Appalachian Thursday – At Home in WV

Today I’m visiting family in WV. We’re headed to Beverly and Dailey this morning–sites for my 2020 novel. And this evening I’ll be giving a talk and doing a signing at the Upshur County Public Library (my childhood library!) for When Silence Sings. So not much of a post today–just a photo of Main Street Thurmond. You can imagine Colman […]

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Leanna Sain – HUSH Releasing 11-19-19

I met Leanna at a book event in Flat Rock, NC. We were seated together behind a table piled with our books hoping attendees would flock to buy them! And when we weren’t being flocked, we got to talk and discovered much in common beyond being writers. Now, Leanna’s stories aren’t like mine–her latest features a serial killer! And yet, […]

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Appalachian Thursday – Cracking Nuts

The apples have fallen, the pumpkins are getting carved, and the leaves are turning orange and yellow and red. Must be time for the nut harvest! Of course, if we don’t hurry, the critters will beat us to it. Growing up on the farm, we had walnuts, chestnuts, and filberts (hazelnuts). With walnuts, it was best to let nature dry the husk and expose the shell, which would still turn our hands black. Chestnuts could be removed from their prickly casing by pinching them between the soles of our boots and pushing them out. Hazelnuts we just let dry a bit and then whacked ’em but good with a hammer. Mom probably made things using nuts, but mostly the pleasure was in just eating them straight from the shell. And eat them we did! Chestnuts in particular were an easy target and the crisp texture and flavor of that buttery, yellow nut was SO good. You can score them and roast them briefly to make them easy to peel, but we just bit ’em until the shell cracked. Even here, on our little ole plot of land in NC, we have walnut trees (can’t plant tomatoes under them) and several hazelnut shrubs. But it’s a lot of work and not always worth it if the weather hasn’t been right or worms have gotten there first. So mostly Thistle and I sit inside the French doors and watch the squirrels feast. […]

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