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Archive for the ‘appalachian mountain people’ Category

Shoveling it (writing it)

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 004

*UPDATE! : Can anyone tell me “what’s wrong with this picture” here to the left? *laughing* — Let’s make that around 10 inches on my driveway. *dumbass me* Yeah, the stick is upside down and the big numbers are not inches. Teeheehee.* There has to be a metaphor/analogy for the writing in this :D

Gawd. What a winter it has been. Ice, snow, sub-zero temps — my cove once dove to minus 8.5 degrees. This latest dumped fourteen inches on top of the driveway I’d just cleared 3 inches from. Welp, good, cause at least I didn’t have to shovel 17 inches. Huhn. Right? Riiight. And, as I wrote on Facebook (where I’ve been uploading photos of the snow and the beauty of Western North Carolina), how does a 111 pound 5’2″ woman clear 14 inches of snow from her longish driveway in less than 2 hours? One GD shovel at a time. I put my head down and did the job. I didn’t whine. I didn’t complain–no really, I did not. For what good would that have done? Just made me irritated and negative about it. I shoveled and I didn’t think about how much was left before me. I shoveled and I didn’t stop except to drink some water and stretch out the kinks. I shoveled and I didn’t think about my worries or my troubles or what lay ahead or what I would do next or if it were boring or if I’d rather be doing something else–nope, I kept my mind to he task. I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more. Until, at last, I had a pathway for my Boopmobile to clear out of so I can get out snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028this weekend, and then, just to be sure, I shoveled a bit more–a sort of SO THERE! kind of thing.

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 026I thought, at the end: Okay, Mother/Father/Grandm/f Nature, you bitch – I’m a bigger bitch. I’m a badass bitch. I’m a toughass kickass mountain woman, stubborn, too much pride at times, determined. I had a goal. I completed it. My arms were shaking afterward. My back and shoulders protested. But those things actually felt good because they felt like work; they felt like progress; they felt like I was in the real world doing real things; they felt like, actually, that Mother;/Father/Grandm/f Nature and I were at a truce. Oh, I know Nature can dish out some more if it wants to, and it could take me to my knees. It has done that to many of us–storms, and floods, and snows, and ices, and tornadoes, and hurricanes–and what do we do? We “shovel” out from under it one “shovel” at a time until we are done with the job.

Just Do It

Just Do It

Often people ask me: how did you write so much in so little time? What is your writing day like? How do you keep writing? I am pretty prolific. I have had published five novels and a novella, and published myself through Amazon some short stories, and I’m writing under two different pen names — one is C.W. Pomp, and the other is a secret. And you may be guessing already what I’m going to say after reading the above: I write one word at a time. I put my head down and get the job done. When I am working, snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028I don’t think ahead or how much I have done or how much more I have left to do. I don’t worry about the future when I am working. I am a badass toughass stubborn determined novelist/writer bitch. When I am done, I may be shaking a little; I may let those worries creep in; I may falter because I don’t know how it’s all going to work out or if people will love my work; I could be taken to my knees by disappointment (and I have been!). But, then . . . I sit down and do it all over again, just as if it snows again, I will pick up that shovel and dig myself out from under what is dished out to me.

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nNow, I do not want to hit you good people over the head with this – my pride and my sense of “not bugging people” often have gotten in the way of me talking about my books, but, if I want to keep doing what I love, then I have to promote my books at least sometimes, and the sometimes is usually when I have news or deals. I thought The Lightning Charmer would be off its $1.99 sale, but it’s still hanging on – shhh! maybe they forgot to take it off! ha! So, if you haven’t tried my work, now is the time, or if you have and liked my other books, then give T.L.C. a try. I will love you for it – well, hell, I already love you all :D .

three set_edited-best_edited-1As well, my little short stories are on Amazon. I don’t talk about them much because they’re just little story snacks – things you can read quickly. Simple little things. I adore the artwork on the cover.

Okay, that’s enough of the car salesman pitch *haw!*

MUWAH! y’all. Pick up that shovel (sit down and write) . . . get busy.

