Southern Writers Blog Tour – Day 2


The She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour continues!

The more blogs you visit and the more comments you make throughout the tour, the more chances you get to win a $50 Southern-living themed prize AND other prizes along the way!

TODAY’S TOUR STOPS:

Blog Name: Ruminations and Reflections
Blog Owner: Rebecca Elswick
Guest Blogger: Natalie Parker-Lawrence
Title: “Patrice Melnick: Louisiana Poet, Festival Muse”
URL: http://wwwrebeccaelswick.blogspot.com

Blog Name: Holly’s Narrative Dream
Blog Owner: Holly Raychelle Hughes
Title: “Pictures and Words”
URL: http://www.writerhughes.wordpress.com

She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour


Yaaaay! Tomorrow our great Southern writers blog tour begins. Below is the full schedule. There is a great gift basket up for grabs. The more blogs you visit and the more comments you make, the better chance you have to win. I hear that some of the authors are also offering books as prizes.  I think you’ll enjoy what we have cooked up for you. So, pull up a chair, grab an iced tea, or a mint julip, and join in.

Tour Date: Wed. June 27
Blog Name: Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge
Blog Owner: Ramey Channell
Title: “Evolution AND Creationism: The Birth of a Southern Novel”
URL: http://www.sweetmusiconmoonlightridge.blogspot.com

Tour Date: Wed. June 27
Blog Name: My Writing Journey
Blog Owner: Charity Bradford
Title: “Hospitality, Welcome to the South”
URL: http://charitywrites.blogspot.com

Tour Date: Th. June 28
Blog Name: Ruminations and Reflections
Blog Owner: Rebecca Elswick
Guest Blogger: Natalie Parker-Lawrence
Title: “Patrice Melnick: Louisiana Poet, Festival Muse”
URL: http://wwwrebeccaelswick.blogspot.com

Tour Date: Th. June 28
Blog Name: Holly’s Narrative Dream
Blog Owner: Holly Raychelle Hughes
Title: “Pictures and Words”
URL: http://www.writerhughes.wordpress.com

Tour Date: Fri. June 29
Blog Name: Musings & Meanderings: Thoughts on Life and Healing
Blog Owner: Melanie Pennington
Title: “The Flavors of My Childhood”
URL: http://musingsandmeanderings-mlp.blogspot.com/

Tour Date: Fri. June 29
Blog Name: The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog
Blog Owner: Zetta Brown
Guest Blogger: Dera Williams
Title: “Not Your Storybook Southern Belle”
URL: http://fullbodiedbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Tour Date: Sat. June 30
Blog Name: Delani Bartlette’s Travel Blog
Blog Owner: Delani Bartlette
Guest Blogger: Stacy Allen
Title: “Changing The Past, Inventing The Future”
URL: http://matadornetwork.com/community/delanib

Tour Date: Sat. June 30
Blog Name: Emily Kennedy, Author
Blog Owner: Emily Kennedy
Title: “Southern Gentlemen”
URL: http://emilykennedyauthor.com

Tour Date: Sun. July 1
Blog Name: Ryder Islington, Author
Blog Owner: Ryder Islington
Guest Blogger: Deidre Ann Banville
Title: “New Orleans Caulbearers”
URL: https://ryderislington.wordpress.com

Tour Date: Sun. July 1
Blog Name: A Penny and Change
Blog Owner: Penny Leisch
Guest Blogger: Trisha Faye
Title: “Change…as the moon goes on shining”
URL: http://apennyandchange.pennyleisch.com/blog

Tour Date: Mon. July 2
Blog Name: Zetta’s House of Random Thoughts
Blog Owner: Zetta Brown
Title: “Texas Tornadoes and Other Memories”
URL: http://zettashouse.wordpress.com

Tour Date: Mon. July 2
Blog Name: Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia
Blog Owner: Patricia Dorsey
Title: “A (Southern) Life in Poems”
URL: http://patricianeelydorsey.blogspot.com/

Tour Date: Tue. July 3
Blog Name: A Penny’s Worth
Blog Owner: Penny Leisch
Guest Blogger: NancyKay Sullivan Wessman
Title: “Books & Business & Reality: No magic bullet”
URL: http://pennyleisch.com/wordpress

Tour Date: Tue. July 3
Blog Name: The Novelette
Blog Owner: Laura Gschwandtner
Title: “Southern Living with True Grit”
URL: http://thenovelette.com/blog

SOUTHERN LIVING: Football!


