Saturday, June 11, 2022

Dashiell Hammett and the Randomness of Life-Changing Events, by Karla Stover

 


Visit Karla Stover's BWL author page to order books


In the Maltese Falcon, detective Sam Spade tells Bridgid O'Shaughnessy about Charles Flitcraft, a Tacoma, WA. real estate man. Flitcraft was married, had two sons, and lived in the suburbs, and enjoyed playing golf. One day in 1922, as he left his office for lunch, he passed a construction site from which abeam fell. It hit the sidewalk and sent a piece of concrete into the air and grazed Flitcraft's cheek. The dazed man felt he had cheated a random, accidental death, and that in "sensibly ordering his life" he was actually out of step with it. That afternoon, he disappeared.

Five years later, when Hammett was working for a detective agency, Mrs. Flitcraft went to the office and told him someone who looked a lot like her husband had been seen in Spokane and was living under the name Charles Pearce. Sure enough, an investigation showed that Pearce and Flitcraft were one and the same. Pearce said he had a new wife and son, owned an automobile dealership, lived in the suburbs and played golf.

What fascinated Hammett was the randomness of live-changing events. Flitcraft had adjusted to a falling beam and when no more fell he adjusted to that, too.

The Flitcraft story is now considered a parable and is the most critically discussed part of any of Hammett's works.

Researchers have found it hard to dig up information about Dashiell Hammett's life because the terminally ill, constantly broke, alcoholic recluse, and lover of  playwright /  author Lillian Hellman never saved any personal papers. Most of their sources come from letters he wrote to others. The closest he came to writing an autobiography was a piece he started but never finished called Tulip. In it, the protagonist is a former writer who admits his personal life was full of random incidents.

It is believed Hammett worked for the Pinkerton Agency in Baltimore. He said he had been involved in a Montana miner's strike. From there, he went into the army, then it was back to the Pinkerton Agency, this time in the Spokane, WA office. However, he was only there for six months, having comedown with tuberculosis. Hammett ended up in the Cushman Hospital adjacent to Tacoma. There, along with other patients, he played poker, drank, took boat trips on Commencement Bay,, ate out, roamed around downtown Tacoma, and flirted with nurses, one of who he married. He lived apart from his family when the TB flared up but supported them when he could. He wrote one Thin Man book, some short stories featuring Sam Spade, some movie scripts, a comic strip called Secret Agent X-9, and some short stories in which he revisited Puget Sound.

In 1921, all of Spokane's real estate men listed in 1919 had moved onto other things, and one man Mr. George L. Darley had disappeared. There was, however, a Mr. Frank Darley living a few blocks away from Dashiell Hammett.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Stories Behind Names – By Barbara Baker

 

Baker, Barbara - BWL Publishing Inc. (bookswelove.net)

Stories Behind Names – By Barbara Baker

Naming characters is like naming children and there are so many ways to select the right one: Google, TV shows, Apps which rank names by popularity - the list is endless.

But in 1958, when I popped out, those options didn’t exist. I was Mom and Dad’s second child, and they were sure I would be Johanne Wilhelm. They didn’t even have a girl name selected. In fact, when the nurse told Dad I was an 8 lb 12 oz healthy girl his response was, “Are you sure? She’s supposed to be a boy.”

The nurse assured him I was a girl.

What a dilemma. Back then, babies couldn’t leave the hospital till they were named so Mom asked the nurse if she had any suggestions.

After thinking about it for a while the nurse said, “How about Barbara, Barbara Ann. Like Barbara Ann Scott, the Olympic figure skater who won the gold medal for Canada.”


            “Barbara,” Mom nodded. “Barbara Ann. Ja, das ist schรถn.”

Growing up, I never expected to have an actual connection with the Barbara Ann Scott.


            Fast forward to 2010 when I contacted her. I knew she was running a segment of the Winter Olympic Torch Relay in Ottawa and I would be running the flame from that same torch in Drumheller, Alberta. Coincidence? Stars aligned? Luck? Whatever, I felt it was time to tell her how I got to share her name and, of course, share the excitement of our torch relays.

Being who she was, I knew I couldn’t send an email or a typed letter. This had to be handwritten. With my favourite pen, I used my best cursive writing skills; o’s round as bubbles, everything slanted the same direction and equal spaces between each word. It had to be perfect. When I finished, I thanked her for listening, folded it into three equal parts and sealed it away with a stamp stuck square in the corner.

