Sunday, October 2, 2011

Windy Mountain Spirits

Despite the cool temperatures and the wind, Mountain Spirits Festival was a hit. A lot of folks said how much they enjoyed it, and a lot of participants want to come back next year. Here are some photos of the action:

In the author tent, Lake Writers, Valley Writers, and Piedmont Writers had group tables. Plus the Virginia Writers Club was represented, two small presses who published Virginia books had books for sale, and a bunch of individual authors.   At least two authors' dogs—Gary Noestner's and Bruce Bytner's—mingled with the crowd. 

Here are a few pictures from the author tent:

Lake Writers make some sales.
Lynn Dudley and Margaret Adkins set up the Piedmont Writers table table.
Karen J. Hall and Valley Writer John Koelsch
Folks browse among the tables
Amanda Cockrell had an impressive table display
Peggy Shifflett's down-home books were popular.
Ferrum resident Shea LeMone's novel is based on his youth in Philadelphia.
Valley Writer Barbara Stout displays her poetry books
Ralph Berrier's book was another popular one.
Southern Breeze opened the music part of the festival. 

Up Franklin Street, in the vicinity of the Artisan Center and Grainery were the artists. I don't know all of them, just a few:

Ibby Greer's gourdfriends. 

Nell Fredericksen's jewelry. . .  
. . . and her pottery.
Carol Yopp's paintings.

Meanwhile, there was a lot of activity at Farmer Appreciation Day on the market a few blocks away.

And a horse danced while its rider—Aspen Black—sang:

A lot more things were happening than I could photograph, but Mountain Spirits Festival had something for everyone. 

Think we should do it again next year?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Small Presses

Two publishers will have tables in the Author Tent: Cedar Creek Publishing and Pocahontas Press.

Cedar Creek, headquartered in Bremo Bluff, Virginia, publishes Virginia books by Virginia authors—poetry, memoir, fiction, and books for children. Cedar Creek also publishes an anthology by the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club.

Cedar Creek display at VA Festival of the Book
Cedar Creek books

Pocahontas Press, headquartered in Blacksburg, was founded over 25 years ago by Mary Holliman. When Mary died in 2011, Jane and Michael Abraham purchased rights to the name. Michael, who is also an author, ran the family priniting business for 17 years and knows the technical side of printing. Jane, who has a degree in English, shares Mary Holliman's vision that "everyone, no matter how ordinary, has a story that needs to be told."
At the Pocahontas Press table, many of the press's older books will be for sale at a special discount price. Here are a few of the Pocahontas Press books:



Come visit Cedar Creek Publishing and Pocahontas Press. They just might have the book you've been looking for.


Lots of artists will have work displayed and for sale at Mountain Spirits. The artists will set up near The Artisan Center Along the Crooked Road and The Grainery on Franklin Street. Plus there'll be art for sale inside the Artisan Center and Grainery, too.

Among the many artists and craftspeople who were invited to participate in this year's Mountain Spirits Festival are the following: wildlife artist Carol Yopp, potters Susan Tyree and Kent Walton, glass craftsmen Nancy Erikson and Diane Brzesky, painters Barbara and Bob Stout, birdhouse maker Richard Yopp, carved walking stick craftsman Melvin Simmons, landscape artist Penny Simmons, quilted wall hanging crafter and painter Katy Sulzman, crochet genius and printmaker Diana C. Quick, painter Philip Sheridan,  candlemaker Malissa Quintanilla, photo-mandala printmaker Paula Caldwell, sculptress Page Turnerauthor and artist Ibby Greerand others.

Green Pitcher by Ibby Greer
 Fine art jewelry will also be available: Moondancers will be there with fabric art, pens, jewelry, art.  Nell Frederickson, who is also a potter, will have her custom design fine gold jewelry, and Kitty Kat will have her wire-wrapped jewelry.

Pendant by Nell Fredericksen
If you want to see some excellent art or maybe do some early Christmas shopping, visit the artists at the festival.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Story-tellers and Music

During the Mountain Spirits Festival, several story-tellers will spin their yarns upstairs in the Franklin County Public Library. Among the story-tellers are these folks:  Linda Goodman (at 10:30), Linda Hartman at 11:30, Charles Lytton at 12:30, and David Bass (1:30).

