Peevish Pen

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

© 2006-2018 All rights reserved

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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), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

X Marks the Spot

Yesterday afternoon’s sky: a series of Xs made by the planes that do maneuvers here. The planes fly in from Virginia Beach, usually go low over Smith Mountain Dam, and then head for Ferrum Mountain on the other side of the county. The Chapel at Ferrum College is a reference point for the pilots—from the air, it looks like a big X. They fly low over the chapel, then pull up to go over the mountain.

When I taught freshman English at Ferrum, I’d have to pause mid-lecture because the noise was so deafening. (Students experiencing the maneuvers for the first time think the rural campus is under attack.) “Don’t worry,” I’d say. “They probably won’t hit us. They’ve only had one mishap in the years they’ve been doing this.” Then I’d tell them about the pilot who had to eject over Callaway a couple of years ago when a buzzard got sucked into a jet’s engine. The pilot was OK; the plane, which crashed in someone’s front yard, was totaled.

This morning’s sky loomed red. I grabbed my camera before grabbing the dog food and Maggie. Morning feeding had to wait while I got the shot.

Red sky at morning; sailors take warning. Only all the sailors on Smith Mountain Lake have winterized their boats for the season.

Speaking of warnings: More rednecks were encamped across the road yesterday than last time. I came home around noon to find a full contingent there and two corpses hanging. Mr. Milk Truck Driver (he of the 1999 death threat) made many passes by in his pickup. Last night, when Maggie and I walked well after dark, the last four pickup trucks—Mr. MTD among them—finally left.

They did a bit more decorating before they left. They added orange streamers to their chairs, the better to mark their spots:

My horoscope for today:
Ingenuity blossoms as you make the effort to do a little writing, dear Virgo, perhaps technical manuals or other professionally oriented projects. This could represent a new stage in your professional life, as you're likely to do well and attract considerable attention from those in high places. Just don't let yourself get too caught up in the need to revise, edit, then revise and edit again. It will only take up more time, and it's possible to over-rewrite!
Yeah, I’ve got to start writing on a number of projects. Yeah, I do tend to edit/revise/repeat ad infinitum. That’s the typical Virgo quest for perfection, I suppose.

My goal for 2007 is to be published by three commercial publishing companies. Yesterday, I sent off a manuscript to a small southern press for consideration, so y’all faithful readers keep y’all’s fingers crossed.


Blogger CountryDew said...

I shall be wishing you much luck. I am also impressed at your output and your ability to submit. No fear.

7:07 AM  

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