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The returning . . . the Cove at Killian Knob

4 Jun

misc dale and kat etc 147So, my friends. I have been gone from here a while. Other things and people and places grabbed hold of me, of my attention, of my time. But it has all been for the most wonderful beautiful of reasons: I have returned to my Cove at Killian Knob. Home. I am Home. I came back almost a year to the day I drove away from my Cove–thinking I may never be able to return. But my Cove was not about to let me go. My mountains knew I’d return. The creek shouts out to me–Welcome Home, Wild Wolf Woman Kathryn.

misc dale and kat etc 223I had to pinch myself every day for the first few weeks, and then, now a little over a month since my return, I at last do not fear I will awaken from some gorgeously warm dream. It is real. It is tangible. As real as my Crow cawing outside my window–he, Big Boy, tells me all the secrets to the cove; all the things I missed while I was gone from here. Each morning, and evening, I toss over the rail to the ground below some tidbits for him to eat, whistle for him, and there he comes, sailing on stretched wing, oily black and handsome. He now will, as he used to do, sit on the branch of the Tulip Poplar and watch me as I sit on the porch drinking my coffee, or maybe later my wine–at first, he did not trust that I would be here to stay and he was shy. Now? Now he knows. Just as other critters know I am here to stay: the coon, the squirrel, the bird, the rabbit, the turkey–all of them. Even the ones who hide and watch: the bobcat, the coyote, the bear, the deer.

misc dale and kat etc 170As always before, I turn my head slightly to the left and what fills my eyes is wild beauty. I glance down at my hands as they type upon my old trusty laptop, turn my head back slightly to the left, then gaze around my writing room, my library, my study, where someone special turned it into a warm and beautiful sanctuary with which to write and read and dream. I am filling my little log house back up with my Things–yes the knickknacks and doo-dads and furry throws and rugs and lamps that golden glow the rooms, but also bone and rock and bark and stump and twig and feather. It is as if I am in some mystical movie where the character steps from one realm of noise and confusion and crowds and discombobulation into an enchanted world: she closes the door behind her and doesn’t look back, for that near-year she spent away from her Cove was only an enterlude, only a miniscule slice of a luscious pie–she ate a tiny bite of that miniscule slice of pie and it did not taste of anything at all–now, here, the rest of the pie coats her tongue, slides down her throat with a slight tang and burn, and fills her belly–she is satiated now. That is how it is. And more.

misc dale and kat etc 094I did not come alone. Who knew? Who knew what life takes from us and gives to us. Even when we do not want it. Even when we fight with claws sharpened by what we think is best for us, never knowing that we do not always know what is best for us. Sometimes people come back into your life after many many years and you think, “Why, where have you been all these years?” and they say, “I was going to ask you the same thing.” And then you both laugh at the absurdity of it all. At the luck and timing of it all. At the luscious luscious wonder of it all. And there curled beside you is a little bitty dog. All your proclamations of “Never again! Never! I cannot bear to take into my life another sweet creature and have it die. No! NO!” and the little dog curled warm beside you huffs in his sleep, and if awakened would look up at you with his wonky teeth and you would Know. You’d just Know that he knows what he has done with you and to you and for you. And what his man has done to you and with you and for you. What both of these Living Beings have pulled you kicking and screaming into what you never ever believed in; what you scoffed at; what you considered ellusive and illusive and never ever for you.

We often proclaim not to believe in the very things we most want.

Love is the greatest of things. Love is your granndaughter. Love is your son. Love is your family. Love is your friends. Love is what comes into your life when you do not want it or need it or expect it. Love sneaks up and smacks you upside your head and then laughs at the amazed fearing wonderment that makes you slack-jawed with surprise. It is not to be ignored. Who knew? Who knew?

misc dale and kat etc 066So I sit here, my good friends–those of you still here; those of you who have always been here; those of you who drop by; those of you who wonder by accident or fate if you believe in those things and I do not and I do; those of you who read everything I write and I am amazed by you–I sit here and I am humbled by everything. Everything. EVERYTHING. I am humbled and grateful and beside myself.

I am not lonely anymore.

I am not an island.

I am writing again.

I am here. I am Home. I am back to my little log house at Killian Knob in Western North Carolina Smoky Mountains.

Life is a circle that we either complete or we do not. Or we go round and round it faster and faster until we are so dizzy we do not See anymore. What do you want? How do you want to travel your circle? Ends meeting and then begin again.

(well, look below at the previous post they link to – it was when I had to leave here — ha! what a coincidence)

Just some Smoky Mountain Eye Candy for all y’allses out there . . . .

