A Pineywoods Manifesto

“Though dead, he speaketh still . . . ” Clayton Iles’ Manifesto

  man·i·fes·to  noun \ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō\ “a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group.” Bro. C’s Manifesto   My father, Clayton Iles, was affectionately known as “Brother C.” Today marks eleven years since his death from cancer. Just before we moved to Africa, my pastor, Charlie Bailey, handed me a sheaf of papers.  “I thought you …

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Sept. 6 In Celebration of Southern Women

“A Southern Woman can do anything.” -Iris My friend Iris gave me this reply to a question I asked. It sums up why I’ve always loved Southern women. I’m thankful for the Southern women in my life. I married one. She can’t be beat. I was birthed by one.  My mother reared us with the best qualities that make our …

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What Is True Success?

What is true success? If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it’s not success at all. -Anna Quindlen       Last week I inquired of my Facebook friends, “How do you define true success.” I’ve been blown away by the wisdom in …

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A Handup . . . not a Handout

“A Hand up… not a Handout” From the book, Hearts Across The Water by Curt Iles Background: After the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, I traveled there with a medical group. In a small village called Garut, I listened in on the conversation told in this story. One of the Displaced Person’s Centers along Sumatra’s (Indonesian) Northern …

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Wet Paint

Epilogue: Wet Paint This story is the final story from my second book, The Old House. It describes the strange mix of emotions a person feels when they finish a big project—regardless of if it’s a painting, a book, or building a house. I’ve just finished my next novel, A Good Place. Well, if you ever finish a book, I’ve …

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Catfish Lies: Straight from the Delta

“Catfish Lies” When is the truth a lie? We talk about “little white lies” and half-truths. Is there such a thing? Here is one of my favorite stories. You decide for yourself if the parties involved told the truth or a lie: American catfish farmers of the South are having a hard time economically. As is true in so many …

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Stuck on Devil’s Tower

Stuck on Devil’s Tower . . . I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.       On October 1, 1941 parachutist George Hopkins did something incredibly stupid. He parachuted onto the top of Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower. Recently while visiting this impressive national monument, I read about Hopkin’s stunt. He did it to get attention and …

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