MFA Thesis Project
a hybrid collection of prose and verse including narratives, flash, short stories, prose, free verse poems, and photography is a reflection on the eight years the author lived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The work attempts to show readers the other side of life in the Middle East and not the one imagined. The United Arab Emirates is home to over 200 documented nationalities who live and work together in harmony in a society that is extremely dependent on them. The collection will center around the harmony exhibited in the society along with the downside of a culture reliant on foreign labor.
Other Works in Progress
The Colour of Redd
eighty-one-year-old Ruby Redd, a retired social worker living alone in Dogwood Plantation, faces the biggest challenge of her life–aging. The onset of macular degeneration ten years ago made her decide to move from her home of 30 years to a fancy retirement home in the town of Baxter, Georgia. Living in Dogwood proves to be a little Peyton Place full of larger than life characters. Ruby gets to know Mack McKinney, a grieving widower, struggling to cope with the loneliness of living far away from his two daughters. Ruby and Mac’s love of reading brings them together giving them both the companionship they desperately miss and the courage to navigate the last course of life.
Ruby faces more physical challenges as her body begins to succumb to the aging process. With her mind sharp as a tack, Ruby fights for her independence trying to maintain her mobility and struggle with the loneliness of life inside the residence and feeling that life is passing her by.
Ruby’s children struggle with the emotions and challenges of watching their mother decline. How will they manage to split their time between their personal lives and nurture an aging parent? How do they make these last years comfortable for Ruby without stripping her of her independence? And now, there’s Mac, too. What if they have to split them up? What if one of them dies?
Ruby’s story is timeless and speaks deeply to each and every one of us about the struggle of retaining our dignity as we age. The story is told with tenderness and grace leaving the reader with a realistic, and often stark, view of Ruby’s courageous walk on her final journey. It’s sure to capture your heart and leave you with the desire to see your own parents through this process with the dignity they deserve.
Laying Out the Dead
Holt stands at the foot of his dead wife’s bed arguing with his children about what clothing to bury her in, a nightgown or Marylene’s Sunday best. “Ain’t no sense in puttin’ brand new clothes ont her,” Holt told us. “When you dead, you dead. Don’t make no sense a’tall. She’s jest goin’ in the ground.”
the story is told by a young woman named Fancy who lives in the backwoods community of Fargo near the Okefenokee Swamp in rural South Georgia. Fancy is the area’s custodian of the dead, a trade she learned from her grandmother. She lays out the deceased for the family viewing—washing their body, changing their clothes, brushing their hair, closing their eyes, and the intimacies associated with preparing the body of the deceased.
the cast of characters come alive as they navigate the struggles of living in poverty in a region dependent on the timber growing on the lands of rural Georgia.
Tommy & The Lollipop Garden
A children’s book about a little boy whose grandmother shares a magical garden with him, one that grows lollipops.