X. On Becoming a Writer: North Carolina

I end my series “On Becoming a Writer” in North Carolina, where I have lived since leaving New York. I taught only two semesters at Essex County College, because we moved that summer to Boone, where Tom was Associate Pastor at the Boone Methodist Church. With us was our three-week-old daughter, Carol. Talk about a wild year!…

IX. On Becoming a Writer: New York City

After seven years in South Carolina, I cashed in my small savings, rented a U-Haul and moved my few belongings, including three cats, to New York City. The man I had been dating up and down the Eastern seaboard was a student there, but since I wasn’t ready then to commit to marriage, I rented…

VI. On Becoming a Writer: San Juan Acozac

That first day, walking along the dirt road through the village, I worried I might catch some dread tropical disease and die. We had already settled in where we would live that summer, the six women in a barn, its floor dirt, the one window a large open square without panes or curtains or a screen (we hung…

V. On Becoming a Writer: Appalachia

Well before I graduated from high school, I knew where I would go to college. Because of that, I applied to only one school, a small Methodist liberal arts college in the Appalachian region of Southwest Virginia. My sister had gone there for two years, and the day our family drove her down the long…