Thursday, June 5, 2008

Svlva, NC

Sylva is one of my favorite little towns in North Carolina. High up in the mountains not far from Cherokee, it's maintained a nice balance between then and now. By which I mean that gift shopppes and galleries haven't crowded out ordinary stores for non-tourists and while there are several places not unfamiliar with goat cheese, arugula, and artisanal breads (all of which I really enjoy), you can still find a good biscuit smothered in sausage gravy (a guilty pleasure I won't turn down).

My favorite place to be in Sylva is City Lights -- a wonderful bookstore on a back street with all the best new books, a great collection of regional material, and a terrific used book section as well. (I found myself purchasing Volume V of Keen's Surgery - a 1909 tract (illustrated) that I expect to find a use for -- in fiction, if not practice.

I was in Sylva today reading from the new book -- while 20-some folks enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Joyce Moore, the owner of City Lights. This is my fourth year as a visiting author and there's always a great group of folks in attendance, old friends and new. This time it was fun to have on hand Lee Palatt , whose name was given to Nola's nosy neighbor in Dark Season. I'd never met her, except through e-mails so it was a little startling to have a character from the book walk up and introduce herself.

And the Poet Laureate of North Carolina was there too. (How cool is that?) Kathryn Stripling Byer (we were both presenters at the Lake Logan writers' retreat) is someone whose work I've admired for years and it's been so nice to get to know her a little. She's just begun a blog and if you want to read some really lovely poetry that speaks to the beauties of everyday, click on her name to follow the link . She's just begun the blog and I know it can feel lonely, writing stuff with nary a comment to let you know someone's out there. So stop by and say hi -- and see if you don't get hooked on her poetry.

NOTE!! Two of you all who signed up for my newsletter gave me addresses that didn't work. Donna R. and Pat P., also Tamra M. -- who signed up but gave no email -- you can sign up on my website .
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Unknown said...

Vicki - I have relatives that live in Sylva but have never visited - it's one of many places on my list to explore once we are there full-time. Your book arrived from Amazon yesterday and as soon as I finish "Island of Lost Girls" by Jennfier McMahon I will be starting it. -Liz

Vicki Lane said...

It's really a nice little place!

Hope you enjoy DARK SEASON.

Pat in east TN said...

If I remember right that courthouse is the most photographed of any in the state. It is a beautiful building.

That looks like a really neat bookstore. I've been to Sylva many times but never happened across it.

Vicki Lane said...

The courthouse actually looks a lot like Marshall's but Sylva's is painted white and sits impressively at the top of a looong flight of steps.

It's a fine bookstore -- worth looking for and not really that hard to find -- just a block off the main drag.