Thought I’d add another article on Southern living, to prep my followers for the upcoming She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour. The first tour stop will be here:

 Tour Date: Wed. June 27
Blog Name: Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge–Blog Owner: Ramey Channell
Title: “Evolution AND Creationism: The Birth of a Southern Novel”
URL: http://www.sweetmusiconmoonlightridge.blogspot.com

In the meantime,  here’s one you might enjoy about Southerners and their love of college football.

Let me tell you, there aren’t many Southerners who don’t like football. And we’re willing to discuss it with anyone, any time. Parents put their kids in football as soon as there’s an age-appropriate team available.

 If you’re planning on talking football with Southern fans, be ready to talk specifics. We know our teams. We know all the players. We understand the running patterns. We know the language. We can talk about flea-flickers, Hail Marys, touchbacks, and the 3-4 zone blitz defense. We know the stats of the individual players as well as those of our team, and often, the stats of opposing teams, at least those nearby. We can describe the last game, play-by-play. And don’t mess with our mascots—we can get hostile over our mascots.

 And let’s not even get into a discussion about officials! I mean, really, I think they’re all blind. Yes, we know all their hand signs, and most of their faces. We could easily pick them out of a crowd at the mall, or one of the many parades.

 For the most part, we show good sportsmanship…unless our team loses. Ooooh, that really gets my dander up! Between the blind officials and the opposing team’s fouls, we sometimes get cheated out of a win. That’s not a good time to bad mouth the local boys. After all, it wasn’t their fault. And for the most part, we don’t care for that darned replay contraption the officials use when they don’t like our team.

 There are lots of ‘wars’ between the states when it comes to football. I know a family from Louisiana. One of the daughters married and moved to Arkansas. You can imagine what football is like in that household. If the LSU Tigers are playing the Razorbacks in Arkansas, the family goes to the daughter’s house, so they can all go to the game. If the Razorbacks come to Shreveportto play LSU, the daughter and son-in-law come home so they can all go to the game. Never mind that the husband’s a wild boar—he’s still welcome. After all, family is more important than football. And I’m sticking to that story, no matter what you’ve heard.

SOUTHERN LIVING: Relationships Between Men and Women In The South


The upcoming She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour begins next Wednesday so I thought I’d give my readers a preview the kinds of articles you’ll find on the tour. So, I wrote this article to share with you today. This story is true. I was there to see it, so I know. I didn’t give specific names because the people involved are still alive and I don’t intend to cause any problems for anyone.

I thought I’d throw in a few articles in advance up the upcoming She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour, just to give you a taste of what you might find on the tour. I decided I’d share a story that shows a common relationship between husbands and wives in the South. So, here goes: There is a Mini-Storage in a very large city in the great state of Louisiana. A couple runs the business, and it’s been there for many years. A lot of customers are financially comfortable and rent spaces for storing Christmas decorations and other things that won’t fit in their garages.

The policy of the business is that whoever signs the contract has access and they can give access to anyone they choose. But it must be in writing. So Mrs.…let’s call her Smith, Mrs. Smith rented a large unit and her whole family participated in loading it. Months later her husband came to get something out. They have to sign in at the office. But his name was not on the contract, nor was there anything in writing giving him access. So Mrs. Manager told him he couldn’t get in. Well, being a ‘big man,’ he decided he’d do what he wanted so he jumped in his truck and drove right on back to that unit. Mrs. Manager walked back there, hot under the collar. She told him that if he tried to access the unit, she would call the police, to which he responded, “Why don’t you get your fanny up there in the office where you belong and leave me be.” He didn’t have a key, so he was going to cut the lock, which only made Mrs. Manager more irate. Wouldn’t he have a key if his wife wanted him in there? Are they separating and is he trying to take everything? She took out her phone and started to dial and the man threw his bolt cutters in the back of the truck, gave her a few choice words, and drove off.

A half-hour later, Mrs. Manager got a phone call from the wife. The two of them discussed what was wrong. Mrs. Smith thought her husband had access just like her. Mrs. Manager explained—again—the rules about written authorization. She also told the wife about the bolt cutters, a no-no on the property of any mini-storage, and what the husband said. “He said what?” “He told me to get my fanny back in the office where I belong,” Mrs. Manager said. “I’ll get back to you.”

