Cathy Coley

Missiles at Dawn

Missiles at Dawn

Living close to a weapons testing area

not far from Camp Lejeune can be

interesting. Sometimes the air pops

and eventually I know it’s not a rowdy

neighbor by how the corn settles

into a practiced rhythm.

Sometimes it’s quite loud. The house

shakes, and I wonder if this might be it.

I think they’re testing land mines.

This morning, I learned the fft-whoosh

of missiles at dawn is nothing like the movies.

Now I will recognize it

before one hits our house.

Is this a poem?

I have broken up the lines.

Or shall I just sit and wonder

how soon this preparation is for?

updated: 2 years ago



If this is the worst for us, and some yard waste, we are incredibly grateful.

My goal with this blog is to post about writing process every couple of weeks. The time table is to hold myself accountable to keeping on track in writing, and to not overtalk process, thereby writing myself out of the main writing which I'd rather be writing.

Well, life and hurricanes happen, and it's been a month. Our house is still standing, I don't think we "house guests and fish-ed" our way out of our evacution hosts' family. Sadly, many of my neighbors and community have trees in their roofs, or beach or rivers and sewage washed into the rest of their homes or businesses. School is still out for our district and it's taking a routine toll on our family, but we are home, all is well for us. We survived. The community is strong and cleaning up as quickly as possible. Beach access is off-limits, but the little park where I walk along the Intracoastal is cleaned up and open, and there is no longer a curfew or limited access to Topsail Island. The dunes are no longer in the streets, but still being repaired.

With that out of the way, I'm going to once again thank the handful of readers who contacted me through the contact page to buy a signed copy of Felix the Comet. I still have about two dozen copies of the first printing taking up a shelf in my house and mental room in my brain. I would love to send you a copy, too, signed to you, or for a kid or teacher you know, around 4th-7th grade. I'm cleaning house, not making any money on it, $10 a copy covers printing and shipping and handling. I'm moving on in writing. Felix is a great little companion to have in my brain, but I feel like he and his friends want to grow up and move on, too.

Now for the writing:

I had been mulling working on existing projects that won't let go, started years ago in some cases, but with news being what it is lately, I found myself stymied to write after we settled back in and cleaned up the yard. Then I had a stroke, or maybe a few, and maybe that's an overstatement that shouldn't be joked about, but I had a stroke of conscious and began a story that may be story, may be a novella, may be something bigger, and it's a woman's story of what it is like to live in these times. One woman's story, and regardless of who you support in the current news, I think any woman could relate to this story, has lived aspects of it, knows what it is like to be a woman now, or in the last fifty years. I hope I'm adding a surprise twist in it, still a work in progress. Another for the cohort.

Thanks for stopping by.

Be well, be safe, and be kind to yourself.

Until next post,


updated: 3 years ago

Florence and the Writer

Florence and the Writer

looking eastward from my backyard, so far, so good.

I've spent my whole life on the East Coast of the US. The sea gives me life. When Hothouse Flowers came out with their song Good for You, that opens, "I spent my life watch sky and sea change color, hypnotized by the beauty of it all" I cried. It was my life. Yeah, I'm a big sap.

So, I have a bit of experience with hurricanes. My family moved from a block away from Long Island Sound, inland and up a hill, after a small hurricane when I was seven years old. A few decades later, that house was destroyed by Sandy. My father still lives in the house we moved to in '73. I do not seem to follow his good perspective, and moved within reach of the major Hurricane Alley trajectory at this stage in my life. Florence is about to hit 2 miles from my house we moved into a year ago. I thought it was far enough from shore, but now, I know I am in mandatory evacuation zone for above a Cat 3. Florence is currently looking like a Cat 4-5. It's Monday, She's due Thursday, pregnant with the swirling central Atlantic.

We bought plywood for the windows, but my husband's job has amped production before the storm hits, somewhat because of the storm, maybe, but also the nature of his business. It's his business, I won't go into here. This blog is about writing. Somehow, my 20 year old son and his broke down old mother need to get it hung over the windows. I'm checking in with the neighbors today.

We are in deep hurricane prep, and I have had an invitation to evacuate my family to another writer's house, further inland. Check out her work! Christa Miller writes across genres and recently published the first book in a series for kids about raccoon rescue from the perspective of the raccoons. My daughter loved it! so did I. She also writes great dark cross genre fantasy, crime, mystery stories, and novellas.

Speaking of children's books, again, thanks to those who bought mine recently. I still have some on hand to let go of, and would love to sign and send them to you, a teacher, or student of around 4th-7th grade. Please email me through my contact page, I'm selling them at cost plus shipping, not making anything from it myself. I'm cleaning house is all.

Wish my family luck that Florence turns back out to sea before she makes landfall, or we may be going on a grand adventure. And so will Christa, because my family is mayhem.

updated: 3 years ago

Heading into Fall

Heading into Fall

This could belong to you, a teacher's classroom, or a child you know!


I have one kid left going into school this fall. Fall is a relative term here, as she is starting in August, and the Equinox isn't for another month. I don't know if this is a particularly southern thing, or farming thing. When I grew up in Connecticut, we always started after Labor Day, and that made much more sense to say Fall, at least it was the same month in name. My boys did so, too, in our Massachusetts days.

This is neither here nor there, except to say life moves on, and I get caught in the current, no matter my good intentions to write daily. May that be more possible once the house is a bit quieter. I'm crossing my fingers and toes. I have also opened up a few old manuscripts and started to poke around.

Thanks again to everyone who bought books I have on hand, signed and delivered. I still have about 15 left and to restate, I will happily sign and send them to you or a child or teacher for a classroom for the low price of $10 per book, to cover printing and shipping costs. I am making nothing on this. I am just clearing them out of my house, to make headroom to write anew. It's a fun tale of social negotiations of a 6th grader who loves science, his friends, family, and dog and runs into trouble with a new kid in town. Target audience is a good third grader reader up.

Please note I have added buttons for easy sharing on Twitter and Facebook!

I still think of this time of year as the beginning, after my own school years and a couple of decades in education profession.

Happy turning of the season!


updated: 3 years ago