At Last–Three Book Contract!

I returned from a visit home to WV to find my three-book contract from Bethany House awaiting me. Last time I returned from a WV trip my agent contract was waiting. Seems like visits home are good for my writing career! Which is appropriate, because while my primary writing goal is to glorify God, IContinue reading “At Last–Three Book Contract!”

Seven Ways to ROCK Appalachia

When I was younger, people would ask my dad what we farmed in West Virginia. “Rocks, mostly,” he would say. And it was true. Every spring he would disc the garden and we would harvest a trailer load or two of rocks that would be broken up and added to the dirt road leading to theContinue reading “Seven Ways to ROCK Appalachia”

In Case of Emergency . . .

Our power was out for a little while yesterday afternoon. It was in the 40s with rain and WIND. (What happened to spring?!?) After reading, revising, cleaning, and watching my husband bounce around bored, I suggested we leash up Thistle and go investigate the outage. This was a foreign idea to my husband. But forContinue reading “In Case of Emergency . . .”

Planting by the Signs in Appalachia

When I was a kid my father and one of the more mature ladies of the church would have pretty much the same “discussion” every spring. She believed strongly in planting by the signs and Dad was determined to convince her it was not only silly, but un-Christian to do so. As far as IContinue reading “Planting by the Signs in Appalachia”

Join me for a tour of spring in the mountains

We’re fortunate to live just a mile from Pisgah National Forest. Almost every day after work I head to the woods for a hike with Thistle. On the weekends, hubby comes along and we go even further afield. Hiking not only provides Thistle and I with exercise, it also gives me a break from theContinue reading “Join me for a tour of spring in the mountains”

Appalachian Wednesday — Mowing the Cemetery

We’ve gone from winter to grass-mowing season here in Western North Carolina. Lawns are suddenly lush and thick and green . . . and in need of maintenance. Let me just say, I’m not a fan of cutting the grass.But mowing our yard still beats mowing Laurel Fork Church Cemetery. This was my family’s job when IContinue reading “Appalachian Wednesday — Mowing the Cemetery”

The Language of Place

Earlier this week when I wrote about going out on the Hogback on our family farm to think, read, and write, I realized not everyone knows that word. A hogback is simply a hill that slopes like the back of a hog, but on our farm it’s a specific place–The Hogback. It isn’t just any hill ofContinue reading “The Language of Place”

Appalachian Fine Dining–Wild Greens

It’s that time of year. That time when the old folks would be shunning preserved foods for something fresh. Something green. Poke sallat is tender and green. Fiddleheads look like belated Christmas ornaments. Ramp dinners are raising money all up and down the Appalachians. My great-grandmother would be thrilled with the addition of all this chlorophyllContinue reading “Appalachian Fine Dining–Wild Greens”

Inside the Rhododendron Hedge

I took Thistle for her morning walk yesterday along the same side road we take most mornings. As we headed up a steep bit, she stopped to nose through the leaves on the side of the road (whew–puff, puff–suits me!). As she poked around, I noticed an opening in the mass of rhododendrons growing there.Continue reading “Inside the Rhododendron Hedge”

Introducing . . . Appalachian Wednesdays

My books are set in Appalachia–primarily West Virginia (the only state entirely in Appalachia). I chose that setting because it’s where I grew up and because I have a passion for these mountains–these soft, well-worn, Eastern mountains. So I’ve decided to devote one blog post each week to something Appalachian–food, fauna, folklore–the good stuff. MaybeContinue reading “Introducing . . . Appalachian Wednesdays”