Friday, January 18, 2013

Keowee Valley Reviewed at The Huffington Post

Keowee Valley has just been reviewed at The Huffington Post’s Huff Post Books, by writer/chef John Malik!
Check it out:

I’m thrilled! And I’m using lots of exclamation points!
* * *

In other news, my interview at Blog Talk Radio’s “Away With Words” is now up and can be heard online. I had a great time chatting with hosts Victoria and Jill about everything from the inspiration behind Keowee Valley, to the ins and outs of its main characters (Quincy and Jack), the setting (the gorgeous Southern Appalachian mountains during the dangerous Revolutionary era), literary agents and publishing, the writing life, and even winter weather.

Enjoy! (My interview is the first 40 minutes.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back in the Saddle ... Again

So, long-time readers here know that I really dig this title. I’ve used it before. But I can’t help it; it’s such a great song sung by the wonderful Gene Autry.

Back in the saddle again, back where a friend is a friend….

See? Now it’ll stick in your head. Sorry.

But this is how I feel, after being away from home for the holidays, and then traveling to Puerto Rico for my third residency in the MFA in Writing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. (I skipped 12 days in snowy Vermont in lieu of 8 days in sunny–sometimes–Puerto Rico.) Finally home, I have busied myself with completing all the tasks laid out before me for the next few months:

1. Clean my house. There are still Christmas decorations up.
2. Organize my desk. I’d show you a picture, but you’d scream.
3. Write a big ol’ chunk of Novel 2.
4. Continue to share and promote
Keowee Valley.
5. Complete my third semester (the critical semester, in which I write a doozy of a critical thesis in addition to producing new creative work) in the MFA in Writing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
6. Mama my 3 year-old. In a good way. (And, dear Lord, finally get her completely potty-trained.)
7. Team up with my husband to prepare our house for Baby Girl 2, set to arrive May 8, 2013.
8. Grow a baby. Yowza.

I’m sure I’m missing something, but I’ll get to that later. Tomorrow….

Okay, enough with the songs.

Later this week, I’ll share my Puerto Rico experience–and some photos–with those interested. One of the many reasons I’d applied to VCFA was because of their study abroad opportunites. (There’s an alternate residency every summer in Slovenia, and an alternate winter one in Puerto Rico.) As an undergrad, I longed to study abroad, and came close to heading to Australia for a semester. Then I decided to tack on a double major and became The Girl Who Reads Alot.

When I did the grad school thing the first time, earning my MA in English, I had the chance to spend a summer in Italy, and it was a life-changer. So I knew this was something I’d like to pursue during my MFA. VCFA makes it easy to attend: the residencies are held at the exact same time, which makes it more manageable for those of us with jobs and families.
But more of that later this week.

If you “follow” me on Facebook, you’ll know that one of the founding members of my family–my sweet black lab (and faithful trail partner), Scout–has been through a heck of a week.

Here’s a run-down:

hematoba on the ear
head wrapping
pulling off wrapping
more blood
visits to the ER vet
more wrapping
Houdini-style removal of the wrapping (usually while we slept)
savings depleted
more wrapping
less blood
meds, meds, and more meds

Thankfully, though, she’s on the mend. And I really appreciate all you fine folks who wrote in to tell me you were thinking about her and us! I believe good juju makes the world go round. May you be blessed with an easy winter. And lollipops (my daughter insists).

That’s all for now! If you’re able, I hope you’ll tune in for my radio interview on the Blog Talk Radio show “Away With Words,” hosted by Victoria Valentine! 7:00 tonight!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Interview Wednesday Night on Blog Talk Radio

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday night, I'll be on the Blog Talk Radio show "Away With Words."

The show is hosted by writer Victoria Valentine; we were connected by my writer-friend Ann Hite (Ghost on Black Mountain), who has also appeared on the show. Interviews are always fun--especially live ones--and I'm really looking foward to it!

I hope you'll tune in! For more information, go to: