Anna Wess

159 thoughts on “Anna Wess”

  1. You should meet my mother.
    A true granny witch from the hills of WV.
    Queen of. Superstition, poutices and tinctures.

    This made me miss her.
    She made me aware of the spirits.

    Blessed be

  2. I can’t stop reading your posts. Such beauty with words. I’m grew up in Wise County VA, went to UVA-Wise (now to tell my age it was Clinch Valley College then), and worked for a few years in Hyden, Kentucky with Frontier Nursing Service working in the Big Creek and Beechfork Clinics before moving to North Carolina. I now live in Clemmons NC. Love your writing and can’t wait to see more! Thank you so much for you beautiful words and for taking me “home” with your works!

  3. All these words speak to me and remind me of my Grandmother Juanita Sharp from the Great Smoke Mountain of Tennessee. I will ready everything. I hope to find them all in Audio version with someone who truly speaks our language.

  4. Anna, Love the tales! Come see us. We’re Performing Storytellers. We have much to share. After 36 years in the Smokies, I can translate, but still don’t talk right.

  5. I just read your blog for the first time…bravo! I would be intreested in collaborating with you about Southern/Appalachian funerals and customs. Cheers y’all. #thefuneralcommander

  6. Thank you for sharing with this Yankee. I love your voice, your POV.
    Not all Yankees are city folk, though I am, but I also grew up in the cranberry bogs of Eastern Mass and hills on a farm of upstate New York. My family is a mix of “country hick” northern style (we’re called “trailer trash” in these parts – but really we are subsistence farmers whose homes have so fallen in that a trailer is preferable) and that a holier than though city culture – like that northern cousin you referred to. I was brought up by a mommy who would punish a child who brought colloquial language home. “Not in my house!” “If you do not learn to speak properly you will never be taken seriously – you will never get a good job or advance in a good job once found”. It took a long time for me not to feel superior intellectually over my “less fortunate, less educated” cousins. This is a prejudice I am ashamed of and was brainwashed to believe. Yes, on my mother’s side I have historical roots in Virginia, in Appalachian territories, and it is also where my family native american roots are from, but those roots were not explored, they were brush under the rug. You are a breath of air, an open window.

    When you speak of women taking their happiness in their own hands, I see it. I can see how the embarrassment of my Appalachian and “hick” roots happened. It was an over reaction to the side of the culture that demonized or made a whore out of a strong woman with opinions or with a job other than being a wife. My grandmother was taught to by her mother – “don’t learn to cook, clean -or type. if you do they will make you do it.” “They” being the culture that preps us for wife-hood, not womanhood.
    Sigh. I need your words. Please keep writing.

  7. Anna,
    I was not born in Wise County, but my father was and all his family. He had relatives in Jenkins, KY and all around The Pound. You have managed to write so beautifully of that area and it makes me homesick for that place and time when I visited there so often as a child. I know what you speak of as I have felt the mountains calling to me as long as I can remember! The Granny Witches tells my story as well and I have always known that I was a little different than the friends I grew up with in small town Virginia. I come from deep Celtic/Cherokee roots and have always felt it Thank you for writing this and the other stories I have read. I look forward to also reading the novel.

  8. You have an amazing voice and writing style. Please let me know if you are ever in the Ozark Mountains – maybe promoting your upcoming novel; I’d love to have my students meet you. We enjoy your writing and often use it for inspiration in our literary club.

  9. A friend just sent me ‘Last of the Granny Witches’ to read…and I agree with Chris…I can hardly wait for a book…and then the movie. I am a solitary Celtic/Druid/Cree living in rural Ontario. Our Mountains are buried deep as is our magic….thank you for connecting us.

  10. I feel like you could have possibly been peeking through my families windows long ago. You’ve written down our whispered conversations.

  11. The Last of the Granny Witches is fascinating and enlightening. I grew up in south jersey, adopted as an infant. I started searching for my birth mother when I turned 18. NJ still seals adoption records. 5 years ago thru a combination of years of searching and putting pieces of prices together, plus the help of psychics and mediums I found my roots! And they are Kentucky… Cherokee and Irish interestingly enough. My birth mom passed on 8 months before all my pieces formed the story that now feeds me in ways I never imagined.
    I found you Anna thru an Outlander site as I have a love of magic, Druids, standing stones ( pilgrimaged to Stonehenge and Avebury a few years ago for unknown reasons! )
    Loved reading your story and seeing new pieces interwoven. Hope your novel is an exploration of these wonderful women.
    I now have roots deep into the bedrock and arms stretched high to the sky in gratitude to my birth mother, and all the women who kept me in their hearts as I journeyed to find the truth. Thank you for giving voice to my past.
    All the best,
    Chris

  12. I just found your writings. My family is from Grundy, Virginia. My parents moved away when they got married. I have always felt I didn’t belong anywhere until I read your stories. It felt just like I had come home. I always loved going to see my grandmother and family in the mountains, and hated to leave. You have put my feelings into words and taught me things about my own heritage I needed to know. Thank you. I look forward to reading more. Cannot wait for your book.