Neat. Proper. Appropriate.

Weeks later the red light was blinking on my answering machine. I tapped the button, and a lively, clear voice filled the room. I recognized her right away. It was Barbara Ann Scott. She said she hoped she had the correct number to leave a message for Barbara Baker.

“Yes, you do!” I danced a jig right in front of the phone while I listened to her message.

 


She thanked me for the letter and told me she too was thrilled to run the Olympic Torch. She closed off with well wishes and said good-bye.

 


I played the message a hundred times. I phoned and emailed all my friends to share the news.  How gracious of her to take the time out of her day and call me. And how lucky am I that Mom’s nurse picked a great name.

How I named Jillian, my main character in SUMMER OF LIES, is a mystery to me. I didn’t know a Jillian. I didn’t use Google. None of my kid’s friends were named Jillian. So how did I pick it? I have no idea. The name jumped on the page and stuck and now I can’t imagine calling her anything else.

How did you get your name? How do you name your characters?

Summer of Lies: Baker, Barbara:9780228615774: Books - Amazon.ca

Summer of Lies - YouTube

Smashwords – About Barbara Baker, author of 'Summer of Lies'

Barbara Wackerle Baker | Facebook

Barbara Wackerle Baker (@bbaker.write)


Thursday, June 9, 2022

If I Die, Please Delete My Google Search History by Vanessa C. Hawkins

 

 Vanessa Hawkins Author Page


      So summer has sprung and I have been up to my eyeballs in projects. As I said last month, I won second place in a long fiction competition, and was invited to read aloud at a local University. It was fun. Many eyerolls were had when I finished, because thanks to liquid courage, I attempted to read a smexy passage with all the ardour that the piece required. 

hur hur!

But I wasn't fazed! In fact, I have been told on multiple occassions that I am pretty good when it comes to reading aloud? Why? Well, because frankly I don't give a *$5^%. There! I said it--kinda--I just don't care. Now my husband, who sat in the front row to listen to me read? Well, he might have cared a little, but all in all it was fun to stand in front of everyone, get an award and a cheque, then read a bunch of *pron* to a crowd of people I don't know.   


I honestly gotta give it to the judges though. They had good taste! And no, of course I'm not biased.

In other news--and before I get in trouble with the moderators for being too risque--I have finally finished penning another novel! Whoot. Together, my co-author and I have finally finished the first draft of Ballroom Riot 2--title pending. It feels good to finish a work in progress...

I should have used this gif earlier...

Now I am on to editing, and then after that, I shall be working on a new project with several other writers at Books We Love Publishing. I won't say too much about it right now, just because I haven't had a whole ton of time to think on it, but it's a mystery that takes place in PEI.

And also, I am going to PEI this summer! Whoot! How fortuitous. I shall spend all my time at libraries and in the fields sniffing the potatoes, and buried beneath the red, sandy beaches getting a feel for my island neighbours! 

and also paying to leave :/

 It will be exciting. Though my timeline to finish is a few years time, and I have a few other projects I hope to conclude before then, I will make sure I stick to a plan and deliever before HBO comes out with any shows based on my books. 

Get it? Because it will never happen... *cries* T_T

But then again... neither will Winds of Winter, right George?


Lies. All lies...








Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A writer's hobby by J. S. Marlo

  

Seasoned Hearts
"Love & Sacrifice #1"
is now available  
click here 

 

 
The Red Quilt 
"a sweet & uplifting holiday story"
click here 

  



I have many hobbies, which I indulge between books or when I need to think about a story. One of them is woodworking.



We had a magnificent poplar in our backyard. When Hubby planted the little twig twenty-five years, we never expected it would grow three times the height of our house, but it did. Some of its leaves were bigger than my hand with my fingers outstretched. In the fall, we raked forever, to the delight of my little granddaughter who loved jumping in the huge pile. We filled many orange bags with them, then with a black marker, I drew Jack O'Lantern on them. Easy Halloween decorations!



Unfortunately, the tree got sick and we had to cut it down at the end of last summer before it fell on the roof.  We were left with a giant hole and huge logs in the backyard. We turned the hole into a gravel circle, then bought a portable fire pit. We kept all the wood. When Hubby started chopping it, it occurred to me I could turn some of the bigger logs into stools to put around the fire pit.


