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Obed Caswell and Walter Caswell: Story of Brothers

Note: I became interested in Obed Caswell and his brother Walter when writing a biography about their niece’s husband, Civil War soldier Wells Waite Miller. I am still waiting for the Civil War service and pension records for the Caswell brothers and I expect their story to evolve as I learn more. Is an historical biography ever really “done”? Anyone who has information about Wells Waite Miller, his brother Lodowick, or Obed Caswell/Walter Caswell, please contact me! Obed Caswell was the great-grandson of one Revolutionary War soldier and the grandson of another; the son of a man who fought in

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Untamed Wolf in Me

Any spiritual journey is, if authentically embraced, a journey towards truth—and significant truths often come to us in pieces, rather than all at once.   When on a weekend pilgrimage at the Order of the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, Ohio several years ago, our group paused in front of a statue of St. Francis with a wild wolf that he was said to have tamed. The question that we were asked to consider was: I think the untamed wolf in me is ______.  I found that question intriguing and tried to create an answer. But, I couldn’t. At

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Poem: Summer of 2021

I slog through muck, a sticky mix of wrongs that reign. I protest. I carry with me no sign, only one lone woman’s heart-scream. I side-step puddles, fearful of taking on more dampness, darkness, dread, doubt, despair. And yet And yet In a stagnant pool of tomorrow’s rain I see, within its waters, reflected the howl of another woman’s rage. Despite myself, I hope.

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Creating Stone Soup With a Pen

Now, you all remember Stone Soup, don’t you? In it, starving strangers convinced villagers to add ingredients to their pot of broth, one containing only water and a single stone. As the villagers agreed and added their contributions, the soup fed them all. So, stay with me here. When writing, the stone is your story idea that you water while you also add ingredients to the genesis of that idea. For example: Tossing carrots into the pot could = creating characters. Potatoes? Plot! Squash is the setting. You get the idea.

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Vulnerability

Even though most of us, thankfully, won’t ever need to confess to crapping the bed, we will all have moments when human dignity seems a distant memory. If we’re writers, we’re going to be tempted to write about those moments – and even put our stories where other people can read what we’ve written. That can be risky, even borderline masochistic. My grandmother, for example, once told me that “ladies’ names and ladies’ faces are never seen in public places.” And yet, here I am, ready to write about . . . well, you know. And, when I imagine my

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Poem: Low Tech Reality show

Appreciating urban art, I see “I love you, Tara” spray painted on every other overpass in town.   A sweet, romantic story, I think Until “They Trick Me, Baby” appeared next to one of them.   A plea for mercy! So I cheered on Graffiti Boy/hoped for forgiveness but, alas, it was not to be.   “Tara” was soon crossed out in sprayed splendor, replaced by a heartfelt “I love you, Dorothy.”   Maybe this time? One can only hope.

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