Thursday, December 8, 2011

Appalachian Studies

I thought this photo was funny. My youngest daughter, Christine, is a student at Berea College, majoring in History and minoring in Appalachian Studies. I am always pronouncing Appalachian wrong, so this sums it up just perfect!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Call to Arms Against Horse Slaughter Houses

I am reprinting this for my friend, the Catfish Queen. It is a call to arms about the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Here is her article:

This Is Urgent - Horse Slaughterhouses Could Be Up And Running In Less Than A Month!

To anyone who reads my Hubs with any regularity, let me offer a preemptive apology. This one will most likely contain typos and grammar errors and not meet my usual standards, but this heinous information needs to be publicized as quickly as possible.

Without fanfare and under the guise of balancing the budget, Congress has made it profitable to butcher our horses. Within the month, horse slaughterhouses could be up and running across the United States. Tucked into the bill that kept the government running through December was a repeal of a 5 year funding ban for horsemeat inspections.

The USDA is the agency that would oversee the inspections, just as they do for meat, dairy, vegetables, etc. While the bill does not give the USDA additional funds, it is now within the agency's discretion to cut funding from other programs to cover the estimated $3 to $5 million dollars that would be required to run the inspection program. In other words, they'll rob Peter to pay Paul, funneling money that should be used to keep our food safe into this atrocity.

Lifting this ban opens the door to soulless opportunists who would line their pockets with money made by butchering horses. They will tell you that it's more humane than shipping the horses to Canada. They will tell you that it's a humane alternative, that the horses would be abused or starved otherwise. They will tell you that it's only the old, sick or un-trainable horses that will be slaughtered. They lie. Buyers of horse meat want only "prime cuts". They will not buy diseased carcasses for human consumption. This ban will allow young, healthy horses to be butchered by the thousands.

Here's what Dave Duquette, president of a pro-slaughter group called United Horsemen (irony, anyone?) bragged to CBS News - "I have personally probably five to 10 investors that I could call right now if I had a plant ready to go," said Duquette, who lives in Hermiston, Ore. He added, "If one plant came open in two weeks, I'd have enough money to fund it. I've got people who will put up $100,000." He's practically salivating about his share of the profits.

If any of y'all are from Wyoming, I urge you to contact Sue Wallis, a state lawmaker and, coincidentally I'm sure, the vice president of United Horsemen. Here's what Cruella, I mean Sue..had to say about the matter - "The federal ban devastated "an entire sector of animal agriculture for purely sentimental and romantic notions," she said. She's about to find out just how sentimental and romantic we are when our horses are threatened by people who only see dollar signs.

I'm a Kentucky girl, and we're proud of our horses and our whiskey. We were sickened to find out in 2002 that Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner, had been butchered after being sold to a Japanese racing stable and shipped to Japan. This magnificent stallion, who had made his owners tons of money and had given excitement and enjoyment to legions of racing fans was butchered for DOG FOOD. Was he old, sick, or un-trainable? No. He simply was not profitable any more.

I'm begging all of you who read this to contact your state lawmakers and raise absolute teetotal hell. Tell everyone you know, and tell them to tell everyone they know. This ban was lifted deviously, and Congress thought they could get by with it. Please help me prove them wrong. I guess I could have included some video of horses being slaughtered to make this more incendiary, but I have faith, based on what I've seen on these pages, that a sincere plea will be enough. Please, please help. This has got to be stopped, and we don't have much time.

I've listed some relevant links below, and I'm betting that being the intelligent, creative and compassionate people I know y'all to be, you'll find more.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Horses could soon be slaughtered for meat in US - CBS News
Horses could soon be slaughtered for meat in US

Death of a Derby Winner: Slaughterhouse Likely Fate for Ferdinand |
Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner who went on to capture the following year's Horse of the Year title with a dramatic victory over 1987 Derby hero Alysheba in the Breeders' Cup Classic, is dead. The Blood-Horse has learned the big chestnut...

Indyarocks Videos - Rescued from Slaughter Mare and Foal
Rescued from Slaughter Mare and Foal. This mare was rescued from slaughter. It is NOT the sick and elderly that are sent to slaughter! Find this video and other related videos at Indyarocks.

Why healthy foals - some just a day old - are being killed across Britain...
Graceful and sleek, the beautiful bay racehorse was used to the thunder of applause as she swept past the grandstand - not the sound of a rifle.

These Links Will Show You How Your Lawmakers Voted And How To Contact Them. Please Make Some Noise, Folks!
GovTrack: Senate Vote on Conference Report: H.R. 2112: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropria

GovTrack: House Vote on Conference Report: H.R. 2112: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriat

Contacting the Congress: A Citizen's Congressional Directory

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Louisville Poet Nominated for National Pushcart Prize in Poetry

My friend and Kentucky author - Sheri Wright - has been nominated for a national Pushcart Prize in Poetry: 
Local poet, Sheri Wright in the running for prestigious prize
 LOUISVILLE, Ky., ( December 6, 2011) – Sheri L. Wright was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Journey MacAndrew’s, the editor of The Single Hound for her poem The Tenants of Central Park, published August 2011 as part of the "Poet of the Month" selections. 
Not since 2002, has a Louisville poet won the national Pushcart Prize for Poetry. Sheri L. Wright, author of five books of poetry, is the host of a literary radio show From the Inkwell. Wright hopes to break the lull with her nomination. When asked about this prestigious nomination Ms. Wright said, “I credit my success to a variety of writer's critique groups, like the Green River Writers, and to individual poets. I also worked with acting and voice coaches to improve my reading.” She believes that this formula helped her to learn her craft.
Ms. Wright also attributes her achievements to learning to get out of her own way, and to stop over-thinking the creative process. Wright is committed to her art and engages in the creative process daily, by writing, editing her work, or reading other poets and writers.
Wright's newest book of poetry, The Slow Talk of Stones, was released this year and has received many favorable reviews in regional blogs and newspapers, including The Courier-Journal and Lexington's Herald-Examiner.
Currently, Wright seeks ways to help other writers in the region find voice on her literary radio show, From the Inkwell, which is a live-streaming broadcast aired on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m., on, a non-profit station in Louisville, KY. Sheri also founded and hosts the Stone Soup Poetry Series, held the last Sunday of every month at The Bard's Town, restaurant, theatre and lounge located at 1801 Bardstown Road. Ms. Wright features poets and musicians. She feels that collaboration between artists of all mediums is not only fun, but key to supporting one another.
To purchase Wright's books, schedule a reading, workshop or editing services, please visit

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Arts Council of Mercer County Fall Arts Festival

Our booth at the Harrodsburg Fall Arts Festival

The Arts Council of Mercer County held their 3rd annual Fall Arts Festival this weekend at Old Fort Harrod State Park.  This is the first year the show has ran for 2 days, Saturday and Sunday.  In addition to wonderful entertainment by storytellers, bands and singers, there were numerous art vendors, as well as plenty of activities for the children.
Enjoying the beautiful day

We had a good weekend selling the book.  Thank you to everyone who came out and bought a copy of Harrodsburg (Images of America) and the chapbooks Bobbi's Mercer Memories Vol. I and II.  We also would like to thank the people who came out for Debra Watts' new childrens' book CARter CAR and His Wild and CARazy Birthday; she had a great weekend as well.

Blueberry Cobbler Soy Candle from CHL Scented Creations

Also, our new friends Lisa and Cricket - the Candle Ladies - from DHL Scented Creations, where there with their delicious smelling soy candles, tarts and air fresheners.  It's nice to kick back with good friends and have a great time.

Cricket with 2 of my chapbooks and a Monkey Sock hat from the Mad Hatter

Thank you ACMC for a great fall weekend and a great Fall Arts Festival!

Black Leather air fresheners from CHL Scented Creations


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Should She

(Photo copyright Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)

The afternoon sun brightens the forest,
just before it hits the horizon;
a small doe timidly steps onto
the crushed gravel road.

Should she cross this barren terrain,
or should she retreat to safety?
Prepare to leap if danger encroaches,
she steps into the road.


(Photo copyright Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)

The cornfield, slowing starting to yellow,
neglected in the darkening sky
as grass and storm clouds move in.

Or maybe the yellowing corn
is near the outer fields
as the storm has passed away.


(Photo copyright Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)

BIRDHOUSESThe birdhouses line the vivid blue fence
all different sizes, all different colors,
awaiting families them all.

Robins and wrens,
bluebirds and finches,
swallows and a woodpecker or two.

What lovely homes they appear to be
how I wish I was a little birdie
to make my home cozy and sound.

Grocery Store

Grocery Store

Cars pull in the lot
parking willy nilly;
people of all gender and race
size and color, too.

The breeze picks up
pulling the heat
from the oil-stained asphalt
between the yellow lines.

Two gallons of milk;
paper, plastic or cloth,
environmentally conscious
or people caring less.

We are the way,
the how, the where,
the why, the when,
the what the fuck.

Power makes the world go ‘round
Power is what gets ahold of you
and never lets you go.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Barn

(Photo copyright Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)


The big barn down the lane

sit under the thunderheads,

waiting for rain and all of the wind

secure and sturdy he stands.

The big barn down the lane

has passed a century old;

well-kept and well-loved

outliving the creators hands.

The big barn down the lane

beautiful in a majestic way;

lumber is worn, hinges are frayed

but confidence is always portrayed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Sycamore Tree

(Photo copyright Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixel Narratives)


The Sycamore protects the house
with long, lean limbs of white;
so old with age, it’s hard to say
how much longer she will be around.

The Sycamore looms not in the horizon,
but in the side yard of the house;
sheltering the house in summer
but leaving anxiety with the cold wind.

The Sycamore tree, a friend a foe,
stands tall above the land;
how long will she last, is it her time to go
or will she reign as Queen of them all?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rain Clouds

Photo copyright Keith Rightmyer

Rain Clouds

Clouds are bubbling up
although a sliver of sun still shines;
will the rain come again,
or will the clouds blow away?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Mention

The Bluegrass Bookshelf from the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, August 21st, gave us a shout out. Thanks everyone!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Blurb on World News

From the World News website:
"Soon to be released from Arcadia Publishing is Images of America: Harrodsburg, written by Harrodsburg’s Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer (writer) and Anna Armstrong.(photography). The book will be released the week of August 8th, but is already up for pre-order on several different websites: Amazon Barnes and Noble Arcadia
As of this moment, we are not sure when the book launch and signing will be, but we will keep you up-to-date. The book will also be for sell in several local
business, as well as Lexington and surrounding areas."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Featured in Danville Advocate

I would like to give a big shout out to Jennifer Brummett at the Danville Advocate for doing such a nice job with the release of our new book. All information in this article is copyright Danville Advocate and Jennifer Brummett.

Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer and Anna Armstrong traveled a circuitous route to get to the publication of their first book together, “Images of America: Harrodsburg.” The pictorial history of Harrodsburg will be released Monday from Arcadia Publishing, which is based out of Mount Pleasant, S.C., outside of Charleston.

Rightmyer’s daughter was friends with the acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing, who approached Rightmyer for a book about Owen County. Rightmyer said she didn’t know anything about Owen County but she knew Harrodsburg. That started her on the path to developing a book about Harrodsburg.

Rightmyer said she’d known Armstrong all her life and was aware of her extensive collection of photos of Harrodsburg that date from the 1930s, with some older ones, as well. She sent an e-mail to Armstrong — an e-mail Armstrong never received. So Rightmyer went ahead and signed a contract with Arcadia to do the historical book, figuring she’d get photos from the local historical society. “I signed the contract with no idea of how to write a history book,” Rightmyer explained. In the meantime, Armstrong had been in contact with Arcadia about a postcard she was interested in creating.

“I have a huge archive of photos from my father (Andrew Armstrong), my aunt (Jesta Bell Armstrong Matherly, who also was an artist) and my work,” Armstrong said. She found out about Rightmyer’s work on a book about Harrodsburg, and wondered what she was using for the photographic element, since her own collection of Harrodsburg photos is unparalleled. Rightmyer said she was thrilled when Armstrong called, and the two got together to discuss the book, which was when they figured out Rightmyer’s e-mail hadn’t made it to its recipient.

“I decided to offer the photographs in order for the book to happen,” Armstrong said. She also had experience with writing historical descriptions, as she’d provided the text for a number of historical markers. Rightmyer said she found that experience invaluable, as she considers herself to be more of a “long writer,” focusing more on essays and longer written works.

Armstrong described “Images of America: Harrodsburg” as a “show-andtell” type of a book. The co-authors indicated such a work was needed in Harrodsburg, since the city lacked a recent, updated history-type book. Armstrong said the tome will be a good companion for people who are touring the city.

“It’s one of the first things I look for (when visiting a new place),” Rightmyer added. “It gives me an idea of where I’m at and what I’m doing.”

She added she hopes “Images of America: Harrodsburg” will inspire others “to get this history out there.”

Armstrong said the postcard pictorial history of Harrodsburg and Mercer County should be released about this time next year. The vintage postcards she will use will date through the 1960s.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Images of America: Harrodsburg

Soon to be released from Arcadia Publishing is Images of America: Harrodsburg, written by Harrodsburg’s Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer (writer) and Anna Armstrong (photography). The book will be released the week of August 8th, but is already up for pre-order on several different websites:

Barnes and Noble

As of this moment, we are not sure when the book launch and signing will be, but we will keep you up-to-date.

Here is an excerpt from Images of America: Harrodsburg:
“Harrodsburg is the oldest permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains and was founded in 1774 by James Harrod. Images of America: Harrodsburg covers the city limits from the late 1770s to the early 1960s and provides over 220 images from the Armstrong Collection, the Harrodsburg Historical Society, the Mercer County Public Library and the Kentucky Historical Society. Within these pages, experience and explore Harrodsburg during the pivotal era at the beginning of the great commonwealth – from the settlement of Old Fort Harrod to the “Saratoga of the West” mineral springs and spas. Follow the growth, hard times, and recovery of Harrodsburg, including government and growing businesses, advancements in education, the rise of religious institutions, and local and visiting celebrities. These well-preserved photographs from the entrepreneurs, grand openings, and expert news reporting all the reader to step back in time.”

Sorry for the shameless promotion, but this is a wonderful book about Harrodsburg - the oldest permanent settlement in Kentucky. Please try to buy a copy! This will also be great for tourist who will be visiting our area on vacations.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

History in your Backyard

How many times have you driven down College Street (HWY 127) in Harrodsburg and passed Old Fort Harrod State Park? Have you ever noticed the historic two-story home (now the Mansion Museum), located on the south side of the Park, has two front doors? One door faces College Street and the other faces Curry Avenue. These front entrances even have two different architectural features.

The families who lived there were as interesting as their home. If you would like to learn more about your 1800’s neighbors and take an architectural tour of this unique home, join the Park for “Tea with the Taylors” on Sunday afternoon, July 24thfrom 2:00 – 4:00pm.

In fact, add to the atmosphere by dressing in period clothing (1810-1925). Modern dress is also acceptable with an anticipated donation for an enjoyable afternoon.

There will be four “Teas with the Taylors” held monthly during the Park season. Each one will highlight more local history.

For more information, check the Fort Harrod website.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Natural Summer

Caterpillar nest in a small hackberry tree,
tiny little sparrow dining on the buffet.
Is it any wonder we have butterflies and moths?

Cardinals rest in the nest just outside the front door,
tucked away in the tangled growth English Ivy.
Male and female taking turns sitting on the nest.

Bumblebees are having a ball,
going from one delicious flower to the next,
sucking up the nectar of the Gods.

Earthworms are crawling to the top of the soil
after a long winters nap
in the earthy depths.

Ant colonies are scampering when you turn over rocks,
scurrying to seal the tunnels
and getting everyone inside.

Spiders spin their delicate webs trying to catch a meal.
But the surprise is on us,
when the webs sparkle with the morning dew.

Butterflies break free from cryslis
and venture into the warming summer air,
soaking up the sunshine pouring from the sky.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Train Graffiti


Looping letters
swirling the entire box car
Vivid colors
seeming to be 3-D
Exquisite examples
of unknown artists

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happiness and Sadness of May

Where has the year gone? Just yesterday we were celebrating the holidays and now I’m back to working in the yard. My Granny Devine always did say time speeds up as you got older, and now I’m seeing this is so true.

While I’m not a hot weather, summer person, I am glad to finally leave the cold days of winter behind. Too many days of sub-zero weather has made my joints ache and creak, so I’m ready for a change. Warmer weather means more time in the garden, more time to walk and more time to soak up the daylight. Of course, it's still Kentucky, so we are still having some cold days - not to mention the inches and inches of rain we have had.

The month of May is the perfect time to shed our winter skins and slip into the latest summer fashions. After months of cabin fever and overwhelming darkness, you feel an almost rebirth at the excess of sunshine and warmth.

May has always been a transition month for my family. We are transitioning from the long winter and spring into the warmth of summer and from school to summer break. We are transitioning from slow time, early darkness and structured schedules to fast time, later sunsets and relaxed casualness. We say goodbye to prime-time television, large pots of chili and blue jeans with sneakers and say hello to drive-in movies, salad from the Farmer's Market and shorts with flip flops.

I cannot believe I no longer have any children in the local school system. Christine has just completed her first year at Berea College and she is excited about her college career. It has been hard adjusting to no children in the house, but now I have her home again, even if it's only for three months.

I am so incredibly proud of all three of my daughters – I could not have asked for three better girls if I had tried to order them from a catalog. They are all intelligent and responsible adults and they fill my life with joy. My granddaughter, Devon Mikayla, is already a special girl - and spoiled rotten - she has us all wrapped right around her little finger.

May 19th is a special day for Keith and I – it will be our 21st wedding anniversary. We have been together for 25 years and are happy to be celebrating such a great milestone. Like most couples, we have had our ups and downs, our sicknesses and health, our richer and poorer, but we have created a unique family with strong ties and our bond is even stronger today than it was 21 years ago. We have raised three beautiful, intelligent daughters and they are our pride and joy and we are both spoiling the granddaughter. We may not have done everything right, but we keep plugging away and try to keep everyone happy and on an even keel.

A big event at Fort Harrod State Park – Bark in the Park - just took place last weekend (May 14th). The Community of Mercer County Writers - my writing group - has written our 2nd volume of "Prose and Poetry for Pets" and we sold them for $5 each. All proceeds go to the Mercer County Humane Society, the charity of choice for our group. Even though it rained cats and dogs - pun intended - there were several people who ventured out. Trying to keep our tent above water was our major problem.

May also brought us Mother’s Day near the beginning of the month (May 8th). This is the first Mother's Day without my mother, Brenda Sallee; I really didn't handle it well, hiding in the house and wanting to be alone. My mother-in-law, Christine Holtzclaw Rightmyer, is a special lady and I am blessed to have her in my life. I thank God everyday that she brought Keith into my life.

Even though my Momma's first Angel Day is on the 23rd and I can't believe she has been gone one year, May is shaping up to be an exciting, memorable month,. It will be a time of great joy and happiness, grief and sadness and I look forward to making lots of new memories. Reconnecting with family and friends should be a priority this year, so why not plan some special events with your loved ones. Time is only getting shorter, so make the most of it while you still can. Remember, memories live on forever.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Raping the Land


It seems that time
just slips away,
but mother nature
is bidding her time.

We rob her natural resources
contaminate water and food,
Big coal corporations don't care
about the land or the
lives they have changed and killed.
"Just give me your oil
and you clean up the mess."

What will we do when these
things go away?
The world will die and
Mother Nature will have her revenge.
Maybe the next new centuries
will learn from our mistakes.
Only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eye in the Sky

Jet fumes going straight up

pointed at one end

with an eye at the top.

Needle in the sky

like God is sewing back together

the rips and tears we've made in the


Who Will Care?

(Photo copyright Construction Knowledge)

Rumbling down
screams of agony and pain
the mountain is falling down.

What of the creatures who
make their home inside the
beautiful Appalachians?

Is more coal more precious
than ruining the
Appalachians Mountains?

Is it worth the raping
and scaring of the land?

Was it legal for the government and the coal companies
to ask home owners
to sell mineral rights,
especially when they
didn't understand their legal rights?

Drinking water contaminated.
Mudslides galore.
Poverty continues to grow.

Top soil is ruined
as evidence by strange
growing vegetables.

The air stinks of smoke, coal
and slug ponds that have
nowhere to go.

Schools in the way of mud
slides, homes that crack from

What happens to these
poor people?
Who will care?


