Sunday, September 26, 2010

Writing Workshop in Waynesville

I went to the Mountain Writers Workshop from 9a.m. until 4p.m. on Saturday. The classes I signed up for were interesting and informative. I wish I could have taken classes from each instructor because I think they are all really good. One of the best parts of these workshops is meeting and talking to other writers. Most were from the area in the groups I was in. That's a good thing because I met women I am sure I will see again.
What took the winds out of my sails and is now funny to me is the key-note speaker at the luncheon. He is Charles F. I was looking forward to hearing him.
Well, his whole lecture was on how you can't make it in the writing business any more. He said well known publishing houses that have been eager to publish his work in the past say they have budget cuts and all they are taking is pop culture or popular fiction and they take very little of that. He said it's all going to digital, e-books, etc. I expected a good pep talk like stay with it and you'll make it but he stated that we were wasting our time (that's my synopsis of what he said). Then he went further to insult genre writers that weren't writing "serious literature". LOL I'll probably regret putting this in my blog but it's the truth so I'll stick by it. LOL He also stated that he was an old fashioned guy and he wanted books in his hand and not a kindle, etc. and he didn't get it.
At the end I raised my hand with a question. I said, "I get what you are saying but why wouldn't you sale to Kindle or Nook or any e-book if that is what is selling?" He said that actually he has sold two of his books to e-books but he only gets seven cents a copy sold! That was pretty sobering. Actually, the whole thing was pretty sobering to be a workshop for writers.
Thank goodness there were wonderful uplifting instructors there so the classes were marvelous. Wish I could take classes from a couple who teach creative writing at colleges or universities around Asheville.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yamelis, Guillermo, and Wayne

My sister-in-law, Yamelis, became a United States citizen this past week. I am so proud of her. She has worked so hard to study, to learn the language, and adjust to another way of life these last five years.
Her son, my nephew, Guillermo, is in the United States Army and just got back from serving our country in Afghanistan. I am so proud of what he has done;realized his dreams. He decided while still living in Venezuela that he wanted to be in the US Armed Services. What a guy. He is at Fort Bragg now in NC so we will be able to see him.
Wayne turns sixty this year and I'm happy he is alive and well. We have a lot to be thankful for. Wayne had lung cancer but he's doing so well now.
What a great family that keeps plugging away after the last year of fear and their son leaving home for the first time when he went into the service. His mom has had a rough time seeing her only son leave the nest. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger so this is one strong family this year. :)
Congratulations to all three.

A Good Day

You can't have a bad day when you have Eggs Betty, grits with goat cheese, and fresh black raspberry jam on a mile high biscuit for breakfast. The Sweet Potato pancake were calling me but I choose Betty instead. I'll have to go back.
Now if I get in sweet potato fries and a glass of wine at the outdoor cafe of Carmel's this trip, I'll be set for another year!
Love Asheville, love this place.
I have been able to almost catch up on my writing and painting since I arrived. I've done little else but I feel most good about the writing. I have gone months without writing a word. Feels good to be back.
Things I think about this week.
My friend, Lynne, had the same surgery that I did to have her knee replaced but she broke her femur and is having such a hard time recuperating. I feel so bad for her and waiting now to hear whether she will be able to get go home to recuperate or will have to stay at the facility for rehab.
My brother Wayne turns sixty years old on the 26th. Woo-hoo. So glad he made it and so glad he is doing so well. Here's to the next forty or so years for Wayne. I can not believe my younger brother is sixty. What's up with that??? That means I have three more brothers that will turn sixty consecutively over the next three years. What's up with that. I think they are trying to make me feel old is all. :) Happy Birthday Wayne!
My reading for Imagining Heaven has been postponed to Jan or Feb..drats. I was ready. I know everyone was disappointed but Jan or Feb is good.
Both books (anthologies that I am in) are doing so well in sales and publicity. Wow, can't believe it.
Nancy Simpson from Net West emailed me to ask if she could print a poem she liked about Brian on her website, "Living Above The Frostline". She is such a great poet, and well known,influential person here. I am honored. Of course I will let you know when it appears on her site. :)
Loving this life in the mountains and my friends here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Echoes Across the Blue Ridge

I am holding in my hand for the first time, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. The stories, essays, and poems are by some impressive people to say the least. Wow! I picked several up at the Blue Ridge book store in Waynesville. They probably guessed I was included in the book by the smile that wouldn't leave me. I thought for a while my face might be frozen with that look. :)

Nancy Simpson, the editor, chose to divide the book into the four seasons and that makes it so easy to read and just wander through.

Echoes is amazing, beginning with the cover that contains a scene somewhere in the Southern Appalachians. I’m still struck by the sheer joy of being published in this impressive anthology.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple Orchard

Barbers Orchard is open and I’ve decided to go on an apple diet. Honey Crisps are ripe now and so I started with those yummy best apples ever. They are in for such a short time that I feel lucky when I hit the orchard at just the right time. The rest of my apple diet consists of apple turnovers, apple muffins with nuts and raisins, apple caramel cookies and a slice of apple pie. That should do it for this week. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stick to this apple diet but if it’s true to par for other diets for me; It should last a day or two. Viva la apple!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rainy Day Saturday

It rained most of the day. I went to a bookstore/coffee shop to write. I didn’t get too much done but had a good time just feeling a part of the coffee shop scene. It felt good to get back to writing after being engulfed in the chores of the move in Florida.
It’s Thunder in the Mountains weekend in Maggie; motorcycles are everywhere. I think of Bill and how he would love to be here for that. The fairgrounds has a festival for the bikers and the businesses cater to them. I sure don’t like it when Bill rides in the rain though. Cycles are scary enough on dry ground.
I went to Ingles grocery store. I wish we had one in Florida. I know in PA we had Wegman’s Grocery and that was similar to Ingles. I walk in cold and wet and Starbucks greets me. I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yum! Then I walked the aisles in case I found something I wanted. I like just walking through the store because the smells are intoxicating. They are always cooking, baking, fixing up something that smells like home in the fall or during the holidays.
I got home and Lexi and I watched the Florida Gators, USF Bulls game. Gators won..GO GATORS! I love football season. Just another sign that fall is here or technically it is coming.
I’m ready.

North Carolina Home

As soon as I squared away our new home in Tampa and felt comfortable with what we had done to prepare it to be our home, I headed north to NC. That was on September 9, which is my brother, Bob’s, birthday. He would have been 64 years old. That day has become a contemplative one for me so being on the road seemed like a good place to be.
When the mountains come into view I’m always blown away by the beauty. There’s something so basic in me that it reaches. Maybe it is just the need for beauty and change.
The first morning, yesterday when I awoke it was 56 degrees. Even though I knew that I still dressed in my summer clothes and didn’t dream of taking a jacket with me. I must be a creature of habit because all the signs given to me to hint at wearing different clothing were ignored. After all, this is still summer time.
I was so cold all morning and just laughed at the absurdity of it all, the absurdity of me loving this cold blast in the early morning. People were wearing long sleeves and sweaters but that still seemed out of the question to this Floridian.
By mid afternoon (off the mountain) the temps reached 80 degrees and I felt just fine in my clothes. I would have to remember the layering look that I adopt each time I come here this time of year.
I am home. This is the same thing I say when I leave NC in the winter and head for Florida and see those sparkling beaches and feel the warmth of the sunshine. Life is good.