A half-hour later, Mr. Smith returned to the Mini-Storage. He quietly entered the office, took his hat off and turned it round and round in his calloused hands for a moment, and then cordially apologized. To see that ‘big man’ so humbled was heartening. No one knows what was said between husband and wife, but whatever it was must have reminded Mr. Smith that men don’t talk distastefully to ladies, especially ladies they don’t know intimately. I suspect she had some form of ‘correction’ in mind for him. The couple moved everything out of that unit at the end of the month. After all, a wife can’t have a unit where her husband is not welcomed, and the relationship between Mr. Smith and Mrs. Manager of tenuous. Husbands and wives tend to stick together down here, even if one of them is wrong. Mrs. Smith chose not to do the simple thing and just give the written consent. She stood by her man, whom she assumed had been wronged. But only after she stood by a lady she didn’t know, and let her husband know she expected him to be a gentleman.

So, there you have it. While this story doesn’t represent all Southern men and/or women, it is representitive of our way of life. Husbands and wives stick together, but women tend to take up for each other too. Most of us take it for granted that if one spouse signs a document, it really includes the other spouse as a matter of custom.

I hope all of you will return and enjoy more articles about Southern Living. the tour schedule will be posted soon.

The She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Blog Tour


As a Southern Belle, I’m happy to announce that I’m part of the She Writes Southern Writers 4th of July Countdown Tour. The women of She Writes are quite a group and I’m glad to be a member of the site, as well as the group of Southern Writers. We decided it was time to share some of the ambiance and eccentricities of Southern Life. The tour starts June 27th, so, please take time out to visit the sites and enjoy the humor, fun facts and interesting lifestyles of the great South.

===TOUR SCHEDULE====

DATE: Wed. June 27
Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge / Ramey Channell
My Writing Journey / Charity Bradford

DATE: Th. June 28
Ruminations and Reflections / Rebecca Elswick
Holly’s Narrative Dream / Holly Raychelle Hughes

DATE: Fri. June 29
Musings & Meanderings: Thoughts on Life and Healing / Melanie Pennington
The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog / Zetta Brown*

DATE: Sat. June 30
Delani Bartlette’s Blog at Matador U / Delani Bartlette
Emily Kennedy’s Blog / Emily Kennedy

DATE: Sun. July 1
Ryder Islington’s Blog / Ryder Islington*
A Penny and Change / Penny Leisch*

DATE: Mon. July 2
Zetta’s House of Random Thoughts / Zetta Brown
High Heels and Hot Flashes / Debra Elliott*

DATE: Tue. July 3
A Penny’s Worth / Penny Leisch*
The Novellette / Laura Gschwandtner*

BOOK REVIEW: Star Child And 13 More Twisted Tales By Frank G. Poe


Frank G. Poe claims to be Edgar Allen Poe, reincarnated.  A unique gimmick, if that’s what it is. This Mr. Poe definitely has a twisted imagination. unfortunately, he doesn’t have Edgar’s editor.

Star Child has dozens of sentences that don’t make sense, obvious errors resulting from revising, that make this book of poor reading quality. I read this book in the form of an advance reading copy, so I expected mistakes. The mistakes I’m talking about are not on the Proof Changes sheet, so they were not caught by an editor.

If you enjoy unusual stories, with odd characters and twisted endings, you may enjoy Frank G. Poe’s writing. His style is not run of the mill. I think he has things to say, and someday, may find the right fit as far as an editor goes. Who knows? He may be the next Edgar Allen Poe…er…the last Edgar Allen Poe…er…well anyhow…he may be a great writer someday. But great writers don’t make it on their own. They need excellent editors who are able to see each piece a dozens times and still see the errors. I hope Mr. Poe finds the perfect editor and goes on to write more twisted tales. As for this one, it may not be the best representation of his skills.

Kristen Lamb Rocks!


I received Kristen Lamb’s two books, We Are Not Alone, The Writer’s Guide to Social Media,  and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer,  recently, and wow, now I know why she has such an awesome reputation. It’s because she’s an awesome lady. Both of the books are great. They are easy to read and understand and I’ve already put a lot of her suggestions to use.

But books or no, Kristen is a wonderful person. All of her advice is based on being a good, kind, generous person. And she practices what she preaches. She has made me see that it’s okay to spend some time online with social media, without feeling guilty for ‘wasting time.’  And she took the fear out of dealing with the web, which was a biggy for me. I’m not a high-tech kind of person. I don’t have a Kindle or a Nook. I don’t have an iPad or an iPod. I don’t have a cell phone. I have my desktop, which is connected to the web, and my laptop, which is not, and that is the extent of my gadgets.

