Why I Am Not an Artist (What?!?)

I’ve been missing from this site all winter. I did so well last year, posting once a month, but the cold, dreary months did me in. I spent much of January, February, and March huddled under blankets on the couch, upstairs in my bed, or at my desk working on poetry projects (with gloves). But the birds are singing spring and those poetry projects are out in the world trying to find a larger audience, and April is the time each year when I begin new things, when the creative juices for new projects begin to flow.

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Red Gloves

Not long ago on a cold night in Columbus, Ohio, I left Max and Erma’s after an enjoyable dinner with two co-workers, stepping carefully down icy steps to the sidewalk that would lead us back to our convention hotel. Without much thought, other than that my hands were cold, I pulled my favorite red gloves out of my coat pocket and slipped them on.

“Red gloves!” One co-worker chortled. “What are you, twelve years old?”

I was too surprised, and cold, to be hurt or angry, but the comment lingered in my mind. (Read more…)


Yesterday, I took part in the Author & Illustrator Fair at the Athens, Ohio Public Library.

Athens Library Author Fair

Athens Library Author Fair

Great Fun, and a wonderful opportunity to see and hear local talent.

Retreat writing spot

Retreat writing spot

The weekend before, I traveled to Hindman Settlement School to write and retreat with another fun group of folks, writers from various parts of Appalachia.

In between the bookend weekends, I finished my first collection of poems, Dreams of the Animal Mothers, and sent the manuscript off to my post-grad mentor. There’s always more to do, but I’m happy with how far I have come this year. December will mainly be about family and friends (and a few tweaks and edits), and an opportunity to look back with gratitude, and forward with excitement. Bridge over Troublesome Creek

What are you grateful for now?
What will you open your heart to in 2015?

What Haunts

Since childhood I have found old cemeteries strangely fascinating. The weatherworn stones that lean at odd angles. The lost names and stories of long gone faces. But I have never been afraid, only curious. These people had lives and dreams just like you, just like me. Did they have regrets? Did they live aware of the beauty of the world, or focus only on the hardships and disappointments? What haunted them as they approached their last moments?

What haunts you? What do you still want to accomplish? What stories do you have to give the world?

What I Always Do

I had never been to New York City until I went to visit my daughter, Morgan, when she was working as an intern at the Today Show in 2012. My visit there was just before Halloween and just before Hurricane Sandy hit. We must have walked miles that long weekend in October. My feet have yet to recover. But every step was worth it. New York City is amazing, overwhelming, a dream place you have seen on TV, in movies, and have read about in books. There are so many people and famous places that it feels surreal.

One afternoon and evening while we were there when the skies were already beginning to darken as the hurricane grew near, we took the subway to view the Statue of Liberty from a park along the water. (Read more…)