The Poignancy of Christmas

My brilliant older sister chooses a theme every Christmas. On Christmas Day at dinner, we go round the table and each person says what the theme means to them. We have done this since her daughters (now married or engaged) were too young to hold a knife. She—my older sister—also does a birthday cake for Jesus, ties red ribbons all over the house,...

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Advent 2019, Week 2

It’s the 2nd Sunday of Advent, 2019. I’m reviewing moments of my church life. I do this every time we pray the confession of our sins, where we are supposed to say, “We do humbly repent,” but as a teenager I inadvertently said, “We do humbly repeat,” and my sister and I burst out laughing. After that, my mother...

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Sunday Question

What action would you take after reading this? Ellen Morris Prewitt is an award-winning writer who uses creativity to create community. Her first published book was on making crosses from broken and found objects as a form of active prayer (Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God (Paraclete Press, 2009.) The book led her to facilitate two...

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Two Southern Authors

Carson McCullers? Eudora Welty? What better company could I ask to be in? Take a minute and read the wonderful review Susan Cushman wrote on THE HART WOMEN. Plus, read all the way to the blog Comments on for more on this gem: “An intergenerational story set in Mississippi, I was intrigued from the first page and finished the entire...

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I Assumed You Were Like Me

I wrote a book, and I made an assumption. I assumed you were like me. I assumed that, some nights, as you fall into that state before sleep actually takes you, you startle awake. When that happens, you remember that moment when you quit going to see your grandmother in the nursing home because you were flush with new love and you abandoned her as...

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Buy Your Tickets Today!

We’re having a grown-up event at Novel Memphis. It’s happening two weeks from today. The celebration is for THE HART WOMEN. I wrote the story. Marisa Whisett Baker is hand-sewing it into a novel. The event will have tickets and everything (the tickets are so Marisa will know when she’s made enough books). You can read about Marisa’s...

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Eternity or Bust

When I read the theme for the summer issue of Exterminating Angel Press was “Eternity or Bust,” I knew I had the perfect submission. Thank goodness Tod Davies of EAP: the Magazine thought so too. I’m grateful to her for including my piece in her fabulous magazine. The short story is an excerpt from my novel THE BONE TRENCH....

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My America

This is my America. Where three white Mississippians stand in the heat and praise the knowledge of Raul, a landscape artist, because he knows what the heck he’s doing in this demanding climate. Because, in my America, we value competence, period. Where all the windows on the antique stores and clothing stores and breakfast hang-outs...

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One Liners

We, the most Southern couple on earth, are going to Michigan! Mackinac Island, to be specific, which my grandmother Bigmama talked about all the durn time when I was a kid. I’ll share photos. We’re having a book launch at Novel Bookstore in Memphis this July for The Hart Women! The Hart Women is a different concept (a limited...

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Easter 2019: How Did I Get Here?

My Lenten practice wasn’t random. This year, I chose to create one thing of beauty each day of Lent (Lent is 40 days). I might not have articulated it on day one, but I chose this discipline in contravention of the more traditional view of Lent as a time of deprivation, penitence, and “doing without” as a cleansing process...

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