I peeled the bark, sanded the logs, carved a design on them, then stained and treated them. For months, my garage smelled like cut wood. Here they are: Owl, Wolf, Bear, Squirrel, and Rabbit. My granddaughter decided the Owl was hers LOL



I don't know how long the stools will last, but hopefully, they will withstand many Canadian winters. In the meantime, they add charm to the backyard -- and they were fun to make.


Stay safe!

JS

 



 
 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Walking Tour of Erin's Children Neighborhood by Eileen O'Finlan

 



One of the most fun parts of writing Erin's Children was setting it in my own city. I did an enormous amount of research on the history of Worcester, Massachusetts including visiting many sites I would incorporate into the book. I am very fortunate that one of the women in my writing group, Cindy Shenette, is a docent for Preservation Worcester and gives tours of Crown Hill, an historic district not too far from the bustling downtown. When I was looking for a location for a few of my main characters, Meg, Kathleen, and Nuala, to live and work as domestic servants, she suggested Crown Hill and offered to take me on a private walking tour of the area. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I was even more fortunate that one of the residents took me on a private tour of his home which has been kept almost entirely the way it would have looked in the 1850s both inside and out. This house became the home of my character, Hiram Archer.

Being an historic district, Crown Hill residents are governed by strict standards that don't allow for much change to the outside of their homes. There are even still a few gas lamps and hitching posts on the streets. According Cindy, if you removed the modern vehicles and unpaved the roads, it would look pretty much the same as it did in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Erin's Children had been released in December of 2020. Because of COVID, the few book talks I was able to give were virtual. One of these was to a local book discussion group in March of 2021. Because everyone in the group was from Worcester or close by they were all very interested in the real life locations in the book, especially Crown Hill. Like me, many of them hadn't even known it existed. It is close to downtown but tucked just enough away to remain fairly anonymous. One of the group members proposed a walking tour of Crown Hill once pandemic restrictions allowed for it. The idea was enthusiastically received. More than once, we set a date only to have it canceled for one reason or another. We all began to wonder if it would ever happen.

On May 14, 2022 the planets must have finally aligned correctly. We met in a nearby parking lot and walked to Crown Hill with Cindy, our knowledgable tour guide, leading the way and imparting all sorts of interesting information about the original owners of the historic homes and buildings. I interjected with comments about houses and buildings that inspired me when I was writing. We walked the streets where Meg, Kathleen, and Nuala lived and worked, seeing pretty much the same sights (minus the cars and asphalt) they would have seen.

It took over a year to make the walking tour finally happen, but according to the group it was worth the wait. I couldn't agree more!


The walking group tour stands in front of what would become
 the inspiration for Hiram Archer's home in Erin's Children.


Heading down one of the lovely tree-lined streets in Crown Hill





Monday, June 6, 2022

New releases from BWL Publishing Inc. for June 2022



NEW RELEASES FOR JUNE 2022

 Now available from your favorite booksellers - click the book cover to purchase

 

The Simper Augustus, most famous tulip in history may or may not have actually existed, but to the industry in Holland it is legend worth exploring and to Professor Jacob Dirksen it is worth recreating.  Once he has the correct hybrid, he takes the information to the largest tulip growing area outside Holland to sell it.  When he is found dead in a tulip field, several  agencies from the Dutch and US government get involved. Max Maxwell is given the mission of tracking the professor from the day he arrived until his death.  He finds the good professor may have more than tulips on his mind when he came to Seattle, WA.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Writing Historical Fiction by Rosemary Morris


To learn more about Rosemary and her work click on the image above.

Writing Historical Fiction

 

There is a hypothesis that there are only seven basic plots. This should not deter novelists, who can devise their own special twists in the tale and write from the heart.

What is Historical Fiction? The Historical Novel Society’s definition is: ‘The novel must have been written at least fifty years after the event, described, or written by someone who was not alive at the time, and who therefore only approached them by research.’

I think novelists, who set their books in times past, are under an obligation to readers to transport them into another time based on fact. My characters, other than historical figures, are imaginary. To ground my novels, I weave real events into my plots and themes. To recreate days gone by, I study non-fiction and, before covid, visited places of historical interest, including museums.

