Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Naked Came the Leaf Peeper

"People are dying in mysterious ways around Asheville.  Men once linked to a land deal are now dropping faster than the fall foliage. Assassin-for-hire Garnell Lee Ray has one last target in her sights--but not if detective J.D. Klontz can put all the pieces together first.  He soon discovers that everyone is hiding something—or somebody—and all hell and hilarity will break loose before he finds out the truth. 

"A zany Southern Appalachian take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Naked Came the Leaf  Peeper  is a serial collaborative novel representing the collective wit and genius of twelve western North Carolina authors." (from the back cover)

 This group effort was conceived in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of Malaprop's, Asheville's outstanding independent bookstore.  I was honored and delighted to be asked to participate in this challenging exercise in novel writing by committee. 

This is how it worked: After the first chapter was written, it was sent to the author who'd drawn Chapter 2. That author had two weeks to complete his/her chapter and then it was sent to author number three. And so on.  We writers were kept in the dark as to who had written the chapters before ours.

I drew chapter four. What fun it was to pick up the characters and plot lines that had been laid down and expand on them -- or give them a slap and send them off in another direction!

The final result is a wild, irreverent ride through Asheville and western North Carolina. (My chapter is set in Marshall and Sodom Laurel.)  It's great fun to see some serious 'literary' authors let down their hair to write a far-fetched thriller. And the final chapter by Tony Earley is a kaleidoscope of hilarious action that resolves the many threads of this multi-parented story in fine Shakespearean style.

The novel will be on the shelves at Malaprop's very soon. But it's available for pre-order HERE.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Third Day of Christmas. . .

It was a day of drifting fog and intermittent rain . . . perfect for writing the Christmas thank you notes.
When they were young, the boys and I would do this together . . . and occasionally I would receive thank you notes from the family members who'd been charmed by the boys' letters. Then, of course, I'd have to write a thank you for the family member's  sweet note . . .

I don't know if this is a generational thing or a Southern thing but I do know I'd be haunted by my mother and grandmother if ever I quit writing thank you notes . . .
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blue Owl Levee-High Apple Pie

We received this rather improbable pie as a Christmas gift -- shipped frozen all the way from the Blue Owl Cafe in Kimmswick, Missouri. And as Claui's parents, sister, brother-in-law and three kids were coming for lunch yesterday, it seemed the perfect time to see what a Levee-High Apple Pie was like.  

First it had to bake -- almost two hours...

When at last it was done, there was a tub of caramel sauce,  laced with chopped pecans, to be microwaved and spread over the dome. 

And then it was time to try to make slices -- not easy. We ended up with somewhat disassembled slices on our plates.

But once we topped them with dollops of Charlotte Russe, left over from Christmas dinner, the messy presentation hardly mattered.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Cheer

One of my uncles included this with his Christmas card:

Just a note to let you know that I have reached the ripe old age of 93 
with poor hearing, diminishing eyesight and lots of bad habits.

Rock on, Uncle Gene!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Statement of Faith

Despite no sign of the sun on its big day, the winter solstice,
I continue to believe . . .
. . . that the nights will shorten and the days will lengthen.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

With Apologies to Dr. Seuss

The sun did not shine; It was too wet to play.
So Willa sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.

She sat there with Ali; they sat there those two
And she said, "How I wish we had something to do.
 Then Ali got the binky and the battle began. . .

These two played hard and long till Ali was whupped.
Something to to do on a cold rainy day.

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