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The Editors


Stealing Time

Mick Parsons, TSP Cigar Editor


Smoking a good cigar is an act I associate with two things: absolute leisure and complete discipline. In both cases, there is one constant; that being time. It requires TIME to sit and smoke a good cigar; and I tend to smoke when I am relaxing – either alone or with another guy who appreciates a cigar and can hold his own in conversation that jumps from sports to literature to microbiology to the existence of god – or when I am writing. A good cigar – my favorite being a Rocky Patel Vintage 92 Junior – goes well with good company, a good brew, or a respectable scotch.  And in those moments – whether I am sitting on some back patio smoking and talking, or whether I am alone and at my desk scribbling – I am as relaxed as I ever hope to be and as content as I ever imagine to be. It’s taken me a few years to realize there’s a difference between complex and complicated; and while I certainly could be accused of being a complex person, there is nothing complicated in my character. I like the things I like and I am past apologizing for any of them.

The problem comes, though, when those moments of rest or focus are difficult to find. Leisure isn’t something that’s encouraged in these economic times, even if it’s advertised to give the working slob something to aspire to. As a culture, we neither appreciate leisure nor see it as something fundamental to our existence. Leisure is a reward and a privilege, not a right.  And ironically, in spite of all our humdrumming about the satisfaction of hard work, it’s increasingly difficult to find those moments of focus in which the real work is done. We have learned to multi-task instead of doing one thing at a time; we compartmentalize ourselves into mental cubicles of various design and function from the time we wake up to the moment we pass out. 

And when I am in those moments – which intrude whether I want them to or not – I still need the taste of a cigar to remind me of those moments where I belong and that, if I could learn to stop time, I would stay in.  And while it is possible to smoke a good cigar in these cacophonic moments, the inherent pressure of time robs me of that slow and steady contentment which the machinations of the universe itself seems determined to steal.

So that’s when I turn to my friend the cigarillo – in particular, European style mini cigarillos like Picassos or Linos.

Each of these is about the size of a cigarette, but hand rolled like good cigar; there’s no filter, no crushed tobacco paper like the filler in most cigarettes, and no additives that cause it to stay lit or burn too quickly.  A Lino mini cigarillo has a taste that’s smoother than a Picasso and the Picassos are a little fatter. But both are dry pressed and packaged in pocket sized twenty count boxes that are distinctive and (if you remember life before plastic and aluminum cigarette packs) reminiscent of the way European cigarettes used to be packaged. They’re easy to light and comfortable to smoke, whether you have to trudge outside with the increasingly small circle of friends at your office who smoke, if you’re sitting on the tables outside the factory during one of your 15 minute breaks, or if you’ve got ten minutes between classes.  These minis are a solid alternative if taste is important even when time is limited. They’re as good with a hot cup of coffee as they are with a beer or bourbon. And they are sure to attract a little attention because not only are they distinctive, they have the distinct aroma of a reasonably priced cigar – which can tell the people around you without you having to bother, that you are more than one more drone, one more cog, one more replaceable part being worked to death. You are a person of taste and depth who will find any way possible to steal back that precious moments that your boss seems determined to keep from you.



Mick Parsons, cigar editor at The Smoking Poet, is the author of two poetry collections, Fragments of Unidentifiable Form and Lines From Another Book of Common Prayer, as well a collection of short stories, Living Broke, which will be released soon. His work has been featured on and has appeared in Inscape, The Licking River Review, the Dispatch Litareview, the American Mythville Review, and The Smoking Poet. He maintains a blog of his fiction and poetry at He lives and writes in Northwest Illinois, along with his wife Melissa and their two cats.



"A good Cuban cigar closes the door to the vulgarities of the world."  ~ Franz Liszt, Composer





Partagas Minituras


Cigar Review by Mick Parsons


When I have to do laundry, I take a book or I write to fill the time. (Sometimes somebody puts the TV on a baseball game – though it’s usually the Cubs instead of my hometown Cincinnati Reds.) When I want to smoke, I generally sit in the car and sometimes listen to the radio or read. I arrived on that Sunday afternoon, put the clothes in the double-load washer, dumped in the detergent and plugged in the quarters. Then I grabbed the book I chose for that particular trip – this time Nelson Algren’s Walk on the Wild Side – and went to sit in the car to smoke and read.


