I promised some good news, Dear Reader. The life of an author is lots and lots and LOTS of no. Especially when the author is bullheaded.

Like me.

It takes doggedness to get people to say yes, and those yeses are the building blocks of good news. I’ve always wanted to see my name listed with a famous author or several. We nobodies dream of rubbing shoulders with somebodies, because maybe their writing juju will rub off on us.

Last week, Humanities Tennessee invited me to be a featured author at the 2015 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. Along with the likes of these people. Right here.

good news southern festival of books

The Southern Festival of Books is one of the oldest author-to-reader book events in the country. It isn’t the first time I applied to a festival and was ignored or told no. I submitted Not Without My Father to several such events this year.

But to be invited to one of the longest-running book festivals in the United States? And see my name listed with sensations like Rebecca Wells and Scott Westerfeld?


If you’re anywhere near Nashville on October 9 – 11, 2015.

If you’re looking for an excuse to be there.

Come see whether I can hold my stuff together
with the Big Dawgs.

Because I think I’ll embarrass myself every time I turn around and bump into another writing idol.


This good news is only the beginning……………I have more………….stay tuned.


Back in November, MTM broke his collarbone due to someone else’s stupidity. Sticks. Stones. Was it the stress of being his nursemaid or the parasite living in my right eye that caused me to almost go blind?

I still don’t know.

MTM was released from his surgeon today. He’s free to do push-ups. Or lift weights. But mostly, he wants to hop on the bike again.

Horror and worry for me.

I stopped taking prednisone last week. While I’ll likely have a small blind spot in my right eye forever, it’s in the periphery. I didn’t lose my eyesight altogether, but I found about ten extra pounds.

Thanks, steroids!

We’re both grateful for the notes, the e-mails, and the expressions of both sympathy and righteous anger. MTM’s shoulder may never be the same. I might not see everything in front of me. But we got through the most stressful time of our ten year marriage. We stayed on schedule……..well, mostly on schedule.

Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time
will launch March 15, 2015.


It’s late because I couldn’t see to proof it. And I’m almost never home. Still, I hope you’ll mark your calendars. I’m proud of my photography collection. An 8×8 glossy paperback, it will be available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $19.99. You can also request it at any bookstore or library.


If you’ve read my books, the pictures are a fitting compliment to both stories. And if you haven’t, they might inspire you. The book would also make a lovely gift for the visual people in your lives.

You might inspire someone
to Make a Memory
on the Trace.

No Make a Memory visit to the Trace
is complete without my books!

Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the NatchezTo Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether LewisGet your copies of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis and Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by heading to my


Robert Miller is a stalwart figure in my life.

Black clad tallness. Weird architect glasses. His smile blazes across a continent.

Love has many facets. Romantic and passionate.
Stalwart and faithful.

And I love Robert in the stalwart, faithful way.

robert mtm and me

For almost a decade, MTM and I shared a close life with Robert and his wife Sharon O’Driscoll. We walked to their house for dinners, drinks and conversation. We laughed together about Quirks of the Architect. In the classroom, Robert and MTM sat on numerous reviews, teaching architecture’s future how to design a built environment that will be remembered.

Everything changed when Robert and Sharon moved to Tucson, Arizona. Robert is the Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona, a well-deserved promotion. Two thousand miles away.

Even though he’s one of the busiest people I know, Robert took the time to write a Make a Memory submission. That’s the kind of friend he is. MTM and I miss him and Sharon.

Every day.

Make a Memory. In Robert’s words.

I used to have two good friends. The three of us were, or had once been, university professors. We were all married, rode bicycles, and had other common interests. We never had time for ourselves.

So once a month, every month, one of us treated the other two to lunch at a French restaurant.

We always ordered the same thing—with wine. We sat at the same table. We told the same bad jokes, at which we perpetually laughed.

I now live in a different city. It doesn’t have a French restaurant. And I don’t have two such friends. But I smile when I remember those outings. Every time.

robert miller aiaRobert Miller, AIA, is the Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona (2010). Holding a BA in Architecture from Clemson (1976) and an M.ARCH with a Certificate in Urban Design from Rice (1979), Miller worked for several firms in the south before starting his own practice in 1986. An adjunct at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, he taught at Clemson University from 1990-2010, serving as Professor-in-Residence at the Daniel Center in Genoa, Italy (1997-1999) and Director of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (2000-2010). For more about Robert, click HERE.

Make a Memory is a movement, a challenge to turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did in 2015. Reach out and claim an adventure this year. Make a Memory before it’s too late.

Who would you invite to Make a Memory? What would you do together?

Share your invitations on social media with the hashtag #MakeaMemory. Tag your loved ones. Make a Memory in 2015. To get started, click HERE.