What Character Did You Want to Be?

I literally wore out a set of Little House on the Prairie books. I read the covers right off of them and kept going until they were in pieces. I LOVED those books. And I wanted to be Laura. I wanted to wear a sleeping cap when I went to bed in a loft. I wanted a sunbonnet (even though Laura refused to wear hers). I wanted to ride to town in a wagon and write on a slate. Shoot, I already had the freckles! Of course, I also wanted to be Heidi. I still have the copy of that book my mother read to me over and over and over again. I wanted to eat toasted cheese and go to the pasture with the goats to pick flowers. I wanted to sleep on a bed of sweet hay (I asked Dad if I could–we DID have a barn full of hay. He said no). I also kind of wanted the nice clothes Heidi got when she was packed off to the miserable city, but I felt like a bit of a turncoat for that. I didn’t just read those stories when I was a child, I lived them. I opened the books and disappeared inside, traveling to the prairie or the alps as surely as if I’d had a plane ticket. Actually, those places were more than real because they lived in my heart. As an adult, I don’t read books […]

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Revisiting My First Love – Poetry

I had a wonderful time at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest this past weekend. I had a chance to teach a class, sit on a panel, and interact with readers (and writers!). Some of my favorite things to do! On Friday I sat in on a poetry workshop with former Wisconsin poet laureate and Kentucky native Max Garland. It took me back to my first love–poetry. It’s such fun to sit with a group of other folks who are passionate about stringing words together in a meaningful way. Which made me realize I’ve never shared my favorite poem (of mine) with you. So here you go–one of my earliest published poems that appeared in Appalachian Heritage way back in 2006. SAD STREAKS AND WEEPY MERINGUES Illness, death, disease and even divorce bring out the mixing bowls, the spoons, the flour, the sugar and the speckled brown eggs. Good women converge in kitchens on far sides of town, all for the expression of love and sorrow, sadness and hope. They consult stained cookbooks, faded cards and memories sharpened with use to concoct something that will stave off the hunger for knowing what comes next—what comes after we get through this . . . And when the pound cake isn’t quite done, with a soft, moist middle that invites us to sink down and find an almost peace— When the sugar in the meringue doesn’t quite melt, and caramel drops bloom like […]

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Southern Kentucky Book Fest – Come See Me!

I’m super excited to be heading to Bowling Green, Kentucky, this week for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest. I’ll be teaching a class titled “Setting as Character” at 9 a.m. Friday morning, attending a meet the authors reception Friday evening, and sitting on a panel titled “People, Places, and Pie” Saturday morning. That last panel is with Karen Spears Zacharias, […]

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Dreaming Big – Once Upon a Prince

When Rachel Hauck released Once Upon a Prince, I hesitated to read the story. I was afraid it was going to be just another reinterpretation of Cinderella. And while I LOVE Cinderella, did we really need another, modern version? Boy, was I wrong! Oh, there are echoes of Cinderella, but somehow Rachel has managed to craft a surprisingly believable commoner […]

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Sometimes I (gasp!) read reviews

So many authors will tell you not to do it. Some even have friends who read reviews for them and only pass along the ones that are really stellar. Because even if there are only a handful of bad reviews, they tend to dent your confidence. Some will even batter your confidence and make you wonder if you really ARE a fraud. Even so, I read reviews. I LIKE hearing what people thought of my books. Once in a while I even learn something I can do better. One reviewer pointed out my tendency to use the word, “somehow,” which seriously weakens whatever it is I’m trying to say. I totally need to thank her! So, last week, I popped in on Goodreads and saw that The Sound of Rain had some new reviews. Mostly good (phew). But one . . . oh my. Sometimes, a reader will just get whatever it is I was trying to do in a way that clarifies it even for me. A reviewer named Kav did that last week. I try to be careful about “tooting my own horn” here on my blog, but this review brought tears to my eyes. So here you go. A review from someone who totally made my day and reminded me why I keep writing. “Sometimes the people who needed the most help didn’t look like they needed any help at all.” (p 290) Sarah Loudin Thomas has […]

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What’s Your Gift?

I’m fairly good at writing. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in love with words since Dad first fell asleep while reading me a book and I had to figure out how to finish the story on my own. But really, even before then, I remember being drawn to words. I wanted to write them, to touch them, to read them. I wanted to OWN words. I used to keep all the junk mail my parents would have normally thrown away. Documents with all those lovely words marching across the paper appealed to something deep inside me. I kept them in stacks and sifted through them–finding a kind of comfort that soothed me. Now, as an adult, I suspect God planted a love of words in my spirit. It’s my gift. Which means I’m NOT good at writing. It simply means God created me with a love for language woven into my very being. It’s not something to be proud of. It simply IS. I see similar gifts in others. My husband speaks the language of music–a foreign tongue to me. Friends speak other languages–hospitality, parenting, management, organization, teaching . . . The list goes on. Sometimes I think we worry too much about what our gifts AREN’T. We look around and see people who are better at something than we are. And we tend to downplay our own gifts because, well, they come more easily. And that makes them seem […]

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