My cigar of choice was another mini –Partagas Minitura, a Dominican brand. It was one I hadn’t tried before, and it’s difficult to find decent smokes close to home. So I opened the box – it holds eight cigars – and lit one up and started reading.


The taste was stronger than I was expecting; minis tend to be mild, and I was pleasantly surprised by the aromatic after taste. If the tobacco had been of a cheaper quality, the taste would have been extra harsh – the problem with dry pressed cigars.  But my Partagas wasn’t too dry, and the wrapping was not too loose. It’s the kind of smoke that would go perfectly with a nice espresso as well as it went with Algren.  The dark complex taste of quality coffee would be a perfect match, just as it’s a perfect pairing with Algren’s acidic and humorous prose.  My Partagas Minitura burned steady and even, and left a respectable gray and pepper colored ash. And by the time I was finished, it was nearly time to put the clothes in the dryer.




The Eulogy

Cynthia Wilson 



     “I don't like Mondays.” Jonnie Rebel plopped down on the couch. Her over-sized handbag landed on the cushion next to her like a tired toddler.

     “The Motels,” Rowena smiled at her daughter through greenish-blue cigar smoke. Jonnie Rebel looked at her mother sitting on the wicker couch opposite her, glass of scotch in one hand, a cigar in the other, neatly held between two manicured fingernails painted orange. The fans overhead turned slowly, noiselessly. It was a lovely summer evening to be sitting on the veranda.

     “What are you talking about?” Jonnie looked at Rowena with both eyebrows drawn together and one side of her mouth already drawn up in a grin.

     “The Motels, a nineteen eighties band. They did the song “I Don't Like Mondays.” Rowena puffed on her cigar and blew a large smoke ring at Johnnie. “So tell me Rebel, why don't you like Mondays?”

     “Why do you insist on calling me that when you know I’m trying to use my first name these days?” and then in a lower voice, “Jonnie's bad enough, but at least it doesn't carry the connotation that I'm some kind of outlaw. Not directly, anyway.” She leaned forward and took the scotch out of Rowena's hand.

     “Hey!” her mom complained, “Get your own!

     Jonnie shrugged one shoulder and grinned. She rattled the ice cubes in the glass, teasing her mother, with her head cocked and a smile on her face. She took a sip.

     “I don’t know how you can stand that stuff,” Jonnie handed the glass back, wrinkling her nose.

     “It’s an acquired taste,” Rowena said as she took the glass. “And it goes divinely with cigars.” She tipped her head back, and with her arm slung back lazily over the couch, took a puff from her cigar and blew the smoke out as if it were a gift she was giving the heavens.

     “Gawd, you look like Tallulah Bankhead.”

     “Why, thank you dahling,” Rowena grinned and blew another green puff at her daughter, “and if you dislike scotch so much, how come you’re always stealing my glass?”

     “To keep you from drinking it.” Rebel said, eyes level with her mother’s.

     “HA!” Was Rowena’s only reply.

     The phone rang inside the house, so Rebel got up to go answer it, sweeping her imaginary hooped skirt as she passed her mother reclining on the sofa.

     Rowena shook her head at her belle of a daughter. Rebel even referred to her boyfriends as “beaux” or “gentlemen callers.” She had hoped by giving her a name that wasn’t Ellie-Sue or Mary-Kate would automatically carve her out of her pre-ordained mould. She stuck to the two first name southern tradition, there was the fault.

     “Good grief,” Rowena said out loud.

     Her daughter Rebel always considered how she might appear to others, as she had been raised to do, even though her mother was more like Tallulah Bankhead.

     “The hell with what people thought,” was Rowena’s mantra. She still had her debut at sixteen, and had married well. But once her husband died, the old coot, she was free to be herself.

           She remembered when she first sat on her veranda after her husband had died,  and smoked those cigars until a thin layer of cirrus cloud formed over her head. Neighbors strolling by would wave out of courtesy, Rowena raising her glass in reply. Pretty soon women would push their prams a bit faster as they neared her house. The first time one of Rebel’s ‘beaux’ had come to pick her up, and offered Rowena a bouquet of flowers, as was the tradition, Rowena sniffed them lightly, thanked the boy and lay the flowers down on a table in the foyer. As she walked away she could hear Rebel telling the boy in an apologetic tone that her mother would’ve much preferred a good cigar or a single malt scotch. Rowena could nearly feel the boy’s shock and his instinct to run. It was moments like those that she was glad she chose to be her own woman. God, what a sight that boy’s face must’ve been!

