Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences. They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance. The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
In honor of my blog Plant Whatever Brings You Joy's 10th Blogiversary I've posted a chapter from my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. This particular chapter was also excerpted in Fairview's GreenPrints magazine, which was greatly appreciated. Read more here: http://plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com/aim-for-beauty/…See More
McCrumb sees stories behind haunting ghost by Rob NeufeldPHOTO: Sharyn McCrumb and her dog Arthur, 2017. Photo by Laura Palmer, courtesy, Sharyn McCrumb In “The Unquiet Grave,” Sharyn McCrumb once again demonstrates her mastery at turning a folktale into something larger, different, and greater.The legend of the…See More
HISTORIC PHOTO James Vester Miller James Vester Miller had been a boy when his mother, a Rutherfordton slave, had responded to Emancipation by taking her three children to Asheville and getting a job as a cook in a boardinghouse—some say Julia Wolfe’s boardinghouse, Old Kentucky Home. Growing up, Miller hung…See More
Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library. Photo by author. “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Meet the 4th generation miller of a historic millby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Triptych of Dellinger Mill and Jack Dellinger in his mill, showing the hopper, the 1859 waterwheel, bags of cornmeal, and the National Historic Place plaque. Photos and composition by Henry Neufeld. I had written about…See More
On October 1, Sunday afternoon, 2 PM, at Jackson County Library in the Community Room, NCWN and NCWN-West will honor the late Poet Laureate, Kathryn S. Byer . Everyone is invited to come. We will share her poetry and talk about her achievements and her legacy for writers and poets in NC. If Kay touched your life in some way, come and pay tribute to her. We all miss her and this is a way to share our mourning for losing her and show our appreciation for what she did for us. See More
"On Saturday, September 9, 10:30 a.m., Richard Kraweic will teach a class at Writers Circle. He will teach how to organize a poetry book for publication. I know I need to learn that lesson. How about you?"
A meaningful tour of East Asheville PHOTO CAPTION: View of Beverly Hills suburb, from a painting by Gibson Catlett that had once hung at subdivision offices. Courtesy Special Collection, Ramsey Library, UNC Asheville. I was walking in the Beverly Hills neighborhood the other day and noticed a few…See More
Gail Godwin’s latest crosses a mental boundary by Rob Neufeld Asheville author Gail Godwin, now a Woodstock, NY resident, comes back home here Wed., June 14 to present her new novel, “Grief Cottage” at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m. “Grief Cottage” is the story of an orphaned, sensitive, troubled boy, named…See More
I've accidentally written a comic historical sci-fi beach novel about Black Mountain. Would you care to read it with an eye towards reviewing?
Here is a preview of the press release:
Local artist and Swannanoa Valley historian Jerald Pope is releasing his first novel, “The Elvis Tooth.” Pope describes the book as “a comic, historical, science fiction beach book, about Black Mountain that combines real history and stories with a time travel flair,” The titular tooth, the key McGuffin in the story, was an actual tooth pulled from Elvis Presley’s mouth in Black Mountain by Dr. Love in 1975.
Pope is best known for the “Way Back When” series of plays that ran at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts for several years. He wrote, directed, designed, and occasionally acted in those compilations of historical narratives and original songs.
He also wrote and illustrated “Step Back in Time,” a walking tour of Black Mountain, as well as several children’s picture books, including “Madeleine Claire and the Dinosaur,” and “The Minute Elf.”
“The Elvis Tooth” is the story of an ordinary tourist, in Black Mountain to get married, who wanders into Pellom’s Time Shop and inexplicably finds himself sixty-five years in the past. (Many locals will know the feeling.) As he struggles to identify allies and clues that can get him back in time for the wedding, he becomes aware that more than time has shifted; his appreciation of a lost American sensibility grows. Although he quickly learns it wasn’t all the Andy Griffith Show.
Like Odysseus wending his wandering way back to Ithaca, our hero meets a variety of strange characters that could either help or hinder his journey. Some share stories or riddles that seem to exist solely for the pleasure of their telling. Or do they? Now he must get from 1948 to 1975, abscond with The King’s rotten molar, and then jump again back to the present.
Beside Elvis, a young Nina Simone, Merce Cunningham, and others whose fame is more local make an appearance. The book is a delightful blend of history and histrionics that will inform readers as it tickles their funny bones.
Hi Rob, would it be possible in the Members listing to be able to look up via location? Such as in NC, or Asheville, or in my case, Blairsville, or WNC or NE-GA? It would be so much easier trying to find if there are 'friends' on here that you could link up with, follow thier posts, as well as locate 'new friends' you haven't met yet from your area. Thanks for considering this additional programming. Best Regards, RhondaKay Brigman
Rob- Would love to invite you to the reception in June for the traveling LIncoln exhibit we are hosting. I will also give you all the information for the David Madden programs and also the Barbara Bates Smith program. She is performing Ron Rash's short story "Lincolnites" which will be enhanced by the beautiful music of Jeff Sebens. I can mail you the small poster and the invitation the 'old fashioned' way. Send your mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Hope to see you at these events, they sound like they are right up your alley. Kathy
(Hey Rob - I could not find your email address so below is an intended email to you. Thanks!)
