|I enjoy ringing in the Salem United Methodist Church-(Benton) Sanctuary bells and playing piano every Sunday at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Tull, Grant County, Hwy 190 off Hwy 35. Working in the 1-acre yard is an ongoing task. Keeping ahead of privet and wild cherry saplings is one of my goals.
I am working on two books: a memoir, When I Had Another Name, and A Compendium of Journal Jottings: a sourcebook for writers, readers and everyone else, which is in the capable hands of Cahaba Press.
I have a large collection of Fostoria American crystal that began in 1960 with marriage, and a large collection of Avon's Cape Cod red glass that began when friend Bettye Bragg was "my Avon lady." My office windows are full of see-thru bright blue glass. My siblings and I take a Sisters' trip each year and search in flea markets and thrift stores for our collections.
Below is the bio I use whenever I'm asked to provide one.
After majoring in piano and teaching public school music for 27 years, and Gifted Ed for the last few, the writing bug bit me. I’d written poetry since 1984, but when I enrolled in a graduate class, Writing Across the Curriculum, my life changed.
I’ve been schooled in “lucid” poetry, under the tutelage of Ted O. Badger, long-time editor and publisher of The Lucidity Journal.
I’ve also edited two newspaper columns of poetry, The Benton (AR) Courier (now the Saline Courier) and The Amity (AR) Standard, for which I currently write a weekly general-interest column, the 18th year of this project.
I retired in 1994 to concentrate on writing. I have been a resident of the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureaka Springs for nearly a dozen years, and a writer at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Edication Center writers retreat in Piggott one year longer.
My first novel, A Journey of Choice, was published in 2010 by iUniverse, and the sequel, Her Face in the Glass, edited by Steve May at Alderson Press, was published during the fall of 2015 by CreateSpace in both softback and Kindle editions. [end of prepared bio]
In 2013, I was tapped to be the poetry editor for Calliope: a workshop for writers based in Green Valley, AZ.
I have two blogs (pittypatter.blogspot.com--(poetry) and pittypatter-pittypatter.blogspot.com—prose, and this website, PatLaster.com. I’m on Facebook as Pat Couch Laster.
In August 2016, HIDING MYSELF INTO SAFETY: A Collection of Short Stories and Long poems was published. It was edited by Sharon Laborde of Cahaba Press of Eureka Springs AR and Birmingham AL in softback and Kindle versions.
As of August '18, Billy, the grandson I raised from 8 months, and who will soon be 29 has moved to Hot Springs, where he works at Cracker Barrel.
[Updated February 27, 2019; check back occasionally for more content that might be added or corrected.]