      Rowena laughed heart and soul loud. She put her hand to her chest as if it might explode, and stomped her foot on the floor and snorted.


          Rebel came outside, phone in hand with the other hand covering it. “Mother, would you please, this is important.” Rebel shook the phone at her mother as if it were a butt paddle, a reminder of what she’d get if she didn’t mind.

     Rowena’s laughter trickled down to a giggle and she just raised her glass at her daughter. Rebel turned sharply and went back into the house. Rowena could hear her as she walked away, “Oh, I’m just so sorry to hear that, however are you managing?” in her best Carolina drawl, acting every bit the educated southern lady. Just like her Mama taught her. Only Rowena squirmed like a Catholic schoolgirl wanting to go to regular school, while Rebel embraced it with all its seeming dignity. And hypocrisy. Rowena downed the rest of her scotch and snubbed out her cigar. By her own rule, she was only allowed to smoke cigars outside.

     Rebel emerged some time later. “Well, doesn’t that beat all.” She sat down on the couch next to her mother. “Remember Roberta Jean from the Tri-Delts? My sorority sister?”

     “The eccentric one who used to wear a red floppy hat to every football game?”

     “That’s the one. Well,” Rebel used her best conspiracy tone, “it seems that she’s had a death in the family. Someone named Harold. Now, mind you we haven’t talked much in the last eight years, so I can’t imagine why she had to call me about it, much less ask me to do the eulogy.

 Can you imagine!” Rebel shook her head.

     “Why? Doesn’t the poor child have anyone closer to do such a thing?”

     “Apparently not, apparently she’s asked around but no one wants to do it.” Then, in a whisper so no one could hear, even though they were completely alone, “I get the feeling that no one liked Harold. That’s why she can’t get anyone to do the Eulogy. Can you just imagine? Oh, my, I forgot to ask about his age, and his hobbies and habits. Well. I’ll just have to call her back in the morning,” then, after a long thoughtful look off into the distance, “Can you imagine?”

     Rowena poured herself another scotch. “Yes, dear, I can imagine. When your father died I was surprised so many showed up. Hell, I didn’t even have a eulogy written! Dick the size of a Georgia peanut, and him trying to please half the women in this town. Put your jaw back where it belongs dear, I knew all about it. Didn’t bother me a bit, I knew once they had him they’d leave him be, besides, one good thing about growing up a southern lady is that your husband is expected to have a mistress or two. So he tried, bless his li’l ol’ heart, he tried. One lady even had the grit to leave a bottle of male enhancement cream at his coffin,” Rowena laughed and took a sip of her scotch,  “I tell you, I sure hope it works wherever he’s goin. He could use a little fun in his afterlife.”


     Rowena nearly choked in her laughter.

     “Well? Remember your coming out? Why we had invited all the big uppity-do’s in town, even some all the way from Charleston! Your poor daddy was just beside himself with all the gentry coming. And you, you were so excited to have a coming out. A real debutante you were. It’s what you always wanted, to be a southern social butterfly, isn’t it?”

     “I remember, Mama. I remember I felt like a princess that night. And I remember you got mighty friendly with the serving boy after so many rounds of the champagne.” Rebel gave her mom an unapproving nudge.

     Rowena’s eyes seemed to look far away, and she smiled at the memory. “That’s none of your business. Point is, your daddy tried so hard to impress all the Names; the Earnshaw’s from Charleston with that big law firm, and the Rosses from the Outer Banks who own all that property. Oh, he was in his element that night. Tried to bed the Earnshaw’s youngest daughter too! Lord, I swear I never laughed so hard it my life!”

     “Seems to me, Mama, you ended up singing The Way We Were while standing on the piano with one of your shoulders bare.”

     “But a mighty fine rendition it was!”

     “Honestly, Mama, I truly don’t know how I am able to show my face around here anymore.”

     “Well, Sugar, you just remember that you have a good ol’ southern upbringing, and the pedigree to prove it. Your great grandmother may have been the grand madam of the town whorehouse back during double-ya-double-ya-one, but she was a respected whore. She may have sold sex, but she knew how to sell it with good southern manners. She always kept a handkerchief to wipe their chins, if you know what I mean.”

