Laura Benedict's Blog

May 23, 2014




This is my childhood piano: A Baldwin spinet that was already seven or eight years old when my parents bought it. I was about nine when it came to live at our house, so we're roughly the same age. It was long both the instrument of my torture and my delight. Maybe I've written here about playing the piano before--if I have, please forgive me. I have a terrible memory. It's selective, and sometimes plays tricks on me. I honestly can't remember if anyone told me as a child if they liked hearing...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on May 23, 2014 08:00 • 19 views

April 20, 2014




Today was a holiday. Holiday. Holy Day.

Officially, it was a holy day of obligation, which means I should've been at church bright and early, mindful of the children tripping over one another at the Easter egg hunt, and sharing communion with my church family. But for various reasons I didn't make it there this morning.

As a child, a holiday to me meant a mindless disregard for routine. Pleasurable abandonment. New clothes quickly wrinkled and soiled with dabs of chocolate, or even backyard dir...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on April 20, 2014 21:59 • 12 views

March 26, 2014






Carolyn Haines, wildly prolific author of over 70 (!) books, has been on my radar screen for a long, long time. But I've just gotten to know her a little better, and I want to introduce her to you, too.

Carolyn writes and lives way down in Alabama, and while I think she would laugh heartily at my characterizing her as a plucky southern belle, I think it's safe to say she's a very busy southern belle: She writes at least two books a year, teaches writing at a university, runs the Good Fort...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on March 26, 2014 05:35 • 11 views

March 23, 2014

I'm so glad nature knows what it's doing.

Here we are at the end of March, and spring, whether winter likes it or not, is finally here. Not so as you could tell by the thermometer, but the signs are all around. The branches of my rose bushes are tipped in red, the iris and tiger lilies are pushing up through their thin blanket of fallen leaves, and the peepers are singing in the woods. The peepers started the day I returned from a quick trip to Indianapolis to visit the wonderful librarians at...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on March 23, 2014 06:00 • 8 views

December 27, 2013



Growth is messy.

I uploaded this photo of our ravine without taking a really good look at it. I was fixated on the late afternoon sun peeking over the hill and treetops, and thinking "light! life!" *cue angelic chorus* But seeing the whole image, I'm reminded that there's much more going on here. Buttressing the trees is an enormous amount of undergrowth. It's a 40-foot-deep ravine, full of rock shelves and dirt. The bushes and plants lining it are either completely dead or struggling for life...
 •  flag
0 comments
1 like · like  • 
Published on December 27, 2013 22:50 • 35 views

December 13, 2013

Sometimes we can be too close to a thing.
Over the past few weeks, when I've only been putting between three and four hundred words a day on the next Bliss House manuscript, I've felt as though I were operating a kind of microscope in reverse. Observing tiny dots of detail backwards through the lens, not exactly certain how they will work in the universe at large.

Or maybe a better example is a pointillist painting. Pointilism is a school of art that uses tiny dots to create a larger image. One...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 13, 2013 04:00 • 24 views

December 11, 2013

The next eight days or so are going to be very compressed for me. I have word that the first edit for BLISS HOUSE should land in my inbox on or about December 18th, and after it arrives I will need to hide myself away for about a month to work in those changes. I'll also be working in a lot of changes of my own that will tie it into the next Bliss House novel in the series. But for some reason, the people in my life don't think it's a great idea to put Christmas off until I'm all done with th...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 11, 2013 04:30 • 21 views

December 10, 2013



If I don't do it, who will?

If you're walking down an empty street far away from the nearest fire station, and come upon a burning house, you're going to have to ask yourself this question if you suspect someone inside needs rescuing. The question is also going to come up if you're the only adult in the house and a (relatively) giant spider needs to be removed from the bathroom wall. There are times when we as individuals have to act--or the job just doesn't get done.

But when it comes to writi...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 10, 2013 04:30 • 22 views

December 7, 2013








The snow was so deep that I had to put on my rain wellies to keep my socks dry when I went outside to feed the birds Friday evening. Thursday, I had added a big scoop of sunflower seed to the main feeder and jerry-rigged a broken suet feeder so the more adventuresome woodpeckers (we get many down woodpeckers at the feeders) could stop pecking at the treated post and eat suet, instead. I have a third feeder that holds thistle for the smallest birds, clingers, like wrens and finches. But by Fri...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 07, 2013 05:30 • 18 views

December 6, 2013

There's something about an incoming snow storm that makes me feel like nesting. Instead of writing, I spent most of the afternoon scraping our very long driveway of 1/4 inch of sleet. There's a large hill involved, and my beloved had yet to return from teaching his last classes of the semester. I confess I was also thinking of the predicted several inches of snow. It's one thing to have snow on the driveway, but quite another to have a thick layer of ice below it that must melt before the dri...
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 06, 2013 03:30 • 19 views