Jodi Lea Stewart

Loving and Writing About the Southwest and the South

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    No running water, no inside plumbing, no way to run to the store for bread, meat, or butter. The name of the game was survival. In our current world, it’s hard to conceive of what it’s like to feed a lot of mouths when you have empty pockets and no promise of help. In…

In the movie “Smoke Signals,” the main characters, Thomas and Victor, hitch a ride off the Coeur D’Alene Indian Reservation with a young woman who drives her car around the Rez all day in reverse because that’s the only direction the car will go in. I highly recommend this hilarious movie, and seeing it again recently got me to thinking.…

Unique Challenges Historic novel writing presents many unique challenges. Foremost, the writer didn’t personally live during that time era, or he/she lived in New York but loved writing about the Old West. Slick documentaries and photos often don’t go far enough to immerse the writer or the reader in the “feel” of that particular slot…

If ever an Ellipsis were to run for President, what would be the platform? No more dot-to-space-ratio lawlessness, of course! Yet, enforcing the Ellipses Laws may be trickier than a politician practicing magic tricks. The underground world of ellipses No punctuation mark is more misunderstood or misused (might I suggest “abused?”) than the humble ellipsis. What’s…

*(All grammatical errors intentional)* 1936. December 24. 7:30 p.m. If I wanted Doodles to sleep warm as buttered biscuits, I’d have to do some more quilt tucking. I pressed it in good and tight all along her side and under her chin. There. Now she wouldn’t shiver in her sleep or roll off to the…

Personally, I don’t see how we can survive these days without the Land of Ish. I mean, think about it. You’re due in a meeting at work at a certain time, say nine o’clock. You did everything you should have done to be there on time – got up early, out the door on time,…

If you grew up without television, you’d probably think watching chubby red ants bringing treasures home to their anthills was loads of fun too. I know I did. Luckily, we had tons of anthills to scope out on our Arizona ranch. If I stood or squatted on a rock beside the mounds, the ants mostly…

At times, my writing focus is about as clear as swamp water. Sometimes I inadvertently go on a writing sabbatical. Things get in the way. When the “match” goes out, it’s like getting a D.C. politician to tell the truth challenging to restart the flame. For example, recently: There I sat. Alone in my office. Staring. Staring some…

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