Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Literary Road Trip


On Friday, my friend Sally and I decided to visit some bookstores in Pittsylvania and Henry Counties to see if they’d be interested in carrying our books. It took Sally about a half hour to get from her Bedford County house on the other side of Smith Mountain Lake to my Franklin County house. She probably could have made better time if she hadn’t had to stop twice for turkeys crossing Route 608. We then took off in my PT Cruiser for our literary road trip. Among our stops were two delightful independent bookstores.

In downtown Chatham—slightly more than a half hour south of where I live—we stopped at Chatham Books, which is located right across Main Street from the Confederate soldier statue at the courthouse. Chatham books carried my self-pubbed novel, Patches on the Same Quilt, when it first came out in 2001. However, I hadn’t been back for a while. The store is still as charming as I remember it. Sally and I petted Buddy, the official bookstore dog, and had a pleasant chat with Bill Hewitt, who bought some of our books for the store. If you’re ever traveling Route 29, go through this picture-postcard-pretty town and stop at the bookstore. Be sure to pet Buddy.

In Martinsville, we stopped at Binding Time, a combination cafe/bookstore/gallery at the back of the Patrick Henry Mall and chatted with the owners, Bonnie and John Hale, who are preparing to move Binding Time to a bigger space in Stanleytown soon. They took our information and said they’d contact us. They were having a sidewalk sale to clear some of their inventory before the move, so I couldn’t resist buying a Lewis Grizzard book for 75¢. If their new store is as nice as the old one, it’ll be a great place to visit.

Sally and I had a great time. We’ve decided we really ought to do more literary road trips.

FYI: Tightsqueeze Plaza is a real place on Route 29 south of Chatham. We made a brief comfort stop there, and I couldn't resist taking a picture of the sign.

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