January can feel like a letdown after the last verse of Auld Lang Syne has been sung, or it can feel like a new beginning with a few hundred days of possibilities.
Just ahead of Valentine’s Day and a host of wedding shows throughout the Carolinas, this issue contains the first of two wedding guides that we compile each year. If getting married is on your list of resolutions, read about some of our beautiful venues in WNC and the professionals and businesses that can make matrimonial dreams come true (p. 18).
Perhaps uncovering your hidden artistic talent is a plan for the new year. Find inspiration from our Cover Artist Sandra Bottinelli (p. 10), Feature Artist Claudia Field (p. 50) and the Asheville Urban Landscape Painters (p. 82).
As a bookseller for many years and a bibliophile from my earliest years, my own resolution is always to read more books than the many I already do read. “So many books, so little time!” Both of our book features this month (p. 90) are the work of regional authors. We are fortunate in WNC to have such talented writers, most of whom appear at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café (p. 64). One of my favorite writers of the past is Asheville’s own literary giant, Thomas Wolfe. This year, the Wilma Dykeman Legacy once again partners with the Thomas Wolfe Memorial to present a monthly book club discussing Wolfe’s short stories. (p. 91)
One more resolution worth making: enjoying the beauty and serenity of the outdoors. Wintertime is splendid for walking and hiking. The Swannanoa Valley Museum Hike Series gets hikers out enjoying the beauty of our mountains (p. 85), and our regular columns, The Compleat Naturalist (p. 63) and Outdoors (p. 70), have a wealth of ideas for enjoying your own backyard in this season of crisp, cold air and brilliant sunshine.
Enjoy our January issue, and Happy 2018!