Mountain Mother

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The mountains are our mother, ever fixed and strict. She teaches us the hard lessons, the pain of birth and death. She makes us earn the roof over our head and the food in our belly through the sweat and blood of a hard days work. She teaches us the unfairness of life by the crop destroying heavy rains and drought.

She sings us to sleep with her gentle winds and distant calls of whipporwhills. She teaches us gratitude when we can sit in the porch rocker at the end of the day and simply be. She teaches us to persevere just as the tiny creeks flow and carve out deeper trenches through the ancient rock that is her foundation.

She gives us rich soil and woods full of herbs to heal what is broken. And when all hope is lost, she reminds you to turn to the Creator of it all.

We grow up saying we can’t wait to get out from under her watchful eye and her scolding switch. When we leave, we find nothing can bring us comfort like she gave. And so, we return. No longer taking for granted her little joys and lessons we once would have scoffed or overlooked.

Those who leave and never return were never hers to begin with. Not truly, for those of us who go back through all our generations know this where our blood started and this is where it will someday end. We will one day feed her with our blood and bones just as she has fed us.

She is our mountain mother who has watched over us with her bowed back and worn hands. She has sacrificed for us, she has let us tear the coal from her body and the trees from her dress so we could live. And as any mother, she loves us, she holds us tightly to her protective breast and when we leave, she lets us know we will always have a home back here with her.

 

The Witch

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The Witch

Soft as lamb’s ear

Sharp as honey locust thorn

She prowls around at midnight

The time when witches are born

She gathers her nightshade in a purple, quilted bag

With her cat by her side, they all think she is mad

She smiles to herself and hums a soft tune

The owls come to greet her in the dark of the moon

She likes it this way

Being left alone and a bit feared

They find her when they need her

It’s been that way for years

When justice isn’t served or love goes unrequited

When the baby needs healed or the old man’s scared of dyin

They’ll venture to her with payment of choice

She’ll do what needs doing, without raising her voice

When the work is done

She’ll disappear just as quick

And they’ll say once again

Stay away from the witch

 

Three Witches in a Small Town (giveaway)

book cover

For those of you new to my blog or curious about my book this is a great opportunity! Three Witches in a Small Town is my first novel that won the Jan Carol Publishing Believe and Achieve Award and was published last June. I’m currently running a giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win a signed copy! The contest winner will be announced on June 22nd.

Here is the description from the back: Three sisters are called home to their small town to learn the old ways of mountain healing and magic. Guided by their aging grandmother, the sisters embark on a path of self-discovery. Through good times and heartbreak, the sisters stick together and learn a new appreciation for their unique family heritage and one another. Witches, potions, romance, laughter . . . you will find them all in Three Witches in a Small Town.

I wrote the book in a very short amount of time and had all sorts of amusing (now) drama trying to get it submitted. That’s definitely a blog for another time! But I poured my heart and soul into it and couldn’t be more proud of it. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but one or two people saying they enjoy it means a great deal more to me than a person who didn’t.  So please check it out, enter the giveaway or order a copy as a gift. And let me know what you think!

Order or read my reviews on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Three-Witches-Small-Willie-Dalton/dp/1939289653/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462553344&sr=8-1&keywords=three+witches+in+a+small+town

Enter the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/186592-three-witches-in-a-small-town

Like my Facebook page so you can keep up with my signings and giveaways! http://www.facebook.com/threewitchesinasmalltown

Houses Hung With Memories

Change is inevitable, so is death. I try to accept them both with grace.  It’s with a sad sense of acceptance I drive past places that once meant the world to me, realizing memories is all they now hold. Each year there are fewer chairs around the family table and life moves on.

abandoned house

 

Houses hung with memories

Rooms with nothing left to show

Pieces of love left forgotten,

Of a time not so long ago

Emptiness casts a shadow

Over what were once happy times

Stories etched within the wood grain

Some of them yours, some are mine

If these walls could talk

What would they say?

Would they speak of happier days?