In this day and age, self-promotion is required for writers. And promotion doesn’t mean the same thing today that it did even ten years ago. So I would recommend, if you want to actually sell the books you work so hard to create, that you buy both of these books and put them into practice. Even if you  haven’t sold a thing yet, you need this information.

You can find Kristen at http://www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com and there is a buy button on her blog so you can get to the bookseller directly from there. Do two nice and necessary things for your career today. Get to know Kristen Lamb. And buy her books.

BOOK REVIEW: All He Saw Was The Girl by Peter Leonard


Review by Ryder Islington

This is a story about men. McCabe is a scholarship college student who doesn’t care all that much about school. His best friend, Chip, is the son of a U.S. Senator. Chip is also a student. And he’s afraid of his dad. Ray works for the Secret Service and has let his job affect his marriage. Joey is the son of a mafia boss and is having an affair with Ray’s wife. The rest of the men in the story are either cops, mafia big wigs, or mafia wannabes.

The jest of the story is that men want their way and they will use whatever and whomever they need to, to get it.

 I found it lacking in mystery, suspense and thrills. The story is slow. The characters are caricatures, and the plot doesn’t thicken. When McCabe sees a pretty girl, he makes a dumb move. As a result, he is assaulted. He wants to get even. As do all the other men in the story. The theme is definitely Men and Revenge.

While Mr. Leonard is capable of description and dialogue, his other writing skills need some honing. He loves starting multiple sentences with pronouns to the point of distraction, tends to have characters ruminating during action scenes, and has a habit of using incomplete sentences much too often.

 There are people out there who will, undoubtedly, love this book. Bear in mind that mine is just one opinion. I wish Mr. Leonard luck and great success.

Sleeping With Tarantulas


When I was a kid, we used to go to Mexico to fish. We would load up whatever vehicle we had and go to San Felipe, which I understand is now a good-sized city. But back then the streets were unpaved and the biggest building in the whole city was the Ice House, where people bought huge bricks of ice for their ice boxes.

We actually stayed at and launched the boat from Pete’s Place, which if I remember right, was about ten miles north of San Felipe. It consisted of a house, a small restaurant, and some concrete pads where people with motorhomes or trailers could hook up to water and electric. We never had anything like that when we went down there. It was usually a car, pulling a small boat. But we would rent one of the concrete slabs so we had water, and it would be our home for as long as we stayed, which sometimes was a couple of weeks.

Back then, no passport was necessary to cross the border and Mom used to tell me not to get too dark cause she couldn’t prove I was hers and they’d keep me. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m very white. I can get a sunburn from thinking about going out in the sun. And back then my hair was very blonde, in my young years, platinum.

The tide did a strange thing at Pete’s Place. When the tide was high, it was a hundred or feet or so from the little embankment that went up to the concrete slabs. Bear in mind that It’s been forty-five or so years since I’ve been there, and I never went as an adult, so these figures are through the eyes of a five, seven, or ten-year old. When the tide went out, it looked like it was a mile to the water, though I imagine it was closer to the length of a football field. That part of the sand was slanted ever so softly, so when the tide was in, I could walk out forever in the water and it was only up to my waist.

I loved the ocean, so one night I talked my mom into letting me take a sleeping bag down near the embankment and sleep. When the tide was out, it was dark and silent, and when it came in it made a soft shush-shush.  I slept soundly. In fact, I kicked off the sleeping bag sometime in the early morning, and when I woke, I was lobsterized. At least the front of me was.

When Pete saw me, he laughed, and asked how I got so red. I told him what happened and his eyes grew to the size of quarters. “The tarantulas live there,” he said and pointed to the embankment. I walked back down to where I’d slept and looked at the hill of sand and sure enough, it had small holes all over it.

Well, I never saw a tarantula there, not a single one, but I surely made a wide path around that area from that day forward.  And Pete’s story was confirmed by others who were there regularly. The thing is, everyone who went there, went to fish. No one was sunbathing, or reading books. They launched the boats at high tide, anchored them out in the deeper water and fished. They fished during the day, and sat up on the concrete slabs and talked and drank and partied. But no one ever went down between the embankment and the high tide line and just relaxed.

Pete’s Place was where I learned, When In Rome, Do As The Romans Do. If no one else is sleeping down there, maybe you should ask why.