Let’s Hear it for the Experienced

Listening to the anti-bullying speeches given by the COOL kids—high school juniors and seniors participating in the academic after-school program for those who will be the first in their family to attend college—I wondered about our everlasting tendency to deny … Continue reading

Train of Thought

The train whistles in the distance. Slanting sunlight filters through the living room window—the train, which arrives and departs Memphis morning and night in the darkness, is late. Seated on the floor, I rub the dog’s belly and confide, “I … Continue reading

The Morning of Hearts and Crosses

I groan and complain because it’s early in the morning and as my husband says, “You’ve never been a morning person.” I’ve decided, in fact, this is not my ministry. Opportunities to give back abound; it’s my choice how to … Continue reading

The Non-Laity

We were talking last night about our inward journey—what we are doing spiritually for ourselves—and I was describing a blog I had recently started following. “He’s a priest,” I said, “but—.” I stopped and laughed. I was about to say, … Continue reading

Word to the Wise: Pay Attention to Your Beta Readers

Three years ago, or maybe four, a man I did not know arrived at my writing group, and during a long conversation about the first chapter of The Bone Trench, he said, “I’m ready to see Cat Thomas return.” I … Continue reading

Redeeming the Synopsis

I know you hate it, but consider writing a synopsis of your novel. Not to accompany a submission to an agent—usually the only reason any of us take on this mind-stupefying task. Do it to see the holes in your … Continue reading

I Remember the Dancing Samoans

I think too much from the spot I stand in. So when I watched the Coke commercial during the Superbowl and felt tears start in my eyes, it never dawned on me people would complain. Calling the commercial names, some … Continue reading

When Following the Money is a Good Thing

My last blog post left several people wondering, what did Utah do? The state examined the amount of money homelessness was costing the state and implemented a “housing first” program that gives supportive housing to those who have experienced homelessness … Continue reading