     Rebel shook her head and took her mama’s scotch from her again and downed it.

     Rowena raised an eyebrow, then refilled her glass. “Well, it’s true.”

     She considered another cigar for a moment, then asked, “So tell me, you going to this funeral for, what’s his name?”


     “Harold. You gonna do the eulogy? When did you say the last time you saw this Tri-Delta?”

     “Eight years.”

     Rowena shook her head, “Well, if I were you, I’d be like the old lady who fell out of the wagon.”

     Rebel’s face was full of question.

     “If it doesn’t have anything to do with you, stay out of it,” Rowena explained.

     “Well, I can’t exactly turn down a Tri-Delta in need, now can I?’

     Rowena put her hand to her heart, and grinning said, “Why, my, no my deah!” And laughed.

          “So I just write the basic stuff that could apply to anyone; how he was sweet as could be, bless his heart, God love him, helpful to his neighbors, a good church going man, a good family man, always taking time for the kids. Oh God, does she have kids? I forgot to ask.”

     Rebel dashed  back into the house.

     “Well, this is too much drama for me,” Rowena said to the night air. I’m going to bed. She picked up her glass of scotch and took it with her, went inside the door and headed up the stairs.




     Rowena came down stairs rubbing her eyes, her long wavy hair all up in tangles, pink terry cloth robe askew. She looked at the coffee cup in her daughter’s hand enviously, and walked directly toward the pot. “I don’t see how you can be up and all snippety dressed like that before noon, I just don’t see how.”

     “It’s called good manners Mama, you remember those?”

     “Manners are for when men are around. That’s why they’re called Man-ners.”

     Rebel couldn’t help a smile. She looked at her disheveled mother and was again amazed at how beautiful the woman was; her face framed in a wash of black curls, her cheeks with just enough bloom, even in the morning after too much scotch.

     “You could do with a man around now and again, Mama. Ever considered getting remarried?”

     Rowena nearly choked on her coffee. “Married? Are you smoking something I don’t know about that you’re not sharing? Mama always taught you to share, now didn’t I?”

     Rebel looked at Rowena, eyebrows drawn together. Ignoring her comment she said, “I have a funeral to plan for, remember? A eulogy to write. I managed to get out of poor heartbroken Roberta that Harold was her little boy,” Rebel put her hand to her heart, “God bless her.

     The funeral’s on Saturday which means I have to leave this very afternoon. Roberta lives all the way up in Boone County, although God only knows why she’d want to live up there with all those hillbillies. No wonder she couldn’t find anyone to do the eulogy, those people probably don’t even speak correctly, much less have manners needed on such an occasion. I have a long drive ahead of me.”

     “Oh, yes, no wonder,” Rowena said over her coffee cup in mock agreement. “At least get your hair and nails done before you go.”

     “Mother! I just told you the funeral’s on Saturday!”

     “Saturday? That leaves you plenty of time. What’s today, only Wednesday?”

     “Good Lord, mother, you never know what day it is. It’s Friday, and Boone County is a five hour drive from here. I don’t know yet what time the funeral is, but if I get a move on, I can be at Roberta’s house in time for the wake this evening.”

     “I do so know what day it is, my little plastic pill container with the days on it tell me. I just haven’t taken my blood pressure medicine yet, that’s all.”

     Rebel took the pill container off the counter and handed it to her. “Friday, mother.”

     “How nice.” Rowena replied.




     The drive to Boone was long, but Rebel enjoyed the feathery Mimosas in bloom, and the lacey white dogwood, here and there a Magnolia. Rebel opted to leave the top up on her convertible, so her hair wouldn’t be mussed when she arrived, but she left the window half open to take in the fragrances of spring in the mountains of Carolina. The directions to Roberta’s house lay on the seat next to her, so she managed to get to her house without incident. The horse shoe driveway had several cars parked in it, so Rebel chose to park on the street, to her annoyance. She had high heels on.

     The door flew open and Roberta stood for a moment. Rebel could almost see her mental rolodex flipping. Then a look of recognition came over her and her arms flew out; the next thing Rebel knew she was all awash in White Shoulders perfume and cashmere.

