An excerpt from “Blue Earth,” the first story in the award winning collection, This Blue Earth:

It’s toward dinnertime and we’re six and a half hours out of Chicago on a spring break road trip to Wall Drug. Kind of a spur of the moment thing. We’re getting a little road weary and sick of the sensible snacks we packed when we see the sign: Blue Earth 2 miles ahead.

We pull off of I-90 and take the business route into town. Who names a place Blue Earth? We pull into a Subway and head in to order. Patti gets a meatball sub and I get an egg white wrap. I don’t eat meat. Patti has been my friend since seventh grade math with Mrs. Thornapple. That feels like a lifetime ago.

We head into town looking for a place to get out of the car and eat our sandwiches. It’s seventy-two degrees and sunny. We take a left off of the main drag. There’s a sign for a park. Patti sees it first. She sees him first. He’s big and green, about the size of a full-grown tree. We pull into a parking spot and gawk. Is he wearing a toga?

Thank you to Michigan Writers Cooperative Press for producing my Chapbook.

Journals that have published Sharon’s work:

(A person might wonder what happened between 2008 and 2021, and that may be discussed in a future blog post.)

Writers that Sharon has studied with

(in somewhat chronological order):

  • Vu Tran at Ragdale through Story Studio Chicago

  • Katey Schultz through Monthly Mentorship, Year One

  • Christine Maul Rice, Eric Charles May, and John Mauk at Interlochen Center for the Arts

  • Sandra Scofield at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival
  • Jill McCorkle, Richard Bausch, and Hollie Goddard Jones at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee School of Letters MFA program

  • Antonya Nelson at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference and the Bear River Writers Conference

  • Stuart Dybek through the University of Chicago

  • Ann Hood at the Wildacres Writers Workshop

  • Joan Silber at the Indiana University Writers’ Conference

  • Bonnie Jo Campbell and Russ Bradford at the Ludington Writers Conference

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