Showing posts with label Waynesville NC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Waynesville NC. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Upcoming Events at Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, North Carolina, August to October 2017



Upcoming Events
Blue Ridge Books
Waynesville, NC




Saturday, August 12   3:00 pm   Author Event with Joan Barris   The King of Underpants Street
In her debut children’s book, author Joan Barris addresses the vulnerability of pre-school children during divorce and remarriage.  This sweet story of one little boy is beautifully illustrated and a springboard for discussion among divorced or divorcing families. The book is currently short-listed in the Gittle List Competition and has received solidly positive reviews.

Saturday, August 26   3:00 pm   Author Event with Michael Beadle   Primer
The book features poems about childhood and family, discovery and disappointment, triumph and heartbreak. Primer was a national finalist in the 2016 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest, sponsored by Main Street Rag.  

Sunday, September 17   3:00 pm   Author Event with Sharyn McCrumb   The Unquiet Grave
The Greenbrier Ghost is renowned in American folklore, but Sharyn McCrumb is the first author to look beneath the legend to unearth the facts. Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, McCrumb reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial: the prosecutor, a former Confederate cavalryman; the defense attorney, a pro-Union bridgeburner, who nevertheless had owned slaves; and the mother of the murdered woman, who doggedly sticks to her ghost story--all seen through the eyes of a young black lawyer on the cusp of a new century, with his own tragedies yet to come .

Saturday, October7   3:00 pm   Author Event with Bob Plott   Plott Hound Tales: Legendary People & Places Behind the Breed
The Plott hound has reached worldwide fame through the contributions of many colorful characters from the Southern Appalachians.   Author and breed expert Bob Plott reveals the fascinating people and places that have shaped the history of the Plott hound.   The Plott hound has historical roots in Haywood County and is the North Carolina state dog.

Thursday, October 12   Noon   Author Luncheon with Wiley Cash   The Last Ballad
Join us for lunch at The Classic Wineseller for a reading and discussion with Wiley Cash.  The New York Timesbestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy returns with this eagerly awaited new novel,  set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The chronicle of an ordinary woman's struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, The Last Ballad is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice.  
Tickets for this event are $40 and must be purchased in advance at Blue Ridge Books.  The price of the tickets includes lunch and a coupon for $10 toward the purchase of The Last Ballad.  Seating is limited, so come by Blue Ridge Books to pick up your ticket soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

BLUE RIDGE BOOKS IN WAYNESVILLE, NC HOSTS ECHOES AUTHORS

Reading and Book Signing at Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, NC, August 28, 2010

Blue Ridge Books in downtown Waynesville will host a reading and book signing for the new anthology "Echoes Across the Blue Ridge," from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 28.

The anthology includes a variety of stories, essays, and poems by writers living in and inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The list of authors includes Kathryn Stripling Byer, Gary Carden, Thomas Rain Crowe, and many others.
Best-selling author Lee Smith has praised the book as a "dynamite collection-strong and surprising." Author, poet, and Western Carolina professor Ron Rash writes of the book, "Anyone who enjoys Appalachian Literature will be delighted by this excellent anthology, particularly because it introduces the reader to a number of our region's gifted though lesser-known writers."
Local authors scheduled to appear on August 28 include Dick Michener, JC Walkup, George Ivey, Glenda Beall, and Jane Young.
The book is now available for sale at local bookstores, including Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, City Lights in Sylva, and Malaprop's Bookstore and Café in Asheville. For more information, go online to netwestwriters.blogspot.com/2010/01/echoes-across-blue-ridge.html.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mountain Writers Award Winners in Short Story contest

Awards to Winners
Mountain Writers' Short Story Contest
Free and Open to the Public
Sunday afternoon, September 28 at 2:30 PM in the Waynesville Library Auditorium, Mountain Writers will present the winners of their Short Story Contest. Winning entries will be read and awards will be presented to winners. The high quality entries made the judges work difficult. Everyone is invited to come hear the winning stories read and to enjoy light refreshments.

Mountain Writers use the entry fees from the contest for a scholarship fund, and workshops for local writers.
Mountain Writers of North Carolina (MWNC) is a Waynesville-based non-profit organization dedicated to furthering all literary ventures. Their regular meeting is the second Tuesday of each month, at 6:00 PM in Osondu Booksellers Tea Room on Main Street in Waynesville. If you are interested in the craft of writing, they invite you to join them.
Submitted to this blog by JC Walkup of Haywood County, NC

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From China With Love


By JC Walkup
Photo: Polly McDowell and her adoped granddaughter, Mia

Lorraine and Steve Griffith of Asheville had an empty nest. Echos of their departed brood didn’t fill their hearts and they couldn’t put their arms around memories. The Lost Daughters of China, a book by Karin Evans, started them on a journey to end their emptiness. Girl babies in China are viewed as burdens not as blessings.
“For parents, having a son was simply the age-old Chinese version of a modern social security system.” –The Lost Daughters of China” by Karin Evans. This social attitude coupled with the government policy of limiting families to two children each implemented in 1980 resulted in baby girls available for adoption by the thousands. One of those, Tian Michelle-Meng, would fill the hole in the Griffith’s life.

