The land of the "rain crow"

The land of the "rain crow"
From the first book: THOU SHALT FLY WITHOUT WINGS

About the author:

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A long-delayed update from the author.

It has been months since I had a chance to update this blog, for which I do apologize to you, the readers. I assure you, none of this was of my free will.

Health, economic situation(s), family illnesses, and more have conspired to send my hard-to-juggle world into complete disarray. Be that as it may, I am doing my best to make a comeback, and at that with the help of friends who have supported me through all the insane drama (which I dislike intensely) of it all. Many thanks to each of them, and many thanks again for their unending patience. I am not an easy person to like, up close. There are days I don't even like myself, so I can hardly blame others for what I agree with... instead, I hope we all keep a good sense of humor. Some things are so silly that taking one's self too seriously is downright insane. It's a thin line... (ahem).  


Anyway, to get on with the update, my first book, Thou Shalt Fly Without Wings, is doing fairly well. It's still available as both ebook and print through Amazon or my publisher's office.

Economically, it's not a perfect cure. I need to continue working. That's where the health issues come in. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome, which I (yes, laughing!) call "Princess and the Pea Syndrome." If you don't know about the symptoms, please take my advice about not laughing at those who suffer from similar. There are many causes of FMS, some of which can be tested for... others, not. I'm also chemical and medication intolerant. Add food allergies and sensitivities into the mix, and life gets interesting, to be mild about it. Not to mention chronic inflammation issues, such as tendinitis and ganglion cysts. 

Were it not for friends who have helped me keep a working computer, contributed Dragon (hands-free writing software) and other items, I would have no hope of completing the book I'm working on now, an Appalachian-based novel for which this blog site was named: Song of the Rain Crow: Psalms from the Book of Memories. We are, again through no fault of our own (and involving health again), struggling to keep our home. Worse, due to a suggested limestone quarry, we're worried that our home will neither be safe nor peaceful. It's a mess. A mess we're trying to get sorted out. Soon, I hope. 

In the meantime, we're optimistically growing a garden again. It keeps me moving. I can't do the standard kind of garden, but our joyous apparently scatterbrained mix of vegetables, flowers, and wild plants (and the occasional neighborly wildlife) produces a large amount of goods with far less labor and misery. We dry, can, or otherwise preserve all we can of what we can glean through the growing season. 

If I stop doing things, I will stop being able to do them. So pain or no pain, natural remedies applied as possible, I keep poking along, and dragging my faithful mate, Ronnie, with me. It beats becoming a vegetative sop of illness. I refuse to do that... I have my days, but the good ones are gradually becoming farther apart. So... I will write. And if that fails, I think I must learn Morse Code... (cough). 

Please bear with me. I'm over age 50, and learning voice-to-text software and how to write a gargantuan kind of novel. Every day is a challenge. Every day is a blessing. Every day is precious. 

Here is the first Psalm from Song of the Rain Crow, my novel-in-progress: 


~ * ~ 



Last night the full moon sat hunched in the sky, round and benevolent in mien. Around it gathered the glittering stars, like eyes reflecting the vast fire of a storyteller. A single plump cloud hovered close, looking much like a small child growing softly weary with the liquid rhythm of the words, thumb in mouth and satisfied so.

Once I was like that child, and once my eyes reflected the fire, and once, I was that storyteller. Someday so shall you be, in the fullness of life.

Come, listen to me. I will tell you a story of intricate cathedrals woven of green and growing beauties where jewels, living, nod bright at every turn. I will spin for you a tale of a land where the forest gods may have worn antler crowns and silken fur with necklaces of bone, tooth, and claw agleam.

For this is a land rich in past; as the spiral has turned and turned, legends have been born, lived, and died. Blood and ash have fed the hungry earth, and her bones have been hewn in turn by the hand of man, even as has human bone been cleaved of flesh.

Let the wild choir sing, the voices of the land have not yet been silenced. The dark eyes of the night seek the fire, but yet do not dare to come too close lest they burn in a hell of their own weaving...

Here, this night, this moment, we are safe. Come closer, child.

