Appalachian Thursday – WV Schools for the Deaf & Blind

When I decided to write a story about a deaf boy who discovers a dead body (The Right Kind of Fool–Nov. 3, 2020), I knew I wanted him to know sign language. But how would a 13-year-old boy in West Virginia learn sign language? Just a little research solved the problem! The creation of theContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – WV Schools for the Deaf & Blind”

Appalachian Thursday – the care and feeding of elk

When we visit the farm in West Virginia we ALWAYS see deer. Lots of deer. But elk? Well, there are some at the Wildlife Center we drive past on our way in. And yes, I did try to trick my husband by pointing one out the first time we drove by as if seeing elkContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – the care and feeding of elk”

Appalachian Thursday – State Flowers

Ever have one of those weeks when you can’t keep track of what day it is? Yeah, me too. On January 23, 1903–117 years ago–the Legislature of West Virginia passed a joint resolution naming the Rhododendron as the state flower. I’ve known our state flower for as long as I can remember knowing there wasContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – State Flowers”

Appalachian Thursday – Breakin’ Up Christmas

We’ve rung in the new year and Christmas is over . . . or is it? I’ve written before about Old Christmas–the mountain tradition of celebrating the holiday on January 6 due to some calendar confusion dating back hundreds of years. But there’s also an Appalachian tradition called “Breakin’ Up Christmas” that only goes backContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Breakin’ Up Christmas”

Appalachian Thursday – The Day After Christmas

It’s over. Christmas is done. Anyone tempted to take the tree down? Oh, the kids are still out of school and maybe there’s still family to visit, but for so many people these are the days when the blahs strike. The anticipation has been building since Halloween and maybe the day met your expectations–or maybeContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – The Day After Christmas”

Does the Dress Even Matter?

I’m a bit of a girly-girl. (When I’m not being a tomboy.) So when I realized it would work out for me to go to the Christy Awards dinner–which is semi-formal–I began looking for a fancy dress. Oh, I have a dress that would work but who wants to settle for that?? There aren’t aContinue reading “Does the Dress Even Matter?”

Appalachian Thursday – Rural Mail Delivery

I love getting mail. Well, REAL mail. And there’s so little of it anymore. Email has become a nuisance (often a convenient one!) and even physical mail is diluted with catalogs, flyers, and other junk mail. But when I get a real package, card, or the oh-so-rare handwritten letter delivered to the box at theContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Rural Mail Delivery”

Appalachian Thursday – Boom Town to Ghost Town

My soon-to-release novel, When Silence Sings, is set in part in Thurmond, WV. While there’s plenty to make this southern WV town interesting, one of the main things is that in the early 1900s it was a rich boom town. Today, it’s essentially a ghost town owned largely by the National Park Service. Of course,Continue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Boom Town to Ghost Town”

Daddies & Daughters

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon Robinson, baseball great Jackie Robinson’s daughter. I HOPE you already know what a huge impact Jackie Robinson had on the civil rights movement by breaking the color barrier in sports when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But you may not know that he went onContinue reading “Daddies & Daughters”

Appalachian Thursday – Seventh Generation

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 poemContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Seventh Generation”