Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

June 21, 2013

BSU author's novel inspires musical

OSGOOD – “Write what you know,” authors have long been advised. Cathy Day, who teaches creative writing at Ball State University, found success doing just that, she told about 20 during a June 6 discussion at the Osgood Public Library sponsored by its book club.

Her 2004 debut novel, “The Circus in Winter,” is about her hometown of Peru in northern Indiana. Yet “southern Indiana has been my ... home for quite a while.” Her parents now live in Aurora, her sister works at Bright Elementary School and her mother and brother used to work in Batesville.

One woman asked about her writing beginnings. “Like a lot of writers, I love to read,” she answered. While devouring “Silas Marner” at 12, “I read this really beautiful paragraph .... What occurred to me, a writer could put words together in such a way to make readers feel something.”

At DePauw University, Day had to write a senior thesis. The professor pointed out, “‘You’re from that weird circus town. Why don’t you write about it?’”

The Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus performers wintered there from 1884-1944 because the owners lived in the town. She explained, “The kids in Peru hate the circus. They’re sick of it,” just like Gettysburg residents are tired of the Civil War.

But she did have stories. “My great-great-uncle, my mother’s sister’s husband’s father, got killed by the elephant.”

Her book began as a 50-page nonfiction essay. She wrote more stories before earning a master’s degree at the University of Alabama in 1995 and the rest of the chapters after that.

One professor said some of her stories were like Victorian dollhouses. Day got the period details right, but the characters felt like dolls, not real persons. She realized, “You have to get inside the characters in the same way actors and actresses do. For me, my favorite stories are the ones when I’m learning as much about myself” and putting those emotions into the characters. “They are literally parts of me.”

Text Only
Features
  • nws - bv032114 - sidell mission trip 1 Sidell helps people in Burkina Faso

    March 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Looking back at the good old days 25 years ago The Batesville High School boys basketball team captured the sectional title, defeating South Ripley 75-48. Batesville Beautification League members were granted permission by city council members to locate a gazebo in the village square

    March 18, 2014

  • nws - bv031114 - Purdue leaders (discussion groups 2) Local food system will be strengthened

    March 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws bv030714 - SLS olympics (balance) SLS students shine as 'Olympians' The Winter Olympics were held in Sochi, Russia, from Feb. 7-23. St. Louis School held its own version of the games Feb. 28 for grades K-2. Teachers Jan Narwold and Missy Cooper planned the festivities, which began with the parade of the homerooms as

    March 7, 2014 3 Photos

  • nws - bv022814 - Davies, Rebecca On eve of retirement, muralist leaves her mark Rebecca Davies was a waitress, ad agency employee and bank teller. For the past 17 years, she has been the Batesville Intermediate School art teacher, currently teaching three and a half days a week until her June retirement. Throughout it all, art h

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Looking back at the good old days 25 years ago Anton Nel, a well-known classical pianist, performed a concert for Immaculate Conception Academy students. The Batesville High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team became the first BHS team to finish its regular season undefeated. Batesv

    February 28, 2014

  • nws - bv022514 - safe passage youth council Teens shed light on dating violence Safe Passage, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families in Ripley, Franklin, Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland counties live strong, safe lives that are free of violence, was established in 1997. Since that time, its staff a

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv022114 - Q&A stafford Best seller written by former Batesville teacher Rachel Macy Stafford has written a New York Times best selling book. "Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the to-do List and Letting go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!," published by Zondervan Jan. 7, landed at No.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv021414 - FGA seminar (Hoopengardner - goats) Goat cheese business is booming

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv020714 - Mother-Daughter book club 4 Book club gets girls discussing Neither snow nor sleet can keep these girls away from their books. Indeed, the Mother-Daughter Book Club met Jan. 28 even though schools were closed. Former pharmacist and now stay-at-home mom Tricia Jennewein started the group last August. "This has

    February 11, 2014 2 Photos