Friday, May 31, 2019

Fly Fishing Gift Basket Auction

Up for auction!
Fly fishing gift basket, an antique creel basket filled with goodies from the past!

I belong to the Western North Carolina Society of Artisans, a wonderful collection of outstanding local artists representing a wide variety of the arts. They accepted me as an artist and I believed them. I am an artisan. Writing is truly an art. So is fly fishing, and the two widely different arts merge in my book, Fly Fishermen of Caldwell County, which just happens to be the theme around which this basket is built.

At the center is a copy of the book and each item included connects in some way to a page or chapter in the book. The classic creel basket was donated by James Henson, page 91. He used it, and used it well in his years on the creeks and streams not only here in western North Carolina, but throughout the United States as well. Oh, if this basket could talk!
In our conversation when I told him my plans for the auction basket, he mentioned this creel basket that was sitting neglected and forgotten in his basement. Would I like to have it for the auction?


And when he brought it to me, he had a surprise. He had gone to his workbench and tied a few (eighteen to be exact) new ties, six of each, to also include. Wow!

And then. AND THEN...

He casually mentioned he would like to donate an old rod he had laying around that he would never use again since he has newer equipment. A bamboo rod. Cork handle. Would I be interested in including it?


It's a Horrocks IBBotson from the fifties. I found it on Clark's Classic Bamboo Rod Forum (thank you google!) Check it out.

I've said all along that I'm not a fly fisherman, well, fisherwoman. Never have been. Maybe I'll try it some day when the snakes have decided to vacate the streams. So I don't really know the value of this. My husband made the rounds showing it to various fishermen about town (who also just happen to be in the book) and they agree it is in excellent condition, but they disagree on the value. It is what it is, so bidding (and in depth research) will be what it will be.

One of the men we talked with was Jasper Reese, page 79 in the book. He was more than thrilled to donate something to the cause. Proceeds, by the way, will go to the WNCSA and its Red Awning Gallery.
That's him holding the landing net he donated. It looked a little dilapidated with rubber bands holding the container together. Until he snapped it open.
And there it is, in excellent condition. I brought it home with me and snapped it open to snap the picture. Big mistake. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to collapse that net back into the little, tiny pouch. So. Back I went for a fly fishing essential lesson from Jasper. He makes it look so easy!

You are invited to come into the Red Awning Gallery where WNCSA members sell our handiwork. See the basket I'm about and register to bid, and I'm not worried that you will snap open this net and not get it stuffed back in. The basket is wrapped in a see-through gift bag for your viewing pleasure only. The gallery is located at the HUB, Hudson Uptown Building, 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, North Carolina 28638. Please come and enjoy our art! You can also call during gallery hours to register and bid once bidding gets under way, but do NOT leave messages on the answering machine. 828-610-6300 We do ask that highest bidder come in person once bidding is completed to show identification.

Bidding opens June 1 at 10:00 in the morning and remains open during gallery hours until 6:00pm June 11. (Gallery hours, Tuesdays through Fridays 11-6 and Saturdays 10-3)

Bidding starts at $100 and please bid in increments of $5 or more.

For more information contact me through my website, 

Let the bidding begin (tomorrow)!

Catch of the day, (and this basket full of goodies is a great catch)


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley

Of course I sang the song. I was a child of the sixties. In North Carolina. Enough said.

The Kingston Trio made it famous in the late fifties, but the original folk version twanged its way through the backwoods of the Carolinas long before that. In 1866 Tom Dooley murdered (or did he?) his lover, Laura Foster, who just happened to be the cousin of his former lover, Ann Foster Melton. Whether he did the deed or not has remained one of the greatest deep country debates for a century, worthy of a hit song that has kept the question alive for over a hundred years.

The story garners enough respect to be the focus of The Tom Dooley Festival, a delightful event despite its gruesome backstory. It was held last weekend, as every year, at Whippoorwill Academy and Village, in Ferguson in the foothills of western North Carolina, Tom's stomping grounds. Actors from the summer theatre presented a snippet of the story. I hope Tom's character had a chance to say his proclamation from the gallows: "Gentlemen, do you see this hand? I didn't harm a hair on the girl's head." And then he was hung. And then the legends and whispers and ballads began.

I didn't have a chance to hear it. I was over on author's row, selling my books, two of which by the way, are about characters who in addition to Tom Dooley, can claim the community around Whippoorwill as their stomping grounds.
Okay, so I really don't have a book by that title. It's a joke.

Neither does Charlotte Barnes, the author under the tent next to mine, the one in this Author's Row non existent book titles announces "I Am Laura." That's a little closer to facts than my "Secret Lives of Women who Stalk Fishermen," but we had a good laugh.

Charlotte wrote a well researched nonfiction about Tom Dooley, which was her reason for being present at the festival.
We had a great day, connecting as authors do. I later learned she was one day short of her newest publication, Dooley, a base-on-real-events, Tom Dooley novel told from the perspective of the newspaper reporter who covered the hanging. I can't wait to read it. Her initial shipment arrived at her home the next day, a Sunday delivery, in fact.

Meanwhile I talked with festival goers about my books, not only those two with settings in the Ferguson area. The most fun I had was watching children play with the rockets and parachutes I brought as part of my Back on Earth book, the one about Apollo Eleven.

So it didn't fit the theme of the festival with the spinning wheels and blacksmiths and the geneology of Tom Dooley, but we had fun.
There's nothing quite like spanning the history of western North Carolina civilization from colonial Daniel Boone, through Civil War veteran Tom Dooley to the 1969 Apollo Eleven moon shot. What a day. Nothing to hang down your head about, either.

Catch of the day,


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tree on Roof

I came up with the idea for my first children's picture book When Christmas Feels Like Home when I watched Robin Williams as Mork from Ork (or is that backwards?). As an alien he witnessed cars driving about town with trees loaded on their tops and wondered what was happening. Trees riding on cars! Go figure!

Thank you, illustrator Carolina Farias,
 for getting it right!
I began watching the cars around me, studying the people inside, their faces, their joys, and then a little story seed grew in the writing side of my brain. End result, a picture book.

There's a new seed growing now in the same side of my brain, at least it's been planted there. I'll call this one, "Tree on Roof," thanks to a violent storm that whipped through our neighborhood.

Image may contain: tree, house, plant, sky and outdoor

It could have been worse! We ended up with a few holes punched in the roof, which we were able to patch with no problem. Having an excellent insurance agent does help.

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, shoes, outdoor and nature
Husband on roof clearing limbs
Okay, so my husband might not be yet ready for the literary version of our latest homeowner trials and tribulations. Fortunately we found an available company who came to our rescue. 

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, house, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: tree and outdoor
Walnut wood, anyone?
The walnut harvest for the squirrels will be minus one tree this year. Therein lies the seed of a picture book. Maybe. Possibly.

Just in case any of you are in need, here's the company we dealt with.
Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Maybe it is time for me to go out on a limb and write this book!

Catch of the day,