Notes from Candice Ransom

The Twirlies

This has been a year of Twirlies.  This is my term for the impetuous thoughts and notions that ricochet in my head, often arriving in that liminal space between sleep and waking. People with mood disorders can be struck with “flight of ideas” or “grandiose thoughts,” both of which are severe symptoms, but the Twirlies

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Winchester’s Story

He came to us the summer of 2003, skinny as a bed slat.  He slept on our porch and of course we began feeding him.  In September, he showed up with a serious wound over his eye.  I thought for about two seconds what to do.  We already had Xenia and Mulan in the house. 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Not our yard!   I rake leaves, gumballs,  and hickory nuts starting in September without the least inclination to make word patterns.   This person does this every year.

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Why I’ll Never Be Annie Dillard, Part II

Still clinging to my need to lead a “bigger life,” I read Robert MacFarlane’s advice on becoming a naturalist.  “Become a monomaniac.  Study one species, one acre of ground, one tree, until it has become a foreign country to you (fabulously strange) or one of the things you understand best in the whole world (fabulously

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Why I’ll Never Be Annie Dillard, Part I

Every so often I’m overtaken by what I call Thoreau Notions.  I want to go live someplace by myself, hoe my row of beans, let mice scamper over my shoes, take long walks in the winter and think about the stars. The truth?  My idea of roughing it is no room service.  Mice are fine

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Memberships in the World

The morning of our field trip, I began reading an article in the new issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, called “The World of the Story” by Eileen Pollack.  I had no business reading anything—I had to be at Donna’s house by 7:00. But the piece drew me in with Pollack’s notion of setting in a

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Becoming Cinderella’s Pumpkin

Of all the characters in Cinderella, I identify most with the pumpkin, if a pumpkin can be called a character.  Yes, the dress is a big step up from rags and the glass slippers are how-fast-can-you-run-‘cuz-I’m-taking-them worthy.  But the coach! Imagine being a pumpkin slumbering in the moonlight when suddenly you are magicked right out

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How Much Do You Want It Back?

“Look at that!” my husband exclaimed one morning. Through the breakfast room window we saw a saucer-sized spider web that seemed to float in midair, a shimmery wheel backlit by the sun. Perfectly round. Perfectly woven with tight spiraling radials. My husband ran for his camera. By the time I reached the back yard with

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“Write At Least One Book”

“Did we drive sixty miles to take a picture of a cat?” my husband asked. Not really. But it was Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and since Sunday and Monday were already spoken for, work-wise, we had to get out. This was our first day trip since Memorial Day. And where did we wind up?

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Protective Camouflage

This summer in Roanoke, I dropped money at a boutique called La De Da, so unlikely a place I’d ever shop that my husband called to see if someone was charging on our credit card. I bought unlikely clothes, too, an olive-green knit slip with tulle ruffles I wore as a dress. An ivory eyelet

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Muskrat Love

  We were up at 6:00 nearly every morning and walking by 6:30. The Hollins Summer Walking Team–Claudia Mills, Elizabeth Dulemba, and me. We talked, logged in countless miles, and never failed to appreciate the scenery spread before us. I’d come to Hollins this summer not only to teach and talk but to find the

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Home: Not Always Where We Think It Is

The stars we are given.  The constellations we make. That is to say, the stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell. The desire to go home, to be whole, to know where you are, to be the

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