Published in the Rains County Leader on June 6, 2017:
When I first began writing a weekly column in the newspaper, I never thought about the collateral effects of opening at least some aspects of my private life to public scrutiny. I had been writing a blog for several years before becoming City Girl for the Rains County Leader. Although I occasionally received an on-line comment about something I had written, it was disconcerting the first few times someone I didn’t know asked me face to face how my garden was doing or what new antics Kitty had been up to.
It didn’t take me long, though, to begin to enjoy these brief encounters. One of the things I like most about being a writer is knowing when my words have touched someone, even if it’s only to make them smile or stop and think for a minute. It’s really nice to know that something I’ve said sticks in a reader’s mind long enough for them to engage me in conversation about it. In fact, it’s really nice to know that I have readers. Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I enjoy the impromptu conversations I have with friends I didn’t know I had. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 9, 2017:
When I sat down to write this week’s column, it was one of those times when I stared at the blank screen while the cursor blinked at me saying, “Well, write something.” Several hours later, I was still staring and it was still blinking, so I stopped and fixed dinner.
While I was staring, and while I was cooking, I was also thinking. I was thinking about all the stories I heard this past week about how our community has come together to help their neighbors in need. The stories were really good ones, but there are problems. First, many of the stories have already been reported and second, the people involved in the other stories are friends of mine. Most of my friends have, at one time or another, been the subject of one of my columns. Now when they tell me a story, they look at me with a grin and say, “Don’t you write about this.” (more…)
Before my first novel, Tatia’s Tattoo, became a file in my computer, I knew sex trafficking existed. But in my narrow perspective, this unspeakable crime was limited to the back alleys of foreign countries or a few mega-cities in the U.S. Orphans were snatched from a hopeless existence and forced into something even worse.
Then, one Sunday evening, a couple visited our church from a town about fifty miles away from my home. They had founded an organization whose mission statement reads, in part: to bring hope to teens silenced by sex trafficking and exploitation in the United States. Talk about a wake-up call! Not only was sex trafficking not limited to faraway places, it was not limited to nameless, faceless children who lived in another reality. It was happening to girls – and sometimes boys – just like the children and grandchildren of my friends and neighbors, the children I saw every week at church or in the grocery store – or at camp. (more…)
I am excited to announce that I have contracted with Crowdscribed to publish my first novel. Tatia’s Tattoo, a work of literary Christian fiction, is the story of a young girl trapped in the sex trafficking trade.
The mark of shame on Tatia’s forearm represented the evil in her life – the war and grief that took her parents, the lust and greed that took her childhood innocence – but courage, love, and grace helped her rise above it all. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 28, 2017:
Writing is a difficult, lonely undertaking, but it must have been almost impossible before the advent of computers. I have watched movie scenes in which a devoted author sits down at a small, candlelit desk in a remote corner of the house, dips her quill in an ink well and pens a classic best seller that haunts English students for centuries to come. I probably should be inspired by such ambition and determination, but instead, I’m left wondering how in the world she managed without a word processor and an on-line Thesaurus. Before my first book hit the inbox of a publisher, it had been edited at least fourteen times. Can you imagine how many inkwells I would have drained? (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 20, 2016:
The Rains County Leader always closes for the last week of the year, so this will be the last issue of the paper until 2017. Following the example of many of news programs and talk shows, I did a quick review of my columns from the last year. Here is a brief overview of what I shared with your during 2016. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 23, 2016:
This has been an interesting week – not because of any one thing, but because of several small events. I decided to make this a potpourri column – a mixture of all these different things.
In my column two weeks ago, I wrote about what I’ve learned through the experience of writing fiction. One of the first interesting things this week was that I completed the first draft of my first novel. It was thrilling for a few minutes, at least until the reality of endless editing struck, and until I remembered that no one but me may think it’s worth the year I’ve spent on it. Still, if I’ve learned anything about this pursuit, it’s that a writer continues to put words on a page even if no one ever reads them. (more…)