Fiction: Stuck

Fahy caught Buck’s unfriendly look. “What’s the matter? Has something happened to Thankful?” “She’s fine under the circumstances,” Buck said in his strongest voice. “I know she’s upset over my being here—but it’s the army.” Buck said nothing more. He’d been sworn to secrecy by Thankful. “The cadet brought us a whole case of fine…

Classics Club Review: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

I had many suitors. In the 1980’s we called admirers something else, but I forget what. Many a suitor wrote me letters. An Irish poet from Limerick with liquid, sensitive blue eyes I met one night on my travels sent letters across the Atlantic for months. I liked his poetry, but he wanted love and…

Fiction: A Lonely Journey

William stood near the Markham quarters, hoping again to catch a glimpse of Thankful. He lit a cigar and took a small sip from his flask. William bathed in nostalgia as the sun came up and the air filled with the sweet sounds of reveille, morning call and stable duty. Screaming children raced out with…

Do Your Characters Need Therapy?

I’ve been to therapy. I wanted to be told I was basically a good person. A friend just told me he would only go to a therapist who was a lot like him. Another said she sometimes went for access to drugs. Are writers therapists? Is writing their therapy? We all know about writers who…

Family Histories: It isn’t even past

We all know that burying our feelings is no way to carry on, yet so much that surrounds family history concerns the well-meaning errors that we make in reacting to extraordinary circumstances.

Fiction: A Secret Meeting

  “Thankful’s been very melancholy lately—homesick, I bet,” Mrs. Markham thought out loud after Thankful excused herself. William glared at Lieutenant Fahy, who sipped his drink and ran his fingers over a fine crystal vase on the whatnot in the corner. “I don’t think it helps much that dear Lieutenant Fahy is so eager to…

Fiction: Drawing From Memory

William sat beneath a cottonwood in the searing heat trying to ignore the hordes of flies and eye gnats commuting from breeze to hot breeze. Kenyon gave him the well-kept sable brushes and the vivid oil tubes left by their fallen leader. William flipped through Ignatius’ leather bound sketchbook with sinking heart. Crow warriors, Sioux…

Cinderella

It has been two years since we brought our foster daughter her Cinderella costume at the mental health hospital. She was trapped in the facility where she spent four months being “snowed” (a term insiders use as code for the state of over-medicated kids). Children in foster care have seemingly endless access to facilities, group…

Fiction: Tolerance

“Yes, preaching the love of Christ will take a show of force,” Miss Peckham scoffed.