Today I posted the first page of my new manuscript, Watching Rhonda Honey, on my website. The first page is about being raised Catholic. I’m glad I was raised Catholic, let me say that right now. It did three things that I like. It made me psychologically complicated, which is useful for a writer. It … More >internalizing repression
>I wonder sometimes if my old Sister Agatha didn’t serve me well by warning me against reading too much— you know what can happen if you read too much of the wrong thing? You could get pregnant. You could drop out of the church and become a communist. Wow. Talk about enticing a young girl … More >Sister Agatha and the Danger of Reading
> I went to Sacred Heart Elementary School in Savannah, Georgia, which is the same school that Flannery O’Connor attended. Sister Agatha was my fifth grade teacher, and I like to imagine that she once taught Flannery as well. Sister Agatha told us vivid stories about the torments of Hell. She terrified us, especially Shirley … More >Sister Agatha and Flannery O’Connor