Tag Archive for: Charleston SC

Cathy’s Corner


I’m putting this out here so y’all can call me out in case I don’t follow through. Ha. How’s that for being an obliger? Yes, that’s me.

Here’s the opening of my “will be published by January 2021” novel. I’m hoping I beat this deadline but it is 2020.

The title is Cathy’s Corner. The hero has moved to this small southern town to open a restaurant named after his recently deceased wife. The heroine thinks this is a really awful idea, the name, not the restaurant, … actually, she has issues with the menu too.

And, here’s a cover that I created for fun. Not the final. Bear with me. I’ve hired an editor and cover designer.

Cathy’s Corner, chapter one 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sue Fisk stretched her fingers to reach the remote without disturbing Charley, her terrier-mix rescue, who stretched boneless and warm across her unclad feet. She flipped her television to the proper channel and snuggled down into her thrifted blue velvet sofa, a nod to her late parents’ love of all things Elvis. 

She’d accepted the charity of a hand-me-down Blackberry™ phone from her uncle/boss when she’d dropped her flip phone in Lake Moultrie the other week. The Blackberry which now vibrated sharply, startling Charley who looked behind her like she’d farted and wanted to blame someone else. Sue laughed, squinted at the text, and muttered, “I make it pretty clear not to disturb me on Monday nights when I’m watching my show.”

Hey. What channel is Longmire on?

She stared at the screen trying to figure out the sender.

It’s time 4 Longmire, yes?



Her phone buzzed again seconds after the final scene. The number from earlier appeared on the screen. It didn’t look familiar, but since the lake incident, she’d been piecemealing her contact list back together. She’d learned her lesson about backing up her phone, maybe. And while her meticulous mother’s address book would have come in handy, she’d tossed every cigarette smoke-infused item in the house into the garbage the day after her parents died of lung and throat cancers within hours of each other. She bent her head to read the recent text.

I loved the familiar faces in this show. This is the pilot, right?

Yes. The new season begins at the end of May. They’re re-showing last season.

The answering text dinged almost immediately.

Thanks for the tip. Sleep tight. Don’t dream about murder and mayhem …


What’s :P?

Furrowing her brow, she studied her phone. Her small circle of friends teased her about her favorite emoticon, who was this?

I’m sticking my tongue out at you.

I’m going 2 need to learn more about texting 2 keep up. Enjoyed the show. 

The next morning, Fisk Design & Print Shop’s squat square cement-block building glimmered in the morning light as she pulled into the rear parking lot. Joyce, the co-graphic designer, sat in her car and gestured toward her radio when Sue tapped on her window. Sue opened the passenger door and joined her for the last few minutes of the reading of the Tuesday morning Piggly Wiggly weekly specials on the local radio station. Curtrice Collins, Sue’s best friend, and next-door neighbor read the items with enthusiastic glee. At promptly 7:58 a.m., Joyce’s phone alarm beeped alerting them to get to the office door. 

Robin Hillyer Miles is published in an anthology. Look for her short story, West End Club, in Love in the Lowcountry, by Lowcountry Romance Writers of America, on Amazon.

You can find her author page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobinHillyerMilesAuthorTourGuideYoga

Happy Encounters

by Paula Gail Benson

Today, I
wanted to feature the online publication, Shotgun Honey, which since 2011 has
been offering a forum for crime, noir, and hard-boiled shorts of 700 words. It
has featured over 400 authors, compiling contributors by photo, bio, and
published stories. It offers a great place to find work by favorite writers as
well as discover new talent. Here’s the link:

This weekend, I had the great opportunity of connecting with
fellow blogger Dru Ann Love and terrific author Dorothy McFalls in Charleston,
S.C. (Sorry to have arrived too late to see Tina Whittle, who writes the Tai
Randolph/Trey Seaver series.) We toured the Charleston Tea Plantation (http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com),
the only tea plantation operated in the United States. Following a visit to its
gift shop, we traveled down the road to view the massive, around 400-year-old
Angel Oak (http://www.angeloaktree.com).
We finished the evening with some great local seafood from Vickery’s at Shem

Magnificient Angel Oak

Many thanks to Dru Ann and my friend Sue Husman for
letting me share photos. So delighted to spend this happy time with great