~ * ~ 

I will try to update the blog as I can. The only promise I can make is that I will be working on the novel (which is about 1/3 finished at present, and has vast stacks of notes and much work to be done) even if I don't post here. Peace, friends. ~ Rhonda


That first pony... always a special one to remember.

The author, approx. age 3, on her first pony, Freddy Boy. Freddy was a raw little personality with adults, but gentler with children. Freddy was the same age as his mistress, a mind-boggling six months old, when introduced. They had many happy years together. The picture was taken on Church Street, just on the edge of Stanton, Kentucky, at the home of the then-child's maternal grandparents. The image is imperfect, restored from a photo carried by a proud father of the child for years. Stories within stories, and the company of horses. There is no better way to enjoy life. ~ RLMT

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Home ground is precious.

Email letter sent to State Representative and Attorney General (KY)....



Dear _________:

This is a highly time sensitive item, and we ask that you do both take action and reply as soon as possible.

A tiny article in the Clay City Times was almost overlooked by the people of Furnace Mountain (Powell County). It was on page A-13, buried, and in tiny print that discouraged reading of it. It read as follows:

"Notice of intention to Mine Non-Coal Mineral
Pursuant to Application Number 099-9402

In accordance with KRS 350.055, Notice is hereby given that Red River Materials, LLC P.O. Box 13577, Lexington, KY  40583 intends to apply for a non-coal surface mining permit for limestone affecting 44.3 acres located approcinately 5.25 miles south of Stanton in Powell County.

The proposed operation is approcimately 425 feet West of Knowlton Road and Furnace Road and located 0l25 miles South of Pecks Creek. The latitude is 37^47'04". The longditude is 83^49'49".

The proposed operation is located on the Stanton U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 minuted quadrangle map. The Operation will use the pit method of mining.The surface area is owned by Brian and Carmen Billings.

The application will be on file for public inspection ar the Department for Natural Resources Frankfort Office, #2 Hudson Hollow, Frankfort, KY. Written comments, objections, or request for a permit conference must be filed with Director, Division of Mine an dReclamation & Enforcement, #2 Hudson Hollow, Frankfort, KYY 40601, within 15 days of the date of this advertisement and briefly summarize the issues to be raised at a conference."


Sir, there is so much wrong with this application for the given location that it's painful to describe.

For one thing, quarry type operations have been closed down in the area before, ie: Furnace Mountain. The Mountain has an odd geologic pattern, for one thing. For another, the roads will not support the kind of heavy traffic that the trucks going back and forth to a crusher would constitute. The roads are already narrow and without adequate guard rail in places.School buses would be endangered, unable in places to negotiate safely against oncoming trucks; it's already a problem with logging trucks and some farm equipment. The roads are simply not suitable for that kind of traffic.

Another thing is that, as the mountain is primarily sandstone, and sinkholes are increasingly showing up, fracturing the bedrock would cause unsafe conditions for miles. We see no evidence of this being taken into consideration. Point in context, numerous mountain homes have basements that would be damaged. Our own home is in-ground, a modified earth bermed.A few feet from our house, one can stand and tap the ground, hearing the reverberations of water within rock tanks below ground - our property has numerous seepage springs on it. Within roughly a mile of the site, at least 10 to 15 homes fall into the danger zone.

This brings us to the damage to ground water; many people on Furnace Mountain use wells or springs for their water. If the structure of the mountain is damaged by blasts, this water may be fouled or lost entirely. We, none of us, can afford the damage.

Also, what of the numerous gas wells, some in use? People depend on those wells for heat, cooking, and more. Not to mention the possible danger of a gas well being ignited in the area. There is little fire protection, no fire station closer than Stanton, an average of some 8 miles away.

The site is also a historica landmark, including the Brandenburg Cave and a Civil War soldier's gravesite. Generations have visited the cave, and some of the mountain residents have family history there. (We have notified the Red River Historical Society of the situation.)


This operation would create a great deal of dust, loud noise (I repeat, many homes exist within a about a mile of the location), and disturbance in the process. The area is by no means an abandoned property zone. It is a quiet residential and farming area, where the residents enjoy it as such.

