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.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reading About Spirits

Since it's so close to Samhain, it's only natural that I should be reading about various forms of spirits. The books I've read over the last month or so certainly cover a variety of spiritual goings-on:

Two of the authors, Susan Coryell and Ginny Brock, are members of my writing group—Lake Writers—so I've known both for a long time. I've also known Franklin News-Post reporter and columnist Morris Stephenson and genealogist Beverly Merritt for several years. I just met Arlene S. Bice at the Brewed Awakening Bookfest in Danville earlier this month. I've never met Vaishali, but Brewed Awakening in Danville offered her book as a freebie.

Coryell's novel, Nobody Knowsdeals with ghosts at Overhome, an estate located on fictional Moore Mountain Lake in Virginia.  As in her two previous novels in the Overhome series, ghosts get the attention of the heroine Ashby Overton to help them resolve an issue. Spooky stuff ensues over the course of a summer.

Some of the ghosts Bice writes about in her non-fiction books, Living With Ghosts and  Ghostly Spirits of Warren County, North Carolina and Beyond, also have issues. Living With Ghosts is about the numerous spirits who inhabit the town of Bordentown, New Jersey, where Bice lived for a time. Some of the ghosts Bice describes are benign, others not. But if you like true ghost stories, you'll find the book interesting.

Brock is known around the Smith Mountain Lake area for having psychic abilities, and her latest non-fiction book,  As It Is in Heaven taps into those abilities. Subtitled True Stories about life before life on earth from children who remember, Brock relates stories of children who did indeed remember their  previous lives and where they came from. This book, which deals with our spiritual natures, gives you something to think about.

Vaishali's non-fiction book, Wisdom Rising, is subtitled A self-help guide to personal transformation, spirituality, and mind/body/spirit holistic living covers a lot of territory in a person's own spirituality. This book also gives the reader a lot to think about. 

Stephenson and Merritt's non-fiction book, Franklin County's Famous 1935 Moonshine Conspiracy Trial: Complete Daily Newspaper Accounts is about a whole 'nother type of spirits—the liquid kind that made Franklin County, Virginia, the moonshine capital of the world. Stephenson and Merritt didn't so much write this book as they compiled it. They collected and put together anonymously written newspaper stories (now in public domain) that reported the trial activities on a day-to-day basis. These stories are what the average person, who wasn't present at the long-running trial, would read in 1935. This book will give you an idea what was happening in the Rocky Mount courthouse in 1935.

So—if you're interested in reading about spirits in their various forms, you might want to consider these books.

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Monday, October 03, 2016

Cat on a Roof

Chloe, one of the household perimeter patrol cats, patrols the roof most mornings. Does she think we have roof rats? If so, she hasn't found any yet. But better safe than sorry, though.

Despite how the picture below looks, Chloe does not arm herself with a jousting pole. (What looks like a medieval weapon is actually a ham radio antenna.)

 Sometimes she checks the gutters. A kitty never knows what might be lurking therein.

When she's finished her patrol, she comes down the same way she got up—via the red-top tree. It's only one small leap for a kitty.

. . . and she's on her way. The blur in the leaves is Chloe, but you can see her orange tail ring.

She's down!

Now that her patrol is over, she'll likely take a nap.