The Lightning Charmer cover . . . . it’s purdy

Welp, here ’tis – the cover art for The Lightning Charmer. It’ll be out this month. Something a little different from my former novels. I’m excited and happy, and I hope my readers will love Laura, Ayron, Betty, the crows, the wolf-dog, the lightning, the sex, the love, the supernatural, the fire — I hope my readers will love it all. *Fingers Tightly Crossed*

The Lightning Charmer cover

 

 

 

A haunted man shadows the Smoky Mountain forest. A lonely woman returns to what she left behind. A legacy unfulfilled calls out to them both. .

The sky darkens, the lightning seeks . . .  

The Lightning Charmer is full of whimsy, enchantment, ancient secrets, and dark earthy seduction.  Magendie taps into those primal secret places we all harbor, with a powerful story of learning where one fits in a world that may not fit us.  Braided with color, humor, and loyalty to family, this is storytelling at its best!  Sharla Lovelace, Bestselling and Award Winning author of THE REASON IS YOU

The spell was cast when they were children. That bond cannot be broken. In the deep hollows and high ridges of the ancient Appalachian mountains, a legacy of stunning magic will change their lives forever.

Laura is caught between the modern and the mystical, struggling to lead a normal life in New York despite a powerful psychic connection to her childhood home in North Carolina—and to the mysterious stranger who calls her name. She’s a synesthete—someone who mentally “sees” and “tastes” splashes of color connected to people, emotions, and things. She’s struggled against the distracting ability all her life; now the effects have grown stronger. She returns home to the mountains, desperate to resolve the obsessive pull of their mysteries.

But life in her mountain community is far from peaceful. An arsonist has the town on edge, and she discovers Ayron, scarred and tormented, an irresistible recluse who rarely leaves the forest. As her childhood memories of him surface, the façade of her ordinary world begins to fade. The knots she’s tied around her heart and her beliefs start unraveling. Ayron has never forgotten her or the meaning of their astonishing bond. If his kind is to survive in modern times, he and Laura must face the consequences of falling in love.

The mystery of kin . . . family in dark and light and in between

I stumbled on this in my archives while searching for something else. It was on the cusp of my 50th birthday, five-ish years ago. Now Daddy is gone. In photographs, the people are disappearing one at a time, and when you stare at the photographs, you do not know who will disappear next. It is a mystery, same as the heart can be. I don’t often re-post, but I’m still away from home – weather in NC and around-about has delayed my returning . . . .

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“I don’t belong here, and I’ve had to turn my not belonging into a triumph.” — Lynn Freed

All along the mountain and in the valley and in the corners and nooks and crannies and odd little places no one has ever seen except in passing barefoot while keeping the eye on a future and a past that lurks somewhere around the corner, and in those places were rocks hide small creatures, and in the shaded areas that hold critters great and small, and in those high high tops where hawk flies, and in the low places where the rodents run, in all those places, here and there on the mountain and in the hollers, there hides the secrets and mysteries that make up our families, ourselves.

Dear Readers, my dear ones, do you wonder about the mystery that is your kin? Or have you received the answers you are proud to know, or some that you’d rather not know? Do you remember what you thought and felt and longed for when you were a child? Do you think: Who was that child? What and who made me? Why do I long for the things I can’t have or can’t know?

This me who is Me holds mystery, and as I charge into the exact middle of one-hundred, I look into the corners where the dust lies, look where the cobwebs undulate with my passing, where the tiny cracks in the floor hold specks of dirt that have been tread down and down until the soil is a part of the wood. I look into the dark places, shining a light that can barely penetrate that which does not want to be found.

daddy

And it was while my daddy visited me, when we rocked together on the porch, staring out over the mountains as the creek sang to us, the wind pushed against the trees, the coffee steamed like tiny ghosts from our cups—it was then Daddy told me how my biological momma’s brother, my uncle, had years and years ago killed a man and was sentenced to death row.

