Archive for July, 2009


July 31, 2009

Rain during the Highlands Festival is usually a given, but this is ridiculous.  The Barter Green is now the Barter Bog.  Fortunately, the staff has scattered straw which helps some.

All in all this has been a rather dismal event, overall.  Vendors have been unhappy since the beginning – first thanks to the quixotic decision by The Martha Washington not to allow any use of their space this year.  So, less space meant cramped conditions and scarce parking – unless you like a good hike, uphill.  Then the rains came.

I feel sorry for the people from out of town who have committed their time and resources to this event.  I think I’d be pulling up stakes right about now and heading home. 

It actually reminds me of the old Charlie Brown cartoon when the “Big” Game gets rained out.  Poor Charles is standing alone in the downpour – ever optimistic saying, “it’s gonna quit…”

Think positive.  It’s gotta quit raining sometime.  Doesn’t it?


VA Highlands Festival

July 22, 2009

Only three more days till the start of the Highlands Festival.  The Appalachian Authors Guild will have space # 9 in one of the large tents upon the hill, above the Barter Green.  Various authors will have books for sale (autographed, of course) and will happily discuss the writing and publishing process with visitors.

So come one, come all the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, July 25 through August 9.  See you there.

Sunday morning

July 19, 2009

There are several ways in which we know we’re getting old.  One is when you look in the mirror and see only a vague reminder of the person you once were.  Another way is when you see  your own children aging.  But, undeniably, one of the best indicators of age is when you meet with a group of people you knew from childhood or teenage years.

Last night I attended the 45th year reunion of the Class of 1964 from Richlands (VA) High School.  Thirty members of the graduating class were in attendance.  A memorable evening was had.  The conversation was wonderful.  There were lots of smiles and laughter at “remember whens.”  And of course there was a considerable amount of “What have you been doing?”

The usual awards were presented – traveled fartherest:  Carolyn Peery from D.C.; Married longest:  Eddie and Elaine Ratliff; Most children or grandchildren:  (Fellow Guild Member) Charles D Whitt. Dearly departed members were  remembered.  VietNam era Veterans were honored.

My favorite story from the evening, however, has to be about a close encounter with an armadillo by one friend.  While on military training maneuvers in West Texas, where it can get awfully cold at night – especially if you’re sleeping in a tent, as he was, this fellow recounts being curled up in a near fetal position in an effort to conserve body heat.  Well into the night, he wakes up to the feeling of something curled up against his stomach – obviously also seeking protection from the cold night.   He finds a light, switches it on, only to discover his new bed partner to be none other than the infamous armored West Texas rodent.  “Well,” he says, “I screamed like a girl.”  Other lights came running to further illuminate the cause of alarm.  Obviously expecting to find a Texas Rattler, the others had a good laugh of relief – at his expense, as the poor critter shuffled away in digust at the whole thing. 

I like reunions – what can I say.  I think every good story deserves a sequel.  So, this was a sequel to graduating in 1964 and going our separate ways.  It’s nice to fill in the blanks.  Here’s to the class of ’64.  See you again in 2014.

Friday Friendlies

July 17, 2009

Greetings fellow authors.  It’s a rainy Friday in Southwest Virginia.  The Highlands Festival (Barter Green) is one week away – July 25th to August 9th.  The Appalacian Authors’ Booth schedule is in pretty good shape.  We were hoping to have three authors each day.  As of right now, there is room for one more on the 27th, 29th, 30th and 31st of July.  With the exception of the 6th, all August days have only 2 writers.  So, if you find, at the last minute, you can participate or add a day, let me know.  We will have a fan, so it will be a bit cooler than last year.  Hoping to see everyone there.

Jack (J Russell) Rose

Rosemary’s Dream – by Rosalie Davis Null

July 17, 2009
Author Rosalie Davis Null will be signing and selling her books , July 26, at the Barter Green. The new book, ROSEMARY’S DREAM, will be available, as well as A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE.
Rosalie hopes to see you at the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon.  If you can’t make the festival, her books are available on the Appalachian Authors’ Guild website –

Hello Appalachian Authors Blog

July 15, 2009

* * I am a Poet, Painter and Musician (born in Washington D.C.) living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with my Wife and three Dogs. My family comes from a diverse background of Appalachian, Native American and Celtic ancestry.

I find connectedness through various forms (poetry, painting, music) by insisting on spontaneity. An image that I paint could very well become a chorus in a song. Paying close attention to my dreams and the soft voices inside my imagination, and allowing these to shape within my being’s center (an emanation of my heart), this is the affirmation of the symbolic through faith. An invisible loving which manifests itself through patience and is never controlled. The hidden becoming known. My work will always seek an affirmation or communion while creating a liberation of the ordinary. A visionary poetic journey of almost twenty years, Project End Of Days is a celebration of “heartsongs” that will inspire.

