These Wolves Show Us How We’re All Connected

Just had to share this very short video showing the effects of wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park. Though wolves were reintroduced in 1995, it’s amazing to see how everything in the park has been affected by their presence.

Plus, Yellowston is downright breathtakingly gorgeous. And I love wolves.

Catch the short YouTube video here.

Yellowstone Wolves

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New column: “Confessions from the parent pick-up posse”

Hi, all! This week’s column is up online at The Greenville News. It’s all about revelations from the elementary parent pick-up line. Hope you enjoy!

To read, click here.

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New newspaper column: “In defense of homemade Halloween costumes”

My little sister and me, Halloween circa 1985ish

My little sister and me, Halloween circa 1985ish

Hi, all! Today’s newspaper column is up at The Greenville News, and it’s all about Halloween, childhood, parenthood, and homemade (or not) costumes. I do hope you enjoy, and if you do, I hope you’ll share!

Read it here.

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New Column: Elk Tailgating & We Have a Book Giveaway Winner!

Hi, all! Two things:

1.) My newest column is up online at The Greenville News. This one’s all about Fall, family, being outside, and visiting the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s coolest residents–the elk!

Read it here.

Names in the hat

Names in the hat

2.) We have a winner for the book giveaway! Congratulations, Katrina Farmer! Please shoot an email to me at thewritingscott at gmail dot com, include your mailing address, and I’ll get it in the mail this week. I know you’re going to love Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebookem>.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated! I can’t tell y’all how much I appreciate you reading my work! I’ve

And the winner is ... Katrina!

And the winner is … Katrina!

got a couple more neat books to give away over the next several months, so hang in there.

P.S. Pardon my appearance in these photos–sleepless night & getting over a cold. Ick.

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Literary Pilgrimmage Day 4: MFA Graduation & We Hit the Road!

It’s laughable how long it’s taking me to post about my literary pilgrimmage through New England and on down the east coast back to Western North Carolina. Especially considering it happened in JULY. But such is life.

Here are the links to the first three days of the trip, which had me doing novel research, writing, hiking, and researching at different literary and historical spots in Massachusetts: (with photos!)

Literary Pilgrimage & Road Trip: Day 1 (or, really, Day 1/2)
Literary Pilgrimage Day 2: Orchard House, Dickinson Museum, Mt. Holyoke
Literary Pilgrimage Day 3: Hiking Mt. Holyoke & on to Vermont


* * *

Literary Pilgrimage Day 4: My Graduation from Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program, and my family and I hit the road.

mama graduatesGraduation day at the Vermont College of Fine Arts’s MFA in Writing program was an absolute joy. How could it not be, surrounded by friends, family, and faculty who truly love and care about you, your writing life, and your creative work?!

Graduation was held in Alumni Hall, just off the campus green. Afterwards, we grads were feted at a champagne reception–my daughter insists I tell you that there were CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES–in historical College Hall atop Montpelier’s Seminary Hill (once site of a Civil War hospital, among other things). It was a chance to celebrate, and to introduce my family to my VCFA friends and faculty member-mentors, many of whom have become dear friends. My husband and two daughters were there–they had driven up from North Carolina, in a rented minivan), plus my mother (who’d driven with them) and my father (who’d flown in, smartie pants that he is).

It truly was a joy for my family members to meet the people I’d spent so much time with, and talking about,

With the fabulous Connie May Fowler

With the fabulous Connie May Fowler

over the past three years. And, as a bonus, my baby girl took her very first steps at the champagne reception! Talk about a good omen for a future of storytelling.

My family

My family

Afterwards, we spent one last night at Betsy’s B&B in Montpelier. The next day, after a scrumptious breakfast at Betsy’s, my parents hit the road for a day in Burlington (they’d fly out later), and I, my husband and our girls headed out for the first leg of our journey home, towards Salem, Massachusetts. First, though, we made a quick stop to Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, in the countryside outside of Montpelier, where we filled up on maple ice cream.

Morse Farm & Sugarworks

Morse Farm & Sugarworks

Replica of the state capitol in Montpelier, at Morse Farm

Replica of the state capitol in Montpelier, at Morse Farm

Picnicking at Robert Frost's New Hampshire farm

Picnicking at Robert Frost’s New Hampshire farm








Our first stop: Robert Frost’s farm in Derry, New Hampshire,

My oldest daughter, bounding across Robert Frost's fields in New Hampshire

My oldest daughter, bounding across Robert Frost’s fields in New Hampshire

where he wrote many of his most famous poems. We had a picnic lunch and wandered the property. For a literature geek and English prof like me, watching my oldest daughter go bounding over Frost’s fields was a thrill.


Robert Frost's New Hampshire Farm

Robert Frost’s New Hampshire Farm

Literary Pilgrimage Day 4, coming soon, will be all about our stay in Salem, Massachusetts–Salem Wharf, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Witch Memorial–and our visit to Concord, Massachusetts–Minute Man National Park, Old North Bridge, Concord Museum, Paul Revere’s lantern, and much more!

