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I distinctly remember Dad telling me he’d met someone in the fall of ’92. Fresh from the battlefield of divorce, I was skeptical of anything good ever happening again to a seven-year-old.

She lived an hour north of us in a community called Eubank.

I felt the strain of my boat coming unmoored from its place at the dock.

I asked why he wanted to remarry. Weren’t my sister and I enough?

He told me I’d like her, and I agreed to be civil that first meeting.

They went on 2 dates in December and were married by mid-month.

I wasn’t happy, but I could tell Dad was.

Sherry introduced me and my sister to her daughter. We stared at one another across the small living room like detainees awaiting interrogation.

But it didn’t remain that way for long.

Sherry brought out a tantalizing tray of Rice Krispy Treats, and I was weakened – much quicker, I might add, than my sister.

My footing felt uncertain on the steps of this new threshold.

She wanted me to enjoy them. Dad had told her how much I loved the marshmallow-y sweets.

I smiled and reluctantly took candy from a stranger.

But little did I know that I was meeting someone who’d blossom into a fixture in my life for the next 27 years.


Sherry’s best friend, Becky, stands at the front of Morris & Hislope Funeral Home and relays all the kinds gestures she’s been shown over the years.

Sherry is described as an angel. Someone capable of letting anyone close, just with her eyes.

She is a rock for countless souls descending to pay their final respects.

A Garth Brooks song is playing – The Dance, one Dad and her first danced to at their wedding.

He tells me its the song he heard playing when he left the hospital just one week ago.

Sherry’s pictures are featured on poster boards, and her eyes are penetrating even still across the parlor.

Her smile is fixed in each Polaroid like a singer about to sing a song everyone has come to hear.

Dad’s brother is providing the eulogy and red roses rest atop the casket.

It’s a color scheme Sherry would’ve wanted, Dad said earlier.

The funeral is tomorrow, and while Sherry will be laid to rest with her parents, her brother, even her son, Jason, she will be emblazoned on the hearts of all who can still hear her laugh.

She now sings on that high mountain and her work down here is done.

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I had the chance to interview the fantastic novelist, Steph Post, recently. (That’s her with the bow-and-arrow above.) She posts some terrific content online from Florida. I was first introduced to her work, A Tree Born Crooked, on Goodreads. And from that book till now, I’ve been hooked. Or, arrowed. However you want to say it…her writing is top-notch! I’ll leave the clichés alone.

So she took precious time to answer some questions and then she went back to writing more amazing fiction.

Here’s the conversation:

Steph, if you weren’t writing, what would you be doing with all of your free time?

Taking care of more chickens, more dogs, making my art. Though, honestly, I can’t imagine not writing. It’s so ingrained in me, so much a part of my life now. But in-between books, when I’m working on promotion or beginning research, I have a lot more time for my animals and my garden, and my guilty pleasures like playing video games.

Persephone, the chicken
Hatchet, the cattledog
one of Steph’s print series

Have you ever given up on a writing project?

Not entirely, but I have put projects on hold, which I’ve circled back around to. I started the novel I’m currently working on a few years ago, but I had to drop it at the time. I just wasn’t ready, or even capable, of writing it then. I sort of felt like a failure for stopping work on it, but now that I’m back at it, I can see that I absolutely had to take that break, to ensure that the work went in the right direction.

Definitely. So…In your eyes, what does it mean to be a “successful” writer?

To be constantly working on a book. Of course I want the books to be well-received. I want to be engaged with the literary community and always stay true to myself as an authentic voice. But success measured by outsiders may not always be a constant. For me, it’s always been about the work, the actual act of building a book. As long as I can keep doing that, I consider myself successful.

Do you have a set routine as a writer? Things that work for you?

I go through cycles, depending on what stage of a novel I’m working on. But when I’m really in the groove, I write 9-noon, every day. The hours lengthen at the drafts progress, though. I’m also one of those writers who can only write from home, at my desk, in my studio. I so admire authors who can write anywhere—in hotels, on buses, while traveling—but I’m certainly not one of them.

Your new novel, Miraculum, has garnered some big reviews…Are there any symbols running throughout your novel we should look for? Do readers recognize them?

There are so many symbols running throughout Miraculum and it’s been awesome to see readers catching on to them. In particular, I love to use animals and animal symbolism in my writing. The obvious ones in Miraculum are the fox and the snake, for Daniel and Ruby, as the trickster and the embodiment of regeneration. I love it, though, when readers find symbols, themes or motifs that I didn’t see myself in my own work. It’s always fascinating to see what connections are being unearthed.

Steph, thank you for taking the time to chat. Keep up the great work!

If you’d like to learn more about her work, check out her site at: