Tag Archives: shenandoah county

Truth in Fiction

Someone asked me recently, “How much is fiction and how much is truth?” Great question which I’ll attempt to answer by revealing some of my research. It is also important to define the genre, Historical Fiction:  Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past That definition is a very broad stroke and leaves considerable room for sub-genres like romance, mystery, etc.  Personally, I am drawn to Historical Fiction because I’m old.  Just kidding. I like the genre because it creates mood, feeling, and color. When writing IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, […]

A Magical Place Called Orkney

If you travel to Mt. Jackson, VA, which provides much of the setting for IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, then hang a left (if traveling north) onto Highway 263, you will ultimately arrive in the community of Orkney Springs.  Just keep driving until the road runs out.  Takes just 20 minutes and, I promise, you’re in for quite a surprise. As you drive along 263, you’ll see a lot of farmland, and cows, and hay.  You get the picture. But then, right there in the middle of what you have decided is nowhere…there stands this impressive grand hotel.  Then you wonder, […]

Name That Tune

As soon as I give you just a few minor details you will be able to “name that tune.”  It has been around for years, originated in the 1800s, and somehow became a popular tune for ocean going sailors.  A country group from Muscle Shoals took it’s name (If Bubba Can Dance).  For you old timers, Jimmy Stewart starred in a movie by the same name.  Of greater significance, there is a famous river that runs through the Valley of Hope with that same name.  Got it yet?  Of course, you do. When I was growing up, Shenandoah was all around […]

Lessons Learned from Your First Job

Do you remember your first job?  Do you recall what you learned from that gig? My first employment opportunity, other than mowing my neighbors grass, came when I was sixteen at the Virginia Restaurant in Strasburg, Virginia.  Not certain that there was a job title assigned to my position but I’ll just call it “Gross Removal Specialist,” or GRS. As Gross Removal Specialist it was my responsibility to empty and clean the grill grease buckets and carry out the garbage and trash.  That was in the days when people still smoked in restaurants and their empty plates became ash trays.  Nothing like […]

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