Holy & Mesmerizing Fiction

A friend walked into a client's home and found my book among a stack on the client's table. What friend is in your stack?

      The kindly looking fellow in the light blue shirt pulled me aside moments before my presentation at the library. Your book has made me do a lot of thinking, he said. Oh? I replied. Yes. About mental illness. My mother took  her life. My brother is a schizophrenic. He pulled out a [Read More...]

Dear Mommy Dearest

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  I am not getting my mother anything for Mother’s Day, the boy proclaimed. I wouldn’t know where to send it if I did. Instead I’m getting Dad a bunch of frilly things. I’d already heard the story of how the kid’s momma abandoned her son, ran off with another man. The boy is hurt [Read More...]

About that Supreme Court Ruling on Ceremonial Prayers

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  When The Redhead called to tell me that her cancer was back and had moved into her bones, I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom closet. The door was closed. I went into the closet the minute she called because I had a feeling the news wasn’t good and I wanted privacy. [Read More...]

Rutgers Browbeats Rice

Rice.

Rutgers. Pleeeeassseee. Have you no academic integrity? No sense of tolerance? No love, joy or peace in your hearts? Listen, I am no fan of Bush’s wars. I have been annoyingly outspoken about my personal aversion to misguided wars and their aftermath – something I know all too intimately. I was standing in the airport [Read More...]

Inside-Out Morality: The Art of Public Shaming

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  There I was, waiting for my order at Starbucks, minding my very own business when a fellow walked in with a girl. I smelled him before I saw him. Not that he smelled bad. He didn’t at all. It’s just that he must’ve used half-a-bottle of after-shave. He was tall and had a receding [Read More...]

When Nigga & Nigger are Okay Words to Use

Sterling

    Racist Rant of Donald Sterling  Non-Racist My Nigga. One of Billboard’s Top Rap Songs. I spoke with a young mother a week ago about a matter that was upsetting her. Seems at her child’s middle school one of the most commonly used slang words is “Nigga.” It should be noted that we live [Read More...]

Body Bag memory

Trees

A prayer of David If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the [Read More...]

The Sound of Sameness

Rebekah

Editor’s Note: Rebekah Sanderlin is a journalist, a military wife and a dear friend. She is also a native of Tennessee. As you can tell, we share a lot in common. In the following essay, Rebekah talks about another thing we share – the loss of our Southern accents. Something we both are sorry to [Read More...]

Judging Intellect

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  There I was, all decked out in my red suede shoes and glossy pink lipstick, enjoying myself. Not at all expecting what was about to transpire. I would have bet my last bag of pork skins that never in a million years would an elected official stand in front of me the way that [Read More...]

My Granny’s Hands

Granny & Pap

  I dreamed of my grandmother’s hands. It was an odd dream since Granny Leona has been dead a long time now. Even when she was alive, my days spent with her were few. I grew up in Georgia, a good day’s drive from where Granny lived in Church Hill, Tennessee. The town gets its name because [Read More...]

People of the Struggle

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Resurrections are on my mind this week. Yours, too? Specifically, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about personal resurrections. I happened upon a quote by Loren Eiseley that has got me to pondering. Perhaps you have heard it? We are rag dolls made out of many ages and skins, changelings who have slept in [Read More...]

FNG: Fine Nice Gal’s Run For the Wall

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  Ten years ago, I joined my father’s medic for a cross-country trip, via motorcycle. I’ve written about that excursion in a Kindle book. FNG: Fine Nice Gal’s Run for the Wall is now available. Gold-Star daughter Karen Spears Zacharias was not born to be wild but that didn’t stop her from mustering up the [Read More...]

Hoe it out

Sneedville.Pat

  My daughter and her family are preparing to move to a new community after nearly a decade in the same town. She originally went to Spokane, Wa. to attend law school at Gonzaga. She had a change of mind and heart after a year. Spokane has been a good place to live, if one [Read More...]

Take the Army’s Word for It: Fort Hood’s Second Shooting

Milley

Not a direct precipitating factor. That’s the official word out of Fort Hood. Lt. General Mark Milley said the shooter – Ivan Lopez – mental condition was not a direct precipitating factor. Lopez went on a rampage, killing his fellow soldiers, because of an escalating argument, Milley explained. Lopez, 34, an Iraq War veteran, had [Read More...]

Weatherford Award for Fiction

Weatherford. 1

In late February, four short weeks ago now, a letter arrived in my inbox.   I was on the phone with a big city New York agent working out details for another literary event, for another author, when I clicked open the email from Jason Howard, editor of the Appalachian Heritage at Berea College in Kentucky.  [Read More...]


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