Southern Grammar: Grits

A debate has raged–yes, raged–on my husband’s side of the family for years. Each time we sit down to breakfast, there is a debate about the word “grits.” My father-in-law says, “This grits is good.” My mother-in-law says, “These grits are good.” Then, they ask me to settle the dispute since I worked as an […]


“Stove-up” is a phrase I never heard until I entered the horse world: “Darcy got kicked by another horse and now she is all stove-up.” Here’s the definition: suffering physical discomfort caused by injury, illness, exercise, or overwork :  battered, worn-out <horses … too old and stove-up for saddle work — F. B. Gipson> <several […]

Yo Momma: Regional Dialect Question

As you may know, my family hails from the Northeast, but I have lived in the South all my life. I always say I speak Southern and Yankee, but sometimes word choice flummoxes me. How do you refer to your parents when speaking to someone else (someone who is not your sibling) about them? I […]

Opera, Venice, and Mystery

Meet Beverle Graves Myers. Beverle is a wonderful friend, who happens to be a relative on my husband’s side of the family, and she has been kind enough to serve as one of my writing mentors over the past few years. She has played the role of the story editor on Charlotte Collins, Caroline Bingley, […]