I stopped rocking, turned and said, “I had an uncle on death row?”

Daddy nodded. “Your momma and I wrote letters of appeal and those letters got him released.”

I said, “I never knew him. I never knew that.”

He told me what he knew, which isn’t enough. Secrets are buried deep into the West Virginia mountainside.

I want another cup of coffee with Daddy, soon, soon. I want to rock and sip while he tells me stories of relatives from my momma’s side, and I want to cajole from him stories of his own kin, those Tennessee relatives I know very little about. Too many secrets on both sides. Perhaps some are too painful to speak aloud—I can guess from the black and white photographs holding the spirits of people who stare back with haunted eyes—as if uttering memories will make them come alive and wanting and real again, the spirit-words taking the awful shapes of those who would harm and become a full and dense being, a dark and ugly billow of smoky spirit shape.

I insert images of my momma running barefoot in the in the mountain forest, her feet turn black from the West Virginia soil, her skin is brown from the sun, bird-track freckles across her nose, her hair fans out behind her, her mouth stretched in a smile. She runs to catch a glimpse of the wild horses in the valley below, and she aims to capture one, jump astride him, and ride rider ridest!

And there’s Daddy! Young and strong in Tennessee, his hair stands on end, fingers greasy from peanut butter and fresh-churned butter sandwiches, his legs pocked with mosquito bites, one hand scratches the inflamed bumps while the other hand points and laughs at a friend dangling from a hickory tree. And he runs to the tree, a full-force boy run, and up up he climbs to find his own thick branch, and he suspends, feet hooked across the limb, the back of his legs bark tattooed, his head pointing to the ground, and the laughter falls from his mouth and down into the ground where it sinks into the earth and spreads until there is a tremor, an erupting, and up from the dirt pushes hope. Oh. I can see it. Can you?

My uncle killed a man, stabbed him until he was dead, went to death row, and was released. My momma and my daddy wrote letters of appeal, “It’s not his fault. You must understand that it’s not his fault. If you only knew his poor young life you would not do this thing.” And such was his young life that they released him. Such was his young life, that they released him. They released the young boy who became the man. I am at wonder with thinking of that.

I think about my blood, and what is rushing in my veins that comes from kin. I think about the black and white photos. I think about the unsaid things. I think about my blood—at times hot and boiling from the ancient line of my people.

I claim the title of Proud Mountain Woman. I claim the blood of my relatives that erupts wild with heat. I claim the blood of my Great Great Grandmother, that Proud Blackfoot Woman. (Do I claim the blood of the murdered man?) My kin, my blood. My proud Hillbilly blood is deep, buried far underneath my skin, down into the marrow of my bones, my strong gleaming bones.

My uncle kills a man, spills his blood upon the earth and it seeps far far into the West Virginia soil, seeps down deep, red turning to brown turning to black, and the man falls hard, his last thoughts no one but he knows. And my uncle stands with his legs apart and raises his eyes to heaven, a keening howl issues forth from his throat, and he lifts his hands to the sky with that man’s blood upon them, an offering. On death row he sits. Death row he waits until the boy is set free. And I see him well before his blood boils over to bursting, a young boy running from his demons (the ones my momma does not want to remember as she runs to catch a glimpse of the wild horses) my uncle’s skinny legs pump hard, the tears drying on his battered cheeks, fast, faster, fastest, his young red blood not quite blistering, only the simmer is there, rushing pumping beneath his skin as he runs to hide in the deep mountain woods, hides away from the terror that is his father.

When I was a little girl, I had no thoughts of lost relatives. No solid remembrances of my biological momma’s hand on my fevered brow—the hand I knew came from my adoptive mother, Daddy’s wife. I had little girl wishes and wants and magical thinking. I imagined myself astride a dark stallion, racing through the forest, his mane flying into my face, my long ponytail whipping behind me. His hooves thundered, matched the beat of my young girl’s heart. I rode to things (and I rode from things). I’d come to a clearing in the woods, dismount, and from my pack I’d withdraw a curry brush to wipe the sweat from my stallion. I’d drink a bit of water, and eat one of the apples, the other apple saved for Flame, or Midnight, or whatever horse name I was young girl in love with at the time.

