Entries by Susan Smith Daniels

Book Clubs: Reading with Friends

That perfect tranquillity of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library. -Aphra Behn, 17th Century poet, playwright and novelist. This is a picture  from December with my book club of thirty some years (with the addition of a visiting club). It was also my first […]

The Stone Wall

“After we had the pond filled in, I built this wall to separate that spot from the garden.. I found the cherub at a yard sale. It reminded me of him.” As the year  works its way to a close, our house is littered with the trappings of Christmas just past:  empty boxes, bits of […]

Cold Weather, Warm People

Winter whipped itself into the state last week,  from 44 to 18 overnight with wind to drag the feel of it to nearly zero. Despite thirty-seven years of Iowa living, it never fails to surprise me. I can prepare, I can wear the appropriate clothing, but I can’t anticipate the shock of the first cold […]

From the Hum to the Song

It’s a beautiful fall Sunday. Windy, but sunny. I like sunny. And, the anxiety earworm is taking a nap today. I woke to a hum  that all writers long to hear–a reader likes our work. That’s one tune, a happy little worry chasing melody. The next track on our preferred playlist is that the reader not only […]

Origin Stories

I’m often asked how I came to the story of Genuine. Was she a character I’d been thinking about, or was it the idea of healing? I wrote “Possum Days,” the first story in the collection, in 2009 after a bike ride with my husband. We spend some time in California every year, and I […]