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 Born to Write
 A Blog by Author Amy Hill Hearth

New Year's, the Scots, and "Old Lang Syne"

I blame my sentimental side on my Dad’s Scottish ancestors. After all, it was a Scot – the legendary writer Robert Burns – who wrote the poem, “Auld Lang Syne,” first published in 1787 and arguably the most sentimental words ever put on paper.

Auld Lang Syne means “Old Long Ago” in an ancient Scottish dialect.  Read More 

A Simpler Christmas

I sometimes envy the way people celebrated Christmas in days gone by. The Delany Sisters, born in 1889 and 1891, often told me about being thrilled to find an orange in their Christmas stockings – an orange being a treat.

My mom recalls the Depression when some years there weren’t Christmas celebrations at all. One year  Read More 

Remembering a Vietnam Veteran: Bob's Story

His name was Bob. He lost an eye in Vietnam, and so much more.

He lost his youth and his dreams for the future. Worst of all, he lost hope.

I want to tell you a little about Bob as we honor our nation’s veterans this week.

I didn’t meet Bob until recently, near the end of his life. My husband knew Bob through his work. Then one day in early 2012, Bob seemed to vanish. Bob was known all around his town, a recognizable figure always on a bicycle. He spent a considerable amount of time at the library. He had lived with his mother and been fairly stable until she grew old and died. Everyone knew the one-eyed Vietnam veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. But no one had seen him recently. Read More 

Baby Goats and Kudzu: Interview of Southern Author Renea Winchester

Please welcome Renea Winchester to my blog this morning! Renea is the author of Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches, published last month by Mercer University Press, a sequel to her much-loved debut, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons about Life, Love & Tomatoes. Renea is also the author of Mountain Memories: True Stories and Half Truths from Appalachia. Read More 

Married Since 1950: A Little Tribute to Mom and Dad

My parents celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary last month. They’ve been married, I realize, longer than many people live.

Dad was 26 when they got married; Mom was 24. Their wedding was held at First Methodist Church, Pittsfield, Mass. where they’d met as members of the Young Adult Fellowship. Both were new in  Read More 

In-depth Interview of Laura Sassi, Debut Children's Book Author

Congratulations to author Laura Sassi on the publication of her first children's book, Goodnight, Ark published by Zonderkidz/Harper Collins! I love this book so much that I plan to give it as a gift to all of the little ones in my life.

I met Laura at a gathering of writers last  Read More 

A Tribute to the Queen of Book Clubs

One of the most extraordinary and influential persons in book publishing today is a woman from Texas who thinks nothing of walking around Manhattan publishing circles with a tiara on her head.

If you see her, look out, that’s Kathy L. Murphy, founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, the largest book club in the world with more than 600 chapters. She exudes a lovely combination of kindness, confidence (but never arrogance), and old fashioned American “can-do” optimism.  Read More 

Moonbeams, Rosy Cheeks and the Power of Folk Wisdom

Sunday night the moon was so huge and the sky so clear that if I’d kept the drapes open I could have read a book by moonlight. As the moon rose and a moonbeam began to cross the living room floor through a window above our front door, I paused to marvel at its intensity and beauty. Then I stepped back abruptly. Why? Because I remembered some old folk wisdom I learned from the Delany Sisters.

 Read More 

The Art of Communication

The note was attached to the front page of our morning newspaper. “Dear customer,” it read, “I am taking over my daughter’s route for the next few weeks. Getting up very early to drive the route is too hard for her at this time. She is expecting a baby in the next few  Read More 

Reflections on Being a 'Little' Sister

On the day I met centenarians Sadie and Bessie Delany, the first thing I did when I got home was to call my sister Helen.

You would not believe these two women – these two sisters – that I met today,” I told her. “They are 100 and 102 and still having the same squabbles they had when  Read More