Hats off to Goliath

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It’s not every day that a major New York press launches a book in Catawba County, so tomorrow may be a first. Novelist Susan Woodring of Drexel, NC, will unveil Goliath, from St. Martin’s Press at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at Conover Branch Library. Conover is part of the Catawba County Library system, where I work. I’m excited to introduce …

Among the “Road Scholars”

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It’s official. As of this week, the North Carolina Humanities Council has me listed on their speaker’s bureau website as one of their Road Scholars. I’m honored to be among the more than 70 North Carolinians who are able and willing to speak to nonprofit public groups about various aspects of the humanities–from literature to history, arts, drama, music and …

A full-circle tour

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Thanks to everyone to turned out at my readings and supported my first book tour to Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It was exciting to read as part of a short story panel at the Virginia Festival for the Book. This event, in its 18th year, is the largest in the region, drawing thousands of readers and select writers to share …

David McCullough, a national treasure

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When I say that author David McCullough is a national treasure, I’m not being trite. I’ve admired his work for years. While in graduate school, I was asked to bring in a quote from an author I admire. I immediately thought of McCullough’s opening lines to The Johnstown Flood: Again that morning there had been a bright front in the …

A salute to Reynolds Price

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The NC Arts website invites visitors to write tributes to the late great Reynolds Price. Here’s my contribution to the cause: Completing an assignment for my MFA, I wrote a paper about creating the child’s world in fiction. One of the elements I identified was small treasures, those amulets that add special magic to a child-narrated story. I’d seen such …

A review in the Review

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Ten years ago, my story “Dining with Robert Redford,” caught the eye of Dr. Margaret Bauer, editor of North Carolina Literary Review at East Carolina University. Her acceptance was one of my first paid fiction publications. I was thrilled to receive my copy of the journal containing the story…just as thrilled as I am this week to see the journal’s …

Time Traveling at the Keyboard

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Recently a family member commented, “Wouldn’t it be nice to time travel?” I laughed. As a writer, I do it quite often. When you ruminate on an episode, a place or conversation from the past, it’s amazing what can bubble up. Reliving the past is a form of time travel. Writing about real-life chapters tends to muddy the water of …

Robert Morgan and Daniel Boone

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I’ve just finished reading Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan. It was our book club selection for January. I see why this work is so highly praised. Morgan’s talent for prose and attention to detail is stunning. Boone puts flesh and bones onto the myth of this American hero. While reading the 400-plus page tome, I couldn’t help but envision …

2012 calendar filling up

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2011 was a banner year for me, but the coming year promises to be a busy one as well. January brings an appearance with award-winning poet John Lane at Poetry Hickory on Jan. 10 at Taste Full Beans coffee house. This monthly gathering in Hickory is arranged by Scott Owens who welcomes prose writers as well. I am honored to …