Tag Archives: reading

The Reading Room on Cuillin FM

In case you missed it last Friday and Sunday (or in case you listened and want to hear the stories and poems again), the winners of this year’s Baker Prize, along with interviews and music, will air again at 2:00pm (Eastern Daylight Savings Time). Thanks again to Charlotte, who hosts the radio program, and to all the organizers of The Reading Room on the Isle of Skye, and The Baker Prize.

You can lifestream the show here: http://www.cuillinfm.co.uk

Sundays at 2 (tomorrow): Author in the Galleries

Many thanks to the folks at the Greenville County Museum of Art for inviting me to read. The event will take place in the gallery that in which photographer Owen Riley’s work is currently exhibited. I’ll be making connections between  text and image, people and place. Details below.
Mar 22, 2015

Sundays at 2: Author in the Galleries

2 pm – 3 pm

Join local author Heather Marshall as she reads excerpts from her most recent book, The Thorn Tree, along with short selections from other Celtic writers. Listeners will be invited to make connections between the words and visual images in the gallery.

All Sundays at 2 programs are free and are presented by Duke Energy.

420 College Street, Greenville SC 29601

 864.271.7570Content ©2015. Greenville County Museum of Art. All rights reserved.

March, 2015: Reading, Writing and Piping

Last month brought play time in the snow, lots of opportunities for sitting by the fire, extra writing time and the joy of meeting with loads of teenaged writers who hope to attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. The first weeks of my Four Weeks of Fiction class also took place. We’ll finish up the class on these first two Tuesdays of March. (More posts on that to follow over the next couple of weeks.)

In addition to the usual teaching and writing work, I’ll be out and about reading, writing and piping this month.

Sunday, March 8: in the morning, I’ll be speaking with a book club about The Thorn Tree.


In the afternoon, I’ll be piping with the City of Greenville Pipes and Drums at Return to the Green, the family festival that precedes St. Patrick’s Day. It’s held at Fluor Field. Good times! https://rtg2returntothegreen.wordpress.com  https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Greenville-Pipes-and-Drums/95982159070

Saturday, March 22: a mindful flow writing workshop at Greenville Yoga–Write to the Heart. Get to the heart of what drives your life. http://greenvilleyoga.com/workshops/

Sunday, March 23: reading at Greenville County Museum of Art. I’m reading from my own novel, The Thorn Tree,  and from the works of other Celtic Writers (just trying to extend the St. Paddy’s Day good-time vibe a little). There will also be connections to Owen Riley’s photography exhibit. http://www.gcma.org/pages/calendar/detail/event/c8/e186&DateOfEvent=03/22/2015


Four Weeks of Fiction, part two: Sentences and Setting

We opened the second session of the four-week fiction workshop with a discussion of Andrea IMG_4167Barrett’s  Theories of Rain,  from her collection, Servants of the Map. The story not only provides a variety of settings–large and small, from cottage to woods, to the William Bartram’s garden–but also offers excellent examples of how setting can be a character itself and can reveal elements of other characters that might otherwise remain hidden.

To move from this story to an exploration of sentences and setting, we read paragraphs from Annie Proulx (People in Hell Just Want a Drink of Water, from the collection, Close Range), Murray Bail (Eucalyptus), and Michael Ondaatje (In the Skin of a Lion).

Working with the characters we created in the previous session, we listed several settings the character might inhabit or wish to inhabit–large (bigger than a house), small (smaller than a room), comfortable, out of his or her element, a bucket list place–and then began to pladark sun on water muddy mountainy with setting and sentence length.


Our characters snuck into one of these places, exploring them over the course of around 150 words, all in short (five- to seven-word sentences). We noted how these short sentences heighten the drama and anticipation in these moments.

Our characters then meandered into another place in a sentence that took up a half page or more. Here, participants noted how they were able to really drop down into the place and observe more fully.

Later in tR0012460he session, another character entered the setting–one who felt differently than our initial character.


What are some of your favorite settings from works you’ve read? Why do those appeal to you as a reader? Do you have favorite places you like to write about? What makes those appealing to you as a writer?

We’re taking a week off next week. When we return, each participant will bring a completed draft with which we’ll play, exploring a variety of ways in which writers can choose to allow a story to unfold.

U. S. Launch of The Thorn Tree

Jill Hendrix
Fiction Addiction

Celebrate the Launch of Greenville Author Heather Marshall’s Debut Novel

Greenville, SC, May 27, 2014 – Join Greenville novelist Heather Marshall for a party celebrating the launch of her debut novel, The Thorn Tree (MP Publishing, paperback, $14.95) at a free event at The Metropolitan Arts Council at 5:30pm on Thursday, June 26th. Refreshments will be served and Fiction Addiction will have books for sale at the event. To reserve a copy of the book or to RSVP for the event, please contact Fiction Addiction at 864-675-0540 or info@fiction-addiction.com.

The Thorn TreeSince 1978, Agatha Stuart’s cottage — perched between rising hills and the pebbled shore on the remote edge of Arran, an island off the west coast of Scotland — has served as temporary refuge for women of the Stuart family from around the world. Though Agatha didn’t set out to become caregiver to so many, she finds herself relishing this role and anticipating her latest guest on a typical Scottish summer’s day. Fourteen-year-old Hope Carver makes her way to Arran from South Carolina, exiled after her mother caught her taking the same pills to which her father was addicted, the same pills that ultimately caused him to abandon the family. When Hope’s father disappeared, he left a void between Hope and her mother, Margaret, that rapidly increased. Margaret remains in South Carolina, struggling to regain her emotional footing in the face of her disintegrating dream of home and family. Though Agatha seems rooted in her sense of self, the story of her development in the aftermath of her father’s death when Agatha was 13 reveals wounds left untended decade after decade.

