Waiting with Baited Breath

As far as where my writing stands, I know y’all await the latest news with bated breath (which if only it were spelled “baited breath” would mean your breath smells like an earthworm wiggling on the hook.) So you’ll be glad to hear that IN THE NAME OF MISSISSIPPI is with the 2nd round of Beta Readers. By the time this round...

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When We Still had Class

My dad went to prep school at age 13 where his father took him to the railway station, shook his hand, and said, “Give ’em hell, son.” There stood the little boy on the platform, by himself, waiting for the train. He entered college at age 16 and, at such a tender age, ran track for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill....

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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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