Linda Goodman's Book
Musical groups performing outside at the festival include Southern Breeze (10:00), Upriver (11:00 & 3:00), Ladies of the Lake (noon & 2:00), and Aspen Black & Foxie (1:00).

 Upriver plays Appalachian mountain music, Ladies of the Lake is a traditional folk music group, and Aspen Black plays country and western.


Southern Breeze is Samantha and Alex Young. They played at the Franklin County Library's book launch for Stuck and they were terrific!

Sam and Alex Young
Besides authors, and story-tellers, and musicians, Mountain Spirits also offers some activities just for kids. Between 10 and 2, Franklin County Parks and Recreation will provide kids a chance to find candy in the straw, play cornhole, and design their own photo frames. Look for the big white tent behind Edible Vibe (and in front of the authors' big white tent). 

You're sure to find something entertaining at Mountain Spirits. There's something for everyone!

Mountain Spirits Festival is brought to you by the Franklin County Public Library, The Artisan Center on the Crooked Road, the Rocky Mount Center for the Arts, the Grainery, the Town of Rocky Mount, and Franklin County Parks & Recreation. For more information please contact Debra Weir at 540 -420-8501, or you can email her at 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Regional Novels

Several novels with a regional setting will be available at Mountain Spirits.

Sally Roseveare's two mysteries, Secrets at Spawning Run and Secrets at Sweetwater Cove, are set at Smith Mountain Lake.


Becky Mushko's Stuck is set in Union Hall in eastern Franklin County.

If you're looking for a good regional read, you should find it at Mountain Spirits.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finding Your Way

If you're coming from out of town to the Mountain Spirits Festival, you might need a map to help you get where you're going. Most of the festival's activities will be on or near Franklin Street. To get there, you will either arrive in Rocky Mount from Rt. 220 or Rt. 40. (See "Driving Directions" at the end of this post.)

Business Route 40 takes you through the main drag—Franklin Street—where all the activity will be. In the map below, "A" marks the area where you are going:

The authors' tent  (marked in green below) will be near the library ("A") and the Franklin Center. Artists will be set up near the Artisan Center of the Crooked Road and The Grainery next door (both close to intersection with High Street).

Authors: After you unload your books, your vehicles should be parked across Claiborne Avenue in the Franklin Center parking lot. A golf cart will be available to shuttle you back. Also, a hospitality room (and restrooms) for authors will be in the Franklin Center.

Nearby places to eat within walking distance: In front of the authors tent is Edible Vibe, at 315 Franklin Street. Across Franklin Street (and a block up the street at 230 Franklin), a deli is located inside Antiques and Collectibles Along the Crooked Road. A few blocks down Franklin Street, at the Farmers Market where Farmer Appreciation/Old Timey Day will be in full swing from 10-2, several vendors will have food for sale. 


From Roanoke, take US 220 South to the first Rocky Mount exit.  This exit puts you on North Main Street.  Go 3-4 miles.  You will come to a light that crosses old RR tracks and onto a bridge.  Drive straight ahead (go past The Hub Restaurant), look for Claiborne Avenue on right (Rocky Mount UMC is on the corner).  Turn right onto Claiborne Avenue, go about ½ mile.

From Martinsville, take US 220 North to the first Rocky Mount Exit (just past 619 Minute Market). This exit puts you on South Main Street. Follow South Main for 2-3 miles.  Once you pass the Courthouse (on the right) you need to look for Randolph Street (on the left). Turn left onto Randolph Street, go to bottom of hill, take right into The Franklin Center/Franklin County Library parking lot.  Author tent is across Claiborne.

From Lynchburg/Smith Mountain Lake, take Route 122 South to Rocky Mount.  Take Right at light and go through town.  (You’ll pass Lowes, Walmart, on left; Sheetz on right).  Continue straight. (You’ll pass McDonald’s on left, Franklin County High School on left).  Go straight through light at high school (you’ll pass Hardees on left, DMV on right). Go to top of hill, take Right onto North Main, then immediate left onto Claiborne Avenue (next to Rocky Mount UMC). Go ½ mile.

We hope you enjoy your visit!