Atheist believes in genies, novel revealsby Rob Neufeld Salman Rushdie’s latest novel—“Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” (1,001 nights)—has permitted me to come up with a headline as wild as the one above because the book is so exuberantly and infectiously…See More
Key Appalachian studies publications now going onlinefrom press release, Jan. 27. 2016 Appalachian studies scholars and those interested in regional history will have greater access to out-of-print works thanks to a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Open Book Program grant totaling $88,000 awarded to Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University. Pamela Mitchem, the library’s coordinator of digital scholarship and…See More
South of Sylva, back of yesterday: John Parris' inspiration “For the life of me, I just can’t understand why folks stopped usin’ cradles,” John Parris’ 97-year-old maternal grandfather had told him 60 years ago. The oil lamp, the buggy, and the spinning wheel—they all were replaced by things…See More
James Sturm blazes cartoon path to a new worldby Rob Neufeld Why is it that when an author combines pictures with words, the medium is considered juvenile, like comics? Words create literature; images, art. Why, when you marry them, is it like pairing a milk cow with a mop? Nothing against…See More
Two articles leapt at my consciousness this week, both about writing. And suddenly, I know how to go forward from here. The first, The Price I Pay to Write, by Laura Bogart and published online in Dame Magazine, reflects on the difficulties of…See More
Why read a 1940 man-on-the-run classicby Rob Neufeld After reading a classic novel, you might think, “Oh, look at this superior ancestor of today’s fiction.” For instance, “The Power and the Glory,” Graham Greene’s 1940 thriller about political oppression in Mexico, exemplifies the…See More
Dance critic applies grace to every moveby Rob Neufeld It’s nice to find just the right word for something, especially when it sums up a main idea in your way of thinking. That was the case with Sarah Kaufman when she’d first felt moved, nine years ago, to write her new book, “The Art of Grace” (W.W.…See More
History in the making: items of note, January 2, 2016It was reported in today’s print edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times that a new state law went into effect, requiring people who’ve filed for unemployment benefits to make at least 5 job contacts a week. It had been 2. How will that work? Are there that many jobs for which a person is qualified? Can you apply to the same job twice if it continues to be listed? Paul Bonesteel, noted Asheville filmmaker, revealed on Facebook that a…See More
Tarantino, eminent domain, and emancipation Tarantino comes to townQuentin Tarantino’s New Year’s gore and gabfest, The Hateful Eight, is gutted by New Yorker reviewer Anthony Lane, who says that Tarantino toys with rather than explores history, using it “for boyish fantasies of revenge, as if enormous crimes could be undone, after the event, by lone and wanton acts of humiliation.” …See More
Railroads in WNC: the perils, the people, and the profitby Rob NeufeldWritten in conjunction with exhibit, "How The West Was Won," in Rural Heritage Museum, Mars Hill University PHOTO CAPTION: The entrance to the railroad show at the Rural Heritage Museum is commanded by a mock-up of Climax engine…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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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.