Unimpressed to Loving the Blue Ridge Mountains

A soft blue haze enveloped the first mountains I ever saw. They didn’t impress me much. In the distance, they looked like rolling hills. Then came the drive up the mountains, through the mountains, and along the ridge. Each curve, dip, and climb yielded breath-taking vistas of forested mountains, bald knobs, and valleys swathed in the blue haze. I was in grade school during that first trip. I went from unimpressed to loving the Blue Ridge Mountains and that mysterious blue haze. I made many trips to the area as a child. I no longer recall all the details, when and exactly where, but there are moments etched in my memory. Memorable moments include a walk to a gorgeous waterfall, a climb to a rocky knob, and the larger-than-my-sister bear cub that sat three feet behind my little sister who played on the picnic table in the next camping site. Little did I know then that these mountains would become the backdrop and setting for the world of My Soul to Keep. They are integral to the story of Fellowship. World’s Second Oldest The Blue Ridge Mountains formed about 1.1 billion to 250 million years ago. South Africa’s Barberton greenstone […]

My Story Went to the Dogs

What do a bloodhound, a satellite, and a tracking device have in common? The answer is a search and research. I researched all three were subjects for my short novel, Fellowship (formerly Ian’s Trust). After the research, my story went to the dogs.  Fellowship is the story of Ian Hobart, an eighteen-year-old high school student. Ian lives in an imaginary town between Lynchburg, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. His parents and older brother are Taken by the Fellowship. Ian in a desperate attempt to save his younger siblings takes them into the mountains.  The pursuit of Ian and his siblings takes place in the same world but a couple of years before My Soul to Keep. To create a believable pursuit, I needed to learn about methods of tracking escapees.  Early Communication Satellites I dove into the history of early satellites and telemetry to learn about tracking methods like GPS.  The first artificial Earth satellite was Sputnik 1. Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, Sputnik had an on-board radio-transmitter. A major step in space exploration, it was not a communications satellite. The first satellite purpose-built to relay communications was NASA’s Project SCORE in 1958. It stored […]

Sneak Peek At A Work-In-Progress

There are wine tastings and cheese tastings and sneak peaks. Today, you get a sneak peek at a work-in-progress. The working title is Ian’s Trust. So without further ado, please enjoy this sneak peak Ian’s Trust Angry and distrustful after his parents are Taken, Ian must rely on his best friend’s help when he and his siblings hide in the Smokey Mountains. But if Ian doesn’t stop their pursuers, the Cleaners, he and his siblings face re-education or death. • • • • • • • • Ian Henry Hobart breathed in the odors of rank sweat, burnt coffee, and sweet ink. He loved the tiny newsroom and not just because working as a copyboy took him out of high school for half the day. This afternoon the room pulsed with twelve loud-talking men and the clack, ratchet, and ding of typewriters. Under it all the rumble of the presses downstairs sent vibrations through the floor, through Ian’s shoes, and into his bones. The Ambrose Chronicle served the community of Ambrose, Virginia and the surrounding area. The next closest city with a newspaper was Lynchburg. “Hey, Ian.” Montgomery Jones, Ian’s best friend and the second copyboy at Ambrose Chronicle, sat on […]