Bound by the thin threads of family and abandonment, the three women maintain their emotional distance until an accident in the dark in Glen Rosa thrusts them together and forces them to see each other fully.

The Thorn Tree takes the reader across continents — from Hope and Margaret’s first fraught confrontation in South Carolina the emigrations of Agatha’s sisters to England, America, Canada, and Australia — and through generations — from the death of Agatha’s father in the seas of the coast of Skye in 1938, through World War II in Glasgow, and on to the present day. Witty, intelligent, and painfully human, Hope, Margaret, and Agatha come of age, come to terms with mid-life, and reckon with death, respectively, while they grapple with honoring their differences and strenghtening each other.

If you can’t make the event but would like us to get a book signed for you, please email us atinfo@fiction-addiction.com or call us at 864-675-0540. Personalized copies will need to be prepaid.


Originally from Kilmarnock, Scotland, Heather Marshall is a writer and yoga teacher currently based in the foothills of South Carolina, where she lives with two of her three children, a pair of Labrador-mix dogs, a set of bagpipes, and a Royal Enfield motorcycle. Her fiction and creative nonfiction are published in a variety of periodicals — most recently inNorthwoods NowPrime Number and Six Minute Magazine. Her debut novel, The Thorn Tree, will release in the summer of 2014 from MP Publishing. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.

In her fiction and creative nonfiction, she likes to explore the connection — or disconnection — between characters and the natural environment. Through yoga and meditation, she practices deepening her connection with whatever environment she finds herself in, on and off the mat. When not at work, you can find her tromping or riding over the hills near her home, and when she can get away with it, on the other side of the Atlantic.

Her classes, workshops, and coaching work focus primarily on helping people access their own stories. This might be to process their past, as is the case for her work with members of the adoption triad; it might be to help people envision a path forward; it may be to capture family stories to hand down to the next generation; it might be to work with concepts like gratitude or forgiveness; it may also be creating fiction or creative nonfiction with a view to publication. Whatever the reason, she seeks to help writers engage fully with their stories and to draw out the best work possible.


Fiction Addiction is a local, woman-owned, independent bookstore established in 2001. The store carries a mixture of new and used fiction and nonfiction, including children’s books, as well as gift items. We have recently moved to a new location at 1175 Woods Crossing Road (in the shopping center with Five Guys and Fried Green Tomatoes). For more information, visit our website athttp://www.fiction-addiction.com or call us at 864-675-0540.


7 Quills Read


One of the joys in my life at the moment is that I’m part of a group of writers called 7 Quills. Yes, there are indeed seven of us. We’re all writing wildly different stories, books and poems, but we’re linked by a love of writing. Six of us will read on Saturday, April 26. Here’s a blurb about the event. Hope to see some of you there.

Award-winning local authors will read and sign books 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Coffee Underground, corner of Coffee and Main streets, Greenville. The authors include Deb Richardson-Moore whose memoir, The Weight of Mercy, addresses the challenges of ministering with and to Greenville’s homeless. The Rev. Pat Jobe, of Radio Free Bubba fame, will share his books and humor. Heather Marshall, who took Baker Prize awards for Scottish-based stories, will read from her novel, The Thorn Tree. Poet Justin Blackburn, a member of the SAY WHAT Greenville Poetry Slam Team, will perform, and Nan Lundeen will read poems describing growing up in Iowa. M.E. Corey Brown will share scenes from her fantasy novel, Champion of the Moon Glories.

A to Z: Yoga

The final week of the A to Z Blog Challenge: Yoga, and how it connects with writing for me.

In Vedic Sanskrit, the word Yoga means to add, join or unite. This is what writing and reading are about for me. As a writer, I am trying to unite challenging and disparate ideas, to make them cohesive and engaging. And so I am also trying to unite my work with readers and to connect through the page, even though I may never meet or hear from them. I like to read works that deeply engage with the natural world and that look at difficult, deeply felt occurrences. I work to do the same in my own writing. I hope that these practice, of reading and writing, will deepen my own connection to the world and the people in it. So, another layer of joining.

In yoga practice, I physically embody the ability to be still and to relax in difficult places, in asanas (poses) that don’t feel natural at first and that rub up against the edge of where I think I can go. The longer I practice, the more I am able to pay attention to subtle cues and to notice the big difference tiny adjustments make. Sometimes these adjustments aren’t visible outside my body, but they help me deepen my practice. The connection to writing is the capacity for sitting with difficult subject matter and letting it come fully forward, knowing that it won’t break me to feel deeply (and if I feel it truly is too much, I can do the equivalent of dropping into child’s pose and returning to the work the next day to try again). There’s the capacity for noticing increasing layers not only in myself and my writing but in the world around me. And, of course, the building of the ability to see the ways in which everything is connected.

Some of the great writers, Hemingway, for instance, turned to alcohol to help them drop into the harsh places. I’m certainly not averse to a drink (or two) but I think yoga allows me a deeper and more sustainable practice.