Number 56

It's Fall, Y'all!

MY FRIENDS. It's been far too long since I've been in your inbox, summer having lasted only a hot minute and fall zipping along at its own brisk pace. So here's an equally quick update of what's comprised my days and nights since last we met here at Grace Notes!
First, you've probably seen my Etsy store for Studio CRM is finally open! This has been a very exciting, rather complicated and still most joyful endeavor. I'm adding new paintings every week and cannot say thank you enough to all the friends out there who've supported the shop in different ways. I appreciate your sweet notes, your shop reviews and your purchases! Current inventory includes a number of small abstract acrylics, larger watercolor abstracts, landscapes, and (by popular demand) flocks of watercolor quirky birds!
Also, it's been a busy season of writing for me. In July I attended the Appalachian Writers' Workshop at the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky and had the joy of studying short story with Mesha Marin, auditing a novel course led by the inimitable David Joy, as well as attending a number of poetry craft workshops. It was a great week filled with learning and laughter and friends, and I came back FIRED UP to jump into the edit of my second novel, [working title} The Reckoning. For those of you keeping up, my first novel, The Story of Elizabeth Young, is still under consideration with a university press. Needless to say for many of us who are new to the world of publishing, it is a slow, slow process.

I am excited to tell you my short story, Blue on Blue, has been accepted for publication in the literary journal Clinch Mountain Review. More to come on that!
For now, Tim and I are enjoying a few weeks here on Cat's Mountain where the weather is stunning and the skies are October blue. What a gift it is to have the opportunity to share this place with the birds and bears and bunnies and coyotes and foxes and deer and (as of this summer) family of snakes (eek!) that call this pretty patch home. We never take it for granted, not for one single second.

Here's to October! Here's hoping this golden month is filled with as much happiness and as many pumpkin lattes as your sweet heart desires.
image: Netflix
The Diplomat on Netflix
I am a huge fan of the drama Madam Secretary and have been a bit in mourning since the show ended. Then in comes The Diplomat starring the wonderful Keri Russell. Promo copy says, "Amid an international crisis, a career diplomat juggles her new high-profile job as ambassador to the United Kingdom and her turbulent marriage to a political star." Which reminds me, the political star is equally wonderful, played by Rufus Sewell. So good.
Kate Bowler — On Being in a Body, via On Being
On Being is back, and Krista Tippett's conversation with theologian Kate Bowler will never leave me. From a reset on how to think about aging, to the new reality in our time of living with cancer as a chromic illness, to the telling truths to our young, this beautiful conversation is full of the vividly whole humanity that Kate Bowler singularly embodies. Thoughtful, insightful, and surprisingly funny, give this one a listen and I promise Kate will ride along with you for a while, as well.
I had a big reading summer filled with works by several of my favorite authors. I'll limit this post to three I loved, loved, loved.
Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett
In the spring of 2020, Lara's three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.

For me, Tom Lake was the perfect read at the perfect time. Ann has a beautiful writer's way of making the reader relate to every character—and I did, riding every high and low across both storylines. So beautifully done. A wonderful story well told. I highly recommend.
via Bookshop
via Amazon

For my money, nobody does it better than Rick Bragg. And this story about his beloved "bad" dog, Speck, and subsequently his love for family, legacy, land (and so much more)—this one seeded itself and then took root in my soul. A thousand times I laughed out loud; a hundred times I cried. Often I did both at once. I read this one on audio because I cannot resist Bragg's unassuming (and rather magnificent) Alabama drawl. So, so good. I'm not much one for rating books, but if I were, I'd give this one a thousand stars.

via Bookshop
via Amazon
As I mentioned above, I had the pleasure of studying with writer David Joy this summer. The man is magnetic in his somehow humble and still unflinchingly honest way. Which is exactly what's so powerful about this book. Joy is not afraid to "go there" in this story of a small North Carolina town and the reckoning that occurs when people are forced to face their racist truths. Read this profile from Toby LaBlanc in the Southern Review of Books: A Protest Artist, a Klansman, and a Reckoning with Race. It's a good one. Then read this important book.

via Bookshop
via Amazon
Puffy Pumpkin Pattern, from Dogwood Crochet
I'm not a crocheter, but I couldn't resist giving it a shot when I saw a lineup of these adorable Puffy Pumpkins on Instagram. It took me (a beginner) a minute to figure out the stitch, but once I did I've been on a roll! So cute. So festive! You can purchase the pattern for $5.00 from Shannon of Dogwood Crochet on Etsy. Plus she has so many other fun offerings. (Crochet acorns, anyone???)
Apple Cider Mimosas, from Eating Bird Food
I can vouch for this one. Simple, festive, tasty. Autumn in glass!
recently on THE DAILY GRACE

Blueberries for Buddy

August is the month for wild blueberries on our North Carolina mountain, which means it's the most active month for our beloved black bears. This led me to a picture book, which changed my perspective, which reminded me how wonderful it can be to see through the eyes of a child.
Looks like everyone's in on the Autumn Love!
10.5.23, 7:20 am, #catsmountain
facebook twitter instagram pinterest email 
Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet