A Stranger At The Door

(Just a little story I wrote for Halloween, and for my graduate school writing sample, and never got around to posting. But on the bright side, I’m early for Halloween 2022.)

The kitchen cocooned me in warmth, as the layered scent of flour, nuts, and vanilla swirled around me in a blissful cloud. I trailed my hand along the line of ingredients on the counter, then while my fingers were free of flour or sugar, I skimmed the recipe one more time. With the directions committed to memory, I closed the Braille book and laid it aside.
After a month living with Mac, I couldn’t imagine why the decision to move in with him had been so complex. As it was, I wished for more hours in the day, just to spend them with my fiancé, but moving from my neighborhood in Raleigh with its public transportation and many shops and restaurants within walking distance, to a sprawling home in the country hadn’t been so simple. Had I cautioned myself that I’d be giving up some independence? I couldn’t imagine it now, for I had gained so much more.
Our “Winter Classic Rock” playlist was the perfect soundscape while I sifted and measured – The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, America, and now The Doors, only Jim Morrison was cut off in the midst of shrieking at the top of his lungs. With the silence, the world grew still. Gazing out the window, what light I could see was murky, and not because of my vision. It was a “gray” day.
A crash shattered the silence!
There was no wind to blow the trash can onto its side, and I couldn’t think what else would be so near the back door.
I stopped stirring and listened. Glob of chocolate cookie dough plopping softly back into the mixing bowl, ducks and geese down by the lake, and . .
Someone was at the back door.
Continue reading “A Stranger At The Door”


Golden September: Chapter 1

I will probably never finish this book. But I discovered a couple of chapters tonight, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they didn’t completely suck!
I wrote this around August 2005.
I did not have access to many books back then, so my reading consisted of a lot of Stephen King and V.C. Andrews.
This was my attempt at gothic with a twist.
Continue reading “Golden September: Chapter 1”

April Showers

It was too hot in the house, too hot for spring. The room baked in late-afternoon sun. Simply breathing was calisthenics, with the air as stifling as wet wet wool. Then . . . the scent of all things April floated through the open window on a breeze kissed by the promise of rain.
There was a sound at the door, and when I opened it, a streak of tan and orange fur blew past me. He made a flying circuit through the house, circling the living room, weaving in and out of houseplants with the effortless fluidity that only a feline possesses, darting into the kitchen to sniff at leftover Mexican food and wet coffee grounds in the trash can, ignoring his food bowl, tearing up and down the hall once or twice, digging furiously in his sand box, flying back through the living room. A ribbon of purr-meows trailed him on his mad dash, maybe an invitation to play, maybe a rhetorical question about why humans would be so stupid as to stand still at such a glorious time for running. I assumed he sensed the rain coming, and wanted inside, but after a quick check of his territory, he was gone again. Continue reading “April Showers”

How Porch Swing Writing Got Its Name

My stuffed animals heard a lot of stories when I was a little girl. A pen and paper was no option for a tiny blind writer, and a Perkins Brailler was too bulky to be carried everywhere.
All of the drafting, character sketching, writing, and revising occurred inside my head.
For better or worse, very likely for the better, the audience for those early imaginings was limited to my Grandma, and my stuffed animals. I made up the stories, and just told them to whoever would listen. The “writing” was like dreaming then, but so vivid!
As I grew older, I liked to be outdoors when I was dreamwriting. In the springtime, I spent hours on my Mam-Maw’s porch swing, surrounded by the scent of hyacinths and lulled by the sound of birdsong. Stories took shape against that peaceful backdrop, and although I technically had no way of writing them down, those are still my sweetest writing memories.
Time passed and technology eclipsed my imagining. I possess ways to write that fit in my pocket! Now I write indoors, and publish instantly if I so desire. But I named this blog for the time and place when my writer’s voice was formed, on a porch swing, with spring and youth blossoming, and the possibility of magic in every dawn and evening.
Welcome, to Porch Swing Writing!