…but I wrote a short piece and am happy to report that it's appearing on Salon:
…The houses we passed [in Charleston] were vast, boxy mansions, as lavish and as importantly grand as wedding cakes, with columns and pastel paint and porticos and wrought iron. Maybe it was how our tour guide’s gossipy stories of past and present intertwined melodramatic deaths with mournful ghosts—having learned tourists tip better on ghost stories. Hand in hand on a sunny afternoon, the houses swelling on one side of us as water sparkled on the other, with Fort Sumter on the horizon and dinner plans for shrimp and grits, I asked Steve, “Have you ever seen a ghost?”…
I’m in awe of writers who are able to splash out their lives for the world to read, review, and learn from. I’m in awe of writers who are able to ponder their experiences and push themselves to extract deep, dark truths that may be uncomfortable. I’m in awe of writers who have interesting personal lives that make good “material.” Can I say it one more time? I’m utterly in awe of (and maybe even a little afraid of) memoirists!