The land of the "rain crow"

The land of the "rain crow"
The old road home. (c) 2014 by RLMT

About the author:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rhonda L. M. Tipton, writer and visual artist, is a lifelong resident of eastern Kentucky.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We're off to the Kentucky Book Fair!

The Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories, a five volume set of affordable nonfiction animal stories based in Kentucky, and written by author "R. L. Mackintosh."

I will be signing my books this Saturday, November 14, 2015, at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, Kentucky.  For information about the Fair, go to or see their page on Facebook. 

Signed copies are available also by mail. A reasonable additional charge will apply for shipping and handling, however, all copies will be signed and may be personalized on request. (Sorry, no credit cards accepted. U.S. currency, please.) 

Contact me here:

R. L. M. Tipton
P.O. Box 1225
Stanton, KY  40380-1225

R (dot) L (dot) Tipton at Gmail (dot) com 
Subject line "I want to order books," please. 

These books are also on Amazon (dot com), in both print and ebook editions. 

More works are in progress, fiction only.

Comments here are welcome and encouraged. Feel free to share this link as you will to interested parties.

Thank you!

~ R.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

As you can see, while I have not updated this blog site in some time, I have been busy! Working with my wonderful editor and friend, Ibby Taylor Greer, who is an artist and author on her own.

 These five books, the Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories series, are all available online via Amazon and as Kindle or ebook format.  I am using a pen name: R. L. Mackintosh, as I am now at work on some fiction which I prefer to keep separated from these stories. It's all still me, I assure you. 

The first four titles will be available at the Kentucky Book Fair, November 14th, 2015, in Frankfort, Kentucky, USA. I have been invited to sign copies there, and have accepted gratefully.

Book # 1 is filled with dog and cat stories. Book # 2 is farm stories. Book # 3 is all horses' tales. Book # 4 is wildlife based. Book # 5 has a variety, and includes new material. 

All five are priced affordably, and will be available at the Amazon indicated cost plus shipping and handling, signed, at a later date and on special request. 

Should you wish to contact me directly for gift orders, please email me at R. L. Tipton at Gmail dot com, no spaces, no capital letters and in proper form, with the subject line: Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories. I'll reply as soon as possible. Snail mail is welcomed, and I will reply as time, physical ability, and volume of mail permits Send to:

R. L. M. Tipton

Attn.: R.L. Mackintosh
P.O. Box 1225

Stanton, KY  40380-1225 

Friday, June 5, 2015

In the season of ripening cherries.

Early summer's song is the shadowed call of the rain crow, a throaty, mysterious and rare kind of bird whose cry is said to tell of coming storms. In the gloaming, cherries are whisked away from trees, winged thieves fluttering the news among their kind. And yet the scent of fresh-baked pie drifts along the night breezes.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories links.

The books recently released are all titled under "Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories." I used a pen name: R. L. Mackintosh for the series, which is for sale as both ebook and print by way of Amazon. Four of the five planned books are already available.

These are nonfiction (true) stories, in which only information sensitive to others has been changed. All are animal-related material. I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

From the Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories series... (1)

Book One of Five.   

Book Two of Five.
Book Three of Five. 


Twelve true stories about cats and dogs span the spectrum from joy to sorrow, humor to regret, things to know to things you wish you had! These are all animals personally known to the author, who has an understanding and respect for all animals. The lives and antics of these dogs and cats will greatly entertain us and maybe even teach us all something.


Eight stories from barnyards will make you laugh, sigh, cry, and appreciate the hard work of everyone involved with steers, dairy cattle, bulls, pigs, goats, horse and cattle farms, and everything that goes into and comes out of them all!


A lifetime's experience with many breeds of horses, from ponies bought at country horse sales, to colts and fillies at Bluegrass farms, to work horses, is shared in over twenty true stories. Common sense, empathy, and knowledge of quirks and illnesses and conditions from "wobbling" to blindness, smegma, to laminitis, and colic are evident in the tales of foals, foaling, stallions, geldings, colts, fillies, Thoroughbreds, Mustangs, Tennessee Walking horses, ponies, draft horses, mares, and unusual and rare breeds. The book, third in a series ("Tooth, Claw, and Hoof Stories") is truly an insider's view of the lives of horses and the people who care for them, work with them, own and ride them, work in the barns and stables, drive the horse vans, and treat their illnesses. Life in many kinds of barns and farms and hillside paddocks comes to life with details and terms that enlighten anyone who loves horses.