Some extra pics:

About to give my graduate lecture at VCFA.

About to give my graduate lecture at VCFA.

With my MFA diploma from VCFA - YAY!

With my MFA diploma from VCFA – YAY!

happy couple

The Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont

The Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont




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Book Giveaway: It’s Not Too Late!

guidebookIt’s not too late to win a copy of Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook! I’ll even change the rules up a little: comment in the Comments section of my previous post, and just tell me how you feel about Autumn.

That’s it! To comment, and possibly win, go here.

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Keowee Valley Anniversary & Giveaway

Keowee ValleyTwo years ago in September, my debut historical novel, Keowee Valley, was published by the lovely and fabulous folks at Bell Bridge Books.

The whole thing–researching and writing the novel, acquiring a literary agent, and finally selling the book to a traditional publisher–had been a trip down a long and challenging road. Promoting the novel for the past two years has been an amazing experience, and I’ve met an inordinate amount of incredible people, and have had the chance to visit some truly special places, because of it.

My life since Keowee Valley’s publication has been a whirlwind of work, school, and family. Now, here I am–one newly minted kindergartner, one new baby, one MFA earned, and a new gig as a newspaper columnist later. I’m working on my next historical novel. And I’m wishing I had the power to slow time. Or become Wonder Woman. Either of those would be nice.

So, in celebration of Keowee Valley’s two-year anniversary, I’m giving away a copy of a super-cool book: Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook, by Barbara R. Duncan & Brett H. Riggs (published in conjunction with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, by University of North Carolina Press). It was a much-used resource for me when I was researching the 18th century, the Cherokee, and the Southern Appalachians–everywhere that my characters would roam, and everything and everyone they might run into. I literally hiked to and/or visited nearly every spot mentioned in the book.

If you’re at all interested in visiting these breathtakingly gorgeous places, or even just interested in theguidebook Cherokee, their history, legends, and ancestral lands, this is the book for you. Or take it from Appalachian Journal, who calls Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook, “A wonderful introduction to the culture, history, and geography of the Cherokee homeland. . . . An essential purchase for anyone interested in exploring Cherokee country and what it has meant and continues to mean to be Cherokee.”

I’ve got a real pretty, brand-new copy ready to be mailed out. All you have to do: Comment in the “comments” section of this post by midnight Friday, Oct. 3rd. Please tell me what made you want to read Keowee Valley!  I’ll toss everybody’s response into a hat, shake it around and pull one winner. On Monday, Oct. 6th, I’ll post the winner.

(I’m sure there’s a more Internet/blogger savvy way to do this, but I’m a simple girl.)

Looking forward to hearing from y’all. But most of all, THANK YOU for reading my work!


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Birchwood Book and Author Fair Tomorrow in Pickens, SC

Looking forward to the Birchwood Book and Author Fair tomorrow! If you’re in the area, I do hope you’ll drop by. Pickens, South Carolina is a great town nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The fair will be full of regional authors standing by to read from, sell, and sign their work. It’s sponsored by the Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife, always a fun time, and I love being there.

Birchwood Book and Author Fair
Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
All Saints Hall of the Pickens Presbyterian Church
311 West Main St., Pickens, SC
* I’ll be reading from my historical novel, Keowee Valley, which Pat Conroy calls “a terrific first novel” (cough) at 10:30 a.m.

I may wear these new blue glasses. I love them. My eye doc said I don’t really need them. I said, “But they’re BLUE.”

Happy Weekend to all!

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Today’s Newspaper Column: “Fall, the most wonderful time of the year”

Cataloochee Valley, NC

Cataloochee Valley, NC

Today’s column in The Greenville News is basically a love song to my favorite season of the year. I hope you enjoy (and if you do, please share)!

Read it here.

* * *

In other news, I’m getting excited about being down in Pickens, South Carolina on Saturday, September 20th for the annual Birchwood Book and Author Fair! The fair celebrates regional writers, their works, and the Southern Appalachian arts community. It’s a great time, y’all–hope to see you there!

For more information about the Birchwood Book and Author Fair, click here.

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Today’s Newspaper Column & a Post about 9/11

Today’s column is up at The Greenville News, and it’s about masculinity and the many shapes it takes, and what good male figures in her life mean to a girl as she grows. It’s also in tribute to my father’s oldest friend, who was very dear to me and who passed away just last week. I hope you enjoy.

To read it, click here.

* * *

groundzeropicLike so many, I find it hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since September 11, 2001. I was lucky to be with friends when it happened, and so we watched and grieved together. Our world is a different place–and certainly our country is–because of that awful day. My thoughts are with the families of the people we lost, and I pray for them and for all of us who inhabit this spinning planet: May we find peace. May we make peace. May we live in peace.

My blogger-friend James Lomas posted some thoughts about 9/11 on his blog “Fables of the Deconstruction,” and I think they’re worth sharing. I know that I needed to remember today.

To read his post, click here.

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