There are many excellent novelists who write, historical fiction and genre historical romance, etc. Unfortunately, there are others who cause me, and, presumably, other readers, to suspend belief. I was torn between shock and hysterical laughter when I read a medieval romance in which, the hero, a knight in full armour, galloped to a castle to rescue a proverbial maiden in distress. Without putting aside his shield and weapons, he flung himself off his horse and scaled stone walls with no handholds or footholds. He then climbed through a window - impossible as a castle in that era only had narrow apertures. When he gained access through the mythical window, not affected by her ideal the fair heroine asked: ‘Would you like some eggs and bacon and a nice cup of tea,’ as though she were offering him a modern-day English breakfast. The sense of the ridiculous overcame me. I lost faith in the author and did not read on.

Of course, the above is an extreme example from a novel accepted by a mainstream publisher. However, I am frequently disappointed by 21st characters dressed in costume, who have little in common with those who lived in previous eras. Over the centuries, emotions, anger, hate, jealousy, love etc., have not changed, but attitudes, clothes, the way of life and speech has. A historical novelist should study these and do their best to verify the facts.

Misnamed characters also make me pause when reading. The first pages of a medieval novel held my attention until I reached the part when the heroine’s name was Wendy, which, J. M. Barry invented for his novel Peter Pan. I daresay I’m not the only historical novelist, who agonises over characters’ names. I recommend The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, an invaluable resource.

In conclusion, a skilful historical novelist should hold the readers’ attention from the first page to the last and take them into the realm of fiction on an accurate, enjoyable journey.

 

 

http;//bwlpublishing.ca/morris-rosemary

 

www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 


 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

The River, Waterfalls, and the Writing Life by S. L. Carlson

The River, Waterfalls, and the Writing Life by S. L. Carlson

I am S. L. Carlson, a proud and grateful BWL Publishing Inc. author. My books can be viewed and purchased by visiting https://www.bookswelove.net/carlson-s-l

 


 Part I:


Waterfalls in northern Wisconsin flow best in May, when most of the snow has melted and the rains have begun filling the rivers. May is also a time before mosquitoes, thick enough to carry off a human, start to immerge, and before tourists start crowding in. It was an adventure.


Locating waterfalls was mostly tentative. I had two paper maps open on my lap, as well as a sightseeing book of Wisconsin, as well as a brochure on waterfalls in two counties. Even so, directions were not always clear, and our time limited. Finding a waterfall was all a matter of trust: my husband trusting me to get us into the approximate area; me trusting maps and books which sometimes contradicted; trusting signs with no further directions of where to go, but having to take our best guesses. Sometimes, physical signs to reach it were antiquated and/or vague.

 


To reach two of them, it took driving various dirt backroads reach the trailheads, followed with gorgeous woodland hikes of an hour one way to the tumbling falls. One hike was under rumbling-thundering skies. But adventure and determination ruled. And the end result was well worth it.




 

Sometimes, physical signs to reach it were antiquated and/or vague.

 


After finding a place to park, we wandered near hydroelectric plants, through forested areas beside fenced-off cliffs, then followed our ears to the sound of rushing water.





 

The river above the more major falls often runs deep, swift, and silent. Then comes the continuous tumble of water. (Earplugs were recommended for one.) After the churning and bubbling ceases below the falls, the river once again runs quietly.

 

Part II:


My writing life, writing a novel, is like a river. It can start with an idea, like a spring bubbling up in a high meadow. As the idea develops, the story-stream widens into a river with more characters, action and plot, running deeper and faster. I start writing faster as I feel the story coming to life. I must admit that there are times when I write blind, not sure where the river is going. Sometimes a tributary leads me to backwater or a still pond. Do I block it off or ignore it, or is it interesting enough to keep in? Always, though, I must backtrack to return to the writing river, to the essence of the story.

My river tumbles as whitewater over rocks with various conflicts in the story.





There are twists and turns in the river I can’t always see around. I mean…which the reader can’t see around. There are areas with towering cliffs on each side, evidence of erosion from the many authors before me, carving the way for me to follow. Then comes the climax, the rushing, tumbling, crashing to below. But follow the river downstream, and it continues on, silent and calm.

 

From the bubbling beginnings of a story idea, my novels develop into the deep and silent river flow, gathering more and more speed, to the sound and expectation and excitement of the dramatic climax, the waterfall, finally concluding with the quiet, satisfactory story ending.

 

May each book you read follow to the thrill of the river and waterfall adventure.




