Down in the River to Pray

Author: admin / Tags: chapter one
Free Will Baptist Church

On Sunday mornings, we drive down the windy road to the little white Southern Free Will Baptist Church.

“…take one down, pass it around, thirty-nine bottles of beer on the wall…,” Sadie and I sing the whole way.

The church is tiny but not stuffy like my aunt Martha’s church with its high ceilings and stained glass windows where they all stand and sing from the hymnals in opera-like manner to the sound of an organ. No, these people are boisterous and happy and crank out music on guitars and banjos.


Author: admin / Tags: chapter one
Inseparable sisters

It’s a beautiful Virginia Saturday and I’m banished to the bedroom upstairs at Chestnut Street when a rock hits the window. “Psst! Emma!” I lift it open and look down at Sadie. We’re not supposed to be talking. “Throw something down for me to climb up,” she begs. Earlier in the day, Sadie and I were sent outside to get out of our mother’s hair. We climbed up to the unfinished tree fort my stepfather Henry has been building for us and swung our legs over the side of the sturdy platform overlooking the neighborhood rooftops, planning the secret knock for entry once the walls go up.


Author: admin / Tags: memoir, prologue
For a Dancer, The Memoir book cover

My kitchen is not just messy but days worth of messy – the kind when you’ve run out of clean spots on the counter to set something down. Usually that drives me crazy, but not today. It is afternoon but I couldn’t say what time, having been unemployed now for nine months. I’m still in pajamas, typing on an unmade bed. This is about all the disorder I can handle, but for me that’s a lot. I roll out of bed every morning, reach for my laptop, and start typing, not sure from where this energy is coming.

Article 15

Author: admin

“Sadie, Emma, wake up.” The sun isn’t even up yet. “C’mon girls, let’s go.” It’s Henry jumping around trying to stir enthusiasm, so we get dressed in zombie mode. Our house on Chestnut Street is walking distance to the Penguin Feather, a dusty record store that my stepfather visits often and where Sadie just bought Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. There are hundreds of rock ‘n’ roll stickers and buttons on the wall, and behind the glass are miniature versions of the caterpillar’s hookah from Alice in Wonderland. This morning the store is the site of a live broadcast for WHFS.

Little House on the Prairie

Author: admin / Tags: chapter one
Grandma and Grandpa

Grandma has been sitting with me for an hour with a jar of peanut butter trying to loosen up the wad of gum that Sadie stuck in my hair. My aunt Kate barks, “You two are the reason I’m not having kids.” She is my mother’s younger sister and has just appeared on the cover of a body building magazine. She always adopts the look of her new boyfriend, the former one being a hairdresser with a long frosted mane. The newest claims to be a professional body builder, but behind his back everyone thinks he’s with the CIA.