When you are nine, ten, eleven, twelve, well, any future is possible than the one you really have! So I’d dream and imagine and wait. I’d ride my bike, pretend it was my stallion. I’d say, “ho boy, ho,” and make that gnick gnick sound to get him to trot, then canter, then gallop, then full speed we’d go, our hair flying.

Now, not young, not quite old, I still imagine myself astride my dark stallion, hooves thrumming through the forest, my head lowered, his mane flying into my face, my short hair sticking up crazily from the whipping wind. At the clearing, I call, “ho, boy, ho,” and dismount to brush out my beauty, drink my water, eat my apple and give the horse the other piece of fruit. And we look out over the Great Smoky Mountains. My Stallion lowers his head and munches grass, and I lower myself to the grass and lie on my back to watch cloud formations, listen to the crunch and snuffle of my imagined horse.

I lie still and think about my blood, and who I am, and my secrets and their secrets and our secrets. I think about family and strangers and friends. I think about my mother, the woman who opened her arms to raise my brothers and me as her own. I think about my biological momma running to catch the wild horse without knowledge of my one day coming to her so she could one day release me. I think about my daddy running to climb the tree high higher highest. I think about my uncle running from everything that hurt until he finally hurt back.

This is what I am thinking about today.

 

Friday Photos: no words . . .

Writer Unboxed, WebComic, and Finally a Good Solid Draft

Hi folks! I am excited because I finally have a good solid draft of the final in the Graces Trilogy. This book has been more difficult because VK, as the storyteller, finally tapped into some things she, and I, have been avoiding. This novel has a bit more darker tones to it in places, and a bit more violence, and I’ve had to write it in a way that felt “right.”

A difficult chapter is when Grandma Faith tells of her last five days on earth – that was one of the hardest chapters I wrote. She has but the one Chapter that VK storytells from Grandma’s pov. I was exhausted when I completed it, and when I read back over it I had to fight not to cry. Some of Momma’s (Katie Ivene) chapters are and were quite difficult to write, as well. I fought against this darkness creeping in, but finally I had to let go and let VK tell the story how it needed to be told. She is the storyteller and she needs to finally break through the dark so the light can find its way back in. Still. It’s been difficult. I know I wanted to avoid this as I didn’t want the last book to have this darkness and violence, but, it is what it is. It had to be written and moved out of the way.

But now, I have a good solid beginning, middle, and end. I wrote the ending chapter yesterday and I felt such a sense of relief and gratitude and . . . more relief, as if I knocked weight off my shoulders.

I’ve been trying to stop by your places here and there, one or two at a time. But, thank you for being so understanding of this time I need to complete my novel. Now comes the rewriting and editing, the filling in and the taking out, the polishing.

I want to direct all of you to Writer Unboxed. Both on Facebook and the blog. This is such a wonderful group of writers and readers – come join in with us!

Also, I have been enjoying this webcomic so much – The Shadow Bytes – there’s a funny quirky cat, and his owner makes appearances when the cat lets him *laugh* – They post comics Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I’ve come to look forward to them. Let’s support them as they are trying to gain readers.

OMG! I just went by there to grab a photo or some image and look what was on there! *laughing* – I had NO IDEA when I put this here this morning that it was there! *BAH_LUSHING!*  – I honestly didn’t have a clue – I am just a-grinning now – thank y’all guys *teeheeheehee*

My brother’s “comtemporary bluegrassy” music he composed for the Virginia Kate Graces Sagas still inspires me. When I listen to it (and you can puchase the music for 99cents on itunes – and I receive no compensation for his music – I just want to support him and other musicians, writers, artists, etc, out there!), I am inspired to write; I am drawin in VK’s holler; images come, thoughts, emotions. Though I can’t listen to music while writing, I do listen otherwise.

