So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label Estelle Darrow Rice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Estelle Darrow Rice. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Story About a Dog

Today I will share an excerpt from Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins; Family Pets and God's Other Creatures by Estelle Rice and Glenda Beall

I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.   ---Doris Day

Rescued by Love
Glenda Beall

Bundled against February’s cold, my husband Barry and I walked along the road near the Hiawassee River, making our way up to Chatuge Dam where we would find a flat trail for our morning walk. At the corner of the main road and the road to the weir, a puppy lay under a bare limbed tree. Stretched out on his belly, head up and ears alert, he watched the road before him as though he expected someone to appear at any minute.
Barry talked to him as we approached. “Hey, Bud, what are you doing here?”
When we came closer, the dog moved away from us and growled low in his throat. Obviously, he was frightened.
“I hope he doesn’t get hit by a car. I think he’s been dumped out here. He’s not very old.” Barry loved animals. It angered him to see them abused. “How could anybody throw away this puppy, and on a cold day like this?”
A dog’s tail can show his attitude, angry, cowed or happy, but this dog’s tail had been bobbed to a short little nubbin.
“He has the coloring of a Doberman or Rottweiler,” I said as we continued to walk past. I hoped he would be safe. He was close to a fairly busy road.
Later, on the way back to our car, we saw the dog again, and this time he ran when we approached.
Back home after lunch, I read a book while Barry napped. Around 2:00 p.m., after he awakened and watched some golf on TV, Barry said to me, “I’m going to take that dog something to eat if he is still there. I imagine he’s been picked up by now, but I hate to leave him with nothing to eat.”
He pulled a couple of cans of dog food off the shelf in the pantry. As he left, I thought about Kodi, our lovely and sweet Samoyed who stayed on my mind most of the time. We had to put him to sleep on Christmas day. That had been only a couple of months before. Kodi was thirteen years old, snowy white with fur as soft as down. His black eyes had become a milky blue, but his smile was the same. I never looked at my loving white sled dog that I didn’t smile back at him. The last four years of his life had been tough for him and for us. He had developed corneal ulcers on both eyes. We’d taken him to specialists and finally cured that problem, but his hips began to fail. Getting to his feet became a struggle, and often I had to lift him up off the floor so he could get his footing. But he continued to steal my heart with his gentle way of leaning against me and laying his muzzle across my knee while I stroked his head.
Everything in our house reminded me of my beloved pet: his food bowl, his pink toy with chewed ears and even the recliner where I sat. I still checked under the foot rest before letting it down to be sure Kodi was not lying there, right under my feet, as he had done for all those years.
A friend, a few weeks after Kodi died, told me we should get another dog right away. “No,” I said. “I don’t want another dog. I can’t stand losing another.” The only dog I wanted was gone.
When Barry said he would like another dog, I said, “I don’t want a dog now. If I ever do get another dog, I want a small lap dog.”
I knew Barry did not want a small dog, and I wanted no dog at all. Nothing was fun anymore. And only my dearest friends and my sister knew how devastated I really was over the death of Kodi. 
That Saturday afternoon in February, as I sat warm and cozy reading, Barry knelt on the ground near the black and tan pup, coaxing him to come eat from the can in his hand.
Two hours after he left, I heard my husband’s happy voice calling from downstairs in the basement. “Come down here and see what I have. I brought this puppy home with me.”
I heaved a large sigh. I didn’t want a mutt found beside the road. Who knew what kind of health problems he had? And I didn’t think he was handsome. He was just a mixed breed puppy with no tail.
“We’ll have to find his owner or find a home for him,” I said. I made sure Barry knew there was no way I was going to keep this thrown-away dog. He agreed that we would use every means to find the owner, and if we couldn’t, we would find a good home for him.

This is part of a story you will find in the book and there are many more. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Writers’ Night Out Announces 2018 Schedule

Karen Paul Holmes began Writers' Night Out in Blairsville several years ago and it is one of my favorite literary events in our area. She has created another outstanding schedule of readers for this year. I am excited, of course, that Estelle Rice and I are on this schedule. We will read in November from our soon to be released book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins, Stories and Poems about Our Pets and Other Creatures. 

Writers’ Night Out begins its eighth season on April 13 and continues the second Friday of the month through November. Featured readers present their work at 7 p.m., and an open microphone follows, where audience members can share three minutes of their own poetry or prose. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA.

The 2018 schedule of featured readers from North Carolina and Georgia

April 13: Mike James and Michael Walls
May 18: Jennifer Lux and Rupert Fike
June 8: Michelle Castleberry and Karen Paul Holmes
July 13: Joan Howard and Jane Simpson
Aug 10: Kimberly Simms and Mary Ricketson
Sept 14: Robert Kendrick and Janice Moore
Oct 12: Danielle Hanson and Loren Leith
Nov 9: Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice

April reader, Mike James, is the author of eleven poetry collections. His most recent books include: Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog, 2017), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle, 2017), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag, 2016.) 

His work has appeared in over 100 magazines throughout the country in such places as Tar River Poetry, Soundings East, and Laurel Review. He has also been active as an editor for The Kentucky Review, Autumn House Press, and his own Yellow Pepper Press. After years spent in South Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, he now makes his home in Chapel Hill, NC with his large family and a large assortment of cats. 

 James will also teach a poetry class on April 14 at Writers Circle in Hayesville, NC. For more information, visit . (see the studio schedule)

Michael Walls has had poetry published in a variety of journals and magazines including The New York Quarterly, South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Chattahoochee Review, Poetry East, The Midwest Quarterly and others. 

His chapbook is The Blues Singer and his full-length collection is Stacking Winter Wood (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, 2017). His poems and articles have also appeared in law reviews and journals. He is a retired labor lawyer who now spends his time working as a volunteer on environmental and other issues, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, writing poems and letters to the editor, and listening to rock and roll, blues and jazz. He spends time in Atlanta and the North Georgia Mountains.

Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092.

Food is available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mourning Dove by Estelle Darrow Rice

I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with my friend, Estelle Rice, this week. 

We have known each other for years, having met through NCWN West, and I love her dearly. She is a full time caregiver for her husband now, and seldom gets to our Netwest events, but she continues to write and we hope to publish a book with some of her stories. 

Often we know so little about the pain even our close friends are feeling, but if they are writers and poets, they have a way to tell us. This lovely poem by Estelle is for her granddaughter. I don’t have that experience – having a granddaughter, or losing a child or grandchild, but Estelle gives me a moment of knowing.

Mourning Dove
For Tara  1964-2003

A Mourning Dove was my companion.
She strutted and cooed
outside my window.
I fed her crumbs from my morning toast.

She returned in the evening
and a gray mantle enveloped
the distant mountains.
I sustained her. In some ways
I cherished her.

Then I remembered
peacock colors covering the hills,
tinting the trees, the clouds.
I sang again. Thanked my companion
and let her fly away.

Estelle is a native North Carolinian who has a BA in Psychology and a MA in counseling. She is a retired licensed Professional Counselor. Her poetry has been published in The Back Porch, Southern Review, and the Freeing Jonah anthologies. Her short stories have been published in journals and anthologies including Lights in the Mountains and Echoes across the Blue Ridge
She is a long time member of North Carolina Writers' Network West.