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About Me

2017 Update

All of what I wrote below when I started this blog in 2012 is true, but as character, interests, and events evolve, I have, as I think of it, increasingly come into focus. I have become a Reiki Master, making official my long-standing interest in energy, how it flows or doesn’t, and how I can use it for healing.

When I am asked how my Reiki practice and my interest in war in general and the war in Vietnam in particular converge I say they are the same. I am not a war buff. I utterly lack an interest in battles and strategy. I see the flow of energy, how it surges forward, fueled by what is most often youthful male passion. I see it collide and explode, leaving wreckage in its wake. I see its longterm effects. I know that, later, I may be able to take the fragments of that energy and reweave them into something ‘re-human,’ something deeper, closer to myth and wisdom. That is my work now.


Whenever I join a writing group I introduce myself as a recovering academic. I was raised in an academic family with educational privileges – lots of books and music and travel – and I earned a doctorate in medieval art history. Underneath that culture, though, was a foundation of Southern story-telling. And there was something else, something more alive and menacing that was difficult to recognize beneath all the rationality: I had the ability to sense the presence of haunting memory.

As a child I did not know what to do with that gift. I did not even know I had it. I thought it was just life, the way things were. There were things people did not want to talk about – ok, fair enough, but it irritated me. I spent my growing up years being angry, bossy, and silenced. I carved out my own space in my room where I read and wrote and listened to the radio. I occupied border territory, boundary space, paradox, liminality.

I thought I wanted to study early Renaissance Italian art until I was in the Metropolitan Museum at Christmas and had a conversion experience to medieval art. I earned a doctorate mostly because my advisor was too startled by my thesis to reject it. It was not until I had left the academic life and started writing fiction that I saw that I was spending my life weaving my favorite themes into an interlace.

I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, a land of glaciers and wine. I love to garden and eat dark chocolate. I travel and then to come back home and think about it. I am an Aries and act it. The R. in my name is for Raglan. I carry a Moleskine notebook with me wherever I go. I am writing a novel.

  1. Fun blog entries to read. Wish you had an email subscription widget. Like the graf about your mother-in-law and how forgiveness is less important than privacy to your own mother. Poignant.

    February 4, 2012
  2. Susan Dixon #

    Thanks, Jill. And I added the widget.

    February 4, 2012
  3. Ron Field #

    I was very thrilled to find your photo of John Thomas Dixon who served in the Charlotte Grays, 56th Virginia. I am writing a book about infantry in the Civil War & if possible would like to use the photo as an illustration. Would this be possible?

    October 26, 2012
  4. Ron, Thank you for your interest! Let me consult the person who gave me the photo. I will let you know as soon as I know.

    October 26, 2012