My Antidote to the World These Days

I’ve pretty much given up watching the news. Or reading it. I have a few, trusted sources I check in with–but not too often. Instead, I’ve been reading Wendell Berry’s poetry. It’s been my go-to antidote for all sorts of challenges over the years (following a healthy dose of Scripture and prayer!). Here’s the oneContinue reading “My Antidote to the World These Days”

I didn’t mean to inhale the WHOLE thing!

If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know that I insert the occasional poem–mostly mine–but someone else’s now and again. I think of poetry as condensed stories. It’s the essence of life boiled down to words that will often fit on a single page. Intense, rich, something to be nibbled and savored. AndContinue reading “I didn’t mean to inhale the WHOLE thing!”

Appalachian Thursday – Wooly Adelgid

A while back I wrote about the blight that eradicated the American chestnut in Appalachia. There’s a new blight happening now–the wooly adeligid. These non-native, invasive insects are doing their best to wipe out all the hemlock trees. While measures are being taken to fight back including insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, and predatory beetles, aContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Wooly Adelgid”

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”

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?”

WV Writers Conference

I’m SO excited to be presenting at this year’s WV Writers Summer Conference! I so enjoy talking writing and sharing what I’ve learned thus far, but to do it back home in West Virginia . . . well, you can’t beat that with a stick! PLUS, I’m hoping I can sit in on sessions beingContinue reading “WV Writers Conference”

Appalachian Thursday – Fleeting Summer

I’ve loved Robert Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay since I first saw The Outsiders movie. I think that’s the hardest I’ve ever cried at a movie. The poem is so gorgeously bittersweet. To me, it’s always spoken of that moment in autumn when nature is at it’s most perfect. You just want to seizeContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Fleeting Summer”

Vinegar & Char

This seems to be my year for collections. While I don’t have a full-length novel coming out in 2018, I do get to be part of two collections releasing on October 1st and 2nd. I’ve already written about The Christmas Heirloom novella collection releasing 10.2.18, but Vinegar and Char is something else altogether. When itContinue reading “Vinegar & Char”

Revisiting My First Love – Poetry

I had a wonderful time at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest this past weekend. I had a chance to teach a class, sit on a panel, and interact with readers (and writers!). Some of my favorite things to do! On Friday I sat in on a poetry workshop with former Wisconsin poet laureate and KentuckyContinue reading “Revisiting My First Love – Poetry”

Appalachian Thursday – Southern States

No, not the states below the Mason Dixon Line. I’m talking about the cooperative store started by farmers in Virginia. When I was a kid, we’d go to Southern States to buy things like cattle feed, bulk dog food, bag balm, seeds, medicine for cattle, and SPRING CHICKS. Mostly, going to Southern States wasn’t allContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Southern States”