Another bit of music that inspires me with the Graces Sagas is Angels of Venice’s “Lionheart” -(it’s the second song on the cd), and a pivitol scene came to me while listening to this song. I was driving down I-40, round the mountain curves, and this song “Lionheart” was on, and the images of VK and her family came – but one image in particular really smacked me – VK riding Fionadala up up the mountain, faster and faster, her hair flying. I’m still inspired by this song to write her.

Now, y’all go do the day and if you have time, visit these folks and tell them I said howdy!

When the ghosts come whispering tragedy; the quest for The Story no matter what?

Yesterday after writing a scene that left me drained and exhausted, I took to my bed for a nap. In that time between when I thought I couldn’t possibly nap and the time that I did fall asleep, I thought about The Graces Saga—the Virginia Kate story, and how she is the storyteller of her family’s lives. And why I was having such a hard time writing this third and final book in the Graces Trilogy.

The tragedies of my biological family in West Virginia are many—alcoholism, violence, murder (death row and release from death row to freedom), pain, a secret about my bio mom that I can’t say here because it is too private about something so terrible it rips out my heart to know it happened, early deaths too young, more secrets, suicide, abandonment, cruelty, tenderness, pride, heartache, loss, and in between all of this is the living and the love and family lost and gained and lost again. It’s the stuff of great and compelling fiction, but this is not fiction; this is family that I know only sketchy things about, of whom some I’ve never even met, and some only when I was a babe, and some I’ll never meet. Of stories I’ve heard whispered, and some partially told as if parts of a puzzle are tossed to me and I can’t complete the picture and never will.

When I began Virginia Kate’s story, I knew 95% of it would be fiction. I took the 5% that I found interesting and used that as a starting point:

–my biological mother gave up her three children one at a time to my stepmother (who did end up adopting all three of us) and my dad.
–I was born in West Virginia, and spent a lot of years in Louisiana—I wanted to honor and write about these two places that affected my life so much.
–my father is an alcoholic but unlike Frederick, he’s been sober 50 years. (My biomom is not an alcoholic, unlike Katie Ivene –Momma.)
–my Maw Maw was so interesting and “crazy” I had to fashion Mee Maw after her

puzzle not complete yet

–the snake polo is based on a real incident and is one of my favorite scenes in TG

That’s about it with “truths” that spurred off the writing of a fictionalized Appalachian family torn apart and put back together in another fashion—the puzzle pieces different but somehow fitting together all the same.

Yet. What I did not know and what has made this third book the most difficult are the things I thought were fiction that turned out to either have more truths to them than I ever would have imagined, and the things that happened after I’d written the book and then they “came to be true.” For the things I wrote about that hit upon truths I had no idea were truths, perhaps I’d overheard something as a little girl and my black holed brain released them as an adult through my fiction—even though it brought forth no memory as I wrote it—or perhaps I just guessed and in that way of fiction “truth is stranger than fiction” it happened as things happen to families, or perhaps just as Virginia Kate does, I have ghosts speaking to me who want their story told.

As for the things that have happened after I’ve written my books—such as the suicide of Katie Ivene’s brother by shooting himself in the head—I am torn up upset. How would I have known my own half-brother in West Virginia would do what Little Ben did? How? Else I’d have not written it. It’s too close and too personal and too tragic. Too late—it’s in the story. And writers sometimes have no soul when it comes to The Story — we have no conscience — we know no boundaries of decency. Writers can be heartless in their quest for The Story. Still, it is not without cost.

Lots of things are “too late it’s in the story” and I have to carry them forward, finish the story, write it. I can’t pretend it didn’t happen—that I didn’t write it. Two books are already published with these events and I have to complete the book. I do. I do.

