From the Editor: October 2021

Practical matters first: With Delta variant cases soaring, many events are once again being canceled, postponed or switched to a virtual format. Our print deadlines make up-to-the-minute changes impossible, so please double-check for the latest before heading out.

Gina Malone, Editor

With so many worries in our lives, finding joy can be difficult, but one Asheville group wants to generate optimism in the simplest ways. If you’ve noticed the happy little signs posted everywhere, thank the loving and generous members of The Booth Fairy Project.

Artist Michele Mitchell had all good thoughts for humankind in mind when she created the exquisite still life on our cover. “This piece is about hope,” she says. “Intuitively, I chose a few flowers I had never painted before, including love-lies-bleeding and the ‘warrior’s balm,’ which speak for themselves. The sunflower, always seeking light while benevolently showing its strength and beauty, symbolizes hope.”

If there were a pageant for months in the mountains, October, with its cobalt skies and resplendent leaves, would surely walk away with the crown. If you’re still skittish about large, indoor gatherings, take advantage of autumn’s exhilarating weather by browsing for art at area studio tours: Kenilworth and Beaverdam. Fine craft rules at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands and at Sylva’s WNC Pottery Festival. In Bakersville, they’re carrying on an age-old tradition at the Apple Butter Festival. And what better outdoor activity than fly fishing WNC’s pristine waters, a new pastime I am anticipating.

If pandemic times have kickstarted your desire to learn a new skill, check out the offerings at John C. Campbell Folk School, a renowned institution for arts and crafts education.

I agree wholeheartedly with author L. M. Montgomery who said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Enjoy each and every beautiful day!

Gina Malone can be reached at

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