Rocks & Roots

Donna Salli

Sometimes, a Chicken: On the Path to Magic

I’m drawn to white animals. Over breakfast last Tuesday, I found myself thinking about the white creatures that have been part of my life. My heart warms when I think of them, a mix of love and gratitude. Some have been pets. I chose them—two white cats, and two white...

Wednesday, Again: On Art, a Hurricane, and Stepping on Toes

The poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” I’ll whisper that line to myself. It’s an affirmation of my desire to live lightly, to not impose myself on any person or creature. I just want to be quiet, to write my quiet books and practice my art. When...

Let’s Say: On Writing, Epiphanies, and Broken Waters

I sat down at my desk this morning. 5:00 a.m. I’d fed the dog and made coffee. It was time to write. I sat . . . then I checked Facebook. I read the news online. Two hours later, I left the desk and took a shower. There’s something about the shower. Standing there, I...

In-Laws, Outlaws, and Iowans: On What Calls Our Names

When I began working on my novel, “A Notion of Pelicans,” I was a newlywed, my husband’s roots being in Iowa. I’d had little sense of Iowa before marrying Bruce, apart from what could be seen from I-80, which I'd driven periodically when I lived out West. I wouldn’t...

A Bit Blue: Family Stories as Inspiration

It’s June, again, month of weddings, of so much hope and joy. My own wedding anniversary is in June, a day my husband and I observe quietly, more and more amazed as the years add up. But June is also a bit blue for me. It’s the month my mother’s father died. I was...

An Ordinary Day in July: What John Milton Taught Me about Writing

I learned to read from a Dick and Jane reader. I remember the chalky smell of the classroom, the confines of our circled chairs. Each word was breathtaking, the way it filled its page, and as the words began to come together to create sense—Oh! I was at the border to...

Rock-faced root cellar

Donna Salli - Seated - Color

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