Who says life's no fun after 40? Hayley and her friends prove it's attitude, not age that matters!
Thumb wrestling at Inkwood Books in Tampa, Florida during my signing for THE ART OF STONE SKIPPING
Playing a card game from THE ART OF STONE SKIPPING during my launch party at As the Page Turns in Greenville, South Carolina
At the Atlanta Gift Mart with Charlesbridge Publishing Special Sales Associate Gina Choe and Associate Director of Special Sales Kim Courchesne.
Here I am with NC Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers at a NC Writers' Network Netwest picnic. Great readings, great food--and it wasn't nearly as hot as we look!
Me with three of my wonderful students at John Campbell Folk School
in Brasstown, NC. I taught a class called "Harnessing the Power of Words."
I had the pleasure of speaking at the Dale Baptist Association's annual Women's Retreat in Ozark, Alabama. I'm being introduced here by Wilma Hart, Associational WMU Director.
James Whitcomb Riley's beautiful home in Indianapolis, Indiana, is beautiful!
Riley was in constant demand as a speaker and thousands of people showed up at his poetry readings. Imagine!
An avalanche of authors descended on Greenville indie bookstore, As the Page Turns,
when a group of North and South Carolina writers got together for a group signing.
From left are children's author Dawn Cusick, ATPT owner Lisa Nichols, nonfiction author
Angela Dove, inspirational author Emily Sue Harvey, me, short story author Terry Rollins,
novelist Kathryn Magendie, and nonfiction author Mark Washburn. What fun!
I got to chauffeur legendary prose poet Louis Jenkins around town
when he visited Greenville. Here I am with Louis and my friend and
fellow poet Dana Wildsmith after his reading at the downtown library.
I had a chance to meet and interview The Mayhem Poets when they came to Greenville.
Great guys, great spoken word poetry. They kept 400 middle school students
The beautiful Sebring Lakeside Golf Resort Inn and Tea Room
was the setting for a holiday tea at which I spoke.
It was my good fortune to be in Sebring the same weekend as legendary gospel pianist Derrick Lee
and Grammy nominated singer Rev. Lawrence Thomison. Their concert had normally well-behaved
Methodists dancing in the pews!
I was blessed to have the opportunity to talk about writing with the teen girls at the
Florida Children's Home. Two of the girls shared their poetry; all of them stole my heart.
In Bowling Green, Florida, I did a creativity workshop with ladies from several
area churches. We had a a lot of fun sharing "sensory memories."
More than 130 women participated in my "A New Year: A New You" workshop in Ocala, Florida.
Kathy Patrick's "Books Alive!" inspirational event in Jefferson, Texas, was so much fun it could hardly be called work!
From left to right, that's Kathy, Marcia Gruver, me, and Kathy Whitehead.
I had the privilege of speaking to the Blue Flower Literary Club in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
Theirs is the oldest literary club in the state and their members are as charming and gracious as they are beautiful!
Julian, California, is an old gold mining town that is, today, a favorite spot for tourists.
They have a fabulous library with an active schedule of programs for all ages.
I'm pictured here with head librarian Colleen Baker (behind me) and some of the folk who attended my
communication skills workshop there.
A poetry tea at Hilliard Middle Senior High School, near Jacksonville, FL, is one of my all-time favorite events.
We had a fine time sharing words and some really good food!
Another favorite event was leading the very first UMW retreat ever for Ramona United Methodist Church in Ramona, CA..
This was taken after the P.J. Parade and before the Great Ping-Pong Pound-off!
One of the highlights of my life was visiting Concord, Massachusetts-- home of numerous authors, including my inspiration, Louisa May Alcott.
Here I am perched on the porch of "Hillside House," where Louisa May spent her early teenage years.
What the Alcott family called "Hillside House," Nathaniel Hawthorne called "The Wayside."
He bought and occupied the residence four years after the Alcotts moved out.
The barn on the right was the inspiration for those lively "Roderigo! Roderigo! Saaaaave me!" scenes in Little Women.
Orchard House is right next door to The Wayside. (The Hawthornes and Alcotts were neighbors for 12 years.)
Louisa May was 20 when her family moved into this house. It served as the model for the March family home in Little Women,
which Louisa May wrote sitting at a shelf desk in her bedroom (perfectly preserved behind those two windows on the top right floor).
This is Walden Pond, located only a few miles from the Alcott houses. We were able to walk a trail all the way around the perimeter.
Amazing that Louisa May, Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson all lived
in the tiny little town of Concord at the same time! I tried to drink a lot of water while I was there, just in case...
Not too far from Concord is Sudbury, Massachusetts, home of the Wayside Inn. Immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Tales of a Wayside Inn,"
it was purchased by Henry Ford in 1923, who moved this schoolhouse onto the grounds a few years later.
Supposedly, this is the building that inspired Sarah Josepha Hale's poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
My book, Dancing with My Daughter, is dedicated to my mother--a fiesty, fearless woman who loved music,
friends, family, and growing things. Although the last ten years of her life were spent
in the grip of Alzheimer's disease, her sense of humor shone through till the very end.