(Photo copyright Google Images)


the time of


when the earth stands still.


as the ocean moves in

tiny ripples

awaiting the waves of the coming day


the birds flying over -


water glistening,

tiny fluffs of clouds

drift along dawn has crested.


the sun in the eastern sky

approaching mid-morning,

but no one

seems to notice but me.


a bird swooping,

probably a seagull,

'thou I wish it were my red tail hawk

from home.


the the fluffy clouds seem

suspended with only

the gentlest of movement.


as the water glistens

over the vast and

wondrous ocean.


as the day begins

and light wakes the world

and may life is renewed again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Journal of Kentucky Studies

I have known for many months that one of my poems would be printed in "The Journal of Kentucky Studies"- published by Northern Kentucky University. The book should have been out in September 2011, but because it was a memorial tribute to James Baker Hall, it took a little long.

James Baker Hall (photo copyright Sarabande Books)

Opening the package on Monday and holding a real book in my hand was so exciting, but to see how many of my fellow peers also appear in the book just blows my mind:

  • Katerina Sloykova-Klemer

  • Wendell Berry

  • Matthew Haughton

  • Frank X Walker

  • Normandi Ellis

  • Rebecca Gayle Howell

If I can get my poem published in this prestiges literary journal, then anyone can. Just keep practicing.

Here is a past copy of "The Journal of Kentucky Studies" - copyright Northern Kentucky University.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daffodils of Spring

Here are some of the beautiful flowers growing in my garden right now:

Variegated daffodils

These are tiny daffodils growing in the left corner of the Front Garden

White daffodils growing in the Mailbox Garden (there is also a pink hyacinth)

Variegated daffodils in the Mailbox Garden

Pretty yellow daffodils in the Driveway Garden

A single daffodil

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Full Worm Moon ...

... Full Crow Moon, Full Crust Moon, Lenten Moon, Full Sap Moon or Super Moon, on March 19th this 3rd full moon of the year will be closer to the earth than it has been in 18 years. When temperatures begin to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, and Robins will start appearing around the yard.

Here are a few pictures I took of the full moon, but because I don't have a telephoto lens, but I do have a picture which makes the moon look heart shaped:

The March Full Moon

There is a halo around this photograph of the March Full Moon

I have no idea how I managed to take this heart-shaped photograph of the March Full Moon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I picked up the phone today to call my Momma,
before I realized there was no way to talk with her.
Why do I do things like this?
Why do I hear the wind chimes and
feel like my sister is right outside the door?

Grief and despair are sliding in again
like the slug of mud rolling down
the scalped mountains of Appalachia.

Will this pain never end? Or am
I left with these holes in my heart
never to be healed again? I know
time is supposed to heal all wounds,
but these wounds still gape and weep.

Occasionally, a ray of sunshine and
will enter, blowing cool hope and
wetting your mouth like an orange creamsicle.

Then like the tinkle of the wind chimes
or the rippling of a cool forest stream,
the feelings slowly ooze away, only
leaving hints of an unexpected return.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Made It


Fear trickles down
my spine, but
I made it to the
funeral home without
one mistake.
Forget about the fact
I had no idea where
to go, I knew I had
to show support to my
So my friend Google
gave me perfect
The main thing about
this amazing, seeming
normal act, feat
is I made it all
by myself.

Friday, February 11, 2011


“Promise you take care of my wee one; name him Willow Strong. And promise to try to get my body home to my people.” Those were the last words Jade heard from the tiny brown girl lying in the small cave Jade had found to spend a few days in.

On her trek out of San Francisco, Jade had started out strong, but within three months of walking the terrain she was tired and ready to stay in one spot for a week to rebuild her strength. This is when she came upon the girl under a tree, curled in a fetal position and crying. Walking over to the crying woman, Jade bent down and could tell the girl was with child because she had seen many women with large bellies in San Fran and Michael had told her this is where a baby grows. Michael is another story, so we won’t go there today.

Fifteen minutes later, Jade had carried the woman to the small cave she had planned to spend the night in. She opened her backpack and withdrew a water bottle. She wet a scrap of cloth and washed the woman's face. Even though she was inexperienced with many of the human behaviors, Jade recognized the urgency in the girl's voice. Drawing from her two years of study, Jade knew what she had to do.
"No, no," cried the woman, then she started saying words Jade did not understand. She knew it was some type of Indian language, but her Guardian had only trained for the more popular languages

"Ahhhhhh!" The girl screamed as she drew her legs up to her chest. The next thing Jade knew, she was holding a bloody lump that looked like a mini human. Fascinated, she washed off the baby's face and it started to cry. She wrapped the baby in a jacket she pulled from her backpack and handed the bundle it to the girl. Using a length of twine, she cut the babies umbilical cord and then cut him free from his mother.

The baby immediately began to root around on her mother’s chest until it found her right breast and began to suckle. The girl was still bleeding heavily and her breath was labored. Jade knew the girl was going to die, but she pulled some of her medicine pouches out of her backpack and found some powder to help with the fever, but she had nothing to stop the bleeding. Jade continued to rub on the girls belly to make it harden up and pack her with all the spare rags she had to stop the bleeding.

Jade closed the girl’s eyes, removed the tiny baby from her mother’s breast and wrapped him in the warmest blanket she had in her bags. After taking care of the baby, Jade went out of the tent to contemplate her situation. She had not been taught what to do with a dead body. She had been taught very little about babies, but not how to care for them.

First things first, Jade would need to wrap the cold dead body of the mother in something to try and get her back to her people somehow. She had passed an old barn about a mile back; maybe there was something she could use.

She took off running, but only got a few yards when she remembered the baby. She could not leave him alone – what if he started to crying? It could attract wildlife from all around the area. Although it was late fall, Jade had seen a few sprinklings of snow. Jade headed back to the tent and emptied her backpack, but soon realized it was too big to carry the baby in. Next she emptied her messenger bag and snuggled the baby in tight, leaving one end open for air.

Jade slung the strap over her head with the bag in the front to give her more support. “This should do it,” Jade murmured to herself. She realized there was nothing she could do about the little mother, but cover her body and leave her in the cave.

As soon as Jade began running toward the barn, she dropped her glamour to run faster. At the barn she kept her own body shape, because she felt sure the baby was too young to remember the tall, green lady with long strange hair.
The first thing Jade found was some old feed sacks; she could wrap the dead mother in these. Then she began to pull wood from the barn and with the tools found, Jade fashioned a crude sled. Not the kind of sled Michael had shown her in magazines, but it should be good enough to hold everything. She found a good size length of rope in the loft to make a handle for the sled.

The baby began to cry and Jade realized she was hungry, but how was she going to find mother’s milk to feed the child? Thinking more of hydration instead of nutrition, Jade ripped off a piece of clean muslin from inside the messenger bag. Making a little bag, she gently poured some water into it and placed it near the baby’s mouth. At first the baby wiggled and kept turning her head, but soon she had the muslin in her mouth and was sucking down the water.

When the baby had finished drinking the water, she quieted down and went back to sleep. Jade began to pack the sled with the baby and messenger bag, adding the feed sacks. She went out to walk around the barn to look for found. She found a hickory nut tree and began to gather nuts into her shirt as well as a few berries. She went and dumped them into the sled.

Now came the hard part – finding the girl’s family and trying to keep the baby alive while she did. What had she gotten herself into now?

Friday, February 4, 2011

On My Own


Fear trickles down
my spine, but
I made it to the
funeral home without one mistake
Forget about the fact
I had no idea where to go,
I knew I had to show support
to my future son-in-law
and my lovely daughter,
so my friend Google
gave me perfect directions.
The main thing about this amazing feat
is I made it all by myself

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ann Gabhart's Newsletter

Here is the latest newsletter from Ann H. Gabhart, detailing her lastest book, Angel Sister:

Celebrating the release of ANGEL SISTER!!!