What I thought this third book would focus on is turning on its head a bit. Other voices want to speak through VK: Katie Ivene (Momma), Rebekha (VK’s stepmom). And some of those scenes, particularly of Katie Ivene, are breaking my heart. Leaving me drained. As I try to keep them in fiction and grounded in fictionalized events, the truths that I have found out, or those that occurred since I began the trilogy, rear up. I dance around them. I try to avoid them—and I can’t avoid them all. It exhausts me. It leaves me wandering about the little log house feeling this sense of . . . of loss and pain and curiosity and all manner of questions unanswered. Maybe I am, through Virginia Kate, making up my own answers, and yet even so, I am still leaving many unanswered even in the books.

I’ll keep writing. I will finish. And when this third book is done, it is done. If there is ever a time I will write about my Virginia Kate again, it will be set in contemporary times. From where I sit today, I can’t see going back again, digging up and under and trying to do that dance of avoidance coupled with the need to tell the story as it arrives to me—pain or not.

There are some excerpts from Tender Graces / Secret Graces that say so much of what I’m feeling:

Momma never told stories much, since it hurt to do it. She said looking behind a person only makes them trip and fall. I understand why now in a way I didn’t as a girl.

Grandma Faith used to say, “Ghosts and spirits weave around the living in these mountains. They try to tell us things, warn us of what’s ahead, or try to move us on towards something we need to do. But most of all, they want us to remember.”

It’s come time again to return to what’s gone by.
Even the things that hurt.
Grandma Faith whispers, Be strong, little mite. Tell the stories.
Yes, Grandma, I will tell the stories.

So, like Virginia Kate, I will need to just tell her story as she tells her own to me. Even the things that hurt.

Dad, Ruth my adoptive mom, Johnny, me, Michael, Tommy, David-wearing the grown up tie and constant grin with my hands on his shoulders, in Baton Rouge-the final puzzle pieces fit to make the new family (we lost our David in 1994 to a heart attack)

My brother’s music he composed for my Graces Saga books, called "The Saga of Virginia Kate"

Well, I managed to fix up a video to go along with my brother Michael’s music he composed for me. I’ll end up using the music for other things, as well, that go with the Graces Saga books. I’m proud of my brother! Although, the face of the video for some reason has the Sweetie novel, but that should change later as I went in and changed the thumbnail icon (just takes a while to show up).

I’ll probably end up fiddling with this video some more, but I wanted to have something out there for all the work my brother did and how quickly he did it for me. YAY MICHAEL! Thank you Big Brother!

So, The Saga of Virginia Kate, music by Michael Snellings. Enjoy.

Let’s all support our musicians, artists, writers, and poets – they need our support and love!

CHCHCHCHanges, turn the page and read, chchanges….

Send in your photos! *smiling*

Sharla and Marcy
Hello All. Today will be an intense work day. I do have a couple of things this week that I am most looking forward to, besides work.
I am also looking forward to my guest blogger tomorrow: David Pereda. Stay tuned!
And! I am so proud of my friend Joyce O’Neil …
BOONE – A fog-shrouded parkway vista by Waynesville photographer Joyce O’Neil has been selected as one of 47 finalists in the sixth annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, co-sponsored by ASU Outdoor Programs, Virtual Blue Ridge, Mast General Store, Footsloggers, and other merchants. O’Neil’s image was chosen from 918 international submissions. O’Neil’s image, “Pounding Mill Overlook” was chosen as an outstanding here’s the rest of the article and the image!

There’s a lot of talent in these mountains.

I forgot – the other day on my book giveway questionMissy was first. She has a copy of Tender Graces to review, so Missy, let me know what you want me to do – send another copy of TG? Two other books? Email me!

I found this on our YOG — right now I am in CHANGE; it’s Good Change, but any change feels strange sometimes– we can welcome it, or fight it,….so, I’ll just leave you with the Yog Post:

Nothing remains static. The world turns with all our energies both expelled and absorbed from pre-beginning to after-end; we become a part of a greater energy. Everything is pulsating, a part of each other. So how could something so dynamic not change and morph? Even require it. There is The Good Change, and there is The Bad Change, and there are the changes that no one notices until one day they say, “Hey…wait…whatever happened to…” And there is that moment of bemusement, or maybe of loss for what wasn’t even missed until some fluke in the atmosphere caused a flick of the memory-wrist. And then there are the snapshots filed away in drawers, albums, and the parts of the brain made just for remembrance.

