Thursday, September 30, 2010

Now She Is a Cow

On Tuesday, Marigold the heifer gave birth, thereby becoming a cow! Bubba's a healthy little bull --who looks like his Devon sire.
These two pictures are from Wednesday -- and the first milking.

Below is a slide show of the birth with captions, for those who might be interested. A little earthy, perhaps, but that's how birth is...

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Tour - Fourth Stop

Fourth and next-to-last stop on the Day of Small Things whirlwind blog tour. I'm doing an interview over at Blind Pig and the Acorn -- Tipper Pressley's wonderful down home take on all thing Appalachian.  I'd be proud for you uns come along, if you've a mind to.

It won't be up till around 7 AM -- US eastern standard time. And there will be another drawing for a copy of the new book.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Huzzah!!! It's out!  Birdie's book hits the shelves today!

Like any anxious mother, I hope the world will be kind to my latest creation
I have pansies to plant . . .and the corrected and revised manuscript of Under the Skin to return to my editor.
I won't see it again till it's in page proofs and I'll read through one more time, hopng to catch every last typo.
It's one of the many oddities of publishing that now, as I begin visiting book stores and libraries to talk about The Day of Small Things, it's Under the Skin that is fresh in my mind.

My heartfelt thanks to those of you who've suffered with me through the borning of Birdie's book. You have kept my spirits up when thing were difficult and you've been kind enough to follow me as I go roving to post on other blogs.  
A thousand thanks -- you all are great!  
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Blog Tour - Third Stop

I'm off to the third stop on my Book Blog tour.  Today I'm at Meanderings and Muses, talking about Fierce Old Women I have known.

You all have been so good about commenting on my guest stops -- know that I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. 

And yes, there'll be yet another drawing for a fresh copy of The Day of Small Things. Leave a comment  over there to be entered.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Real Man


Not original -- but it gave me a giggle when someone forwarded it to me. I did take the picture of the moon though.  
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Natural Dilemma

A Monarch butterfly, struggling in a web . . . Of course I released it . . .
 But then I felt bad for the hungry spider. . . 

Sometimes it seems that the beautiful people get all the breaks.
 Click to biggify slide show and see captions!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Niche Marketing

I was intrigued by this new appearance on the Marshall by-pass and stopped for a closer look. The cross made of horseshoes is pretty nifty.
And when I got home, Mr. Google informed me that this is a growing movement -- and I wondered, do any other countries have this sort of thing with churches directed to a certain segment of their population -- based on avocation rather than belief??  

I'm not trying to say this is a good thing or a bad thing -- I just find it an interesting phenomenon.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Movie Star Cow

This is Poco, the Jersey cow that wanted to be a star.
The movie SONGCATCHER (2000)  was being filmed in our neck of the woods and they were looking for a milk cow to decorate the set and be part of a scene with Aidan Quinn. One day we got a call from the person in charge of such things, saying that they'd heard we had an attractive milk cow and they'd like to rent her for two or three weeks.

We weren't milking her at the time -- she was just lounging about the pasture -- so we were quick to agree. The money they offered made it well worth our while to put her on a trailer and haul her to where they were shooting. 

But they didn't want her yet,

'We'll give you a call when we need her,' said the people who came out to look her over. (They readily agreed that she was the best looking of the several milk cows they'd auditioned.
A few days, maybe a week, went by. Then, quite early one morning, the call came. They wanted her on set in about an hour. 

'On set' was about an hour away and we hadn't even eaten breakfast.  Plus, Poco was in the pasture and would have to be rounded up and loaded on the trailer.

But in record time, we were on our way to the base camp of the secluded location where they were shooting that day. As we pulled in, several harried-looking people  greeted us, helped unload the cow, and quickly switched her nylon halter for a leather one.
The animal wrangler took hold of her halter and they started up the road. The odd thing was that Poco was pulling him along as if she know just where she was going.

We were told that we'd get a call in a couple of weeks when they were done shooting and we could come get pick her up then.  (We were not invited to meet Mr. Quinn.)
Imagine our surprise when a day later we got a call. 'Come get your cow -- this isn't working out.'

Back we went, imagining the worst. But there was Poco, serenely chewing her cud in the ramshackle little stall they had for her at base camp. What happened to the two to three weeks? we wanted to know.

Well, they said, they had trouble keeping her down at base camp when she wasn't needed up on the set. Seems like she kept breaking loose and running back up the road to where they were shooting.

And even worse, our cow was a scene stealer. Her big moment was a scene where she was being milked while Aidan Quinn and his leading lady were having an argument of sorts. Evidently, rather than standing there cow-like and inconspicuous as the argument went on, Poco kept swiveling her head back and forth between the two stars as they spoke -- ludicrously like a fan at a tennis match..

