Writing Retreat at Mouse House

About this time, the editor (STILL on vacation in Morocco) is probably approaching the Sahara on camelback and wondering why, oh, why, did she think this trip was a good idea? After all, the temps are over 100 during the day. Perhaps a literary field trip to the frozen north of Indiana will help. And here it […]

Young Bookworms

My grandchildren live with their parents in the downstairs apartment of our house, which brings me the good fortune of being able to read with them every night. I cherish everything about our evening reading routine: choosing the books, sitting side-by side on the couch with a small head leaning against my shoulder, listening to […]

Unexpected Literary Finds on a New Zealand Birding Expedition

Lifetime literary challenge to self:  Visit as many women authors’ museums as I can find in my travels and take inspiration from them. Buy a book, take a photo, read her work. It’s a project that has led me to an invigorating list of authors I might never have otherwise chosen. Part of the fun […]

Georgia Children’s Book Award and The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

To be in a room with dozens of fourth through eighth graders who are about to compete in a state-wide reading quiz bowl is to experience a level of energy and suspense too high to measure. To witness whole teams of bright-eyed kids on the edge of their seats, buzzers in hand, eager to display […]

The Remarkable Journey of Amanda Kyle Williams: Atlanta’s Rising Queen of Crime Fiction

From adolescent non-reader to adult writer of crime thrillers, the story of award-winning author Amanda Kyle Williams is as inspiring as it is surprising. Throw in surviving a chemical addiction and endometrial cancer, and it becomes nothing short of miraculous. If you ask Williams how it happened, she’ll tell you it can only be explained […]

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 Good Doctors McHaney or A Pair of Southern Literature Scholars

On May 12, 2015, Georgia State University announced that Dr. Pearl Amelia McHaney has been named the new Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern American Literature, a prestigious title formerly given to only one other GSU professor, her husband, Dr. Thomas L. McHaney. Both the McHaneys agree they could never have predicted the parallels in […]