I have this snapshot shouting loud. It comes uncalled and unbidden, but it comes. It is winter, and the snow is falling, blanketing an already white-washed world. The backdrop is sepia-toned, shades of black and white with that tinge of old-timey photograph brown. I am dressed warm, and by my side are my husband and my two dogs. We’re on the Muse Trail, Level Two. I have my camera and I’ve set it to video and as I turn 360 degrees, I say, “Isn’t this lovely? Isn’t this the best life ever? Don’t you wish you were me?” My dogs, off their leashes, run in the snow, their paws kicking up sprays of snow and arcs of ice that hover for just a moment before falling back down to earth; some catch prisms—I know; I saw. The branches are laden with snow and some hang heavy, ready to smack a head and sent showers of cold upon them—I know; I was showered. We walk in the most perfect silence ever: you know the silence? The one that muffles footsteps, but makes bird calls ring so clear through the air that you hear it in perfect pitch. I have that snapshot because there have been changes come since that Perfect Day. Changes that make the memory one I am grateful for, even as I wish for all of it back, Human that I am. Yet, would the memory stand in such sharp gorgeous relief if the changes had not altered it beyond repair? No. I’d have taken it for granted, knowing I could have that feeling over and over again. That Perfect Day has become one I feel the most profound sense of gratitude for—I know; I was there before the change.

When you wished upon a star; makes no diff’rence who what where you are; everything one’s heart desires, sometimes comes to you…..

Well. Today is the day. Today Tender Graces is shipped out here, there, and yonder. Soon, people will have it – will hold it (including me!), will read it….and I hope will love it, or even just like it, but mostly I hope love it! *laughing*

By the end of the week, I’ll have my first book signing. Surreal. My friend Charles Mills just made me the most beautiful glorious poster! I can’t wait to show it off! There it is to the left there…isn’t it beautiful? Thank you Charles! (The Author photo is by Christy L. Bishop.)

Today, I am going to distract myself by reading something for review – Adnan Mahmutovic’s ILLEGITIMATE at Cantarabooks. He is such a smart lovely writer – and a handsome debbil to boot!

Soon, I will be reading my copy of Kim Richardson’s The Unbreakable Child….her book was just released on April 1.


I can’t believe it is finally happening – my book…in people’s hands….in libraries…in bookstores (well, I don’t know how the bookstore thing will work; it won’t be like you can walk into a bookstore in any city in any state and my little book will be there, people will have to ask for it, or the bookstores have to be made aware of it and order it, and etc – I do believe).
Also, I didn’t even know Tender Graces was on Amazon, Target, and B&N.com – I guess I just didn’t think to look, but someone emailed me and said they’d just ordered from B&N…huhn! And, I saw on Amazon my first ever review (from the publisher). I am promising myself I won’t become overly concerned about the reviews there, but I know writers seem to want readers to post reviews there so there must be a reason? Here’s the first review (smiling):
Kathryn Magendie’s debut novel is a tour de force of lyrical storytelling, heartfelt intuitions, and exquisite detail. TENDER GRACES qualifies as an “Oprah book” in the best sense of the term: This story of a dysfunctional family who are neither all bad nor all good, but simply very flawed and human, examines a broad spectrum of marriage, childhood, emotional abuse, forgiveness and family loyalty. Warm without being overly sentimental, funny without being frivolous, and poignant without being maudlin, Tender Graces is a strong start for Magendie’s career as a novelist. If you love the novels of Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Tyler and Sue Monk Kidd then this book is for you.

