Friday, March 8, 2013

Books, Music & More: Show & Tell Friday

Last week, I inaugurated “Show & Tell Friday” here at The Writing Scott and over at my author website.

I dug it. I’m doing it again.

First up, my dear writer-friend Christine Byl’s debut book of nonfiction: Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods. I was lucky enough to get to know Christine back in 2008, when we spent a month as writing fellows at the Vermont Studio Center. We talked the wonders of Alaska, and she lent me her cross country skis. She is good people.

I know from personal experience reading her work that she’s an incredible talent. This is a book worth buying! It releases April 16, 2013 from Beacon Press, but you can reserve your copy now at Amazon and other stores, including your local independent bookstore.

By the way, that’s her in the wheelbarrow on the cover!

Next, a poem to share: “Waking,” by Stephen Dobyns. This was Monday’s featured poem on my daily dose of The Writer’s Almanac (which can show up in your Inbox, too, dear reader, if you only sign up). I am an awful poet, yet I adore poetry. And this poem just touched me with its gorgeous familiarity. It’s about marriage, and family, and it says so many of the things I’d like to say if I could.

Bradley Carter
Then, for you Western North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee readers–heck, anyone in the near-enough area–there’s some great music being created in my neck of the woods. This time, by two of my favorite people: Bradley Carter and H.R. Gertner, guys I worked with in my college days at an outdoor adventure camp in the mountains. Back then, I got to listen to these two pick, play, and sing on Sunday nights around a roaring campfire. (They’re also mad climbers and paddlers.) Check them out on Facebook!

Now they’re sharing their talents with the world. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for dates when they’re playing near you. Bradley will be coming home to Brevard, N.C. on April 16, 2013, to play at 185 King Street!

Finally, I’ll be signing copies of Keowee Valley and chatting with readers this Saturday, March 9 at the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla, S.C., from 2 – 3 p.m. My visit coincides with Old Time Music Day, so there should be a lot of great sounds coming from this fabulous little museum. (There’re also two incredible 18th century, preserved Cherokee canoes–pulled from nearby rivers–to check out at the OHC, along with all kinds of other cool stuff.)

18th c. Cherokee canoes - Oconee Heritage Center

Happy Friday, everyone–hope it’s a great weekend for us all!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Going Home

Oh, I had the loveliest time yesterday down in Greenville, S.C. (I say “down” because I drive down through the Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C. and S.C. to get there from my house) at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s Adult Group.

I got to share so many memories of growing up at Aldersgate UMC, and then talked about Keowee Valley and my research and writing process. There were lots of great questions at the end; and, after, a delicious lunch! I’m so thankful to Director of Children & Leisure Ministries, Ruth Hughes, for putting it all together and inviting me to come.

This was a particularly special book event because I grew up at Aldersgate: I was a member there from the time I was two years old until just last year, when we finally transferred our membership to the church we’d been attending in the mountains. I played on the basketball team, was involved in youth fellowships, went to vacation bible school, acted and sang in church plays–all the good stuff. So it was just like going home.

Last week, I was the guest author at a book club in the neighborhood where I grew up, which was another special treat. I got to sit at a gorgeously appointed table with a fabulous group of women readers, eat delicious dessert and talk all about Keowee Valley, Quinn, Jack, Ridge Runner, and the rest. Such fun!

Tomorrow, I’m headed to another book club–one of which my own mother and one our dearest family friends are members. I know it’ll be a blast.

After this, I’m slowing down quite a bit in my book travels. Being 31 weeks pregnant takes a toll on a girl. But I plan to pick back up in late summer, after my baby is born and my whole family is settled into life in a whole new world.