Oddments: We’re Still Here

I am still slowly working my way through the essays in Appalachian Reckoning.  A helluva lot of people struggling and striving and suffering who are too inconvenient to admit exist when you have a narrative of your own to peddle.  Nevertheless we persist in existing, an inconvenient truth.  A throwaway line in an essay full of them reminded me, in that bewildering, wonderful way the human brain connects random bits, of a line from a buddy of mine from middle school.  Riffing on Robin Leach and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (then still on the air), he would, repeatedly, refer to the “lifestyles of the poor and dainty.”  It was a funny line, but not one that had any real reason to be memorable.  Again, the human brain is funny like that.  I wondered what my old friend was up to these days.  So I did what we do these days.

I looked him up on Facebook.  I spent a few minutes browsing a very normal small town Facebook page before noticing that it was a memorialized account.

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Like Lions by Brian Panowich

Like Lions is the sequel to Panowich’s excellent country noir Bull Mountain.  I have a review copy and, let me tell you, Like Lions is even better.  You can find my review of Bull Mountain here.  Keep an eye out for my review of Like Lions on May 1.  Check out the blurb for the multi-generational hillbilly crime drama after the jump.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.

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March 2019 Month-in-Review

Check out the most popular posts at Hillbilly Highways in March, learn what I’ve been reading, and see why I think I may have a steel guitar player on my hands…

Every Day Should Be Tuesday

I only thought real life would slow down for me in March.  But where one aspect slowed down, I was playing catch up everywhere else.  I did manage 18 posts, right in between the 21 in January and 15 in February.  I really would have preferred to get a couple more out.  I still have a backlog of EDSBT posts, especially my Game of Thrones season-by-season reviews.

My great Game of Thrones rewatch continues.  A big break at the beginning of the month and another big break at the end of the month put me behind, but I still have high hopes of finishing before the final season premieres on April 14.  If an HBO subscription on Hulu Live works out,[1] I plan on bringing back my weekly recap posts.

The really big news, though, is that I started a new Facebook group as an adjunct to Hillbilly Highways…

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Oddments: Announcing the Gravel and Guts: Grit Lit and Country Noir Books Facebook Group

Announcing the Gravel and Guts: Grit Lit and Country Noir Book Facebook group:

Hillbilly Highways already has a Facebook page.  You can find it here.  But Facebook pages are, frankly, a crude tool. Groups in particular are much better for conversation.  So I have started a Facebook group focusing on the same sort of gritty stories I talk about here.  You can find it here.

Check out the relevant passage from the description:

Home for all things grit lit, hick lit, rough South, country noir, Appalachian noir, Ozark noir, hillbilly noir, rez noir, neo western…even Southern Gothic.

Think Ron Rash, Daniel Woodrell, Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, Charles Frazier, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Flannery O’Connor, David Joy, Brian Panowich, Robert Parker, Joe Lansdale, Tom Franklin, Frank Bill, Smith Henderson, Taylor Brown…

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A Cruel Mathematical Symmetry

I am 36 years old.  My dad died when I was 18.  That means I have lived roughly as long on this earth without my dad as I did with him.  My brother died when I was 11.  Seven years later my dad died.  Seven years after that my sister died.  It has been 11 years since she died.  I have now gone roughly as long as I have ever gone in my life without losing an immediate family member.

That is one hell of a mathematical anomaly.

Should I be going through a midlife crisis?

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January 2019 Month-in-Review

Check out which posts were most popular at Hillbilly Highways last month and see what I’ve been reading.

Every Day Should Be Tuesday

There ain’t no month like Vintage Science Fiction Month.  I took full advantage of the five Thursdays in January and published five Vintage SF Month posts: a guest post on “Shambleau” and “Black God’s Kiss,” a review of Alec Nevala-Lee’s account of John W. Campbell’s editorship of Astounding, a review of Heinlein’s Space Cadet, and reviews of collections of short stories by Isaac Asimov and C.L. Moore.

Speaking of Thursdays, though . . .  Guys, I’ve got some bad news.

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How to Make Authentic Snow Cream

You can spend four years in Houston and not see snow once.  In the snowy Rust Belt they remain ignorant.  But in between where the proper snow is a rare occurrence exists a magical treat known as snow cream.  Snow cream is, simply put, an ice cream substitute made from fresh, powdery snow.

And I, a hillbilly transplanted to a Rust Belt ready with veritable feet of good snow, will teach you the trick to making perfect snow cream.

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