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The Dart: Pat Miles stays productive by writing stories

NATCHEZ — Even when she appears to be doing nothing, Patricia “Pat” Miles said her mind is usually hard at work, so she takes the time to write it down.

When the dart landed near Bishop Street on Friday afternoon, Miles sat on the front porch of her house of three years while her mind drifted back to her home in Church Hill, she said.

“I’m just ready to get back home,” Miles said. “I’ve only lived here for the past three or four years, but I’ve lived in Church Hill my whole life. … It’s so peaceful and quiet there.”

Miles said she used to love hunting, fishing and watching the birds and squirrels run around her yard back home before a tragedy in her family made her move to the city.

Since then, Miles said she has had a lot of spare time on her hands that she has used to focus on writing.

Her stories, Miles said, are about real people she had either met or learned about in books or on television.

“I once knew a farmer in Church Hill named Mr. Leo and wrote a poem about him,” Miles said. “He raised so much food he didn’t know what to do with it. … He and his family moved to Chicago and built a shelter for the homeless people there.”

In another story, Miles said she wrote about a millionaire named Jim Smith who traveled to Africa to provide food and healthcare to indigenous tribes.

While some of her stories are about good deeds, Miles said her other stories are about people who are hurting — such as children who were abused or abandoned by their parents — so those who read them might feel inspired to do good deeds, too.

“All I need is a pen with ink in it,” Miles said. “Why sit around doing nothing when I could be writing?”