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In Her Own Words

Cain’t Do Nothing with Love — In Her Own Words

With Ellen Morris Prewitt, author and reader of Cain’t Do Nothing with Love.

In 2001, I left my nineteen-year practice of law to become a writer. Almost immediately, I fell into a gig at WKNO-FM/NPR for the Mid-South writing and reading commentaries that aired during Morning Edition. This lasted for almost five years. At the same time, I was writing and publishing short stories, essays, and magazine articles.

Over time, as the number of my published short stories grew, I began considering a collection. I settled on the unifying theme of the quirky aspects off love—romantic love, love for one’s parents, love of God—and selected stories that had won contests or been nominated for prizes, along with ones I just plain liked. I also included some new work yet to be published, and I made sure I had a diversity of voices: stories told by young girls and old men, college students and the working poor. With the collection set, I researched names of agents who repped short stories and small publishers who published stories. The results were not encouraging.

Considering how to proceed, I decided my guiding principle would be: what sounds like fun? This led to a return to my roots: why not record and broadcast the stories on-line?

This simple question plunged me into a “zero to 60” understanding of podcasting, MP3 distribution, literary fiction on-line, and tons of other stuff. With the help of a professional sound engineer, I recorded and polished the stories, including adding intro and outro music written and sung by my late friend, Elvis impersonator Robb Pate.

The result is a collection of professionally-recorded Southern short stories written over a period of ten years, all exploring love.

Under my “short stories can be fun” guiding principle, I decided to make the stories available on-line for free. Each story is paired with a local or national charity engaging the theme of the story. Listeners can chose to donate to the charity, or not. I hope listeners will enjoy the stories, leading them to eagerly anticipate the publication of my novel … when it comes out.

Please join me on this path to publication, as winding and unpredictable—and full of fun—as the short stories themselves.

Ellen Morris Prewitt

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