T. Byron Kelly (born in Washington D.C. in 1966) is a poet, painter and musician. He holds both a Bachelors degree from Virginia Tech and a Masters degree from Radford University in English. Byron has also taught English on the college level (Virginia Tech, Radford University, New River College). Byron lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with his wife, and three dogs.

Project End of Days-Selected Poems

Project End of Days-Selected Poems

“Pathfinders, Pioneers, and Patriots”

July 14, 2009

The story of our history is a fascinating one that grows ever more so as one learns more and more about the people and events that shaped it. Although much has been well documented, much more has been lost and may never be recovered. That is particularly true of the remarkable people
who lived on the Appalachian Frontier during our country’s formative years.

“Pathfinders, Pioneers, & Patriots” is an attempt to gather together some of the fragmented details and stories that have survived and to place them in context with better known historical events – so they can be better understood and appreciated.

The format of this book is different from most in that it presents a general overview of the historical eras, a chronological timeline, and specific stories about many of the fascinating people and events in the timeline. By using
this approach, the reader can better understand what happened and why. They can more easily see how one event influenced and perhaps led to another. And most importantly, because of its focus, they can learn about many of the people that history has largely forgotten; who lived and died on America’s First Frontier during the most precarious time in our nation’s history.

The Author, Danny Dixon, has lived in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwestern Virginia all of his life and is a descendant of several of the historical characters he writes about. He is an educator with over 35 years of experience and presently serves as the Director of the Holton
Governor’s School for Gifted & Talented High School Students. He is an adjunct professor at several area colleges and a frequent presenter at state and regional conferences on historical, educational, and leadership topics.

A personalized copy of the book can be obtained by contacting Danny at 276-479-2325 or . Books are also available through Lulu or Amazon and several outlets including: The William King Museum in Abingdon, The Family Drug Store in Lebanon, The Greendale Merchantile, The June Tolliver House in Big Stone Gap, The Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell County, and several other outlets around the region.

Jerry Haynes’ Post

July 14, 2009

Let me introduce myself.

I’m probably the newest member of the association.  My name is Jerry L. Haynes.  I received a Civil Engineering Degree from VA Tech in 1977.  My favorite activities are traveling, especially cruises, VA Tech sports, the Barter Theater, and writing.  I’m a late bloomer, only finishing my first novel in 2006 at the age of 55.  I’m really excited to be a part of this group because one of the greatest accomplishments I could ever aspire to  would be to recognized as “an Appalachian writer.”  My first two books (A Cotton Mill Town Christmas and The Cotton Mill) were stories of growing up in a cotton mill town.  My third book (The Saga of Caty Sage) has just been released and is a historical novel based upon the true event of a 5-year old girl who disappeared from her Elk Creek, Virginia farm in 1792.  It is shown and reviewed on Amazon at 

My website is and my email is

I look forward to meeting all of you.

Sunday summary

July 12, 2009

It’s the first week of our blog.  So far, only two authors have posted.  Come on group, we can do better than that.

Congratulations to Addie Davis for a successful showing at the Breaks Interstate Park.  Now save some of that salesmanship (or should that be saleswomanship) for the Barter Green.  You know I need a challenge to do my best.  See you on the 27th.

Thanks to Mary Ann for posting and for accepting me as a friend on Facebook.  Hope your day at Johnson City Public Library went well.  By the way I just read the intro to Remember me with Love.  I’m not sure why I hadn’t checked out your writing before.  But, you’re good.  I want a copy.

Random thoughts:  Next Saturday is the occasion of the 45 th year reunion of my graduating class from Richlands High School.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the event.  Some of these folks I haven’t seen in that 45 year interval – will we even recognize each other, perhaps we’ll look like our parents…  Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mother’s passing – 15 years…  The 23rd is my daughters 40th birthday…  Too many things, too many emotions.  I’m old, that’s it.  Isn’t it?  And if all this isn’t enough my muse seems to have left me – I can’t come up with a good ending for a half dozen things I’m working on.  My wonderful wife tells me, “…you can’t just say ‘THE END’, and stop writing…”  I guess that makes sense.

Ok writers.  Now that we have a blog, Blog!!!

Jack (J Russell) Rose

July 12, 2009

Adda Leah Davis has almost finished the third book in a trilogy.  The title is “The Beckoning Hills” and it will go to the publisher by the last of the month.  The first book “Lucinda’s Mountain” was followed by “Jason’s Journey” and this last book ties everything together and finishes the story. I hope all the people who have become fans of my writing will contact me or go to, Barnes & Noble, West Virginia Book Company, Mountain State Press, and Tamarack to purchase their copy.