Where is Your Energy?

I wanted Kamala Harris for President, and I’m happy to have her as my Vice-President. Really happy. But there are too many things that have happened and are happening in the world that are getting short-shrift because all of our energy is going into loving/hating presidential/national politics. * Alex Trebek died. My mother loved Jeopardy!...

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The Aftermath

I sit on the point of our porch with rain ticking around me. The pressure washer was scheduled to clean the house today, and I wonder if the rain will do his work for him. Like the lot next door where we removed the foundation from a Katrina house and planned on seeding St. Augustine until the wild grass began to creep, and we let nature fill in....

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The Glow

I got a new daybed in my house. The bed is minimalist for a small but important room: the room has the sacred palm in it. I’ve reupholstered the furniture to fit in this new house. I’ve had pillows made. Lamps are set out. Pictures hung. Bedding added. Charging stations rigged up, carts assembled, rugs cleaned and laid on their mats....

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Where Do We Go from Here?

The revisions to my Mississippi novel have reached the “listening to the computer read to me” stage. I’ve received wonderfully helpful feedback from Beta readers and spent 2 months implementing it. “Implementing” sounds so neutral, but I wrote another 20,000 words and revised the ones I already had on the page. Now...

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Violent or Peaceful?

My last year at the University of Virginia, I took a masters-level Applied Sociology class. There I learned that small changes in our public spaces—placement of the exit on the bus, arrangement of an apartment complex courtyard—can lead to huge changes in group behavior. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated by forces that influence us in ways...

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Do You Want to Be Lied to, or Not?

They use it as an asterisk. Like when the governing commission is forced to add an explanation to a sports stat. Babe Ruth and Roger Maris or whatever. The sports hero is the greatest ever…except with this teensy asterisk caveat. The same treatment is granted to the white men who established America. Historians, politicians, we white people—we...

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My Date with a Neo-Nazi

I went to lunch with a Neo-Nazi. We had gyros and iced tea, I’m pretty sure, but the details of the food escape me. What I’ll never forget was my dawning realization that this man was a nutcase. He was tall and incredibly good-looking in a blond Aryan blue-eyed way. (Yes, this is a true story, though it’s starting to sound...

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If I Had Two Wings

I didn’t know what I was doing. I had quit practicing law to become a writer. In typical lawyerly fashion, I formulated a “private MFA” where I would take 2 years and teach myself to write. I didn’t want to get an actual MFA because I figured, as a lawyer who had been the office’s managing partner, I would be a terrible...

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China, Words, and Hope

I don’t know if this is appropriate or not, but I need to tell you that a really nice publishing house is, right now, reading the full manuscript on MUD ISLAND, the mystery featuring a formerly homeless young woman set in Memphis in 1997 (which I revised from being a formerly homeless old man set in 2019), and I’m trying not to think...

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