Click here to buy!

Welcome to M T Rocker Hermitage Press, home of R. L. M. Tipton, and others.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hell may freeze over, yet home is still the sweetest place to be.

We're watching the weather closely here where I am. Already, we've seen a foot of snow and temperatures of an arctic nature. People all around us have lost their ability to heat their homes and to maintain light to function by. Few people were prepared.

All last summer, we struggled and worked. We raised gardens of an unconventional nature, canned, dried, preserved, and stored all we could of every kind of produce and wild berries. Our shelved sat full, stocked with an eye to long term comfort and health as best we could.

I am happy to say that our efforts have been worthwhile. The people who have helped us to stay in our home, the home we designed and built for ourselves, are wonderful people that we'll never forget. That house, unfinished and snug all in the same breath, has paid us back by remaining economically warm through it all, and efficient beyond any home we ever had before.

In a couple of weeks, again with the help of a friend, I'll be releasing via CreateSpace and Amazon a series of books under the collective name "Tooth, Claw, and Hoof." Titles will include, to start, a collection of dog and cat stories, one of farm animal stories, a re-collection of horse stories (new layout and no images), a collection of wildlife stories, and a fifth is planned that will take selections from the first four  and add all new material in with that. This is a job created out of thin air, as it were. As soon as the books start becoming available, I will post an update, hopefully with a cover shot and ISBN numbers.

Meanwhile, we're staying home. HOME. With luck, it will remain our home for some time to come. I have a lot of work to do, many books planned to follow this series. Some will be fiction (novel, novella, short story), some will be nonfiction.

After this last session of bad winter weather, I am considering assembling a how-to, book (tongue in cheek humor, here): How to Live Like No One Else Can.

Stay warm, stay safe, and keep laughing. A laughing warrior is a frightening thing, after all. (grin)

A recent Facebook posting:

Ivory shadows glinting blue topaz, thin and smoky light fading through nude sunset trees. Ice like diamonds, snow spreading cold pale satin across hills and mountains in endless ribbons, sprawled in velveteen grace where pastures lie sleeping. Brutal, elegant, a ballet of fair dangers. The words of winter come in the secret whispering of snow or the sorrowing hiss of icy skies. Ghostly smoke bows low and then departs for warmer climes. Only the ashes of a dying fire remain, waiting for sunrise, and the hope of spring some fine day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry (a personal favorite)

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things" from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group ( All rights reserved.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Once upon a time, children could play fearlessly in a small creek.

Original digital art by RLMT (c) 1990 et al. The Nevvies Playing in a Small Creek. 

It's winter, I know, and cold. Yet there's no sizable snow, and no sign of any coming, according to the extended forecasts of NOAA. 

Then I look at this... and I'm glad I was a child, once upon a time.

~ R.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The year is ending just as I [re]begin.

It has been a long year. A hard one. Every step we've taken has been a struggle, and most of the time, ended up back-lashing on us in some nasty way. It doesn't matter. We still keep plugging onward. 

Why? Well, that may be a longer story. First, let me tell you about a little feral kitten. 

     Once upon a time, there was a beautiful kitten. She was sick, raised feral, but someone saw her one winter's day and later took her home. For several weeks, she enjoyed warmth, safety, good food, and clean water, as well as cuddling. She learned to sing to the people who loved her. 

     Then one day her illness became much worse, and despite the careful care of her people, the sweet, kind of heart, loving little creature declined. She lived through Christmas Day, and in the  night stopped her pained thrashing to sing of love each time her nurses came to check her. In the darkest hours of the 27th day of December, a little precious beauty called "Bebe" passed on. 

     Others will be loved in her memory. 

Bebe was quite real. She died last night and was buried this morning among others of our nonhuman friends. 

Another facet:
     Yesterday we visited my mother in her hospital room; she's 86 years old and cannot talk due to a tracheotomy and machine support to help her breathe. She's recovering from yet another bout of pneumonia, and is very tired of the situation. We sat with her for about five hours, just keeping her company and watching an old John Wayne movie (The Cowboys). Mom can't eat, can't swallow: it's aspiration pneumonia that has her down.

     She slept a lot while we were there, and when my brother called our phone to talk to her, I read her lips and relayed to him her replies... to her great delight. He planned to visit her today, he told her, and her eyes glowed.

     When we left, she asked that we turn on and leave on the little battery powered Christmas tree we had brought, as it comforted her. Neither of her children are good about observing such holidays, and yet we set aside time to merely keep her company. She was frustrated yet grateful.

