Tag Archives: Jennifer Gough

A Weird yet Peaceable Coincidence….

cabinJack and I fled to our cabin in the woods for Christmas, thanks to the glorious Jennifer Gough, who shopsat the whole month of December. I got some writing done, and we chilled.

Actually, we chilled in a warm atmosphere, because the cabin is heated by a wood-burning stove in the old stone fireplace. Jack went out every couple of days and wrestled logs into submission, turning work into heat by means of wood. From time to time I printed drafts so I could read via paper instead of screen (it really makes a difference in the editing process). Pages without notes got turned into starter paper for the morning fire; waste not, want not.

Yet therein lies an odd coincidence. Years ago, while taking a writing class at East Tennessee State University, I had to write an autobiographical piece as fiction, introducing myself to the class. At the time, without a cabin in the woods, a book, a bookstore, or Jack in my life, I wrote that in her later years, Welch and her husband secluded themselves in a cabin in the woods, fueled by the surrounding trees and her writings.

Who knew, twenty years ago, that such a silly, small detail would come true? Still, it’s a small thing in a big world, and it’s peaceable, so I’ll take it. Happy day after Christmas, everybody.



Filed under bad writing, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, crafting, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, publishing, reading, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch, writing

Shopsitter Jennifer says Hi

jenniferDear Tales of the Lonesome Pine,

I hope you’re doing well. I’ve heard so much about you. I read Wendy’s book, and I look at all the kitty pictures that you post to Facebook. I love cats, and you seem to be full of them, so we should get along fine.

I just wanted say hello, because I’m going to be staying with you for a while. I know you might be feeling a bit of apprehension about Jack and Wendy leaving for a whole month. I understand. I would be feeling a little apprehensive too if I was a bookstore and I was going to be left in the who-knows-if-they’re-capable-or-not hands of a complete stranger. You might be thinking, does this individual know anything at all about running a bookstore? Can she tell the difference between a trade paperback and a mass market? Can she alphabetize? What’s her favorite book? Does she have a favorite book!? DOES SHE EVEN READ!?!? Well, I’m writing to assure you that I know what I’m doing. Really.

I’ve worked in two bookstores over the years, and not a single book has been harmed or mangled under my watch. Because of my excellent customer service skills, I’ve never had to tackle a single shoplifter, and every book signing I’ve ever planned has been well attended. Well, there have technically been attendees present at every book signing I’ve ever planned. Two count, right?

As for animal care, no problems there. I’ve had the same cat since I was thirteen. His official name is Picasso, but we just call him Kitty. Whenever I sit on the sofa, he sits next to me, and stares intently at my neck. I get the feeling he’s thinking about the last bath I gave him, but I’m hoping it’s just because he likes me a whole lot. We do have a special bond. He let’s me brush him each day for a whole minute and a half before he bites me with his only remaining tooth. I’m pretty sure it’s a love bite.

See? Everything’s going to be just fine.

Your Humble Shopsitter,


Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, publishing, reading, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch, writing