I sit down next to a woman on the plane. She’s on the phone, and I hear distress in her voice. She’s telling someone that she’s hurrying to Alaska. She’d thrown clothes in a bag and gotten a ticket that morning. She ends the call, stows her phone in her purse while I stay quiet and keep reading a novel for an upcoming course.KEEP READING >>
December. You meet with the plastic surgeon in Charleston. He seems amiable and knowledgeable. You ask if you can have the surgery but keep your hooded eyelids.
He says he can be conservative. Not take out too much. But when he shows you his before and after photos,KEEP READING >>
It’s April, 2020. Lots of us are at home to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19, but we’re probably itching to go an adventure, like say, India to sip chai tea or Big Sur in a convertible. We’ll for sure be roaming again, but for now, while we hang out in our sweats,KEEP READING >>
A week ago, I was staying at our family beach house, and I found lots of old magazines from around 2010 and 2011—House Beautiful, Bon Appetit, Porter… (thank you to the cousin with great taste!) While flipping through the pages, I decided to make a vision board.
I’d once created a mood board at a workshop at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston.KEEP READING >>
I took this photo at MoMA. I liked the art in the background but I was more focused on the women and their clothing. I feel like I dress similarly to the woman on the far left. I wear black and navy blue to which I’ll sometimes add a pop of color.KEEP READING >>
I went to a museum in Charleston, SC. I started off with the historic paintings in gilt frames protected under low lighting and I felt somewhat neutral. In my twenties, I’d studied at the Louvre in Paris for a year. I’d stood in front of a Courbet and Caravaggio and Delacroix while a French teacher lectured about each painting and I took notes.KEEP READING >>
At a women’s outdoor adventure weekend, I held a compass in my palm. I stared down at the arrow ready to make things right.
When I was seventeen, I went on a twenty-one day Outward Bound course in the North Carolina mountains, because my father thought it would be good preparation for college.KEEP READING >>
August 2018 was our official initiation into empty-nesthood. But two months after our youngest child went to college, our oldest son moved back in. We both admitted we were relieved. We weren’t yet ready to be set free, our identities still attached to parenthood. Plus, it was just nice to have him home.KEEP READING >>
For years, I complained about my local post office. The lines! The long wait. But as I started putting together a business selling my art prints, I needed mailing advice. I had no idea about package weights, labels and First Class or Priority, so I kept going in to my post office and asking questions.KEEP READING >>
I attended a photography retreat in Burgundy. I took lots of notes but I noticed compared to others, I didn’t take a ton of photos. I was thinking ahead to me back home scrolling through hundreds of photos. It felt complicated. So I kept it simple. Just enough to practice my new skills in letting in or keeping out the light.KEEP READING >>
I went to the beach in June to make a decision. The question, Should I start a business selling my art prints? was simple. But it felt overwhelming because I’d never run a business. Packaging, shipping, staying organized, these thoughts floated like UPS trucks through my brain. I sat on the porch and rocked and contemplated.KEEP READING >>
Pay attention—two simple words essential to creative writing.
One definition of “pay” is to “give or bestow.”
The word “attention” derives from the Middle English word “attend” or to apply one’s mind—one’s energies to someone or something.
To me, paying attention means being present with a purpose.KEEP READING >>
My favorite Coen brothers’ film is Raising Arizona. It’s the story of a soft-hearted, ex-con husband H.I. McDunnough and his infertile wife, Ed, who decide to kidnap a quintuplet in Tempe, Arizona because his real parents already “have more than they can handle.”
It’s full of frantic fun and makes me laugh out loud and the dialogue is the best.KEEP READING >>
The way Georgia O’Keeffe lived her life inspires me—from her art to her clothing to her home design.
O’Keeffe was born in Wisconsin in 1887. Her family then moved to Virginia. She went on to study art at various schools, but it happened to be one particular art professor at Columbia University in New York who greatly influenced her.KEEP READING >>
In 1987, I was studying art history at the École du Louvre when I met an older German man named Peter.
Peter was stern, didactic, exacting, prickly and super intellectual. He relished arguing loudly at dinner for the fun of it. Something a young twenty-three-year-old Southern woman wasn’t used to.KEEP READING >>