Still Under the Pat Conroy Spell


If I could give all of you a copy of Pat Conroy’s, My Reading Life, I would. I just reread it, and if you love to read, you’ll realize you haven’t read nearly enough. Conroy keeps books of favorite poets on his desk to jump start his writing day. I’m not going to return this book to the shelf this time, but keep it next to me while I FINISH this second novel.

Today I finished a scene while under Conroy’s spell where Katherine has arrived in Rome and is having dinner with her boss and his new friends. I wrote:

By the time Robert walked Katherine back to the Raffaello she’d been immersed in a baptismal font filled with red wine. Rising from the font her internal clock was now reset, her inner ear attuned to a language whose words sound like music playing on an Italian radio station. How could she resist this religion of gestures and bravado proclaiming the good news of Italy. Robert had indeed found a perfect priest who’s anointment, albeit with olive oil, had blessed and changed him. (Stardust/Stepheny Houghtlin)

I can hear you saying, “Stepheny, get over yourself,”and this Conroy adoration,  but I can’t help myself.  Hoping Conroy would approve of at least one of these sentences?

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in About Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Still Under the Pat Conroy Spell

  1. It’s actually a very poetic paragraph. Where’s the start of this?

  2. johnvic8 says:

    A must read is the Pat Conroy Cook Book. Good food but much better writing. He is a pure gift to us all. I love the imagery in your paragraph. Write on!

    • I posted this on my Facebook page but forget you don’t see it. Thought you would like Conroy’s discovery of a new word… the word Kintsugi. It is the Japanese practice of repairing ceramics with gold-laced lacquer to illuminate the breakage. Conroy realizes he has practiced this art on his characters marking their wounds and fissures. (Thomas Meyer mourning the death of poet Johathan Williams names the poem Kintsugi.)

  3. Love learning even more about Pat Conroy! And keep going, Stepheny!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s