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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Phoebe Needles Book-signing

I've done three book-signings for Stuck this week, starting with a visit to Phoebe Needles Tuesday morning with fellow authors Sally Roseveare and Dan Smith, then a Tuesday night visit to the Piedmont Writers in Martinsville, and a signing this afternoon at Barnes & Noble at Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke.

Phoebe Needles, which once was an Episcopal school, is located in the hills west of Ferrum. The view on the drive up Turner's Creek Road was stunning, including this farm (which, by the way, is for sale). Obviously, we were headed for a rural part of Franklin County.

Here's another view:

A mile or two past that farm was Phoebe Needles. Here's the main building that used to be the school . . .

. . . and three views from the porch of the building where we were:

The presentation at Phoebe Needles was part of the Center for Lifelong Learning. Our program was supposed to be "Four Authors: Four Viewpoints," but only three of us could make it.  Sally and I had been there before, but it was Dan's first time. What we three did was a combination reading/discussion/signing.

I read from Ferradiddledumday and Stuck; Dan read from  Saving Homer and Burning the Furniture, and Sally read from her two Smith Mountain Lake murder mysteries, Secrets at Spawning Run and Secrets at Sweet Water Cove. We also told a bit about how we write. Then the audience asked us some really good questions. Finally, we signed books.

We had a wonderful lunch—pork tenderloin and a salad with raspberry dressing—and then Sally and I looked around a bit. Tombstones and a plaque mark where the donators of the land are buried.

Here's a close-up of the plaque:

I asked John Heck, our tour guide and the head honcho at Phoebe Needles, about the two appendages to the main building. The tops weren't flat enough for them to be porches. He explained that they were old bathrooms (one side for women and one for men) that originally drained into the fields. Obviously, they are no longer used. He opened them so we could look inside.

Sally went down for a closer look.

John took us inside the main building where there's a portrait of Phoebe Needles, who died young. 

On the walls hang other pictures depicting the place in earlier days.

Obviously we had a good time at this reading/discussion/signing/luncheon/tour.

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