Recipes from my dad

My dad, Jack F....more

Behind the Book (Day Two)

It’s an office tour! See where I write, meet the literary kitties, and get a glimpse of the things that surround me as I work, from books (and more books!) and other research materials to a human jawbone, various Appalachian and Arctic souvenirs, and ABBA clogs. (Yes, clogs.)   ...more

Behind the Book (Day One)

So I’m going to try something new. It’s called: Take the Reader Along with Me on the Writing Journey, or I Refuse to Sit Here and Do it Alone. As I start work on my next (i.e. seventh) book, I’m going to attempt to post something every day, even if it’s only a paragraph, or maybe even a sentence, or perhaps, depending on the day, just a single word. Here’s what you need to know:...more

The Boys of My Dreams (or: I Was Almost a Rock Star Detective)

I got the scrapbook for my tenth birthday—a large spiral-bound book with a groovy green cover.  On the front, there was a cartoon drawing of a girl with daisies in her hair, wearing a daisy yellow dress, carrying daisies, walking barefoot through a field of daisies, and talking to a butterfly....more

A Veterans Day Letter from 1944

I was the only grandchild on my dad's side.  These were the things I knew about my grandparents (two of my very favorite people ever):  Cleo, my grandmama, loved to take me shopping for clothes and Barbies.  She was straightforward and honest and statuesque--she always had a wonderful figure, which she was very proud of.  She was fun.  When we visited them in the summer, she would fry up a pound of bacon each morning because she k...more

Lulu, the Fulltime Cat

For those of you who don’t know her, Tallulah Bankkitty, better known as Lulu, is part Scarlett O’Hara, part Tinkerbell, and part Bonnie Parker.  She is the minxiest, smartest, flirtiest, cleverest little soul, and I am lucky to have her.  But, as my mother says, she is very much a fulltime cat.  She is also the most enthusiastically involved and interactive literary cat I’ve ever known....more
Thank you, Denise! I'll be sure to tell her! @Denisemore

Why Writing a Book is Like Buying a House

Recently, I received an e-mail from one of my best friends, who has just purchased his first house.  It occurred to me, while reading it, that there are some striking similarities between what he’s going through right now and my own experience as I work—like the proverbial dog, may I add— on book number seven.  Just a few things to keep in mind when you decide to buy a house: (Or write a book…) -Lowe’s/Home Depot/Target and any substance that makes you forget what you are doing will be your new best friends....more

A Letter to My Twenty-Year-Old Self

You are young, so I understand if you don’t want to hear this, or can’t hear it right now.  You might want to put it aside because you are busy—not in the way you’ll become busy later, but at the moment you have friends to meet and probably a boy waiting somewhere.  Activity.  Life.  You can stay up late—even all night—and never feel it the next day.  You don’t use moisturizer.  You don’t work out.  You are invincible....more