Month: May 2016

Like a Hawk

You see, I’d just held a fundraiser for Outreach, Housing, and Community, the organization June Averyt founded to end homelessness. She also founded Door of Hope, which is where I met her when we started Door of Hope Writing Group. She died. I’ve told you about it here. Wanting to do something in her memory, I held my first popup...

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Thank You for the Soul

When the dark night of the soul overtakes me and I can’t sleep for wondering how on earth I could’ve so terribly wasted this wonderful life I’ve been given, I sneak down the stairs, carefully feeling with my toe for the edge of each step so I don’t stumble. Patting the door jamb, I close the door behind me and turn on...

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Trusting in Life

The retreat had not yet begun. I was walking beneath the live oaks, crossing from the dorm room I would share with my cousin and aunt to the building where we would practice restorative yoga for two days. The gulf breeze gently blew, and shadows danced on the St. Augustine lawn. I halted, gazing at the slip of blue sky peeking through the mossy...

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The Waterways of Hurricane Katrina

I have a lousy sense of direction. No, that’s not it. I have difficulty translating directional information into an understanding in my head. This failure is pervasive in my life. Driving—hell, walking. I am totally missing a directional chip in my head. Yet, here I am, writing a novel that demands I understand the incursion of water into...

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In Case You’re Following Along

Today, I finished polishing the first ⅔ of Jazzy and the Pirate. That means I have ⅓ to go. I’m not giving away too much to tell you the rag-tag group of characters has arrived in New Orleans, ready to save the city from the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. Many questions have been answered. About the Pirate’s agenda. About Jazzy’s...

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Spiritual Bottleneck

Early Wednesday morning, the man who’d spent the night on the streets walked the hallway at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. He stopped at my table, lingering. He did not look happy. I think of this church hallway as the “neck” between Sister’s Chapel, where we hold the church service attended mostly by those living on the streets, and Martyrs...

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Prayer, A Rule of Thumb

A while back, I conducted a workshop where I took my writing mentor Rebecca McClanahan‘s book Write Your Heart Out and translated the types of nonfiction writing into types of prayer. I don’t remember all the parallels (writing from joy, for example, became adoration or praise prayer.) I’ve been thinking about this as I make...

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What I Love about My Life in Memphis

I live in Memphis on an island with wild edges and a dog who loves them as much as I do. I have a wood-burning fireplace in my house. I go to St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral where the Dean stands up in the pulpit and preaches the most unsettling, Holy truths, in a caring, loving way. I can walk to the grocery store. I can walk to the coffee shop....

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June: Not a Sentimental Person

Many years ago, when I was letting the Spirit lead me around by the nose, I went to Door of Hope and asked if I could start a writing group for men and women living on the street. Dr. June Mann Averyt, the founder and then Executive Director of Door of Hope, watched me toddle through the door in my high heels and said, “What the hell—go...

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