     “Oh my dear! I can’t believe you made it all this way so soon. You are such an angel. An angel I tell you!” Roberta gushed. “Come in here you, here’s some of our old Tri-Delt sisters,” then in a conspiratorial tone,  “you have got to see what Bonnie Jean Rehkopf is wearing, she hasn’t changed a bit. Not one bit!”

     Rebel was dragged into a very large parlor, men and women standing around in crisp clothes, voices all one low hum, nibbling on finger sandwiches, drinks in hand. As she was introduced from one group to the next, everyone made some mention of poor Harold, but never a even a hint for Rebel as to what kind of child Harold was.

     Tones dropped when mentioning him, as was requisite, then conversation returned to normal. Rebel just didn’t get the feeling that everyone was the least bit devastated at the loss of a child. She wondered again why in the world was she asked to do the Eulogy? The feeling was more of a country club gathering than that of a pre-funeral wake. Finally, she cornered a sorority sister that she remembered fairly well.

     “So, tell me, Susan, is Roberta all right? I mean with Harold’s passing and all?” She tried to glean some information.

     “Well, I tell you, at first she was just a mess, a mess, bless her lovin heart. But you know Roberta,” Rebel looked down into her drink, not wanting to let Susan see that no, she didn’t, “she bounced right back. He’ll be missed though, that’s for sure. But you know how these things are, she can always find another.”

     Rebel’s eyebrows shot up. Another? She was taken aback by what seemed to be a lack of propriety. What, just go down to the baby store and get another son? What was wrong with these people, Rebel wondered. Things sure have changed, she decided.

     “Ladies and gentlemen,” Roberta clapped her hands, “The funeral will be tomorrow at one o’clock sharp, over to Broward’s Funeral Home. Graveside service will follow, so I hope to see y’all there. Now, I must take your leave to have some time alone with my poor Harold,” she dabbed a handkerchief to her nose, “y’all know how I loved him so. He will be sorely missed.” And with that she broke into a dramatic sob and ran from the room.

     “Well, this ought to be a doozy,” Rebel said to herself as she grabbed a drink off a passing tray.




     The funeral home was adorned with white and yellow flowers, apparently Harold’s favorite. Rebel had chosen an appropriately black dress, simple lines, nothing fancy. Apparently she was the only one. Everyone else was bedecked in an colorful array, blues and yellows and greens and floral patterns. Did she not get the “it’s a Mardi Gras funeral memo?” she wondered. Things were getting strange, and Rebel didn’t like it. She was starting to get the feeling that something was going on that she wasn’t privy to. She walked over to Roberta to go over the eulogy.

     Roberta saw her and grabbed her arm. “Oh, darling, oh I should have told you. Bless your heart, how could you have known? I guess no one told you that Harold was expressly against anything black. He was such a colorful boy.”

     “Yeah, I guess no one told me,” Rebel said while Roberta continued gushing about the colorful toys and how Harold just loved anything shiny.

     The crowd parted and she saw the casket, partly open, the size of a child’s. Suddenly her throat tightened and she felt a wash of grief come over her for her old friend’s loss. No wonder Roberta was acting so strange. She had lost a child. How could any mother get over that?

     “…and his favorite toy was a yellow duck with a bright red suit,” she was saying, “oh how he loved that duck!” A dab at the eyes with the kerchief. “But what am I thinking! You never even had the opportunity to meet him, did you dear,” another dab, “you simply must go say your hellos and farewells then before the funeral begins. You are such a love to offer to give the eulogy. And without even having met him! Nobody else had the emotional stability, in a case like this, to eulogize poor Harold. But you were always so sentimental and eloquent. Such a love!” Another dab and she was off, accepting more condolences.

     Rebel stood her place, not quite wanting to see the poor body of a friend’s dead child. The little casket was so small, all golden and piled with flowers. Rebel could just barely see the beak of the toy duck Roberta had spoken about sticking out of the casket. They must be burying him with it. Rebel sucked in her breath, smoothed her dress, and stepped forward toward the casket. The sun came through a stained glass window, throwing a blue-gold ray of filtered sun over the tiny box. Rowena couldn’t help a tear. She stepped forward, looked down, and was stopped cold. Her head swam. Was this some kind of joke? She looked furiously around the room, to the side, behind her, at all the people who were apparently grieving in earnest.

     Patting Roberta on the back.

     Offering shoulders, offering help through this terrible time.

Rebel looked down again.