Dorothy McFalls, Tina Whittle, and Dru Ann Love

Sue Husman, Dorothy McFalls, Dru Ann Love, and me at Charleston Tea Plantation

‘Neath the Spanish Moss at the Tea Plantation
Dru Ann and Dorothy on the waterfront

A Literary Exercise–Stiletto Style

by Paula Gail Benson

year in May, Charleston, South Carolina holds its Spoleto Festival–two weeks
of music, theater, dance, and arts, taking place in venues throughout the city.
This year would be special. The Festival planned to present a production of Porgy and Bess, the quintessential
Charleston opera. As part of the celebration for the new production of Porgy, a two-hour walking tour of
Charleston would feature locations that had influenced DuBose Heyward as he
wrote the novel that he and George and Ira Gershwin turned into musical theater.

In muggy, humid, 90 plus degree May in Charleston. Hummmm. Sounds like an
intense literary exercise to me.

knew this would require training.

office was having a fitness program that allowed us to buy Fitbits at reduced
rates. I got one and started counting my steps. That recommended 10,000 a day
was a difficult number to achieve. I was proud on the days I neared 5,000.

helped me to stay motivated with a walking program if I had some diversity in
my strolls. I began pondering what might give me some added incentives.

March, I was admiring the Stiletto Gang’s new graphics when it occurred to me
that I had never owned a pair of stilettos. Oh, I’d watched many women perched
on pencil thin stilts. They reminded me of that song from the musical Wicked, “Defying Gravity.”

idea of wearing stilettos in public was completely out of the question for me. I
have sufficient embarrassment in life without having the appearance of an inept
circus performer. Besides, I’ve usually got my head involved with so many other
things that having to maintain my balance in anything other than flats would be
multi-task overload. But, it occurred to me that, in the privacy of my own
home, where no one could witness my wobbling, stilettos might be a good form of


about it. To wear stilettos requires poise, confidence, controlling equilibrium,
and focusing upon a change in body centering. Aren’t those the kinds of things
that Yoga and Pilates masters are always emphasizing?

so, what does a pair of exercise stilettos look like?

suppose some would let that selection speak to their inner wild child and go
with a model they might never in fact wear in public. From careful study of
this matter, let me assure you there are plenty of options for that kind of
expression. Animal skin prints. Psychedelic colors. Lots of possibilities.

I didn’t need to add craziness to my life. I have that in ample degrees. I
needed to add calm stability. At least as steady as one can be teetering on
five inch heels.

the answer came to me. I’d channel the serenity of the Duchess of Cambridge.

she first appeared in her impossibly elegant, goes with everything, nude heels,
they became a fashion sensation. So that is what I acquired. A pair of five-inch
(okay, there is a one-inch platform at the ball of my foot so I’m only really
balancing on four inches) glamorously beige stilettos. They arrived in a
hideously large box. Flats wearers never see shoe boxes of that size. And, when
I opened it to look upon them, well, I thought I understood how climbers must feel
when they stand at the base of Everest—it’s a long way up.

in my head, I heard Idina Menzel singing from Wicked, “Unlimited. . . . [and nothing’s gonna] bring me down!”
Although, I must admit, it might have been more appropriate for the theme from Frozen (“Let It Go”) to be playing.

a great deal less assurance than I felt, I released those monster slippers from
their tissue wrappings and placed them on the floor. Gracefully, I pointed my
toes and eased them into the confines of each pump. Then, taking a deep breath,
I rose to a height I had never experienced before.

least, not from the ground.

the challenge was to take that first step. This was one small step for a woman,
one giant leap for empowerment, and one mind-blowing moment in understanding. Suddenly, I
knew why women put themselves through this torture. To prove they can. To
do all that Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.

So I
began my routine of walking, in my stilettos, down the hall of my home. Not
that I’m ready for a public debut, but I am building my skills.

when I arrived for the Spoleto walking tour. I was ready and finished the
two-hour vigorous course, making it a banner day in my Fitbit history with a
total of 11,412 steps!

The next day, when I
entered Charleston’s magnificent Gaillard Center where Porgy and Bess was presented, I followed a young woman wearing stilettos
up the grand stairway. Smiling, I thought, “Sure, you wear them for dress up,
but do you exercise in them?”

[For more information about my Spoleto experiences, please check out tomorrow’s blog on Writers Who Kill!]