Friday, November 9, 2012

Down to Dahlonega

I’m thrilled to be headed down to the Dahlonega Literary Festival in lovely Dahlonega, Georgia.

Tomorrow, I’ll run a booth for Keowee Valley, and will speak at 2 p.m. as part of a panel of Appalachian writers in a session called “Appalachia in Fact and Fiction.” Also on the panel: authors Ann Hite (Ghost on Black Mountain), Walton Young (A Gathering of Eagles), Nick Wynne (Flighty Jo Jones), and Mary E. Kingsley (Angel).

I’ve never been to Dahlonega before, and I always look forward to spending time in cool little mountain towns. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, and the literary line-up a real treat! Some of the other authors appearing include Karen White, Kimberly Brock (another Bell Bridge Books author, like me), Mark Warren, Cherie Priest, Carole Townsend, A.J. Hartley, and more–including keynote speaker Barbara Brown Taylor. I had the pleasure of hearing Brown Taylor speak at the Southern Women Writers Conference earlier this Fall, and she’s wonderful–witty, smart, souful and refreshing.

Even better, I’m being joined this time in my book travels by my husband and my three year-old daughter, who plan to roam the Festival and enjoy the kids’ events while I do my thing. Lately I’ve been traveling alone, so this’ll be fun! (Look for a tall man chasing a little blonde blur.)

If you’re in the area, I hope you can join us!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Chili... and Some Other Good Stuff

Crock Pot, how do I love thee?

On this election day, my mother, my daughter and I are making chili.

Election Day Chili.

Okay, so my mom really made it. But we're all going to eat it!

Okay, so my 3 year-old won't eat it.

It smells and looks absolutely delicious. We adapted the recipe from Southern Living magazine. Here it is:

Turkey & Black Bean Chili

3 (15 oz.) cans black beans
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes

Our adjustments: Sometimes we use meat crumbles, sometimes ground turkey. Mom always adds a can of Rotel. We eat ours with good ol' Jiffy cornbread!

sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced jalapeno peppers
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped tomatoes
lime wedges
corn chips or cornbread

Our plans for tonight include eating this fabulous chili, then heading to my family's church for a special election night communion. Then, Mom and I will surely stayed glued to the T.V. to see what's in store for the next four years.

* * Just for fun--and because I have a quote obsession--here are 5 quotes for Election Day 2012:

"Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
 ~ Sydney J. Harris

"The politicians were talking themselves red, white and blue in the face."
~ Clare Boothe Luce

"My experience in government is that when things are non-controversial and beautifully coordinated, there is not much going on."
~ John F. Kennedy

"Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work."
~ Michael Novak

"A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation."
~ James Freeman Clarke

Happy Election Day to all!