(Book reading / signing for Pokeweed this Saturday, 10/20 from 1-3pm at the amazing Star Line Books, downtown Chattanooga.)
Hey! If you’re in Chattanooga on 9.29, stop by this exciting festival to hear some amazing authors speak about their craft! Or, you can simply visit & hang out with me.
I’ll be moderating Session 5: ‘Writers Talking Craft’ with Dave Connis, Randy Ribay, Maggie Thrash, and Jeff Zentner from 2:15-3pm that day. These are some heroes of mine in the YA realm. You won’t be disappointed!
Chattanooga’s Celebration of Young Adult and Middle Grades Literature
Readings, Book Sales,
Food Trucks, Vendors & Fun
Link to register for this FREE event: https://www.yahoofest.org/
See you there,
Here’s a poem from last year’s trip to the beach. A large inspiration being a UK article citing how parts of the Kentucky River mirror the Bahamas of present-day (with limestone formations dating back 450 million years to the Ordovician Period):
If Kentucky wasn’t landlocked…
it’d be located somewhereabouts
betwixt the Bahamas and the blue Caribbean
Limestone sediment and
formations similar to millions of years ago
Geologists see it
and caves in both
The earth as one piece
and then as many
Jostled about much like
My debut novella, POKEWEED, is now available for pre-order. When you purchase my book, it will ship your way on September 20th. Here’s a video teaser –
Prior to this publication, I wasn’t savvy to how important pre-orders were, but they ultimately determine a book’s well-being. Therefore, the more copies I sell during the pre-order period, the better its chance of living, breathing, and growing.
Writing this novella was amazing, and I’m so grateful for all those whose input went into it before publication at Black Rose. Thank you, Katerina Dotneboya, for the exceptional artwork created from halfway across the globe!
Some of my literary heroes read my work beforehand and shared their blurbs with me. They’re on my website & will be printed on the inside of this book.
I’m currently developing my first children’s picture book as well. I am so fortunate to have found a community of people who share my passion for writing both online and within the Chattanooga community.
Here are the two central link(s) to preorder POKEWEED: www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/Pokeweed & http://ow.ly/d3cJ30lO2MS
Please share. I am so, so grateful.
#brwriting #pokeweed #throwforwardthursday
Mothers are the lifeblood of our best days on earth. It’s a role not chosen but gifted. And those willing to rise to the occasion shape the planet one laboring gesture at a time. From the act of childbirth to Sunday school to wiping a bloody lip, they exhibit selflessness. And in an age where we can command gadgets to relay anything at a moment’s notice (our every whim really), this is a fresh example.
It still takes nine months for this gift to arrive. The virgin Mary to our own parental DNA, they are all embedded with the will to survive, to nurture. We cry and are comforted. The diaper is changed before a nasty rash settles in. Food and sustenance are supplied by our caretakers. We bask and rest in summer months filled with sunshine and endless amounts of Vitamin D.
My own is someone I cannot even begin to describe. She deserves more than tangible gifts on a single Sunday in May. I laugh when websites suggest gifts for me to send her way on Mother’s Day. What could I ever share with her that equates to the gift of life? Can a person come remotely close to delivering something so substantial as their own date of birth?
My own wife, and best friend, is developing our own gift right this very moment. A date stated as her own date of birth in late summer. She glows with the radiance of new life beneath her. The stomach nests baby much like a mother hen caring for her own. Inside great things are at work, and I marvel at what is hidden, what kicks and jolts the epidermis after some watermelon is munched down.
The skin of life stretches and new cells form. But unlike a yawning biology class, this is visible and mystifying. God’s own world growing before the naked eye. I watch and am comforted by the unknowable development. Something man cannot alter or create in a million lifetimes if he tried. The embryo that makes us all and hatches new wonders minute-by-minute. Time is paused and clocks are rendered useless while mothers do what only they can.
Birth without a death in sight is peace-filled, and worry is thankfully forgotten. Thanks being given to the Divine and for the mothers who created us into a world made better for it.
How does one write about their own life?
“One word at a time,” the sarcastic one says.
“Follow a set bracket of time,” a wise one adds.
“Start at a pivotal moment and detail the surroundings,” your neighbor tells you.
Pick up a pen and begin again what you already know.
You might’ve seen the previous posts, but it’s true: Leah and I are expecting a girl this August. She is due to arrive on Leah’s birthday (Aug. 11th) no less.
We spent this past weekend at Mom’s in Monticello to celebrate with family and close friends. As we’ve learned this info., it is now much more real.
There is growth.
There is a child on the way.
We are naming her after my babysitter- Zella (Rose), which means ‘blessed.’
All of the complimentary Kentucky checkboxes were marked this past Easter weekend:
- fried chicken
- a couple of proud mamas
I hinted previously that there could be a new book coming down the pike this year.
THERE IS! It’s one I’ve had quite a fun time with, as it really defies classification.
Here’s my best effort to label it –
- an illustrated, Young Adult, Western novella set in 1880s Appalachia rather than, well, the West.
- a coming-of-age story, with historical significance, as it centers upon a family caught in the disastrous, bloody French-Eversole Feud near Hazard, Kentucky.
With the current landscape of modern high school libraries shifting away from books involving shootouts, I was nervous to promote such a book for teen readers. However, the strong historical significance won out for me, to tell a story about this ‘not-so-famous’ Kentucky feud, which unlike the Hatfields & McCoys (happening due east of Perry County), spawned not from the greed over a hog, but something much more closely tied to every Appalachian – land, the coal within.
I look forward to sharing more details, as they develop, and I gladly welcome any of my more talented writing peers to offer to blurb for this book well in advance of its intended release, which is: 9.20.18.
Happy Easter Weekend to everyone!
Things which captivate me still, regarding my hometown, Monticello, Kentucky:
Blackberries growing along the edge of Sally Burnett Road
Cheeseburgers simmering on Main Street’s Pool Hall grill
Turtles stepping on one another to get pellets at Conley Bottom Resort
Shane Blevins shooting a 3-pointer, the subsequent swish
Cornbread recipes shared at Mill Springs Mill
The word ‘Pull!’ being shouted in a field, followed by shotgun blasts
Horses swimming in an open pond in summer
Church bells ringing at Elk Ridge Baptist Church
Harold Turpin preaching 1 Corinthians 13
Baptism with six friends in a creek one, crisp October
Dennis Wheeler leading a choir on Sundays
Cardinal couples darting from branch to branch at the park
A skier dropping a ski between New Fall and White Oak Creeks
Lake Cumberland reaching into the trees after a rain
Losing a teammate to that same pool one year
Kelda Stringer sharing the Wayne County Outlook with all
The doughboy looking on
Dad driving like Steve McQueen between Delta and Hwy 92
The roar of a Chevy Nova getting me to Bell Elementary
Grandma’s suppers on Tuesday nights
Family reunions at the Memorial Park shelter house
Bus rides to and from Cave Street with Ingrid Coffey
Basketball double headers on Fridays
Kickball tournaments in the Miniard auditorium
Veteran’s Day parades and our pride in hometown heroes
Open lunch at South Creek Mini Mart
Paul Stringer reading Harper Lee aloud
Jimmy Cooper obsessing over his desk
Mountain View Camp and Chrysalis – God’s very movement
Menville Dishman on our family doorstep, inviting us back to church one more time
(*image by Mitchell McGuire, Art Deco rendering/design)