Of laughter ringing through the rooms,

Of children out to play

Or would they stand cold and silent?

Holding on to the sadness and the loss

From having been too long in the quiet

Life once thrived within these walls

They held love and tears, sure and true

But new turns to old

And old must die

To make room for the new

Lets not forget the memories here

Of family and friends, never alone

The good old days, when all of us were near

When this empty house was once a home

 

I don’t want to be everyone’s cup of tea.

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“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”  -Aristotle

A few weeks ago, just before Christmas, I was set up selling books in the mall. They were having a weekend thing to support local authors. A lot of us were really spread out and I was set up all by myself in front of Victoria’s Secret. It was very crowded, yet few people stopped to look at books. Most of them knew what they were in there for and didn’t seem to be interested in browsing.

I have to admit it was a little overwhelming. Hundreds of people flooding by, barely noticing me and my little book, no other writers or anyone to make conversation with.  I can’t complain though, I had my computer with me and got a ton of writing done as the hours passed. But I realized something during that time. Artists are brave.

Writer, painters, musicians anyone who makes art, they don’t march into battle with a weapon at their side. But we are brave just the same. We create things from our hearts and put it out to the harsh world where we know it will be judged and ridiculed. Usually having to pull us out of our introverted shells to do so, but we hold onto a deep hope that even one person will enjoy it, will be touched by our creation. We don’t do it for the money, we do it for the passion.

This brings me to a few days ago when I was checking my ranking and reviews on Amazon. I had just received a splendid review the week before so I was pleased I had yet another. Then I saw that the person rated the book with one star. I was a little disappointed of course. She didn’t critique my writing style or grammar. Simply she found the book to be too religious, not enough witchiness. She stopped reading after a few chapters.  This being the first bad thing I had heard about my book I was a little sad. However, I always knew my book wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve received far more good reviews than bad. Although I believe a few people have simply kept their opinions to themselves and that’s ok too.

Writing is my happiness even in the frustrating moments. I don’t care if not everyone likes me. I want to appeal to other people like myself or maybe just open someone’s mind just a crack.

A Day of Inspiration

cumberland gap I’ve been busy lately.  Busy writing, busy selling books (or trying to), busy planning for Christmas and as always busy looking for inspiration.

A few weeks ago I woke up in need of inspiration. I’ve learned I get my best ideas when I get away from the house and get outside. I checked my phone to see it was going to be a beautiful, warm day, a true rarity for southwest Virginia in December.  My husband agreed to my spontaneous Sunday adventure so off we went to Cumberland Gap.

Cumberland Gap is only about an hour drive from our house and if I had it my way I’d live right downtown. The little town is simply adorable and incredibly rich with history. We did some hiking along my favorite trail and although I had forgotten how much of the walk was uphill, it was exactly what I needed to refresh my desire to write. In fact there is one particular spot along the trail that gave me the idea for the book I’m currently working on.

There must be something special about that one area to inspire an entire book. I told my husband as I stood there I wasn’t sure if the story was coming all from my imagination or if secrets of the land were revealing themselves to me. Either way it’s a pretty awesome feeling. Ever since our walk I’ve been writing like crazy.

We were very lucky that day. The weather was so lovely, some animals came out to enjoy the sunshine as well. We walked right by some deer that were eating among the leaves and made a path around a tiny little snake getting warm on a sunny rock. I always consider animal sightings to be a wonderful thing.

Along the trail there are many other incredibly beautiful places; a little wooden bridge where you can stand over the water flowing down from the mountainside, an old salt cave, and the hand built iron furnace.

Once hiking has made you good and hungry you can walk into town and eat at Angelo’s, a fabulous little Italian restaurant with a charming, cozy atmosphere. It’s one of my favorite places to eat, ever.

We have to take inspiration where we can get it. There are a few places where I always know I can find my muse hanging out. If you have a place that makes you feel that way, appreciate it and go there whenever you can.

