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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.



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Susan True replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone
"Soulfully beautiful."
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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Little Switzerland Books and Beans

August 30, 2019 from 3pm to 6pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author at Little Switzerland Books and Beans on Friday, August 30, from 3-5. A book signing will follow. Julia will read from her latest books A Neighborhood Changes, A Part of Me, and A Place That Was Home.See More
Aug 26
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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8

Appalachian Wiccan Ballard presents folk magic primer

The book: Staubs and Ditchwater: A Friendly and Useful Introduction to Hillfolks' Hoodoo by Byron Ballard (Asheville: Silver Rings Press, 2012)

Responding to a call for some clear writing about witchcraft and Appalachian folk medicine, Ballard produces a 130-page guide that is also part essay and memoir.

Ballard is a native Western North Carolinian, with a family that has been here for generations.  She is part of a neighborhood in which she plays the role of a called-upon helper.  She is also part of a cultural community--not just Wiccans, but also those concerned about Appalachian heritage, sustainability. and small farms.

She made up the term "hillfolks' hoodoo" to cover a range of practices.

"What is hillfolks' hoodoo--the kind that's practiced in the southern Highlands of Appalachia?" she writes.  "It's medicine and midwifery, it's omen-reading and weather working...It's working in both the physical realm and in the psychological one, using keen observation, common sense, experience and folkways to effect change."

A "staub," she explains in a chapter subtitled, "Materials," is a word hillfolk pronounce, "stob," and is a kind of stake, usually wooden, that one plants in the ground to aid intentionality.  In a later chapter, she reveals one of its applications, combining it with a war bottle.

Most of Ballard's remedies are psychological-spiritual--involving premonition, focus, and alignment.  The premonition aspect is something for which certain English ancestors had had a special gift, she reports.  

Ballard presents her primer at Malaprop's Bookstore Cafe, 7 p.m., Aug. 10; and at City Lights Bookstore, 6:30 p.m., Aug. 31.

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