Beauty Like Columbines: "To live in the delta of the Mississippi River takes courage, tenacity and dumb luck. In my city, the Crescent City, the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana we have all of the above and more. We're the people with sandbags at the ready, generators prepped with spare gas cans and we know how to drive in rain that's coming down, sideways and up. We survived Hurricane Katrina and are a better city for it. Just when we got our pride and dignity back after an amazing Super Bowl showing, the Deep Horizon spill happened to let karma have her day. What do we Big Easies have to say about that? Who Dat!"
Funny Thing About Memory: "I stand in front of my vintage mirror, trying to decide which will be easier to fake, a fever or a tumor? Why do I need to fake an illness? Because I don’t want to go the Society Matrons of San Francisco’s 18th Annual Fall Cotillion Luncheon, that’s why. It’s going to be three hours of the same boring people talking about the same boring people with the same boring food. Why can’t I have a normal, cookie making, Days of Our Lives watching, gardening in the afternoon grandmother? Instead I get the society grandmother who is on the boards of several charities, arts endowments and the all-seeing, all-knowing Society Matrons of San Francisco. Having attempted to fake an illness before, there’s no pulling the wool over Gran’s eyes. My aunt Stephanie was the queen of getting out things and has made Gran immune to all forms of deceit. Even if I could believably pull off an illness, there would be major hell to pay later on, when Gran realizes I’ve lied to her. The saving grace of this whole affair is that Aunt Stephanie will be back in San Francisco."
Jinx & Jinxability: "I’m sure when my mother was whacked out on Demerol she thought that naming me Jane Austen was a good idea. I’d hoped that once the drugs wore off she’d realize what she’d done and fix it. She didn’t. Thus began my jinx filled life. Some people claim to be clumsy and accident-prone because they trip over air but for me, it’s so much worse. I have the worst luck of anyone I have ever met. Doesn’t matter what I do, it will always end in disaster."
Silent Sonata: "In my life there has been heartache and pain. In my life there has been joy and laughter. In my life there have been deaths and births. In my life I have been loved and adored and wanted. In my life, however short it has been has seen and done more than could be done in three lifetimes. I’m Zoe Sabrina Chelsea Hamilton and this is my story."
Someday We'll Know: "Four months ago I married my best friend. Four months ago I added another name to my driver's license. Four months ago I put away the child and became a wife. Well sort of. Four months ago I wore the big white dress, had the flowers in my hair and said the vows. Now four months later, I'm a wife, legally and in some cases, spiritually bound to another person for the rest of my life. However long it may be. I am Ithaca Vianne Porter-Hamilton and I am a wife."
Stormcreek Plantation: "“Good morning Charleston! It’s 5:03 on Saturday and the sun is shining. Up next on WDJZ is everyone’s favorite musical nutcase, Lady Gaga and Bad Romance,” the overly perky morning DJ says through my clock radio. The early morning sunrays are peeking through the eyelet curtains hanging in my room at Aunt Melanie’s house. The sunflower wallpaper that I had picked out when I was five has finally began to fade away, hidden behind ribbons, trophies and framed photographs of me and my best friend on four legs, Flyleaf, my Andalusian or Pura Raza Española or Pure Spanish Horse. I stare up at the ceiling trying to ignore the music coming from my radio. Deciding I have murdered the brain cell that holds the information about last night’s news, I turn off the radio and sit up, letting the old wood of my bed creak and groan. My thick woolen socks protect my feet from the cold hardwood floor."
There is No Easy Street: "My life will never be what society considers normal. My life will never be easy or worry free. My life is not without controversy. I have loved and I have lost many dear friends in my short seventeen years of life. I don't pretend to be anything else than what I am. I am Ithaca Vianne Porter and I'm HIV-positive. I've been called many things in my life: Sullen, cross, anti-social, celebutante. But I am also a friend, a daughter, a sister, a survivor. Nothing that I say here is fictional or embellished. This is my story."