I have been enjoying The Read on WNC after discovering several months ago. It is a remarkable resource ~ clearly a labor of love!
I am a 3rd grade teacher at Evergreen Community Charter School in Haw Creek. I love to create curriculum, especially big cross-disciplinary projects. I have a challenge that I am excited about turning into an opportunity for true community-based education.
Next year, all NC public schools implement new essential standards in social studies. Interestingly, there is a new focus on local history, particularly in the 3rd grade curriculum.
I am working on a major curriculum project where our students at Evergreen would each choose a significant person, place, event, or innovation that has helped to make Asheville what it is today. The students would do research, including interviewing adults with local knowledge and doing fieldwork. The kids would write and also build something to honor their subject, culminating in a community gallery/presentation event.
Among the challenges in making this happen is the reality that there are not many written research resources that are at the right level for elementary school readers. I have some ideas that I am excited about on how to address this...but I imagine you do too, and I would love to hear yours.
Would you be interested in having a cup of coffee or a beer sometime to talk about this?
I would actually teach (facilitate) this project starting in January of next year, but I hope to start much sooner in gathering help & building momentum. I also hope that a local community education project like this could benefit teachers and students in other schools as well.
Thanks for the interview, Rob, and for your patience. Other than the people who helped with the research, you are the first person I talked to who knew anything about the Tom Dula story, and I was dying to talk about it. Thanks for listening!
Rob - I thought the BookFest was a huge success, and your interview with Ann B. Ross was delightful. May I ask if you do book reviews for authors? My character, Mattie, in "The Trouble with Mattie," tells me she would be ever grateful to you.
Thought you might like to know that the comments I "captured" from you about the importance of book reviews will appear in the new book Many Genres: One Craft, Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction. I wrote only one chapter, as it is a compilation of lessons and advice by many authors, many whom earned either Master's degrees, Master of Fine Arts degrees, or both, from Seton Hill University in Greenburg, PA. It was edited by Bram Stoker award winner, Michael Arnzen and fantasy writer, Heidi Miller. There are also guests in the book, such as Tess Gerritsen, internationally known thriller writer, and Ginger Clark, book agent at Curtis Brown. Published by Headline Books of Terra Alta, West Virginia, it is scheduled for release at the end of April. I will promote the book at the Grub Street Writer's Festival in Boston the last weekend of April.
Thanks, Rob! Glad to be here. As you probably know, my next novel is "The Ballad of Tom Dooley," (Thomas Dunne Books, August 2011). Because Tom Dula was defended by NC's Confederate governor, Zebulon Baird Vance, I am scheduled to do a program on the novel at the Zebulon Vance birthplace on Saturday, November 5.
Rob, You were, of course, on the original list I sent to the publisher to get a review copy of ABDUCTED BY CIRCUMSTANCE. I also asked Tom Post at UTenn Press twice to follow up with copies, so it is a mystery that none reached you. Of my ten novels, this one has had one problem after another. I appreciate your asking for a copy.
What is the best address for books to reach you? I will ask Tom Post again to send a copy and I will send one myself just to make sure. I crave your insights about this strange novel. I read at Montford Books last night and will read at Malaprop's June 26 and maybe Chan's shop later, and other places all around.
Your reviews and The Read perform a great service in the Asheville area literary firmament.
Yes, there is now a no trespassing sign at the driveway access to the cemetery. I don't know who owns the property now, but my guess is they don't want to deal with folks coming up their drive and parking at the cemetery entrance. I'm pretty sure the cemetery is not part of their property, but their drive is the most logical access. It is accessible (as far as I know) from another driveway, but its a tough walk up a steep hill. NC statutes cover access to cemeteries, but the law relates to relatives of those buried there not being denied access. I don't think the law would apply to the general public. It is a disappointment the driveway has been posted.
When I worked on Madison County Civil War Trails markers, I discussed putting up a marker down there with a long time resident with deep roots there. I asked the person to talk with others to get an idea if the community was in favor. The reply to me was that they were not interested, so I dropped the idea.
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It looks good, Rob. Thanks! Robert Bixby posted the 8th chapter in his comment, so readers can delve into a later part of the book--Esther and Davis Lee's first real date.
I think the section you paraphrased and quoted from is provocative and hopefully will get some responses!
Rob, thanks so much for posting our anthology Clothes Lines. And thank you, Kay, for the plug and for posting it on your blog. Celia Miles and I had a ball at our "office"--McDonald's in Biltmore--chosing submissions and editing the book. We are very glad to have such a collective positive response to our book.
Hello Rob:) Thank you ror your suggestion about posting part of my book. How do I do it? Could you point me in the right direction-I am looking for proffesional critique... That's where I am and what I need. Thanks again, I know you are very busy man:)Halina
Rob, how do I get you interested in my book? The title is A Beagle's Tale...
Would this be a good first step:)?
I am so excited, I have just learned about this writer community right here,at home. I hope I will get to meet some of you at Barnes and Noble-Wednesday reading group? I am mixing things up,right?
Glad to make new friends:)Halina