Z: Zoom!

As in the sound of this A to Z challenging zooming by. That’s it. It’s the end, folks. I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by, especially those kind enough to comment. I do hope that you keep coming back for more reviews, writing, and, of course, corgis. You guys are super awesome! 🙂



Y: Yard Sales

Today is the one year anniversary of my my Grandmother’s death, so for my Y entry, I’ve decided to repost “Yard Sales in Heaven.”

Original Post from April 29, 2013:

At 12:15pm today, my grandmother died. I wasn’t by her bedside, or even in the same state. I was in my office, waiting for the call I’ve been dreading for the past day and a half.

Several times on this blog, I’ve mentioned my passion for going to yard sales, especially in search of books. I got this love of riffling through other people’s old things from my grandmother, who was an avid connoisseur of yard sales, rummage sales, and estate sales. I loved going to visit her, knowing that we would spend all day Saturday driving around the neighborhoods of Maryville, TN looking for thrifty treasures. She knew all the best neighborhoods, and would always scan the yard sales listed in the local newspaper, looking for the best sounding ones and planning out our entire day beforehand. We would pick her up from her house (a house who’s land backed up right to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), and she would climb into the car, armed with her newly-purchase purse (95% of the time she had gotten it from a yard sale a few weeks beforehand) and the clipped classifieds section, the best yard sale advertisements circled in pen. From 8am to lunchtime we’d prowl the subdivisions, and then go back out and search for more after lunch. No one had a better garage sale sign radar than she did.

Growing up, it was always my dad who drove. My dad has a tendency to hurt himself, or, he would rile me up enough to where my little-girl fist would somehow find that perfect spot on top of his shoulder. Any time my dad got hurt, it set my grandma off into giggle fits. She couldn’t help but laugh every time he cried out in shocked pain.

Over the years, she gave me many small presents, treasures that she had found at yard sales and knew they were perfect for me. She got me dinosaur figurines and jewelry, books and fancy boxes, beautiful pens and silly notepads. Each thing was special, especially since it only cost twenty-five cents.

Later, my husband took the reins of driving us around, at the same time we drove him crazy. “GARAGE SALE SIGN!” one of us would shout, forcing him to react quickly (his radar isn’t nearly as tuned as ours). It was on one of these adventures with my husband that my grandma said something that has stuck with my husband and me ever since: “Monkey Fuzz.” Where most people would say something like “Ah damnit, lost my lipstick!” she would pipe “Aw, Monkey Fuzz!” in her unique sweet and high-pitched voice. There’s hardly a day that goes by that one of us doesn’t use this playful curse.

One of the first books that I ever picked out for myself was during one of these yard sale excursions with her. It was the fourth book in the Babysitters Club series, Mary Anne Saves the Day. I have bought many books from yard sales since, and I don’t remember where or when. This one was special, because it was my first. I remember that it was an old farm house, shaded by old, mossy trees. And I remember that my grandmother was there.

I continued the tradition of going yard saleing with my grandmother up through my early adulthood, and I would still go with her if I could. I inherited several things from my grandmother (the allergy to penicillin being one of those things), but my love of yard sales is one of the best things she ever gave me. I won’t be able to stop at strangers’ houses looking for cheap stuff without thinking of her. I love her and I’ll miss her dearly.

Mamaw, I hope you’re enjoying all those yard sales in heaven.

X: X-Rated (Book Review)

superfoxIs it Hoth in here, or is it just me?

The Superfox is the second “Geekrotica” novella by Ava Lovelace (Nomme de Plume of Delilah S. Dawson, author of the Blud Novels). With nods to Wonder Woman and the Avengers, this scentalizing story is super sexy.

Taking place during Atlanta’s recent snowpocalypse, Superfox follows Melissa (Lissa) Martin, a Wonder Woman look-alike who works as a project manager at a marketing office. Lissa is a fully developed, strong woman archtype. She’s a leader, a trait that scares most guys away. And even though the snow is falling, she decides to stay in the office to finish up an important project. She’s not the only one left in the office, though. While roaming the halls, she comes across Mark Ranger, a photographer who is a cross between Thor and Loki in a kilt. Being alone, they get to know each other and indulge in a few choice work-place fantasies.

