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Showing posts from January, 2023

Books I'm Glad to Have Read Last Year

Reviews can be found on my Goodreads .  2022 favorite reads in order of preference. The Growth of the Soil - Knut Hamsun Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie The Island of Missing Trees - Elif Shafak Of Human Bondage - Somerset Maugham Hannah Coulter - Wendell Berry Good Omens - Neil Gaiman The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgahov Harry Potter Series Abolition of Man - C. S. Lewis The Hoosier Schoolmaster - Edward Eggleston The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho An Everyday Girl - Amy Ella Blanchard Rules of Civility - Amor Towels Longest book: Anna Karenina Shortest book: The Abolition of Man Most Moving: The Island of Missing Trees, The Growth of the Soil Most Challenging: The Art of Letting Go Most Fun - An Everyday Girl, Good Omens Favorite non-fiction: The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller, Say Nothing Most Likely to Recommend (all ages) - Peter Pan, The Ascendance Series, The Hoosier Schoolmaster, Hannah Coulter Least Likely to Recommend:

And Then We Sweetly Forget

Part two of an ongoing roadtrip series  After Grief Comes Nostalgia Fellowshipping with a group of ex-amish women over Thanksgiving in Lancaster Pennsylvania My only plan for November and October was to write. I wrote, and two new novels came to me. Beginning of November I met up in Asheville with one of my best friends. We found ourselves all the way down in Louisiana for the Blackpot festival, then up to visit friends in Mississippi: a pile of wild boys with the most dangerous ideas of fun. Somehow we lived and didn't want to leave.  Back in Asheville I did a bit of a work trade sewing a bunch of cushions to stay in at an artsy commune. My sunroof was also broken into. Nothing of mine was even rifled through. I figure they took one look at my hanging herbs and baskets of mugs and chopsticks and piles of wool and linen and thought it must be a witch's lair. Nothing was stolen. But t

Three Bad Writing Rules and How to Avoid Them

If you're a writer, you probably shouldn't read this. I will be speaking a lot of truth swaddled in satire. I will be telling you what you shouldn't be listening to as I tell you that you shouldn't be listening to anything. I humbly tell you now that I shall make a hypocrite of myself to save you from being a foolish beta reader (because, if we're all honest, knowing all the cool writing rules doesn't make you a better writer but a terribly annoying beta reader).  Show Don't Tell For all of eternity writers were paid to disobey this rule. And then we started cranking out cheap slave labor novels for Walmart shelves and suddenly everything had to be "show-don't-tell". Well, let me tell you something. I will never work in a factory for a dollar a week and I have no desire to be the next harlequin mass paperback author.  I am a storyteller, not a story-shower.  "But," you say. "It's always better to see the wedding t

A Letter To Stay-At-Home-Daughters

Dear Girls, Who Secretly Want An Adventure,  Parents were scared of me when I was a teenager. They feared my quiet mysteriousness. I was really just sullen and shy, but not really at all sly. Sure, I read and had a bit of sass. They heard about the essays my mother would assign as punishment: "Write something on how children should obey their parents." Too gleefully (because I loved writing and loved scripture) I'd quickly hand back a paper that explained why parents shouldn't provoke their children to wrath.  Homeschooled parents will say they teach their children to be independent thinkers. And yet they feared my independence and creativity. They tried to keep their children far from me. "What if she causes our children to leave home and become like the world?"  I never would have dreamt of that. They heard about the essays. But what they didn't see was how I quietly loved my chores, loved our ways, loved feminine things and anything old fashioned and