Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial. It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time. You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little. This caution makes history classes boring…See More
History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates. She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road. Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway. “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks. Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box. Max says he'd stop and look in it, “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks. The verbal match…See More
Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention. First, there’s Madden’s background. In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry. The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015. Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Family life as perceived by 50 WNC authorsby Rob Neufeld If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers’ work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at “It’s All Relative” (Stone Ivy Press), 52 stories and poems by 50 WNC women authors writing about family. …See More
1st Annual Summer Book Signing Extravaganza?Yes, it’s quite a mouthful but with over a dozen authors coming this Saturday, August 3rd, 11-4 PM – we just couldn’t think of a better name!In place of our regular artist demonstration, we here at MOUNTAIN MADE are proud to be hosting a multiple-author book signing – hence the extravaganza part.The following authors will be there...Celia Miles – Sarranda’s Heart (Historical novel set in WNC during the early 1800s)Nancy Dillingham – Americana…See More
""Hi Nancy: I am the Program Chair for the Blue Ridge Bookfest and would like to make contact with you in order to invite you to be one of our 2013 speakers. My email address is email@example.com. Best wishes. Jim Loy""
"Hi Nancy: I am the Program Chair for the Blue Ridge Bookfest and would like to make contact with you in order to invite you to be one of our 2013 speakers. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes. Jim Loy"
I've been sitting here responding to your latest comments, and my letter has grown so long that I'm not sure I want to post it here. I would prefer to send it to an email account for the sake of privacy. If you care to read it, write to me at:
and I will send it on.
I shall read your books with great interest, especially now that I know you are indeed that very teacher who influenced me so strongly. It is incredible to think of how self-centered I was as a seventeen-year-old high school senior. It never occurred to me to consider you as anything other than a teacher, that you were an adult with a life outside of those school walls, a woman with a college degree and interests beyond the mob of disinterested teenagers in her classroom. After a number of years I began to wonder about you and the handful of other educators who had shaped my thinking. I was not at all surprised when I typed your name into a search engine recently and book titles began to pop-up. How pleased I am to know that the teacher who so carefully encouraged me to write (and then patiently waded through that gush of adolescent language looking for the one sentence or phrase she might hope to praise) was herself, in the quiet evenings and sacred weekends away from the classroom, composing her own poetry and spinning her own tales. I should have known. I should have known!
I just found your books on Amazon and have ordered them. If you are the Nancy Dillingham I suspect you might be, I can only say that you will never know the impact you have had on me for decades. I had a journalism teacher in high school (AC Reynolds--Class of '76) whose unstinting encouragement and red pencil transformed me from a scribbler into a writer. My debt of gratitude to her is great. If you are that Nancy Dillingham from thirty-five years ago, there is no language to thank you for the influence you had on me everytime I rolled a sheet of paper into my typewriter or opened a Word document in my computer and began writing. I look forward to reading your books and getting a peek at that beloved and never-forgotten educator from the past. With the utmost sincerity, Scott Dockery / Knoxville Tennessee
Nancy-thank you for the insights on the vocabulary test. I have heard aye God and most of the others you mentions. Aye doggies-I've heard that all my life but never thought to connect it to the others. Thats a duh moment for sure.
I'm almost finished with your book-and I just love love it. I'm going to tell you my favorite parts once I'm done. You are very talented!
Nancy and Tipper,
Regarding trolls, native language, and gender, my niece Angela Wallace, a first-grade teacher at Cartoogechaye School in Macon County, says that a favorite activity of her students is extemporaneously acting out folk tales, nursery rhymes and such, and that the results are always creative. One little girl was playing the role of a troll under the bridge (guarding it) when three little boys playing the three Billy Goats Gruff wanted to cross. "We're going to cross over this bridge," the goats declared quite arrogantly, "to reach the good pasture on the other side." Whereupon, the little girl (troll) balled up her fists on her hips and in her meanest voice replied, "Oh, no, you'uns ain't!"
Nancy-thank you for the thoughtful comment you left me. I agree fatalism results from a hard way of living and isolation in Appalachia. I'll be looking forward to reading your book-thank you for mentioning it! I am a huge fan of Fred Chappell too.