 

S. L. Carlson Blog & Website: https://authorslcarlson.wordpress.com

BWL Inc. Publisher Author Page: https://www.bookswelove.net/carlson-s-l 

Friday, June 3, 2022

Mystery Writers Unite! A peek into the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference by Diane Bator

 


The week of May 24 to May 28, I had the honor and priviledge to be a part of the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference! I'm happy to say it was all online because we had mystery writers not only from all over Canada, but from around the world! Panels that discussed True Crime, Cozy Mystery, Comedy in Mystery, Romance in Mystery, Thrillers, Short Mystery Stories... Sixteen sessions in all! WHEW!

AND everyone who registered got a great Murder She Tote bag. How cute is that?

We got to hear one on one interviews with accomplished mystery writers Maureen Jennings, Ian Rankin, Rick Mofina, Iona Whishaw, and Vicki Delaney. We were also introduced to new novels by Mike Martin (one of the organizers) as well as Mary Jane Maffini. Each had excerpts read by friends of theirs Robert Way and Terri Tomchyshyn.

Here is the link from this past conference should you want to take a peek! https://writers-first.com/maple-leaf-mystery-conference/

Backstage at the book launch! Erik and Gavin were the amazing tech guys for the week!

I was a part of the Cozy Corner Panel and found it interesting when our moderator, Lynn McPherson, read a definition of mysteries condensed from the Bookends Literary Agency blog https://bookendsliterary.com/cozy-mysteries-v-traditional-mysteries/ :

Cozy mysteries can be defined by the word used to describe them. They are cozy and everything that word conjures in your mind. Think of warm tea, comfy chairs, cuddly pets, a soft newly knitted blanket and warm, freshly baked pasteries. That's a cozy. When you read one, you feel like you're being embraced by a world you want to be in. A cozy is almost always and amateur sleuth, but an amateur sleuth isn't always cozy.

In an Amateur sleuth, a regular citizen (non-professional detective) decides to find the real killer (the hallmark of any good amateur sleuth.)

Traditional mysteries probably have the broadest definition. They can be amateur sleuths or official investigators, they can be a little darker or light and funny. What they aren't is suspense or cozy. They tend to fall somewhere in between. Typically and amateur sleuth who is not cozy will fall into the area of traditional mystery. In traditional mystery, you'll also see a faster pace and maybe a little more blood and guts, but nothing that would compare to what a suspense might offer.

By definition, my Wild Blue Mysteries walk the line between cozies and more traditional mystery. While there are detectives involved, it's usually the amateur detectives (Katie and Lucy) who dig in to help solve the mysteries.

Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) also announced the winners for the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. Started in 1984, the annual Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence, then known as the Arthur Ellis Awards, recognizes the best in mystery, crime, and suspense fiction, and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors. The presentation of the winners can be viewed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjSQew_DnnA

One of the great questions I was asked was "is it hard to keep your books light when the theme is dark?" To answer that, I borrowed a great line from Mary Jane Maffini:  "Cozies are about people like us." In my experiende, life isn't all light or all dark. It's always in those darkest times we reach for a laugh to let in a little light. No matter which session we were in during the week, there was always laughter and smiles.

I loved listening to Vicki Delany being interviewed by Mary Jane Maffini on Saturday afternoon. Probably one of my favorite discussions of the entire week! It's always nice to hear that someone who is a world reknowned best seller writes much the way I do! She writes her first three chapters before she even thinks about some form of outline. She also writes standing up, which I have done, but I'm not as skilled with a keyboard yet to be able to do that! Training, I guess! 

When the conference was over... I have to admit, I was having withdrawals! No more videos to watch. No more writers to hang out with all afternoon...

One great perk that came out of it though, was being able to reach out to some incredible authors and say, "I saw you at the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference and..."

That's what happens when people love what they do!

Diane Bator

http://bookswelove.net/bator-diane/

https://dianebator.ca/

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Stitching a Story by Priscilla Brown

 

Anna Marshall, country town mayor and alpaca breeder, would love to have time to sew, 
but what with her civic duties and farm tasks, she barely has a minute to herself. 
Until a sexy television entrepreneur blows into town...

https://books2read/Sealing-the-Deal

 
Alongside writing contemporary romance fiction, my creative output includes working with textiles -- knitting, embroidery, felt making, hand and machine sewing. Although it's winter here in New South Wales, I am getting ahead with making a summer dress, inspired by summer fabrics in a discount sale in my favourite fabric store. While I can design and create various styles of bags, I don't have the skill to make a pattern for a garment, so I bought one and the instructed amount of cotton fabric for the short-sleeved dress. With pattern and fabric neatly pressed and spread out on the dining room table, I arranged the pieces of tissue paper according to the pattern instructions for the size I need. And found that the given length of fabric wasn't quite enough. It didn't have a definite 'this way up', but I had to pay attention to the fact that this was a dress, and back and front must hang looking as if they belonged together. Running out of patience with placing and pinning the sections, I was tempted to put the whole lot in the bin.

