If you’ve followed my blog very long, you’ve probably seen mention of the fact that I grew up on a farm that’s been in my family for seven generations. It’s a big part of why I write about Appalachia and have such strong nostalgia for the past. Today I thought I’d share a new poem reflecting on a piece of that history . . . SEVENTH GENERATION How many greats does it take to reach back into the days when a cousin named Electa rode a broke down old horse four days across the mountains to find her wounded brother? A great plan indeed. The bullet broke the bone and lodged there. He ought not to have lived, but he said no Rebel bullet would kill him. So, instead of dying, he sang songs. Surely there was a rock of ages and a sweet hour of prayer, blessed assurance and great is thy faithfulness. Electa found him. Nursed him and brought him back a way that seemed familiar now. Today, paved roads hide that trail. Houses and cars a great washing up of flotsam in the wake of the past. Standing here, on land that’s been passed down and down and down, it’s easy to count back from seven. It’s easy to imagine that I, too, might manage something great.
I’m so excited! I’ve had the opportunity to teach classes at several regional writing conferences and book festivals (this past weekend I taught at a Pennwriters event in Leesburg, Va.). I really enjoy sharing the tips and tricks I’ve learned and hearing from writers at all different stages of the process. I’m always excited about leading a class. But I’m […]
Honeybees aren’t native to WV, but they came to the state with European settlers and, escaping their hives, decided to settle in themselves. Locals soon discovered the sweet treat inside the wild hives and began developing techniques for discovering bee trees. Of course, bees aren’t what you’d call sneaky and when traveling home to their hives they travel in a […]
Five years ago today my first full-length novel released. On the Sunday before, I held a launch party at my church with a reading, book sale, beans & cornbread supper, bluegrass music, and even some square dancing. It was pretty awesome. And not just because I was finally an honest-to-goodness author. It was wonderful because of the people who came and the way they supported me in celebrating my dream-come-true. Here’s what I wrote on this very blog five years ago: “In Appalachian Serenade Delilah realizes that family is something deeper than blood kin. My FAMILY gathered around yesterday evening and we had a celebration. There was church family, work family, neighborhood family, friends family, family family–and it was one of those times when I felt love wrapped all around me like a soft blanket on a cold night.” Much has happened since then. Some of the dear friends who joined us that night have passed on. Both of my parents now have health issues that prevent them from traveling to NC. We have new friends who have become like family. And yet, some things are the same. Most significantly the love and support of my extended family which now also includes author friends and reader friends. It kind of makes me want to have a party and invite you ALL. Hmmmm. I’ve got another book releasing in November. I might do just that . . .
I appreciate everyone who chimed in with the name of a favorite southern author for a chance to win an Advance Reading Copy of When Silence Sings. Here’s the list in case you’re looking for an author to add to your TBR stack! Tamera Alexander Sarah Addison Allen Patricia Bradley Jule Cantrell Lauren Denton William Faulkner Heather L.L. Fitzgerald Dorothea Benton Frank Laura Frantz Ann Gabhart John Grisham Silas House Greg Iles Joshilyn Jackson Harper Lee Valerie Luesse Margaret Maron Charles Martin Carson McCullers Sharyn McCrumb Ann Mulligan Mary Alice Munroe Eugenia Price Reynolds Price Nicholas Sparks Lisa Wingate I love the variety of current authors, classics, inspirational, general fiction, and oh a little bit of everything! The South is nothing if not varied. And here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for. The randomly selected winner is . . . JUDY MAHARREY! Judy, send your mailing address to email@example.com and I’ll get that ARC in the mail to you. Happy reading!
I’m super excited to be appearing at the 2019 SIBA Discovery Show in Spartanburg, SC, this September. (That’s the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.) The event is primarily for independent booksellers from throughout the south who come to learn best practices and to hear what’s new in Southern fiction. And since I have a story releasing in November–that would be something […]
You’ve almost certainly heard this time of year referred to as the “dog days” of summer. But do you know WHY it’s called that? I always thought it’s because this hot, muggy time of year isn’t hardly fit for a dog. And I had a professor in college who talked about the humidity of late summer making stepping outside feel like stepping into a dog’s mouth. An apt metaphor. But turns out there’s more to it than that. Turns out it’s because this is the time of year when the sun is in the same part of the sky as Sirius – the Dog Star – part of the constellation Canis Major. In late July Sirius actually rises and sets with the sun. And way back in the day, folks thought the star actually added to the heat of the sun. So the dog days are the 20 days before and after Sirius and the sun line up–July 3 through August 11. Which, ironically, is often the hottest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course, a scientific explanation should never prevent us from embracing some good old-fashioned superstitions. So here are a few related to the dog days of summer: During this time snakes are blind and will strike at anything. If it rains on the first dog day, it will rain every day afterward. Dogs are more likely to go mad during these days. Sores and wounds […]