(A Short Book Review)
Orphan Train is based on a long-forgotten episode in our country’s history. From 1854 to 1929, orphaned or abandoned children were taken by train from the East Coast to the Midwest to be adopted, which usually meant working on a farm or some other form of servitude. It was a hard life for these children, which Kline illuminates so vividly in her novel. …
A Whale of a Good Book
(A Short Book Review)
Before I read Mark Beauregard’s novel, The Whale: A Love Story, I knew very little about Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I had read The Scarlet Letter, but, alas, not Moby Dick. In a way, it may be a good thing that I hadn’t read the tome, because now I can read it with insight I didn’t have before.
I had the good fortune to meet Beauregard at a writing workshop in Tucson, Arizona, where he was one of the instructors. He talked about how understanding the “why” behind the…
Thirty years ago this month Romania’s communist house of cards began to fold, culminating with the execution of its hated dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, and his wife on Christmas Day in 1989. Sadly, the struggle for true democratic reform still continues in the Eastern European country.
Like many Americans, I saw the stories of the horrific conditions in Romania’s orphanages after the revolution exposed the atrocities of Ceausescu’s authoritarian policies. Wanting to build up his work force, in the 1960s Ceausescu mandated every married couple have at least one child or face higher taxes. Families with several children received special recognition…
She Didn’t Have It Coming: Changing the Narrative in the Jack the Ripper and Other Famous Murder Cases
Despite knowing the moniker of the world’s most infamous serial killer, I couldn’t have told you the names of the victims attributed to him. Only that they were all supposedly prostitutes. That is, until I read The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by social historian Hallie Rubenhold.
I knew before I opened The Five that these women had lived hard lives. Not just because of where they were murdered — one of the poorest and…
Honored to have a short story in the January 2019 “Survivor”-themed issue of Pilcrow & Dagger.
She Walks Alone
by Jody Hadlock
Susi sits cross-legged in the living room of her parents’ ranch house watching American Bandstand on the small black and white television set. She keeps the volume low. Turn that damn thing down, her father only had to yell once. Her mother had come scurrying out of the kitchen and given Susi a sharp look.
Most fathers leave for work every morning. Not Susi’s. He sells life insurance from home. Her mother helps with the business and does…
I hold in my hand
It sits there quietly
I cup my other hand
It needs to be protected
But also joy
Like a bird
It will take flight
I un-cup my hand
My soul is patient
Then it flutters
I wrote a short story based on an excerpt from my yet-to-be-published historical novel, Land of Lost Souls. Abe Rothschild has gone back to Cincinnati, thinking he’s gotten away with murder, but his victim, Bessie, shows up as an earthbound spirit. Enjoy!
When my husband finally stumbles into his room well after midnight, I’m waiting for him. He doesn’t undress, just gropes for the massive mahogany bedstead and quickly falls into a deep slumber.
Abe lives at the Burnet House, a grand brick and stone hotel covering an entire block at the southwest corner of Third and Vine…
Who hasn’t thought about their purpose in life?
I thought I had finally found mine, but how do you know when you have? I found confirmation in, of all things, an article in Natural Awakenings, that I picked up at a grocery store. One of the headlines on the cover caught my attention: “Sure Signs That You’ve Found Your Calling.”
The author, Dr. Lissa Rankin, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute and author of The Anatomy of a Calling, listed these six signs. (I’ve paraphrased what she wrote.)
Dr. Rankin: You realize you’ve been training for this since birth…
When author Lionel Shriver gave her now-notorious speech on cultural appropriation at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival, it caused a firestorm, to put it mildly.
The issue made me think of my own writing. The main character in my historical novel is a nineteenth century prostitute. I’ve never been a prostitute, so does that mean I can’t write from the perspective of one? I’ve read three autobiographies of late nineteenth/early twentieth century demi-mondaines, so I feel comfortable doing so. I also recently wrote a short story in which one of the main characters is a Cherokee medicine woman. Do I have…