Instead, I eventually managed the layout. Fingers hypothetically crossed, breath held, I cut the fabric. This challenge successfully accomplished without any damage, I stitched it all together by machine, with neat seams securely fastened on and off.

I could have written more than one scene of my current novel-in-progress in this time. In fact, the whole of this process was for me similar to constructing  a story. A piece of fabric as the idea becomes the basis, with the characters and activities as the pattern, to be arranged and re-arranged as the plot develops, beginning and ending appropriately secured. I enjoy moving these story pieces around more than I do when attempting to create a garment.  This undisciplined method would be a disaster with dressmaking!
 
To all sewers, you'll be making a better job of your work than I did! I'm returning to my story writing!
 
Best wishes, Priscilla
 


 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Hidden in the Hills by Eden Monroe

 

 

Visit Eden Monroe's BWL author page to view or purchase

Think of a pristine, whitewashed village set against a backdrop of mysterious mountains, a land of wood and water that boasts more than its fair share of natural beauty.

A settler from Yorkshire, England was the first to tame this once wild place, hewing a life from the dense forest that surrounded him. More settlers followed and so the community of Elgin, New Brunswick was created, a welcome setting for my romantic suspense, Dangerous Getaway.

Standing in the heart of the village now, generations after that first axe blow struck giant timber, there is the usual fare of a post office, volunteer fire department, meeting hall, church, restaurant, convenience store and the like, but mere remnants of what it was in its heyday. Not far away stands a sizeable graveyard, awash in granite, where the remains of those who once called this idyllic corner of the province home lie in rest.

            Many carved out farms and homes far above the bottomland, but today much of that higher terrain remains uninhabited and pristine. Cast your eyes to these heavily forested mountains that rise around you and imagine darker possibilities, a different story. Let yourself wonder what goes on up in those hills after dark, or maybe right now as you gaze to the horizon in the full light of day. Ask yourself, as your imagination continues to take flight, do we ever really know our neighbours? All of them? Any of them? When we look to those mountains, this time with a more inspired eye and see them reaching as far as they dare into a fading blue sky, we might think about what could be tucked away up there. The unknown…. Sometimes secrets are revealed over time, reality leaking out when least expected, but it seems the wife is always the last to know. In Dangerous Getaway, she cannot be spared the inevitable nightmare.

These are foreboding thoughts, especially with darkness waiting ominously to draw the curtain closed around us. It’s only a short way off although the sun remains defiant, but steadily sinking. Soon it will shine its waning light upon neatly kept flowerbeds, tidy lawns and chimney tops. So before dusk steals full upon us let’s continue on our way, straight ahead, up a hill, around a bend or two, where the countryside has already been overtaken by deep shadow. Here waits a bolder brush with the Pollett River, spartan cottages clinging to the steep bank that hugs the narrow busy road.

During summer and fall the Pollett sparkles in well-behaved silence for the most part, save for the occasional mutinous tumble as it steadily drops in elevation. Here it meanders over craggy bedrock, resting it seems from the chicanery of spring when, drunk with freedom, it rushes in a furious white water surge that challenges boats and homemade floating devices of every description in a mad dash called the Pollett River Run.

Everything is calm now, the last light of day snuffed out with not a breath of wind to stir the trees as nature prepares to settle down for the night, the resonance of birdsong slowly dying away. Again there are those mountains, modest peaks in the Appalachian range, ancient and eroded, tempting, luring, offering the perfect getaway for those seeking sweet respite from the proverbial rat race here below. Nestled away up there somewhere is the fictional Birch Shadow of Dangerous Getaway, and oh how I enjoyed telling that story. And what better fun than to entertain a madman in the process? My apologies here to Elginites one and all because he was not drawn from local ranks, but rather emerged straight from the vagaries of my imagination. Shaw Garland of Dangerous Getaway solicits guests to his picturesque hideaway in those hills, and what happens after that is … well… unforgettable.

 


 

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