    Missi

  13. This is the first time I have ever read your writings. The stories captivated me, for the first time I was in awe from reading. Not since I was a child reading books where I could place myself into the story where I could feel apart of it, where my imagination could run wild. I look foward to your book. Please scream from the rooftops when it comes out. One heck of a fan.
    Melanie

  14. Anna Sea!! I’m sure if I dig up some floppy disks, I may be able to find some photos or pictures. PS brushes too? Or was that Nocturna? I remember you had a friend, an artist who had a website with a message board. We bonded over V.C. Andrews and how Tampa, my town, is big city living to you. I hope you are well, darling Anna! Much love. Xox

    1. It’s funny, I was just thinking of those wonderful V.C. Andrews books yesterday. Great to hear from you! Oh, back then I had relique and the PS brushes site and who knows what else. Hard to believe that’s been over 12 years ago. Good times. And for me, Tampa is still big city living. 🙂

  15. So pleased to have happened upon your voice. Simply stunning. I live in Louisville, KY, but my mother’s people are from eastern Kentucky. We just spent a weekend there for a family reunion, and it always feels like going home to a place I never actually lived. I inherited the mountains, like I did blue eyes and freckles. Can’t wait to read your novel.

  16. Wow! Can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed reading this. I live in Big Stone Gap and grew up in Appalachia. This truly says how I feel about my mountains. Well done, Anna!

  17. Awesome reading, I am originally from Clintwood, Va, Southwest Va is a world, like no other, you portray my roots magnigficantly.

  18. A friend on FB shared your link to Saturday Nights. I’m so glad she did! I enjoyed reading your story and look forward to reading more. I grew up in Richlands (class of 95) and my family is from eastern KY…my mother is a Belcher, father is a Morgan. I bet we know some of the same people.

  19. You have such an old soul with an amazing gift. I just read several of you stories and love your style. Wish you could come visit and we would sit on the front porch swing and share ghost stories.

  20. Someone just shared the link to your most recent “letter” on facebook. My curiosity piqued and I read it. Then I continued to read and read. I absolutely adore your work. Being from the most eastern part of Kentucky myself, I can definitely relate to everything you write about. I’m very excited about your book and can’t wait to read it! Keep up the amazing work! And thank you!!!

  21. i guess you can say I’m on the other end of the prespective,i was born in the mountains of southeast Virginia,and was taken away at a very young age,and even though I did not grow up in the mountains,somehow I myself have felt their calling,its like the dewdrop from a fresh honeysuckle, you touch it ever so lightly with your lips,but long for more,you can take a soul from the mountains,but not the mountains from a soul…love your story writing, found it inspiring to others on here as I read what you brought to them, a feeling of belonging,that no man on earth can take from them.when god created light,our beautiful mountains were the first to receive it..think about that..i myself just want to say thanks anna..

  22. Awesome experience meeting you today, sister friend. Life has been tough on me and my family of late, and I just can’t hold it all together. Reading you tonight has reminded me of home -my people and the place that you and I come from where I would be looked at as crazy for trying to hold it together with all that we’re going through. Thank you for reminding me that at times I must live in this normal world, but I can never be of it. Thank you for reminding me of what normal really is.

  23. Anna,
    Thank you for your writing – for putting into words what no one has been able to articulate. That these mountains are a life force that never leaves you alone. Please keep writing. We need to hear your clear, sad, illuminating voice.
    Much love from a Keen Mountain Queen

  24. Those of us who left Central Appalachia suffer severed hearts. We feed our families, we avoid the drugs and hopelessness, we cry for the loss of values we grew up with, and yet …

    The mountains do still call us home. When our kin ask, “How long are you in for?” We reply, “Not long enough.”

    Some folks have words that speak to our hearts and provide a bit of healing and even joy. The words come to us no matter where on earth we are. We’re grateful for that because it keeps our souls from dying.

    But we often wonder if our Appalachia can be saved before it washes down the creek and disappears. And we feel another tear in our hearts.

  25. I read “Kings and Queens” today. You truly have a gift. i grew up in Upper East TN and the hills and mountains do call us back.

  26. Really enjoy your writing. Looking forward to more. I grew up in Richlands, but have been gone about 30 years. I love reading about Southwest Virginia.

  27. Who are you?? What powerful words! My friend Jo shared this with me today. I’m sitting in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Reno, Nevada and you brought me HOME to my hills. I’m going to be friends with any woman who references Lee Smith – “Black Mountain Breakdown” changed my life. As I read YOUR words I thought of James Still saying “I shall not leave these prisoning hills.” And Lee Smith telling me that we all need something to rest our eyes against. We are hill people indeed. And that is our south. And you say it very well.

  28. Anna,

    Your writing is lovely, and, according to your grandmother’s name, I think we’re probably cousins. I’ve learned that all of the Belchers in Virginia and West Virginia are related, in one way or another.

    I look forward to reading more from you.

      1. I am intrigued as well. I love this subject, & your writing style. And I am related to you too, on your moms side! I look forward to reading more! 🙂

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