Sunday, June 30, 2019

Judy Featured in Two Events July 17 and August 17, 2019

Photo by Emma Tobin, December 2018

Judy Hogan featured in two events: July 17 and August 17, 2019

July 17, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. I’ll be at the Eva Perry library in Apex near Raleigh, for an author tea, along with authors Peggy Payne and Anna Jean Mayhew. The Eva Perry Regional Library is at 2100 Shepherd’s Vineyarad Dr., Apex, NC 27502. 919-387-2122. Contact: Lisa Locke, Adult Services Librarian. Tea will be served, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions. Please come. It should be fun. 

Peggy Payne (born 1949) is a writer, journalist and consultant to writers. She has written four books and her articles, reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, among others. Her books focus on spirituality.

Anna Jean (A.J.) Mayhew’s first novel, The Dry Grass of August, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Book Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. She has been writer-in-residence at Moulin à Nef Studio Center in Auvillar, France, and was a member of the first Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers' Network. A native of Charlotte, NC, A.J. has never lived outside the state, although she often travels to Europe with her Swiss-born husband. Her work reflects her vivid memories of growing up in the segregated South. A.J.—a mother and grandmother—now lives in a small town in the North Carolina Piedmont with her husband and their French-speaking cat.

Judy Hogan was co-editor of a poetry journal (Hyperion, 1970-81).  In 1976 she founded Carolina Wren Press.  She has been active in central North Carolina as a reviewer, book distributor, publisher, teacher, and writing consultant. She was one of the founders of the NC Writers Network, and chaired the board from 1983-7.
She has published twenty-two books including seven volumes of poetry, ten mystery novels, and four non-fiction books, the latest being Baba Summer: Part One about her experiences with Russians in the 90s. Between 1990 and 2007 she visited Kostroma, Russia, five times, teaching American literature at Kostroma University in 1995 and giving a paper to a Kostroma University Literature Conference in March 2007. She worked on five exchange visits, as well as cooperative publishing with Kostroma writers and exhibits of their artists. Judy lives and farms in Moncure, N.C., near Jordan Lake. 

On August 17, Saturday at 2 p.m. Judy will read at the South Regional Library in Durham from two new books, Baba Summer: Part One, and Bakehouse Doom: The Tenth Penny Weaver Mystery. After a short break, Judy will give a workshop on writing memoir, from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and buy books. A memoir is a form that is quite flexible, and most people can do it fairly easily–tell the story of their lives.
The South Regional Library is at 4505 South Alston Ave, Durham, NC 27713. Contact Teresa May, 919-560-7410. It’s free!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Late Years Thirty-Four

Blue Grosbeak. Photo by Ellen Tinsley, DVM

The Late Years Thirty-Four  June 23, 2019

Did the little bird miss me when 
I stayed home to avoid the rain?
Then it didn’t rain. He hadn’t
forgotten me and sang robustly
from the razor wire protecting the
dam machinery and later let me
close before he dipped his wings
and flew away. When you move
slowly as I do now, you see more. 
You have time to watch the eagles
flying over. Once I saw two, both
carrying fish. The fishermen ignore
them, and the eagles ignore the
fishers. Right at the end, as I
return to my truck, I hear the
Carolina Wren cheering, cheering,
cheering me. I watch for morning
glory leaves, some orange native
ones, some invasive purples,
blues, pinks, and whites–no color
yet but crowding heart-shaped
leaves. Here no one fears them.
In my garden they can wrap
around a tomato plant and squeeze
it to death. Here their bright colors
imitate the sunrise, and no one
minds. They can be as invasive
as they want to be. The stones
and dirt that make this dam are

glad to see them, as am I.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Late Years Thirty-Three

Photo of family of deer crossing shallow water only a few feet from Doc Ellen Tinsley DVM

The Late Years Thirty-Three  June 16, 2019

Sometimes, when you have trust in
yourself, other people, the way things are 
made, results you never dreamed of
come to pass. You learn that the treasurer
of the coal ash fighters has quit, not the
first to give up hope. Then a name falls
into your mind. She seems like a long
shot, but, impulsively, you ask, and
she agrees to be the treasurer, which
saves our group from dissolution. I
promise to help her and show her
what to do. You were worried about
money, too. Can you pay for your
groceries till the end of the month?
Much less, any new expenses? Then
the bank statement comes. The sales
of your books through Amazon has
brought in over a hundred dollars. 
And your son’s dog, Sophie, so 
fearful of being abandoned, hunts
for him, waits for him, but then
comes to you, when you call her, to be 
petted and comforted. Sometimes
the Universes gives you the kind of
consequences you didn’t dare imagine. 
Not deus ex machina, which it feels
like, but fruit falling into your hands
from the trees you took care of. Yet
such fruit can only be called
the Gift of Grace.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Late Years Thirty-Two

Judy at Lifestyle Workshop, by Elisabeth Plattner.

The Late Years Thirty-Two June 9, 2019

Alone again, but then I have always been.
Today, only I to walk the dam, hear the
little bird who sings to me. The fishers
are down below. An early eagle flies 
low over the dam. When it rains, my
bird stops singing. When I take down
my umbrella, he starts agaain. A
Carolina wren joins, then a cardinal.
A few lights come on as the clouds
move back in. I’m alone, yet connected.
Each of us, the bird, the fishers, the big
eagles, all alone, like it or not. I know
I take more risks than some. I want to
be in this life as long as I can. To be
alive–fully alive–is to be at risk. In
one way it’s all risk. You love someone,
and rarely and amazingly sometimes
he loves you. But sometimes not.
In any case, you’re always still on 
your own. Don’t forget. Yet one small
singer, blue-winged, can make
all the difference.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Late Years Thirty-One

Blue Grosbeak photo by Ellen Tinsley, DVM

The Late Years Thirty-One June 2, 2019

When I arrived at the dam, a little bird
sang to me. He perched on a pipe by the
side of the road over the top of the dam
some minutes before sunrise, and as I
walked closer, he flew to the next pipe 
and again sang. Then the next. When
his mate joined him, they flew up and
then down to the river. I made their
day without even trying, and trying
sometimes doesn’t do it. A freely given 
gift, on the other hand, is always
welcome. What do I give the dark
blue bird, the blue grosbeak, with
his merry song? Only my presence.
He doesn’t ask me for food or drink.
But each morning he returns, as if
to lead me toward the sunrise he
knows in his small bones is coming
closer any minute. He thinks he has
made a conquest since I follow him and
love his little warble, and miss him
when he swoops off again. So many
gifts are given to us every day, but
we have to see them and let them
in to our deep soul. Who would
have thought that my hydrangea bush,
a gift of my daughter, then cut to the 
ground by a neighbor man helping
with yard work, would not only rise
again but put on a hundred blue
blooms? Do we see these gifts? Can
we allow what lies outside our 
familiar inner world, to stir our
gratitude when it’s so freely given?