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Why Do I Write?

I stayed up until 2 a.m. this week because a poem was rattling around in my head. I just needed to get it down on paper. Before I knew it, hours had passed. That sometimes happens when I’m writing and editing. Not hard to imagine someone saying, “What? And you didn’t have a deadline to meet? So why would you do that?” I know. It sounds anything but sane. Unless you are a writer or artist, maybe there’s just no way to understand. How does this keep happening to me? I grew up in Arkansas with childish senses, living with brothers and sisters, a mother and father. Lived in the country some years, in town some years. I grew up in a time of clocks ticking, trains blowing whistles, homemade bread,

Smart Parenting

I’d spent the morning watching the wind whiplash the daffodils, watching the dogs snuggle deeper into blankets, and working myself hard to get poems ready for a national contest. My 20-year-old niece Rebecca and I needed a break from the house. I located my keys, and we braved the 30-mile winds, headed to Norfork, my old town in the hills. Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at Heidi’s Ugly Cakes. When we enter the restaurant, there’s Heidi, still taking lunch orders. She calls Rebecca “Gorgeous!” I love the interaction and enjoy the expressions. We find our way to a table and people-watch. Tables grow empty as people line up to pay for their food. Then a grandmother, mother, son (maybe two ye

Skunk, Dog, or Man?

No matter what the world teaches and preaches, some things never change, especially in the country. Country dogs eat dry dog food and scraps from the table. Right? Dog food is a staple from town, picked up after work. Dogs expect dry food and maybe the taste of deer from time to time. Our dog Sadie fits country life. She’s inside in the winter, outside in the summer. Just how it works. Sadie is a hunter, though she is not “a hound dog.” If you watch her, she lies in wait for the right moment, then she’s off for the chase. Might be a deer, squirrel, hog, skunk. It doesn’t matter to her. It’s the race and chase she loves. It matters to me. A week ago, Sadie was rambling. Gone for hours into th

Well, Shut My Mouth!

Mute. I woke up Tuesday morning with laryngitis. I have not experienced myself as silent before. And I am full of words! Two people in my family are expert in whispering and swallowing their words. I have not had enough empathy for them. The doctor says no meds needed, just gargle and write notes, but no talking. I’ve been whispering, so I guess I might be prolonging the problem. Okay, I’m giving up. No more whispering. A monumental sacrifice. Thankfully, I have fingers and a computer, pens and paper. It may all be connected. Stress: first, the death of a friend which hit me like sudden whiplash; next, sciatic nerve and sinuses; now, laryngitis. The body and emotions are tangled together. Bu

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