12 Mar





deep creek hike 001 deep creek hike 003 deep creek hike 044 deep creek hike 059 deep creek hike 061 deep creek hike 130 deep creek hike 148
winter sunrise 007 march 2014 001 lake junaluska march 2014 004 lake junaluska march 2014 008from the air 002 005072 134 149 151after storm 2014 clearing skies over mountains 001 after storm 2014 clearing skies over mountains 014

On the radio: NorthwestPrime with Lori Ness

30 Sep

Hey, all y’allses wonderfuls. No no, I’m not flying in oblivion; okay, I am, but I done told y’all I wouldn’t post unless I had news, or something I wanted to say, or just felt like it, or the 8th sign of the Apocalypse happened and I had to gush over it, or . . . . etc etc etc. Cause I’m just that chaotic. yeah.

So, today’s news is that in about 30 minutes from now, at 3:00 PM my time, I’m going to be on the radio at –

For those of you who asked for  the archived file, it is HERE on NorthwestPrime. 

If’n you want to give it a listen, great.  I’m always appreciative of my readers and any interest *smiling*

Later, y’all!


Friday Photos: No Words . . .

10 Aug

maggie valley birds

maggie valley, north carolina

maggie valley, North Carolina nature

Maggie Valley, North Carolina - cove at Killian Knob

Maggie Valley, North Carolina - cove at Killian Knob

(more can be found on my Facebook Page – come join in on our discussions and photos and etc!)

Friday Photos: No Words

1 Jun










Photos: No Words – Dupont State Park (and a few from my cove)

26 Sep


(My brother went home today *sad face* so now time to get back to work. I’ll have some photos/video of our Great Smoky Mountains Train ride soon! – Loved it – I have become a true “Train Person” now :-D )

Bluegrass . . .

29 Jun

While winding along I-40 one morning, the sun roaring over our Smoky Mountains with every bit of arrogance the sun deserves (and only the mountains can face the sun without averting a gaze), I listened to Bluegrass—the soul-filled mournful fiddle crept up the back of my spine and settled there, vibrating until my entire body strummed and thrummed.

The roots of Mountain Music, our Bluegrass music, arrived here with the immigration of people from Ireland, Scotland, England, Africa. Early settlers of Western North Carolina were Scots-Irish, and when they arrived, they brought with them their songs and their fiddles and they expressed the human condition through their vocal and instrumental storytelling, passing them down from generation to generation, each voice, each instrument, each condition molded and formed to fit, yet at the same time, as ancient and consistent as mountain life itself.

In those early pioneer days, women generally weren’t allowed to play banjo or fiddles, so they sang, passing down from mother to daughter their musical stories. The story-songs had as big impact on Bluegrass music as the instruments. Listen to the tone of their voices and hear the plaintive melancholy that seeps into the bones and stays there, a part of the marrow, a part of the people who live in and love these mountains.

Scottish influence wasn’t all gloom and woe, for they brought their love of fun and dance with them, as well. Cool mountain evenings brought laughter and music as ancient as these old mountains, and the connection from Scottish Mountain to Western North Carolina Mountain cannot be mistaken when the ear is tuned to the past intersecting with the present.

From the sideboards of American homes, Bluegrass music entered living rooms live from the Grand Old Opry from the musical stylings of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise, and Cedric Rainwater. Live performances are something we radio listeners do not get much of now with the onslaught of recorded music, and yet, without the recording of music, how much of the old mountain music would reach the ears of a population who will never sit on a front porch and stomp a foot in time to soulful renditions mourned out as if from the pricking of skin to let the music bleed away, deep red and thrumming, dripping down into the mountain earth where up springs a unique, rich, and varied mountain life and its song.

Now you all know I always say for us to support our writers, musicians, artists!

So, here’s a few places to check out bluegrass, or variations of it, and feel free to add your own in the comments if you like:

The Get Down Boys

Steep Canyon Rangers (this is the Western North Carolina bluegrass band that actor/writer/musician Steve Martin joined up with)

The String Dusters

Robert Frost’s Banjo

My brother’s “california bluegrass – Saga of Virginia Kate” (and again, as I’ve said – I do not receive compensation for this! It goes to the musician, of course!)

(photos all taken by kat magendie)

A spring weekend? Hike to Secret Ancient Whale Back Rock! And SWEETIE ARC copies . . .

28 Jan
not whale back but another ancient secret place

This weekend is supposed to be warmer than we’ve had in . . . I don’t remember; sometime in fall? It may heave up to 50 degrees. If so, I’m going to hike up to the secret place where Whale Back Rock is and do a Sweetie reading right there. If you’ve read Sweetie, you recognize Whale Back Rock – it makes several appearances, and is based on a real boulder. It takes at least an hour to get there, if I remember right – been a while since I’ve hiked up there. It’s serene and lovely and ancient and undeveloped. I hope it stays that way. If something “big” ever happened with my books, I’d buy up as much land as I could to protect my Killian Knob and surrounding mountain area to protect them from further development.

Someone’s comment reminded me to say that I’m going to record the reading at Whale Back, so people can watch/listen/see :-D.