It was eleven months from the time they made the first application until they were handed their beautiful baby girl in Kunming, China.
Polly McDowell of Waynesville says that her son, Patrick’s and daughter-in-law, Sherri’s adoption experience was similar to Steve and Loraine’s. Polly is the grandmother of a lovely, bright seven and a half year old Chinese girl named Mia Katherine McDowell. “Being a grandmother is a matter of the heart, not of biology,” says Polly. Sherri heard about the plight of China’s girls from her co-workers at Mission Hospital in Asheville who also went through the adoption process. Polly feels that there has been a tug all her life toward things Chinese. At six years old her mother took her to Asheville to a movie theatre where they had balcony seats. Because a cousin once told her that if you dig deep enough, you will reach China, she looked at all the people below the balcony and thought they must be in China. That thread of interest in things Chinese grew with her into adulthood. Her house holds many things Chinese that she has gathered throughout her life. When her son announced that they were adopting a girl from China, Polly’s first thought was, “I’ll be a Chinese grandmother!”
The hurdles to application, interviews, fees and final certifications were hurdles cleared one by tedious one. A snag for Steve and Loraine was his occupation as ‘writer’. His visa was red flagged and the Chinese government stopped the creeping progression toward adoption. Eventually, they were able to reach a compromise. After he agreed to sign an agreement not to write about his experiences in China, officialdom allowed the process to restart. Two weeks before their planned departure date, they were informed that in addition to the thousands in fees already paid, they would need an additional $3,000.00 in ‘gift’ and travel money! Steve sold his CD collection to friends as one of the ways they met this unexpected requirement.
Loraine, Steve’s wife, kept a ‘blog’ – an online diary of their experiences to share with friends. Through pictures and words she showed the beauty of China and the build up of excitement toward the moment they had Tian in their arms through the journey home and of their adjustments to each other. The Griffiths traveled for 24 hours with three other couples to the city of Kunming to complete the adoption process. They were delivered to their hotel and told they had an hour to recover from their jet lag and freshen up before the arrival of their baby. Dream- about-to-be-reality charged them with adrenalin. In just over an hour eleven month old Tian was in their arms. There she became Steve and Loraine’s daughter but she was not yet an American citizen. For that they flew to Guangzhou for a swearing in ceremony in the American Consulate that made her an American citizen.
The process has changed significantly in the past five years. When Karin Evans wrote her book about the adoptions of thousands of China’s daughters, the prospective parents did not always receive even pictures of the child. Vital statistics were often sketchy. The time from application to receiving the daughter chosen by the Chinese adoption agency was about two years, now it is one year or less. Unchanged are the costs, the extensive interviews and careful scrutiny used to match children to parents. The identity and background of birth parents is still not available.


Severe overpopulation drove the government to enforce a law passed in 1980 against more than two children per household. Heavy fines are imposed on parents who break the law. Because children traditionally support their elders, the desire is for a son who can provide better care for his mother and father in their old age. This attitude is not as pervasive in the cities now, but in the countryside it is still prevalent. Ironically, there are legal penalties as well as social censures for abandoning unwanted baby girls. Loraine Griffith prefers the term ‘exposure’ to abandonment since it connotes knowledge in the mother that the baby will be found and cared. Commonly, the babies are left close to busy intersections. An ad in the newspaper is run for three months before the baby is officially available for adoption. Steve and Loraine actually saw the ad place for Tian. They explained to their facilitator that they wanted to locate the spot where Tian was exposed. It was a busy area. Lorrraine says of it, “Our daughter was found at the gate of a poor, impoverished neighborhood….It was such a busy place. She wasn’t hidden; she was left to be found…It was this visit to the finding place that made the whole life story of Tian real to me. She didn’t begin at the civil affairs office on ‘gotcha day’. Tian’s story began on February 15 (2004) when she was born and then left to be found…I am so thankful that God knew where she was that February day and that He knew where we were in the adoption process and then He finished the work on our Forever Family day, January 26th, 2005.”
In the same book Mrs. Evans points out that the suicide rate among Chinese women is the highest in the world. Their position in society is still not on a par with Western women but it is improving. Someday the Chinese may come to regret their liberal foreign adoption policies. On the other hand, there are many beloved daughters there but few receive the education and opportunities that boys are offered. Susan Lantis from Alabama accepted a position as an English instructor at the university level in China. She said in a phone interview that her classes were comprised of mostly males, but that the few girls who were there were bright and worked at high levels.
How do the Chinese people feel about American adoptions of their daughters? Lorraine noticed that people stared and talked about them wherever they went so asked that question of their Chinese facilitator, Xiu Lan, who answered, “…There is great shame in abandoning your child and most people cannot understand why people would do it. This is our shame, but the children are so beautiful the people can’t stop looking. And the people are extremely happy that the exposed babies will have a good life.”
In a country where women were not permitted to own property until 1950 and many thousands can still remember the Cultural Revolution that dislocated many families and produced a generation that never saw the inside of a classroom, there will be progress for those exposed to foreign lands and different attitudes. Only time will tell what the influence these adopted children will have on their home country.

JC Walkup is an active published writer who lives in Canton, NC. Her articles and short stories have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. She is a member of Mountain Writers in Waynesville, NC