An Ungraceful Gesture

Very happy to have a new short story up at Eunoia Review. Check out this online literary journal – lots of great stories and poems!

Eunoia Review

Grif didn’t know what to make of the new teacher dressed in an oversized man’s wool sweater and a long patchwork hippie skirt. Three weeks ago, at the interview, Lila Waterford had worn a smart two-piece suit, heels, and carried an expensive leather briefcase. An import from Phoenix, he thought she’d bring a little professionalism to the rural one-building school nestled amongst the towering ponderosa pines of the northern Arizona forest.

Now, he could see he was wrong. She was a mess. Not only were her clothes too big and looked like they came out of a church donation box, she was pale, slack. Her long copper hair was pulled back into a loose bun, none of the styled curls he’d noticed earlier.

Lila sat at her desk, grading papers, or so it seemed. Grif watched as she moved her pen across the page, transferred the worksheet from one folder…

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I Don’t Have to Talk to Anyone and Other Reasons I Like Residencies

Weymouth HouseWe share a wing in author James Boyd’s house, part of the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Four or five writers are here now. I’m not sure of the numbers because few of us leave our rooms, except for occasional necessities. Every once in a while, two or more folks end up in the kitchen at the same time. They chat for a few minutes, then ghostly, they disappear into their rooms.



Writer At WorkI’ve seen Carolyn most often. We seem to keep the same coffee hours, the same late evening walking hours. We’ve agreed to do a reading of our work Thursday night. We’ll see if anyone else wants to join, but so far, I haven’t seen anyone else since my arrival. And you know what? It’s okay. I love not feeling like I have to be social. I say hello when I fill my coffee cup and then leave. Others (well, Carolyn)  do the same, usually with the preface, “I have to get back to work.” No rest for the writing weary.

I’m staying in the Paul Green room, a North Carolina writer and playwright. He might be most famous for The Lost Colony play, at least that’s how I know of him. Across the hall from me is the Thomas Wolfe room and the Max Perkins room. I was hoping for the F. Scott Fitzgerald room. Or even Sherwood Anderson, whose linked short stories were the cornerstone of my MFA craft thesis, but that’s okay, I’ll take Paul Green. I love The Lost Colony play and recommend to anyone who spends time in the Outer Banks.

Behind the Weymouth house is a state park with a few loop trails. The trails are sand. Lots of pines. It’s a nice walk in the evening, because during the day, it’s hot. Central Carolina hot. The grounds are filled with beautiful gardens and several lily ponds and fountains. It’s tempting to swim in one of them. But I won’t. I’d like to come back again.









When is the best time for writing? Or to create any art for that matter? For me, I write best in the morning. Well, maybe not “best” but the inspiration flows freely and I get a lot down on paper (paper and pen for the first draft works well for me, too.)

I’m able to write a good bit between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. Now, that is about to change. Upcoming job will require me to start at 7 a.m. and add on to that about a 45minute to an hour commute. So I’ll leave the house by 6:00, awaken at 5:00…it will take me that long just in ingest enough coffee to make me functional.

In preparation for these changes, I’ve been trying to write in the evenings. It’s turned out to be more editing and revising. That’s going ok. Editing seems to be an after-work sort of task. I’m wondering how the changes will affect writing something new?

What works best for you? If you have additional responsibilities (other jobs, kids, etc.)how do you schedule your creative time?

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