Lumberfox (Geekrotica Level 1)

The Geekrotica stories from Lovelace are well-written, fully actualized, indulgent tales. There’s no awkwardness, no weirdness. The story and the sex, while fantastically hot, are totally realistic and obtainable.

Level Two has been achieved. Now on to Level Three…

5/5 Stars

Download The Superfox (Geekrotica Level 2) for only $1.99!

W: Winfield Scott Hike

Today the weather was perfect, absolutely perfect. The sky was clear and brilliantly blue. The temperature was just right and there was a slight, cooling breeze. I couldn’t have asked for better hiking weather.

Our trek today started at the Lake Winfield Scott Recreational area. We hiked the 2.7 mile Slaughter Creek Trail, hopped onto the Appalachian Trail for about 2 miles, and then made our way back to Lake Winfield Scott via the Jarrard Gap Trail (which we hiked and photographed earlier this year) for 1.4 miles, making our hike a grand total of 6.1 miles. We managed this in  about three hours and fifteen minutes.

This loop doesn’t provide much in the way of visual rewards. There are no waterfalls awaiting you, and the vast mountain views can only be seen during certain times of the year and from very specific spots, but it is a lovely walk through the woods. It’s mostly an uphill hike (slight to moderate) until you reach the Appalachian Trail. The AT has a few ups and downs, and then Jarrard Gap was downhill the entire way. The “Laureldendron” (Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel) is just beginning to bud and will probably be bloomed in a week or two, and it looks like many other wild flowers line the trail.

Overall, it was an awesome, fulfilling hike.



V: Very Late Post

Okay, so it’s only a day late. Even though I work from home on Fridays, I’m usually so busy that I’m unable to do a proper blog post unless I’ve scheduled it beforehand. But due to illness and then having to play catch-up with the rest of life…well something had to give. So today, I’m both playing catch-up and planning ahead. In the mean time, here’s Twinkie looking very disappointed in me.


U: Ultra Shameless Self-Promotion

Stonepile-CoverEarlier this year, The Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, Vol. III was released. I have been the editor of this series since the beginning, and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to watch it grow and mature. This year’s is the best yet, with selections from Ann Hite (Author of The Storycatcher), Tim Westover (Editor of The Old Weird South), and me!

Unfortunately, the distributor of this title hasn’t put it up for sale on Amazon, yet, but you can order your copy by mailing in this spiffy form (just think of if as retro!). The order form is at the bottom of this post.

Original Press Release:

 Volume III of the compilation of poetry and prose is now available. All three volumes are published and distributed through the University Press of North Georgia (UPNG), and reviews can be found on GoodReads.com. Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, Volumes I though III, are collections from writers exclusively of southern Appalachia. Volume III was edited by April Loebick.

The Stonepile Writers’ Anthology has grown into a regional phenomenon, and Volume III is proving to be the best collection yet.

This latest edition features works from Ann Hite, 2012 Georgia Author of the Year winner and author of Ghost on Black Mountain and The Storycatcher,  and Tim Westover, author of Auraria, a story about the area between Dawson and Lumpkin counties, a mere stone’s throw from the University of North Georgia, that initiated America’s first gold rush. Further, the Anthology includes works from professors, students and staff at UNG.

Rosann Kent, director of The Georgia Appalachian Studies Center, commented that “In Appalachia, place matters. It forms who we are as well as who we are not, the vessel for kindness as well as the cauldron for hatred. Where is your place? And what is your place in that place? Among these poems and short stories, you may just discover that.”

The release party is to be held at the Vickery House, 24 Vickery Drive, Dahlonega, GA, 30533, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 30, and will feature readings as well as refreshments. Books will be for sale for $19.95; UPNG will only accept cash or personal checks. More information about Stonepile Writers’ Anthology and UPNG can be found at upng.org

Stonepile Writer’s Anthology Vol. III
ISBN: 987-0-9882237-5-2

Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, Vol III Order Form

T: Twinkie

Twinkie is our middle child. She’s slightly overweight, very neurotic, and the best cuddler of the bunch. Today, I highlight her in honor of the letter “T” and the A to Z Blogging Challenge