Salute to Veterans Day!

I honor all veterans, but I recently obtained a photo of my great-grandfather, Thomas Gillenwaters, who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was born about 1835 in Hickory Cove Tennessee, spent much of his life in Fountain Run Kentucky and died in 1912 in Jeffersonville Indiana.

One photo shows him as a soldier. He is holding a Colt revolver. My grandma played with it as a toy about 1910—she then tossed it into the trash.

The other photo is recent—it is the Gillenwater Mansion in Jeffersonville—where he died.


Louisville Writing Festival

The Writer’s Block Festival is scheduled for next Saturday (9-6) (11-16-19) at the Spalding University library and student center. The program includes panels with local authors, book readings and signings, writing workshops, agent pitches, and an exhibitor fair for writers and readers. Louisville born author Garth Greenwell is the Anne and William Axton Keynote Author. We also will have local literary agents Brent Taylor and Kenzi Nevins on hand to take 10-minute pitches. Brent represents children’s writers from PB-up. Kenzi represents illustrated books including picture books and graphic novels.

Fee required for agent pitches and workshops.



Terrapin Creek

The Tuckasegee River runs in western North Carolina near the Cherokee Reservation. Its name is Cherokee for Turtle Place. Nowadays it is a famed fly-fishing river. Part of my novel, Stone Man and the Trail of Tears, takes place along its scenic banks.


Mountain Magic

The Snowbird Mountains of North Carolina are adjacent to the Smokey Mountains. They are still the home of the Snowbird Community, part of the Cherokee Reservation. Much of the story of my novel, Stone Man and the Trail of Tears, takes place in the Snowbird Mountains.

Don’t Look!

Black Holes devouring stars. These 2 computer-generated images are from NASA.


ANCIENT CHEROKEE HOUSESThe houses pictured are called asi. Made of wattle and daub (woven branches packed with mud), chestnut posts, and chestnut bark roof, they play a major role in my novel Stone Man and the Trail of Tears. A central hearth was ventilated through the roof. Replaced by log cabins after the acquisition of steel axes.

One brave pony

My children’s novel, Stone Man and the Trail of Tears, features Gertrude, a pinto pony. She sometimes steals the show! What kid (or grownup kid) doesn’t like ponies? That goes double for courageous ponies.

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