Monday, September 24, 2012

Hoke and Miss Daisy's Got Nothin' On Us

Over the week-end I attended The Southern Women Writers Conference at Berry College in Georgia, north of Rome, to which "all roads lead." Yeah, sure.

The college was founded in 1902 by Martha Berry. Spanning more than 26,000 acres, Berry College is the largest contiguous college campus in the world. How anyone ever finds it is a mystery to me.

The theme for the 2012 conference was “Beginnings and Endings.” Speakers and presenters explored the concepts of both literal and metaphorical “beginnings” and “endings” in a variety of ways. I read my short story, In a Land That Is Fairer Than Day, published in Ordinary and Sacred as Blood: Alabama Women Speak edited by Mary Carol Moran from River's Edge Publishing.

If, in the picture at the top of the page where I stand in front of the beautiful architecture of the college, I appear to have bags under my eyes and a somewhat stunned expression, that may be attributed to the hilariously harrowing journey of the day before in which my sister, Susan Cleveland, and I lost our way big time! According to the map and driving instructions, it's a little over two hours from Birmingham to Rome, Georgia. And we both were totally acquainted with the fact that "all roads lead to Rome," so what could possibly go wrong? The two hour trip took us a little over five hours. Maybe more, I honestly don't know.

There are no words adequate to describe what all possibly could, and did, go wrong. Well, actually, it was just my sister and I who went wrong, at every opportunity; sometimes forging our own opportunity, into, out of, and back into The Twilight Zone. If there was a wrong turn within miles of us, we found and took it, at one point making a large backwoods-scenic circle and ending up precisely where we had been one hour before.

Then we honed in on a bucolic boulevard that looked promising enough, which delivered us to, I kid you not, Booger Holler. That's what the road signs said. I believe it was precisely at this point when our ever-constant radio accompaniment was blaring "Take the Long Way Home." We also were serenaded by "Slip Sliding Away," "Going to Carolina in My Mind," "I Wish I Was, Homeward Bound," "Welcome to the Hotel California," and "Still Crazy After All These Years."

But, we did eventually find ourselves on the expansive Berry Campus, met the Berry deer and Berry cows, made it to my session on Friday morning without a hitch, I read my story, and all was well!

I must at this point say "Thank You" to my Hoke of the Day, sister Susan Cleveland, for the rapturous and (seemingly) endless road trip to Rome.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I've been reading books about Jimi Hendrix. I finished "Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius" written by Steve Roby and Brad Schreiber. Although I found a really confusing typo on page one, I found the book to be mostly informative and very readable.

And I just finished reading "Jimi Hendrix, a Brother's Story" written by Leon Hendrix, Jimi's younger brother. This book contains astonishing details of the childhood of Leon and Jimi, known to the family as Buster throughout his life.

I recommend both these books to anyone interested in learning more about the surprising life and mysterious death of this talented, shy, conflicted young man, one of the most talented musicians ever.

Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix in Seattle Washington on November 27, 1942.  His name was later changed to James Marshall Hendrix by his father. 

He died on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27.

Here's one of my favorite Hendrix songs, The Wind Cries Mary.

And another favorite, All Along the Watchtower.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ramey and Winston

I'm sad to report that my sweet friend, 
Winston the Possum
 has passed away and now resides in
Possum Heaven.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blog Tag Party

A special thanks to KC Sprayberry for hosting a Blog Tag Party. This is such a great way to meet other writers and new friends. KC's blog, Out of Control Characters,  can be found at

KC asked us to let others know what we are currently working on. I'm currently working on two exciting projects.

First, I'm writing the second book of the four volume Moonlight Ridge Series.

The four books in the series follow the seasons of the year, and this second one I'm currently working on is set in the beautiful backwoods of Alabama in autumn. You'll want to read the first book first, which tells the story of two children and their summer adventures in a magical world called Moonlight Ridge.

My Moonlight Ridge Series is very definitely Southern fiction. It's published as adult Southern genre, but crosses over as YA fiction as well. Young people of all ages love Lily Claire, Willie T., and all their peculiar relatives and neighbors. Magic wands, friendly animals, singing possums and mysteries on the mountain are just a few of the unusual attractions.
Which actors would I choose to play my characters in a movie rendition? I've thought about this a lot! Because the main two characters are 8 year-old children, I believe there would have to be a talent search across the South to find two talented youngsters for those parts. And just maybe, now that we've seen his stellar performance in the Hatfields and McCoys saga, we could get Kevin Costner to play Granddaddy W.T. Greenberry. That's for the already published Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge. For the "work in progress," we'll need a beautiful dark haired young lady to play the mysterious apparition that Lily Claire and Willie T. discover haunting the ruins of a 19th century landmark near their home.

My second Work In Progress is a YA supernatural mystery, with the working title Lovely, Dark and Deep. The first chapter won an award from Alabama Writers Conclave. The main character is a teen age girl who lives in a rural setting where mysterious events and night-time intrigue lure her into the woods at night.  It's about dreams, a young girls attempts to figure out the meaning of her dreams, and a cute boy named Buddy who may not be as simple as he seems.

 If you're visiting from the Blog Tag Party, please leave a comment. Happy blogging!