The blinds drawn, lights off, I leaned over Mama's hospital bed and rubbed her neck. "I don't know how you manage to be so strong," I said. "It's like my mama always told me," she answered. "Root little pig or die." My mother has spent[..]
“This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there’s this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.” Ann Voskamp When that soldier came to our little trailer house in 1966[..]
Morrow County Courthouse A watercolor of Scottish man in a kilt playing the fiddle took the Judge’s Choice Award. I know because I was the judge who awarded it. I’m not sure what time we got home last night but when I stepped into the[..]
A friend once told me how difficult it was for her to adjust to the military way of life. She had grown up a product of prosperity. Her father had discovered some necessary component to something in the music industry and had made a tidy[..]
The argument over health care is politically-charged and I have nothing much to add to it other than choices matter. They can make the difference between life and death, between a good life or a miserable one. Mama has choices, and for this day I'm[..]
Mama is sitting at the edge of her bed eating a biscuit with jam and drinking a tall black coffee from McDonalds, which Mama declares is pretty good coffee. I am the culprit who snuck the "real food" in. Mama says you can tell everybody[..]
A week ago I was in a hospital in Spokane, Washington celebrating the birth of our first grandchild. There were tears that day, too, but of a different sort. Tears of joy. I remember little from all those religion classes I took at University but[..]
I think a lot about words, how we use them and how prevalent certain words are. Recently I had a discussion with someone about breast pumps. There was a time in my life when breast pump was common terminology in our household and in conversations with friends. When[..]
Thirty-three years ago today, I drank a bottle of Castor oil and got sicker than a yard dog with scours. This after I'd eaten half a watermelon. This after I'd gone nearly four weeks overdue with my firstborn. It's not just some old wives tale.[..]
Karen Spears Zacharias is an Appalachian writer, a former journalist, and author of numerous books, both fiction and non-fiction.
She holds a MA in Appalachian Studies from Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and a MA in Creative Media Practice from the University of West Scotland, Ayr, Scotland.
Her debut novel Mother of Rain received the Weatherford Award for Best in Appalachian Fiction from The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College, Kentucky.
Zacharias was named Appalachian Heritage Writer in 2018 by Shepherd University.
Her work has been featured on National Public Radio, CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post and in numerous anthologies.
She lives at the foot of the Cascade Mountains in Deschutes County, Oregon, where she’s an active member of the League of Women Voters and Central Oregon Writers Guild. She is a member of Phi Beta Delta and Phi Kappa Phi. A Gold Star daughter, she is a fierce advocate for democratic principles and women’s rights.
Zacharias taught First-Amendment Rights at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington, and continues to teach at writing workshops around the country.
Her forthcoming novel No Perfect Mothers will be released by Mercer University Press, Spring 2024.
For more information on Karen and her books, click here