Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our hearts? … Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so that we may feel again their majesty and power?

―Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn’t try to write fiction.

―Flannery O’Connor

Leaving Ransom

Ransom was so small that the state highway department noted its existence only by the SPEED LIMIT 25 sign on the way into town and the SPEED LIMIT 55 sign on the way out. Lacey was on her way out, … Read More

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Ascension

The crab apple tree was in full bloom, glowing white in the moonlight. Cathy stood underneath it, her small mouth slightly agape as she looked up into a galaxy of blossoms. She was dressed in a pink flannel nightgown and … Read More

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Sister Zoe, Meet the Gardener

A spirit from on high is poured out on us,and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. (Isaiah 32:15–16) Sister Zoe longed … Read More

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All Passages by Water Lead Home

“Look, Jim! It’s more cool bovine scenery,” Annie, who had just taken over driving, said cheerfully. I glanced up from the map I was studying (being in the navigator’s seat) and Zoe popped up in the back where she had … Read More

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Bury Your Dead

THE RIVER FLOWS SOUTH, AND ALL THE FLOWING WATERS OF half a continent run to it — morning dew, whole gray-white fields of melting snow, rain running down rooftops and cascading through the leaves of trees, rivulets in the streets, … Read More

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