Fountain Pen Envy

Something there is about the grace and charm of a fountain pen that attracts a writer’s fancy. The efficiency of a keyboard can’t be denied, but occasionally a fountain pen is the instrument I want for journaling or for the first draft of a difficult writing assignment. A fountain pen slows the hand to match […]

The Many Artistic Layers of Charleston Writer Nicole Seitz

I first met Nicole Seitz at Palmetto Christian Academy (PCA), a private Christian-based school that I was visiting for my son’s upcoming academic year. Clad in a smock apron, Nicole smiled warmly and had a smear of paint on her high cheekbones (though I may have imagined that part). Her personality was wholly and gracefully […]

Mapping the Promised Land: A Review of Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep

I find maps fascinating, not so much for their directions, as for what their place names reveal. Take Georgia’s map, for example. First, some patriotic names: Jackson (also Jackson County, Jacksonville), Rossville, Jefferson (-ville and County, too), Madison, Monroe, and Washington (& County). Next, names suggesting  homesickness, longing to travel, or even beauty: Oxford, Rome, […]

Three Long Mountains and a Wood

When I was in Camden, Maine, in late May, I took the Edna St. Vincent Millay walking tour. Granted, more than 100 years after this Pulitzer Prize-winning poet left the town where she grew up, there isn’t much left to see of her. The small house where she lived on Chestnut Street, a block away […]

Does Memoir Tell the Truth?

“But other people in my family have a whole different memory of what happened. You said ‘tell your truth,’ but how do I know what’s true?” Elbows planted on the table, the young woman leaned into her words while her large eyes sent out beams of light from under the rim of her straw hat. […]

Thomas Jefferson’s Amazing Library

While I was visiting Washington D.C., one of  the highlights of my time was spending the afternoon at the Library of Congress, an elegant, imposing building with architecture based on the Opera House of Paris.  The interior is simply breathtaking—every kind of artwork you can imagine is on display—you hardly know where to look, as there is such […]

Raising the Dead through Research: How an Academic Became a Novelist

Our newest blogger, Janet Hogan Chapman, debuts today. She was born in Atlanta and has lived in different areas of the city her entire life. She has a variety of life experiences: wife, mother, grandmother, physician’s assistant, caterer, costumed party character, minister, preschool teacher/director, elementary school teacher, university professor, and last but by no means least, […]