Homes, Hikes, and Haunts

Inspiration is everywhere – if we seek, if we see, if we slow down long enough to hear its sweetness. Inspiration sometimes arrives like a whisper, other times like a whirlwind, and still other times like a lumbering and tortured walrus.

I have discovered three sources of inspiration for my writing life even as I have a full and fast-paced work schedule. Whenever I travel, I endeavor to explore a home of some historical figure from the locale. When the weather cooperates, I find time for a local hike—my definition of a hike is only loosely gathered. It could be a walk in a park, a stroll along a historic battlefield, and might even involve an incline or woods on occasion. Finally, I can escape to my past for a haunted kind of inspiration. I find photographs a tangible trigger for those memories and the inspiration that may come from comprehension, acceptance or from the complexity at the muddlement of it all.

This blog is intended to explore how I come to be inspired, where and by what or by whom. And what the writing life is all about.

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The Artless Frames at Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion is a one-hundred-and-seventy-year-old mansion in Nashville, Tennessee. Its salmon-colored, exterior walls and grand interior staircase eloquently mask the fact that this house was built by Adelicia Hayes, the widow of one of the most successful slave traders in American history, who owned approximately seven hundred and fifty slaves over three plantations in Tennessee and Louisiana. This home showcases…
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Mother’s Day Lessons

I’m a bit haunted by Mother’s Day—a difficult day for me at times. Over the past decade or so, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am now motherless and am myself a child-free adult (that’s a fancy new term I just learned this week!). Both facts can be a source of some sadness, a reaction I’ve heard…
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The Sway of Carolina Pines

Trees: wise, sturdy, stoic. I have always loved trees—individually and for the forest they form collectively. These slender pines seem to be on a race to reach the sun, or at least the Carolina blue sky, with their piney tufts topping each barked pole and shading the ground below. But on a recent hike through the Audubon Newhall Preserve on…
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