The damage to land, health, peace of mind, the wildlife and hunting, local plants and animals and livestock, simple garden crops, would be irreversable. No one of the residents of the mountain moved there to live in the kind of atmosphere created by a rock quarry with the inevitable big trucks and noise, health risks, and destruction that would ensue should this application be approved. Most of the residents are, like us, not rich by anyone's description. In fact, most are low income and live affordably on the mountain, where they can and do raise gardens and children, have pets and livestock, and live and let live quietly. Should this proceed, we all expect the already low property values to plummet. We will all lose.

We would like to continue doing the same: living peacefully and quietly. Can you please help? We have only a few places to turn to, and this operation must be stopped. The deadline is Friday, the 9th. A petition has made the rounds, a Mr. Martin gathering them up. Let us know if you need more information. Thank you for listening.



Sincerely,




Rondall ("Ronnie") L. Tipton
Rhonda L.M. Tipton

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What do you do when you run out of options? Make new ones, of course.

The race is on. The horses are lined up. No two of them look the same. One is a spavined old mule with clunky shoes. There's a couple of work horses, neither pure bred. A Shetland pony with a wicked look in his eye. A shining racehorse stands neck and neck with a trotter and a Tennessee Walking horse. There aren't enough spaces, and some line up outside. When the gate rattles, the Thoroughbred snorts, sweats, tightens up on light, delicate racing plates. The others catch fire, all except that solitary old mule, and jiggle in their allotted spaces.

The gate opens, and they're off.

Well, all except that mule. 


It yawns and sighs, eyes the motley jumble throwing dirt and turf in its face, and plods on out with no intentions beyond making it to the end of the day. And making it to the other end of the race is doable, so the mule flips its stubby tail, haw-haws a few times, and gets on with the job. No hurry. No way to hurry. Just pick 'em up and put 'em down, repeat, repeat, repeat.

That mule is me. 

Each day, I open up my eyes and yawn, then plod on. I'm no longer sound and healthy, and getting to the end of the day is about all I can truly aim at doing. My mind runs faster then the body can manage. I go to bed exhausted and wake up tired. At least, when I do sleep, that's some improvement. Keeping shoes on is about the same as that mule, too. So far, so good.

So I'm back to work. Planning books. Working on assembling what I can to publish, working on selling copies of the book already released. Every day is a new challenge, and every new challenge is loaded with old trauma, by and large. I can do this. I can get to the end of the challenge. I may not get there first or with the most, yet prevail, I will. Because I will.
And I will do it to the best of my ability, come what may.

When you write, aches and pains and pains with their own aches (also know as intrusive people) will attack your progress plans. Politics and medical needs, bills that have no way to be paid, all of it. It's just dirt clods, in the end, and if you mix a little good old-fashioned manure in with it, you can grow things.

Kick a few clods. Heck, plant a few seeds or cuttings. Tomorrow's a new day, and the people who pour negativity into your morning coffee should get it right back in their faces. (The negativity. Not the coffee. We need our coffee.)

I'll try to post something new here soon. I have a lot of pictures and ideas saved up from my absence. With a new computer to work on, life is that much easier. At least I have a slot in the gate to call my own.

Plodding on. Waggling my ears, just to tick off the busybodies who judge without all the facts. Bless their little pea-pickin' hearts. Life will go on just the same without them in it. And books. There must be books. Maybe we can use the ney-sayers for fodder, grist for the mill, and then write them out of the story with a smile.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'm back and working! Thank you for your patience.

This has been a bad year for us. The details are best left in shadows for now. Least said, soonest mended.

That all out of the way, I have a new laptop and some ambition building up pressure. Time to write some more books. 


Considering:

  • A collection of dog stories, nonfiction.
  •  A collection of cat stories, nonfiction.
  • A collection of mixed and humor-related animal stories, nonfiction. 
  •  A collection of wildlife stories, nonfiction.
  •  A rather large novel: Appalachian mountain healer, the history and people of the hills of Kentucky, covering some 100 years.
  • A nonfiction book about living off the grid for more than 10 years, complete with home remedies and similar homey items. 

Messages welcomed! I'll answer as soon as I can. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Release of my first book: PENDING DELIVERY of the hard copies.


