Appalachian Thursday – The Last Thanksgiving?

I like Thanksgiving almost as much as Easter. It combines gratitude with amazing food and those are two of my favorite things. And Thanksgiving at our family farm has long held a special place in my heart. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving most years centered on my Mom’s family. My grandparents, my aunt andContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – The Last Thanksgiving?”

Appalachian Thursday – Pot-bellied Stoves

I’ve written potbellied stoves into a couple of my stories. You’ll still find them plenty of places in Appalachia and I have direct experience with two. Our one-room church had a potbellied stove on each side of the sanctuary. It was a deacon’s job to come to church early in the winter to get theContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Pot-bellied Stoves”

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 wasContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Cracking Nuts”

Appalachian Thursday – Bread on the Table

We had friends over for supper on Sunday and I didn’t serve bread. It took nerve, I know. Whether you serve biscuits, cornbread, or light bread, there should ALWAYS be bread on an Appalachian table. Maybe because it helped simple ingredients go a long way. Maybe because it’s GOOD. Especially if you churn your ownContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Bread on the Table”

Appalachian Thursday – Chestnut Blight

When my brothers and I were little we had a “play-house” inside a HUGE rotted out stump. The tree had fallen long ago, but the shell of the stump remained and it was big enough for all three of us to get inside. It was cool and mossy and taller than I was. The stumpContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Chestnut Blight”

Appalachian Thursday – Upshur Co. Public Library

I’m always delighted when I’m asked to do a book event. But it doesn’t get much better than being contacted by the library I loved as a kid to come speak. Which is what happened to me this past week! The Upshur County Public Library contacted me to say they’re focusing on hosting more WVContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Upshur Co. Public Library”

A Bookish Anniversary

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 becauseContinue reading “A Bookish Anniversary”

How About a Poem?

The hero of my next story is Colman Harpe. I chose the name Colman for two reasons–first, he’s inspired by Jonah (the one swallowed by the whale) and both of the names–Jonah and Colman–mean “Dove.” The second reason is that I grew up knowing a fellow named Coleman Ware who was a local fur seller.Continue reading “How About a Poem?”

Independence Day at the Museum of Appalachia

My home state’s motto is: Mountaineers are always free. There’s a serious thread of independence running through the mountains I call home. And what better day to celebrate that than the Fourth of July? And what better way than by shooting off some anvils? Wait. What? Yes. Anvils. I wrote about anvil shooting last July,Continue reading “Independence Day at the Museum of Appalachia”

Appalachian Thursday – Talking Across the Lines

Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching at the WV Writers Conference in Ripley, WV. The last time I was at Cedar Lakes Conference Center I was attending Conservation Camp and I was 11 or 12-years-old. It was even better being there this time around! In addition to leading some classes, I got toContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Talking Across the Lines”