Fragments Side-Car: SubStack Now Live!

I’m trying to reduce the friction for peripheral writing while attempting to focus on the main train–the completion of additions and editing for Book #3, now in active revision towards publication–in a year, maybe. So if you subscribe to Fragments via email, you might find the substack consumption as or more rewarding in the next 12 months. Read on, blog-friend, and come along for the ride!

Why subscribe?

Because it’s lonely at 3 in the morning when I get up. Because I find or think or wonder all sorts of things, and sometimes my light comes on, and I really need to share. Because having a conversation is impossible if it’s only me. Because you are as curious as I am, but don’t dig for treasure in the same holes that I do, and I think you’ll take what we exchange here and then do your own digging. That’s why.

What You’re Likely to Read At Fred’s SubStack

  • I have been writing about sense of place for twenty years in my blog, Fragments from Floyd” from the same place: Goose Creek, a remote and rugged part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd County Virginia. And in June 20 we moved. Where? Why? and how is that settling in at 72, being detached from the familiar, the comfortable? I will share the thrill of victory, and the agony of not being able to find my winter hat–probably until April.
  • I’m determined to publish a third book, and have a signed contract and an editor. I have never written alone, and don’t intend to start now. I need people reading over my shoulder. I will post excerpts–maybe some full chapters if I go with the paid model at some point. My subscribers will be first in line to get their copies of One Place Understood ~ A Field Guide from Home
  • I am living in one of the most interesting places in the mountain south at one of the most perplexing, chaotic and rapidly morphing periods in human history. We live close to the land and to each other here in Floyd County, VA, and some chapters of the play book for the localization model for the New Economy will be written here. Stay tuned in the near term for the Blue Ridge EcoFair, offered to the world community by SustainFloyd. You can get a front row seat before the doors open if you subscribe.
  • And to add to this very incomplete list, I am a year into use of the most remarkable tool (Roam Research for a knowledge worker I’ve come across in almost three decades of computer geekery. It will assist me in providing you with fresh fodder for thought, conversation and action. And I will enjoy both the journey and the destination.


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I have signed up and look forward to getting those emails. Congratulations on your renewed activity on the Internet. And best wishes for completing your third book.