“Cheshire Cat Moon”

My flash fable, “Cheshire Cat Moon,” will appear in Soundings East, to be released in May 2018. This is one of my personal favorites. It is a midnight tale of life in the forest. 

Melanie Arrowood Wilcox is a North Carolina native and a Carolina graduate with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. A writer and artist, her themes often involve spiritual issues presented as fables or modern interpretations of old texts. More information about Melanie is available at:




December 26, 2017



Commitment to Your Art

Find a workable schedule that encourages daily work time.


Creative Spark

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

(Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist)

January Events

New Year’s Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day



Finding a New Path

One year ago today, my life changed. It almost ended forever.

Months, possibly years, of stress took their toll. I had a heart attack on November 7th, 2016, and two days later in the Cardiac Care Unit, I had a stroke.

Stress was probably not the only cause of this. I have a strong family history of mini-strokes as well as heart disease. I didn’t eat as well as I should, by any means, nor did I exercise regularly throughout my life. I have battled several autoimmune diseases that have co-morbidities with heart disease: Psoriatic Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Sjogrens, and that major demon of Diabetes.

It has been a terrible battle, but nothing as challenging as my heart attack and stroke. I was sick for weeks before they occurred, so ill that this political animal no longer wanted to hear about the elections or the candidates or the future of the world. I was physically unable to vote early, something I had done for more than a decade. I was in the CCU during the election and didn’t have to finally choose any candidates. Staff and medical teams were forbidden to discuss the election, a blessing for which I am very grateful. I was in no condition to think about politics.

Like many others who survive life-threatening events, I am immensely grateful and am finding my way to a new normal. The opportunity to get some things right is an undeserved grace.

I’ve been working on myself and the apologies I owe, the forgiveness I seek or can offer. I am focusing on things I think matter in the long run: family, friends, giving back. I haven’t been on social media as often. My writing and art fell by the wayside while I worked on learning to do complicated things like walking, eating, and bathing.

I no longer waste so much time on being angry. I do still get upset but I try to think about whether I would want to fall dead with those being the last words I said to someone. The answer is almost always no.

Shortly after coming home from the hospital on the day after Thanksgiving, it snowed briefly. I was like a kid. I realized that I had been blessed: I got to see snow again! Neither I, my husband, nor my son had thought that would be possible.

Sometimes blessings are wrapped in fear and loss. I am learning to recognize them. An integral part of my recovery is acknowledging the losses and welcoming the gifts.

The Mighty Renegade

The real “circle of life” is harsh and beautiful. The river flows still.


The story begins back in 2003 when Baja gained Washakie and her two-year old daughter, Bacardi, during a skirmish with Prince. Since that time, Baja and Washakie, have been inseparable. Fourteen years is a long time for a band to stay together in the Pryors, yet these two forged a strong and enduring bond. They were a striking matched dun pair. Baja was unmistakable with his  two-toned mane and tail and his strong, muscular build. Washakie shared Baja’s dun coloration and had soft, doe-like eyes. These two with Washakie’s blue roan daughter, Bacardi, became a fixture on the mountain. They were quite elusive and weren’t always seen, but when they were, there was no doubt to their identify.

IMG_4301 This was one of the first photos that Nancy took of Baja’s band. This was in May 2005. Bacardi had her first foal, stripe-y little grullo foal named Freedom. He did not…

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“Along with Youth”

“Papa” was the first author whose work I liked enough to look for more. I read a collection of his short stories in third grade. Yes, a bit early, but books were my best friends at that time.

Since then I have read his novels, stories, and poetry.

I never stopped loving his work.

Along with Youth

Ernest Hemingway


A porcupine skin,

Stiff with bad tanning,

It must have ended somewhere.

Stuffed horned owl


Yellow eyed;

Chuck-wills-widow on a biassed twig

Sooted with dust.

Piles of old magazines,

Drawers of boy’s letters

And the line of love

They must have ended somewhere.

Yesterday’s Tribune is gone

Along with youth

And the canoe that went to pieces on the beach

The year of the big storm

When the hotel burned down

At Seney, Michigan.

This poem is in the public domain.