As I imagine it, Aidan Quinn, in a fit of temperament, stamped his foot and said, 'Either the cow goes or I'm outta here!'

Poco's still in the movie though -- for about thirty seconds in the milking scene. Don't blink or you'll miss her.

(Apart from the cow, the movie is well worth watching for the beautiful scenery and the music! If you're wondering what the Appalachian dialect sounds like, it's done pretty well here -- most especially with the young girl who sings the old ballads. 

She was coached by my friend Sheila Kay Adams, seventh generation ballad singer. Shelia's also in the movie, playing the banjo and kicking a drunk off the stage in the dance scene.)

 The winner of the drawing over at Buried Under Books was Reader Wil!  Congratulations, Wil! 

And for the rest of you, there'll be another chance on the 27th when I visit Meanderings and Muses for my third stop on the Blog Tour! --  
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumnal Equinox 2010

Smack in the middle 
Of the eastern horizon
Autumn's sun rises.
Tiny drops of dew
Shine with reflected glory;
Trees throw up their arms
And shout Hosanna 
To the morning. Fall's rich light
Lies across the land.

and courtesy of Miss Yves . . .  an elegant translation!
Would anyone else like to play? 
Equinoxe d'automne 2010

Juste en plein milieu
De l'horizon au levant
Soleil automnal.

Gouttes de rosée
Se reflétant dans sa gloire
Les arbres s'agitent

Clamant Hosanna
A l'aube.La lumière en pluie
S'étend sur la terre .

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Tour - Second Stop

I've fluttered away to Buried Under Books where I'm talking about writing dialect . . . and there's another drawing for another copy of THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS. 

Please click over and give your opinion -- how much dialect is too much?  I'm still struggling with this question... 
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Flush

A heavy rain together with warm days and we've been enjoying the Fall flush of mushrooms -- shitake mushrooms. I came home after my writing class to see mushrooms spread out on every surface in the kitchen and have been drying them for later use.

A few days later -- there were more and I managed to remember to  get a picture.
A nice little harvest, but nothing like the earlier one. Still, with a few garlic chives ...
two fresh eggs and a bit of butter . . .
some Cherokee Purple tomatoes on the side and I have a fine brunch.
  The winner of the drawing for a signed copy of THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS over at Poe's Deadly Daughters is Iil Gluckstern -- who needs to get in touch with me!
There'll be another chance to enter another drawing tomorrow~
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Sunday, September 19, 2010



Many, many thanks to all of you faithful readers who followed me over to Poe's Deadly Daughters and left comments yesterday. And what great comments they were! You all are the best! I'll be drawing for the winner of the signed DAY OF SMALL THINGS sometime after seven AM EST on Monday (so there's still time to comment over there if you haven't) and will post the winner's name here on this blog on Tuesday. And now, to today's post...
As many of you know, my reading has been limited recently to mysteries I can't talk about.  But an interview on the radio the other day piqued my curiosity and when I saw a copy of ROOM while I was shopping last Tuesday, well, I didn't hesitate.

I started reading it while waiting for my writing class to begin; I nibbled at it during the fifteen minutes they were doing in class writing; and when I got back home at 9:30 pm, I sat down and read straight through to the end.

That's what kind of book this is.

ROOM is the story of Jack and his mother, prisoners in an 11 by 11 room in a back yard shed. Jack is five -- he was born there, sired by his mother's captor -- and it's through his words the tale is told, through his eyes, we see the world.

I know; it sounds grim. But the thing is -- it's not. Jack is happy in the only world he's ever known, thanks to his mother's splendid capacity for inventiveness.

This anazing novel has much to say about human nature and the human condition and the mother-child relationship. Donoghue's depiction of how Jack responds to his small, familiar world and the massive adjustment needed when at last he and his mother escape to the larger world is masterful.

But don't take my word for it. There's a good review HERE 

Oh, and ROOM is short listed for the prestigious Booker Prize.

Can you tell I liked this book?

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blog Tour - First Stop

I'm not here today. I'm blogging about The Day of Small Things over at Poe's Deadly Daughters, the first of four mystery-related blogs I'm visiting in support of the new book. The post won't be up till 6 am EST on Saturday, so you early birds in California, NZ,  England, and Elsewhere will have to wait a bit if you choose to visit.

I'd really love it if you'd click over and leave a comment at PDD -- make me feel like one of the popular kids...

What's more, your comment over there will enter you in a drawing for a signed copy of The Day of Small Things -- my author's copies just arrived!

(And no, I didn't take the photo of the heron and I'm not sure of its origin -- I kind of think some one sent it to me -- if it was you, let me know and I'll give credit where it's due for this gorgeous shot.)
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