My musician brother Michael has made me some music – his interpretation of Bluegrass/Celtic music (he plays rock). It’s a contemporary take and even has Fionadala’s hoof beats in it! He named it “The Saga of Virginia Kate” (The Graces Novels). I put a sample draft video with his music on my FB page, and hope to have a trailer or some kind of video made from it soon that I can post here. If you want to hear it, just ask and I”ll send you the link, or go to my FB page. My other musician brother, Johnny (who plays jazz/blues), is creating his interpretation and I’ll be using it for videos as well. So exciting! I have gifted brothers.

Okay: I have some ARC copies of SWEETIE that BB sent me to use as I wish! An ARC is Advance Review Copy; it was also my Galley Proof – the galley proof is what my publisher’s send to me to read for One Last Look before it is published -that’s the last opportunity I have to read for errors. As well, those copies are what are sent to reviewers, because they are printed in advance of the actual publication date and are printed more inexpensively (though it’s hard to tell really). Whomever gets one of these copies knows that it usually will contain errors. At this point, however, there aren’t changes to the story, only nits and typos and last minute things, like for example, in the Sweetie ARC a name is wrong towards the end (has Billy instead of TJ), and et cetera.

So, if you review books, contact me and I’ll send you one. If you don’t review books but have always wanted to, then go ahead and contact me, or, place your request with your email in the comments section. Of course, if you hate it, pretend I didn’t send it to you *LAUGHING* okay, I’m kidding *laugh* I’ll give them away until they are gone.

Now, y’all go have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

More Random Fall Photos in Haywood County North Carolina

22 Oct

I scheduled this post to go up automatically to finish uploading the fall photos I took while walking about Haywood County this week–the others were published Wednesday (below).

I am now in Portland, Oregon visiting my son, daughter in law, and little Norah Kathryn! I have been looking forward to this since I left them at Christmas last year . . . way too long. I simply must find a way to visit more often and that’s that. Thank gawd for Skype.

 In the little log house, Two Dogs, Ghost Dog, and GMR are enjoying the absence of my tornadic vortex . . . um, I mean, they miss me terribly already *teehee*

Enjoy your weekend.

I may post some pics while in Oregon. But, if not, I haven’t scheduled any other blog posts to go up and will rarely open my mini laptop while there, so don’t forget me *grin* You all are what keeps me connected to Out There when I’m In Here.

Delayed Friday Shoot out & Critters comin’ and goin’ in Haywood County

5 Aug

I missed last Friday’s Shoot out (Outdoor food) – I’d planned to get creative with food in the outdoors, but time ran away from me. So, instead, I snapped some photos of “critter food” or the chain of food, etc. Spider food, squirrel and bird food, people catching their own food, bee and butterfly food, etc.

We have wild critters here on the mountain: some wilder than others; some dangerous, some not so. We have squirrel feeders and bird feeders hanging round or tacked to the tree. We’re perched here, so it’s as if we live in a tree house in a way. In the morning, the little red squirrels wait for us to come put sunflower seeds in the feeders. We can hear their feet flappity flap stomp across the roof as they come running and no sooner do we scoop the seeds in than the little squirrels hop on and eat. We don’t try to make them pets; we don’t try to touch them, but they expect us to feed them now I guess…huhn. At night, the flying squirrels with their high-pitched squeaking come calling. When I went out to take in the bird feeder (we don’t want bears coming round to get the seed), those flying squirrels just sit there looking at me with their big ole eyes – I reach out my hand thinking they’ll fly away and still they sit! I have to take down the feeder before they go sailing off to a tree branch. I always leave some on the railing for them, and there’s the squirrel feeders that stay there, as they’re nailed to the tree.

We’ve heard the bobcat scream (and I saw one run up the back of our place), once I thought I saw a panther and so did my neighbor, but, who knows, there’s been some bear sightings, there’s coons that come calling at night, too and they fight over the sunflower seeds in the squirrel feeder, there’s wild turkey and deer and all manner of critters. I worry about the critters because of development — I am sorry to say I’ve grown a big kind of hatred for some of the developers, particularly those who come from out of state, ruin the mountain, and then leave with their pockets lined with cash – out of their site/sight, out of their mind, not in their backyard–but don’t get me started there.

Sometimes I see the crippled critters and I feel bad for them, but they make their way the best they can and some of them survive and I suppose some do not as I only see them a season and then they are gone—lessen they found another place to be.

The hummingbirds come calling, too — and one of them is aggressive and drives off the others.

There’s one critter that calls at night and I can’t figure out what it is. It’s a lonesome sound, but beautiful.
Once I thought I heard a wolf’s howl, but am never sure whether it was just me howling out my pleasure at living in these ancient mountains – some of the oldest mountains in the world – the most beautiful place, my Home here in Haywood County.
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