Last Words

Last Words

Earlier in the month, someone asked if I experience self-doubt as a writer. The short answer is “Yes.” The long answer is “Frequently.” Usually, self-doubt is something I do to myself. But there are times I have a bit of help. We’re pretty polite in Midwest...
Watermark

Watermark

No matter the story, my lead character always goes by the same name. Setting. Setting is the sun. It’s the star that draws plot and character and conflict into orbit around it. As a writer, my job is to hang that star in the sky. Sometimes I peg it in the first...
Voices from the Past

Voices from the Past

Journal Entry–August 9, 1856 She is my sixth runaway in as many weeks. I tell myself she is unlike the rest. She is the first to look so tired, so young, and so great with child. In days past I have offered food and water and shelter here, and left them in the...
U-turns

U-turns

I’d thought to tell you about the Underground Railroad today. It was a network of men and women who smuggled slaves north to freedom in the years before the American Civil War. I’ve a lovely photo of a friend making a rubbing of Civil War prison ruins by...
Time Lines

Time Lines

Stave I: Wherein I Unwrap a Christmas Gift Most people would tell you this image came from an issue of Scientific American magazine dated a century ago. They’d be wrong. Had you asked me a couple years back, I’d have told you it was a gift from a friend I never met....