Please say hello to Richard Stuart Gilbert, someone I’ve never met in person but feel I’ve known a long time. His words have often left me pondering days or weeks later. He’s a blogger, journalist, memoir writer, professor and more. Some years ago he owned a sheep farm. Sound interesting? He is!

Richard seems to be walking a parallel path in Appalachian Ohio to mine here in Brooklyn. When I found his blog Narrative a year or so ago, I reached for my shepherd’s crook and snagged it!

Richard has written about my post about the idea of Ubuntu and memoir on his blog. He also interviewed me. Part One of a two-part series asks me about my memoir’s working title, Rosy Cheeks and about how I structured my writing process over the last five years. While you are on Richard’s blog be sure to click on his favorite memoirs and read a few of his reviews. You’ll understand why I consider myself a learner in Richard’s classroom! And give him a little blogger love — leave a comment!

What other blogs do you love to read? Do you have any to recommend to me or to my readers?

Shirley Showalter


  1. Richard Gilbert on January 30, 2012 at 10:21 am

    How nice of you, Shirley. Mega dittoes. And I know you’re a farm girl, but it’s still impressive to me that you know what a shepherd’s crook is and can make a metaphor of it.

    Come to think of it, when we moved to town a couple years ago, my blue crook was the only piece of sheep gear I kept, for some reason. I guess it was so connected to the sheep. I used it to snag the rear legs of lambs out in the pasture when I tagged them at birth. I can’t pick it up without feeling them tugging against it like so many scrappy fish. Lambings were always like Christmas, seeing the lambs’ sexes and colors and weights. A nice litter of triplets was so satisfying and interesting.

    • shirleyhs on January 30, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Ha! After you teach English a long time and write a lot of president reports, you can turn anything into a metaphor. 🙂

      Thanks for the lovely pastoral scene of lambing in the meadow. I’ve never done that. But you made me feel that tug!

  2. Sharon Lippincott on January 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Shirley, you are a master at building community. Glad you used that shepherd’s crook on Richard.

    • shirleyhs on February 1, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Sharon, thank you so much for those words. High praise to a Mennonite. 🙂 But I’ll try not to “get the big head.” Do you have that phrase in western PA?

  3. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living on January 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    Just left a comment on Richard’s blog. Thanks for introducing us to his blog, “Narrative.”

    • shirleyhs on January 31, 2012 at 9:09 am

      So glad you followed the link back to Richard’s blog, Sonia. I know you’ll love exploring his wonderful treasures. And thanks for sharing our own story of connection. I hope readers will check out what you are doing with Gutsy Living. Your story contest is a wonderful way for memoir writers to get started telling their stories online!

  4. Annette Gendler on February 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for showcasing Richard’s blog. I am glad to see he’s showcasing you!

    • shirleyhs on February 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks, Annette. Isn’t it interesting how social media teach us Ubuntu — our connection to each other? I’ve made so many friends online due to our kindred interests. And you are definitely on that list. Thanks for your generous comments and RTs!

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