Guest Blog by Blake Gardner- The Tea in All of Us

The Tea in All of Us

There is probably a need for introduction. I’m Blake Gardner author of Inhuman Emergence: Innocence http://amzn.to/1MCaGKd you can find it here on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble. Willie was kind enough to write a blog post for my new blog about her writing, which you can find on my site Inhumaseries.com/blog

There’s a little tea in all of us. It’s the special kind of caffeinating intoxicant that you might find anywhere. I haven’t always been one for tea. I’m American after all, the land of the coffee bean. The culture of tea is not an immediate jolt of energy for a tired morning commute, but one of relaxation.

Why do we drink caffeine to rouse ourselves? It may be more a part of your routine than you think. You need all that brain activity now, you depend on it. But is it beneficial for your workday or daily activities to have excited neurons?

The sense of urgency in our days results in so much stress. To rush is to be careless. Tea is so much more than waking up. It relaxes, and one should not only enjoy it when you wake but in the evening. It’s mild enough to still have a calming effect.

Is your energy drink really waking you up? Do all those chemicals and herbal remedies help you with your day? Have a cup of tea. There’s no better way to become more centered than a nice green tea or a rich earl grey.

With so little time for leisure what better way to unwind than with a cup of tea or four and breathe deep. Ive come to end of my blog with the realization that even if you can’t seem to find quiet, or peace, you can find inner peace within a cup of tea. There is also caffeine in it.

This is Halloween…. almost

My favorite season is here. I adore everything about autumn, the leaves, the cool air, the crystal blue sky, the scent of smoke from a bonfire. All of those things leave me feeling grateful and I can’t help but feel a sense of magic in the air.                                                                                 Halloween has always been my favorite holiday! Dressing up in strange costumes is fun, candy is great, the movies are the best etc. But more than that it’s feeling on Halloween, it feels different than every other night of the year. Magic and mischief lurk behind every shadow, a chill hangs in the wind and along with every laugh and fun adventure there lingers a slight feel of unease. I’ve loved Halloween since I was child, it always felt different to me. Maybe the veil between worlds is thinner on Halloween, maybe I enjoy scaring myself. Either way I’m ok with it and as someone who loves to write about witches and other spirits it suits me just fine.

“It’s now October and with every passing day the veils grows a little thinner as the ghosts, monsters and other unseen creatures claw their way through to our side. For just one night among the living.”

Just an update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated as usual. Things have gone really well since the release of my book and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the signings I’ve done so far. The feedback I’ve gotten on my book has just overwhelmed my heart and I’m so excited about upcoming events.

I have big plans for myself and I won’t allow myself to be disappointed. The things I can’t control might get me down sometimes but by hell I will make the best of everything within my power. God keeps showing me what he has in store for me and I’ve never known Him not to follow through. I just have to put in my part of the effort.

I attended a fabulous women’s conference today in Abingdon, Va. It was enlightening and entertaining and I made some great connections. Lulu Roman from Hee Haw was the guest speaker and she didn’t disappoint. She was hilarious and endearing sharing her life story with everyone. I even had my picture made with her. I tried to share it but my computer isn’t cooperating. It was good day. I needed a good day after a couple of days that weren’t so good.

I’m back in the swing of writing daily, if only I could be so diligent with exercise haha. Working on my new book is good for my soul and I’m starting to get to know my new characters which is always fun. It really is like making new friends. I can’t wait to see what all they have to tell me.

29 and holding?

Wow 29…

I’m not sure how I thought I’d feel at 29 or where I thought I’d be in life. Looking at the large stack of books on my dining room table, my books, half of which are already sold, I’m feeling pretty good about entering the last year of my twenties.

I’m excited about the weeks and months to come. I’ll be selling and signing books at the Highlands Festival in Abingdon, Va, then having a book party with my friends just to celebrate being published. My spur of the moment decision to write Three Witches in a Small Town has made a dream come true. It’s all still incredible to me.

My book is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print and ebook form. Or if you would like a signed copy send me an email and I’ll make it happen. williedalton@outlook.com