Angel Sister is finally here. The book is out there in stores and online. Some of my family and friends have received copies in the mail. Reviews are popping up. And I’m excited! So I want to share that excitement with you, my reading friends. Lorena Birdsong, the little girl character portrayed on the cover has been stealing people’s hearts at first glance. The best thing about the cover is that it does so accurately capture Lorena’s character and looks. Revell designs great covers for all their books. And look at the back cover. It shows Lorena and Kate, her “angel sister,” playing. I really like that, don’t you? I look happy enough about it all in my author photo and I couldn’t look any happier than I am.As I’ve told you before, this book is a story straight from my heart. And my mom’s heart. The events and characters all rose up out of that mysterious deep well that is a writer’s imagination and are completely fictitious, but that well was fed by the stories my mom and her sisters loved to tell about growing up in their small community of Alton, Kentucky during the 1930s. My Rosey Corner is the Alton of their memories. My Merritt family is very loosely based on their family. My grandmother and grandfather did love to read. My grandfather was a blacksmith and did at one time have a drinking problem. He did serve in France during World War I. That much of the story is based on fact. But he was a cook and didn’t have to go “over the top” and up out of the trenches into combat. My Fern and Graham are the fleshed-out characters brought to mind by the stories my aunts and mother told about some of the odder characters in their community. The place seemed to have more than its share of odd characters, including, as my aunt Bill used to say, “them” – the four Hawkins sisters. And then she would laugh. Just like she’s laughing in this picture that has to be my favorite photo of the four sisters. Bill, the youngest is second from left. Mom’s far left. Margaret is pointing, and Evelyn is on the right. Laughter suited them all. As my mom always tells me, they didn’t have a lot of things but they had a lot of what mattered – love. So I took the feeling of those wonderful memories they shared and from those seeds created my Rosey Corner and my family of four sisters. I am completely indebted to the first four sisters for the atmosphere and background of this story. The rest I made up by imagining how it might have been and what would have happened if. My mother is the only sister left now, but if my aunts were still living, I know they would have enjoyed going back to Rosey Corner with me. And now I’m hoping you’ll want to make that trip too.

The book has already gone into a second printing, and I’m told it may be featured in some Books-a-Million stores. So if that’s where you shop for books, give a look around for it. In my area, a great place to buy the book is at Corinth Christian Book Store in Frankfort. On February 11th at 7 p.m., they’re hosting a book launch for me and also for Virginia Smith with her new release, A Deadly Game. As the title gives away, her book is an inspirational suspense/mystery novel. We’ll both talk about our books and then have a Q&A time. If you can’t make that book launch, I’ll be doing a hometown book launch on Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m. at the Anderson County Public Library here in Lawrenceburg. Again I’ll be talking about writing this book with special comments about how the setting is Alton, a little community in our county. I changed the name to Rosey Corner, but it’s the Alton my mom knew growing up. At the hometown event, I’ll be giving away a few door prizes. That always makes things more fun.

And of course I have to give something away here and on my website to celebrate a new book. I’m doing something a little different this time. Instead of books, I’m going to send four lucky winners $25 gift cards to either Christian Book or Amazon (their choice). So here’s how you can get your name in the drawings. Send me an e-mail. If you haven’t e-mailed me previously, you can contact me from my website, here. (I’m going to be changing my e-mail address soon. Boy, that’s a lot of trouble, but you can always contact me from the website.) I’ll pick one name out of the “everybody hat.” Then to give you more chances to win, I’ll have that special drawing like the last time for the “I never win anything” group. If you haven’t won before in one of my giveaways, be sure to indicate that. Last and the most fun, I’ll pick two names out of the “Tell me a story” hat. Last time you told me about special Christmas presents. That was so much fun, I want to do it again. Only this time you have to tell me a sister story. If you don’t have a sister by birth, you can tell me about a sister of the heart. It can be a funny happening. It can be why she’s a great sister/friend. It can be something special she’s done for you or maybe something not so nice that you laugh about now. Any story will get your name in the sister drawing. So if you send me an e-mail, plus tell me if you’ve never won anything here and share a sister story, you can have three chances to win. Of course I’ll be blogging about the sister stories because I know I’ll hear some good ones. Don’t worry, I won’t write about them if you ask me not to and I won’t reveal names. So get your e-mails and stories in. I’ll pick the winners March 1. The winners of the Christmas/New Year’s giveaways along with the books they chose and their surprise gifts too are posted on my website Events and News Page.

So send in those e-mails. And remember you can always keep up with me and join in the conversation on my blog, One Writer’s Journal, at or on my author Facebook page. And I’m twittering too if you want to follow me there. Last don’t forget to check out my Events and News Page for places where we might meet in person or where you can read on-line interviews (usually with a chance to win an autographed book) on the blog. For you book club members, I’ve posted discussion questions for Angel Sister on the Angel Sister link of my website and I’d love to come visit your book club in person if you’re not too far away or by phone if the plane ticket’s too expensive.

Thanks for reading and in closing, here’s an old Irish blessing for you.

“May God grant you always…a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, heaven to hear you.”