You provide a valuable service, and I wanted to express my gratitude for getting to be part of it.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Karen Paul Holmes - presenter at A Day for Writers 2019

Karen Paul Holmes

Poet, Karen Paul Holmes, will be on the schedule for A Day for Writers, a one day writers conference in Sylva, NC on Saturday, August 24.

This conference, sponsored by the NC Writers' Network-West, is held in the lovely setting of the Jackson County Regional Public Library, Old Courthouse Annex. 

Holmes is a teacher of poetry and an author of two poetry collections. Her work has appeared in many journals and reviews. Her session is titled Metaphors, Images and Similes, part of the language of poetry we poets  must know and understand.

To learn more about this conference, the presenters and cost, click on 

Friday, July 19, 2019

In my family stories, I write about my parents, Coy and Lois Council.

Excerpt from my memoir:
My older sister, June, was born 1924. She entered this world at the home of our grandparents, Willie and Lula Robison where Mother waited for Daddy to send for her. Times were hard in the early 1920s for my family and many more. The economy of the United States was doing great, but only for certain people. As is often the case, the stock market was booming, but middle and low income families struggled.

Daddy, Coy Council, had planned to wait until he had enough money saved before asking Lois to marry him, but he married at the age of 23 because he could not bear to be away from his beloved Lois any longer. In letters he wrote to my mother, it is obvious he was afraid she would find someone else. He was jealous of anyone she saw when he was not present.

Daddy had never worked anywhere but Pelham Manufacturing Company, (textile mill). He started there when he was ten years old, soon after his father died. At times the Pelham mill would close. Then Daddy, a young single man, took the train up to Thomaston, Georgia where he worked as a weaver at the mill there and rented a room at a boarding house. He barely made enough to pay his board, buy cigarettes and send money home to his widowed mother. He hated the work, but it was all he knew. 

On the positive side, he could always find work because between 1800 and 1910, cotton mills sprang up all over the south and middle Georgia had two or three in the same county. I find it interesting to see what fabrics were made in each mill. After the Civil War, the production of cotton duck, a canvas-like cloth, dominated production for use in ship sails, tents, and covered wagons. Duck gained new value as an industrial fabric in the booming new rubber tire business for automobiles in the early twentieth century. Osnaburg is a name I remember hearing Mother say when she looked at fabric in a store. It was one of those produced in the early 20th century.

My oldest brother, Ray, was the only child not born in Georgia. He was born in a tiny town, Rubonia, Florida where Mother and Daddy lived while my father worked with Uncle Charlie on his farm in Palmetto. Daddy also worked nights at an ice plant to earn enough to pay rent and feed his small family. In the days before refrigerators and ice machines, ice plants delivered ice to homes and businesses. It was hard work. Even in 1942, homes without electricity had an Ice Box on the back porch where a big block of ice would be placed to keep food cold for a couple of days until the ice man brought another block.

Little Ray became my father’s pride and joy. He had hoped for a son, and when that boy was born, in 1926, Coy Council burst his buttons with pride. The first-born son has long been a source of pride and joy to fathers. That son was expected to carry on the lineage of the father. Ray was, of course, named for his father. Coy Ray Council went by the name of Ray.

Little did anyone know what this precious child would mean to his parents, his siblings and to countless others whose lives he touched.

A block of ice carried with tongs delivered to someone's Ice Box

The Icehouse Job, 1926

After working 9 hours in the hot Florida sun,
he came home to eat a meal with her and his kids.
She told him how she wished he could stay with her
and rest, let her rub his back. I get scared here without you.
But he said he had to pay the rent, put food on the table.
As the kids were tucked into bed, he climbed
into his old truck, headed to work.

It should have been a relief after the sun burned
his skin to dark brown leather, but he wore his ragged
jacket and a cap with flaps over his ears
as if he had walked into dead of winter in Wisconsin.

Alone in the quiet he wondered how long could he go on
working two jobs, getting little sleep.
His back, tired from plowing mules all day,
his hands cold and chapped, he chopped
the fifty pound blocks. With both hands he clamped
the tongs that griped the slippery squares, swung his shoulders
tossing his burden up on the platform, over and over
until the clock said midnight, quitting time.

He climbed into bed too tired to bathe.
Her hand reached through the night,
touched his face. He slept but she lay awake
thinking of going home to Georgia, seeing her folks,
hearing him laugh again, and tell his stories to the kids.

                                                   Dedicated to my parents, Coy and Lois Council

Glenda Beall
August 6, 2015

Thursday, July 11, 2019


A native of western North Carolina, Benjamin Cutler is an English and creative writing teacher at Swain County High School in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina.

Benjamin Cutler
Benjamin is also a husband, a father of four, and he currently serves as the North Carolina Writers Network-West Swain County representative. In this position, he holds a monthly free meeting for writers and poets, open to the public, in Bryson City, North Carolina. 

When he’s not reading, writing, or playing with his children, Benjamin can be found on the creeks and trails of his mountain home. He loves the rivers and streams of the mountains.  

His full-length poetry book, The Geese Who Might be Gods, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing Company (2019).

–Pat Riviere-Seel, author of Nothing Below but Air & The Serial Killer’s Daughter says of Ben's poetry book, "At the heart of this collection are relationships in all their complexity – family, friends, students, and the natural world, especially our relationships with the nonhuman creatures. One poem concludes that a turkey vulture is “…not so different / from the rest of us / with your belly full of dead things / and your endless hungry search.” These poems may be an “endless hungry search,” but the reader will come away sated.

Ben will be in Hayesville,NC on Friday evening, July 26, at the Corner Coffee Shop on the square with Brent Martin, naturalist, writer and owner of Alarka Expeditions. Ben will be interviewed and will share some of his work from his latest book.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Kindle books are such a good deal.

Do you read books on your Kindle? 
Click on this link and find Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins by Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice. 
This book is the perfect gift for an animal lover, dogs, cats, rabbits or horses. You will smile and maybe shed a tear, but it will be a happy tear.

For only $5.99 you can read and see the color pictures of our characters and other members of our family on your Kindle. Kodi, on the cover, was a gorgeous dog and such a sweetheart.
 Let me know how you like it.

Learn more here.

With my Kindle and my IPad, I have everything I need to keep me reading. But I still like the traditional books. You can tell by my bookcases all over my house. One day I hope to read all those books.

I bought another book Sunday. Val Nieman's new poetry book, The Leopard Lady, a Life in Verse.  Can't wait to get into it.

What have you read lately that you recommend?