If you ordered Tender Graces, and receive your book without a signed bookplate, just let me know and I will make sure you get one. Even better if I could meet all of you in person and sign it, but I know I will not be able to do that and you will not be able to come here, either. As I know where I will be going, though, I’ll post it-one never knows!
I’d love to do some kind of Blog Tour like many authors are doing, but haven’t figured that one out yet. I am also thinking I may do a Web-cam reading… teehee – yeah….I’m going to use my cheap little ole webcam attached to my Dell laptop and record it I guess or whatever – but, I’ll do a little reading and post it to utube — at least, this is my plan…
So, my friends – thank you for your support. Soon, my books will be in some of your hands and I hope as you read you fall in love with Virginia Kate and her kin. With the West Virginia hollow (holler). With the swampy wet of South Louisiana. With the language. (With me.)
Outside the dark clouds are back; the wind picks up and blows the still-mostly-bare trees; the creek rushes and will rush faster with the added rain; all around me nature thrives in its heartbeat of survival and beauty both awful and strange and wonderful. That puts everything into perspective for me.

Link Link Here and a Link Link There….

First! The delightful and beautiful Kimmi invited me as a guest to her blog, where I tried to spiffy myself up for her – she’s had some really great guests, so I feel humbled, but proud to be there. Go by and visit – read her previous guests, take a look at her book soon to come out “The Unbreakable Child.”

(Photo taken on my mountain walk this past summer- moon in tree!)

Meredith Lopez is a former Rose & Thorn staffer – I took over the newsletter duties after she had to go on a leave of absence. I never knew she wrote articles for The Huffington Post until I followed a link after she’d emailed me about something. So, those links you attach to your signature in your emails really do work.

I stumbled across The Anonymous Publishing Venting Club. Lucky for me, I don’t have a thing to post there, for Bellebooks is a dream to work with. Interesting to read, though, about other’s experiences.

I can’t remember when I put up the link to my Woman Inside Out story on Sotto Voce if I’d also included Nannette Croce’s “Zuni the Pueblo Dog” story. So, just in case, here it is. If you enjoy it (and I’m betting you will!) vote for her to be included in a print anthology.

I’d bookmarked this from Folio Lit Agency on Query letters and then forgot about it, until today when I saw it while looking for another link. So, maybe something they say will help you with your query letter, and maybe, like me, you’ll still detest the query letter, and as well, you’ll read the first two paragraphs and think, “They just don’t get it – don’t get the idea of why even really good writers with good books still hate to write query letters (and synopses).” But, read and see what you think.

I love Java Logs - and am having a hard time finding them…dang it all. They’re those “cheat logs” you use in your fireplace when you aren’t lighting a real fire – and they are made from coffee grounds!

The Pen Guy!

An article on lay versus lie by Martha Brockenbrough

Childhood chants and taunts – yup someone has a website where they compiled all kinds of stuff about those kinds of things. I stumbled on it while doing research on something for Tender Graces – I am a stickler for making sure I have things in the right era or whatever.

I haven’t seen this – but there is a lot of hurt feelings and anger and talk about Diane Sawyer’s Children of the Mountains. When I wrote Tender Graces, which is about an appalachian mountain family in WVA (and with South Louisiana in there, too), I didn’t want those stereotypes to be what my story was “about” – I didn’t want the stereotypes to be a Character in the novel – and I hope I was successful. There are always some “stereotypical” behaviors or characters in a work, I suppose, but I hope I celebrated a proud people as much as I could, even when bad things happened: but, they really are universal behaviors. WVA is my homestate and I love the mountains and its people. From reading some of the comments about this show, there are tender hurts and anger over the portrayal of a Proud Mountain People–I think most of it has been centered around Kentucky (so far? or only? I don’t know yet). I haven’t seen the show, only a few clips, so I cannot comment as of yet. But, I do hope there isn’t exploitation of what is always only a portion of who a People are – we’ll see. But, my hope is when people read Tender Graces, they know I wrote out of love and that I know there is much much more to a Mountain Folk – they are complicated and proud and lovely.

Now – visit some links, and then Go Do The Day!

PS! I’m adding something — Reduce Footprints has two videos – the first one made me LAUGH! the second one is an Earth-Green video about turning out lights around the world on 3/29

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