Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Good Fortune

It was a weirdly specific message to get from a cookie

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Divorce is an ugly business — at least it was for me. I felt as though everything in my life was broken: my home, my family, even my sanity. I didn’t know it then, but far from being over, my life was about to get interesting.

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Advice for confronting the blank page

Author Vince Vawter draws on decades of hard-earned writing wisdom to craft some inspirational quotes of his own. Vawter will appear at Neighborly Books in Maryville on January 25 and Novel in Memphis on February 10.

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Love for Life

A writer’s grateful tribute to poet and teacher Bill Brown (1948-2023)

My freshman English teacher was a shaggy-haired hobbit-poet in horn-rimmed glasses. Most of Bill Brown’s students towered over him, but his sheer exuberance left us gazing up at him in wonder.

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Love Bites

The healing chugs on, even as grief sometimes circles back

I thought, how ironic, these gashes in my lower cheek and chin, hot and throbbing, my face a surprised welt I knew would scar, the left no longer my good side, a fitting present as I enter my “invisible” elder years more fully.

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Some Words to the Close and Holy Darkness

A writer explores her enduring ties to a seasonal classic by Dylan Thomas

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Every year, when the stresses of the holiday season begin whipping up into frenzy, I weather them by imagining that I’m roaming around the world described in the Dylan Thomas story “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”: the magic of winter, the mysteries surrounding older family members, and the odd flexes of time when normal schedules are suspended.

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The Life of Riley

Lessons in love and loss from a soul with four legs

The rough-looking man who first plucked me from a basket would later say those who believe dogs have no soul only say that because they lack one of their own. I think maybe I taught him that.

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