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Tag: writing

The Joy of Happy Valley

The Joy of Happy Valley

When my husband travels, I often dive into a new series to pass the time in the evenings. He’s taken two extended trips this year, which was just enough for me to get through both seasons of Happy Valley on Netflix. If you haven’t seen Happy Valley, you should watch it. In Happy Valley, middle-aged women are portrayed by actual middle-aged women. This should not be remarkable, but it is. Of course, it’s British; American television would never stand for so…

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The Grand Old (Russian) Party

The Grand Old (Russian) Party

Donald Trump would never have been elected president without the influence of Russia. The Russians may not have changed votes at the ballot box, but they definitely changed voters’ minds. They engaged in a campaign to dupe Americans (and, boy, are we dupable!) into believing that a man with no experience, numerous business failures, and an inability to string together a coherent sentence was a better choice for the Republican nomination than all the other more mainstream candidates. Then, of…

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Give us your tired, your poor…(just joking! lol)

Give us your tired, your poor…(just joking! lol)

I have nothing new or noteworthy to add to the reports of children being separated from their parents at our nation’s southern border. Outrage from all sides of the political spectrum is at a fever pitch, as it should be. But I’m confounded by the gleeful cruelty displayed by the people supporting this policy. From the president’s word choices (infest?) to Jeff Sessions highly selective Bible-thumping to former campaign chair Corey Lewandowski’s mocking of a child with Down syndrome to the…

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The Joy of Rediscovering Shirley Jackson

The Joy of Rediscovering Shirley Jackson

In preparing for a class on gothic elements in fiction, I pulled an old book from my shelves. I’d gone searching for Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, but I found myself drawn to We Have Always Lived in the Castle instead. Have you read this book? I don’t think I’ve read it in more than thirty years, but once I flipped it open I couldn’t put it down. Lordy, it’s amazing. It’s a slim book. My paperback copy comes in…

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What Bill Clinton Should Have Said

What Bill Clinton Should Have Said

Former President Bill Clinton answered a question about his history of sexual misconduct with a defensive deflection and a series of justifications that don’t hold up under scrutiny.  It’s been more than 20 years since Clinton’s workplace affair with intern Monica Lewinsky led the news, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. In February, Vanity Fair published an insightful piece by Lewinsky about the scandal, her role in it, and the repercussions of the investigation on her life. If only Clinton…

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The Pro-Lifers are Killing Us

The Pro-Lifers are Killing Us

Today, the current administration will announce a plan to tie federal funding dollars for health clinics to abortion policies. This is wrong. Look, reasonable people can agree to disagree on the issue of abortion, but history tells us that the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and, by extension, abortions, is through education and affordable, accessible birth control. This isn’t anecdotal; we have solid evidence. Clinics that provide access to birth control, health screenings, pre-natal care, and more, are primarily, though…

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This is Not Funny

This is Not Funny

I don’t love insult comedy. There’s such a fine line between poking fun and being mean. One person’s idea of a gentle ribbing is another person’s scathing takedown. It takes real finesse to get it right. The strength of great comedy is that it exposes ugly truths while making us laugh. It tells us something new or shows us how to look at something in a new way. I didn’t watch the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with Michelle Wolf, but…

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A Matter of Character

A Matter of Character

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” —attributed to various people, but mostly Malcolm Forbes This week when reports started surfacing about Dr. Ronny Jackson, the nominee to lead Veterans Affairs, I said to my husband, “I know that guy.” I don’t actually know him, of course, but I know his type. When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked at a television station in Texas. One…

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Chatting with Strangers

Chatting with Strangers

I spent the past week traveling through my home state of Mississippi. I read from my latest novel at bookstores in Oxford, Greenwood, and Jackson, before heading to New Orleans for the Tennessee Williams Festival. My mother and my husband stuck with me through Mississippi, but I am on my own in New Orleans. I don’t mind traveling alone. When you explore a city on your own, you can do it any way you please. And it’s a good way…

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Daddy’s Girl Needs To Go Home

Daddy’s Girl Needs To Go Home

Ivanka Trump has an identity problem. Ivanka got testy when asked whether she believes the women who have accused the president of sexual harassment and assault. “I think it’s a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father when he’s affirmatively stated there’s no truth to it,” she said. “I don’t think that’s a question you would have asked many other daughters.” What Ivanka needs to understand is that no one wants to…

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