I'm doing research and putting together components for a novel I've been working on for years. I had given up ever finishing it. The first book I wrote was so... ugh... that I asked for it to be removed from's listings, which has been done. Then I sat down to begin once more on rebuilding a life.

In recent years, things beyond our control have pushed us into a corner. We have resolved to find a way to begin again, and this novel is my contribution. I have trouble with both hands, due to health issues, and cannot simply type for hours as I used to do. I type, and I pay in pain, stiffness, and disability to function for days or weeks. To get the book written, I am using Dragon voice to text software, a gift. To back up the files, I am using another gift: a portable external hard drive. I have a roof over my head and a laptop to use thanks to friends. And therefore, I revere my friends... I owe them deeply. 

Everything is now "grist for the mill." I pick up small things and or a glimpse of something happens, and a story it must be. It's a hypersensitivity of sorts, and as it must be. 

Life, death, and being.

And so I am here. In progress is a book manuscript called Song of the Rain Crow: Psalms from the book of Memories. To introduce you to the pages, here is a randomly chosen "psalm" (no, it is not a religious book, but an Appalachian novel spanning perhaps a hundred years): 

    "It seemed at night that the stars gathered to tell stories from time beyond time, their shared light a blessing on the universe.  The trees reached high, high, waving with gentle patience as a tickling breeze ran among them.  Far off, a good dog called sharp, "Who goes there?”  That warmth, of an early spring night, charmed her to silence.
    A night like this never failed to take her far back into the years.  She would walk old dirt lanes and remember things bitter and sweet, and then move a certain way and her raw old bones reminded her that time is a river beyond the ken of mankind, flowing ever onward, never coming to a safe ford before life is done.
    Memories of youth tasted of tart wild tangles of thorny blackberry and the cloying sweetness of ripe pawpaws, of that mysterious tang from 'possum grapes, and of cool mountain morning breezes.  She could still smell the hum of sunlight on the hay in that dusty old barn, left from that last summer.  Again,  she closed her eyes but a blink, and saw a young man stiffly posed behind a cracked and bubbled pane of old glass, severity of uniform and deadly rifle eclipsed by the resolve in his eyes."

May the stories in your life end the way you dream them, and not until. 

(Last summer's selfie.)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Observations of a personal sort.

Under the distant eye of a cold moon, the forest sleeps. (c) 2012 by RLMT

Each year, I enjoy watching the seasons change. I learned to do this during a personal tragedy: watching my father die. He was a man of great enthusiasm and curiosity, a watcher and a hands-on person. I'm told that I have his sense of humor and constantly evolving view of the world in general. I would hope so... because the seasons do change, and while a still water may "run deep," a pool remaining still too long stagnates. Dad was still thinking of fresh things when he passed on, wondering what lay beyond this plane of being, which had become hard for him to endure.

Snow in winter, mud casting up flowers to bloom in spring, the heat of summer bringing it all ripe, and then autumn's celebration of the harvest. I must love it all, because I am a part of it, though the human seasons pass more slowly.

Climate change is something I see happening on a personal level, and from reading I've done in the past, I know it isn't the first time climate has changed. As an individual, I can't do anything more than adjust, plan, try to hedge my bets the best I can. It's not a perfect solution. It's not a game, though, and I do take the observations seriously... allowing that others might not.

We live, we age, we die. We eat, and something dies. It's a circle. Some cultures celebrate death and mourn birth; I come from a culture that does just the opposite. Skin color, belief, national origin, skill types... there's room for everyone. There's room to grow, adjust, work together.

Adversity makes strange things happen. War... or understanding? It's a free choice. I prefer peace.

Walking in the snow at night, big fat flakes spinning slow, falling on a thick mat of earlier crystals, each and every one of them different, and yet the same, is an education in diplomacy. Unique design falling into a pattern that will never be the same again, which will melt all too soon into a quagmire of soupy spring mud, where wildflowers will sprout because they can.

It makes me humble. It makes me want to walk in the snow, listening to it whisper secrets to the stones and the trees. I only wish the language could be one I might share.


Note to readers: I have voluntarily withdrawn my first book, Thou Shalt Fly Without Wings, from the market. It's no longer available on Any remnant printed copies will be at the publisher's (, where one may reach Jerlene Rose on her cell phone during business hours. The number is (859) 771-3323; the main office's number is (606) 663-1011.