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The sweetest song comes from a forgiving heart. —Whinburg Township Amish proverb The summer Simon Yoder broke her heart was the summer Cora Swarey lost her ability to hear the music in Colorado’s high country. She thought God had brought them together, but when Simon dropped her to pursue an Englisch woman, she wondered how she’d ever…

Chapter One Willow Creek, Whinburg Township, Pennsylvania Late December  A wedding was a lot like Christmas, Cora Swarey had always thought. Both involved giving, and family, and a lot of good food. But while the focus of Christmas was on the little baby who would change the world, the focus of a wedding was on…

I’m thrilled and delighted to share with you all that I defended my dissertation, Holy City, on July 26 and have achieved my PhD in Creative Writing! I “passed with minor corrections,” which everyone gets in the Creative Writing program. It simply means I’ll get a revision letter, make the changes they suggest, and turn it in. Once…

What we would call the dissertation/thesis defense in the States is called a “viva voce” in the UK, where I’m earning my PhD in Creative Writing. My viva is scheduled for July 26, but this morning, my supervisor and I had a dry run, where he asked me the kinds of questions the examiners might…