     There he was, sure as shit. In a little yellow and white suit, clutching the damned duck. A monkey. A chimpanzee. Harold was a fucking chimpanzee. Rebel suddenly felt like a madwoman and burst out laughing. The low hum of voices stopped. She knew everyone was looking at her, but she didn’t care. Suddenly she wanted one of her mother’s scotches and a cigar. She turned, spotted the podium, and walked to it, all the while getting out a piece of paper from her purse. When she got to the podium she lay the paper flat and smoothed it out to gain time for composure.

     She adjusted the microphone. She tapped on it. The light thump-thump resounded through the church.

     “Um,” Rebel began, “As most of you know, I didn’t know, uh, Harold at all, so I don’t have much of a tale, um, I mean story, to tell. For instance, I don’t even know if you called him Harry for short.” Rebel stifled a strong need to laugh, instead she snorted like her mother. “But he must’ve been a real chimp, I mean champ.” She couldn’t help a stifled chortle. Several people in the audience snickered into their hands. A couple laughed out loud briefly, then were silent.

     Rebel went on, “I hear his favorite toy was his stuffed yellow duck.” Rebel attempted composure, smoothed her dress again, but the inanity of the situation kicked in, and she couldn’t help herself. She heard herself say, “That’s okay, my favorite toy was a stuffed monkey!” Several guffaws came from the audience, several snickers, and one out loud belly laugh. Rebel continued, laughing, composure no longer an issue, “I would have brought a condolence gift, but bananas are out of season!” She picked one of the tissues out of the box that had been placed upon the podium and dabbed at her eyes, tears from laughter where she knew there should be tears of grief. But she couldn’t help herself, she continued, “Seriously though, I’m a bit worried about the amount of alcohol being consumed,‘cause I know how y’all can start slinging the shit! But what a wonderful gesture to remember…” Rebel could barely catch her breath, she swiped a tear away from her eye, her diaphragm hurt. “…to remember a monkey by!”

     The audience lost all composure, Roberta looked like a caged canary trying to get free, flapping her yellow clad arms around this way and that, trying in vain to regain control of her absurd funeral for her beloved Harold, the chimp.

     Rebel, laughing hysterically, ran from the room and to her car. She had to get home as fast as she could. These people had gone mad, she decided.




     Rowena leaned forward with another guffaw, spilling a bit of scotch on her lap. She held a hand to her chest as if to hold the absurdity in. “A chimpanzee?” Another roaring snort followed by peals of laughter, “darling, you really must be joking. What I wouldn’t give to have seen your face!”

     “Thanks for your support mother,” Rebel glared. “It was really the most embarrassing moment of my life,” Rebel tried to look hurt, scathed by the whole affair, then her eyes lit up, “but also the most fun. I didn’t know I could talk like that, just going hog wild! I swear I’ll never talk to that Roberta Jean Bradley ever again. The nerve!” Rebel grabbed her mother’s glass from her and took a gulp.

     “Why don’t you ever just get your own?” Rowena snatched it back.

     “Because I can’t stand the stuff,” Rebel pouted.

     “You sure drink enough for someone who can’t stand it,” Rowena mumbled as she put the glass to her mouth. “Hand me one of those cigars, would you? Then tell me all about the monkey funeral again. What a hoot!”

     Rebel opened her mother’s engraved humidor and took out a cigar, rolled it between her fingers the way her mother had taught her to do, smelled it for it’s freshness, then handed her the cigar and lighter. She got up, poured herself a proper bourbon with a splash of branch water, sat down beside her mother and began to chuckle. “It really is kind of funny, isn’t it?”

     “Kind of? Darlin, this is the kind of story you spend your whole life waiting to hear. Harold! What do you suppose they called him for short,” she nudged her daughter at the pun, “Harry?” They both let out wails of laughter, ice tinkling in their glasses.



Cynthia Wilson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her work has appeared in The Legendary,, The Pitkin Review, Hyperbole Magazine, The Taj Mahal Review, The Aquila Review, Heavy Glow Fine Flash Fiction, Swamp Writing, and 42 Magazine, as well as several small house anthologies. She is a member of Women in Literary Arts, Society for Women in Philosophy, The National Writer’s Association, Sweet Gum Writer’s Circle, and Facebook Writers and Poets Registry. She is currently working on her novel after spending a month in Ireland doing research.


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