Over thirty years ago, I sat down with my grandmother, Florence Mamie Miller Jervis, my dad’s mother, to record her story, her life growing up on a dairy farm with eight siblings, and then joining that farm with a neighboring farm when she married my grandfather. She had six children of her own, the second, her only daughter, dying of crib death at only ten hours old. I recorded tape after tape with my grandmother, chronicling her life, and after she died, over fifteen years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to those tapes, until I started writing a novella-in-flash last year about my times growing up on the farm where I spent most of my summers and holidays. But my story was not enough. I knew I needed to weave in my grandmother’s story as well, so I brought out the tapes, and as I listened to them I was transported right back to her kitchen in the farmhouse where we had sat and recorded the tapes so many years ago. She was right there beside me again, as I know she has always been. And I know how pleased she is that her story will be out in the world now. Alien Buddha press will be publishing my novella-in-flash Unpasteurized on July 16. It will be available on Amazon. It is a work of fiction, but it is based on my experiences on the farm and the life of my grandmother and lessons she taught me along the way. I dedicate this work to her. And I hope you will come to love her as much as I do. I am blessed to be one of her many grandchildren and one of the many she took in when they were at a crossroads.

The Writing Life

Writing is hard. I hear that all the time from the students I tutor. It is. But it is also such a beautiful way to unravel this crazy world, the only way I know to part the veil and see what truly matters, what truly Is. Though the publishing world can be daunting and discouraging at times, I can’t imagine giving up. I know my words matter, and I believe 2023 will see my short story cycle, Search Party, set on the eastern shore of Maryland, and my novella-in-flash, Unpasteurized, based on my times growing up on my grandparents’ dairy farm in Pennsylvania, in print. I look forward to sharing my years of labor and insights with the world. But, in truth, I write for myself. I write to live.