Print copy release of my book:

Thou Shalt Fly Without Wings

by R.L.M. Tipton

The first shipment is in. The publisher, who is busy setting up sales deliveries and signing dates, says she will gladly take orders in the main office. Here are the phone numbers and addresses to contact:

(Parkway Publications d/b/a...)
Read Writers Publishing
P.O. Box 710
Clay City, KY 40312-0710
Office phone: (606) 663-1011
Office fax: (606) 663-1808
Cell number (EST): (859) 771-3323

www.readwriters.com  (Website under construction.)
http://readwriters.wordpress.com/rhonda-l-m-tipton/ (My personal page there.)

ISBN # 978-0-9858794-0-2
$19.95 for Trade paperback
(Ebook price varies; see below.)

WHERE TO FIND THIS ONLINE: 

The book should be available via  Barnes & Noble (and in Nook format) soon. 

UPDATE: Kindle version is now available from Amazon.com for $4.99, as is the paperback (see Amazon for the current price. We also signed into the Matchbook program on Amazon: buy a paperback. get the digital version for a reduced price. 

NOTE: For a signed and/or personalized copy direct from the publisher, please add $6.00 USD to the total for credit card fees, shipping and handling, etc

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will also soon be writing a regular item in the local {RE}FOCUS monthly magazine, subjects varying among my general areas of interest. If all goes well, those articles may also be posted online.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

An update regarding progress of my first book.

THOU SHALT FLY WITHOUT WINGS will soon be available as both Nook and Kindle e-books, as well as trade-paperback hard copy. It has been a long, hard road, but the whole thing is coming together nicely now.

Due to technical failure of all of my computers, I've been unable to update and manage my blog as I would like. My apologies. Repair of at least one computer is in progress, and I'm looking into getting a Mac as an alternative to the weirdness of Windows 8.

As soon as I get the technical equipment problems out of the way, I'll be working with a vengeance on a new Appalachian novel. The working title is SONG OF THE RAIN CROW: PSALMS FROM THE BOOK OF MEMORIES. It's already in progress, hand-written sections joining those waiting on a thumb drive. (I refuse to stop working!) Lyric prose, combined with some stories based on family tales and local stories, modified, it should offer an inside view of Kentucky in particular and Appalachian life history in general. Or so I hope. Bear with me, please.

As always, comments are always welcome. See you again soon, I hope!

~ R.L.M. Tipton 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book progress update.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of this or that person involved in the process, the release of the book has been delayed. It will be a couple more weeks. That's the bad news. The good news is that I have a printed copy of the draft in-hand, and am working on a pre-proof copy edit. Once the proof copy has a last going over by everyone, we'll be able to get the book properly printed.

Sorry, folks. This is all an effort to get the product as professionally produced as possible. We're doing this for quality-control. I demand that it be done right. So does everyone else in the production line of finishing it.

Thank you for your patience. 


~ R.L.M. Tipton 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book news and a couple of thank-you notices.

This afternoon we were treated to lunch by Bill and Jerlene Rose, at Paula's Clay City Restaurant, which is under new management. We had barely gotten seated when someone took our order, and within just a few minutes, a well-cooked hamburger and fries landed in front of us! Juicy tomato, crisp lettuce and onion, the works. I am impressed. 

Many thanks to Jerlene for the lunch, and for encouraging local business. Many thanks to the folks at the restaurant for a pleasant meal in homey, relaxed surroundings where the customer comes first. It was a rare and good treat to spend time with friends and local folks in a blooming new restaurant.

The business of the day with Read Writers Publishing's owner was to give a last going-through of the manuscript for final retouch work by the designer. It's off and running! Next, I will expect to see a proof-copy, which gets a final round of editorial polish, and then ... e-book and print, THOU SHALT FLY WITHOUT WINGS.

Wish us luck. It's been a long, hard path. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

A brief update on my upcoming book...

Yesterday, I went to the publishers for a few last minute image/illustration tweaking. That has been done, and the designer has the goods in hand to work with, preparing to send the whole file to the printer. It won't be long now before THOU SHALT FLY WITHOUT WINGS is a reality. One I've waited a long time to see.

I am working on finding a laptop I can use reliably. No Windows 8, of a certainty! In fact, I may have one by Monday. I hope. Then, back to work...