The Pinch

The birth was not a joyous one. Just another little Irish girl born in The Pinch, an area in Memphis next to the Wolf River lagoon, so named for the pinched look of the underfed residents. Mary Elizabeth saw the birth’s blessing, however.

“Katie, Molly, come see your new little sister,” she called as soon as the midwife allowed. “What a precious blessing she is to push the sad shadows from our hearts.” It was exactly five weeks and one day since her husband’s funeral mass. Michael James was buried in consecrated ground at Calvary Cemetery, but there was no money for a marker. No matter. Few outside The Pinch cared for the death of a poor Irishman anyway.

“She can carry her Da’s name since she’ll never know him. It will honor him sure. We’ll be calling her Mary Michael.”

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Reader Review

from a reader —
“I just finished reading Opal and I want to tell you that we are so impressed with your skill and sensitivity. You are an outstanding story-teller!! I don’t know whether you were intentional but the variety of the tales you told certainly demonstrated the breadth of your writing ability–from quiet drama to thriller and, even, comedy.”

Opal Has Another Good Review

I was thrilled and honored to read a review of my book, Opal, on the book review blog, Tomes and Tequila. This might be the most exciting part: “Thomas-Plunk has such an amazing literary voice, and so artistically paints pictures with her words, that I could feel myself being transported to the South that I love so much.”
Thank you, Ms. Huber!
The entire review is available at
Opal is available for purchase at amazon, barnes and noble, booksamillion and other online booksellers.

‘Opal’ Is Available for Purchase


Opal, by Diane Thomas-Plunk, is a collection of related short stories set in 1950s rural Mississippi. Opal is a middle-aged, reclusive spinster who doesn’t seek out the world at large, but gathers up her courage when she must.

The book may be purchased through amazon, barnesandnoble, booksamillion or other online bookselelrs.

Opal Is On Her Way

When my book, Opal, is released in approximately a month, this will be the image of Opal’s house that will appear on the cover. Opal is a collection of related short stories set in 1950s rural Mississippi. You’ll recognize the features of this house as you read the stories. By the way, the window you see on the left of the door once belonged to her parents.

The painting of the house was created by artist John Robinette. Click the ‘fiction’ tab to the left to read some Opal stories.


Gentleman Caller

Published in Deep South Magazine

Opal Pratt didn’t recognize the old pickup truck that turned off the main road onto the dusty lane to her house. She was sitting in the front porch rocker as was her late afternoon habit, particularly now when the Mississippi summer settled in and she could catch a breeze out there.

A tall, lanky man stepped out of the truck when it stopped near her porch. There was a familiar look to him, but Opal couldn’t place him. He approached the bottom porch step and tipped his hat.

“I’m Lemuel Parker, and I come to court.”