I have been, like all of us, desperate to make a difference, escape isolation, connect during this time of coronavirus. I have observed during my spring classes on Zoom what a tremendous difference it makes for me and others to simply connect through writing–even on social media. I am not good at making masks. But I’m good at making prompts. So that’s the public service offering I make here, to help us get through this time:
Another practice I’ve returned to in recent months is reading for pleasure – every day. I have allowed my early morning hour to be consumed by sitting in an upstairs room in a comfortable chair, a pillow on my lap, a lamp shining down, and a favorite book – or a new book – propped there. Books from my shelves – and new releases by authors I admire – will provide the inspiration for the weekly prompts. Read more
Circle City Books has arrived! And it is announcing its presence with a spectacular new mural in downtown Pittsboro.
A great place to wander and get in loads of trouble–the store has an incredible selection of high quality gently used books–and a few new ones! I was honored to be included in Georgann Eubanks’ recent presentation on her “Literary Trails of North Carolina” series, where we talked about the work of Chatham authors Nancy Peacock, Duncan Murrell, Doris Betts, Lawrence Naumoff, Virginia Boyd, Michael Parker, and others. I got to talk about “literary houses, hippies, and chicken trucks in Chatham” — with nods to “Shade Tree House,” which inspired the opening lines of my story collection ACCIDENTAL BIRDS OF THE CAROLINAS; the Alston Plantation, which inspired Nancy Peacock’s tales of black and white family connections in HOME ACROSS THE ROAD; Lawrence Naumoff’s old farmhouse in SILK HOPE; and Doris Betts’ chicken truck crash scene in SOULS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.
After the talk, Georgann got to see her book on the wall mural! Mine was included a few weeks later, and there are more to come. It’s a pleasure to be in such good company, but then you always are with North Carolina writers.
May I suggest a “mini retreat” for writers, especially the cash-strapped (probably all of us except Stephen King). Bring your writers group to Circle City Books, spend an hour or so stacking up some favorites at discount prices, then go outside and have your picture taken with the enormous book of a favorite NC author! Post it on your Facebook page!
Then–go have lunch with writer friends. when you’re done celebrating the rollicking side of the writer’s life, go find yourself some quiet place to read that stack. Reveiw your favorite writers on Good Reads and other blogs. Study, then write.
Who knows? The mural may have to go around the block by the time it’s done.
We’ve been talking about it for more than two years. First we thought we might read at the General Store Cafe. Then we thought Davenport and Winkleperry. Then, we thought, why not McIntyre’s Books, where the writers read?
Peter Mock checked the schedule. There was a Sunday afternoon open. Most writers could come. So we did it! Our first Kitchen Table Writers Recital with Reception. Parents and friends, professional writers, teachers, and fans of all kinds came to listen. We had been writing and revising for months — some of us for years. We had some good stuff to read, and the audience was riveted.
Some days a teacher gets to just sit back and enjoy. Today was one of those days!